One of my favorite descriptions of expedient politicians is that “they talk out of both sides of their mouths.” That would seem to be the case in the Montclair Township Council’s explanation for why reigning in the Senior Citizens Advisory Committee seemed so urgent.

As the SCAC members’ recent letter of mass resignation points out, any actual lack of diversity was, by design, addressed by making new appointments of one-third of this standing committee each year!

Whatever back story there may be on Resolution R-22-017, the underlying issues were not raised by or brought to the older residents of Montclair, who reliably get their news on township senior issues through SCAC’s regular reporting out through meetings and e-distributions.

I am a founding member of Montclair’s grassroots senior organization, Aging in Montclair, a nonprofit started in 2015, with an explicit mission to promote the well-being of older people through advocacy and citizen engagement. AIM and SCAC often collaborate. Although each group’s mission is distinct, we both have the interests of older residents as common ground.

Apparently, the township’s worry about too much “advocacy” forced this long-standing, hard-working and diverse group of older volunteer citizens to disband in disgust. Are other advisory committees being similarly yoked or “reorganized?”

In this case, the disrespect and “talking out of both sides of their mouths” is duly noted.

Andrea Peyser
Founder, Aging in Montclair


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