EDITORIAL: We’re ready to work with the NJSEA to drop the appeal proposal, but are they ready?

The NJSEA says it is committed to closing the Keegan Landfill. It said so in an October statement on its website and a commissioner made a parliamentary point of order at the November meeting of that governing body to add to the permanent record.

“For the record, after last month’s meeting, this authority came to the conclusion that we want to be committed to permanently closing the Keegan Landfill — at some point,” Commissioner Robert B. Yudin, who grew up in Belleville and who now lives in Wyckoff, said. “We are committed to permanently closing it. Now, a statement went out but it wasn’t picked up by any publications. It is on our website. I just wanted to make that point so that it is on the record.”

Let’s break this statement down.

The statement was, indeed “picked up” by this newspaper a few weeks ago, contrary to the commissioner’s statement.

But here’s where it all gets so confusing.

They’re saying they are committed to closing the landfill “at some point.”

But let us not forget — the landfill is already closed! And it has been for months. It was all made permanent last month when Judge Jeff Jablonski ordered it so.

So how could a governing body be committed to closing the Keegan Landfill if it is already closed? Does this make any sense at all?

If the commitment to close is truly there, “eventually” or at any point, the NJSEA can make good on that “commitment” very easily — by dropping its request to appeal Jablonski’s decision.

So clearly, the key word in the statement is “eventually.”

NJSEA Chairman John Ballantyne told this newspaper the NJSEA is appealing to correct inaccuracies in Jablonski’s decision. Why would an appeal be necessary to clarify the record? All the NJSEA would have to do is issue a statement that lists what it believes to be inaccurate.

This newspaper even agreed to work with the governing body to disseminate that information. But to do so, the NJSEA would need to first drop the appeal.

Needless to say, that didn’t happen and because it didn’t, we can only surmise that it’s not just about “clearing the inaccuracies.”

What is becoming more clear is that the NJSEA wants the landfill reopened so that it can collect dumping fees until it reaches 100 feet in height. That could be years away, folks.

After Harrison attorney John M. Pinho spoke at the November meeting, it is becoming clearer that the NJSEA needs the Keegan Landfill to reopen so it might make good on the bonds issued to pay for part of the American Dream megamall at the Meadowlands sports complex.

Under no form of logic would it be necessary for a closed landfill to reopen only to close it.

And so, to the NJSEA — this newspaper once again says, if you want to clarify the record, in relation to Jablonski’s decision, call us at 201-991-1600. Send us an email to editorial@theobserver.com. We will get the ball rolling on clarifying the record. Other media outlets will surely follow suit. If this is really the reason for the appeal, drop the appeal and let’s get to work.

Otherwise, we can only presume there’s a lot more to the NJSEA’s desire for reopening Keegan. And still, for once, the NJSEA can prove it truly does care about the health of the people of West Hudson.

The ball is now in your court (again) Mr. Ballantyne. We’re standing by for your phone call or email. The time is here. The solution is ready.

Are you?

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.