This week's Suburbanite reports on the Council's request that the Board of Education permit police vehicles to park in the lot at 1 Merrison Street, the former elementary school building that houses the BoE's administrative offices. While the headline of the story reads "BOE lot likely to become home of Teaneck police vehicles," the unenthusiastic response of BoE president Ardie Walser to the Council's request suggests that an affirmative response is far from assured.
The Suburbanite quotes Walser detailing the difficulties facing the BoE as it copes with budget cuts resulting from the loss of state aid and voters' defeat of a proposed budget that would have raised property taxes to make up the shortfall. On the surface, this has little or nothing to do with whether or not the BoE would permit this use of its parking lot by municipal vehicles. There is, presumably, no financial cost associated with the plan. But Walser's protest that the BoE is so busy with dealing with its fiscal problems that it is not focused on the Council's request for parking spaces is actually quite revealing. The comments display the BoE's lingering resentment toward the Council over this spring's budget process and suggest an unwillingness to work together with the Council even on an issue that not otherwise controversial.
Walser goes on to try to justify the postponement or even the eventual rejection of the Council's request by setting an unreasonable standard, declaring that the plan would be considered "If the council can demonstrate how allowing police vehicles to park in the BOE parking lot will benefit the children of Teaneck." Why should such an innocuous plan request that diverts no resources from the school system but simply maximizes the utility of existing resources (all of which were paid for by Teaneck's taxpayers) carry the burden of proof? This is a sorry excuse for a shameful pettiness that benefits nobody. Teaneck should be better than this.