Tag Archives: Chatham Borough

Heard about the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?

It doesn’t exist. Not even in Post Office Plaza. The sooner we realize that the better off we’ll be.

Check out this piece by a neighbor who knows what he’s talking about:

https://www.tapinto.net/towns/chatham/articles/misdirection-and-opacity-from-council-member-mathiasen-about-fiscal-responsibility

What you can do

Q: Is there any way to dissuade our Mayor & Council from building a big, 100+ commercial, rental apartment block behind our Main Street Post Office, clogging up our streets with hundreds more cars?

Come to the Council Meeting Tonight

Tuesday, Oct. 12, 7:30 pm,

Borough Hall, upper level, 54 Fairmount Avenue.

To attend virtually: see www.chathamborough.org. Scroll “News and Events” down to “Notice of Mayor & Council Meeting.”  Click “more.” 

Q: Discouraged by the Mayor’s 25-person limit on in-person attendance? Fed up with the technical difficulties that plague virtual participation?

Tell the Mayor

to hold Council meetings in a place

that can accommodate everyone.

Email:mayor@chathamborough.org  cc cdempsey@chathamborough.org, swilliams@chathamborough.org and brigidmcmenamin@msn.com

Can our Mayor still save Chatham’s Post Office Plaza?

In June 2021, Mayor Kobylarz settled a lawsuit that sought to impose a big apartment block on the Bradley properties on the west end of Main Street. He settled that case by committing our Borough to many other obligations – including commitments for Post Office Plaza, just off Main – in exchange for a temporary break from similar litigation and the promise of a few units of affordable housing.

In effect, the Mayor temporarily preserved one small part of Main Street –  and only until 2025 –  by promoting rampant over development that will increase traffic, and compromise the quality of life in our whole town forever.

(Drop down to Civil Part. Enter Case County: Morris, Docket type: Civil Part (L),    Docket Number: 1906, Year: 15. Then hit Search).

  • Listen to what the Mayor’s planner Kendra Lelie told the judge – under oath – at an Aug. 6 hearing: (Code: 1234. Requires Windows.) 

https://njcourtsrecords.awsapps.com/workdocs/index.html#/share/document/0a668e50137df72cb0456120446e7c75702c233d54845c8dbe86f0234877d5

OR

https://njcourtsrecords.awsapps.com/workdocs/index.html#/share/document/0a668e50137df72cb0456120446e7c75702c233d54845c8dbe86f0234877d52b


It’s time to face reality – and insist on clear answers:

  • What changes is the Mayor required to make to the Post Office Plaza Redevelopment Plan by January 1, 2022? (See the June 14 settlement agreement, p. 6, Section 8. b. iii.)
  • How can the Mayor meet the public demand to preserve the dedicated, free, open, surface public, Borough-owned and controlled parking on almost 2.2 acres of Borough land in POP?
  • When will the Mayor exercise the “or” clause in Sec. 8. b. iii, and try to get a better deal that would preserve 100% of the public land in Post Office Plaza, and NOT include a parking deck?
  • When will the Mayor consider creative ways to provide more affordable housing, such as converting existing housing and vacant commercial space on Main Street?
  • Is it still possible for the Mayor to turn POP into a public park and surface parking lot, as suggested by community leader Fran Drew?
  • What options, if any, do we still have for Post office Plaza?

Come hear our Mayor, Borough Council, and Planner face those questions and more at the next Council meeting, this Monday, September 27, 2021, 7:30 pm at Borough Hall, 54 Fairmount Avenue, third floor.

(Start at minute 29:46.) https://chathamborough.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=1&clip_id=55

Here we go again!

Myth:  Our Mayor and Borough Council wouldn’t plop a giant apartment block in the middle of town without first airing some options.

Reality: Behind the scenes, they’ve already sacrificed our options. Now they’re all but bound to :

  • build a 100+ rental unit, high density apartment block that will
  • put hundreds more cars on Main Street and
  • replace our free, open Post Office Parking Lot with a dangerous, multilevel parking garage.

Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Get the facts.

Come to the next Borough Council meeting: 

Monday, 13 September 2021 

7:30 pm 

Chatham Borough Hall, 3d floor 

54 Fairmount Avenue 

Would you like to see even more traffic in Chatham Borough?

How about a dangerous, hulking parking garage?

less open, public parking?

More empty storefronts?

More crowded schools?

Rising taxes for police, firefighters, water, sewer, etc?

Lower property values?

That’s exactly what you can expect

if our borough Council lets the Kushner real estate developers

build a corporate welfare, commercial apartment/retail project

behind our Main Street Post Office.

Get the facts before it’s too late!

Come to the next Borough Council meeting:

7:30 pm

Chatham Borough Hall, 3d floor

54 Fairmount Avenue

Don’t sacrifice Chatham to the big developer!

Now we have a great alternative for the 5 acres behind the Main Street Post Office!

It includes more surface parking and a pretty public green space.

Longtime Chatham businesswoman and civic leader Fran Drew conceived this idea as an alternative to the proposals offered by the big Kushner developers, who stand to profit by using corporate welfare PILOT tax breaks to build a project that will destroy our little Chatham Borough, with big expenses and even more traffic on Main Street.

Chatham residents are excited about this fresh idea, which is aimed at preserving and enhancing our community.

Are you tired of ever-worsening traffic on Main Street?

Make sure this idea gets a fair hearing before our Mayor and Borough Council.

Let our Mayor and Borough Council know what you think: mayor@​chathamborough.org

For more information, contact Fran Drew: algarts@aol.com

Sharks Circling Chatham!

  • Would you like to see hundreds more cars and trucks clogging up our streets, making it harder to get to work, school, MDs?
  • Would you like to park in a dangerous, windowless garage, where a police officer right outside couldn’t hear your screams?
  • Would you like to pay higher taxes – and lower the value of your house – to give a big developer a 30-year tax break?

Big real estate interests have ensnared Chatham Borough in an extreme, risky corporate welfare scheme. They plan to build a massive, multi-story, 200-unit rental apartment/retail complex behind our Post Office. It will transform our town into a bleak, high-tax, transit hub and, ultimately, a failed city.

Only your new Mayor and Borough Council can prevent that!

Come help your neighbors encourage them:

This Monday, January 6, 2020

at 7:30 PM

Borough Hall, 54 Fairmount Avenue, Chatham, NJ

Assure the new Mayor and Council that you will support them in doing what’s best for Chatham:

  • Let the Redeveloper’s designation expire;
  • Rescind the Redevelopment Plan for Post Office Plaza;
  • Consider moderate options that don’t involve:
    • worsening traffic;
    • sacrificing our open-air, public parking;
    • giving away corporate welfare tax breaks; or
    • shifting business risks to Chatham taxpayers; and
  • Conduct due diligence, and a valid survey of all households and businesses by U.S. Mail, with pros and cons of at least three such options.                                  

Has the ship sailed?

  • “The plan is in its early stages,” claim some proponents of the scheme to give a “Redeveloper” a big tax break to turn our little Chatham Borough into a transit hub city.
  • “We can always walk away,” they insist, out of one side of their mouths.
  • “We can’t back out now,” they say out of the other side. “We’ll get stuck with huge expenses.” *

Not one of those statements is true.

That corporate welfare scheme for Post Office Plaza has been brewing for years. We simply didn’t get certain horrible details until last month’s post-election meeting of the old Mayor Harris and his Borough Council. That’s when the old Mayor’s tin-eared, designated Redeveloper revealed his nightmarish designs for Chatham. CBC Meeting 11 14 19

The process of imposing those designs on Chatham is actually in its late stages. The old Mayor set a tight schedule to get Chatham hog-tied to his tin-eared Redeveloper’s vision by April 2020 – with Developer and Financial Agreements that will legally lock us into the scheme.

Source: 2019 Borough Council

How could the old Mayor do that when he isn’t even allowed to vote on the Post Office Plaza project because of a potential conflict of interest?

Easy. As mayor, he controls the Council’s agenda.

That’s also how the old Mayor was able to suddenly decide – just two days before his final Council meeting – to have the Council vote to saddle his successor with the same tainted scheme by extending the same tin-eared Redeveloper for another six months. They did just that at the December 19 meeting, over the objections of a packed house, making it much harder for Chatham to escape this nightmare.

Harder, but not impossible.

Our newly-elected 2020 Mayor Thad Kobylarz and his new Council can still correct all that. They have the power to abandon the tainted Redevelopment Plan scheme and make Chatham better for all of us – not only one rich developer.

Will they use that power for the public good?

* Not true, according to the Post Office Redevelopment Plan posted on the Council’s web site and an insider who has been intimately involved in this process for years.