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Show Me the Political Signs of Election Season in Teaneck, Resident Says

Resident 'looking for the personal attacks and half truths thrown about' by the candidates.

To the editor:

Its April in Teaneck, and while many of my neighbors are looking for the first signs of spring this year, I'm looking for the first signs of election season. In Teaneck we have a long history of passionate campaigns and there are some telltale signs (besides lawn signs, of course) that a campaign is going on.

While my neighbors look for budding flowers and warm sunny days, I’m looking for the personal attacks and half truths thrown about by the candidates I will not vote for. Jason Castle filed a public records request seeking information he is entitled to by law.

Among those records requested were records from Councilmen Gussen, Katz, Schwartz and Stern. They were communications regarding Governor Christie’s trip to Teaneck, the Lt. Governor’s trip to Teaneck, and creation of the township website. Additionally, Mr. Castle raised the issue of Gussen, Katz, Schwartz and Stern having filed tax appeals.

Now at first glance they might all have something in common yet when we look deeper it’s harder to find the common thread. Katz, Schwartz and Stern all endorsed Christie for governor so maybe that’s why he was looking into that, but Gussen did not, so why is he included in that request?

Gussen and Katz were on council when the current website was created, but Schwartz and Stern were not even council members at that time, so why include them? As for the tax appeals filed, why does Castle not mention that by far the largest tax appeals were filed and won by Parker ($49,000 reduction) and Pruitt ($87,000 reduction) or the fact that his running mate Mr. Sohn himself filed an appeal ($55,000 reduction) as well?

They aren't all tall, they aren’t all thin, they aren’t the only men on council, their terms don’t all coincide, and they aren’t the only ones on council to file tax appeals. Just what does Mr. Castle think they all have in common? It can’t just be coincidence, there must be something Castle sees that Gussen, Katz, Schwartz and Stern have in common.

Miriam Levitansky

Tom Abbott April 19, 2014 at 04:22 PM
The April 2006 issue of the JVO is available at http://jewishvoiceandopinion.com/pdf/200604.pdf It contains the article, "The Teaneck Four: They’re Young, They’re Frum, and They’re Running for Town Council" which gave rise to the phrase the Frum Four. It is a largely positive article extolling the four candidates. The only mention of the slate running against them comes toward the end and the attack bares little relationship to reality except for the candidates name. The article doesn't call them anti-orthodox, that was saved for anonymous mailings and emails sent to the orthodox community. It does however say, "Although no one is talking about it out loud, many Teaneck observers agree that the election this year may well be drawn along religious and racial lines." A clear us against them approach. The direct anti-orthodox attacks were saved for 2008. ... and yes Katz was an advertiser.
Tom Abbott April 19, 2014 at 04:29 PM
As for the ""claim their hands are clean," that is just the usual claim of politicians. That being said, I don't believe the JVO opinions praise or attacks are based on Katz's advertising. I do think it significant that as the JVO switched to more viscious attacks playing hand in hand with Katz's campaigns, he did not pull his ads. It makes him party to the attacks. Keep in mind that in 2008 when Katz (not a candidate) formed Team Teaneck with county boss Joe Ferriero, Team Teaneck announced its candidacy in the JVO and the Zisa family's paper the County Seat ignoring the Suburbanite. They also paid for advertising in the those rags rather than in the Suburbanite. The ties to the candidates have to the JVO are obvious but I still don't think it's about advertising dollars.
JamesTS April 26, 2014 at 12:53 AM
What is this??? Too much junk on PATCH these days!! WHERE IS THE LOCAL NEWS PLEASE! Written by reporters/editors not just "opinions"

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