LETTER: North Bergen, county officials will hurt taxpayers with failed preschool plan

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In a letter to the editor, North Bergen resident Robert Walden says that township and county officials will ultimately hurt taxpayers due to their failed preschool plan. North Bergen Pre-k

Dear Editor,

North Bergen is in the process of acquiring the Hudson County Hi Tech H.S. building.
This acquisition will result in additional elementary school classroom space, enabling the 17 trailer North Bergen Preschool to vacate Braddock Park, where it has been illegally and dangerously situated since 2001.

North Bergen and Hudson County taxpayers must now pay for their officials’ folly.

NJDEP Green Acres told North Bergen and Hudson County to remove the preschool from Braddock Park AND to create 5X as much NEW, ADDITIONAL park land as the Preschool illegally diverted in Braddock Park as compensation for their transgression, as provided by State regulations.

North Bergen-Hudson County officials previously falsely claimed this diversion would save taxpayers at least $10 million.

Their unsupported savings estimate was based on a flawed cost analysis which didn’t properly analyze school costs, and didn’t take into consideration the many millions of dollars involved in obtaining replacement land and converting it into park land.

But wait – there’s more…

North Bergen and Hudson County officials misled Green Acres and the public by attempting to provide INELIGIBLE replacement park land in Hoboken.

This was ineligible replacement land because it already was a park.
Further, they failed to enumerate the correct amount of land the Preschool diverted in Braddock Park, ignoring the Preschool’s tot lot, a walkway, the parking lot, roadway, etc.

NJDEP Green Acres and the National Park Service are responsible for ensuring that Braddock Park is saved for the public’s open space and recreational use, and not for other purposes.

Who is responsible for ensuring that public officials don’t mislead the public and don’t abuse State and Federal programs, resulting in unneeded higher taxes?

Robert Walden

North Bergen Resident