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

Upcoming Events

Sat, April 21, 6:00 PM

Linden Public Library, Linden

Friends of Linden Library annual book sale

Arts & Entertainment Other

Sat, April 28, 7:00 PM

Hilton Garden Inn, Springfield Township

YP Honors: The Royal Ball 2018

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink Giving Back Other

Sun, April 29, 3:30 PM

Codey Arena, West Orange

Girls Try Hockey Free Clinic

Sports

Wastewater Sewerage Treatment Plant seeking a Temporary Skilled Laborer

April 20, 2018

ROSELLE/LINDEN, NJ - The Roselle/Linden Wastewater Sewerage Treatment Plant is seeking a Temporary Skilled Laborer.

Position preference is given to residents of Linden and Roselle. Application and description for this position is available online at www.lrsanj.org. 

E-mail your application to: dbrown@lrsanj.org or mail to LRSA, P.O. Box 4118, Linden, NJ  07036, ...

Washington School to Hold “My School Color Run” Fundraiser Event

ROSELLE, NJ - The Washington School will be holding the towns first ever Color Run as a fundraiser for the schools Drama Club.

The event presented by Mayor Dansereau, Borough Council, Dept. of Recreation, Roselle Board fo Education, and Washington School, hopes to raise enough money to take the students to Broadway to see the Lion King. The money will also help with ...

Register Now for the Roselle Summer Fun Camp

ROSELLE, NJ - Applications are now being accepted for the 2018 Roselle Summer Fun Camp by the Roselle Department of Recreation. 

Applications are available at Roselle Borough Hall, 210 Chestnut St., from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or you can register online at www.boroughofroselle.com.

Onsite in-person registration will be available at the Anthony Amalfe Community Center, 1268 Shaffer Ave., ...

Countywide Free Scrap Metal Recycling Event to be Held in Rahway and Cranford

UNION COUNTY, NJ - A free Countywide scrap metal recycling event is scheduled to be held on Saturday, April 21 in Rahway and Cranford.  

A wide variety of metal goods, from household appliances to gutters and sheds, are included in the program.

“This countywide program helps to fill a service gap in some Union County municipalities that currently have no pickup for scrap ...

Elizabeth Man Sentenced to Eight Years for Distributing Child Pornography on Internet

April 20, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ - An Elizabeth man has been sentenced to eight years in prison after being convicted for using file-sharing software to share child pornography from his computer devices, which contained approximately 2,900 images and videos of child pornography.  

Jerrel D. Harris, 32, of Elizabeth was sentenced to eight years in state prison, including five years of parole ...

Nightmare Commute for Raritan Valley Line Commuters Monday

April 17, 2018

UNION COUNTY, NJ -- Raritan Valley Line commuters spent more than three hours trying to make their way home from New York City on Monday following the breakdown of a train near Union Station during rush hour.

At 9:47 p.m., NJT tweeted:

Raritan Valley Line westbound train service is operating on or close to schedule following an earlier disabled NJ Transit train near Union ...

Thank You, St. Joseph's Volunteers

April 16, 2018

Thank You from St. Joseph Social Service Center

In recognition of National Volunteer Week, we would like to express our gratitude to the countless volunteers that serve the poor and homeless at St. Joseph Social Service Center in Elizabeth (http://www.sjeliz.org).  Whether you make a sandwich, collect toiletries, tutor in the job program, make soup, wrap Christmas gifts, donate food, ...

Union County College’s Drama Club to Present “12 Angry Jurors”

April 20, 2018

CRANFORD – Union County College’s Drama Club will be performing for their spring show the play, “12 Angry Jurors,” as adapted by Sherman L. Sergel and based on the Emmy award-winning television movie by Reginald Rose. The play is based on the same plot as “12 Twelve Angry Men,” but by being named “12 Angry Jurors” both men and women appear in the ...

Good Gum Health = Good Whole-Body Health

If you are battling gum disease, gingivitis or periodontitis – you are not alone. Come join us at Roselle Park Dental in the fight against gum disease!

Inflammation caused by this disease puts patients at a greater risk of stroke, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Gum disease can also worsen conditions such as COPD and may play a role in the contraction of pneumonia, bronchitis, and ...

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (Citadel Press, 1970)

 

How does a reviewer do justice to a book called “the great American novel”? I first read Johnny Got His Gun during the Viet Nam war, when young people, nationwide, were protesting fighting in a war that was a senseless waste of life; a war in which the United States had no business participating.

The Truth About My Reading

The Truth About My Reading

I didn't get my Composition and Literature teacher at Montclair State College at all. A crusty old man with a dour disposition, Mr. Smith always seemed angry and rude. He appropriately intimidated freshmen, even me, an English major, who found this common core course beneath my dignity. Frankly, as a graduate of Highland Park High School, and a survivor of Mrs.

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...