Belleville Mayor: if Joe D. Could Back Christie, Melham can Back Ciattarelli

Mayor Melham of Belleville

In a free-ranging InsiderNJ interview this afternoon, Belleville Mayor Michael Melham explained his reasons for backing Republican nominee Jack Ciattarelli over Democratic incumbent Governor Phil Murphy.

“It stemmed from a one on one conversation that we had,” Melham said. “My press conference on the water situation was viewed as a wipe [at Murphy]. But they didn’t see the months of frustration I had living in the shadow of Newark [during the developing lead pipe crisis].”

Melham described a call he had with then-Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe.

“As I border line-begged for filters for Belleville, I has to listen to them say no, just before they handed Newark a million dollars for a PR campaign to teach people who to use the filters. It was infuriating to me, and as I tried to speak up, I was disconnected from the call.”

Melham said he has no problem with Newark Mayor Ras Baraka – the contrary – or with the LD29 Democratic lawmakers who represent Belleville.

Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo?

“I’ve called him the Robert Moses of our county parks,” the Belleville mayor said.

But Murphy?

He just doesn’t back him.

It wasn’t just the water.

“Taking that freedom away from people was a bad move,” Melham said, referring to the governor’s decision to implement all-vote-by-mail election.

Does the mayor fear, however, a potentially suddenly embarrassment-animated county party organization going into Belleville next year to interfere with his own reelection chances?

He doesn’t, he said.

DiVincenzo backed Republican incumbent Governor Chris Christie in 2013, so the idea that he would be miffed now by Melham – an independent – going with Ciattarelli, seems intellectually dishonest, at the very least.

Not that such a condition ever got in the way in New Jersey.

Melham talked too about his thoughts on Ciattarelli and the Republican’s campaign positions, his LG options, redistricting and how it might impact Belleville, and New Jersey politics.

For the (FULL!) InsiderNJ interview with Mayor Melham, please see below:

 

 

(Visited 1,126 times, 1 visits today)
  • Michael Sheldon

    Mendacious Melham failed to explain what actually happened regarding his PR stunt regarding the water filter matter. After having a well-televised press conference and publicly stating that he had set up a 1-page website to gather the names and contact info for those Belleville residents who wanted water filters with the expressed intention of sending those names to DEP Commissioner McCabe as a would-be digital petition, that never happened. How do I know? Because I OPRA’d the records from both the NJ DEP and Belleville Town Hall. The NJ DEP office responded late last year (and a year after Mendacious Melham pulled this stunt) that they never received any water filter related petition from him and/or Belleville. And when I asked the Belleville Town Manager for copies of all related materials (and after Melham said during an October 2020 Council meeting were sent to the DEP), all they were able to provide to me was the list of names, addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, etc. from that water filter website. No cover letter in the form of a petition statement was provided…because it doesn’t exist as confirmed by the NJ DEP.

    All Melham apparently did was stage a phony effort to exploit the situation to harvest a campaign list. And since that time, many of the people who thought they were simply giving their info to obtain a water filter apparently have instead been sent campaign literature and fundraiser requests by Melham’s political machine.

  • Michael Sheldon

    Mendacious Melham failed to explain what actually happened regarding his PR stunt with the water filter matter. After having a well-televised press conference and publicly stating that he had set up a 1-page website to gather the names and contact info for those Belleville residents who wanted water filters with the expressed intention of sending those names to DEP Commissioner McCabe as a would-be digital petition, that never happened. How do I know? Because I OPRA’d the records from both the NJ DEP and Belleville Town Hall. The NJ DEP office responded late last year (and a year after Mendacious Melham pulled this stunt) that they never received any water filter related petition from him and/or Belleville. And when I asked the Belleville Town Manager for copies of all related materials (which Melham said during an October 2020 Council meeting had been sent to the DEP), all they were able to provide to me was the list of names, addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, etc. from that water filter website. No cover letter in the form of a petition statement was provided…because it doesn’t exist as confirmed by the NJ DEP.

    All Melham apparently did was stage a phony effort to exploit the situation to harvest a campaign list. And since that time, many of the people who thought they were simply giving their info to obtain a water filter apparently have instead been sent campaign literature and fundraiser requests by Melham’s local political machine.

  • Michael Sheldon

    It’s also unfortunate that Mr. Pizarro didn’t ask Melham about the painting hanging behind him. The issue here? The painting, which dates back to the early 1800’s and has an assessed value of about $150,000, actually belongs to the Belleville Historical Society and not the Township nor its Public Library. The Belleville Historical Society had allowed our Public Library to display the painting since for the last several decades on the expressed condition that it would always remain in our Library for ready public access. Last year and during the Covid crisis with our Library shutdown to the public from March through July, Melham, who also exploited his role as an ex officio member of our library board of trustees to make himself president of the same in 2020, then introduced a resolution in June 2020, which allowed him to make off with this very valuable painting and relocate it to his recently renovated private Town Hall office, with the resolution unequivocally stating that he could retain possession of the painting as long as he remains mayor.

    When the Belleville Historical Society learned earlier this year what Melham had done with their painting, they demanded its immediate return to our Library. At that point, the criminal co-conspiracy begins between Melham, the Library Trustees, and its counsel. They then immediately pivoted changing the painting’s illegal relocation to a specious argument that the library roof was leaking and Melham’s procurement of the painting was actually to safeguard it until roof repairs are made. However, the roof and library atrium area (where the painting was displayed) didn’t begin to show any water infiltration issues until February of this year following the major snowstorm we had at the start of that month and 7+ full months after Melham had already removed the painting. The atrium is a relatively new structure, which had its official dedication ceremony in September 2016. Moreover, if you review the library board meeting minutes for all of 2020, there is not one mention of any roof leakage problems. And to add insult to injury, this spring our Public Library featured a multiple painting display in this same “leaking” atrium.

    Mendacious Melham coveted the painting and saw having it in his private office as an arrogant (illegal) entitlement and point of personal privilege. In fact, at one point before he concocted the roof leakage cover story, he publicly argued that if the White House could borrow art work from the Smithsonian and other national galleries, so should he have the right to take the Belleville Historical Society’s painting.

    The law was clearly violated here and in the process Melham committed a 2nd degree felony owing to the value of the painting as described under “Theft by Deception/Trickery” legal code carrying 5-10 years in prison and a fine of $15,000.

    Criminal complaints have been filed by the Belleville Historical Society and they patiently wait any related action from prosecutors.

  • Michael Sheldon

    And in regard to Mendacious Melham’s political affiliation, he had been a registered republican until the start of 2017 wherein he filed a voter registration address change form and in the process changed his affiliation to “U” (see image below). In fact, his voting history clearly shows him voting in those primaries during the last 20 years as a registered republican.

    But wait, there’s more!!!!

    He has been publicly confronted for illegally voting in Belleville during the period 2011 through 2016 when he was clearly a legal resident of Lyndhurst (see the video link below for the all the details). And while he has pathologically maintained he has always been a legal resident of Belleville, note that his voter registration address change form clearly shows his former legal voting address was 434 Park Place in Lyndhurst. He had to change his address back to Belleville in 2017 in order to be eligible to run for mayor along with the fact that Democrats outnumber Republicans in Belleville by a 3-1 margin.

    At the very least, he committed personal voting fraud in May 2014 when he attempted to vote in the Belleville Municipal election and was initially stopped in the process. He was asked to show his drivers license by a poll worker and he refused to do so. He came back to the polling station later on with a utility bill from his Mother’s home, which is located in Belleville, and allowed to fill a provisional ballot.

    This type of “False Affirmation” is itself a 4th degree felony and punishable by 18 months in prison for each count.

    Video: https://youtu.be/6NblKA80iRk?list=PLbGivgS5KqNLO3R6tahv0ZmAcLuwzYtrY

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1d97f80bc2c4390890ee29bbabd61e4b29b02ac5e6b868e84c0972aaceab0403.jpg

  • Michael Sheldon

    Mendacious Melham often likes to brag that he is politically well-connected and has friends in high places citing his friendship with Newark’s Mayor, Ras Baraka. But does Mayor Baraka know that the last time Melham was an elected official, he openly called for the building of a wall along the Belleville-Newark border to keep the latter’s populace out of Belleville reflecting an abhorrent amount of racism in the process.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e5d87f49182708b15657aee7bc13c3024845c3cc9dc6cdd468a59346b84586bf.png

    As Maya Angelou wrote, when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.

  • Michael Sheldon

    in regard to Mendacious Melham’s political affiliation, he had been a registered republican until the start of 2017 wherein he filed a voter registration address change form and in the process changed his affiliation to “U” (see video below). In fact, his voting history clearly shows him voting in those primaries during the last 20 years as a registered republican.

    But wait, there’s more!!!!

    He has been publicly confronted for illegally voting in Belleville during the period 2011 through 2016 when he was clearly a legal resident of Lyndhurst (see the video link below for the all the details). And while he has pathologically maintained he has always been a legal resident of Belleville, note that his voter registration address change form clearly shows his former legal voting address was 434 Park Place in Lyndhurst. He had to change his address back to Belleville in 2017 in order to be eligible to run for mayor along with the fact that Democrats outnumber Republicans in Belleville by a 3-1 margin.

    At the very least, he committed personal voting fraud in May 2014 when he attempted to vote in the Belleville Municipal election and was initially stopped in the process. He was asked to show his drivers license by a poll worker and he refused to do so. He came back to the polling station later on with a utility bill from his Mother’s home, which is located in Belleville, and allowed to fill a provisional ballot.

    This type of “False Affirmation” is itself a 4th degree felony and punishable by 18 months in prison for each count.

    Video: https://youtu.be/6NblKA80iRk?list=PLbGivgS5KqNLO3R6tahv0ZmAcLuwzYtrY

News From Around the Web

The Political Landscape