A recent meeting of the Lyndhurst Town Council unveiled pressing town matters that elicited substantial public engagement, none more so than the impassioned plea of a resident now homeless due to a disputed tax discrepancy. Ms. Perkowski confronted the council, alleging she was wrongfully taxed for a property she didn’t own, leading to her current residence in a shelter.
Ms. Perkowski’s plight was the most notable issue of the meeting. She claimed she was incorrectly billed for a two-family dwelling on a double lot, instead of her single-family house. The substantial discrepancy resulted in her losing the property, becoming homeless, and now living in a shelter. “I have proof that I was taxed for the wrong house and I have all this stuff from a lawyer, but I couldn’t afford the lawyer,” she said. However, in a stark display of lack of empathy, the council’s attorney directed her to resolve the issue through the court system. This pointed response stirred up consternation among attendees.
In addition to this heartrending narrative, several other noteworthy topics were tackled during the session. The future of the Lincoln School property was a subject of keen interest. The council revealed that a specialized environmental consulting company, RJB Environmental, was reviewing the property for necessary remediation. The likely demolition of the building, due to its age and extensive deterioration, fueled speculation of a potential mixed-use development, combining housing and retail. However, the council member emphasized, “Nothing’s been discussed or reviewed yet.”
The town’s advancement into green energy and community projects also formed part of the meeting’s proceedings. Council member Ello revealed plans for installing electric vehicle charging stations across town, backed by incentives from the utility company. “We’ve been looking into electric vehicle charging stations and programs out there from the utility company that are offering incentives to do work on the property in order to upgrade the services,” she stated. Updates were also provided on the HVAC project at the town pool, the installation of LED lighting upgrades across public buildings, and the completion of bocce ball courts.
Amid the heated debates and discussions, the meeting also encompassed procedural obligations, including passing multiple ordinances. Notable among these were ordinance numbers 3158-23, authorizing various public improvements and acquisitions summing up to $2,745,000, and ordinance 3167-23, aimed at establishing the annual salary of the Deputy Chief of Police, a position currently vacant.
The resonating issue of Ms. Perkowski’s dispute, however, underscored the role of local governance in addressing community matters, serving as a stark reminder of the very personal impact of town council decisions.