NUTLEY, NJ - With social media abuzz with all manner of conspiracy theories, the TAPinto Nutley team picked up our phones, emailed those in the know, and did the research to get to the fact of the matter, because #FactsMatter.
Rumor: I lost (or recycled) my mail-in ballot, so I cannot vote.
FACT: According to Township of Nutley Municipal Clerk Elani Pettas, if you lost or recycled your ballot, you most certain can vote on Election Day, but provisionally.
Residents who cannot remember if they mailed in their Vote-By-Mail ballot can exercise their right to vote at the polls. Instead of the usual "go behind the curtain" voting, the citizen must tell on of the poll workers that they need a PROVISIONAL BALLOT. Provisional ballots are paper ballots that are handled separately. They are similar mail in ballots, and placed into sealed envelopes by the voter after the form is filled out. The ballots are tallied at the county clerk's office once it has been confirmed that the provisional voter's mail in ballot was not received at the Essex County Clerk's Office.
Provisional ballots will be available at all Nutley polling locations from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Rumor: Crime is out of control in Nutley - just look at the Police Blotter!
FACT: Crime is down in Nutley.
The Nutley Police Department police blotter has caused some confusion among residents. Since 2016, TAPinto Nutley has been the only news organization to publish the complete blotter as submitted to us by the department. TAPinto Nutley publishes more than just the headline grabbing stories. Publishing the blotter in its entirely, every week, has led some residents to speculate that crime is up. The speculation is incorrect.
Additionally, not every event involving the police department is in the blotter. We cannot imagine how large the Nutley Police Department would be if every illegally parked car, "left turn on red," and "suspicious noise" that turned out to be two cats having sexy time were included in the blotter.
Regarding out of control crime, Nutley ranks in the top 50 safest cities in New Jersey, according to the last report published by the National Council for Home Safety and Security, a trade association of security professionals that advocates for safe communities and home safety. Nutley Among Top 50 Safest Cities in New Jersey
Rumor: It's late, I may not be able to cast my vote before 8 p.m.
Polls are open on Election Day from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. When Township of Nutley Municipal Clerk Eleni Pettas was asked if there is a long line to vote at 1 minute before 8 p.m., can registered voters still vote, she replied "Absolutely!" By law everyone in line at 8 p.m., even if the line is out the door, is permitted by law to vote.
Rumor: A new school will be cheaper to build than adding additions to the existing buildings.
FACT: A new school will cost in excess of $100 million, and Nutley does not have any place to build a school.
Rumor: A new school can be build on the former Roche Campus, or at Boy's Park
FACT: Price of a new school aside, the former Roche site is private property owned by Prism. Roche sold the property to Prism, at no time in the last century was that site ever public land. 'Boy's Park,' the upper field at Yantacaw Park, is a part of the County of Essex parks system. The county will not give up park land.
Rumor: No one has looked at where all these new kids in our schools are coming from, houses, apartments.
FACT: The Nutley Public School District conducts somewhat regular demographer studies. These studies pinpoint where the students are coming from and can forecast the rate of enrollment for upcoming years. The last survey was done in 2016 and another is in the works. People who attended the town hall meetings about the school construction referendums were presented with information from the demographers report. The report was referenced in countless public meetings held by the district. Single family home turnover was the primary source of new students.
Rumor: The district is bussing in students from other towns, the busses can be seen outside the high school.
FACT: The busses from other communities are carrying the sports teams who compete with the Nutley Raiders.
Rumor: Only property owners can vote in local elections.
FACT: Every registered voter can vote on election day (or vote by mail.) It does not matter if you own or rent your residence, if the property is in the name of your spouse, or in the name of another person. All registered voters are eligible to vote.
Rumor: Nutley Schools used to be rated "A" and now they are rated "B"
FACTS: The school rating rumor are true. TAPinto Nutley reporters have been to countless board of education meetings and dozens of presentations about the school construction referendum where the Nutley Public School's bond rating was reported.
We recently contacted the district to confirm the facts, according to Business Administrator Karen Yeamans, "The latest rating is Aa3. It was upgraded from an A1 in March 2017."
Rumor: Nutley Public Schools are falling by every measure.
FACT: PARCC scores are up. SAT scores are up. And in the recent statewide ranking of NJ Public Schools by New Jersey Monthly Magazine, Nutley Schools jumped 20 places since the last report in 2016.
Related article. Among NJ Best Public High Schools Nutley High School Jumps 20 Points
Since 2016, TAPintoNutley.net has been the only locally owned news organization serving the Township of Nutley, and is a member of the New Jersey Press Association. The Nutley Board of Commissioners made TAPintoNutley.net the township's 'Official Electronic News Source' starting in 2019.
Got a news tip? email us at Nutley@TAPinto.net