Government

Roselle Mayor Vows to Veto Amendment

6c2e468f93e79b0c0b5c_Mayor.jpg
6c2e468f93e79b0c0b5c_Mayor.jpg

ROSELLE, NJ - Mixed emotions were displayed at the Nov. 10 Roselle council meeting as Mayor Christine Dansereau told the public that she would veto an ordinance that would allow a tax-exempt church to occupy a spot that was once a bank.

The ordinance was originally written two years ago by Roselle Borough Council to promote ratable business in Roselle. The area is now designated for a taxable business with the hope of revitalizing the downtown area. Dansereau said she would veto the measure at the next meeting.

The issue was discussed during the public portion of the meeting by several residents. One became emotional while describing the high number of foreclosures in Roselle.

Sign Up for E-News

Taking a stand for the ordinance to stay as written, and pointing out the lack of tax-paying businesses in the borough and the urgent need to get more ratable business in the borough, a local minister spoke up in favor of the church being allowed into the urban enterprise zone claiming it was a “quality of life” issue for the people of Roselle.

One man in support of having another church in this area said the mayor is trying to “create another Mayberry.” 

When the voting on the amendment took place, all present on the council voted yes except for Reginald Atkins who abstained. Councilmen Yves Aubourg and Samuel Bishop were not present for the vote.

All present, which included Andrea Staten, Kim Shaw,  Atkins and Ron Hayman, spoke in favor of the amendment. Hayman gave a lengthy overview of the current house of worship situation in Roselle, saying, “There are at least 11 churches within walking distance to my house.”

There are an about 35 churches already present in the borough, all of which benefit from tax-free status.

The mayor said that, while she agreed with creating a “quality of life” and while Roselle has over 35 churches she has no problem of having yet another, but she asserted the area in question is the problem. The mayor contended Roselle needs the ratables "to keep property taxes down or at least stable.”

She said she's witnessed many people who have lost their homes in Roselle and the tax burden has to be fixed. “We need the space for business revenue and to revitalize our downtown area,” said Dansereau. “The town needs tax-paying business.” 

The area is a designated Urban Enterprise Zone and according to the law, it is not zoned for churches. Dansereau stressed that “God is everywhere and present in all of us," and said veto will be based on the needs of the entire borough and not a select few.

While the crowd was mixed in its opinions, some people who were not in support were told to leave when they spoke up, while the few in support were able to applaud and cheer at will. When the the mayor asked one resident how much she paid in taxes, the councilman at large called for a “point of order” and did not allow the resident to answer the mayor’s question.

Council President Kim Shaw called for the attending police officer to remove citizens who made any comments. After the mayor’s final message, Shaw requested another opportunity to speak, which is not typical protocol but was allowed by the mayor. 

In her statement, Council President Shaw spoke of needing more black churches and told the community to “Read Between The Lines.” Shaw also reminded the audience, “You voted us into office” and encouraged citizens to attend the borough meetings and have their voices heard, although she had earlier in the meeting attempted to have several citizens removed for voicing their disapproval at some of the statements made by Councilman Hayman.

During the closing remarks, Council At Large Atkins told the public he was upset about “an article that had appeared on TAP” (referring to TAPinto Roselle). He was referencing a letter written by a resident that appeared in the “Letter to the Editor” section of the on-line news site that been published a week earlier. The letter in reference showed a photo and a movie clip of Council President Shaw pushing down the “Thumbs Up” that Councilman Atkins was giving to the camera at the October meeting where the mayor signed the community I.D. card initiative into law. The council president did not comment or explain her actions during this meeting. To review that letter, click here

In the end, there seemed to be one unspoken issue in the room. Who is the church that is causing so much attention and that laws have to be changed just for them? It apparently is the Zion Church, whose principals are Council At Large Reverend Atkins and his wife, Cynthia Atkins. 

The council meeting can be viewed in its entirety on channels 34 and 37 as well as the Borough of Roselle Website. As of Nov. 16, it was not uploaded to the borough website.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Roselle/Roselle Park

National Weather Service Issues Heat Advisory Through 6 p.m. Tuesday July 17

July 16, 2018

NEW YORK, NY, - The National Weather Service issued a 'Heat Advisory' this morning for Bergen, Passaic, Essex, Union and Hudson Counties in New Jersey. The heat advisory will remain in effect from noon Monday July 16 until 6 p.m. Tuesday July 17.

Extreme heat can cause illness and death among at- risk population who cannot stay cool. The heat and humidity may cause heat stress during ...

Exchange Place and WTC PATH Stations to Close For Weekend Track Maintenance

JERSEY CITY, NJ - At least they waited until after the Fourth of July fireworks were over before starting. Important information for rail commuters.

PATH stations at Exchange Place and the World Trade Center (WTC) will close at 11:59 p.m. this Friday, July 6, and remain closed until 5 a.m. Monday, July 9, to allow crews to transition to a new signal ...

Elizabeth Man Charged with the Killing of One Woman and Attempted Killing of Another Woman

July 17, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ - Arlie Rodriguez, 46, of Elizabeth, has been charged with first-degree murder and first-degree attempted murder of two Elizabeth women in 2013, says acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan.

 At approximately 10:50 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8, 2013, Elizabeth Police responded to the 100 block of Madison Avenue in Elizabeth on a report of an assault, said Union County ...

Cranford Jaycees Annual Golf Outing Raises Money For Community

July 18, 2018

CRANFORD - The Township of Cranford Junior Chamber of Commerce (“Jaycees”) held their 12th Annual Golf Outing on Friday, June 22, 2018, at the Galloping Hill Golf Course in Kenilworth. The outing raised $8,000.00 which will benefit two worthy community organizations, the Cranford Baseball and Softball League Inc. and the Union County Educational Services Commission ...

Grand Opening of Abby's Attic Thrift Store

July 18, 2018

Come join us for the Grand Opening of Abby's Attic Thrift Store located at 225 W. Westfield Ave., Roselle Park, NJ, Saturday, July 21st at 10:00 am. We will be having some refreshments and some fun surprises!

Dog Found in East 5th Ave. Section of Roselle

July 12, 2018

ROSELLE, NJ - A dog has been found in the area of the 400 block of East 5th Ave. in Roselle. The dog looks to possibly be a Chinese Crested is also called a Powder Puff. It also has an Elizabethan Collar on it. 

The dog was picked up by police and is currently at the Roselle Police Department. 

TAPintoRoselle.net is Roselle’s official electronic news source! To get your free ...

Lucia, Lucia by Adriani Trigiani

Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2003)

 

If a summer romance novel is what you are craving to read as you sit by the pool or beach, Adriana Trigiani's Lucia, Lucia is a perfect choice. Set in 1950 New York City, the novel is about a young woman, Lucia Sartori, who is determined to have a career and be able to support herself, an unusual choice for a girl who was ...

'Servant of Two Masters' exudes foolish fun

‘Servant of Two Masters’ makes for foolish, frivolous fun

By Liz Keill

MADISON, NJ –Carlo Goldoni’s “The Servant of Two Masters,” in a rousing translation and adaptation by Bonnie J. Monte, has the outdoor audience at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey laughing and clapping all the way through.

The yearly production, held at the amphitheatre on the ...