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Re: Administration's Unprofessional Conduct Costs Taxpayers Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars
#1
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Don't blame the whistle blower, who paid the price for doing her job. Without the lawsuit being filed, the allegations and the details would have remained under wraps. The settlement does nothing really to cover up a clear need to independently audit the MUA. A criminal investigation should be opened up as well against all the involved parties.

This would be a great case for Paul Fishman to investigate, as it reflects yet another serious example of fleecing JC residents through the use of 'autonomous' agencies.

Posted on: 2011/5/12 16:22
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Remembering Katyn - Wall Street Journal Perspective
#2
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History is context for the future. Perhaps, there's hope if we pay more attention to it.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001 ... =WSJ_Opinion_AboveLEFTTop

Posted on: 2010/12/1 20:36
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Re: Okay, so who here thinks the Katyn monument needs to go?
#3
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Two additional thoughts:

1. Ignorance is bliss.

2. There's no accounting for taste.

The statute is actually an amazing success, even if you intensely dislike it's artistic value or its message.

It remains thought provoking and will continue to be for years to come -- and this thread provides ample evidence of that from all sides of the conversation.

All the best.

Geoff

Posted on: 2010/11/13 0:01
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Re: Okay, so who here thinks the Katyn monument needs to go?
#4
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Quote:
...is it really a good idea to capture those feelings in something as permanent as a statue that for all intents and purposes is there for perpetuity?


The answer to your question is an emphatic "Yes."

George Santayana said it best, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

There's nothing more to say.

G

Posted on: 2010/11/12 18:45
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Re: Jersey City mayor and councilman clash over plan for merging JCIA and Dept of Public Works
#5
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The Councilman is 100% correct.

It's an established fact that the promise of the autonomous agency concept, has been an abysmal failure.

There have been no cost savings, efficiency or effective revenue streams back to the city where ever the concept has been applied -- just a new unaccountable structure that's become the new patronage dumping grounds.

All the best.

Geoff

Posted on: 2010/11/9 14:57
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Re: $6.70 for a JC Dog License?
#6
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Resized Image

Posted on: 2010/11/4 2:35
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Re: $6.70 for a JC Dog License?
#7
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Hi Brewster:

If I gave any real credence to the truth of the statements asserted on this site, then I would have scratched what hair remains on my head into terminal baldness. Remember, there was a headless dachshund thread, too, on this site.

All the best.

Geoff

Posted on: 2010/11/4 2:13
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$6.70 for a JC Dog License?
#8
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I'm finding all this griping about getting a dog licensed to be simultaneously amusing on the one hand, and puzzling, on the other.

Are you folks actually that feckless about spending $6.70 to license your dog? I just don't get it.

If you want to drive a car, you need to get a license, a registration and insurance, because it's the law. It's the price of admission for the privilege.

Getting your dogs registered is no different. If you want fido to live with you, fido needs to be licensed -- because it's the law.

If you don't like the law, maybe you can find some tea party advocate to run on a platform to overturn what you think to be burdensome, over-regulation -- or at least complain to your State Assembly person to get the law repealed.

For reference purposes, have fun with the following links, if you care.

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2010/09/2 ... f-nyc-dogs-not-licensed/#

http://www.state.nj.us/health/animalwelfare/law.shtml

All the best and good luck getting fido registered.

G

Posted on: 2010/11/4 1:27
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Re: Governor Christie halts new train tunnel into Manhattan due to cost overun
#9
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Yes, there's an absolutely compelling need for this project. No argument about that one bit.

Unfortunately, in today's world, there's an equally compelling cost, which we just can't afford to bear.

Neither the Federal government, nor the PANYNJ is willing to pick up the burden of cost overruns, which the State of NJ would be saddled with if the newly revised, increased estimates turn out to be wrong. Figure out a way to fix the State's liability for project cost-overruns, and the result might be different.

Posted on: 2010/10/25 21:27
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Re: JC needs $22 million for payouts for unused sick, vacation & compensatory time to city retires
#10
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The city would be much smarter not bonding for lump sum payouts. The better financing alternative approach for these liabilities already incurred under the old (current) system, would be to be simply make those payouts over a period of 3-5 years, and capping the annual payouts each year so as not to exceed the value of sick/vacation time that one would have earned at their salary level in a single year when they were employed.

Ultimately, a use or lose regime must be adopted, capping the total amount of accumulated leave time to not more than 120% of the annual one can earn. This would put them in line with most private sector companies, and would permit people to roll-over small amounts of time from one year to the next to provide flexibility.

All the best.

G

Posted on: 2010/10/25 2:10
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Re: Gov. Christie Fires Schools Chief, Bret Schundler
#11
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4.1 Don't mess with a winning response. If it isn't broken, don't fix it.

5. Don't shoot a political air ball trying to blame the President or the government for the rules of the game. Last time I looked there was no NJ exception, in case we messed up.

Federal proposal rules are typically very mechanical and straight forward. If they asked for something illogical, you give it to them nonetheless.

Posted on: 2010/8/31 16:59
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Re: Gov. Christie Fires Schools Chief, Bret Schundler
#12
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Papadage is spot on!

No matter who did what at the end of the day, the chain of command producing the proposal is responsible for the result -- or in this case, the non-result -- and that chain of command runs all the way to the top.

Having been personally involved in dozens of Federal Government proposal efforts over the years, this fiasco comes down to three bungled basics:

1. No checklist of informational requirements. If there was one, it wasn't followed or rechecked before the proposal was submitted.

2. No review committee -- to ensure that all the checklist requirements were met before you kick the proposal out the door. When $400,000,000 is at stake, you need all hands on deck.

3. Entrusting #1 and #2 to an administrative level employee. At the end of the day, it wasn't just a clerical error; it was a substantive and costly mistake -- so don't conveniently blame the clerk.

Posted on: 2010/8/31 15:54
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Re: Jersey City school board punts on superintendent search- Today's Star Ledger
#13
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Clearly, Dr. Epps has had his chance at the wheel, with years of mediocre performance to show for it. Simple longevity in office does not and should not be the sole basis for contact renewal. Nor will the matter be solved by conducting a national beauty contest search for another warm body. Something more is required.

Accountability. Accountability that runs from the bottom up and the top down of our school system.

A good place to start is at the top.

A Superintendent must be held accountable for their performance -- and this is where our Board of Education and the public need a crash lesson in connecting the dots.

I was appalled to read the proposed contract for Dr. Epps, and not merely by the overly generous compensation package. That contract does nothing to directly tie the Superintendent’s compensation to his performance. In this respect, the Superintendent remains unaccountable for his performance.

Cosmetically, the contract makes reference to an annual review and evaluation process against “reasonable and attainable goals and objectives”. Compensation should not be an entitlement, as of right, when the consequences of failure for our children and the City's taxpayers stake.

What are those goals and objectives? These should be publicly disclosed.

Where are the incentives to work to improve performance?

What are the consequences or penalties for failing to attain those defined goals and objectives or if actual school performance declines year-on-year?

Should one be "entitled" to full compensation if those goals are not met? I think not. In this respect the proposed contract does not connect the dots between compensation and performance in office.

Even if this contract is ultimately approved, the ball will then be in the hands of the Board of Education members to set objective, measurable and meaningful performance metrics and goals, which the Superintendent should be personally accountable for. The specific benchmarks and actual performance results should be made public by the board each year. This would at least move things toward some level of transparent accountability in the event the contract is not redrafted. The Board of Education shouldn't punt a third time on this.

Posted on: 2010/8/24 14:50
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No Accountability
#14
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For a compensation package of this magnitude, accountability is missing.

Unfortunately, the proposed contract does nothing to directly tie the Superintendent’s compensation to his performance. In this respect, the Superintendent remains unaccountable for his performance despite the fact that Section 5 of the proposed contract speaks to an annual review and evaluation against “reasonable and attainable goals and objectives”.

Where are the incentives to work to improve performance? What are the penalties for failing to attain defined goals and objectives or if actual school performance declines year-on-year?

This is a major shortcoming that should be addressed.

Even if this contract is ultimately approved, the ball will then be in the hands of the Board of Education members to set objective, measurable and meaningful performance metrics and goals, which the Superintendent should be personally accountable for. The specific benchmarks and actual performance results should also be made public each year. This would at least move things toward some level of transparent accountability in the event the contract is not redrafted.

Posted on: 2010/8/14 17:31
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Re: A Right Denied: The Need for Genuine School Reform
#15
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+1

This presentation gets the core of the education debate -- addressing the challenges of out of control school budgets and delivering an effective, quality education for our children. It's well-researched, fact-filled and presented -- and offers much food for thought.

If you can't make it to the presentation, then the attached link is a must read. Every school board member should attend or read this presentation.

http://www.tilsonfunds.com/Personal/T ... orGenuineSchoolReform.pdf

All the best.

G

Posted on: 2010/6/17 5:47
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Re: Hamilton Park - Pet Free Zone Public Hearing - March 30, 6pm City Hall
#16
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Sorry Viggie, but just more of the same palaver.

Whatever happened to you that you feel so victimized or dis-empowered by everyone around you? I have no skin in this game other than breathing the same air in the neighborhood. Would you begrudge that too? Perhaps.

If you want to take a stand, come out from behind the screen name; make an appearance at tonight's hearing... and if you don't like someone else's map... by all means bring your own... and please leave the conspiracy theories at home. It's rather tiring and unbecoming.

I'll live by the Judgement of Solomon, whatever that may be.

All the best

G

Posted on: 2010/3/30 12:31
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Re: Hamilton Park - Pet Free Zone Public Hearing - March 30, 6pm City Hall
#17
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Wah, Wah, Wah... me, me, me ... my, my, my... they did it... they're doing it... is it paranoia, lead poisoning or people just off their meds or their rockers?

This thread (with some exceptions) has driven off a cliff, but was this not to be expected?

It's become a disappointing, but familiar display of personal, self-obsessed, self-absorbed, self-centered, self-serving, selfish, scare mongering vicissitudes.

Clearly, on this site, on this thread, and perhaps maybe also in Hamilton Park, civility has truly died or maybe it's been dead so long we no longer recall the time when we had it.

The City Council made the right decision years ago when it granted the DPW Director the power to exercise the Judgment of Solomon on pet free zones. Only God knows that Hell might just be a place called Hamilton Park... and Vigilante will be there at the gate to remind you.

All the best.

G

P.S. In the interest of full and candid disclosure... I don't live on the park, and I'm both canine and child neutral -- having neither, but able to appreciate the needs of both.

Posted on: 2010/3/30 5:30
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Re: Daniel Wrieden aka 'Queer Eye For The Historic House Guy'
#18
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Dan Wrieden's sexuality was an inappropriate subject for the title of this thread when it was first posted, and it continues to be inappropriate today.

Personally, I'm surprised at the webmaster's inability to recognize the potential legal consequences of permitting the subject title of this thread to be revived gratuitously -- again and again and again.

I would suggest that if you have issues that are germane to Historic Preservation and your interactions with Dan as a governmental official, that's fair game... but if you have any sense of personal decency, take it to a new thread that leaves out references to sexual orientation. Continuously resurrecting this thread with this title, even with faint apologies, is just plain uncivil.

All the best.

G

Posted on: 2010/3/29 20:56
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Re: The Hudson County Real Estate Tax vs School Performance Mashup
#19
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The graphic and underlying link supporting it is an amazing example of statistical nonsense, masquerading as research.

Given this article appears on a realtor's web site, I'd doubt the efficacy of any conclusions drawn from it.

Just scanning the graphic, I'd be hard pressed to discern any causal relationship between property taxes paid and SAT performance. I would venture a guess that the even better measures might be to map school taxes paid or school budget expenditures per student against SAT performance, but I would seriously doubt these would reflect anything meaningful, either.

All the best.

Geoff

Posted on: 2010/3/27 15:32
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Re: Hamilton Park - Pet Free Zone Public Hearing - March 30, 6pm City Hall
#20
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Hi V:

I corrected my earlier post to be more clear. There are no proposed pet free zones until the Director of DPW makes his recommendation in accordance with the Municipal Code. That's why it's important for people who care about the issue to attend the hearing and be heard.

All the best.

G

Posted on: 2010/3/24 20:57
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Hamilton Park - Pet Free Zone Public Hearing - March 30, 6pm City Hall
#21
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The Department of Public works will be conducting a public meeting on Tuesday, March 30 at 6pm to take public comments on where to locate pet-free zones in Hamilton Park.

Based on the public comments, the Director of DPW will subsequently make a recommendation as to where the pet-free zones will be located and how much of the park will be dedicated to such zones in accordance with JC Municipal Code Section 90-20, paragraphs E, F &G. I recommend highly that anyone wishing to comment, reference the code, which can be found here:

http://library.municode.com/index.asp ... 30&stateName=New%20Jersey

The meeting will take place in the Anna Cucci Memorial Chambers at City Hall,280 Grove Street, Jersey City.

This would be the best time and place to have your comments heard.

All the best.

Geoff

Posted on: 2010/3/24 20:28
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Re: Hudson officials say Christie budget's aid cuts certain to trigger hikes in taxes
#22
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If you don't like this year's bad budget news, just wait until next year.

NJ's State Budget deficit is projected to rise from $2.2 Billion in 2010 to a staggering $11 Billion in 2011.

State aid to NJ school systems already eats up more than one-third of the State budget and NJ spends more per student than every other state, but for NY -- and still with mediocre results.

Something will change and it's going to be radical... but the end game is clear.

The future means having to do more, do better and with less.

Posted on: 2010/3/20 17:16
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Re: Sterling Waterman -- Candidate for JC Board of Education 2010
#23
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Difficult question to address; excellent answer to a serious issue that needs competent board members to take seriously. Thanks for responding!

I look forward to voting for you in the upcoming election and you can count on my support.

All the best.

Geoff

Posted on: 2010/3/18 22:47
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Re: Sterling Waterman -- Candidate for JC Board of Education 2010
#24
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Hi Sterling:

Thanks for your willingness to answer questions and to be involved. Here's a question that I believe each candidate for the school board should consider responding to:

Background to the Question:
The Jersey City Board of Education budget far eclipses the size of the City of Jersey City budget, weighing in at over $600,000,000 -- with much waste and inefficiency reflected in those numbers. Given the crisis in state funding, and potentially significant cuts in state funding over the next few years, taxpayers are potentially facing increases in school taxes similar to what's now occurring with the City's own budget. In short, the next School Board will be faced with an increasingly complex balancing act.

Q: As a school board member, how would you propose we balance the school budget without radically increasing school taxes, and still deliver measurable improvements in student performance? Simply put, is it possible to deliver improvements in the quality of education our children deserve, and simultaneously address the budgetary challenges?

All the best.

Geoff

Posted on: 2010/3/18 4:08
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
#25
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An expensive ill-conceived, ill-timed and half-baked concept.

Btw, if you're not enraged already about budget issues and unjustified salary increases, you'll really be tickled pink about the amendment to add city cars for council persons and other city officials. Scroll to the bottom of the Council's First Reading ordinances on the agenda!

Just a crying shame.

All the worst!

G

Posted on: 2010/3/9 14:21
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Re: Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
#26
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Shifting Municipal elections to November is a great idea from an efficiency and cost perspective and should be supported. If the State Legislature passes the necessary legislation, there would be no good rationale to continue to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars needlessly. Jersey City's structural deficit is big enough already.

Posted on: 2010/1/11 14:18
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Re: Anyone have experience with tenant personal bankruptcy?
#27
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You're between a proverbial rock and and a hard place.

You need the immediate and timely advice of a competent local attorney with landlord-tenant and bankruptcy experience. Most competent attorneys should be willing to provide an initial consultation without charge. Waiting to determine a course of action until after a bankruptcy process has started, might significantly limit your options.

If you don't know where to start, this web link should help: http://www.martindale.com/

G

Posted on: 2010/1/10 23:13
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Re: 15lb lobster at shoprite
#28
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Any lobster that's survived long enough to grow to this size deserves to live out its life naturally.

Posted on: 2010/1/6 18:17
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Keeping a Civil Cybertongue
#29
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As we approach the New Year, we should take some time to reflect about our civility in the online world, and how we treat our fellow JClisters.

All the Best Wishes for the New Year!

Geoff

Quote:
Keep a Civil Cybertongue

Rude and abusive online behavior should not be met with silence.

By JIMMY WALES AND ANDREA WECKERLE

In less than 20 years, the World Wide Web has irrevocably expanded the number of ways we connect and communicate with others. This radical transformation has been almost universally praised.

What hasn't kept pace with the technical innovation is the recognition that people need to engage in civil dialogue. What we see regularly on social networking sites, blogs and other online forums is behavior that ranges from the carelessly rude to the intentionally abusive.

Flare-ups occur on social networking sites because of the ease by which thoughts can be shared through the simple press of a button. Ordinary people, celebrities, members of the media and even legal professionals have shown insufficient restraint before clicking send. There is no shortage of examples—from the recent Twitter heckling at a Web 2.0 Expo in New York, to a Facebook poll asking whether President Obama should be killed.

The comments sections of online gossip sites, as well as some national media outlets, often reflect semi-literate, vitriolic remarks that appear to serve no purpose besides disparaging their intended target. Some sites exist solely as a place for mean-spirited individuals to congregate and spew their venomous verbiage.

Online hostility targeting adults is vastly underreported. The reasons victims fail to come forward include the belief that online hostility is an unavoidable and even acceptable mode of behavior; the pervasive notion that hostile online speech is a tolerable form of free expression; the perceived social stigma of speaking out against attacks; and the absence of readily available support infrastructure to assist victims.

The problem of online hostility, in short, shows no sign of abating on its own. Establishing cybercivility will take a concerted effort. We can start by taking the following steps:

First, and most importantly, we need to create an online culture in which every person can participate in an open and rational exchange of ideas and information without fear of being the target of unwarranted abuse, harassment or lies. Everyone who is online should have a sense of accountability and responsibility.

Too frequently, we hear the argument that being online includes the right to be nasty—and that those who chose to participate on the Web should develop thicker skin. This gives transgressors an out for immoral behavior.

Just as we've learned what is deemed appropriate face-to-face communication, we need to learn what is appropriate behavior in an environment that frequently deals with purely written modes of communication and an inherent absence of nonverbal cues.

Second, individuals appalled at the degeneration of online civility need to speak out, to show that this type of behavior will no longer be tolerated. Targets of online hostility should also consider coming forward to show that attacks can have serious consequences. There are already several documented cases of teens taking their own lives because of cyberbullying.

A third step has to do with media literacy. People need to know how to differentiate between information that is published on legitimate sites that follow defined standards and also possibly a professional code of ethics, and information published in places like gossip sites whose only goal is to post the most outrageous headlines and stories in order to increase traffic. People can and will learn to shun and avoid such sites over time, particularly with education about why they are unethical.

Fourth, adult targets of online hostility deserve a national support network. This should be a safe place where they can congregate online to receive emotional support, practical advice on how to deal with transgressors, and information on whom to contact for legal advice when appropriate.

Finally, it's time to re-examine the current legal system. Online hostility is cross-jurisdictional. We might need laws that directly address this challenge. There is currently no uniformity of definition among states in the definition of cyberbullying and cyberharassment. Perhaps federal input is needed.

The Internet is bringing about a revolution in human knowledge and communication, and we have an unprecedented opportunity to make the global conversation more reasonable and productive. But we can only do so if we prevent the worst among us from silencing the best among us with hostility and incivility.

Mr. Wales is the founder of Wikipedia and sits on the board of CiviliNation, a nonprofit. Ms. Weckerle is the founder and president of CiviliNation.

Copyright 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001 ... ewsreel_opinion#printMode

Posted on: 2009/12/29 17:13
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Not a matter of semantics
#30
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At the risk of oversimplification, here is the problem reduced to a nutshell:

"State mandated defined benefit plans (with fixed formula payouts largely determined by one's length of service and average pay during one's final years of employment) are financially and demographically unsustainable."

These payments are bleeding the taxpayers dry. The system needs to be reformed at the top.

Even the Federal Government converted over most of their defined benefit plans to defined contribution plans in the 1980s!

Why NJ is stuck in the past is a testament to financial waste and inefficiency.

All the best.

Geoff

Posted on: 2009/12/16 22:44
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