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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Stender's unexpected [negative] economic impact

Visit Linda Stender's campgaign website HERE.

Linda Stender's campaign is having an unexpected economic impact on Fanwood, one that is not winning her any friends.

First, let me say that I have known Linda for years, since she was Mayor of Fanwood and I was an agent at Burgdorff Realtors, in the same office she is now using for her headquarters.

Not only have I known her, I have supported her in her electoral career -- and would vote for her today if Plainfield were still in her Congressional District.

But I am also a customer of the barber who shares the parking lot with Linda's campaign volunteers. And therein lies the rub, and the unexpected negative impact of her campaign on Fanwood's economy.

Arriving for my haircut appointment Tuesday afternoon, I was startled to find the barber's customer slots completely filled, by cars with out-of-state license plates.

I swooped around the block and got a space in the municipal lot that abuts Linda's HQ and my barber. Not much of a big deal.

However, while getting my haircut, I mentioned the matter to Ron, my barber, who volunteered that his business had fallen off since the Stender headquarters had opened and that many of his drop-in customers kept on driving when they saw there were no parking spaces in the customer slots, assuming he was full up.

He was, instead, waiting with scissors poised in mid-air so to speak, and an empty barber's chair.

When my haircut was finished, I took a walk over to the Stender headquarters, where I soon found a young man who was 'in charge'.

I told him of the plight of the barber (and no doubt other merchants that rely on this lot for customer parking: a bagel shop, a deli, and a pet groomer), and suggested it might be excellent community relations for the campaign to have volunteers leave at least SOME rooom for the folks who keep the Fanwood retail economy humming.

I was assured my concern would be addressed, though it did not escape my attention that the young man was eager for me to be on my way so he could get back to important work.

I'll be dropping by the Stender headquarters today to see if the situation is improved.

And I'll report back, one way or the other.

UPDATE: I drove by about 2:30 PM Wednesday, and in the customer spaces for the other businesses there were the following cars: 1 with D.C. plates, 1 with N.C. plates, one with N.Y. plates, and two with current Rutgers student decals, all with Obama bumper or window stickers.

UPDATE 2: Checking the parking lot out about 2 PM Thursday, I noted the customer slots were actually available for customers. Though one of the other retailers, who opens earlier than the barber shop, told me that the lot was parked full before he opened up. Count that as progress.

-- Dan Damon