Past Newsletters

Two Important Updates for Early Next Week

Interrupting Your Summer Friday for Two Quick Updates

Hey everyone, I wanted to take a few moments to make sure you had some important information. First, quickly — if you were affected by today’s power outage in the high school vicinity as 3,000 residents were, your power should be restored by now. Any remaining outages are expected to be restored by 11pm. Please contact directly with PSEG for the latest info.

Why I’m writing you on a Friday night — two key things to know:

1) There’s a new link (below) for the Lackawanna Plaza Redevelopment Plan presentation on Monday night. We also released our revised plan this afternoon.

2) The Mayor has called a special Council Meeting for Tuesday night at 7:00pm specifically and only to consider a Resolution appointing an interim Township Manager

Link to the Revised Lackawanna Plaza Plan &Updated Webinar Link Below

Key Changes:

  • 3 Buildings Reduced to Five Stories
  • 375 Units Reduced to 300 Units
  • Additional Stepbacks & Setbacks
  • Density pulled back from neighboring residential

Without Losing:

  • 20% Traditional & 10% Workforce Affordable Housing with preference for Montclair residents
  • Important Historic Preservation Elements
  • Three Open Space Public Plazas
  • Stormwater Retention Pools
  • Public Art & Native Vegetation
  • Bike Lanes & Enhanced Accessibility
  • Traffic & Circulation Infrastructure Improvements

Presentation on Revised Lackawanna Plaza Redevelopment Plan – New Link

The revised Lackawanna Plaza Redevelopment Plan will be presented in a Webinar on Monday, July 31 at 7:00 p.m. The Webinar will be televised live on TV34 and streamed on Montclair’s YouTube channel which will also be available for replay later.

Experts involved in the preparation of the Plan will explain the changes from the original plan as well as provide an overview and will be available to answer questions from the public digitally. The webinar will be hosted by Janice Talley, Montclair Township Director of Planning and Community Development. Panelists will include Redevelopment Architect Ira Smith from Smith Maran Architecture + Interiors; Professional Planner Keenan Hughes from Phillips Preiss; Traffic Engineer Joseph Fishinger from Brightview Engineering; Civil Engineers Peter Ten Kate and Selwyn Joy from Boswell Engineering; and Parking Expert Gerald Giosa from Level G Associates.

The revised Plan will be posted on the Township website this weekend and is expected to be reintroduced at the Township Council meeting on August 15, 2023. Please contact Janice Talley at or at 973-509-4954 if you have any questions.

Additional webinar details are provided here:

Join by meeting number

Meeting number (access code): 2349 144 9545

Meeting password: Lackawanna@2023!

Special Council Meeting Tuesday

At the Mayor’s request, the Council will be holding a special Council Meeting on Tuesday night at 7:00pm to consider the appointment of an interim Town Manager recommended by Government Strategy Group which is the firm we hired on July 18th to essentially take over day-to-day management of the Township. I interviewed this person for the position earlier this week and my colleagues have or will soon be meeting with this person as well. As this is a personnel matter, we will go into Executive Session to discuss the candidate with each other on Tuesday evening prior to taking any vote. 

Those following closely know that on July 18th as part of putting Government Strategy Group in charge, we placed a former Montclair Township Manager Joe Hartnett in the interim role. A majority of us felt strongly that a number of factors necessitated Joe’s immediate placement. We did so with full intention of quickly replacing him with a second interim. Tuesday is that step. Then a longer, more robust and comprehensive search will take place for a new permanent manager (CEO) of Montclair.

This is an incredibly complicated landscape for me as someone who prefers as much transparency as possible. But when we’re dealing with placement of or performance of our direct reports, it is an internal matter that must be navigated with sensitivity. That means I can’t share everything I’m thinking or feeling. Imagine your boss at work having to explain to 41,000 people what they like or don’t like about you, why you’re being promoted or not or whatever the scenario. It’s not appropriate.

Who we have in the position of manager, which is essentially the CEO of Montclair, matters tremendously for all of our day-to-day lives, the services we rely on and ensuring the government reflects the values of the community at-large. It’s vital that politics and/or political patronage play no role here and that in representing each of you, each of us does what we think is best for the town.

Our mailing address is:
41 Watchung Plaza, Suite 318
Montclair, NJ 07042