Letter to the Editor: Union City Mayor Brian Stack should take responsibility for DPW building

Dear Editor,

Recently the State of New Jersey ordered Mayor Stack to vacate the 27th St. garage which is owned by the city. The building has been deemed unsafe for occupancy. Rather than accept responsibility for the condition of the building and work toward some type of solution, Stack points his finger at everyone else. I find some of his quotes ridiculous:

“We are correcting violations that go back decades and we are doing it with limited resources in a distressed municipality,” said Stack, who suggested that his political opponents were behind the visit by inspectors, reported by Ron Zeitlinger of The Jersey Journal on March 21, 2013.

Brian Stack has been in office 14 years and for 14 years he has done nothing to find a permanent solution to this ongoing problem. As a person who worked at the 27th St. Police precinct I am fully aware of the dangerous conditions the workers were exposed to on a daily basis. I personally filed several complaints and reports detailing serious health and safety concerns which I and others were exposed to. There was no official response at all to these complaints.

To blame “political opponents” for the current condition is ludicrous. Stack also claims limited resources and the fact that Union City is a distressed city and cannot afford to make proper repairs. Yet Stack has no problem throwing block parties, Christmas parties, and concerts, all at the taxpayers’ expense. One cannot claim to be in distress when it is convenient and then use tax dollars to win over voters at election time. Which one is it Brian? Is the city distressed or do you have excess money in the budget for all your political pet programs?

Three years ago Stack spent 6 million dollars to build an outdoor pool which can only be used 3 months out of the year. Millions were spent on an outdoor theater located at 39th St. and Park Ave. Millions are being spent to renovate Washington Park; a project that many in the area were opposed to. Clearly, Brian Stack has no sense of priorities. He is more interested in building monuments to himself than he is about protecting the health and safety of Union City workers.

I know Brian– I have sour grapes and was not made the Chief. When you respond or have your supporters respond to my letter, rather than repeating tired and worn out lines, why don’t you use the time to better explain to the public why you failed to engage in strategic planning when it came to the 27th St. garage? Why did you place the health and safety of city workers at risk for 14 years? Why did you fail to allocate money to build a sorely needed new and safe facility?

Joe Blaettler
Ret. Deputy Chief of Police
Union City, New Jersey

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