An open letter to Tom DeGise regarding Braddock Park

Dear Editor:
Mr. DeGise, you pride yourself on your efforts to create and preserve open space and parks in Hudson County. But in a letter to me dated 10-31-14 concerning my opposition to the Braddock Park Diversion, you stated “No additional parking, building, or any other form of coverage would be brought to this location.” You also wrote there is “the possibility that it would become unused park space” again. We both know this is not true, that North Bergen intends to build a structure to replace the Preschool trailers in the Park. We both know the Preschool trailers do not belong in Braddock Park because they violate NJ State DEP Green Acres regulations and Mayor Sacco told residents when he installed them 15 years ago that they would be there temporarily. We both know that only a few days ago prehistoric bedrock in Braddock Park was defaced by painting the rocks alongside the road red and gold, the colors of North Bergen H.S. The County’s explanation that this was done for safety purposes because this short stretch of rock is a threat to motorists is lame.
Where else is this type of defacement to a park done? Do you also want to paint, or cut down all the trees alongside the road throughout the Park because they too are a threat to motorists? Why not instead use a few small reflectors on the side of the road? The painted rocks and the Preschool trailers are both eyesores in what is supposed to be a public County park, not a North Bergen park. Can you or Mr. Sacco please explain why no new schools have been built in North Bergen in more than 50 years while the population of North Bergen has increased by 70 percent (Census Bureau numbers) and tax abatements have been given to developers, meaning these developers do not pay money to the North Bergen Board of Education while NB homeowners do? You can change your mind about this Diversion and do the right thing to save Braddock Park so that this and future generations of Hudson County residents will have the Park to enjoy, to fulfill your pledge of creating and preserving open space. I hope you will reconsider and realize that losing part of Braddock Park to a school(s) or other municipal buildings is not in the best interests of most Hudson County residents.

Robert Walden

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