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Anti-Mall Group Releases 'Mahwah At A Crossroads' Video

Video urges residents to attend town meetings on shopping development

Memebers of the Committee to Stop Mahwah Mall, a resident group that has been fighting the at the intersection of Routes 17 and 287, released a video Monday asking residents 'what makes Mahwah beautiful?'

The video contains several minutes of footage from around the township, followed by scenes of the shopping center's to the . At its close, the video's creators, CSMM members David Howard and Michael Dalessio, ask viewers to become more informed about the development. Dalessio urges viewers to "ask questions before forming an opinion," about the development.

The video was released hours before the second installment of a in front of the township's planning board was set to begin Monday night. At each session of the hearing, residents are given 15 minutes to comment, and 30 minutes to question the developer's witnesses who appear in front of the board.

In previous interviews, Jim Jaworski, attorney for the Crossroads developer, has said he and his team will work to “answer any questions the public may have about the project," which is designed to include two box stores, a movie theater, recreational space, and an area with small shops. He did say at the last public hearing that he believes the plan for the development is "completely in accordance" with .

Gottardo DiGiacopo March 06, 2012 at 12:03 PM
your catastrophizing is funny JP... are you developing a sense of humor? <<You've threatened in the past to be waiting at the mall watching for opposers of it, and that 'you know who we are'.>> we could easily extrapolate on that as a twisted threat; it was at best creepy.
Hank March 06, 2012 at 12:38 PM
Gottardo: "catastrophizing" (if you are playing along at home, the pot has just attempted to call the kettle black)
Mahwah Resident March 06, 2012 at 08:28 PM
For somebody who cares so much, it seems strange you wouldn't want to come to any meetings. I assure you they're worth it.
Mahwah Resident March 06, 2012 at 08:29 PM
I think you've all lost the point of the discussion board. You all need to get off the computer and take a break.
JP March 07, 2012 at 01:19 AM
We haven't lost the point at all, that being that a group of around 400 people are trying to jam their personal desires down upon the decisions of our elected officials (from a base of close to 20,000 registered Mahwah voters) who were elected to represent us and manage our town. I resent the fact that the Stop Mall group feels the town should be managed around THEM, around their desires, thinking they had an overwhelming majority of support amongst the whole town, pushing their referendum demands upon the town thinking that would sway things. They've only managed to make the push against Stop Mall even stronger because the numbers (they imagined they had) are not there. We now know for sure their chances of winning this battle (as well as lawsuit) are far less certain then ever before. They have no legs to stand on. They will have no monetary damages due to the construction, they have no facts to back up their traffic claims, they don't even have the towns peoples' interest anymore (as seen by the ever declining numbers at the meetings), all they have is the attempt at emotional appeal about the town losing it's character. The character/charm of this town will not be impacted by this development simply because of the construction location, & as a matter of fact, will probably add towards it after the mall is built. Unless the project grinds to an abrupt halt due to some unrelated (to Stop Mall) technicalities, you're fighting a losing battle with costs to this town.
Hank March 07, 2012 at 01:25 AM
I just want a Costco. No need to ask questions. Would rather watch TV
Andy Schmidt March 07, 2012 at 01:06 PM
>> 400 people are trying to jam their personal desires down upon the decisions of our elected officials (from a base of close to 20,000 registered Mahwah voters) who were elected to represent us << Actually it was not 400, it was a MAJORITY of November voters who very clearly told their elected officials that they had NOT wanted the mall. But their elected officials had turned a deaf ear a few months prior and decided that they "knew best" - as if they were parents. Many of us have young kids, have two jobs, work in the city, have to tend to start-up businesses - or have various other reasons why we can't volunteer our time to attend public meetings and work sessions to run for township government. Others are (semi)-retired, have public sector jobs, have well established businesses that need less oversight, college-age kids, have stay-home spouses, etc - that allow them to give a good portion of their time to the town and sit on the council, or various boards. That doesn't make the voters less competent, intelligent or relevant than those who were able to afford the time to sit on the council. It does NOT make ueber-people out of council members and mayor's who have eaten their wisdom with spoons - it just makes them fortunate that they have oodles of time. So, when the majority of Mahwah people who went to the polls give a clear indication of what they want to happen in town, it behoves the council and mayor to take the cotton out of their ears.
JP March 07, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Not really, it doesn't matter if it's 400, 4000, or 40,000 Andy. It's a group of people trying to push their own personal agendas down our local government's throat. This group did this way before any referendum was implemented. way before any vote count was known. Way before we knew how the town really felt. Did it surprise you that almost half the voters wanted the mall? I bet it did. In talking to some people at the meetings, they indicated to me that they thought they'd have 90 to 95% of the community with them if they could just get this referendum on the ballot. Obviously their expectations were way off. They have no authority to force anything on anybody. You want to make changes Andy, run for a place in our local seats and make your case. In the mean time don't force your (anti-mall) agendas on me and the town. I have a new phrase for you anti-mall zealots. It's anti-American job creation.
Andy Schmidt March 07, 2012 at 07:36 PM
From talking among friends and acquaintances I had figured that the opinion was about evenly split - so I'm not at all surprised that almost as many voters were in favor, as were against. >> push their own personal agendas down our local government's throat << We ARE "our local government". A referendum is not pushing anything down anyone's throat - it's a poll to determine majority opinion, to avoid "minority rule". There are different ways to conduct democracy. One is representative (which is how day-to-day business is conducted in town: we elect a council in hopes that they'll be attentive to the electorate and respect their will), and the other is direct (where the people decide on a matter by direct vote - which is what was done here). Both are perfectly valid and legal ways to come to a decision. No matter how the decision is made, their will always be a minority that has to accept the majority rule. When your representative's don't fulfill your obligations, you can wait until the end of their term to replace them. If, however, time is of the essence, then a more direct path is needed - thus the referendum.
Hank March 07, 2012 at 08:19 PM
do you think "stop the mall" thought it was evenly split when they pushed for a referendum?
JP March 07, 2012 at 09:03 PM
I beg your pardon. These representatives that we (both of us) elected DID fulfill their obligations. Need I remind you again that your view is no more valid then mine is (however much you want to believe it is), neither is the Stop Mall group's who were numbered 400 (eventually 2000 with the petition) BEFORE any referendum was taken. There would have been no need for the referendum if it was not forced on the town council. Why do you insist on being so presumptuous in saying that our council did not do their jobs. I say they did do their jobs, and so does most of this town, because they ELECTED them to do their jobs for the people in the first place. How dare you. There are people in this town that obviously think they can do a better job. OK, go for it and run. Let's see it. Put your money where your mouths are, but don't spend MY town's tax revenue defending (or siding with) ridiculous lawsuits.
JP March 07, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Nope, people were telling me they had the whole town behind them. They thought it be a landslide. Rose tinted glasses.
Mahwah Resident March 07, 2012 at 09:21 PM
You want to talk about voters? How about the over 2000 people who VOTED in opposition to the mall on the ballot question. Quit playing the victim card, you're no victim, you just waited too long to speak up. The local govt should be the most responsive to the people they govern. Have you gone door to door in Mahwah and asked what people's opinions were? I have, and the majority are in opposition to the Mall. As for having no legs to stand on I admit that the local govt is shutting us down at many key points. But we still have the law suit and the possibility of equitable exceptions being made. This mall would open the door for more shopping centers and cause the future mentality of "hey its not as big as the crossroads mall so why not?" and that's when a town turns into Paramus. Paramus used to be mostly farmland, now its all big retail.
Mahwah Resident March 07, 2012 at 09:21 PM
You may be thinking, that's a bigger mall, you'd be right,100k sqft bigger. But with the crossroads mall I predict that the campus of "town center" shops will become enclosed and be added on to. And then it will easily be a larger mall. As for fighting a losing battle, I refuse to consign this effort to failure. Even as the numbers are dwindling, I will still attend every meeting and encourage others to do the same. Because I care about the town I've lived in for most of my life and I don't want to see it ruined by commercial retail. It’s not even about the mall anymore, it’s about the local govt listening to the people. So like it or not, I'm going o keep speaking at town meetings to encourage them to reject the developer's application, which they can still do! If you want to speak up, by all means come to the meetings! Or are you like Hank who'd rather sit idly by and watch TV?
Andy Schmidt March 07, 2012 at 09:23 PM
>> your view is no more valid then mine is << finally we agree! >> (however much you want to believe it is) << mindreading again?
Hank March 07, 2012 at 11:30 PM
During Mahwah Day I ran into a group of STM (this was when they had maybe a couple hundred signs through town.) I said to one of them that I did not see any pro mall signs. He said that's because no one wants the mall.
Gottardo DiGiacopo March 08, 2012 at 12:42 AM
And that surprised you Hank? what did you expect that person would or should say about no pro-mall signs? in one of JP's 4,000 word comments a few months back he did some ridiculous arithmetic that to him proved only a tiny slice of people in Mahwah were opposed to the mall (was that somehow less ludicrous). anyone who doesn't want this mall (the majority according to a recent referendum vote) should complain all they want; it couldn't be more american! And i don't think anyones gonna jump off a bridge because patch alphabets or nicknames said they were anti-american-jobs! they'll probably be inspired to bitch more!
Gottardo DiGiacopo March 08, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Hank commented on the article Anti-Mall Group Releases 'Mahwah At A Crossroads' Video "I can't even figure out why you two guys would be against the mall. There are 6,000 people at Ramapo between the ages of 18 and 22 about a mile away from the mall. It could very easily become "college town" with bars and live music etc." **This is at the heart all the wasted words back and forth " you can't understand why these young men wouldn't want this, a potential hang-out with bars and music?? here's the answer Hank and JP: because they are different than you!! they like other things. they have different values. they are unselfish. they care about our air, land and water. they care about stag hill and the brae. they care about west mahwah and the west ward. they care about suffern. they care about justice and injustice. they care about power and money corrupting business and politics. the world has changed alot; they want it to change more. they've watched "the story of stuff" years ago and "kony 2012" more recently. they are unselfish. they are different than you.
Hank March 08, 2012 at 02:23 AM
I was pointing out that the people I talked to were delusional. The referendum proved me right. on the college town.........gotcha!
JP March 08, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Too funny.
JP March 08, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Yes, it was significant math. And please, b*tch a lot more. The more you speak up the more ammo the lawyers have to use in court if necessary.
JP March 08, 2012 at 02:35 AM
I also care deeply about all those things, but I also don't like to see a site becoming the town's eyesore when that site could be developed without effecting anyone else, provide hundreds of jobs, and be a nice place to shop and go for entertainment, and be an additional thing to highlight in a town value video. You against all that Gottardo?
JP March 08, 2012 at 02:55 AM
Here's the problem with what you are saying: I'm not the victim, the victim seems to be the stop mall group as they are the ones whining about the destruction of Mahwah civilization as we know it. It's an emotional outcry with no factual basis which itself was actually "Johnny Come Lately" because the zoning changes had been in effect for 5 months before you managed to intimidate the council enough to change it back. Your lawsuit is probably going to be thrown out because the judge will ask you what are your monetary damages if the mall goes through? What are they? Do you have that figure, or is the lawsuit just an emotional expression of your anger as I assume it to be? You'll need to prove damages. What are they? (and oh BTW, the developers, they WOULD have damages in the unlikely event you did manage to stop them, you don't) As to your assumption that the mall will eventually be enclosed, (if it ever happened) that would have to go through the permit process and be approved before it could commence. I'm sure people like you would form a "Stop the Roof" group or something. - BTW, that is my one objection to this mall as it is. If you're going to spend the money on constructing something like this, why in the world wouldn't you enclose it from the start? But who am I to complain. -
JP March 08, 2012 at 02:59 AM
So like you David, I'm going to continue to advocate for the mall and oppose the stop mall group as much and as often as I can here on Patch (unless they get sick of me and delete me). We get a much more public audience here where everyone can read what each of us say without the limitations and time constrains of the town hall meetings (which can get quickly out of control as we've seen in the past). If you want to continue to visit the belly of the beast, be my guest. I've seen enough of those mall meetings to know they aren't listening to any of you.
JP March 08, 2012 at 03:21 AM
Let me try an elaborate what I mean for you Andy, maybe I can articulate it better with another example. When the town had new construction projects like the Stryker campus, and the huge stock exchange data center construction (projects equivalent to or even greater in size then this mall plaza (the mall is actually 50% empty parking)) there were no referendums asking us to approve or disapprove the construction even though zoning variances HAD to be permitted for both sites because they both did not totally conform to site specifics (just like the mall). For example, Stryker needed variances because they use cadavers on site and their use requires very strict adherence to health regulations, refrigeration, etc. Totally beyond normal office zoning. Stryker also has a foundry on site which was also outside the normal office complex zoning. The council weighed the pros and cons and zoned appropriately for construction to commence. Now... there might have been 400 people who were also opposed to both these developments, but because they weren't vocal enough to press their opposition, nothing happened and everything proceeded as planned after normal town hall meetings. Moving forward to the mall, a project also needing zone changes just like the others, someone (S Chin) decides she doesn't like the project and forms a hit group to intimidate the council into a referendum (which they knowingly made non-binding so it didn't matter what the vote was)....
JP March 08, 2012 at 03:25 AM
So what I'm trying to make clear to you is that just because a project needed zoning changes does not automatically necessitate the need for a public referendum. The changes are no different or more elaborate then zoning changes we have issued in the past for other companies. The difference with this one is solely the emotional baggage that people seem to have with this project and I don't get it, because this development will make that site much better then it is now traffic or no traffic, and create jobs for people..
Gottardo DiGiacopo March 09, 2012 at 01:30 AM
*In this moment of quiet i'd like to offer a response that would have otherwise been lost in the last two days. Andy Schmidt repeatedly had the word "corruption" attributed to him, and repeatedly he had to deny using it. it was unfair to assign Andy my word. *CORRUPTION is "an impairment of integrity, virtue or moral principle." Corruption does not have to include criminality... they are two differnt things. words often have precise meanings, and sometimes we can make mistakes, and as often meanings are projected onto our words that were not intended. * Hank used the word "OMERTA" to describe a part of his brand of manliness. Omerta has a lovely sound but it's ugly, as is americas romanticized infatuation with bad-boys, ie the mafia. i thought that hank probably meant some kind of chivalrous loyalty, so i let that word slide (even though it is a corrupt, and often criminal, mentality). when you have money, Omerta is the Corleones, the Ghottis, and the Madoffs. if you have no money, then Omerta is called Gang Mentality. recap: Corruption is not Criminality. Omerta is not Moral-Loyalty. we all can, do, and will continue to, make mistakes. Andy never said corruption; i did and meant it the way i described. Hank said Omerta but i speculate he meant something better (unless he tells me otherwise).
Hank March 09, 2012 at 03:44 AM
Sorry I cannot answer you during the moment of quiet
Mahwah Resident March 12, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Hank and JP you really need to get out from under whatever rock you've been isolating yourselves under. You two are pretty ridiculous. I'll be at the meeting tonight, if you care as much as you say you do, you'll be there too. Gottardo: Thanks for your kind and encouraging words a few posts up!
JP March 13, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Ridiculous isn't half of what I can be said about Stop Mall, David. It's beyond reality.

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