By John Cox
Last night’s city council meeting was a real doozy. Into the twilight hours dozens of residents testified to the council their disapproval for the proposed redevelopment of the Resnick’s Hardware Store on 47th Street and Broadway. Some residents were for redeveloping the site, but had many issues with the proposed 10 stories and massive parking deck the developer wants to build in their back yards. The meeting was heated at moments and ended with a bizarre “vote” (Seen Below) that one political observer said he’d “never seen before. ”
Many residents expressed their concerns with the project. Many asked why the Council was in such a rush to push this project through? Then city resident Matt Kopko got up to speak and dropped a bombshell. “Is Michael DeMarco your brother?” he asked City Business Administrator Joe DeMarco. “Yes, Sir” DeMarco replied. Michael DeMarco is the CEO of Mack-Cali. The proposed development would be built by a Mack-Cali subsidiary. “Do you have any mechanism to determine if the council is in conflict?” Kopko then asked.
Councilman Perez did not attend the meeting last night, leaving 4 members to vote. According to city law, a tie kills any proposed ordinance in that case. After a failed motion to table the vote, Councilman LaPelsua expressed his concern with the project and voted no. Councilman Gullace, who voted yes to table the project, then voted no to the proposed ordinance, which would have effectively killed the project. That is until the city clerk and other members of the Davis Administration and Council stopped to ask Gullace, if he was sure about his vote? Gullace seemed confused, Council President Nadrowski then moved to table the vote for next meeting amongst groans from the crowd. The vote was then tabled 4-0.