The Mayor and the wolves
Rafael Román Martel
While his enemies try to discredit him, Union City Mayor Brian Stack gave thousands of toys to Union City children these past Holidays . During Thanksgiving he gave thousands of turkeys, and he continues to personally tend to hundreds of problems presented to him by his constituency. There isn’t a street that the mayor doesn’t himself check if it needs a streetlight or more police patrols or addresses any particular problem heads on. Like he’s always says: “I can’t solve every problem, but I’ll do my best to try.”
He has given most Hudson County elected officials a lesson on what it is to be a public servant. He is not like the entrenched political bosses who appear before elections in a carefully organized montage, “shoveling” snow or smiling next to one of the selected turkeys they make sure will come out in a local newspaper’s photograph, next to the token senior citizen.
These politicians have been doing the same song and dance for decades. They are resentful of a young leader who does not follow their steps, who is not intimidated by their power.
Lately a new cadre of suddenly interested residents has launched a political and personal attack against the mayor. They call themselves “The Concerned Citizens.” As a resident of Union City who has seen the new schools, parks, cultural centers, newly paved streets, and many other projects to improve our quality of life that Stack has developed, I am very concerned about these “concerned citizens.” And you should be, too.
I understand that some of these citizens have legitimate personal reasons for hating Stack. After all, ingratitude, and sheer malice are part of human nature .
Some of the “concernors” are disgruntled employees, but nothing can take away the fact that they performed a service for this community in the official functions-that at one point or another- the mayor appointed or supported them to do. Some of them performed their job well, and I respect that. What earns no respect is the prosecutorial and accusative manner in which they question Mayor Stack. In democratic politics there should be room for, at least, some politeness and decorum when your are addressing a public official.
Others have made their living jumping from one political appointed position to the other. Considered by many as “political hacks” in the Brian Stack era they have become the Professional Opposition.
I never saw these activists show concern in the past, when a Union City mayor raised taxes 34% back in the 80’s , and then one of his allies came in to power and raised taxes another 32% in the late 90’s.
Their voices were never heard when the streets of Union City were full of garbage, when our street lighting was poor, and political patronage was the order of the day.
That was a time young voters can’t remember, for example when Civil War canons disappeared from our parks and appeared in some backyard belonging to one elected official. A time when no schools or parks or swimming pools were built, and our police department and teaching staff were totally dependent of political patronage “a la carte”.
These and many other realities and abuses before Stack took office are not mentioned by his enemigos . Neither is the fact that some of them were working in his administration after conducting one of the dirtiest campaigns against him in 1998. The first day Stack took office there they were there, at City Hall, to cover their paycheck after betraying the people they worked for.
Those of us who support all the great work Brian Stack has done, who have seen him grow as a legislator and a politician can attest for his honesty and commitment to the people he represents. I only hope that his supporters keep on increasing in numbers, and his enemies realize all he’s done, and join Stack, and the rest of us, for the betterment of Union City.