News from Nearby

Chatham Resident says Moms Appearing on Fox News Made Chatham 'A Global Target'

Chatham Borough resident Tracey Tango stated that Chatham became a "Global Target" once Chatham moms spoke about curriculum on Fox News Credits: TAP Chatham
Chatham Borough Council member Peter Hoffman defended the first amendment rights of Chatham mothers who appeared on Fox News Credits: TAP Chatham
Chatham Borough Council member Len Resto authored the "Welcoming" Resolution passed by the council on Monday night Credits: TAP Chatham

CHATHAM, NJ - Chatham Borough resident Tracey Tango read a letter of thanks after the Borough of Chatham Council passed a "Welcoming" resolution on Monday night, but followed up with a counter-point to council member Peter Hoffman's statement, by asserting that two Chatham moms appearing on Fox News last month had made Chatham a "global target."

Chatham mothers Libby Hilsenrath and Nancy Gayer had appeared on Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight on Feb. 20 to discuss the emphasis on Islam in a 7th grade "World Cultures and Geography" class. That prompted a request by residents, who signed a petition asking for a "Welcoming" resolution.

The resolution authored by council member Len Resto had passed by a unanimous voice vote before Hoffman, who voted for the resolution, made a public statement about the resolution. (Full videos of all three statements are included below).

Sign Up for E-News

"I initially found it a bit ironic that we were talking about considering a resolution that stated that Chatham values all viewpoints and opinions, when at the same time the citizens who raised concerns to the school board about an issue of import to them had their character repeatedly besmirched and denigrated, often with some abhorrent labels leveled at them, by many citizens of the town we are about to re-affirm as “welcoming,” " Hoffman said in part.

Tango read a letter thanking the board, which had been written by resident Colleen Markley, and then followed with her own response to Hoffman during the public portion of the meeting.

"I feel I need to address Mr. Hoffman," Tango said. "What you said tonight in your statement. Yes, we all have a right to question any board. Yes, we are all neighbors. And being the Girl Scout leader that I am, we teach girls to treat each other with kindness at all times. And I feel it doesn't hurt to tell adults sometimes the same. I heard about the two women going before the board of ed and didn't question it. Just as many of my neighbors and friends didn't think twice about it.

"However, once they appeared on Fox News, to my knowledge, the majority of the community of people at that time felt that them questioning the religion of Islam and saying to be taken out of our schools, basically, going on the television, put Chatham students, parents and residents as a target. Not just a target in Chatham, not just a target in New Jersey, or the United States, it put us as a global target. And if you do read through many of the comments made, if you have gotten a hold of any of those emails through to the middle school, to the board of ed, they came from members outside of Chatham, not just inside of Chatham."

Tracey Tango, Chatham Borough residents, responds to council member Peter Hoffman's remarks

Hoffman read his own statement on the resolution after it was unanimously passed the regular meting on Monday night. His statement reads as follows:

I’d like to commend Councilman Resto for drafting a resolution which sets the right tone and sends the right message regarding the reaffirmation of what I believe is already generally the case, that Chatham is a welcoming town.

That being said, I am generally not a fan of passing resolutions which engage in the practice “virtue-signaling,” resolutions designed to proclaim our own good character or moral rectitude on a particular issue. I’m usually not sure of what the purpose of such resolutions are other than to make ourselves feel better about ourselves. I think the way we treat each other in actions and deeds speaks much more forcefully than do resolutions which are forgotten about the day after they are passed.

However, I do support this resolution because it expressly affirms the right of our citizens to question those in authority, including this governing body, the school board, etc. , and to ask for transparency of policy makers in a civil way in an appropriate forum.

I initially found it a bit ironic that we were talking about considering a resolution that stated that Chatham values all viewpoints and opinions, when at the same time the citizens who raised concerns to the school board about an issue of import to them had their character repeatedly besmirched and denigrated, often with some abhorrent labels leveled at them, by many citizens of the town we are about to re-affirm as “welcoming.” So because of the way these women were treated,

I do in fact think we need to reaffirm their right, and everyone’s right, to engage in civil discourse without being accused of bigotry or having other base insults flung at them just because others may find the concerns they are expressing uncomfortable. It’s critical to democracy that people express concerns and debate policy in civil way and attempts to shut down that debate with what is essentially name- calling is counterproductive.

Peter Hoffman reads his public statement on the "Welcoming" Resolution, which he voted for

Len Resto read the resolution he authored into the record. The full text of the resolution follows


WHEREAS, the core strength of the Borough of Chatham lies in its rich diversity, in the welcoming nature of its residents, in the respect and dignity with which we treat each other; and

WHEREAS, the residents of the Borough of Chatham have proven again and again that they value all of its citizens and recognize that many ethnicities and many faiths have come together in a rich mosaic to give the Borough its strength of character; and

WHEREAS, the Borough of Chatham recognizes that there is strength in diversity and inclusivity; and

WHEREAS, the Borough of Chatham realizes that only through education can we learn about each other and that education builds bridges that overcome barriers.

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Chatham that they and the residents of the Borough of Chatham respect the right of its citizens to express their views in accordance with the U.S. Constitution and shall not condone or tolerate any form of discrimination on the basis of race, color, religious creed, age, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, physical or mental disability or veteran status.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Berkeley Heights’ Women of the Week (WoW) Series features Beth Ferris Sale

March 18, 2018

In honor of the women who are driving change, blazing trails and nurturing society, the Berkeley Heights Diversity Council is pleased to announce an exciting initiative called, Women of the Week (WoW) Series. In the spirit of community, we wanted to honor the women right here in Berkeley Heights who are impacting the world in their own way for the remaining weeks of Women’s History ...

Theater Project Presents: 'Leap of Faith'

March 24, 2018

The Theater Project will present a staged, script-in-hand reading of “Leap of Faith,” a new play by Stephanie Griffin, on Saturday, April 7, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. in the Cranford Community Center (220 Walnut Ave.) "Leap of Faith" challenges the definition of motherhood as two sisters fight over custody of an eight-year old child. Ms. Griffin, a member of the Theater ...

Darkness To Light: Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Training

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the Summit Area YMCA is joining Ys across the country to increase awareness of how to recognize the signs and prevent child sexual abuse.

The YMCA has partnered with Darkness to Light to bring the Stewards of Children child sexual abuse prevention training to our communities. Our next training session will be held on Thursday 26th from 4:00PM - ...

Friends and Family Week at THE MAX Challenge of New Providence

We have had people tell us that they haven’t exercised for years before enrolling with us and just a few short weeks into their 10 week challenge they rave about their energy level, their focus, their confidence and so much more!

Exercise is for EVERYONE! Put your faith in a program that is Dynamic, Led by a team of owners, ...

Union County Celebrates Arbor Day 2018 with Free Trees for Schools

In recognition of Arbor Day 2018, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is once again partnering with the Union County Shade Tree Advisory Board to sponsor the annual Arbor Day Tree Planting Program, which provides free trees for participating schools.

“The Arbor Day tree planting program is a Union County tradition that provides students with important hands-on lessons about the ...

Information on Parking and Traffic for Saturday's 'March for Our Lives' Event

March 23, 2018

UNION, NJ – It is anticipated that several hundred people or more will participate in the Union County March for Our Lives event on Saturday morning in Union.

Students, teachers, parents, clergy and public officials from all over Union County will be walking from Burnet Middle School to Town Hall in an anti-gun violence march.

Parking will be available in the following ...

Somerset County Freeholders Endorse Armed Security in all Somerset County Schools

March 23, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Following the Parkland, Fla school shooting last month in which 17 students and staff were killed, Somerset County Freeholder Director Patrick Scaglione and Freeholder Mark Caliguire Thursday announced that the freeholder board will fund a second armed school resource officer at the county Vocational & Technical High School in Bridgewater, and urged every school ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM

Burent Middle School , Union

Union County Wide - March for Our Lives

Government Law & Justice

Sat, March 24, 11:00 AM

Home For Good Dog Rescue, Berkeley Heights

Dog Adoption Event


Sat, March 24, 2:00 PM

New Providence United Methodist Church, New Providence

New Providence United Methodist Church Easter Egg ...

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back Religions And Spirituality

Sat, March 24, 2:00 PM

New Providence United Methodist Church, New Providence

New Providence United Methodist Church Easter Egg ...

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back Religions And Spirituality

Sat, March 24, 8:00 PM

Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, Maplewood

Strollers Present John Patrick Shanley's "Doubt"

Arts & Entertainment

JCP&L Representative Describes Utility’s Actions During Storm Quinn, Answers Residents' Questions

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – The format of this week’s  Berkeley Heights 'Here and Now' was turned on its head this week. Mayor Bob Woodruff reviewed what happened in the township following Storm Quinn and its predecessor Storm Riley, complete with statistics. He then asked a representative of JCP&L questions about the utility’s response, and how it was ...

Berkeley Heights, Here and Now: Redevelopment Updates

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Mayor's Round Table has been rebranded to "Berkeley Heights, Here and Now." This new format will continue to provide updates from Mayor Bob Woodruff, municipal offices and the Communications Committee want to hear from citizens, businesses and community organizations.

Included in this episode, Mayor Bob Woodruff addresses the status of the ...

Dear Susan: Beauty Tips from a Beauty Expert, Spring Edition

SUSAN BARBAGLIA, owner of Skin Deep Salon and Spa in New Providence, offers a wealth of knowledge and expertise as a leader in the beauty industry. With over thirty years experience in skin care, Susan can answer your most challenging beauty questions. Email your ...

You Want a Check for How Much!

 My first admissions gig was working for a small liberal arts college with a pretty hefty price tag.  Picture me at a college fair: name tag in place, pile of brochures ready to go.  An eager family would walk up and we’d start a conversation.  One of the first questions I’d get from parents was about cost and the moment that $50,000-plus figure left my mouth I ...

Getting Real About Retirement – Will You Have Enough Money to Remain Comfortable?

Let’s get real about retirement. Will you have enough to remain comfortable in retirement for 30 years or more?  Studies show this is a recurring fear many Americans have - and for good reason. Many Americans are completely unprepared to fund a comfortable retirement, and remain naive about the actual costs involved.  As a Fee-Only financial advisor, my number one priority is ...