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Saturday, April 1, 2017

Hackensack school board attorney has meltdown after he is accused of a conflict

Work on a 14-story apartment and retail building at Main and Mercer streets in Hackensack was halted last July after a pile-driving rig damaged a two-story building next to the site, below. 
An arbitrator will decide how much the apartment developer, Alkova Cos. of Edison, will pay the owner of the boarded-up building, which housed Rainbow Castle Preschool.

PLUS: HACKENSACK IS GETTING
NEW, EXPANDED FOOD MARKETS

--HACKENSACK, N.J.

By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

A video shows Richard Salkin, the attorney for the Hackensack Board of Education, lashing out at Mayor John Labrosse at Tuesday's meeting, and talking over school board President Jason Nunnermacker, who advised him not to comment.

Labrosse went to the meeting to discuss a teacher "who appears to have distributed campaign material on school time, which is a potential violation of school policy," The Record reported on Thursday.

A photo of an angry, finger-pointing Salkin ran with the story in the Local news section.

The Record has identified both Salkin and Nunnermacker as attorneys for Hackensack United for Progress, a slate backed by the Zisa family political dynasty in the upcoming City Council election.

And school board Vice President Lara L. Rodriguez heads the slate. 

They are seeking to defeat the Labrosse slate of reformers, who were elected in May 2013, defeating another slate of Zisa allies, including Nunnermacker.

At the school board meeting, Labrosse asked Superintendent Joseph Ciccelli whether Salkin disclosed that he represented the Hackensack United for Progress slate and by extension, high school teacher Caseen Gaines, its campaign manager.

Labrosse also wanted to know whether Salkin had offered a legal opinion on whether Gaines should be disciplined.

Ciccelli declined to answer, but Salkin denounced the mayor, despite Nunnermacker's attempts to silence him.

Video: Mayor alleges 'breach of professional ethics'

The Zisas, who ruled Hackensack for decades, signaled their intent to run candidates in the May 9 City Council election when they formed Team Hackensack early last year.

See: A power grab with meatballs on the side


A new 17,000-square-foot ALDI Supermarket is under construction at 480-92 Main St. in Hackensack, on land leased from Sears.
The Giant Farmers Market at 324 Main St. is expected to look like this after completion of an expansion to 17,300 square feet and renovations to the facade.


New food options

ALDI hasn't announced a grand opening date for its new supermarket, which is under construction on land leased from Sears in Hackensack.

Also underway is the expansion of the Giant Farmers Market, including renovation of the facade and upgrades to the parking lot.

Both will serve hundreds of apartment dwellers, whose only option within walking distance now is the grocery section in Target.

Meanwhile, the Hackensack City Council is moving to redevelop the site of the building at 142-48 Main St. that was damaged last July by construction of a 14-story apartment and retail project at Main and Mercer streets.

An arbitrator is hearing the claim of the building owner, Fairway Terrace Corp. of Norwood, which is seeking millions of dollars in compensation from the construction company, Alkova Cos.


Work on the ALDI Food Market, above, and Giant Farmers Market, below, on March 22.
A new structure, left, will allow expansion of the Giant Farmers Market.
On March 17, snow covered the idle site of a 14-story apartment and retail building at Main and Mercer streets, the biggest project so far in Hackensack's ambitious downtown rehabilitation plan.