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Re: I-Team: FBI Investigates Alleged Corruption in Jersey City Police Department
#1
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Quote:

Yvonne wrote:
The biggest complaint from the MUA officials were the payments made to off duty cops.


It still is, Yvonne. When I was on the board, I was amazed to see contracts where as much as 25% of the cost was for off-duty cops to stare into the hole. The most outrageous example I saw was one where work was being done at the end of a dead-end street and the cops insisted there needed to be a guy there. Councilman Fulop used to give lip service to this issue, but nothing is going to change until its drummed out of the police contract. As it stands now (unless its changed in the past year), the sole arbiters of whether there needs to be a cop at a site (and how many, whether its 24 hours a day, etc.) are the cops. They decide what is and isn't a public safety issue and then inform the construction company, MUA, et al how many people they will require.

Posted on: 12/23 10:13
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Re: NJ Arts Council funding abysmal for Hudson County once again
#2
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Great points, Sam. While it is tempting to leap first to the political - since political gamesmanship, incompetence and/or corruption is at the root of so many things New Jersey - it has always seemed to me that the many disparate and frequently unorganized/poorly conceived entities competing for severely limited and highly contested resources puts Jersey City at a distinct disadvantage. So much noise, so little direction.

Where local government could do a better job is in providing dedicated professional leadership to help work with the arts community and develop a vision of what Jersey City can/should be, rather than short-term, ready/aim/shoot responses like mural programs conceived of and administered by well-meaning folks with no tangible connection to the arts and who are often in over their heads. A sustainable, wide-spread high-quality arts and cultural presence is what ultimately will give the city its definition and sense of place rather than a city in a semi-permanent state of transition.

Posted on: 2016/7/27 10:22
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Re: proposed pay to play reform expansion
#3
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There is a great need for this reform - from my time on the MUA board, I would say that paying to play is standard there. Most people don't realize the amount of money that moves through that agency and the size of the contracts it awards - the annual budget is ~ $120 million.

Keep up the push, Dan, Aaron et al.


Posted on: 2016/6/29 14:12
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Re: Your Casino Input Wanted - From Mayor Fulop
#4
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Quote:

Dolomiti wrote:

And I'm curious, how is torching Norcross in public an example of "political expedience?"


It isn't. It's an example of either not having someone around him to tell him "no" or his unwillingness to listen to "no":

Quote:

JohnThieroff wrote:

The thing is, though, he seems to have lost the ability to override that instinct when necessary and there doesn't seem to be anyone who tells him no, at least not that he listens to. (The Norcross email a few weeks ago is a great example.)

Posted on: 2016/5/19 22:16
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Re: Your Casino Input Wanted - From Mayor Fulop
#5
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Quote:

Dolomiti wrote:

I have to say, I just adore the unfalsifiability of extreme cynicsm. :D


No more adorable than willful naivete or trying to hard to condescend. If you don't understand what's going on (or choose to subscribe to your own facts) but still feel the need to comment, that's an option, I suppose. Having spent the better part of five years with the man on a pretty much daily basis, I can tell you flatly and without qualification that political expedience are the first three instincts that fire in him when presented with information. And you know what - more often than not, it serves him well. He's good at it. The thing is, though, he seems to have lost the ability to override that instinct when necessary and there doesn't seem to be anyone who tells him no, at least not that he listens to. (The Norcross email a few weeks ago is a great example.) That's my experience. What's yours?

Posted on: 2016/5/19 10:40
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Re: Your Casino Input Wanted - From Mayor Fulop
#6
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Quote:

sranade wrote:
I really wish this was about getting input, but it's paid for by his campaign. If he was looking for feedback then he would run this from his office and his staffers would see the input. This goes straight to his election campaign, will get used to get email addresses, and it's a big question mark if anyone ever reads the actual submissions.


That's exactly right, S. What makes it even more disingenuous is that the mayor had already staked out a strong position in favor of a casino in Jersey City before flip-flopping back out of political expedience. In addition to harvesting email addresses, the survey is also a way to paper over the flip flop by being able to point to "the will of the people."

(and honestly, with all of his resources, I'd thought he'd find a better writer to do these things for him by now....)

Posted on: 2016/5/19 9:35
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Re: Jersey City council to vote on controversial MUA franchise fee changes
#7
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Actually, the surplus is due almost entirely to an increase in sewer rates in 2010. Prior to then, the sewer fund ran at a loss and the water fund ran at a surplus and the two more or less balanced each other out.

With the large 2010 increase and subsequent 3.75% annual (automatic) rate increases, the MUA is generating very large surpluses - cumulatively in the neighborhood of $60 million, currently. While the MUA does fund some capital improvements internally (i.e. without borrowing), much of its capital spending qualifies under NJEIT programs that provide loans at 1%, sometimes less - even interest free at times. These programs also occasionally come with partial principal forgiveness. From a capital efficiency standpoint, it makes sense to utilize the NJEIT money when available. So spending the surplus indiscriminately on capital projects might not be the best way to go.

I voted against the increased franchise fee (along with Commissioners Matthias and, initially, Balmir) for several reasons. First, while there is ready acknowledgement among all involved that there is a substantial and growing surplus, there is no immediate plan to curtail it. Grabbing a larger franchise fee with a promise to do a rate study "next year" doesn't cut it, in my book. I felt the rate study should have preceded any change to the franchise fee because by doing it the way being proposed, the higher franchise fee gets baked in to the rate study and it becomes an artificial layer in the rate structure (a "backdoor tax", as the late Councilman Fulop would have declared.)

Second, what was discussed in terms of future rates wasn't a rate reduction but a reduction in the future rate increase. (from 3.75% to 2%.) Without an identified plan for the surplus and absent an imminent rate study, I couldn't support a franchise fee increase.

Finally, as with many things at the MUA, the proposal was presented with little advance notice and a false urgency that it needed to be done at that meeting (October) "so council could vote on it and it would be done before year-end." There is no reason that I know of why it needs to be done by year end. The city budget doesn't get done until well into the second half of the year each year. An informed debate would have benefitted everyone rather than jamming something through in a grab by the city.

So what to do with the surplus? One idea that surfaced last night would be to begin separating the combined sewer system in areas where storm-related flooding is most severe (to enable rainwater to be dumped straight into the river.) Another would be to accelerate replacement, repair and compliance-related projects for which EIT funding is not available. And yes, some sort of rate cut - at a minimum we should be talking about eliminating rate increases for the near term.

Posted on: 2014/11/26 14:56
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
#8
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I wasn't involved in the initial bidding process (I joined the commission in February.) Since I wasn't part of the initial discussions around the contract or the bidding process - I abstained from the vote on whether or not to increase the amount of their contract.

Posted on: 2014/9/10 12:51
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Re: Chris Christie’s downgrades start to pile up
#9
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Quote:

Monroe wrote:
So, you're not fauxraged that an 'independent' authority, chaired by Fulop's campaign manager, rigs the bidding process so that a company (not a law firm, btw) who made large donations to Fulop's campaign, gets awarded a sizeable contract, that later gets amended to double the size of the contract (so far).

Got it!



You should re-read the article.

Posted on: 2014/9/10 11:33
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Re: Mike Razzoli is finally out!!!!
#10
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Newbie


Quote:

donnajc65 wrote:
He appointed a Deputy mayor and said he was full time, it turns out he was running a consulting business out of the mayors office.


Really? Tell me more.

Posted on: 2014/7/3 11:06
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Re: 400 Unit Development in Hamilton Park
#11
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Quote:

K-Lo wrote:
What is not clear to me is whether anyone is looking beyond the immediate impact of these larger buildings. What does it cost to support thousands of additional human beings in firefighters, police, teachers. Does the city have this mapped out somewhere?


A cost/benefit analysis that looks at all of these issues, plus others (like trash pickup) is performed for all abatement applications. It is included in the financial agreement.

A building this size wouldn't have "thousands" of additional human beings and the incremental costs of these new residents is likely to be far less than $1.2 million a year.

Posted on: 2014/1/15 12:05
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Re: 35-year tax break proposed for three-tower Journal Square project
#12
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The previous administration gave 30-year abatements to Crystal Point (on the waterfront) and MEPT (Journal Square), among others. Both were market rate.

Posted on: 2013/11/15 20:20
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Re: Jersey City Democratic Committee election a proxy Healy-Fulop battle
#13
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A big thank you to anyone who may have read my post and voted for me in District 6 yesterday! My running mate, Hope Cannon, and I won by a very comfortable margin and really appreciate all the support we received. Also, I know that the Democrats for Jersey City candidates from Districts 4 and 5 (we all vote at the same place) won as well.

Posted on: 2011/6/8 10:35
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Re: Jersey City Democratic Committee election a proxy Healy-Fulop battle
#14
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Hello, I'm John Thieroff and I'm running for a seat on the Democratic Committee in Ward E, District 6 with the Democrats For Jersey City. I live in Gull's Cove and am active in the community - I serve as a trustee on the board of CivicJC, I have worked closely with NoGasPipeline to get Spectra to move their planned pipeline into the river, and I have worked with Councilman Fulop on a number of legislative issues pertaining to quality of life issues.

My running mate, Hope Cannon, and I are running as Committee People so that we can advocate for our neighborhood. We want to make sure that as downtown continues to grow that the Van Vorst Park and Liberty Harbor communities will be heard and their needs will be met, particularly with regard to issues such as:

- Pedestrian safety
- Property Revaluation
- Enforcement of vehicular traffic laws
- Litter

If you live in District 6, please vote 10D and 11D - HOPE CANNON and JOHN THIEROFF - for Democratic Committee tomorrow. The polls are open from 6am to 8pm and our polling location remains at PS 3 - 111 Bright Street. Feel free to contact me directly at jthieroff@gmail.com if you have any questions or issues that you feel are unresolved and need attention. When you vote tomorrow - stop and say hi. I'll be there most of the day, handing out my cards!

Posted on: 2011/6/6 18:40
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