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Mayor & Council Meeting Canceled Amidst A Series Of Postponed Meetings

Oct 02, 2023
Harrison NJ Town Hall

 In a recent announcement, it was confirmed that the Harrison Mayor & Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, September 2, 2023, has been canceled. This decision follows a succession of postponed local board and agency meetings in the Town of Harrison.

Notably, the last Mayor & Council meeting took place on September 19, 2023. The subsequent string of cancellations included the September 25th Harrison Redevelopment Agency meeting and the September 20th Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting. Amidst these disruptions, however, the Harrison Planning Board meeting on September 27, 2023, continued as planned.

These postponements raise questions regarding the ongoing governance issues, posting of town meeting minutes, and agenda-setting for the town's future.

Lack of Green Space in Harrison

One of the most pressing matters that locals have been anticipating for discussion is the concern over the lack of green space in in Harrison Redevelopment Zone. Mayor James Fife has found himself in the crosshairs of this issue, for good reason he is both the Mayor of Harrison and the Chairman of the Harrison Redevelopment Agency.  The decisions on Green space went by his desk and a lack of Green Space in the Harrison Redevelopment Zone is obvious. The discussion of Green Space at last year’s August 29, 2022, Harrison Redevelopment Meeting made it clear that there was very little Green Space for all Harrison residents in the Redevelopment zone. There was very little attention given to urban greenery, parks, and recreational areas by Mayor Fife either with his Mayor hat on or his Chairman of the Harrison Redevelopment Agency hat on.

Mayor Fife Does Not Object to EPA Dewatering Dioxin Laden Agent Orange Sludge

Compounding the environmental concerns is the controversial stance of Mayor Fife regarding the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) plan for the Passaic River. As of now, Mayor Fife has not opposed the EPA's initiative to dewater dioxin-laden Agent Orange sludge from the Passaic River. This procedure is particularly contentious due to its location—the former PSE&G Gas Works property—which was originally earmarked for several developmental projects. The initial vision for this area included the creation of a park, a PATH station drop-off/turnaround, and a multi-level community center. The juxtaposition of these developmental aspirations with the environmental challenges posed by the dioxin removal is a subject that Mayor Fife should be discussing but Mayor Fife after admitting the existence of the EPA plan has remained silent and raised no alarm or opposition at the plan that places cancer-causing Agent Orange sludge in what is now a residential area of Harrison.

While it remains unclear why these successive meetings were canceled, the accumulating issues on the town's agenda are undeniable. Residents and stakeholders are keenly awaiting clarifications on the way forward, especially concerning the environmental and developmental decisions that could shape Harrison's future.

It's expected that in the upcoming meetings when they do eventually take place, these topics will be addressed with the urgency and attention they deserve. Until then, the community remains in a state of anticipation, hopeful for progressive and sustainable resolutions.

What do you think?  Should EPA use a property, earmarked for a Park, Green space, a Community Center, and a Drop Off / Pick up / Turn Around Half Circle for the Path station, for the dumping, and dewatering of toxic sludge that is so toxic it needs to be encapsulated in concrete before being transported by truck or railroad out of Harrison, NJ.

Let Us Know Your Thoughts on Mayor Fife's Failure to Stop EPA's sludge dumping plan on our Community Discussion Board.  If you have not signed up yet to participate you can Sign Up now. Sign Up for Free.