HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ - Councilman Christopher Hillmann, the Democratic candidate for Mayor of Hasbrouck Heights, has accused current Hasbrouck Heights Mayor Jack DeLorenzo of violating New Jersey Campaign Laws in a press release sent to TAPinto and other media outlets.
Hillmann’s is alleging that the "Heights Highlights" newsletter “contains clear political communication with a message from Mayor DeLorenzo touting his accomplishments and plans for the future.”
When reached for comment, Delorenzo stated, "It is not true."
"First, The DeLorenzo Team had nothing to do with this," the Mayor stated. "Aside from the Mayor's message, the rest of the newsletter is made up of reports from the departments that have been published unedited, and information that has been previously spoken about at public meetings."
According to the press release, Hillmann is alleging that the newsletter is a political communication pursuant to N.J.A.C. 19:25-10.10 (b), because the newsletter:
- Was circulated within 90 days of the date of any election;
- Was circulated to all of Hasbrouck Heights, and, therefore, all eligible voters;
- Contains statements and references concerning governmental and political objectives, as well as achievements of Team DeLorenzo;
- Was produced and circulated with the cooperation of Team DeLorenzo
“The Hillmann, Weiss & Baez for Hasbrouck Heights campaign formally calls on Team DeLorenzo to cease use of public money and resources for campaign purposes and reimburse the Borough for all costs associated,” the press release stated.
“Hasbrouck Heights deserves better. This is an abuse of public resources and not in the best interest of our community’s precious tax dollars,” stated Christopher Hillmann, candidate for Hasbrouck Heights Mayor in his press release. “This is exactly why I’m running for Mayor. I’m focused on restoring honesty and integrity to Borough Hall, so we can work together to improve our community for everyone.”
Per the release: “The Hillmann, Weiss & Baez for Hasbrouck Heights campaign submitted an OPRA request to the Borough for invoices, purchase orders, and timesheets related to creation, graphic design, printing, and mailing of Heights Highlights Fall 2019 on October 31, 2019.”
DeLorenzo stated that he has been getting requests for months for this type of newsletter, and noted that this is not the first time the Borough has published "Heights Highlights" in this format, starting as far back as 2016.
"All summer I have been getting requests for this at the senior committee meetings," DeLorenzo said. "Our departments were looking for this as well, as it is way to get information reminders out to people. When you read it, I think you will agree it is not political."
This comes just nine days after former Mayor Rose Heck spoke about the need for more communication from the Mayor and Borough, and asked the Council to subsidize a periodic newspaper to inform the residents of the borough of the “accomplishments” of the various different departments in the town.
“Not everyone is a computer person,” Heck said. “There is something about having a paper in your hand to read.”
Heck, who was at one time the Editor-in-Chief of "The Observer," volunteered her services to spearhead the project.
TAPinto Hasbrouck Heights/Wood-Ridge/Teterboro is Hasbrouck Heights, Wood-Ridge and Teterboro’s free daily news source, and is the official newspaper of the Hasbrouck Heights Board of Education and Hasbrouck Heights Borough Council.
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