EDITORIAL: While Russo has done great things for Kearny, sometimes, enough is enough

ED RUSSO HAS DONE a lot of good for the Town of Kearny. One only needs to look to the Bergen Avenue extension and the Passaic Avenue/River corridor for proof.

However, sometimes, there are limits to the amount of good one person can do for a town.

More housing units are not necessary in Kearny. What was once a town of 35,000 residents in 1980 will likely be closer to 45,000 residents by the time the 2020 census is complete.

There just isn’t room for more people here and with this in mind, it is our sincere hope at least two other members of the Kearny Town Council join Councilwoman Carol Jean Doyle and Councilmen Peter Santana and Michael Landy in opposition to an ordinance, up for adoption and second reading on Sept. 25, that would grant Russo yet another Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) to build more housing units on the site of the old bat factory.

There are several reasons why we are opposed to more housing.

First, the obvious — traffic. This needs no further explanation.

Next, while Kearny has seen a renaissance of sorts over the last decade, that land would be better suited for options other than housing.

While no one could guarantee a developer would build as such, wouldn’t it be nice if, given how long we’ve been without West Hudson Hospital, someone built a 24-hour medical clinic? Where do Kearny residents go anyway when there’s a need for medical care at, say, 8 p.m. on a Sunday?

Dining options would be nice, too. Yes, there are some nice eateries in Kearny already — but we so often hear about bringing shoppers to Kearny from other towns. Wouldn’t a larger variety of dining options do just that?

We could go on.

But the bottom line is this: While Mr. Russo has done a lot to make Kearny a better place, he’s done just about enough.

We just don’t need more overpriced rentals that most who already live here couldn’t dream of affording. While we thank Mr. Russo, we simply think this town is in need of more than just expensive, luxury living.

Perhaps we’d feel a bit differently if the old NJ Transit Boonton Line still made its way through Kearny, but that major misstep is for another day.

So, Mayor Alberto Santos, Councilmembers Albino Cardoso, Marytrine DeCastro, Rich Konopka, Eileen Eckel and Susan McCurrie, are you listening? Kearny residents are speaking louder than they have in ages.

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