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Been There, Said That

I haven’t written anything lately mostly because I have already written it. Why should I bother to say what has already been said of these candidates countless times before. All you have to do is type HALKO or RODRIGEUZ into the blog search box and you’ll find five years’ worth of stupidity, unprofessionalism, and childish behavior, with both men having a narcissistic personality disorder relationship with their counterparts and the public.

There is not too much more that can be said. You love’em or you hate’em. About the only thing that is at all interesting about this coming election is what it says about the two political parties, how weak they really are, and how that may affect the township.

The mayor didn’t get his first pick the node with his Democratic Party because he was not worthy of consideration in spite of the head of the party, the mayor, insisting on him. But it wasn’t a total loss since the mayor’s right-hand man, Omar Rodriguez, was considering himself the next viable candidate. Being the County Committee Chairman, Rodriguez was able to nominate and vote himself a candidate.

This of course was not taken lightly with the rest of the party. Incumbent candidates Council President Joseph Camilleri and Councilwoman Florence Mazzer, I’m sure, will decide to play Mission Impossible politics and disavow any knowledge of Rodriguez’s actions. So much so that you very well may notice that Rodriguez’s lawn signs will just have his name on them and Camilleri and Mazzer’s lawn signs will be absent of the name Rodriguez. A fractured party. A red flag from the get-go!

On the other side of the fulcrum is a has-been and a never-be. Just as weak as the Democratic party, the Republican party is equally powerless to find new blood, or more to the point, intelligence, to strengthen their party. The only helpful sign I see from putting Mr. Anthony Halko on their ticket, is that he does have experience. And to somehow balance the council, you do need another republican on the council besides Mr. Cimiluca. As Halko has proved many times in the past, he is adequate to follow Cimiluca’s lead. And if nothing else, his experience is helpful in recognizing the same mistake every time he makes it!

And lastly the republicans offer up Mr. Phil Sergio. WHO? A nice man people say but just a placeholder for a seat they couldn’t otherwise fill.

This is not going to be a particularly interesting election season. Mr. Halko and Mr. Rodriguez will remind you of all the good things they did for you before the last time they were voted out of office. Mr. Camilleri and Ms. Mazzer will remind you of all the good things they did for you while still in office. Mr. Phil Sergio is a nice guy.

If you find yourself with the strange feeling of Déjà vu don’t worry, you're not alone. 


Same Old S . . . Pt 2

On the Republican side, I would think most would agree that a Check and Balance is needed on the Township Council, which is not the case presently. The present council is made up of four Democrats and one Republican essentially ensuring a bias to the governess of the community by one political party. The council should be a check and balance to the office of the mayor thereby allowing no small majority to have an excess of power.

The term “Check and Balance” is usually applied when speaking of the Federal Government:  “A system of constitutional government which guards against absolute power by providing for separate executive, judicial, and legislative bodies who share powers and thereby check and balance one another”.

Though no different than the administration before it, Saddle Brook’s configuration does not lend itself to an assured fair nor balanced government. For this reason I believe the Republican Party MUST present to the township viable and strong candidate opponents.

It is my opinion that Councilman Andrew Cimiluca has proven himself to be one of those candidates. Though I have written much about him and disagreed, sometimes vehemently with his thinking, I also believe he has proven that while being the lone republican, he has shown the strength of his convictions with clear and concise explanations. You know where you stand with Mr. Cimiluca whether you agree or not. You don’t often get that kind of clarity from the other members of the council.

However, being the lone Republican, he alone doesn’t have the backing to be the check and balance needed. One more Republican would help change that and two others would tip the scale of power, essentially the check and balance of the mayor’s powers which is sorely needed.

To borrow a line from part #1 of this post, “the Democrats are not the only ones shoveling $hit against the tide. In part #2 you’ll read about the Republicans shovel.” To be fair I’d have to say that what I hear is, for now, only rumor and speculation. But one of the main names being bandied about as a potential running mate of Cimiluca’s is none other than Anthony Halko!  GIVE ME A FREAKIN BREAK!!!

The republicans have lost their minds and the Democrats have lost their balls. The township just had Mr. Halko in office for 6 years I believe, and then tossed him out on his ass the first chance they got. What is he going to do differently now than the first 6 years when he didn’t do spit then?  On certain issues during the past administration while Mr. Halko was Council President, they benched him leaving Mr. Cimiluca to do the hard work knowing full well Halko couldn’t handle it. Now all of a sudden he is a viable candidate?

A sad state of affairs for Saddle Brook if neither party can find smart, intelligent, and honest newcomers to step up, take the reins, and do what the previously proven horses asses couldn’t.

Leave the recycling to the township’s recycling department. The regurgitation is going to kill you!  


Same Old S . . . (Literally!) 

Exactly one month from today we will all celebrate the astronomical equinox of Spring. Spring, the blooming of beautiful flora inspires us to energize and achieve new successes. Spring is a hopeful season!  It brings transformation and change; from darkness to light, from cold to warmth, from grey to bursts of color. It is a time for cleaning house, new growth in gardens, and baby animals.  The new life, new beginnings, and bright, colorful new look that spring brings are hopeful signs that life on this earth renews again and again. It also brings the beginning of campaign season. What a downer!

There will be no “new” in your new season of town council campaigning. And from everything I hear both the Democrat and Republican parties are just fine with that. Should the people be equally content?

On the Democratic side, Mayor White has been bullying in earnest, to get his way politically with County officials, township council members, potential council members, Board of Education trustees, and anyone else who needs to know it’s his way or the highway. Probably typical of lesser astute politicians but atypical of a man with class or loyalty. But, one does what works and apparently his demeanor is working in the short term.

But Mayor White was NOT expecting the blow-back he received from his fellow democrats when he pushed a bit too hard for BOE Trustee David Gierek to be welcomed by his party as a candidate for council OR his appointment as Director of Recreation. The mayor was bluntly put in his place and told that was never going to happen.

So, who is the democrat party going to serve up for three open seats on the town council? In the coming election 2 incumbents, Councilman Joseph Camilleri (D), and Councilwoman Florence Mazzer (D) are running and now apparently, David Gierek is not. Who will be the odd man out? Someone new, someone with new life, new beginnings, and bright, colorful new look that spring brings with hopeful signs that life on this earth renews again and again? Omar Rodrigues!! There’s a real spring kick in the ass for ya!

Omar Rodrigues, a man who is one of the most divisive township officials in recent memory. His biggest accomplishment as a councilman or council president was his divisive scheme to set his rivals against each other and make himself the noble Knight of Saddle Brook. Losing more elections then he has won, this is the best the Democrats have to offer. Same $hit, different day!

But he worked hard and became the right-hand man of Mayor White to get White elected. In the past Democratic Club President, Larry Ratajczak, called Rodrigues an  a$$hole. Now Ratajczak is kissing that a$$hole. And apparently White feels a need to put his lips there as well, putting politics before the benefit of the township and common sense as well.

S.O.S. Same Old $hit or Save Our Ship? I think they should add S.O.S. to their 300th Celebration Banner. Don’t all sinking ships raise their flag as they are going down?

But the Democrats are not the only ones shoveling $hit against the tide. In part #2 you’ll read about the Republicans shovel. 


Health Trumps Everything Else

Heard some disturbing news this morning.

It’s one thing to disagree with people politically and point out what you perceive as wrong or unacceptable. Those arguments are strictly opinions and have nothing to do with what you think about or wish for the individual you disagree with.

I’ve been told that Mr. Larry Ratajczak has been hospitalized with a potentially serious ailment.

I want to publicly wish Mr. Ratajczak a speedy recovery so that he may once again appear at the council meeting podium and argue the points which he feels so strongly about. He is a force to be reckoned with and a man of his convictions. Whether you agree or disagree with any of his issues, you can’t help but respect his willingness to fight for what he believes is right for the Township of Saddle Brook.

I’m sure Larry will fight this ailment with the same gusto he fights everything else.

I wish for you Larry, and your family, rest and relaxation now, a quick recovery, and God’s speed.  


No News Is Good News (hopefully)

Been out of the loop for over a week getting the server back up and running for this blog but it doesn’t appear I missed much.

The February 4th Council meeting was one of the shortest on record lasting only 40 minutes or so. Nothing of any consequence happening as far as I’ve heard. We’ll go to the videotape and see for ourselves once it becomes available.

Still waiting on the Board of Ed to make up their minds about the employment of Mrs. Larry Ratajczak. So far they have been very secretive regarding any discussions. I was told that so far there has been no decision either way. I doubt we’ll be filled in by Mr. Ratajczak himself.

On a bright note, GREAT job on the new Township website Joe!! 



Those you thrive in the game of politics, practice the age proven rules of kissing ass, promising the world, getting their face in front of every possible camera they can, and scratching every colleges’ back they can reach.  Some play the game conservatively while others are willing to take bold risks. Most are not equipped with the savvy necessary allowing those chips to fall where they may. The proverbial “toss of a coin” often determines where these chips eventually fall. When not played well, this game will more than not, bite you in the ass. So it appears for Police Chief Robert Kugler.

As you are most likely aware, Kugler, for quite a while now, has had his eye on an increase in paygrade. Giving numerous speeches and empaneling groups outside the borders of his township, to lecture others. Visiting other countries like the Dominican Republic, in the name of building a networking relationship with National Police and the Dominican community in the New Jersey area. Why? Is Saddle Brook Police a large department in New Jersey in a high profile, high crime rate city, with the unique ability to fight crime? Or is this simply an effort to expand his name recognition? The latter would be the logical answer if he were strongly considering upping his paygrade to Bergen County Sheriff.

You see, to become the Bergen County Sheriff who have to be elected. You have to run for office no differently than any other politician. To get elected you’ll have to practice the age proven rules of kissing ass, promising the world, getting your face in front of every possible camera you can, and scratching every colleges’ back you can reach. You need party backing more than a backbone of your own.

The Kugler family has had their family name embedded in the Bergen County world of politics for many years now, most notably with the Democratic Party. Though, if I’m not mistaken, there was a time when an “R” was also next to that surname.

But the one thing you can count on in the game of politics is, no matter how good your game, no matter how close your political friends appear, you are no less expendable, nor judged more than the worth of your last favor, then anyone else. You should therefore always expect to be treated no differently than the last guy stabbed in the back by a politician.

Though not yet cast in stone, the present Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino, a Republican, planned to hold a press conference yesterday where he was expected to announce that he is switching to the Democratic Party. As of this writing, I am not aware if his announcement was officially made however.

Well now, if that don’t put a crimp in his whitey tighties, or better said, in his paygrade possibilities. Who will the County Democratic Party be backing now?

What goes around comes around. It’s your party, cry if you want too. LISTEN -> 


Win Some, Lose Some

I believe Mayor White is slowly coming to realize that his next three years will not be quite as easy as his first. While he is valiantly trying to build his power base to be as impenetrable as possible, he is still wet behind the ears and not as mighty as he himself may believe.

This lesson became self-evident during the past two monthly meetings, the January 4th Board of Education meeting and the January 7th Council meeting.

As stated in several of my previous posts, January 2016 was shaping up to be one of the more politically manufactured months in this administrations short history.

There were three, in my opinion, major red flags to watch for in the construction of the White “power base”. The most bazar of the three was whether the wife of Larry Ratajczak would get a job with the BOE as requested to the mayor by Larry Ratajczak, and remove the new "promised" hire for that job, Mrs. Russo. While the White power base was working toward that end, it did not immediately happen. Perhaps the power base needed a bit more power so the second red flag began to wave in the wind.

Would the unelected and mayor supported BOE Trustee, Mrs. Sylvia Zottarelli, get the nod for presidency, which would allow White more control of their agenda and therefore control of the board? There White had a winner! Mrs. Zottarelli was elected President of the Saddle Brook Board of Education. Icing on the cake was that another unelected trustee, Carmine Bufi, was elected Vice President. You can’t say either of these two are the “voice of the people”. But, “voice of the mayor”? Well that IS how you build a power base!

Score, one for two. The third red flag was thankfully nipped in the bud. Mayor White has been a staunch supporter of the 2015 president of the BOE, David Gierek, to run on the Democratic ticket for Township Council in 2016. Mr. Gerick also happens to have been, and I assume continues to be, Mayor White’s campaign manager.

White was pushing very hard to appoint Gerick as a co-recreation director. Interesting that Mr. Gierek, who has no children and no prior involvement with recreation, is suddenly the new face of recreation, and with it a point of contact with all the recreation parents, as he prepares to run for a council seat. Would this appointment be for the benefit of the children or to assist in the election success of Mr. Gierek?  

Score, one for three. With some sanity seeping ever slowly back into the heads of a few, Mr. Gerick’s name was removed from the running for co-recreation director at the eleventh hour. As I understand it, now Council President Joe Camilleri, and Councilman Todd Accomando, who are well versed and intimately involved with township recreation, were vehemently against Gierek’s appointment, making their feelings known to Mayor White. Although the mayor does not need ADVICE AND CONCENT from the council for his appointments, he apparently realized his power base was not yet strong enough to push his luck.

I’m looking forward to next month’s meetings with both entities. I am very curious to see if the BOE falls to political pressure and hires Mrs. Ratajczak and if Mr. Larry Ratajczak himself still has the gonads to cry about healthcare benefits when they could directly benefit HIM!