North Jersey News Roundup for Nov. 5, 2020

Two Democrats maintained their lead in the 25th Legislative District special election. With just under 50% of ballots counted in Morris and Somerset Counties, Democrat Rupande Mehta currently leads incumbent State Sen. Anthony M. Bucco (R-25) by 855 votes for the remainder of late State Sen. Anthony R. Bucco, the incumbent’s father, as of 3 p.m. Nov. 4. In the race for the unexpired Assembly term created by Bucco going to the Senate, Darcy Draeger leads Assemblywoman Aura Dunn (R-25) by 2,289.

Joe Biden gained ground on President Donald Trump in Georgia and Pennsylvania, but his lead diminished in Arizona Nov. 4. Those three states along with Nevada and North Carolina are the only state’s who have yet to declare a winner. The President’s campaign is taking legal action in Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania to contest the way votes are being counted, while indicating it will seek a recount of the vote in Wisconsin. The New York Times

New Jersey election officials gathered up late-arriving mail ballots at drop boxes across the state the day after the election. Officials described a variety of bureaucratic and technical flaws that continue to hamper workers sorting through the more than 4 million ballots cast, including votes loaded into the system appeared to disappear, or were never registered, forcing workers to backtrack as ballots piled up and the state’s “Track My Vote” website confusing to voters who reported trouble signing on and following the progress of their ballots. NJ Spotlight News

Yousef Saleh is on his way to defeating four others in the special election for the Ward D city council seat in Jersey City. Saleh, who was appointed to the seat after the death of Michael Yun earlier this year, had 58% of the vote with 42% tabulated so far. Patrick Ambrossi, his nearest challenger, had 16%. The Jersey Journal

Jersey City will be the first municipality in New Jersey to establish an Arts and Culture Trust Fund. The trust will be funded by taxpayers through a tax of $0.02 per $100 of assessed property value to be used to support creative and cultural activities, including visual and fine arts, music, dance, graphic design and film. Hudson Reporter

Voters in Upper Saddle River, Demarest and Teaneck, along with Lafayette in Sussex County voted in favor of open space initiatives. The closest open-space contest was in Upper Saddle River, where residents voted 1,341 to 1,239 in favor of taxing themselves 1 cent per $100 of assessed value for a set period of five years in order to finance ball fields on existing township property. Demarest residents voted 953-533 for a penny-per-$100 open space tax, while in Teaneck voters said yes to a four-year, 1-penny open space tax by a vote of 4,912 to 2,630. Lafayette residents voted 477 to 361 in favor of allowing its existing open space levy to be spent on improvements to property already in the borough’s hands, in addition to new acquisitions.

First-time candidate David Watson became the first Black candidate ever elected in Bayonne when he won a Board of Education seat.  Watson, a professional musician, unseated incumbent Michael Alonso, an often dissident trustee who ran on the “Make Bayonne Great Again” slate. The Jersey Journal

Oregon and Washington state were added to New Jersey’s travel advisory relating to the coronavirus, bringing the total to 43 states and territories. The update continues the state’s policy originally developed with Connecticut and New York, even as the latter recently altered theirs for a more active approach in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Gov. Phil Murphy earned $2.7 million and paid $1 million in state and federal taxes in 2019, according to a summary of his tax returns. The governor and his wife, Tammy, have seen their income fluctuate in recent years, dropping off since he took office in 2018, when they earned $2.2 million, down from $6.8 million in 2017.

New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission added drivers who can’t renew their licenses online to make appointments to go to agency locations. While most license renewals can be completed online, appointments are offered only for people who are not eligible to do so. That includes drivers who hold a temporary visa or a probationary license, as well as Commercial Drivers. Appointments are scheduled on a rolling, 30-day basis.

A new law banning businesses from handing out single-use plastic bags, polystyrene food containers, plastic straws and paper bags in New Jersey was signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy. The bans apply to a variety of businesses, including restaurants, convenience stores, food trucks, movie theaters and grocery stores that are 2,500-sq. ft. or larger.

A group of Woodcliff Lake residents filed a lawsuit to stop a local Orthodox Jewish congregation from expanding its house of worship. The Superior Court lawsuit, filed by Woodcliff Lake Citizens Against Overdevelopment, seeks to invalidate a settlement agreement between the borough and federal prosecutors, who intervened to protect the Valley Chabad from discriminatory land use. Prosecutors agreed to drop the case against Woodcliff Lake in exchange for the borough paying the Valley Chabad $1.5 million to help complete its 20,000-sq. ft. expansion on Overlook Drive. The Record

And finally…Paterson reopened Anthony Lucas Park after $200,000 face-lift. The Record

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.