Having taught in public schools for 32 years prior to my retirement, I tend to follow local school related issues. As a 40-year resident of East Brunswick let me make it clear that I have no personal connection to the Hatikvah Charter School—neither through the students nor the employees. Nonetheless, I did attend the December town council meeting.
The purpose of the meeting was to address a request made by two East Brunswick residents that appealed the unanimous decision of the zoning board, which had granted approval for Hatikvah to relocate to a facility on Lexington Avenue. Hatikvah has been renting space at the Trinity Presbyterian Church on Cranbury Road for the past three years.
It was made clear that the school had already held two public hearings, retained experts in various fields such as traffic engineers, environmental consultants, and planners, had successfully gone through the formality of the zoning board process, and ultimately received unanimous approval of the zoning board to build a permanent home for the school on the property in question.
To an objective observer, the tone of the council appeared accusatory. Rather than acknowledging the validation and approval of the zoning board, the council appeared to be conducting a trial in an attempt to overrule the decision.
It seemed as though the council was either contradicting the decision or perhaps questioning its own lack of trust and faith in a board whose members were appointed by none other than the town council members themselves.
In either case, I was saddened to have witnessed what appeared to be an undermining of the political process.
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