Here is video coverage of the February 11, 2016 public meeting of the Belleville Planning Board.
Keep in mind that this is the meeting that was supposed to have been a public hearing on the possible use of eminent domain by the Belleville Town Council to acquire the 24-acre Kidde/Finkelstein property.
This public hearing was advertised in the back of the Star-Ledger, and not in the Belleville Times where residents would probably be much more likely to see it. Upon questioning however, both the Planning Board and the Town Council deny any knowledge of having placed the advertisement. A very strange phenomenon.
I guess we’re all supposed to be believe that random citizens are placing fraudulent $104 advertisements in newspapers for no apparent reason. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that by law, they have to hold a public hearing in order to proceed with their plans, but we happened to stop by in force, camera in hand and ready for combat.
In yet another rather funny coincidence, Darlene Green from Maser Consulting who was involved in the Second River Station proceedings (the 50-story residential highrises proposed for this same property) just happened to be sitting in the third row. She had plenty of gear and an open binder in her lap, looking like more than just a spectator.
At 6:48 minutes into this video, you’ll notice Building and Construction Code Officer Frank DeLorenzo start peering down at his lap, presumably looking at his phone. He looks around and glances down a couple more times. Then at 7:10 DeLorenzo gets up, approaches Darlene Green who is just off-camera, and whispers in her ear. A moment later she smiles at him, packs up her stuff, and leaves the meeting.
Did DeLorenzo get a text message from someone in the room to call off the public hearing because a bunch of advocates who oppose any scheme to dump high density residential on overpopulated Belleville showed up with a camera? Councilman Kennedy happened to be in attendance that night, which only seems to happen when matters involving the Finkelstein property are to be discussed.
Take a look at this rather short meeting, and see if you can believe their story that they had nothing to do with this $104 mystery notice appearing in the paper.
A great article from The Observer wondering exactly the same thing as we are: