08/04/17 Let's Hope
the mayor Cleans Up EO
Before His Honored Guests Take a Tour of the City.
On August 8th,
at 1:00 PM,
the mayor and all of his paid city employee pet weasels will be
hosting a "celebration" for receiving that meaningless
FAKE "Livability Award." His guests will include Jocelyn Bogen, U.S. Conference of Mayors; John Wohlrab, Director of Government
Relations, Waste Management (Greater Mid Atlantic); Bill Lehman,
Business Development Manager, Waste Management (Greater Mid
Atlantic); and (selected) Employees from the Departments of
Property Maintenance and Public Works who won't snitch if they
value their jobs.
Bogen obviously has self-interest at heart because she's the one
to whom the mayor sent his winning essay, the contact for
the Council of Mayors. I'd like to see the photos of East Orange that
she and the others on the council took of East Orange before
granting the award. What? No photos? Here are plenty, below.
Wohlrab, you remember him, don't you? In 2013 he was awarded an Environmental
at the annual Clean Communities Awards Dinner, hosted by the
Trustees of the New Jersey Clean Communities Council on May 23 in
Maritime Parc, Liberty State Park. I guess he won't want to give
the game away, either.
Bill Lehman, I can't find anything about him on-line, but here's
what those who work for Mid Atlantic
Waste Management are saying about working there. I hope he isn't
one of the managers they are talking about. If, so, he's easily
The mayor and his Pet Weasel Are Still Cashing in on
the FAKE "Livability Award". It's Good for Another News Story
on a Slow News Day.
EO mayor Gets "Livability Award"
06/25/17 We Get To Live In It.
06/24/17 [East Orange,
NJ] East Orange Mayor Lester E. Taylor III (Shown
above on the left with Code Enforcer Dwight Saunders)
has been awarded an Outstanding Achievement Award at the 2017
City Livability Awards Program during The U.S. Conference of
Mayors 85th Annual Meeting in Miami Beach. He brags all
about it HERE.
(And AGAIN, on 08/02/17 HERE)
BACKGROUND: In order to
get this award, the mayor sent in this application to The Conference of Mayors City
Mayor Lester E. Taylor, III
City of East Orange
Program: Don't Dump On EO
The "Don't Dump on EO" Campaign was created
to address the growing problem
of illegal dumping in backyards, vacant and abandoned
properties, lots, schools
and highways in East Orange. This illegal dumping
degraded properties and
created unsafe and unhealthy conditions for residents. In
a city that is only 3.9
square miles, this illegal dumping plagued the city for
decades, mainly by
individuals outside city limits who had no regard
for the quality of life for local
citizens. The Dont Dump on EO campaign focused on
neighborhoods by educating the community on the harmful
dangers dumping has
on the overall health and perception of the city. The
targeted the entire population with educational
interactive activities such as our
annual Don't Dump on EO and Live, Breathe, Think
Clean & Green poster
contests, campaign lawn signs informing drivers in our
corridors to not dump in
East Orange, and an informative video produced by
students in the summer youth
work program. During our annual Community Wide Clean-Up
Days, held during
the spring and fall, residents receive "Don't Dump
on EO" materials containing
property maintenance housing regulations, how to report
on illegal dumping
activities and vacant and abandoned properties
regulations. The Don't Dump on
EO has expanded to include lawn signs, peel and stick
stickers, t-shirts, plant and
flower giveaways, outdoor clean up tool giveaways
all to promote neighborhood
All cities receive
guidelines for preparing applications for the City Livability
Awards in January of each year. Winners are selected by an
independent panel of judges, and the winning mayors are announced
at the Annual Conference of Mayors.
In other words, a bunch
of big-shots in the Conference of Mayors Livability Program read
the little blurb shown above, and BASED ON THAT, with NO visits to the city to see if
it was true,
talking to residents of East Orange to see if it was true, the mayor got invited to
Florida to pick up his shiny award.
In accepting the award,
the mayor said: In East Orange, we always say a clean city
is a safe city, and a clean and safe city is a profitable
city, said Taylor. When I took office in 2014, we
established a Quality of Life Task Force to tackle the issues
that commonly arise as a result of decades of blight. I am
extremely proud of how much we have been able to accomplish in
three years. From the leadership of our Division of Vacant and
Abandoned Properties and aggressive code enforcement to the
nearly half a billion dollars in private capital investment and
5,000 square feet of light industrial and commercial retail
happening right now, East Orange is continuing to achieve our
vision to set the standard for urban excellence and become a
06/25/17 For those of us who live here, let's
take a little Sunday Morning stroll to see this "clean,
safe, and profitable" city of ours and the "quality
of life" being pushed on us by the mayor.
I chose this view of littered
Evergreen Place because it gives immediate evidence of what we
have to live with in East Orange because our elected officials
are so corrupt. The primary election was held on June 6th, yet on
June 25th the LINE A posters along Evergreen place have not yet
been taken down. But look closely just beneath the UP Arrow on
the lamp post and you will see the remnants of a sticker from
2001 when Dwight Saunders (currently the code enforcer) ran for
mayor and used the same lamp post in violation of city code 238-4. I wonder if that was mentioned to former president
Bill Clinton when he came to shake everyone's hand for winning
the "Livability Award." He knows quite a bit about
Former president Bill Clinton shakes the hand of current Code
Enforcer Dwight Saunders of EO
But I digress. My trip began
heading north on well-littered Cambridge Street. This is not some
dumping done by outsiders, as the mayor suggests, but it seems
some people enjoy living in a slum they create themselves by
The Fancy Clock in the Clock
Garden is an example of the lack of planning and maintenance by
the City. When they bought the fancy clock, did no one think that
it might break down or have to be adjusted from time to time?
Apparently there is no one in the Public Works Department with a
step ladder and the knowledge of how to fix the clock so that all
four sides tell the same time. We'll see other examples of this
lack of planning and maintenence as we move along on our tour.
Oops! It looks like a car had a
run-in with a metal street sign post. I wonder how long that has
been there, creating a sidewalk hazard, or how long it will be
before someone from Public Works notices it and (gasp!) actually
repairs it, or at least removes it. I'm sure that will be fixed
long before the other sidewalk hazard under the red arrow is
noticed or repaired. That seems to have been like that for years.
The mayor only says that a "clean city is a safe city"
but nothing about physical hazards like this creating an unsafe
city when enough of them are neglected.
I remember when Evergreen Place
used to be the most beautiful and prosperous street in East
Orange. Now it is a shambles of vacant and abandoned buildings.
From this corner, you can look down Evergreen and see the Ramada
Inn Sign, of the one and only remaining hotel in East Orange. Take a look at the way it used to
appear before the current mayor took office, and don't forget to
read the reviews.
On the other side of Harvard
Street, we see the remains of the shell of what used to be the
Lincoln Motel, that was used to house those made homeless by
fires, etc. It was also a center for prostitution, as well as
drug dealers and users. It was closed in 2006 and is
currently off the market, but here's what it used to look like.
I have often noticed that the
Essex County and East Orange City-owned and operated buses for
Senior Citizen and Disabled Adults use Harvard Street to
"hang out" and run their engines, instead of looking
for seniors and disabled adults who need rides. Just sayin'.
Ted Green and the Line A Council
persons are no friends of shade trees, as was shown by the way
they nailed and taped their posters to living trees as well as
city lamp posts in violation of City Ordinance Code
238-4 beginning in late May, 2017. It
seems they are also giving away what their attitude will be
towards their elected positions beginning in January 2018 - do
nothing, take the taxpayer's money, start planning for the next
election. Instead of taking down the posters, they intend to
leave them there until they fall off by themselves and add to the
litter on the streets and sidewalks, as shown in the photo on the
Brick Church Station is separated from Brick Church Plaza by this access
road, which is always crowded with taxi cabs and always covered
with litter, both from the taxi activities as well as whatever
the wind blows back here from one of the city's biggest sources
of litter, Brick Church Plaza. The train station is also known for its permanent
stink of urine, from all those concrete posts being used as
P-trees by the male population.
At the Halsted Street entrance,
we can see the source of much of the pollution, the largest being
Shop-Rite. The chain-link fence stops much of the wind-blown
litter, but not all.
Looking north on Halsted Street
towards Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., we see one of the most
continuously littered stretches of sidewalk in East Orange. Trash
issues from Brick Church Plaza behind this former Social Security
Building, and blows around constantly. This is early Sunday
morning, so it is not quite as bad as it gets towards the end of
The same view, but looking south
on Halsted Street towards the elevated railroad tracks, as I was
on my way back home. Not a trash can in sight. Note that the
other side of the street, where there are two churches, is
relatively clean and kept that way by church members and workers
on days when there are church services. But no one cares about
this side of the street on a Sunday.
Back at the Halsted Street
Entrance to the East side of Brick Church Plaza, we can see that
for years people have been telling the management of the Plaza
(with their feet) that there ought to be a paved path to the
street, but apparently the management doesn't care or can't
afford paving blocks from all the money they make from those same
customers. Nor can they put a trash can here. Nor do they care if
businesses with no affiliation to the Plaza nail or tie signs to
the stately pine tree at its entrance. Public apathy is part of
the problem ignored by mayor Taylor in his fantasy
dreams for the city.
Inside the Plaza, we see the
litter along with a possible solution in the form of those
shopping carts. All day long, workers from the two main
businesses whose customers use shopping carts are kept going back
and forth to collect those carts and return them to the stores.
What if those same workers had grabby sticks and used them to
pick up litter along the way? No, that's too much like useful
work and the workers would actually have to care enough about
their city to do a good job. Another solution is to hire high
school students and the school drop-outs who hang around the
stores looking for customer tips from carrying packages to become
litter scavengers for a salary.
While Shop-Rite is the major
contributor of litter to the area, the other large store, Lot
Stop, does its share, as do all of the other smaller stores
clustered around them. After awhile, no one even notices the
litter. They just accept it as part of the environment, like all
those black dots on the sidewalks that go unnoticed by city
dwellers - chewing gum spit out of the mouths of gum chewers,
stepped on and stuck to shoes and ground into the scene like
modern mosaic tiles in search of an artist. Ignoring these
problems must be what the mayor means when he talks about
"quality of life."
On my way back home, I saw more
evidence of the mayor's concept of "quality of life".
The LINE A poster from the June 6th Primary Election was still
attached to the street lamp post, still covering and obscuring the
safety directions beneath. Although
there were trash and recycle containers set out on the corner,
they were being obviously ignored as the trash on the ground
Across the street along the side
of the Extra Supermarket, a trail of litter from East Orange
residents "Dumping on East Orange" because they want
to, not because they have to. There are plenty of trash and
recycle containers on this corner within easy reach, but the
people don't feel that this is their home, their
city, or that their "quality of life" depends on their
choices. Even my cat knows enough not to crap where it lives, but
goes off, digs a hole, does its business, and then covers it up.
These people aren't even that smart.
Along Central Avenue, in front of
the Extra Supermarket, are some city benches for those waiting
for buses. Next to the benches the city has enclosed some fenced
planter spaces for trees and recently added some flower plants.
Note that three of the flowering plants were targeted by bricks,
dropped on top of them for the purpose of destroying them. It
could be the act of children whose parents or guardians allow
them to do such things and who don't take responsibility for the
damage they cause. The rest of the litter was tossed there on
purpose rather than into the trash or recycle containers a few
feet away. That litter came from the stores around here, but
where did the bricks come from?
Of course! The bricks came from
the Public Works Department whose workers, instead of cleaning up
the trash and litter, and then instead of making quick repairs to
the sidewalk by filling in the damaged space with bricks, simply
piled up the bricks with their foolish cone display drawing
attention to them and left them there on the street for whomever
got the bright idea of dropping them on the ugly flowering plants
that were obviously left as a target for the mentally deranged.
Quality of Life in East Orange.
This fenced in tree planter
surrounded by flowering plants is obviously what the Department
of Public Works was attempting to provide a few feet further down
the street from the other one. Except for the bottles, cans and
other litter generously provided by those who wish East Orange to
become the slum of their dreams.
I'll end the tour with this final
photo of evidence about who is "dumping on our city."
This location, with its missing street light and sidewalk hazard
of scattered bricks, has been reported since 2014, when Lester Taylor began as mayor. It has since been shown every year because it is at the entrance to our local polling
place. It is clear that while outsiders may have dumped on our
city in the past, none of what I showed in this report came from
outsiders. The dumpers are, starting at the top: the mayor, every
member of the Line A City Council, every Line A Democrat that
voted them into office and still intends to keep them in office,
and every resident of East Orange that contributes to the problem
and that refuses to look around and see the slum into which their
city is sliding.
Now let's see about the safety
of our streets:
08/01/17 East Orange "Wins" Another FAKE
08/01/17 - News Report from The Alternative
Press, which reports any old thing
the mayor or city council tells it to.
New Jersey Clean Communities
is a statewide, comprehensive, litter-abatement program created
by the passage of the Clean Communities Act in 1986. The Act
provides guidelines on the use of funds awarded. Municipalities
and counties must implement litter abatement programs that
incorporate the elements of cleanup, enforcement and education. Municipalities and counties must file statistical reports with the New Jersey Clean Communities Council, Inc.
every grant year. Statistical reports track the expenditure of
funds and the progress of local programs.
The problem is, no one ever
checks on these statistical reports to find out if the
municipality is TELLING THE TRUTH or NOT! Because if they were,
one visit to the littered city of East Orange would convince them
that the City is LYING and their funds are being wasted. Notice
also that this statistical report is NOT put on-line so that we
can all see the extent of the lies it contains.
But this is what I can
put on-line: it's time to take another trip around the city in
Once again, we begin our trip on Cambridge Street.
That's a smashed up mirror. We're
not off to a lucky start.
Someone managed to set the clock
correctly in the Clock
Garden. Now if we can only get the
litter picked up from beneath the flower bushes. I guess that is
more difficult than fixing a clock.
Here's another problem that is
too difficult for anyone in Public Works to solve. The bent pole
may still be there next Christmas. More litter has been
accumulating in the street.
I actually like the wild blue
cornflowers growing in front of the dilapidated Lincoln Motel. It's all the litter in and around the greenery that
spoils the view.
I missed taking a photo of the Lincoln Inn
Parking Lot when I was here in June. It's a wonderful place for
urban youth to play, and the gates are always wide open to
welcome them in.
Another trouble spot I missed
photographing in June - this corner of Evergreen Palce and
Freeway Drive East with smashed down fences and lots of litter. I
hope Bryant Cowart is feeling proud of his
Clean Communities Program Award "for
maintaining a comprehensive cleanup, enforcement and education
program in the City of East Orange." When is it going to
Not much has changed at Brick Church Plaza across the fence from the Train Station, except that
new litter has replaced the old.
The entrance from Halsted Street to Brick Church
Plaza seems to have been cleaned up a
bit, but new litter has replaced the old and the tree is still
advertising someone's hair bundles for sale.
The inside corner of the South East Side of the Plaza seems to continue to collect the litter like a magnet.
The litter between Lot Stop and Shop-Rite is on-going, as are the chewing gum black spots on the
I decided to revisit the old Line
A Democrat Code 238-4
Signpost Violations on the way back, adding some new ones I
skipped over in June, never imagining that they would still be
here in August. According to the sign on the building, this is
being used by the State of New Jersey's Department of Children
and Families. The problem is, if you try to locate the place
under that name on Google, you get nowhere. Is this a state
Two more Sign Post Code
Violations, plus a lot of litter in-between. If the East Orange
city council and mayor don't bother to obey the laws, why should
The East Orange Code Enforcer, Dwight Saunders, who ran for mayor in 2001 and never bothered to remove
his sticky poster from the above city lamppost in all that time,
under the current Code "shall be punished by a fine not less
than $100 and not exceeding $2,000 or by imprisonment for a
period not exceeding 90 days or by a period of community service
not exceeding 90 days, or any combination thereof. Each day any
violation of this Code or any other ordinance or rule, regulation
or order promulgated pursuant thereto shall continue shall
constitute a separate offense unless otherwise provided." If
he is exempt from the Codes and fines he is supposed to enforce,
then I guess there is no rule of law in East Orange while he
remains in office. Who will drain our swamp?
The good news is that the bricks
have finally been replaced in the sidewalk, and CABID (Central
Avenue Business Improvement District) has finally admitted
"ownership" of the flowers and removed the bricks that were smashing them down
The bad news is that the people
of East Orange prefer to live in a slum of their own making and
continue to litter the streets and gardens whenever possible, in
spite of the proximity to city trash cans and recycle bins.
So, New Jersey Clean
Communities, no one here really deserves your award, so please
come and take it back before it ends up on the street with the
rest of the useless trash.
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Death threats are automatically referred to the
© 2017, Jim Gerrish