Breaking: Robert Moss moves to intervene in action brought by NJ AG against Mahwah

In a filing early this morning, an individual named Robert Moss filed to intervene in Porrina v. Township of Mahwah and Mahwah Township Council.

Mr Moss, an advocate for increasing the amount of land under Green Acres encumbrances, in his motion (posted below) “seeks to protect his interest in preserving Green Acres encumbrances on Defendant Mahwah’s parklands”.

Mr. Moss has previously intervened in Hannon v. West Milford (NJ PAS-L-1675-03) and was a plaintiff* in Read More

On advice of counsel…

The Jewish Daily Forward has a new article out by Ari Feldman entitled: Why A Sleepy New Jersey Suburb Targeted Hasidic Jews With ‘Anti-Semitic’ Laws

Near the end they reference a “PRIVILEGED AND CONFIDENTIAL” letter from the Town Council attorney for Mahwah, Brian Chewcaskie.  In the letter, dated September 6th, he writes:

“In light of the fact that the Division of Civil Rights is seeking any and all documents relating to Ordinances 1806 and 1812, it is my suggestion at this point in time that the Township does not introduce or adopt any ordinances until such time as the Review by the Attorney General’s office is complete.”

The Council, against their own attorney’s advice went on to introduce: Read More

[UPDATE] Sticker shock: The reality of litigation costs start to arrive in time for the holidays

[UPDATE – new appropriations have been added to the agenda for tomorrow]
[UPDATE #2 – This email chain shows that while the current litigation contract ($50,000) goes through January, 2018, the next contract is already being prepared]
A mere several hundred have packed Town Council chambers since early this spring, demanding that ordinances be enacted to prevent an Eruv (see our FAQ here for information about an Eruv) from being established in a small section Upper Saddle River, Mahwah & Montvale (see map here).  That is a fraction of the approximately 40,000 people currently living in those Bergen County towns, which are now embroiled in litigation. Read More

What is Mahwah hiding?

Transparency in government is very important.  As the Secretary of the Teaneck Planning Board, I made it a priority to ensure that minutes of meetings were prepared and published in a timely manner because the public has a right to know what is happening.

But the folks in Mahwah, NJ don’t seem to share that commitment.  When I requested minutes from the meeting where Ordinances 1810 (Peddling and Soliciting), 1811 (Police Director) and 1812 (Parks restrictions) were introduced, I was told that no meeting minutes were available.

It’s been 95 days since the meeting.  Is there a particular reason that they feel the Open Public Meetings Act doesn’t apply to Mahwah?  I asked the Council President at the last meeting and he said it wasn’t his responsibility. Passing the buck seems to be his preferred method of dealing with problems.

Are you trying to hide the hateful comments made from residents from the public view, Mr. Hermansen?  Or is public transparency just not high on your list of priorities? Read More

Mahwah will reap what Robert Hermansen sowed

As previously noted, the Attorney General of New Jersey laid down a pretty damning complaint on the doorstep of Mahwah Council President Robert Hermansen and his council-members.  The accompanying press release likened the council’s conduct to “1950s-era “white flight” suburbanites who sought to keep African-Americans from moving into their neighborhoods.”

Sadly, this was wholly avoidable and Robert Hermansen, knowing the risks, chose this fight. Now he has it.

For those that may not have seen the previous posts, the Township Council in Mahwah has been attempting to use inapplicable ordinances, in a discriminatory manner, to advance an agenda fueled by hatred and bigotry. Eruvin are not signs, despite the attempts of Mahwah’s council to declare them as such and parks paid for with public funds cannot legally restrict public access. 

The rights to liberty and freedom, enshrined in our founding documents, are always under attack. I am very pleased that the Attorney General and others are standing up for those rights. The message needs to be heard loud and clear.
Read More

Breaking: LAWSUIT FILED BY NJ AG Against Mahwah NJ

Breaking: Lawsuits filed by the State against Mahwah, NJ.

State to Mahwah, NJ: Fear and bigotry will not be tolerated

The Attorney General said in a statement:

“This is an extensive complaint … but the bottom line is very simple — the township council in Mahwah heard the angry, fear-driven voices of bigotry and acted to appease those voices”.

The lawsuit focuses on two ordinances the Mahwah Council passed in their retaliatory attempts to keep out Orthodox Jews from Rockland County.

The lawsuit (like the others filed) will be uploaded here as soon as I receive a copy.

I’ve obtained the lawsuit and it’s posted below.  I’ll follow up with docket and new filings.

Stay tuned. Read More

The secret email…

Yesterday, it was alleged on the Facebook, that I have some secret documents that show there was no bigotry or animus in the actions taken by Mahwah’s Township Council.

To be clear, I don’t think any council member ever outright said, “we need to stop Jews from moving into Mahwah”.  That’s not how this kind of thing works.

But there were choices made. Choices to exclude people.  And those choices to exclude, were made after complaints from residents about Hasidic Jews came to the surface. Complaints ranged from parks being used too much, to doors being knocked on for solicitation (and allegations of “blockbusting”) and more.  In many cases, evidence of what was feared, was lacking or non-existent.

When faced with these pressing issues by residents, the Council had options.
Take the parks issue, where a handful of residents stated that the parks were overrun with Hasidic Jews from New York.

Would the Council opt to go with a simple ordinance that addresses the issue (e.g. “groups of 30 or more need a permit”) or would they try to ban certain (((groups))) from coming to “their” town?

The Council opted to ban (((non-residents))). Read More

Short Take: Is Mahwah Team Evil or Team Stupid? (UPDATE)

This Thursday, the Mahwah Township Council will have a meeting to discuss various items on the Agenda.

Among them will be:

UPDATE (9/27/17):

Someone had enough brain power to determine that the allusions to (a certain group that used arm bands to denote acceptable members of society who should have access to places like parks) was inevitable and has changed the discussion about mandatory “Arm Bands” into “Wrist Bands”.

This, as they say, changes everything!


  1. A Discussion about Township Parks including the issuance of Badges and Arm Bands
  2. Peddling and Solicitation Ordinance
    – to prevent Jews with suitcases of cash from trying to buy homes, despite the fact this isn’t a real thing.
  3. Unlawful Use in Parks Ordinance
    – including such gems as “no stringing utilities over parks” and “no aiding and abbetting ball playing”.  I wonder which will have a zero tolerance policy?

So, after the acknowledgment from the Council President that the Township is “under the microscope” from the State Attorney General and that Civil Rights subpoenas have been issued, the first and best course of action they can come up with is to issue mandatory “arm bands” for the people using parks in order to keep out (((undesirables))).

Are you Team Evil or Team Stupid, Mahwah?

Tune in Thursday, to find out.


Neutral Laws of General Applicability… we promise

Following contentious council meetings at which many Mahwah residents screamed at elected leaders regarding NY Jews in their parks, changes to Parks rules are on the agenda. Read More

Pulling back the curtain on Mahwah’s (en)forced errors.

  • In a Facebook post Thursday, Mahwah’s Council President indicated that Chief of Police James Batelli, had issues with ordinances ( e.g. 1806 to ban all non-residents certain people, from parks and others, pulled from the agenda) but now feels confident they will be ready for the next meeting.

Sadly, he doesn’t mention what the Chief’s concerns were. Several residents at previous council meetings were asking about the reasons ordinances seem not to be enforced and Council members haven’t seen fit to publicize this information to the residents of Mahwah.

An Open Public Records Act request procured the following information Read More