UCCF 5/12/16: More Pay-to-Play

By John Bury | May 19, 2016


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2016-397: Authorizing the County Manager to award a Professional Engineering Service Contract, through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process, to Maser Consulting PA, of Red Bank, New Jersey to provide professional design, construction administration and inspection services for the installation of an ADA accessible Fishing Dock on Cedar Brook Park Lake, City of Plainfield, New Jersey for an amount not to exceed $59,900.00. (Union County Engineering Project Number 2015-033)

2016-401: Amending Resolution No. 2014-307, adopted on April 10, 20145 awarding the engineering, design, construction administration services to Neglia Engineering for the Oak Ridge Improvement Project to include the design of a bicycle/walking path and a turf field.

2016-404: Amending Resolution Number 2016-14, a professional services contract with Roth D’ Aquanni, LLC, Springfield, New Jersey to be special counsel for Personnel matters, to increase the award for legal services in the amount of $50,000, for a new total amount not to exceed $125,000.

2016-405: Amending Resolution Number 2016-13, which awarded a professional services contract to Bauch, Zucker, Hatfield, LLC, Springfield, New Jersey to be special counsel for Labor and Personnel matters, to increase the amount of award for legal services in the amount of $100,000 for a new total amount not to exceed $200,000.

2016-407: Amending Resolution 2014-207, a resolution awarding a contract to Palumbo, Renaud & DeAppolonio in the matter entitled Kolbeck v. UC, et als., to increase the appropriation in an amount not to exceed $10,000.00 for a sum not to exceed $69, 917.30.

UCCF 5/12/16: Open Space Tax Theft

By John Bury | May 18, 2016

Justifying putting it to a vote in 2016 as to whether Union County taxpayers want to keep having $10 million in tax money misappropriated:
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The real story:
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UCCF 5/12/16: Oak Ridge Park Plans (with two No Votes)

By John Bury | May 17, 2016

2016-401: Amending Resolution No. 2014-307, adopted on April 10, 2014 awarding the engineering, design, construction administration and inspection services to Neglia Engineering Associates for the Oak Ridge Park Improvement Project to include the design of a bicycle/walking path and a turf field.
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UCCF 5/12/16: Granted We Have Problems

By John Bury | May 15, 2016

James L. Buckley in ‘Saving Congress from Itself‘ and Bruce Paterson at the last freeholder meeting made similar points:

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UCCF 5/12/16: 2016 Budget

By John Bury | May 13, 2016

2016-382: Resolution to exceed the County tax levy limit and to establish a CAP Bank.
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2016-384: Resolution adopting the 2016 County of Union Budget.
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Who’s the Liar?

By John Bury | May 12, 2016

When freeholders comment on what someone they don’t agree with has said they usually do not deign to name them as if they were:
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This can cause some confusion when the subject is not readily recognizable, as happened at tonight’s freeholder meeting:
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Who could this benighted freeholder have been referring to? Here are some possibilities from this meeting:

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No Free Lunch for Capece

By John Bury | May 9, 2016

Based on check registry records going back to 2004 the law firm now known as Garrubbo & Capece received over $1 million in fees from Union County through July, 2011 (most for vague reasons like ‘Specialized Legal Services’ but at least $42,844 for cases Renna v. Devanney et al and Renna v. UC). The spreadsheet of those bills is here.

During that time Frank Capece and other lawyers at that firm donated regularly to the Union County Democratic Committee and individual freeholder campaigns.  Those donation records are here.

This morning jury selection is scheduled to begin.

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UCCF 4/14/16 Miscellany: Dog Shelters and Presentations

By John Bury | May 3, 2016

From the April 28, 2016 freeholder meeting:

Saving dogs in Union County:
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Arbor Day poem winners:
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Getting back your own money – less the cost of the oversized checks:
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Why Open Space Vote in 2016?

By John Bury | April 29, 2016

Union County is misappropriating about $10 million annually of the Open Space tax for their own general budget and they want to continue that practice indefinitely by placing the question on the 2016 ballot for some reason.  At last night’s freeholder meeting the reason was provided:

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Open Space Tax Theft – By County

By John Bury | April 28, 2016

Which counties are misappropriating for their own general budgets tax money intended for the purchase and maintenance of open space properties.  Certainly Union County as I outlined in a letter in today’s Westfield Leader:

You [Leader/Times editorial] argue that the county Open Space Tax should sunset in 2020 to provide taxpayer relief. But, in making your points, you fail to appreciate the extent to which Union County has been openly using this money for their own budget rather than its intended purpose, the acquisition of open space. In the 2016 budget, revenue is anticipated from:

  • Sheet 8A – Open Space-Parks Maintenance: $2,250,000
  • Sheet 8: Debt Service – Open Space: $4,464,841

Municipalities would likely prefer to use that $2.25 million to pay for maintenance of their own (instead of the county’s) parks and that $4.4 million is going to repay general debt of the county as there has been more than enough money collected through the Open Space tax (about $10 million annually since 2001) to pay for everything bought through it.

This is blatant theft by deception and the county is looking for the blessing of a willfully benighted electorate to vote to continue this fraud in perpetuity. My guess as to why the freeholders want a ballot question this early is that some ratings agency may have noticed this substantial revenue in danger of being lost if county voters ever wake up to how it is being misappropriated.

Are any other counties pulling the same stunts?

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