Most of you have never heard of me. My name is David Sivella.
I’ve served as a political operative for politicians around the country. For New Jersey, I have served as a Board of Education member in Wood-Ridge, a staffer in Lyndhurst municipal government, Bergen County government, the New Jersey legislature, the U.S. Congress and in the U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C.
The last time I ran for public office was 1999, just shy of 20 years ago. Frankly, after investing two years of my life in two losing close elections (1997 for state legislature and 1999 for Bergen County Freeholder), I’ve never given a second thought to running again. So, rest assured I’m not seeking your vote or your approval for what I say on Lyndhurst07071.com.
I started this site because I had a large role in putting into office in Lyndhurst people (Giangeruso, DiMaggio, Montillo, et al) who are now totally out of control, drunk with power and limited by arrogance, stupidity and a complete lack of ethics.
This administration has morphed into what it is today from a conversation Richie DiLascio and I had in the Tick Tock Diner in 2005.
I sought Richie out a few days before the filing deadline for Board of Commissioners that March because I had been getting an unusual number of letters from people in Lyndhurst as the Chief of Staff to Assemblyman Paul DiGaetano (R-36). The letters all complained about the designation of nearly all of Lyndhurst as an area in need of re-development by the Commission in power at that time. So, I encouraged Richie to field a ticket, something he had not considered before. He selected Bobby Giangeruso and Tommy DiMaggio, among two others. (I note to readers that DiGaetano was the same Republican Majority Leader I had nearly beaten eight years earlier as a Democrat. Unlike the extraordinarily immature local politicians to which Lyndhurst is accustom, we were just one example of what many decent politicians do: put aside Party loyalty and differences to work together for the public good.)
Richie and I haven’t spoken for years, but I think readers need to understand that my respect for him is why I have been mostly silent about Richie DiLascio on this site. We disagree on issues, school plans, approvals of senior housing, his time as Township Attorney under this mayor, etc. He’s not perfect, no one is, but I have never seen him as rotten to the core like the characters he has given us. And most of all, he is no longer in power, the people he chose are. If Richie was in power and doing this stuff today, I wouldn’t be so kind.
I left the Administration in 2013, almost immediately after DiLascio left office, due to these issues and issues currently in Federal Court, so I won’t expand on them here, other than to share this article:
Instead, I focused on what I could do as a private citizen, outside of government, to better our town.
First on my “political agenda” (as Bobby likes to call it) was changing the form of Lyndhurst government, from an antiquated and corruption prone Commission form to a more modern and professional form.
The other big Lyndhurst issue I played a role in as a private citizen in recent years, was my attempt to block in the courts the passage of the Township’s municipal financing of the new Junior High School for the Board of Education.
I’m not against public education, I’m against poor public education decisions. I refer to the wasteful decision to build what is now approaching a sixty-million dollar Junior High School, before even attempting to use that money in a pool of funds to regionalize a high quality academic and vocational system achievable by marshaling resources of several surrounding towns to create a South Bergen Regional High School and Technical School. With adjoining towns also currently spending large sums dealing with the expense of decaying school infrastructures that need upgrading, Lyndhurst was squandering a real opportunity to do more for less. In 2016, I was trying to delay the Junior High School project, until hopefully a new administration was elected that could address this better. Instead, in 2017 Richard Jarvis joined John Montillo as a Commissioner, both with NO-BID school contracts and therefore big conflicts on the subject.
I think this Junior High School is an awful concept, which can be understood as such if you just look down the road a few decades. The staggering of grades in Lyndhurst is now inconsistent with the area, and most of the state, greatly hindering future flexibility for pooling resources with other towns. Plus, a regional High School would be both more cost effective and provide for a larger high school population with which to enable a broader curriculum and vocational training as options to prepare future students for the real world, with or without college.
But not in Lyndhurst. These hacks want all local control to control all local jobs for their families and friends. So, they tied up Lyndhurst’s borrowing capacity for decades on what I consider a very flawed local plan.
What does haunt me, is that what I did years ago has resulted in Bobby Giangeruso and Tommy DiMaggio, corrupt incompetents that they are, being left alone in power today. Political appointees from out-of-town call the shots here now, over a town and people I care about. But what does really bother me most, is these elected officials using a public trust so blatantly and unapologetically for unethical personal gain.
I’m running this site because they have (especially the obnoxious DiMaggio Family) attempted repeatedly and illegally to silence Free Speech to prevent the public from finding out what they are doing with public business. As a former “insider”, I’m among the few who actually understands what is going on in Lyndhurst and has the ability, both financially and otherwise, to explain it to you.
I understand the history too. My family moved here in 1926. I’m 57 now, and I spent my childhood growing up in Lyndhurst at my grandmother’s house in the 1960s and 1970s, a house my Dad owned then and I’ve owned over a decade.
So it especially pains me to witness what is happening to Lyndhurst today, under their regime, given my role in putting these people where they are. It is my moral obligation to the many decent folks of Lyndhurst to do my best fix this mess.
You can take this site or leave it. No one is forcing you to read it.
Time changes us all. Things that I did not grasp in the past, I see painfully and clearly today. I refer to Lyndhurst, once warm and family oriented in a good way, now all about the abuses of power by families in a very bad way.
Bullying. Corruption. Mismanagement. Nepotism and worse. This is their Lyndhurst. It isn’t mine.
Is it yours?