Entries for April 8th, 2012

When will they layoff the people who do nothing? Or worse?

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

On March 21, 2012 the county sent a letter to the Division of State & Local Operations outlining their Layoff Plan. This was almost two months to the date the County Watchers reported on connected employees being given generous raises and promotions.

It didn’t go unnoticed that Matthew Dirado, Head of Personnel who is receiving on the job training as he has no human resources background, was given a $25,529 raise bringing his salary to $119,999. I’ve been told this has been a point of contention in union negotiations, Matt was told to give it back if he wants employees to give up anything. His wife,  Nicole Dirado, former freeholder Clerk, was transferred to the Clerk’s office in January, she replaced the former Deputy County Clerk and was given a $6,686 raise, this was $5,330 more than the former clerk and more money for on the job training.  That brings the 2012 Dirado family compensation package increase to $32,215.

Could it be the county didn’t know they were in the midst of fiscal struggles just two months ago? They are spinning this $36 million dollar budget gap as a sudden thing, they seem dazed and confused by it. Shouldn’t all upper management be replaced? That’s what a private company would do to survive and move a company forward. Get rid of the idiots that caused this mess and hire professionals to turn it around.

Then there’s the Brandon Thomas question to answer. Representing workers targeted for layoff at Runnells, Brandon asked the freeholders at their last regular meeting, “When are you going to lay off the guys that sit in the back, do absolutely nothing all day and make $90,000?”

Fair question. But Brandon  didn’t get an answer.

The county is targeting 129 employees for layoff at Runnells. Overwhelmingly minority, while all the white bosses get to keep their jobs – where is the outrage? Marylou Marcio, former Deputy County Manager Liz Genievch’s sister, is in charge of the three departments where most service employees are being eliminated, her salary is $100,225. Who will she be supervising? Is she being kept on to supervise any outside vendor the county will bring in to privatize these departments?

Here’s who else isn’t getting laid off at Runnells. 4 people who supervise maybe 10 people will keep their jobs, but their clerk (salary $45,500) is targeted for layoff. Keeping their jobs: Director of maintenance, Senator Scutari’s uncle, ($106,033); and his assistant director of maintenance, Democratic Chairman of Roselle Park ($75,859); a Charlotte errand boy ($81,690); and a Trade Supervisor, former Deputy County Manager Liz Genievch’s nephew ($65,442).

Glenna Bowen isn’t getting laid off, Glenna is former county manager George Devanney’s mother-in-law ($51,776.45) and is the Runnells Hospital Foundation Director, we will continue to pay the salary of a non-profit’s director. Her  husband Ronald Bowen doesn’t work at Runnells but I wanted to mention he isn’t getting laid off either. He had an electrician position created for him salary $54,169, the position was converted from a Building Maintenance Worker Salary $49,345. George Devanney signed off on the job on 7/25/11, he retired effective 8/1/11.

Runnells marketing/public information department remains intact, including Rahway Councilman Robert Rachlin. So does the outside marketing contract that does the marketing work for them. Runnels has been bleeding money. What are these people doing all day?

There are no layoffs in the following departments:

Freeholders Office
County Manager
County Clerk
Prosecutor’s office no layoffs – in fact assistant prosecutors were given raises in January
Public information – where ever they are scattered, not one employee is targeted. The staff photographer even gets to stay ($60,568).
County Counsel’s office – No show / low show politically connected part timers are not losing their jobs. Neither are the full timers that are also partners in law firms. Only one employee is targeted – a Keyboarding Clerk, she is the daughter of Sheriff Ralph Froehlich.

And it looks like maybe 10% of Freeholder Sullivan’s relatives have made the list after all – if you include in-laws. His niece is targeted, Erin McKenna in Parks and Community Renewal. I don’t know for sure how many other relatives of Sullivan’s is on the payroll. He won’t say. Freeholder Scanlon’s son, Patrick Jr., resigned his position as a laborer recently, this position is now being eliminated.

The county claims that they eliminated 30.91 FTE’s vacancies, I didn’t look at all of the recent position controls, however I did find one discrepancy. Muftau Moshood’s name caught my eye because I knew this position wasn’t eliminated as the county listed, Alicia Batista filled this position on 1/3/12. The salary they list ($59,292.05) isn’t correct either. This makes all of their paperwork suspect. Do they know what they are doing? Are they sitting in the back and doing absolutely nothing all day?

These lists are submitted to the state for approval, county has to give  a reason, they list the reasons why, they state then determines if these employees can in fact be laid off. The county controls whose names are put on the list, Civil Service employees can bump another employee within their departments only.

Second Layoff List

First Layoff List

List of Vacant Titles to be Eliminated

Letter to state outlining county layoff plan

Tina Renna is president of the Union County Watchdog Association, she can be reached at tinarenna@unioncountywatchdog.org.


Pope says some can’t discern evil from good

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

The Vatican City AP reported today Pope Benedict XVI, carrying a tall, lit candle, ushered in Christianity’s most joyous celebration with an Easter vigil service Saturday night, but voiced fears that mankind is groping in darkness, unable to distinguish good from evil.

I’m reposting this because it’s become a sort of inside joke with us county watchers that I’ve been known to remind the freeholders and their underlings and overloards that they are going to hell. Not that I’m an authority on such matters, it’s just an observation and I wonder if they hadn’t noticed this themselves.

Maybe they can’t discern evil from good. Perhaps something is obscuring their values.  How else can you explain their risking their very souls for most of them it amounts to a mere $29,500 a year? Why would they pass this on to their family members by awarding them with low-show/no-show jobs or jobs they are overpaid and under qualified for? If you use public resources to enrich yourselves or your machine and do bad things, or do nothing to stop unethical corrupt behavior, and hurt people and the public at large by wasting precious resources. Remember property taxes are regressive. They hurt the poorest the most …….

“Life is stronger than death. Good is stronger than evil. Love is stronger than hate. Truth is stronger than lies,” Benedict, wearing white robes in a symbol of new life, told the faithful in a packed St. Peter’s Basilica.

Still, Benedict worried in his homily: “The darkness that poses a real threat to mankind, after all, is the fact that he can see and investigate tangible material things, but cannot see where the world is going or whence it comes, where our own life is going, what is good and what is evil.”

“The darkness enshrouding God and obscuring values is the real threat to our existence and to the world in general,” the pope said.