Wednesday, November 05, 2003
Councilman Thomas Richards bested his Republican opponent, Thomas Gaffney, in the Nov. 4 mayoral election. Democratic Councilman Dr. Tim Eustace and newcomer Jack Savage defeated Republican challengers Daniel Palazzo and Robert Tarleton.
The victories give Democrats control of the governing body for the first time since 2001 upon January's reorganization. They will hold a 4-3 edge on the governing body, and likely means Democratic Councilwoman Lorraine LaPietra (filling Jeanne Matullo's vacancy) will move over and fill the seat Richards will vacate in Jamuary.
JUST AN OPINION
THE TRUTH IS - DOES IT REALLY MATTER?
Same old antics, as chairs shuffle on dais
By Chris Neidenberg
The outcome of the Nov. 4 council election simply reinforces the "Republicrat" rule that has misguided Maywood for so many years.
It is an environment the ethically-challenged and well-protected Thomas Richards has thrived on - and his ascendancy to the mayoral chair caps almost 30 years of antics and gimmicks, as Richards has used "the system" to full advantage.
Clearly, Gaffney is not much better.
He has equally taken advantage of the same dysfunctional, "revolving door" system ever since this one time political novice was indoctrinated into it 10 years ago upon joining the council.
Truth is, amidst all the so-called "partisan" bluster centering on issues such as whether to replace the police chief with a civilian police director, it was all an act, a pleasant diversion from the real problems gripping Maywood, and pals - "fake adversaries" if you will - Gaffney and Richards knew it all along.
And they also likely giggled knowing there was little you, the honest and vigilant citizen, could do about it.
There's no reason to mourn for Richards' friend, and close political ally, Gaffney.
Surely he did not lose a wink of sleep over his loss - because he will be around for at least two more years as a member of the council. It would have been the same deal for the abusive and always controlling Richards, though the win extends his public (and double) life for two additional years. Both men will be around during a period they will surely drool over, as the issue of "big bucks" redevelopment of their community moves even closer to center stage.
While things may get even more difficult in the months and years ahead in a political environment that has long tried intimidating and silencing critcs of Maywood's sordid political mess, MAYWOOD TRUTH will endeavor to do the best it can.
The reality is that the politically privliged Richards and Gaffney have the ability to fight their critics while their critics have both hands tied behind their backs. Thus, they reallly are two cowards.
That's because - it certainly seems - Gaffney and Richards - as local agents for Bergen County's political establishment - control two important institutions that are at the vanguard of this establishment: A.) The county's "mainstream" print media - owned by a family that, instead of pouring its daily newspaper's considerable resources into seriously investigating the borough's shady political dealings, has instead inexplicably opted to serve as "PR shills" for Maywood's troubling officials (most noticeably, Richards). B.) Perhaps, most frighteningly, they and their fellow officials in Maywood - through political appointees serving at higher levels, such as the federal government, control law enforcement.
Surely, this makes any honest, outside and independent investigation of their rather questionable actions that much tougher.
Yet, while it is not an honest and fair fight, it is still a fight worth waging - against seemingly insurmountable handicaps for sure.
Indeed, it must be done, for the truth will prevail.
A MESSAGE TO READERS
By Chris Neidenberg
BEFORE YOU GET TOO EXCITED ABOUT MAYWOOD'S ALLEGED FINAL BUT PARTIAL THORIUM RECORD OF DRCISION (ROD) FROM THE U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, BE AN INFORMED CONSUMER AND CITIZEN, READ ALL THE FINE PRINT, AND BELIEVE NO POLITICIAN UNTIL ALL GUARANTEES ARE PROVIDED IN WRITING AND MADE BINDING.
WHAT BERGEN COUNTY'S "MAJOR MAINSTREAM PRINT MEDIA ORGAN," AND ITS DEMOCRATIC POLITICAL ESTABLISHMENT - DIDN'T - AND MAY NEVER -- TELL YOU IN THE SEPT. 30 ARTICLE CONCERNING THE SUPPOSED FORTHCOMING CLEANUP OF MAYWOOD'S MASSIVE THORIUM CONTAMINATION PROBLRM.
On Sept. 29, Congressman Steve Rothman (D-9) and his close Democratic political ally, Councilman Tom Richards, reportedly gushed all over each other during a press event at the Maywood Interim Storage Site.
They were there to promote - and undoubtedly score political points - over Maywood's purported final (though incomplete) and estimated $254 million cleanup initiative, affecting roughly 300,000 cubic yards of thorium-tainted soil, buried under large commercial properties.
Interestingly, this event comes about a month before the upcoming mayoral campaign, pitting Richards against his Republican opponent, Councilman Thomas Gaffney.
It also comes after the corps and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) dragged finally promulgaring the only-partial radiological cleanup ROD for another 13 months - after the corps commenced its long-delayed public hearing on a proposed radiological plan for soil and buildings in Maywood - in the old borough hall - on Aug. 28, 2002.
Partisan politics being as they are, and as Maywood Truth has long hypothesized, Rothman and other Bergen County Democrats, over the next month will likely try spinning this "photo-op" moment in a way try catapulting Tom Richards into the mayoralty.
More than likely, the obligatory last-minute campaign literature giving Richards full credit for producing this moment (quite possibly featuring a smiling congessman. the candidate and his two running mates), will be forthcoming.
We have no proof, and are not making any specific allegations, but a cynic could certainly raise the question as to if federal authorities actually colluded with political operatives in delaying a final resolution to set up such a scenario.
No doubt, Gaffney will also try spinning the alleged release of this plan, in a way that benefits his candidacy.
In anticipation of all of this, it should be stated that many, many questions still need to be answered.
Additionally, you, in the quest to be better informed, need to be reminded of the full history of this long and titanic struggle, before reaching any final conclusion.
Yes, we've touched on some of these points in other articles, but this development is so vitally important to the future of Maywood and Maywoodians, you need to instantly get a more balanced and complete pictire compared to what ran in the local daily press on Sept. 30.
And, given the sadly "political nature" of our current "mainstream print media" - at least in Bergen County - it is quite possible that you will never read anything about these outstanding problems and issues anywhere else.
We start with raising some key questions that weren't addressed in the Sept. 30 published daily newspaper report. That's followed by a two part examination of Maywood's dubious and very "dirty" thorium history, consistently underplayed or simply ignored by the same "mainstream" daily paper of "record."-