LaClair: Kearny needs to hire planners before more development happens

To the Editor:

After decades of blight, the area along the Passaic River, near Newark, is being developed. This requires town officials to think ahead and plan.

These new developments will increase demands on our infrastructure (including water and sewers), public services (including police and fire) and roads (traffic and road maintenance). They will also change Kearny’s character.

Along with many others, I welcome an end to the long era of blighted and abandoned buildings. One day, Kearny may be known as a thriving community with a robust economy. It need not be known as northern Jersey’s garbage dump or a town of rusty, old, empty industrial buildings.

However, change always comes at a price. We need to anticipate change — for example, upgrading infrastructure instead of reacting to increasing inadequacies. Upgrading infrastructure takes time. We should be ahead of the curve, not behind it.

There are competent planners who do this work. On this issue, they are best drawn from outside the community — the best and most independent experts we can find. Our mayor and council should enlist their services now, then inform us of the findings and move forward with the best plan for the people of Kearny.

Paul L. LaClair

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Paul L. LaClair | Kearny

Paul L. LaClair is a Kearny resident and is a frequent contributor to The Observer's opinion page.