Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Race Baiting or too much "Truth"

There has been much chatter about the most recent Jewish Voice article. The question is did the Voice cross the line or accurately depict the inappropriate actions of several residents.
I don't have that answer, but just some observations of different actions and comments that I have heard.

We have Mildred Tucker. Many have suggested that she is simply acting as a mouthpiece for Naomi Cramer and Laura Zucker. But her flyers, comments and emails are the questionable material. "Gentrification", "discriminatory zoning" and words like that. (wait until you see some of the emails i have collected- will post over the next two weeks- preview "this isn't monsey")

Ok, how about Jordan Wouk. Was it not Jordan that publicly raised questions about "certain members on the Council and Planning Board".

Ok, how about Barbara Toffler....we know about her NY times debut and her very public Councilman Feit dialogue. Then there was her public attack and attempt to embarrass former Councilman Stern after she sought his help. What about the recent Councilman Rudolph attack, ok that was politics.

Then we have the Joe Harris email from two years ago: I believe "Bigot" was the word of choice.

And who is this new Suburbanite letter writer. I believe its one of the Teaneck's Divided organizers. Is he not the same former Councilman that caused a public stir with his very very public comments about synagogues in Teaneck opening on West Englewood. Check out Mike Kelly's book Color Lines..or check out the minutes from the council meetings dating back DECADES.

Let's see, what do all these people have in common? Oh I know, they are all part of the Teaneck Divided group.

Paging Alan Sohn, Paging Alan Sohn, please report to the Teaneck Truth desk and bring your broken moral compass, you have some more writing to do.

21 comments:

Alan Sohn said...

I usually don't respond to pages on blogs, preferring to wait for a beam of light to be pointed at a cloud with a giant "S" on it.

Two years ago, I spent most of a day working with Joe Harris on an apology for his remarks about that year's Jewish Voice article (one that seems positively Kumbaya-like compared to this year's version).

I have disagreed with both Mildred Tucker and Naomi Cramer on issues ranging from development, to Unity Day to perceived community divisions.

I have spoken with Barbara Toffler at length regarding the Times article, which took place well before she became a candidate.

I own copies of both "Triumph in a White Suburb" by Reginald Damerell and Mike Kelly's "Color Lines", both of which ought to be required reading of any council candidate.

The Council (and everyone else in this universe) is not always right, and it is also not always wrong. I have done my best to agree and show support when I think they're right and disagree when I think they're wrong, a point I have made at length with some of our current councilmembers. I have always tried to make my case based on facts and to offer a clear explanation of why I believe a different should be taken on a subject. If I haven't spoken out about every topic of interest or done so behind the scenes, I think I have a pretty high hit rate (even if my success rate is far lower).

I'd much rather be called a hypocrite for the occasional perceived failure to act every now and then, than just sit on the sidelines and avoid the problem.

I will never solve world hunger or find a cure for cancer. But it should be clear that this article in the Jewish Voice crosses a line that should never be crossed, Fair Campaign Practices Pledge or not.

Alan Sohn

Not swift said...

It is no surprise to see Alan admit his head is usually in the clouds. Alan is so "clear sighted" that he is getting the vote of Jonathan Swift, who lived from 1667 to 1745 and is currently a resident of a grave in Dublin.

Of course, Alan did not know that he needed the signatures of people who were not already committed to other candidates in order to run.


Working with Joe Harris sounds like great fun; did they toss piles of the Blue Rag into their campfire as they sang their Kumbaya?

It must be yet more fun to get together with Madames Tucker and Cramer to argue the merits of Unity Day. Can either of them even spell the expression without starting at D-I-V-I-D...? How about explaining to Mildred that her racist -- yes, racist --attack on Robinson is no more permissible than it would be if she were not herself Black? And how about working with those people on "development"? Another word they cannot spell.

As for the "logic" of Alan's Toffler comment, the Times article should have been enough to convince her to stay away from the public eye.

Yes, Alan, you will not solve world hunger with your efforts. But if you printed them out, you might feed a lot of kumbaya campfires.

Anonymous said...

A guy like Shon is exactly who we need on the ballot. The antidote to all the crooked politicians out to get county jobs for themselves, just like Rudolph and Yitz Stern. Does anyone know how to do a writein vote for him on these machines?

Anonymous said...

We all know that Teaneck Truth is written by Team Teaneck. Willing to smear anyone for political gain!

Anonymous said...

I thought it was written by Teaneck divided.

Anonymous said...

Teaneck Truth is Bill Brennan

Tom Abbott said...

No surprise that the Jewish Voice and Opinion has a supporter in the anonymous Teaneck Truth.

Anonymous said...

People who know how to read and write should have no problem casting a write in vote if they want to take the trouble to waste their time and that of the people waiting behind them on line.

Anonymous said...

I am writting in Alan Gailes. He has my vote. The best candidate in this election

Anonymous said...

Alan Sohn has a history of not following up with anything he does. He is not the right person for the Council. Most of his info is not correct either. I stopped reading his Teanck411 two years ago, because his info lacks many important details. H

TCAC lover said...

I wish sohn would have run. I was looking forward to mountaing an organized campaign against him. Everyone at the AARP speak about him. He shouldn't hold any public office. I will never forget the TCAC.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't we be attacking people running for office? I thinks it's Audra Jackson's turn now.

Taxes hurt said...

She wants to join with Monica in wasting as much taxpayer money as possible. Just watch your wallet if we get a council where that pair have a controlling say.

Anonymous said...

Esther shows no understanding of the system of taxation.

First, the council headed by Jackie Kates set the revaluation in motion in response to legal obligation to hold a revaluation.

Second, it does not matter what inflation or deflation does to home prices because the properties of the township in the aggregate generate the same total amount of taxation.

Third, only Team Teaneck is actively and practically concerned with controlling taxes. The Teaneck United candidates are Honis-Bonus extra tax supporters of ever greater expenditure. Honis, Jackson and Toffler may well be the enemy to Teaneck taxpayers, but it would be incredibly stupid to put the levers of taxation power into their control. As for Rose, he is amazingly dishonest in criticizing the Katz team for cutting the budget increase to ZERO when they were responding to his demand they do so when he represented the Financial Advisory Board position demanding they do so at the Budget Hearings. Interestingly, Rose also attacks the Katz council for choosing "cronies" for boards when it made him not only a member of the FAB but also its Vice Chair. Honis voted against creating the FAB.

Teaneck Democrat said...

Posters need to stop spreading rumors. Jackson has is an independent thinker. She has not said anything supportive of Honis. If elected, she will work hard to get things accomplished. You won't be able to accuse her of voting against things for no apparent reason.

Jeff O. said...

There has been much chatter about the most recent Jewish Voice article. The question is did the Voice cross the line or accurately depict the inappropriate actions of several residents. I don't have that answer...

"Teaneck Truth," surely you have the answer as to whether the Voice crossed the line in its suggestion that anyone currently running would take down the eruv or otherwise "single out the religious community in town for poor treatment." That is not an either/or choice and its answer is not dependent on how one feels about the alleged "inappropriate actions of several residents."

Obviously the line was crossed and decent people of every political inclination should be very clear about that. Further, the three intended beneficiaries of that hatchet job (i.e. the "Team Teaneck" slate) should disavow the article, and as mayor of our community, so should my friend Elie Katz.

Personally, I'm not crazy about the candidates who have the endorsement of the nebulous "Teaneck United," and I'm not crazy about Rudolph and the Ferriero slate either. To me, Ned Goldman is the only no-brainer vote in in this election, though I'm also leaning toward the other non-aligned candidate Howard Rose. And I'm very sorry Alan Sohn isn't running.

His "broken moral compass"? What would you know about that, "Teaneck Truth," when your needle won't even point to the obvious answer as to whether or not the Voice crossed the line?

2008anony said...

Esther's point on taxes was that some people will utilize the housing slump to argue for a lower valuation. Since everyone won't be doing that, those that retain their current appraisal will constitute a bigger slice of the remaining tax base and as a result, will disproportionately bear the burden of the increase in the tax rate that will be required solely to offset the decline in the the tax base.

Teaneck resident said...

I think that it's important to remember that it doesn't matter if the houses were evaluated on the cusp or after a housing bubble burst. All that matters is that they were evaluated at the same time.

The reval was done in order to comply with a State mandate. Teaneck had no choice. In areas of low turnover, where certain properties haven't been reval'd in about 20 years, it's going to show a pretty steep climb in prices. This is a market correction and big shock to people that have not been paying their fair share of taxes for a long time.

Don't get me wrong...the sting is probably worse because I'm certain they haven't been setting aside 20 years worth of back taxes waiting for this day to come...but it's here and we have to figure out a way to deal with it.

If we were to do another reval, it would cost over $1 million from some of the estimates I've heard, and even if every property was reduced by 20%, the taxes wouldn't change! The multiplier would be raised and we'd be out another million bucks.

Any candidate that is promising a new reval had better explain that to people. Otherwise, they are going to have a lot of residents wondering why they were misled.

Teaneck Resident said...

Esther's point on taxes was that some people will utilize the housing slump to argue for a lower valuation. Since everyone won't be doing that, those that retain their current appraisal will constitute a bigger slice of the remaining tax base and as a result, will disproportionately bear the burden of the increase in the tax rate that will be required solely to offset the decline in the the tax base.

The problem with that logic is the 123 law (a formula known as Chapter 123 to test the fairness of an assessment).

It specifically deals with that type of scenario. You can read more about it here: http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/pdf/lpt/ptappeal.pdf

This is the relevant part:
"If the ratio of assessed value to true value exceeds the average ratio by 15%, the assessment is reduced to the common level."

Basically, if people do what you say they are going to do and the average assessed value of a home is than 15% less (or more - not that that's gonna be a problem any time soon) than true value, we get another reval and those people got away with it for possibly a year. It's not going to affect many people and the benefits are far outweighed by the amount of time and money it costs to appeal and go through a system that is set on denying appeals unless there are exceptional circumstances.

There will always be a few people that are better at beating the system than others, but claiming that they are going to cost everyone a ton of money is disingenuous.

2008anony said...

Before you throw around terms like disingenuous, if a decent amount of the population gets 15% reductions in their taxes , it does create a significant burden on the rest.

However, I was just trying to explain Esther's point, however as I indicated in a Teaneck Progress posting, we have far greater tax headaches to deal with than this prospect.

Teaneck Resident said...

Before you throw around terms like disingenuous, if a decent amount of the population gets 15% reductions in their taxes , it does create a significant burden on the rest.

If a significat amoung of the population gets a 15% reduction, then there's either something wrong with our assesment to begin with or something wrong with the Court system.