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Lost in the flood: Your argument

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

EDITORIAL: So elected officials from flood-prone areas around the Saddle River are going to march into lawmakers’ offices in Trenton and Washington and demand action? Meanwhile, a mob is going to start digging its own trenches? Do you really think anyone takes you seriously?

CLIFFVIEW PILOT photo

What is it about flood plains that you don’t understand? What is it that you can’t quite grasp about the effect that all this buzzsawing and stump-uprooting has had, or about the needless cost of the measures YOU want taken?

And when did a demonstration such as you put on yesterday ever change public policy?

You think because the Bergen Record splashes a photo of a grown woman bawling like a schoolkid with a skinned knee on its front page that you’re going to get the government to bail you out? (No pun intended.)

Let me get this straight: In one breath you say we have too much government and the next minute you’re insisting that taxpayers cover your mistakes?

It’s the same in Westwood and Hillsdale.

Jerry DeMarco Publisher/Editor


Fact is: The houses should have never been built in the first place. But they were, and you bought ’em for a song.

You might as well live in a trailer park in the Carolinas, or next to an international airport.

Let me simplify even further: The land came first, and then the houses — and the industry. Then came the jobs a long car ride from your house — which, in turn, brought the roads.

Then came the driveways the sunporches, the built-in pools, etc. See where I’m going with this?

I find it ironic that a huge number of flood photos sent to CLIFFVIEW PILOT in the wake of Hurricane Irene show homes with patios and decks.

Still, you want to insist it’s United Water’s fault — or the government’s fault — that neighborhoods flood. And you want the trouble corrected to YOUR satisfaction.

I will bet your ranch house that NO ONE walks into anyone’s office in either Trenton or Washington and says, “Give us a date and a time when dredging will start and give us the money,” as Saddle Brook’s mayor claims.

We all have representatives in Trenton and Washington. It is they who should be carrying the fight. But no: You have to come out with shovels, threatening to take matters into your own hands. Trust me: One night in the lockup will disabuse you of that silly notion.

You also have the nerve to criticize the governor and Congressman Steve Rothman for not accepting your “invitation” to Sunday’s protest.

Are you kidding me?

In the end, Christie will not pour money down a rathole. He will explore federal purchases, so that the areas in Saddle Brook and Rochelle Park and Westwood and Hillsdale can be returned to their natural states (And don’t you for one minute think you’re going to make a killing, ’cause it isn’t going to happen). Our representatives will take a broad, methodical, regional approach to the problem, and not get caught in the undertow of parochialism.

They will arrive at plausible solutions that benefit everyone over the long term, not just you personally right now. And they’ll do it without all the breath-holding and foot-stomping that you folks do.

You think that acting as an angry mob is going to change your situation. Trust me: It won’t.

Organization is what works. Creating a coalition, appointing leaders, then getting our elected representatives to sit down with you — THAT’S what works (I know someone in your situation who is doing that very thing right now, quietly, behind the scenes. Thoughtfully. Wisely).

Seriously: What works in the end is convincing the government to buy all of you out and bulldozing the plains back to pre-over-development days. It’s the only true solution to the problem.

All this other stuff amounts to nothing more than a temper tandrum.

Not only that: It’s done in a vaccuum.

Of all the days to stage your collective hissy fit, you chose the last Sunday in September, with football at all levels in full swing and the baseball pennant races ending.

You want folks in Trenton and Washington to pay attention? Try coming correct.




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