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Thursday
May282015

That Was The Month That Was

As “Segway Bob” likes to do at the beginning of the month for the previous month, I’ll do at the end of the same month.

SBCreativeTV Monthly Update –May 2015

Rumor Mill

Was it as good for you as it was for them, the month of May I mean? The month started off pretty quiet as far as politics goes until the regurgitation of an old rumor surfaced once again. Apparently having nothing of substance to say, the rumor mill decided to delve into areas where it had no business. As with all malicious rumors, when you consider who they are coming from, you can only surmise one important fact: it was conceived and perpetrated by jealous enemies to be damaging, destructive, and detrimental to the politician’s effectiveness while in office. Such was the case when rumors abound concerning the mayor’s private life becoming estranged from his wife less than a month after his election and days before Christmas. As I have said in the past, personal morals do have their place when considering a politician’s sense of morality, and something can be made by their less than moral behavior, but this subject, if contemplated at all, should only be considered if the facts support it. And then only if your consideration would change the outcome, which in this case it could not. Therefore, this knowledge just becomes more hurtful and harmful to the families involved. Serving no useful purpose now, this rumor quickly disappeared.

Anti-Nepotism Ordinance

Next, at a Council meeting, a new controversy arose. As JOHN SEASLY, STAFF WRITER | THE RECORD reported, the “anti-nepotism policy was voted down Thursday on second reading, after an emotional public comment by Police Chief Robert Kugler.”   (http://www.northjersey.com/news/saddle-brook-council-decides-against-anti-nepotism-measure-1.1329013) The chief was quoted in the paper saying, “It’s not for me.  My daughter was already violated by the previous administration. She has no indication, no desire to come here. That spark was put out a long time ago.” This statement seemed to be an unnecessary one unless he assumed people would think the opposite. The police chief was animatedly against the inclusion of “Department Heads” within the proposed new anti-nepotism ordinance. Saddle Brook had TWO MAJOR examples of why it DOES NEED an anti-nepotism ordinance inclusive of department heads.  In 2003, Mayor D’Arminio terminated Chamberlain’s daughter, Kimberly Perrelli, from the Saddle Brook Police Department after determining that she was unfit for duty. Then, during the summer of 2013, Shanya Kugler, the police chief’s daughter, was bypassed for the position of police officer by Mayor Chamberlain.

The ordinance was ultimately knocked down when Councilman Accomando mysteriously changed his vote at the last minute. The Democrat’s campaigned on this premise because they already knew the problems of the past; the problems Mayor White admitted to during remarks at this council meeting.

Sometime later, after this Council meeting, there was an op-ed article in The Record Newspaper penned by Mayor Robert White which was titled, “Why municipalities need anti-nepotism laws”. Within this very well written article, White makes several references as to why he still agrees with his own originally proposed anti-nepotism ordinance with both articulate and powerful arguments. More than three-quarters of his letter reads as a strong proponent for what he believed then and what he still believes now. Yet ultimately he succumbs to his friends desires and weakly says: “I have every intention of reintroducing the ordinance I originally intended — one restricting hiring of relatives of the mayor and council, an ordinance mirroring the state's law for school boards. Whether we ultimately look to expand this to department heads is a discussion much further down the road, when we can analyze the success of the limited ordinance.” The mayor apparently neglects to realize that his statement admits to two very important factors: he may never look further into this issue again, and, this ordinance will be “limited” in scope from its onset. A Record Newspaper Editorial countered with a very strong and distinct comment: “Not good enough”.  As I had said in a previous post, if being fair to all concerned is your ultimate goal, then making this ordinance vague, ill-defined, and or ambiguous, is not the answer. But it probably will become just that! Because the powers that be will be hard-pressed to stick their collective necks out to far. If for no other reason, the time to be unbiased, impersonal, and make the hard call, is precisely when you are writing an anti-nepotism law.

National Police Week

Then we had the disgrace (my opinion) of the lack of attention to National Police Week, a somber but unpublicized Saddle Brook event which was held on May 15th. When questioned, the mayor said their 15th annual SBPD Police Memorial was “Not really a public event” and therefore I would surmise the reason it’s not being advertised nor videotaped. SBPD has been working for over three years serving the public shorthanded, understaffed, with embarrassing press and only an occasional pat-on-the-back, nevertheless having done an exemplary job with two officers doing the job of three or four. No “blue flu” or public moaning and groaning about their working conditions. The attack on officers in the news these days is nothing less than an act of domestic terrorism spurred on by so much recent hatred aimed at officers everywhere.  Hatred for the police has grown over the past few weeks in this country which has gone unchecked by many elected leaders. The LEAST the mayor, and former police officer, should have done would have been to widely advertise their ceremony thereby allowing the public to show their support in much greater numbers then what was present that day. This event could have been used for the average and decent people who have a grasp on reality and moreover a teaching experience for their children, had the timing of the ceremony been more accommodating for families that would have liked to attend. What the mayor showed on May 15th was usual, customary, and should have been done. What he could have shown was leadership above and beyond the usual and customary. He could have been that forward-thinking leader who could see the bigger picture and use his ‘smarts’ to unite a community with a much more lofty cause.

Veterans Field Rededication

A beautiful two million dollar field, along with Veterans participation, was a very respectful way to rededicate it. Though we honor war veterans who died in battle on Memorial Day, this was a wonderful way to thank our surviving veterans. The mayor, along with almost a full Democrat Council, graciously thanked the previous Republican Mayor and Council for initiating this project. Since Mayor White and his democrat running mates had campaigned against this new turf field, their reaffirming the previous mayor and councils undertaking was both warranted and gracious.

Memorial Day Parade

Great weather, good people, and a wonderful turnout of residents, made this day special. One of the highlights of the day was Steve Liszewski, a 90-year-old veteran of WWII, who walked the entire route of the Memorial Day Parade today like he has done for the past 47 years. Quite the opposite, Mayor White being a decrepit 55 years old, was seen and photographed using a Segway throughout the parade. Looking rather dorky in his helmet, he was a good sport nevertheless since he allowed people to take pictures while knowing full well those pictures will come back to haunt him; probably at re-election time.  

Monday
May252015

“Dukakis Moment”

Great parade, well attended, and an all-around beautiful day! Mayor White did have his “Dukakis” moment with this picture but fortunately, unlike Michael Dukakis, he was already elected!!   :) 

Explanation:

For those too young to know, (I keep forgetting I’m old), Michael Dukakis, in 1988, was the Democratic nominee for President, but lost to the Republican candidate, then–Vice President, George H. W. Bush. Known as "the tank ad," the commercial, which was run by Vice President George H.W. Bush's 1988 campaign, featured then-Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis riding around in a tank -- with a helmet on. The ad has become the stuff of legend in campaign circles, effectively portraying Dukakis as feckless on national defense thanks to that lasting image of the governor looking just plain goofy in a helmet, not unlike “Rocky The Squirrel”.

But a good sport!!!

Saturday
May232015

Veterans Field Rededication

A beautiful two million dollar field and a very respectful way to rededicate it. Though we honor war veterans who died in battle on Memorial Day, this was a wonderful way to thank our surviving veterans.

Now remember, when you visit Veterans Field, NO FOOD, NO SUNFLOWER SEEDS, NO TOBACCO PRODUCTS, NO CHEWING GUM, NO SMOKING, and NO DRIVING STAKES. Protect that two million dollar investment like it was your own . . . because it was!

It would also be kind AND correct to thank the right people: Karen Chamberlain, Andrew Cimiluca, Anthony Halko, and Richard Conte. 

 

Tuesday
May192015

Watered Down Ordinance 

Today I was almost very happy to read an op-ed article in The Record Newspaper penned by Mayor Robert White which is titled, “Why municipalities need anti-nepotism laws”. I say almost happy because, unfortunately, he wimped out at the end of it.

Within this very well written article by Mayor White, he makes several references as to why he still agrees with his own originally proposed anti-nepotism ordinance with both articulate and powerful arguments. More than three-quarters of his letter reads as a strong proponent for what he believed then and what he still believes now. But then his strong beliefs begin to go south when he blames the Township Attorney saying, “After significant edits by the township attorney, the measure then failed 3-2 on second reading.” The lack of an anti-nepotism ordinance is the Township Attorney’s fault?

The mayor then resigns himself to crying uncle and abruptly says the following: “I have every intention of reintroducing the ordinance I originally intended — one restricting hiring of relatives of the mayor and council, an ordinance mirroring the state's law for school boards. Whether we ultimately look to expand this to department heads is a discussion much further down the road, when we can analyze the success of the limited ordinance.

During the first three-quarters of his letter the mayor made compelling arguments as to why the township needs an anti-nepotism ordinance. Department heads would be in the same position as a mayor or a councilperson with exactly the same valid arguments he just made, so why leave them out of this ordinance for much further down the road? Because the Township Attorney screwed up or because the police chief doesn’t want it?

The mayor is not a stupid man. He knows first-hand and has made conclusive, convincing, decisive, and persuasive arguments. So why kowtow now? Dollars to donuts, the mayor knew the police chief’s complaints way before the chief spoke at the May 4th Council meeting. Knowing that would have left some options for the mayor had he truly wanted to get this ordinance passed. He could have spoken with his fellow Democrats on the Council, specifically his running-mate Councilman Accomando, and tried to persuade them to see the light. Secondly, knowing the discrepancies in the ordinance pointed out by the chief, the mayor could have reached out to the Township Attorney who could have made an attempt to rectify the discrepancies. A third option may have been to table the discussion when some members of the council might have been more respective to the idea. (Maybe a fourth option would have been to do what he said he was going to do and not cave-in to the chief

As The Record Newspaper said in its Editorial on this subject: "Mayor Robert White, the former deputy police chief, told Kugler he will try to bring this ordinance back with revised wording so it applies only to elected officials. Not good enough". 

Whether just a perception or not and by all appearances,  the mayor, being so used to being number two, once again stayed within his comfort zone, not fighting for what he believes and  remaining passive and compliant to his mentor.

Damn, the mayor made such good arguments too!! 

Monday
May182015

Ya Think? 

I hear when questioned the mayor said their 15th annual SBPD Police Memorial Service held on May 15th  was “Not really a public event” and therefore the reason it was not advertised nor videotaped. What? For a Harvard educated man (not really, just thinks he is), what a stupid thing to say. SBPD has been working for over three years serving the public shorthanded, understaffed, with embarrassing press and only an occasional pat-on-the-back, nevertheless having done an exemplary job with two officers doing the job of three or four. No “blue flu” or public moaning and groaning about their working conditions.

The attack on officers in the news these days is nothing less than an act of domestic terrorism spurred on by so much recent hatred aimed at officers everywhere.  Hatred for the police has grown over the past few weeks in this country which has gone unchecked by many elected leaders. We all need to stand up, speak up, and oppose those who attack our law enforcement everywhere. Regardless of proven statistics which tell us otherwise, officers continue to get blamed as a whole for the actions of less than one percent. Regardless of common sense in a world where we have all encountered a bad mechanic, doctor, or plumber, we blame ALL cops for the few.  Regardless of countless corrupt priests, teachers, crooked judges and lawyers, we do not condemn their entire profession, it's asinine to even consider. But with law enforcement, it is instant condemnation of all*.

The LEAST the mayor, and former police officer, should have done would have been to widely advertise their ceremony thereby allowing the public to show their support in much greater numbers then what was present that day. Though in the past May 15th police ceremonies in Saddle Brook were largely to acknowledge the service and passing of past members, this year it should have been acknowledged for a more personal and timely reason.

Not everyone loves cops. That is evident by a “I Hate Police” Facebook page. But this could have been used for the average and decent people who have a grasp on reality and moreover a teaching experience for their children, had the timing of the ceremony been more accommodating for families that would have liked to attend.

I am both surprised and very disappointed in Mayor White. With all he professes for Saddle Brook to turn over a new leaf, to be community conscious, to bring a small community together in harmony, his forward-thinking leadership can think no further than the leaders before him.

What he showed on May 15th was usual, customary, and should have been done. What he could have shown on May 15th was leadership above and beyond the usual and customary. He could have been that forward-thinking leader who could see the bigger picture and use his ‘smarts’ to unite a community with a much more lofty cause.

*Excerpt from: www.policewifelife.org

Sunday
May172015

Seriously?

Why I am writing this is beyond me. 60% of me says “don’t bother’, and 40% says maybe you should. But for whatever it’s worth, here goes.

I never professed to be a reporter and don’t sell myself as such. The Blog is a BLOG, not a newspaper. And while it has been true that many times I get my information from people such as Omar Rodriguez, Lou D’Arminio, Karen D’Arminio, Robert Kugler, Robert White, and many others, I do also get some from people across the aisle. But more than not I get much of what I write about from knowing the people involved and MY personal experience.

Some of the people mentioned above I have respect for. Some I do not. Again, it’s  based upon “MY” experience and no one else's.  Some are ‘friends’, but most are not. But friend or not, when I disagree I say so. After all, it is just my opinion. Whether you believe what I say holds any merit or not is entirely up to you. 

This blog has a large following. Why, I don’t know. Some must agree and some must just like to get annoyed because they so strongly disagree. But it’s a blog, an opinion piece, nothing more, nothing less. A few thousand hits a month encourages me to keep writing. Whether it’s the same 50 people coming back 10 times, I don’t know.

I am not a reporter, a writer, or an expert on anything. I feel the blog is no different than sitting with a large group at a barbecue or something with people spouting their opinions. Some will agree and some will not. But most forget what was said by the time they go home.

I do try to be fair, but I’m not trying to be Fox News with “Fair and Balanced”.  As an example, Chief Robert Kugler is my friend, a past boss, and someone I very much enjoyed working for. But that doesn’t mean I have to agree with everything he says or does. I harbor no ill will and do not mean to cause him any grief. What I might say here would be no different than if I were talking to him face to face. He always gave me his ear (the good one), then politely dismissed what I said and moved on! He wasn’t offended nor was I. That is a friendship.  Another example is that I, at one time, was a good friend of Karen Chamberlain’s family. The more I learned, the more I lost respect for her. Just MY experience which could be very different from someone else.

If it would help to say it out loud then I’ll say it...“I hoped and prayed Chamberlain would lose.” I tried my best to help White win. I sincerely believe neither occurrence was influenced by me.

For those looking for some deep dark motive on my part, there isn’t any, though there are more than enough opinions going around that could make almost any scenario plausible.

Try to not read more into what I say here then what is actually said. Though it is very true that Mayor White used me for his campaign, he never promised me anything, nor did I ask. The way in which he dealt with me after his election was both a surprise and a disappointment. But that would by no means be justification for me to say something about him that I know not to be true.

For those who complain about this blog . .. STOP READING IT! If the blog carries no weight and no one is reading it, then what does it matter? The only thing that gives this blog any weight is the fact that so many people do read it. Take what I say with a grain of salt, investigate on your own, and form your own opinions. My only intention is to give some insight and levity to the issues of the day. You can decide for yourself whether I hold up my side of the bargain.

Thursday
May142015

National Police Week

UPDATE: Very nice ceremony. Respectful and sincere as in the past. RIP

May 15th, do you know what is celebrated that day; TODAY? National Police Week. In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls, as National Police Week. Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.

With all we have been hearing of misconceptions, accusations, shootings, riots, bad press, and 24/7 news coverage, it seems to me this week we should all pay a bit more special attention to this special day.

Were you aware that Saddle Brook PD will be sponsoring a Police Memorial Ceremony at Town Hall at 12 noon today? If you were you weren’t made aware of it by reading it on the townships official website or even the Saddle Brook Police Departments Facebook page.

We very loudly get to hear about police promotions, 12 hour shifts, or a police chief’s ‘emotional’ testimony regarding the hurtful anti-nepotism ordinance that shouldn’t be passed in Saddle Brook. But no fanfare when it comes to advising the public that maybe now, more than ever, we should celebrate our police officers during a National ceremonial event.

Maybe since he wasn’t asking for anything in particular, the chief just forgot!