Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Lockstep? That's not the truth

Last weeks Suburbanite quoted Martin Cramer as stating that the Council Majority has voted in "lock step" in almost every important vote. A recent email that has been circulating around town will help the general public see "the truth" about the Council's voting record.


* 2006: 260 resolutions and 25 ordinances passed (July to Dec)



* 2007: 488 resolutions and 69 ordinances passed


* 2008: 74 resolutions and 6 ordinances passed (Jan and Feb)

There were only 3 "4-3" votes in all of 2007: to send notices to the County Seat, re-appointing Birdsall as the Township Planner, and appointment of Steven Kaye to the Planning Board. There have been no "4-3" votes so far in 2008.

In 2006, there were only 5 "4-3" votes: to appoint Birdsall as the Township Planner, to award Birdsall the Development Opportunities Analysis, to award Birdsall the Master Plan, campaign resolution, and appointment of Sandy Loft to the HNBLC.

You do the math: 8 disagreements in 2 1/2 years. This is less than 1/10 of 1%. There were at least that many disagreements along "mixed" lines during that time (off the top of my head - rent control, establishment of the FAB, seating preferences at meetings, holiday display, phone system, buying new police cars, hiring 5 new officers, the budget).

Additionally, in the back of the Township Manager's report, there are 329 names listed under the various advisory boards (some names are included more than once but you get the basic idea). Council disagreed on 2 out of 329. Again, an amazing percentage of agreement among all Council members.

I guess "truth" + accuracy is a minor detail with some people's political agenda.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

The reality is that the "Big Lie" of the past two years is the notion that Feit and Katz ran with Gussen and Rudy two years ago. They did not. Cramer and Schwartz have repeated this so often that the 75 members of Teaneck United believe it.

The horrible "majority" chose a member of Schwartz's slate to be Deputy Mayor. Why did they do that? Could it be that openness and fair play have been the bywords of the Katz administration?

Opening up the governing process to people who had not monopolized the power bases in the township for numerous decades and who brought a fresh vision the old timers didn't have, has been called perfidy by those who gather at St. Mark's church to do their politicking.

In the name of "ethics", Barbara Toffler and her close cohorts will perpetrate and rationalize any unethical move they can conceive.

Anonymous said...

The "Big Lie" is that they didn't run together. The way I see it, sure, Gussen and Rudolph weren't in the original plans. It was Yitz Stern who deserves the blame for scraping these two off the gutter. Once Stern started pushing these two rubes, any other plans Feit and Katz may have had went out the window. Katz screwed both Henning and Langford and decided that four orthodox candidates might just win. Whatever happened he could pull his usual two-faced routine and claim that he never ran with them. I can sure as hell promise you that Gussen and Rudolph ran with Katz and Feit.

New Beginnings stupidity combined with a blatantly false campaign claiming that the eruv would be torn down helped pushed orthodox voters to vote orthodox. Feit and Katz deserve to be on the council, Gussen and Rudolph did not, but the push to vote for the orthodox four from emails, phone calls and rabbis did its job.

Lizette Parker as deputy mayor? Who else would it be? Another one of the "frum four" would be a provokation, especially when they would also be stacking the planning and zoning boards with fellow orthodox. Jacky as deputy mayor would only give her a voice they wanted to shut up. Katz couldn't disrespect Honis any more than he has stated publicly. Treated like a servant, the four thought Parker's vote could be bought with a worthless title as a cheap fifth vote. Fortunately she has far more integrity than any of Katz's crew.

Other than helping himself at the trough, I can assure you that Rudolph has no vision whatsoever. Katz at least seems to hide his efforts to help himself far better than Rudolph does.

Anonymous said...

Mr Cramer (or as you prefer, anonymous #2)--

How boring of you to assure us of your usual prevarications.

The people of Teaneck are just plain tired of the fairy tales you never cease spinning.

The only truth in your narrative is your reference to New Beginnings' stupidity. Though, stupidity is not a good enough term to cover the dishonesty of that group [now calling itself Teaneck United].

Your lack of logic leads you to state both, "Katz deserve[s] to be on the council", and that the Mayor is "two-faced", lacking in integrity and hiding his desire to help himself.

I agree that Elie Katz desreves to be on the Council. But if all the citizens of Teaneck were like the seventy-five liars that impugn him non-stop, he would be advised to use his time to truly look out for his own interests away from government. Fortunately there are 39,000 citizens that can appreciate the efforts of an outstanding young man born and bred in Teaneck to offer them selfless leadership. I guess that is why he has not taken the advice of some of his friends to turn his back on those who are so disgusting and unethical in spewing their hatred. After all, there are only a few dozen of those who make up Teaneck Divided.

As for Rudy, he is an outstanding young man married to a woman who has spent her entire life in Teaneck, the daughter of a family long resident and highly regarded in the community.

Rudy has a knack for getting things done. That is a positive. To berate him for working long hours both to provide for his family and to serve his community merely reflects poorly on the neerdowells who exhibit their jealous hostility.

The Katz team this year encompasses the Muslim and Black communities of Teaneck. The anti-Orthodox version of anti-Semitism just will not wash this election any more than it did in the last.

Teaneck voters are smart enough to pick the best candidates -- those concerned with keeping taxes down and providing quality services. Most of the people of Teaneck are not interested in the mere political games that motivate your group.

Anonymous said...

Where were the muslim and black communities two years ago? These two bozos are the only two people even more incompetent than Rude, just there to serve as window dressing.

Anonymous said...

Mocking a person's name is the ultimate in rudeness--unless it is the mocking of a person's appearance. You are the rude one, in addition to your intrinsic dishonesty.

As for your racist attacks on Blacks and Muslims.......

Anonymous said...

Your count of 4 to 3 votes must be way off. I have only watched a few council meetings and I have seen at least 8 such votes. Either I saw them all - which I doubt or the count is in error.

Anonymous said...

Most resolutions and ordinances are of a routine nature and would pass unanimously even in the most divided council. I also doubt the number of 4-3 votes that "Teaneck Truth" counts.

The bigger question is not the % of all votes but of those votes that were non-unanimous. Even 6-1 votes are usually just a protest by one member.

And if I did my math correctly, the frum four voted in "lock step" with each other about 99.95% of the time. This is hardly the sign of a group of independent thinkers.

Which one of our councilmen is posting details on vote totals that are not available in this form to the general public? You would have to read through two years of minutes to do these calculation. I guess Teaneck Truth is the shamelessly partisan web equivalent of the County Seat (formerly the Teaneck Insider).

Of the 329 people listed in the managers report, most are for boards that allow unlimited number of members. If you want to serve, your on. Of the five or six spots filled on the most important boards (planning and zoning), having one 4-3 "disagreement" is a spectacularly high percentage of votes. And the persons placed on the planning board Hameeduddin and Kaye don't seem to have ever attended a single meeting of the planning board prior to the 4-3 vote. Hameeduddin's only qualification was knowing Gussen. There were probably hundreds of people more qualified than Hameeduddin who seems to be tortured to have to bother to show up at all.

I've never seen Hameeduddin or Robinson at any council meeting. I have never heard any of them talk at a meeting I saw on channel 77. Do they even know where the town building is?

The problem with Team Teaneck is that when you scratch the surface, there's nothing there.

Good Neighbor said...

Anon 7:02, You obviously do not know Mr.Robinson. If you knew anything about him, you would not refer to him as "window dressing". He has never been one to sit still and be quiet. He is not afraid to voice his opinion. He won't compromise his ethics to satisfy outspoken, bullying neighbors.
I feel that your comments are generally ignorant and racist. I do not believe that you represent the majority of Teaneck.

Anonymous said...

If racism means making decisions about someone solely based on their race and not their qualifications, doesn't that make Rudolph a racist?

Anonymous said...

So now it is racist to cooperate with people not of your own race? How sick and perverted that is!

Righteousness abides with the old time Teaneck Old Timers United to Divide. All others should shut up and go back where they came from.

Nice!

Combine that with the desire to keep raising taxes and you'll get lots of votes.

Ha,ha,ha.

Today's Bergen Record said...

The Record

Soliman: Diversity in Teaneck

Thursday, March 20, 2008

THIS IS HOW it begins: a Muslim, a Christian and a Jew decide to run for town council together. At this point, some people begin anticipating the rest of the joke, wondering if it will be funny or if it will be offensive. But this is no joke: It's actually the beginning of a true political story out of Teaneck.

Teaneck has a long history of ethnic and religious diversity. Teaneck was the first municipality in Bergen County to voluntarily integrate its schools.

The town is home to robust Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities. It's a veritable microcosm of the world, a world that doesn't often see Christian, Jews and Muslims getting along.

But in Teaneck, a council election is coming up in May, and one of the most religiously diverse tickets in Teaneck's history will be on the ballot.

Incumbent Councilman Elnatan Rudolph, who is Jewish, is running with planning board member Mohammed Hameeduddin of the Muslim community and Robert Robinson, a deacon at Mount Olive Baptist Church and former president of the Bergen County NAACP.

Bridging populations

"This ticket is an effort to bridge three of the largest populations in Teaneck and put them at the table to work together for the betterment of the entire town," said Elie Katz, mayor of Teaneck and campaign manager for the ticket. "This is a real milestone in Teaneck's diverse history."

But talking to the candidates themselves yields the strong impression that their diversity is simply a bonus, and not the main reason people should be voting for them.

"I focus on the economic situation, because that's what this is really about," said Hameeduddin. "No one felt they could do something about the property taxes going up. Now the young people are looking at it and asking what's going on. Now you have a ticket that wants to look at this line by line and stabilize it."

Hameeduddin also said that he doesn't predict a coronation. This is an election he and his running mates are going to have to work hard for. He and his running mates predict that their opposition will attempt to paint Hameeduddin as some sort of puppet of Mayor Katz and other Jewish council members looking to get a majority.

It's a portrayal that Rudolph, Katz and Hameeduddin say is far from reality, especially when one examines how different and independent Hameeduddin's voting record has been from the others.

'A rising star'

"I have known Mohammed for the past two years," said Rudolph. "He's been a rising star on the Planning Board. To me, when looking for a person to run with, I was looking for someone who we could work together with. We don't have to agree every time, but we have to be able to work together."

If the predicted cynicism about this interfaith ticket comes to fruition, it would be another example of how Teaneck is a microcosm of the world at large, a world that often expresses similar cynicism.

But if the team members prevail and go on to productively accomplish their goal of stabilizing taxes while maintaining town services, it might be something the world at large can learn from.

According to Deacon Robinson, who has never run for elected office before but has long been involved with voter registration drives, this interfaith effort to come together and create change as a diverse but unified group is off to a good start. He said that he and his running mates started off as nothing more than colleagues, but that relationship has since blossomed.

"I've grown to know them and respect them," said Robinson. "Sometimes we disagree, but we learned to disagree and negotiate what we need to negotiate in a productive way. We're all representing our communities in a strong way and show that we can all work together."

As for how this story will pan out, only time will tell. Some people believe that getting elected will be the easy part and accomplishing their goals together will be harder. Others believe the exact opposite.

One thing, however, is clear: this is no joke.

Ahmed Soliman's column appears Thursdays. Send comments about this column to The Record at letterstotheeditor@northjersey.com.

THIS IS HOW it begins: a Muslim, a Christian and a Jew decide to run for town council together. At this point, some people begin anticipating the rest of the joke, wondering if it will be funny or if it will be offensive. But this is no joke: It's actually the beginning of a true political story out of Teaneck.

Teaneck has a long history of ethnic and religious diversity. Teaneck was the first municipality in Bergen County to voluntarily integrate its schools.

The town is home to robust Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities. It's a veritable microcosm of the world, a world that doesn't often see Christian, Jews and Muslims getting along.

But in Teaneck, a council election is coming up in May, and one of the most religiously diverse tickets in Teaneck's history will be on the ballot.

Incumbent Councilman Elnatan Rudolph, who is Jewish, is running with planning board member Mohammed Hameeduddin of the Muslim community and Robert Robinson, a deacon at Mount Olive Baptist Church and former president of the Bergen County NAACP.

Bridging populations

"This ticket is an effort to bridge three of the largest populations in Teaneck and put them at the table to work together for the betterment of the entire town," said Elie Katz, mayor of Teaneck and campaign manager for the ticket. "This is a real milestone in Teaneck's diverse history."

But talking to the candidates themselves yields the strong impression that their diversity is simply a bonus, and not the main reason people should be voting for them.

"I focus on the economic situation, because that's what this is really about," said Hameeduddin. "No one felt they could do something about the property taxes going up. Now the young people are looking at it and asking what's going on. Now you have a ticket that wants to look at this line by line and stabilize it."

Hameeduddin also said that he doesn't predict a coronation. This is an election he and his running mates are going to have to work hard for. He and his running mates predict that their opposition will attempt to paint Hameeduddin as some sort of puppet of Mayor Katz and other Jewish council members looking to get a majority.

It's a portrayal that Rudolph, Katz and Hameeduddin say is far from reality, especially when one examines how different and independent Hameeduddin's voting record has been from the others.

'A rising star'

"I have known Mohammed for the past two years," said Rudolph. "He's been a rising star on the Planning Board. To me, when looking for a person to run with, I was looking for someone who we could work together with. We don't have to agree every time, but we have to be able to work together."

If the predicted cynicism about this interfaith ticket comes to fruition, it would be another example of how Teaneck is a microcosm of the world at large, a world that often expresses similar cynicism.

But if the team members prevail and go on to productively accomplish their goal of stabilizing taxes while maintaining town services, it might be something the world at large can learn from.

According to Deacon Robinson, who has never run for elected office before but has long been involved with voter registration drives, this interfaith effort to come together and create change as a diverse but unified group is off to a good start. He said that he and his running mates started off as nothing more than colleagues, but that relationship has since blossomed.

"I've grown to know them and respect them," said Robinson. "Sometimes we disagree, but we learned to disagree and negotiate what we need to negotiate in a productive way. We're all representing our communities in a strong way and show that we can all work together."

As for how this story will pan out, only time will tell. Some people believe that getting elected will be the easy part and accomplishing their goals together will be harder. Others believe the exact opposite.

One thing, however, is clear: this is no joke.

Ahmed Soliman's column appears Thursdays. .

Anonymous said...

If the council members are all in agreement to vote not to drown kittens - does that mean that there is something wrong with voting 'in lock step'?

If you are going to do this kind of analysis, I think you need to itemize the bills, resolutions and ordinances so that we could judge as to whether the votes 'in lock step' actually mean anything.

Anonymous said...

Which councilman is Teaneck "Truth"?

Anonymous said...

None of the council members is dishonest enough to be Teaneck Truth.

Anonymous said...

If they wanted a black, they couldn't have gone any lower than Robinson. He is a nasty racist. He hates white people. Has any one ever seen him at a council meeting?
And why was he dismissed from the NAACP? There are nasty rumors,so I won't repeat them. I'll wait until I find out the truth.