Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Quick Notes on Last Night's Council Meeting

Not surprisingly, (Councilman?) Gene Davis, showed up.  The guy is really shameless.  At the end of the meeting, Patty Hero, who had end-of-year personal messages for all members of Council, quoting from Firesign Theater, stated to Davis: "How can you be in two places at once when you're not anywhere at all".   I'm guessing his next stop is the disability office.  After all, isn't that what unhappy or displaced employees do?

There were a few Resolutions which would have secured professional service contracts for next year.  Council President Elect Jim Moore, as well as 5th Ward Councilwoman Elect Cosby-Hurling  spoke against the current administration passing those Resolutions and rightly urged Council  to leave those matters in the hands of the new  administration, which will include 3 new Council members, to be seated January 4, 2011.

Council unanimously formally signed off on the UCIA Solar Panel Project.  From the Mayor's remarks, it appears the City is under the impression that the City will save 40% on energy costs which is, not only untrue, but impossible.  Further, the Mayor thinks that even if the project "falls flat on its face" that there is no consequence to the City, i.e., the taxpayers.  This too is untrue as the Bond used to float the project is guaranteed by the taxpayers.  At this point, I'm surprised the City has so much faith in the UCIA.  Haven't we been hammered by the UCIA enough?

The layoff of 7 firemen was the forefront issue.  It appears that the City will have a study conducted to evaluate the fire department as well as Linden Emergency Medical Services (LEMS) .  That study will cost up to $42,000.  Some took issue that LEMS is contributing some $18,000 towards the cost of the study.  It's too bad the City never undertook a professional City-wide study years ago.

The fire department suggested a one year period where it would totally take over LEMS (which currently services half of the City EMS services with the LFD servicing the other half).  It's a compromise that, perhaps, should be considered, but that would mean people employed at LEMS  would lose their jobs.   I've been told that some retired firefighters now work for LEMS.

Jodi Gregorio/Pucillo showed up to read a letter from her dad, former Mayor John T. Gregorio, urging a compromise on the fire department layoff.  I'm not convinced JTG actually wrote that letter.  I'm told that the mother of one of the newly hired firemen, scheduled for layoff, has been visiting a certain Curtis Street residence.  Anyway, Jodi looks great. 

It was noted during the meeting the Public Property and Public Works Departments have accepted another zero increase in  their salaries, bringing those departments to a third year of zero increases.  I'm not sure if that zero increase includes supervisors, who are overpaid. Surely it includes those who can least afford it as the Mayor pointed out. 

I took a quick look at the Data Universe site to review 2009 salaries.  The City, IMO, is way too top heavy.  There are over 60 people making over $100,000/yr. and as many, if not more, making $80,000 to $90,00/yr.  Those salaries are mainly in the Fire & Police Departments, as well as Supervisors in the Recreation and Public Works Departments.  Some of the salaries are astounding.

The firemen consider their fellow firemen as brothers.  I'd  take a pay cut to save my brother's job.  These guys need to put their money where their mouths are if that what is needed.  Do not look to the taxpayers any more. 

Gov. Chris Christie was alluded to as being the one at fault for cutting aid to cities.   The State is broke.  The City is broke.  The County is half a billion dollars in debt.  How can this all be when we are the most highly taxed State in the Nation and third most highly taxed County in the Nation?  There is something seriously wrong with this picture. 

It's not the fault of the Governor.  As the Governor said on the  60 Minutes segment, which aired this past Sunday, "The Day of Reckoning Is Here".  I know our local democrats love to demonize republicans, but the Governor is right.  No one can explain how the most highly taxed State in the Nation is practically under water.  It makes no sense.

New Jersey is in a crisis and so too is the U.S. IMO.   Taxpayers cannot afford these gold-plated salaries and  benefits any longer, not to mention the waste, corruption and plain mismanagement of our tax dollars.

I almost forgot.  More money to the attorneys "representing"  "us" on the Strategic Alliance and Verge Properties (Valvano} litigation cases, which I will, once again, address in a future post.  Outrageous and disgusting is all I will say for now.

I feel sorry for the overtaxed taxpayer.  We are really getting hammered.

P.S. to the overpaid City Clerk:  The least you can do, after a vote, is state whether a Resolution "passed" or :"failed".  In other words, just say " Resolution passed" or "Resolution failed" after the vote  My god ... there are two of you there ... get your act together. You're paid  enough ... do your job.


jimmie johnson said...

Linden needs to get out of bed with UCIA/Decotis law firm !!

jimmie johnson said...

do the clerks actually say anything after the vote, or does a citizen have to count as they vote to figure out the outcome ?

NFS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NFS said...

To the person who left a message about leaving a private message, you can leave another message with what you want to inform me of and I won't publish it.

NFS said...

@ jimmie johnson

The clerk says nothing so yes, you have to count the votes yourself.

We are being sold a bunch of snake oil by the UCIA and the DeCotiis law firm in my opinion. It's been a disaster and no one holds anyone accountable. How could they? It's not like CD would ever be fired.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. It's a shame not too many people are bright enough (apparently) to "get it". Or maybe they are just tired and have given up...