Ned Feldman

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Ned Feldman

Hon. Ned Feldman
Born April 24, 1917
Nationality American
Home town Englewood, NJ
Religious beliefs Jewish


Ned Feldman was born on April 24, 1917. Mayor of Englewood from 1970-1971. [1] In a recent interview [2], he reflected on his historic mayoralty. Feldman was Mayor of Englewood for only two years, but he had an impact on this small suburban city which reverberates to this day, four decades later. It was during those two years, 1970 and 1971, that the political logjam which had stymied a rational solution to the City's disgraceful slum housing problem was finally broken. It was during those years that the power of the Republican in-group which had controlled our politics for much of the 20th century was ended for good. Feldman was a forceful leader who made the most of his position as mayor, a position which had (and has) limited legal authority under Englewood's unusual system of government.

Feldman is a New Jersey native and a veteran of World War II. A self-made man, he worked his way through college and law school and founded his own investment banking firm. Prior to becoming mayor, he was active in the community, including service as President of the Jewish Community Center and of the Community Chest. ... Before the program could be implemented, however, the Democrats lost control, with the election in 1969 of Republican Mayor Ned Feldman and Councilman-at-Large Hank Boemi. After taking office, Feldman, although a Republican, did not, however, accept direction from the local Republican leadership, in the person of State Senator David Van Alstyne, Jr.. ... Procedural difficulties in Washington had followed the advent of the Republican Nixon administration in 1969, and Englewood's application for federal urban renewal funding was in serious trouble until Feldman took a hand. He journeyed to Washington in 1970, met with Housing & Urban Development Secretary George Romney, and persuaded Romney to restore Englewood's funding, a $4.18 million grant. Later an additional $5 million was allocated by HUD. Republican members were added to the Redevelopment Authority which had been previously formed, and work commenced.

Prior to his election as Mayor, Feldman had been elected to a Charter Commission which recommended certain changes in Englewood's form of government to be voted on by the electorate. The principal changes were the elimination of an elected mayor and the creation of the new position of city manager, to be filled by a non-political professional subject to the supervision of the elected city council. Although Feldman campaigned for the recommended Charter change, it lost narrowly in November, 1970, due primarily, Feldman believes, to opposition from long-time City Clerk Joseph Carney. ... In 1971, Feldman received much publicity for advocating successfully that a State senior citizen tax relief program be extended to tenants as well as homeowners. In May, 1971, he received the B'nai B'rith Torch of Liberty Award for his support of civil liberties.

A previous attempt to institute a new city charter, led by then Mayor Ned Feldman, had been voted down in 1970. ... Action was begun to implement the new housing, but all the pieces had not been put in place when two years later the Republicans regained power under the leadership of Mayor Ned Feldman. Nonetheless, Feldman favored the Democratic housing plan, and defying his own party, successfully lobbied the Nixon Administration, which had by then withdrawn its support, to restore Englewood's funding. This led to a split in the Englewood Republican Party in 1971 and, up to that point, the only three-way election in Englewood's history. ... Action was begun to implement the new housing, but all the pieces had not been put in place when two years later the Republicans regained power under the leadership of Mayor Ned Feldman. Nonetheless, Feldman favored the Democratic housing plan, and defying his own party, successfully lobbied the Nixon Administration, which had by then withdrawn its support, to restore Englewood's funding. This led to a split in the Englewood Republican Party in 1971 and, up to that point, the only three-way election in Englewood's history.

References

  1. Staff Writer. "1979 City of Englewood Centennial". Program. City of Englewood. 
  2. Staff Writer. "Ned Feldman, President". Interview. Zoominfo. http://www.zoominfo.com/p/Ned-Feldman/698210726. Retrieved 11/3/2014.