When town officials said this spring that Essex and Nishuane pools wouldn’t open until June 29 due to renovation work in the parks they’re in, did you doubt the openings would happen on that date?


Trust in the Wind

Yes, and the two pools indeed didn’t open. Our burg has a track record of being late to open facilities — the Midtown parking deck is another example — so it makes sense that Montclair’s Stephen Colbert hosts “The Late Show.”


A bucket of chlorine should be a Colbert guest. Anyway, things happen, but transparency and communication from some Montclair officials is often lacking. What can fix that?


To Dream the Impossible Dream

A see-through talking gavel in Council Chambers.


Does that even exist?


It’s Glorious to Be Curious

Yes, Council Chambers exists.


Then there’s the matter of one public pool (Mountainside) currently serving a town of about 39,000 residents, with only slightly longer hours than usual. How to fit everyone?


Wet It Be, Wet It Be

26,000 people in the adult pool and 13,000 people in the children’s pool.


Not every town resident swims in Mountainside’s waters at the same time. Heck, some residents don’t even buy pool passes.


Rin Tin Pool Pin

Okay, okay — 25,997 in the adult pool and 12,994 in the children’s pool.


Plus isn’t Mountainside Pool quite a hike for central and southern Montclair residents who might normally walk to Essex and Nishuane pools?


Far Trek

Especially if they circumnavigate the globe and approach Mountainside from the north. That’s nearly 25,000 miles.


In other news, workers at Montclair’s downtown Starbucks announced on Twitter this past Monday that they’re trying to unionize. Great?


At 40 South Perk

Yes! That Starbucks outlet would potentially join many other Starbucks outlets nationwide voting to unionize in recent months. But swimming in large cups of coffee is no substitute for closed pools.


Meanwhile, it’s been reported that The MC hotel finally coughed up the large sum of PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) money it owes Montclair. Comment?


Dee Linquent

“From Deadbeat to Former Deadbeat” would be a catchy name for a memoir.


COVID obviously put a major crimp in hotel revenues, but The MC’s ownership is rather rich. Why couldn’t it have paid at least some of what it owed when it owed it?


Marcus Wealthy, MC

Selfishness, hubris, entitlement? The first letters of those words spell out the title of H. Rider Haggard’s “She” novel, whose title character was 2,000 years old yet never fell behind on her PILOT obligations.


What might our town’s officials do with the belatedly received PILOT money?


Cash Stash

Pay tuition to Montclair State to study Transparency and Communication. But those officials should be limited to one-third of the university’s recreation center pool.



Dave Astor, author, is the MontClairVoyant. His opinions about politics and local events are strictly his own and do not represent or reflect the views of Baristanet.



7 replies on “MontClairVoyant: From Three to One Makes Summer Less Fun”

  1. It’s not all bad news this month for the Township. It seems the Historic Preservation Commission has prevailed in the lawsuit brought by the owners of 109 Union St in their quest to demolish a historic house.

    [Of course, I am not a 100% sure because it seems like law schools didn’t teach their students how to turn on a microphone…or ethics. Amazing, isn’t it, that highly educated folk like this can’t seem to grasp this technology feature after 2 years of COVID. No need to get me started about the lack-of-integrity pandemic among law school graduates in State & National position of power. Especially the overwhelming preponderance of Caucasian offenders. ]

    Anyway, if I heard our Township attorney correctly, the homeowners are now pursuing with the Township a “less than 50% demo” option. Hysterical. Myself, and many others would have told them this is the way to go, way back when, and way before their 6-figure expenditures.

    Ah, the younger folk just won’t listen. Surprise, surprise. It’s only money.

  2. Thank you for the comment, Frank. While I’m in favor of preserving old, historic houses the vast majority of the time, this is one case where a demolition should have been allowed. All that asbestos is scary.

  3. Dave,
    Sorry, but I have to ding you for the first word of your last sentence, “All that asbestos is scary.”

    You remind me of the Trump Republicans who swear the election was stolen but fail to produce the evidence to support the claim. Now, I don’t think there are but a dozen or so people in Montclair that understand scientific methods, labtesting and sampling. 🙂 Maybe two dozen understand statistical analysis. 🙂 🙂 And I would agree that asbestos, like voter fraud, is scary. When I read up on the evidence presented – on both topics – I said to myself people are not that much different when you come down to the fundamentals.

  4. Yikes, Frank — being compared to a Trump Republican? I don’t resemble that remark. 🙂 I know I’m not a scientist and I realize asbestos had its uses back in the day, but it being exposed during construction work and such is indeed alarming.

  5. And the headlines over all those dead people that voted in Georgia were a little alarming. I think we can all agree that dead people voted. But, did they count?

    Further, if you don’t know asbestos is there, should we raise the alarm? Should we tell people in old buildings that if you have a water leak, want to blow out the undersize bathroom, or combine rooms to create a family room that they should stop & maybe check? Do real estate agents inform buyers about the possible risk of asbestos? Better yet, do the contractors inform their employees about handling materials and mandate wearing protection?

    Is it reasonable to want and expect all traces of asbestos be eliminated to eliminated from a historic structure? And if the structure can’t be remediated to zero, it is reasonable grounds for demolition?

    If Montclair wants to go that route, then I am going to into the lucrative property speculation business. The sheer number of older, maybe historic homes I could, demolish by right, and subdivide (or aggregate) the parcels would make me a bloody fortune.

    Asbestos aside, I just want to find the brand & model of the fan the contractor used. Y’know, with climate change and hotter summers.

  6. Frank, there was definitely a major screw-up at the house we’re discussing, and I hope it doesn’t happen again at any other historic Montclair home. But it did happen, and the house became pretty much unsafe, unlivable, and unsellable. If any owner or developer deliberately exposed lots of asbestos in order to have an excuse to demolish an historic home, they’re welcome to be arrested, convicted, and jailed in an asbestos-free prison.

  7. “…the house became pretty much unsafe” the Construction Official’s authority trumps Montclair ordinances and it’s land use boards and can, if not required of, issue a demolition order where an unsafe condition exists. The Construction Official did not issue such an order.
    “…the house became pretty much unlivable” Well, yes, it seems to have lost its C of O.
    “…the house became unsellable” Kinda of hard to sell a house if the owner refuses to list it or entertain a private sale offers.

    This is why a made the Trump Republican references. I don’t mind most don’t know the facts. It does bother me when people just make up facts. I think I have the same standard for ultra conservatives as ultra progressives.

    There is nothing wrong with just saying you don’t know. Why can’t people do that? It seems so elementary, so basic.

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