CYAN YELLOW MAGENTA BLACK
Rising Cost of SPF School Plans Makes it Difficult for Local Resident
Please correct me if I am wrong but it has always been my understanding that the primary function of any Board of Education was to be sure that the best interests of the children in the school system was of utmost concern — all the checks and balances. And that the board was not supposed to be in lockstep with the superintendent nor was its function to placate the teachers in the system like the Scotch PlainsFanwood Board of Education does.
In February, the public was told that the bond referendum (which was the choice of the superintendent) was going to be $15.9 million. Now in July, it’s grown to $23.9 million, with an additional $11 million to be paid up in capital expenses in the coming years. I do not see where these grandiose plans of bringing a bond referendum to be voted on by the public will bring the test grades up to where they should be. I do not see where this will make these students better college material.
Thomas Russo, as a lawyer, you should know better. There are no newspapers that I know that will print information that has not been researched and found to be true. Copies of the articles, which appeared during the 19981999 school years, were sent to the office of the SPF superintendent.
I never received an answer but these were a statewide rating of all the school districts in the state and it showed that Scotch PlainsFanwood had dropped, academically, from fifth in the state to the low 50’s and the second article, again a statewide comparison, showed that Scotch PlainsFanwood was the third highest in the cost per student. Mr. Russo, it is up to you to do the research and then to disprove what was written.
Richard Meade, also a lawyer, I strongly feel that if you are going to analyze someone’s letter, you should take apart the entire letter not only the part that suits you. Furthermore, if you feel that we are not paying enough to educate the Scotch PlainsFanwood students, it might better suit your needs to look into private schooling for your family.
The mentality of the present Scotch PlainsFanwood Board of Education is making it very difficult for longtime residents to continue to live in Scotch Plains and Fanwood and it is further difficult for young families to find affordable housing in both these towns. Remember, there isn’t a member of this board who is paying my taxes.
Jerry Meola Scotch Plains
Letters to the Editor
Westfield Resident Thinks Politicians Need to Take Stand on Parking Issue
Westfield Resident Shares Views On Recent Council Parking Meeting
It is both gratifying and mystifying to read the report on the recent Westfield Town Council meeting relating to the parking issue. The gratifying part is the unanimous adoption of Mr. Sullivan’s “Parking Principles” by the council. Simply put, let’s use all our resources and imagination to deal with parking before embarking on costly capital expenditures resulting in further tax burdens. Logical, flexible and economical. What you hope for in a public official.
Mystifying is the action of Councilmen James Gruba and Carl Salisbury. It seems they walked out of a town council meeting simply because they weren’t
getting their way. If they don’t get a southside train station lot, then they don’t want to participate at all. Hardly the expected action of elected officials. After all, wasn’t other town business on the agenda? Are we to believe that these councilmen are unbiased in their review of parking data?
I’ll admit to my bias. I’ve yet to see any evidence that downtown shoppers will ever use a southside lot. They certainly don’t on the weekends when the southside lot is practically empty. If we must build a parking deck, primarily for shopping, it seems very logical to select a northside location. Just as was originally recommended. This helps both shoppers and commuters who can walk for five10 minutes.
And what’s the problem with having a waiting list for commuters? Surely people take these things into account when moving to Westfield. A waiting list insures that you remain a Westfielder. A train station parking deck means we could become a commuter stop because we’ll want to fill up those spaces for revenue. Anybody for more traffic?
Robin Fry Westfield
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Editor’s Note: This letter was also sent to Westfield Town Councilmen and the Town Administrator.
* * * * * Upon reading The StarLedger Saturday, July 22, I happened across an editorial that addresses the parking problem here in Westfield. It states very clearly what most in town know. There IS a parking problem and there IS a problem within our governing system to arrive at a conclusion. What is the answer?
In my opinion, the biggest problem this town has is that some of our town council mistakenly think that they are in a popularity contest. They aren’t elected to win friends, they’re elected to do the hard stuff, to bite the political bullet and make the difficult decisions.
Some won’t commit one way or the other, some aren’t prepared to say, some say let’s keep thinking about it, some stomp their feet and pout. If they aren’t prepared or willing to commit, they should step down so someone else can get the job done.
I say we should elect officials who aren’t going to simply follow the party line. We should elect people who are willing to stick their neck out and do what’s best for the entire town, not just their own ward or neighborhood. They should go back into the town records and learn from the 50 years of discussion on the parking problem.
Be the council that could and did do the right thing, not just another council that waited until their term was up to pass the buck to the next council. I also believe that if we elected officials to a fouryear instead of a twoyear term, everyone would spend more time and effort on the business of the town instead of worrying/ trying to get reelected.
Debby Burslem Registered Republican
PUBLIC NOTICE TOWN OF WESTFIELD ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL
Take notice that application has been made to Mayor and Council of the Town of Westfield, 425 East Broad Street Westfield, New Jersey, 07090, for a Person to Person and Place to Place transfer of Plenary Retail Consumption Liquor License No. 202033001004 from its current holder, Benjamin Michael, Inc., t/ a Galata’s, operating at 114 Central Avenue, Westfield, New Jersey, 07090, to RoseTamb Management, L. L. C. which will operate at One Elm Street, Westfield, New Jersey, 07090. The person who will hold an interest in this license is: RoseTamb Management, L. L. C., 53 Lenape Lane, Montville, New Jersey, 07045; whose sole members are Harold Rosenbaum and Nenad Tamburin.
Rose Tamb Management, L. L. C. Arthur P. Attenasio, Esq. DiFRANCESCO, KUNZMAN, COLEY,
YOSPIN, BERNSTEIN & BATEMAN 15 Mountain Boulevard Warren, New Jersey 07059
(908) 7577800, Ext. 154 Attorneys for Applicant 2 T – 7/ 20/ 00 and
7/ 27/ 00, The Leader Fee: $52.02
Understanding an Overview of The Demographics of Westfield May Help Public, Officials in Considering Parking Issue By HORACE R. CORBIN
Editors Note: This report is part one of a series to conclude by Labor Day on the issue of parking deliberations in downtown Westfield. Mr. Corbin is publisher of The Westfield Leader and The Times of Scotch PlainsFanwood.
* * * * * In 1945, The Westfield Chamber of Commerce was formed to address parking issues in the downtown. The Westfield Memorial Library has excellent reports of parking studies (1985 Ramp Report, 1995 RBA/ Main Street
and Rich and Associates today) for public review. Much of this newspaper over the last century that chronicles the history also is available on microfilm at the library. It’s now the year 2000 and parking remains a hot issue.
People like being in downtown Westfield for many reasons, including work, education, play, culture, leisure, shopping, business, entertainment and commuting. There has always been a good town feeling and demand seems to be increasing. This leads to traffic, pedestrians and requirements for parking.
There are many different visions for the future of Westfield. Some want Westfield to stay as a town, others believe it should become a city and others haven’t given it much thought. The Westfield Master Plan of 1991 is available in the library, but it has not been updated.
There are many views and priorities of how to spend (or not to spend) taxpayers money on projects. The wish lists include schools, community cen ters, art centers, roads, town buildings,
pools, parks and fields. There also are some little known expensive issues not in the forefront, such as sewer improvements and pond dredging.
As anywhere, the appetite is larger than the wallet. Many residents pay little attention to matters until the tax bill comes. By that time, government commitments are irreversible.
The $10 to $20 million proposal to build parking decks in downtown Westfield would involve the largest bond undertaking ever by the town, excluding those of the public school system. The largest previous town bond was for about $7 million in 1985 for the library and bundled miscellaneous items. The library bond will be paid off this year. However, several other longterm debt commitments are rolling into place to offset the relief of the library bond retirement.
The town has a good financial position and can undertake considerable debt if the public and officials wish to
spend (and pay back) the money. This column provides a background of Westfield demographics and how taxes work. This can serve as a framework for reader evaluation of expenditures that could possibly be proposed by town officials to pay for parking improvements.
Westfield is a fully developed residential town of 29,000 residents. There are about 9,100 homeowners. About 40 percent of the homeowners have children in the 5,000 student public school system.
About 1,5002,000 people (80 percent Westfielders) each day use the Westfield train station to commute to New York City and to Newark. There are 630 commuter parking spaces at the train station. Essentially all of the commuter permits are held by residents of Westfield.
Approximately 250 permits near the train station are held by downtown business employees. Depending on how one defines it, there are about 3,500 parking total lot spaces in downtown Westfield. In addition, there are 325 metered street parking spots and unmetered neighborhood parking.
As determined by the state, the taxable land value of Westfield comprises about 10 percent of the $35 billion total taxable land valuation of Union County. Summit and Linden are at similar levels. These three towns have the highest land valuations in the county of a population of 500,000 people. Land evaluation is how county taxes and debt obligation of property owners is determined.
Of Westfield’s total property tax collection, 90 percent comes from residences, 5 percent from downtown business property owners and 5 percent from all remaining properties in the town. The average homeowner pays about $7,600 property taxes per year. The total Westfield property tax collection is about $75 million per year.
Generally, sixtyfive percent of the property taxes collected by Westfield are distributed to the public school system, 15 percent to town government and 20 percent to Union County.
The Town of Westfield has about $5 million in long term debt, which sources say will appear in the upcoming audit report. The Westfield Public School System debt is a few multiples higher than the town. Westfield property owners’ obligation to Union County debt is 10 percent of the county’s total.
The county debt obligation is understood to be the largest component of the three, but analysis of this is beyond the scope of this article. Each property owner in Westfield is obligated by this total debt.
Next week and through to Labor Day, we’ll continue in this column to attempt to tie all this together with the perspectives of parking, priorities, financing and vision.
PUBLIC NOTICE SHERIFF’S SALE
SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY, CHANCERY DIVISION, UNION COUNTY, DOCKET NO. F1788299.
NORWEST MORTGAGE, INC., PLAINTIFF vs. GERMAN ALZATE, ETALS, DEFENDANT.
CIVIL ACTION, WRIT OF EXECUTION, DATED MAY 5, 2000 FOR SALE OF MORTGAGED PREMISES.
By virtue of the abovestated writ of execution to me directed I shall expose for sale by public vendue, at the Union County, Administration Building, 1st Floor, 10 Elizabeth Town Plaza, Elizabeth, New Jersey on WEDNESDAY THE 2ND DAY OF AUGUST A. D., 2000 at two o’clock in the afternoon of said day. All successful bidders must have 20% of their bid available in cash or certified check at the conclusion of the sales.
The judgment amount is ONEHUNDRED SEVEN T HOUSAND FOURHUNDRED SIX & 42/ 100 ($ 107,406.42).
The property to be sold is located in the CITY of ELIZABETH in the County of UNION, and the State of New Jersey.
Tax LOT NO. 500 BLOCK NO. 4. COMMONLY KNOWN AS 836 GARDEN STREET, ELIZABETH, NEW JERSEY 07202. Dimensions of the Lot are (Approximately) 195.50 feet wide by 25.09 feet long.
Nearest Cross Street: Situated on the SOUTHERLY side of GARDEN STREET, 450.00 feet from the WESTERLY side of GRIER AVENUE.
There is due approximately the sum of ONEHUNDRED THIRTEEN THOUSAND FOURHUNDRED NINETY SIX & 43/ 100 ($ 113,496.43) together with lawful interest and costs.
There is a full legal description on file in the Union County Sheriff’s Office.
The Sheriff reserves the right to adjourn this sale.
RALPH FROEHLICH SHERIFF SHAPIRO & KREISMAN, ATTORNEYS AT LAW Suite J 406 Lippincott Drive Marlton, New Jersey 08053 CH755324 (WL) 4 T 7/ 6, 7/ 13, 7/ 20 & 7/ 27/ 00 Fee: $187.68
PUBLIC NOTICE SHERIFF’S SALE
SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY, CHANCERY DIVISION, UNION COUNTY, DOCKET NO. F1583298.
BANK UNITED, PLAINTIFF vs. HERMENEGILDO D. PEDROSA, ET ALS, DEFENDANT.
CIVIL ACTION, WRIT OF EXECUTION, DATED MAY 24, 2000 FOR SALE OF MORTGAGED PREMISES.
By virtue of the abovestated writ of execution to me directed I shall expose for sale by public vendue, at the Union County, Administration Building, 1st Floor, 10 Elizabeth Town Plaza, Elizabeth, New Jersey on WEDNESDAY THE 9TH DAY OF AUGUST A. D., 2000 at two o’clock in the afternoon of said day. All successful bidders must have 20% of their bid available in cash or certified check at the conclusion of the sales.
The judgment amount is ONEHUNDRED SEVENTEEN THOUSAND EIGHTHUNDRED SIXTY THREE & 37/ 100 ($ 117,863.37).
MUNICIPALITY: City of Elizabeth.
COUNTY AND STATE: UNION COUNTY, NEW JERSEY.
STREET AND STREET NUMBER: 756 Floral Avenue, Elizabeth, New Jersey 07202.
TAX LOT NO. AND BLOCK NO.: LOT NO. 676, BLOCK NO. 10.
DIMENSIONS: Approximately 100 feet by 40 feet by 100 feet by 40 feet.
NEAREST CROSS STREET: 567.24 feet from Springfield Road.
There is due approximately the sum of ONEHUNDRED THIRTY EIGHT THOUSAND FIVEHUNDRED EIGHTY NINE & 21/ 100 ($ 138,589.21) together with lawful interest and costs.
There is a full legal description on file in the Union County Sheriff’s Office.
The Sheriff reserves the right to adjourn this sale.
RALPH FROEHLICH SHERIFF HACK, PIRO, O’DAY, MERKLINGER, WALLACE & MCKENNA 30 Columbia Turnpike P. O. Box 941 Florham Park, New Jersey 079320941 CH754619 (WL) 4 T 7/ 13, 7/ 20, 7/ 27 & 8/ 3/ 00 Fee: $185.64
Covering Fanwood, Mountainside, Scotch Plains and Westfield, Union County, New Jersey (NJ)