Other NJ News

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:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Feeling Lucky

Shop of the morning to you! It’s that time of year when everyone’s color is green! Stop by Sadie's to get your St. Patty’s shirt before the big day. While your here and feeling lucky check out our latest Spring styles for Men and Women. You may make your friends green with envy.

Horoscope: Have a birthday between 3/13 and 3/24? If you stumble into a ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


South Orange Police Blotter - Adult Arrests for Shoplifting and DWI Reported

March 16, 2018

South Orange Police Blotter as of March 16

Adult Arrest/Shoplifting - William Minitee, a 45 year old Irvington resident was arrested on Thursday, March 8, at approximately 12:40 p.m. for shoplifting. Security officers at the Stop & Shop on Valley Street observed Minitee conceal several items on his person and then flee the store without paying for the items. Officers stopped a subject ...

Maplewood Police Blotter - Home Burglary, Burglary at DeHart Community Center Reported

March 4 - Burglary; At approximately 1:20 a.m., officers observed a male removing several items from inside DeHart Community Center. The male was identified as 22 year old Joe Carr of Irvington. He was arrested and charged with burglary.

March 6 - Burglary; At approximately 11:30 a.m., officers responded to a home on Broadview Avenue on a report of a ...

Most South Orange Maplewood Schools Plan to Participate in National School Walkout on Wednesday, March 14

March 12, 2018

SOUTH ORANGE AND MAPLEWOOD, NJ - On Wednesday, March 14, the Women’s March Youth EMPOWER is organizing a National School Walkout. According to the national march website, the walkout is for 17 minutes at 10 a.m. "to protest Congress’ inaction to do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods... and to demand Congress ...

South Orange and Maplewood Share Snow Storm Photos

SOUTH ORANGE AND MAPLEWOOD, NJ — TAPinto SOMA wants your snow storm photos!

Send your pictures to asandler@tapinto.net and we'll add them here.

Check back later to see what your neighbors have added.

Upcoming Events

Sun, March 18, 2:00 PM

Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, Maplewood

Maplewood Strollers Present John Patrick ...

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, March 18, 3:00 PM

Madison Junior School, Madison

Metropolitan Orchestra of New Jersey Winter ...

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, March 18, 7:00 PM

Bow Tie South Orange Cinemas, South Orange

18th Annual New Jersey Jewish Film Festival

Arts & Entertainment Religions And Spirituality

Mon, March 19, 7:00 PM

Bow Tie South Orange Cinemas, South Orange

18th Annual New Jersey Jewish Film Festival

Arts & Entertainment Religions And Spirituality

Members of Brick City Brims Charged for Alleged Roles in Drug Trafficking Organization

March 17, 2018

NEWARK, NJ – Six members of the Brick City Brims set of the Bloods street gang were arrested last week for their alleged roles in a major drug trafficking organization that dealt heroin in and around Newark.

Tyrone Brown, 34, Lamarr Burwell, 22, and Miles McCloud, 37, all of Newark, and Martin Pettiford, 23, of Irvington, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to ...

Millburn Township Battle Against Proposed Stop & Shop Comes to an End

MILLBURN, NJ --  Alexander McDonald, Millburn Township Business Administrator, announced that the 24-year court battle with Stop & Shop ended with a dismissal before the pending trial commenced. Originally, Millburn Township and the Board of Adjustments faced four separate suits, which was consolidated into one case for trial. 

McDonald stated: "This has been a ...

Commemoration of Jay Kielwasser, Union Animal Control Officer

March 17, 2018

UNION, NJ – A commemoration of the late Jay Kielwasser's work as Union’s Animal Control Officer took place at Wednesday evening’s Board of Health meeting.

Board President Jackie Carter said Kielwasser, who passed away in April, was the first Animal Control officer appointed by the Board of Health. 

“You really don’t know how someone ...

Springfield Residents Cope as Power Slowly Returns

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - As of Saturday afternoon at 5 p.m. Springfield is showing outage of 2,677 or 25 percent, which is down from over 40 percent in the last two hours. It is also down from 68 percent at the peak. Union County at this point is over 20 percent of JCP&L’s statewide outages. Trucks are visible on Township streets with a caravan spotted on ...

Weekly Specials at Ashley Marketplace - March 16 to March 22

March 16, 2018

Shop Ashley Marketplace & Cafe for your everyday needs!

This week's specials are:

Litofish Sardines $5.99ea (Ashley Fish Market)
Total Fage Yogurt 4/$5
Aviv Passover Matzos 2/$7
Ground Beef $3.99lb (Meat)
Roasted Vegetables $7.99lb (Prep Food)
President Brie $6.99lb (Cheese)
Iceberg Lettuce $1.99
Serrano Ham $14.99lb (Deli)
Turkey Hill Ice Cream ...

SOMA Film Festival Starts Friday Night, March 16

The 3rd annual SOMA Film Festival is finishing up the final touches before they kickoff this weekend's event at The Woodland, Bow Tie Cinemas in South Orange, and Maplewood Theater.  

With 16 screening programs there is something for everyone. The popular Kids Program is back for two engagements with both sold out as is the Opening Night Party and Screening. 

Tickets are still ...

West Orange Elementary Teacher Succumbs to Injuries Following Accident

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Washington Elementary School first-grade teacher Patricia Villarosa, 64, of West Orange, died on Friday at University Hospital after being struck by a car on Pleasant Valley Way on Feb. 26.

Villarosa was on her way to the West Orange Board of Education meeting at the time and was struck while crossing Pleasant Valley Way near West Orange High School. The driver, a 55-year-old ...