Secaucus readies for snowstorm
Secaucus officials and emergency response teams met Thursday to discuss preparations for the weekend snowstorm. Members of the Fire Department, Police Department, Division of Public Works, Office of Emergency Management, the mayor, council members, and other local officials are readying for the possibility of minor coastal flooding and heavy snow.
“We are hoping for the best,” said Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli. “We are watching it carefully.”
The town planned to issue a robo call alerting residents to put their cars in their driveways, obey snow emergency routes (Front Street, Centre Avenue, Paterson Plank Road, and Huber Street), stock up on supplies early, and stay tuned to storm updates. Residents are also advised to stock up on standard storm supplies such as water, batteries, and a radio.
“For any nor'easter we have potential for flooding,” said Gonnelli. “The storm is taking shape as it passes on. You can have heavy, heavy snow and still have flooding.”
The town is checking all pump stations, pumps, generators, and will be ready to respond to downed wires and branches.
Shelters will be prepared in case of any emergency.
Three ambulances provided by the Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center will be stationed at three locations throughout town including the center of town, Meadowlands Parkway, and by the Xchange development.
Residents are advised to use the non-emergency number: (201) 867-8000 unless there is a real emergency.
“People should not get panicky or overexcited,” said Gonnelli.
To register a cell phone or private number for the robo call, visit: http://www.secaucusnj.org/.
Meadowlands mayors refuse to offer police, other services for Super Bowl 2014
Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli and four other mayors from the Meadowlands region are refusing to offer municipal services during the Super Bowl 2014 and will not provide any police, fire, or any other municipal services, they have said.
This stance comes after a meeting on Feb. 6 between mayors from Carlstadt, Little Ferry, Moonachie, Secaucus, and South Hackensack – all payers into a state Meadowlands tax sharing municipal pool, which was developed in the 1970s as a way to offset the loss of tax ratables for towns that can’t develop due to environmental reasons. There are 14 towns in the Meadowlands District. The mayors from paying municipalities have long battled to change the formula and have pressed the state to find other sources of revenue to compensate the towns.
The Giants and Jets have rejected proposals to require a surcharge on tickets or parking in order to offset the costs incurred by municipalities as a result of the stadium according to the statement.
In a written press statement, Gonnelli “made it clear that he would lead a concerted effort to make sure the region’s towns do not participate in any Super Bowl planning or activity that will require the towns to pick up any costs.” He called the lease signed between Acting Governor Dick Cody and the New York Jets and New York Giants “a slap in the face to each and every taxpayer in the state of New Jersey.”
According to the statement, the NFL teams reportedly receive $425 million, pay $6 million for 75 acres of property, and keep all parking revenue.
“How do you give away state assets and property without proper compensation?” said Gonnelli.
According to the statement, the state was left with $230 million in stranded debt from the old stadium that is being paid for by tax dollars.
“The teams have never been good corporate neighbors to the region,” said Mayor William Roseman of Carlstadt. “Every football game, every concert is nothing more than a nightmare to the towns that are either next to the stadium or towns that endure the event day traffic congestion.” According to Roseman each event requires overtime expenses for the police department, which is funded through taxpayers.
Newtown events spur MaryAnn Weiner to run for re-election
School board trustee MaryAnn Weiner announced last week that she will seek re-election on the Secaucus Board of Education to serve another three-year term. There are three seats open on the nine-member school board. The filing deadline to run for school board is 4 p.m. Feb. 25. As of Feb. 5, current School Board President John “Jack” McStowe and former School Board Trustee Thomas Troyer had filed petitions for the election.
A former educator in the Secaucus school system, Weiner has served on the board one term. She has two adult children.
Despite the impression that she was only serving on the school board for one term, Weiner made the decision to run for re-election following the events that took place last year in Newtown, Conn where 20 school children and 6 staff members were killed by a lone gunman.
Weiner attended two conferences on school safety and security, one held at the College of New Jersey, and one held in Mahwah.
“After attending that meeting (in Mahwah) I knew I didn’t finish what I intended to do to keep kids safe,” said Weiner. She added that she would not leave the school district until she felt that all precautions and safety measures were fully in place to ensure a secure and safe school environment.
“I can’t live with myself if anything ever happens to the kids,” said Weiner.
While the school district in coordination with the town and local police took immediate action to increase security following the tragic incident, Weiner believes more can be done to ensure greater safety.
In the past three years, Weiner has taken some unpopular positions by supporting the Superintendent of Schools Cynthia Randina who faced considerable opposition from the local teachers’ union throughout her tenure. Weiner also voted against courtesy busing to developments within two miles of their respective elementary school.
“I am not a ‘yes’ person; I am a right person,” said Weiner. “Even when everyone else thinks its wrong, I always vote my conscious. I have to live with myself by the end of the night.”
She added that she didn’t come on to the school board for the union or the superintendent, she came on for the kids.
“I’m ready for the challenge,” said Weiner.
Meadowlands to host ‘Big Game Experience’
The Meadowlands Liberty Convention and Visitors Bureau (MLCVB) and the Meadowlands Regional Chamber announced on Jan. 31 that on May 22 they will host “The Big Game Experience,” a showcase of destination and event resources in the Meadowlands region for organizations interested in reaching prospective sources for Super Bowl 2014 business opportunities. The MLCVB and the Meadowlands Regional Chamber are captains of the “Huddle Zone,” in the Meadowlands, which is the local organizing committee charged by the NYNJ Super Bowl Host Committee to promote Super Bowl-related events and activities in the Meadowlands Region.
The Big Game Experience will take place at the Meadowlands Convention Center at 355 Plaza Drive in Secaucus and consists of a trade show, tours of various off-site restaurants and event venues, and seminars featuring veteran Super Bowl event promoters.
“The Big Game Experience will create a platform for local companies to develop business opportunities, provide a visibility mechanism to promote the region, and engage communities who want to create Super Bowl activities,” said Jim Kirkos, founder and president for the MLCVB.
The Exhibit Floor will be open from 12 to 7 p.m. and offer multiple exhibit opportunities.
It will also provide corporate event planners with tours of local venues and destination facilities. The tours will be arranged by categories including event spaces and performance venues, shopping and retail and hotels and restaurants.
Local and national event specialists will be joined by a set of panelists who will discuss topics including how non-profits, civic organizations and communities can plan and host Super Bowl-related events as fundraisers.
The day will conclude with networking opportunities and a special keynote address in the “Owner’s Lounge” which will also feature entertainment throughout the day for those returning from bus tours.
For more information, call (201) 348.8998.