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Re: Fulop: Let's tighten our ethics rules
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Those who bracketed instead of challenging the bracketing, are mostly double dippers. Hope the judge will give the first blow to the double dippers on Sept 22nd at 10am:

Hudson County judge to hear complaint about 'bracketing' on Jersey City special election ballot

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... nty_judge_to_hear_co.html

Posted on: 2011/9/16 1:13
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Re: Fulop: Let's tighten our ethics rules
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Let us put an end to 'double dipping' in this election...

Posted on: 2011/9/15 16:24
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Re: Fulop: Let's tighten our ethics rules
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i do not know much about politics, but Steve Fulop from what I have been reading seems to be a very engaged reperesentative for this area. This is refreshing to see in this day and age. I also can not imagine how any one can make a reasonable case that Jersey City Council members should be employed by another entity that at times may have divergent interests from Jersy City's which they are sworn to represent.

Posted on: 2007/11/20 12:17
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Re: An interview with Councilman Fulop and Pay to Play
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Quote:

Yvonne wrote:
Councilman Fulop talks about gathering signatures for the ballot with SpeakNJ in a recent interview. The show appears tonight on Channel 51 @ 10:30 PM and tomorrow @ 9:00 PM. A small segment of the show appears at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzv3WB66i0I




Go Steve !!!!



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Posted on: 2007/11/19 22:48
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An interview with Councilman Fulop and Pay to Play
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Councilman Fulop talks about gathering signatures for the ballot with SpeakNJ in a recent interview. The show appears tonight on Channel 51 @ 10:30 PM and tomorrow @ 9:00 PM. A small segment of the show appears at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzv3WB66i0I

Posted on: 2007/11/19 20:35
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Re: Steve Fulop op-ed on referendums in NY Times Jersey section
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JC residents may get to vote on ethics, dual-job holding

Councilman Fulop writes of issues in New York Times; pursuing referenda

Ricardo Kaulessar
Reporter staff writer

"We can take the issue directly to the voters and force politicians to live by a stricter code of ethics. Voters in Jersey City can demand transparency and make it more difficult for unscrupulous, greedy politicians to steal taxpayers' dollars."

Those were words of City Councilman Steven Fulop in a New York Times op-ed piece published last Sunday, Oct. 7.

He was referring to his pursuit of two referendums to be placed on the November 2008 general election ballot. A referendum allows the public to vote on an issue. Previously, Fulop encouraged his fellow council members to vote for his proposals, to no avail.

The first referendum would prevent elected officials or government employees from collecting more than one taxpayer-financed salary. The second referendum would make it illegal for any entity that does business with the city, like a developer or contractor, to make a political contribution to a local candidate for a one-year period.

While there is a version of the second issue already existing in state law, Fulop's version would be much stricter.

Needs petitions to place them on ballot

Fulop held a meeting on Oct. 3 at the bar/restaurant LITM on Newark Avenue in Jersey City, where he explained his referendums to a crowd of over 100. After the meeting, attendees were asked to submit their names and addresses for a list Fulop is putting together of volunteers who would eventually go out and collect petitions for the referendums to be placed on the ballot for next year.

Fulop must collect the amount of petitions equal to 15 percent of the total voter turnout in Jersey City from the 2005 November general election. But if he waits and does so after Nov. 6 of this year, it would reflect the turnout of this year's general election.

That number of petitions, which would be around 6,000, would determine whether the initiatives are placed on the ballot. But it is believed he would have to collect double the amount necessary, just in case some are disqualified.

Not new for Fulop

Last month, the City Council voted down Fulop's resolution that would have made the city's ethics code the strictest in New Jersey.

The resolution banned holding more than one public office or multiple salaried and appointed public positions within Hudson County - whether elected or appointed. It also would have barred public officials from using a city automobile for personal use, and banned city officials from lobbying the city or city agencies for three years after they left office.

The majority of city council people in Jersey City also have a full-time job with another branch of city or county government.

Fulop was criticized by his City Council colleagues for not discussing the resolution with them before introducing it, and for instead going to the press with his proposal.

Earlier this year, Fulop pushed for passage of a version of the state's "pay-to-play" laws, which ban political contributions from contractors doing business with the city. Fulop's version would have also applied to real estate developers, but it was voted down by the City Council.

Addressing the people

It was a Wednesday night in a somewhat unusual place for Fulop to speak to people on his ethics initiatives, as he stood behind the bar of LITM.

"This is my first time being a bartender," Fulop joked. "But I am probably the only politician who has not been behind a bar."

Fulop went on to explain his referendum initiatives to attendees and what he hopes to achieve.

"The fundamental change in Jersey City will have a lasting impact on government here in Jersey City," Fulop said.

He continued, "It's about dysfunctional leadership at the top, where things like multiple jobs and other practices are accepted that take taxpayer monies. It takes away incentive to serve in government for the wrong reasons."

He also said he will be collecting names and addresses to send packets with petitions, information on his referendums, and voter registration paperwork.

His attorney, James Carroll, gave out contact information for him and other attorneys for those with further questions on the referendums.

The public gave their reasons for signing on to Fulop's initiatives.

Michael Heydenburg, a downtown Jersey City resident for 10 years, said Fulop's initiatives represent a "change" for how Jersey City is governed.

"It will force people to make a choice," Heydenburg said. "It wakes up old ways of thinking of the way Jersey City is run."

For comments on the story, contact Ricardo Kaulessar at rkaulessar@hudsonreporter.com

Posted on: 2007/10/13 18:44
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Re: Steve Fulop op-ed on referendums in NY Times Jersey section
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I see your point brewster but I don't think that selling tall boy malt liquor 24/7 will improve my quality of life.

Posted on: 2007/10/13 13:19
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Re: Steve Fulop op-ed on referendums in NY Times Jersey section
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In terms of the liquor laws, I've been told by Korean grocers that the reason we don't have the typical 24/7 NYC Korean grocery here is that without selling beer the it doesn't pay to stay open all night. For my money those stores are a major quality of life perk of NYC, our corner bodega closes at 7:30.

Posted on: 2007/10/13 0:31
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Re: Steve Fulop op-ed on referendums in NY Times Jersey section
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Quote:

ianmac47 wrote:

Yes, but also New Jersey's outdated liquor laws that artificially raise the price of liquor licenses-- an essential part of most profitable restaurants.


But is that really what held up Ox and Skinner's Loft so long? I was under the impression that they'd run into a bunch of people with hands out.

Also, of course, even if the liquor laws were the problem, it could be that a lot of hands got held out during the liquor license application process.

Posted on: 2007/10/12 22:00
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Re: Steve Fulop op-ed on referendums in NY Times Jersey section
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Thank you for posting this and thank God for people like Steve Fulop. Although his ethics reform package was voted down, any idea of if/when the referendums he cites would be brought to voters?

Posted on: 2007/10/12 20:23
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Re: Steve Fulop op-ed on referendums in NY Times Jersey section
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Quote:

alb wrote:
One example of what Fulop is talking about is why our restaurant scene is so much weaker than Brooklyn's.

If we had intelligent inspectors who at least ran the bribery/protection racket business in a clear-cut way, new Newark Avenue restaurants would probably open for business much more quickly.


Yes, but also New Jersey's outdated liquor laws that artificially raise the price of liquor licenses-- an essential part of most profitable restaurants.

Posted on: 2007/10/12 20:08
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Re: Steve Fulop op-ed on referendums in NY Times Jersey section
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One example of what Fulop is talking about is why our restaurant scene is so much weaker than Brooklyn's.

If we had intelligent inspectors who at least ran the bribery/protection racket business in a clear-cut way, new Newark Avenue restaurants would probably open for business much more quickly.

Posted on: 2007/10/12 19:48
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Steve Fulop op-ed on referendums in NY Times Jersey section
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I didn't catch this until DanL mentioned it in the Vega thread.

Put Corruption to a Vote

By STEVEN FULOP
Published: October 7, 2007

Jersey City

LAST month, 11 public officials in New Jersey were charged with illegally receiving kickbacks and bribes in a statewide sting operation. The investigation dealt with nearly every layer of government, including the Pleasantville school board in Atlantic County, state assemblymen, mayors and current and former councilmen.

Sadly, this is just the latest instance of what is a disturbingly long line of political figures to be arrested for public corruption. Whether it?s dual-office holding, blatant conflicts of interest, pension padding or pay-to-play, a sense of personal entitlement has been a part of New Jersey?s political culture for so long that many politicians see it as a normal way of doing business.

As a councilman in Jersey City, I frequently see what I believe to be an abuse of government for personal purposes. City officials take municipal cars on trips to the Jersey Shore on the taxpayer?s dime. Council members hold paid positions with entities that do business with the city or are regulated by a city board. Indeed, a majority of the members of the Jersey City Council hold paid positions with Hudson County, and then vote on issues where the city?s interests diverge from the county?s. The conflicts are blatant, the hypocrisy is disturbing and the explanation that these practices provide ?public service? is alarming.

Gov. Jon Corzine, who has the best of intentions when it comes to making real changes in the state?s political culture, tried to bring real reform through the Legislature this year with a bill that would have prohibited dual-office holding. Regrettably, he was forced to sign a watered-down version of that ban, with a loophole exempting current violators.

Similarly, last month my colleagues on the Jersey City Council voted down an ethics reform package that I proposed, which could have been a model for other municipalities. Among other things, the legislation would have restricted use of city vehicles and property, banned officials from holding multiple elected or appointed positions in government, instituted business and income transparency requirements for elected officials and barred people from lobbying an entity in which they serve.

It?s clear to me that when New Jersey politicians are offered an opportunity to police themselves, they refuse.

There is another option, however. We can take the issue directly to the voters and force politicians to live by a stricter code of ethics. Voters in Jersey City can demand transparency and make it more difficult for unscrupulous, greedy politicians to steal taxpayers? dollars.

Specifically, we need two ballot questions that would give Jersey City?s voters the opportunity to institute new ethics reform measures. The first referendum would prevent elected officials or government employees from collecting more than one taxpayer-financed salary. By state law, we can?t stop individuals from serving multiple government positions by popular vote, but since state law allows a municipality to hold back a paycheck and benefits if voted on by referendum, we can change the pay structures at the local level to ensure that there is less incentive to collect multiple paychecks and pensions.

The second referendum would make it illegal for any entity that does business with the city, like a developer or contractor, to make a political contribution to a local candidate for a one-year period. This would prohibit those with a specific interest in controlling a singular aspect of local government from bankrolling a local elected official who may have the power to influence that specific interest.

Political corruption is directly connected to how much people pay in taxes. It creates barriers to new ideas, and it infringes on the delivery of government resources. Instead of slick political insiders talking about reform, voters in Jersey City should have the opportunity to institute reform themselves.

Steven Fulop, a Democrat, is a Jersey City Council member.

Posted on: 2007/10/12 16:48
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Re: Fulop: Let's tighten our ethics rules
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Quote:

G_Elkind wrote:
R_Pinky is right on point folks.

Focusing solely on the City Council misses the mark, which only a comprehensive approach will address.


I was watching a recording of city council meeting on Comcast Channel 1 last night.

Thoughts:

- I find I'm watching Channel 1 and Channel 51 (the local access channels) more than any other channel but Comedy Central. Pretty sad.

- I don't know enough about the Faulkner Act to know whether Fulop and people here are right about it or the "Intelligent Woman Lawyer" at the meeting (the council counsel?? obviously some kind of city lawyer) was right. But, if the intelligent woman was wrong, she certainly SOUNDED as if she were making a great case. I think Fulop has to take her very seriously and get a great lawyer to help him deal with the objections she raised.

- The city council guy who talked about how unfair it would be to keep school district employees off the council really kneecapped Intelligent Woman Lawyer. She was making a what sounded like a good argument, then he came along and sounded (sorry, maybe he's a wonderful guy) like Tony Soprano complaining about the FBI cracking down on the marijuana trade.

- My general reaction is that most of the council members other than Fulop came off as nonentities. While the council was waiting for him to show up, it seemed as if the meeting droned on and on. It felt to me as if the council probably was rushing past potentially interesting matters (example: parking near the Korean War memorial by Portside) without comment. Then, once Fulop showed and dropped the ethics bomb, the meeting came to life.

- Given how much smarter and livelier that Intelligent Woman Lawyer seemed to be than most of the council members, I think that G_Elkind's point about the staff is really important. I don't even remember seeing the names of any of the staff people, let alone remember the names, but it seems likely to me that the staff people may be a lot more powerful than the council members, just because the staff people know more.

Posted on: 2007/9/26 14:33
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Re: Fulop: Let's tighten our ethics rules
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I think it probably goes a lot more along the lines of letting the right people know that they should not support the referendum, who in turn will tell their associates how to vote.

Posted on: 2007/9/26 13:40
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Re: Fulop: Let's tighten our ethics rules
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Can the machine really be that stupid as to run ads against a
referendum on ethics.What would they say?No they will run an underground campaign of city workers and their families.

I think the machine can be beat on this one.

Posted on: 2007/9/26 13:35
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Re: Fulop: Let's tighten our ethics rules
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Do you really think that even if comes to a ballot issue, any ethics package will not be the target of the machine?

Posted on: 2007/9/25 22:52
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Re: Fulop: Let's tighten our ethics rules
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I can't wait till the signature gathering starts. I will certainly be helping out.

Gina

Posted on: 2007/9/25 18:47
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Re: Fulop: Let's tighten our ethics rules
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Quote:

nugnfutz wrote:

There are multiple tiers of regulation that make the financial industry the most highly regulated industry aside from possibly the US DOD....


Perhaps more important . . . Fulop is everywhere.

Today, I was at one of the three civic organization meetings I've ever attended in my whole life, and the guy at the end of the row -- one of maybe 15 people in attendance -- was Fulop.

Fulop is better at showing up at the group's meetings than some of the people who run the group.

Maybe he will have trouble in Jersey City just because of the way the machine is set up, but that is one formidable guy.

Posted on: 2007/9/20 5:44
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Re: Fulop: Let's tighten our ethics rules
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Quote:

From another thread that Althea killed :)

davidkake wrote:
Dear Councilman Fulop:

........
Thank goodness we have the federal, state and county authorities to investigate and bring these persons to justice, Mr. Fulop, you are employed by the private sector; we read daily accounts of traders and others who hide behind corporate America bilking the public out of billions of dollars - where is the ethics in the private sector and who is watching?
......................
Respectfully submitted,
Robert B. Knapp


There are multiple tiers of regulation that make the financial industry the most highly regulated industry aside from possibly the US DOD. The banking and finance industry are tightly regulated by multiple US bodies including NASDR, SEC, the Fed and laws such as Sarbanes-Oxley, Right to Financial Privacy Act and many other. US financial companies are also subject to Global laws and regulators such as Basle Banking laws in Europe and regional regulatory bodies. Personally i'd like to see something like Sarbanes-Oxley inflicted on all tiers of government.

Fulop's own employer holds itself to a high level of standards:

http://www.citigroup.com/citigroup/co ... e/data/codeconduct_en.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bank_regulation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarbanes_Oxley

Posted on: 2007/9/20 5:01
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RE: watching back, slashing tires. etc.
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Yeah, that happended in Newark to Cory Booker. It took a second try to get him elected, finally after much shennanigans during the first election by his foe. He's now Mayor and the former Mayor will be likely wearing an orange jump suit.

I agree, our Pay-to-Play Mayor Healy should watch his back. History has a tendancy to repeat itself, especially for those who don't learn from it.

Posted on: 2007/9/20 0:41
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Re: Fulop: Let's tighten our ethics rules
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Posted on: 2007/9/19 21:08
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Re: Fulop: Let's tighten our ethics rules
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frenchmen wrote:
In city hall their laughing because davids thread 'Fulop will not get my vote" is pushed back up top while this thread has disapeared.They only considered Fulop a pain in the ass before but now that he is messing with their lively hood it is going to escalate.He better watch his back.You have no idea what these people are capable of.



My guess is that it starts with slashed tires.

Posted on: 2007/9/19 20:53
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Re: Fulop: Let's tighten our ethics rules
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Quote:

alb wrote:

...At this point, there is no evidence that anyone there other maybe than Viola Richardson has enough principles or independence to be a good person to dicker with...

If any members of the city council read this and disagree:


I can only speak to my own interactions, but I work well with my councilman, Councilman Lipski. He responds quickly and efficiently to most of our neighborhoods needs. It may be harder to tell what other council people are like on the ground if they aren't your ward's council person. If I just watched Lipski in the caucus meetings or during council meetings, I don't think I would have a very favorable image of him. However, since I actually have a relationship with him where he explains his side of the story, which I don't always agree with, I have a great deal of respect for him.

I have a great deal of respect for Fulop as well. On the ground level I see how he deals with many different groups. Could he take a nicer tone and "play well with others" on the council, no doubt. However, we know how far pussy footing with this City's government gets us. Seems like his constituents are asking for a take charge, take no prisoners approach and that's what they are getting.

Posted on: 2007/9/19 20:09
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Re: Fulop: Let's tighten our ethics rules
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frenchmen wrote:
He better watch his back.You have no idea what these people are capable of.


You mean a strapping young jock will go out jogging and suddenly turn out to have cardiac problems?

How could such a thing possibly happen in our fair city?

Anyhow: I surrender. Fulop is probably right to take a confrontational approach with people in the Jersey City government. At this point, there is no evidence that anyone there other maybe than Viola Richardson has enough principles or independence to be a good person to dicker with.

If any members of the city council read this and disagree: OK, maybe you are great and I'm being misled. If so, I think the way you could win me back over to the "Fulop ought to try a little honey before pouring on the vinegar" camp would be to post your own ethics reform proposals either here or on GetNJ list. Even if you wouldn't be quite as strict as Fulop, what stuff would you do to reduce conflicts of interest?

Posted on: 2007/9/19 18:45
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Re: Fulop: Let's tighten our ethics rules
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In city hall their laughing because davids thread 'Fulop will not get my vote" is pushed back up top while this thread has disapeared.They only considered Fulop a pain in the ass before but now that he is messing with their lively hood it is going to escalate.He better watch his back.You have no idea what these people are capable of.

Posted on: 2007/9/19 18:17
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Re: Fulop: Let's tighten our ethics rules
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+1

Best post in this thread IMO.


Quote:

G_Elkind wrote:
R_Pinky is right on point folks.

Focusing solely on the City Council misses the mark, which only a comprehensive approach will address. That being said, even a comprehensive ethics code by itself is no panacea.

Without holding city departments and employees accountable for their performance (or lack thereof), the quality of service delivery will remain poor, despite numerous individual exceptions by dedicated city staff.

Frankly, it's time to for Jersey City to implement best operational management practices now widely in place in both the public and private sectors.

Implementing a city-wide HR performance measurement system, which objectively sets quantitative goals and objectives by which the various city departments (as a whole) and employees (individually) can be measured would go a long way toward improving things.

A performance scorecard for all of the various city departments should be developed and publicly disclosed quarterly and annually. Individual performance measures would go along way toward setting standards for individual performance in a professionally administered HR and review system, and weed out non-performing deadwood.

If we can't measure performance, we cannot expect the delivery of city services to improve, nor can we effectively hold people accountable.

Ethics are important, but without a system of accountability, we shoudn't expect any significant change.

All the best.

Geoff


Posted on: 2007/9/16 16:58
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Re: Fulop: Let's tighten our ethics rules
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R_Pinky is right on point folks.

Focusing solely on the City Council misses the mark, which only a comprehensive approach will address. That being said, even a comprehensive ethics code by itself is no panacea.

Without holding city departments and employees accountable for their performance (or lack thereof), the quality of service delivery will remain poor, despite numerous individual exceptions by dedicated city staff.

Frankly, it's time to for Jersey City to implement best operational management practices now widely in place in both the public and private sectors.

Implementing a city-wide HR performance measurement system, which objectively sets quantitative goals and objectives by which the various city departments (as a whole) and employees (individually) can be measured would go a long way toward improving things.

A performance scorecard for all of the various city departments should be developed and publicly disclosed quarterly and annually. Individual performance measures would go along way toward setting standards for individual performance in a professionally administered HR and review system, and weed out non-performing deadwood.

If we can't measure performance, we cannot expect the delivery of city services to improve, nor can we effectively hold people accountable.

Ethics are important, but without a system of accountability, we shoudn't expect any significant change.

All the best.

Geoff


Posted on: 2007/9/16 16:34
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Re: Fulop: Let's tighten our ethics rules
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Fulop, find pinko a job before her nose finds it's way up your colon!

Posted on: 2007/9/16 10:54
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Re: Fulop: Let's tighten our ethics rules
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From Jersey Cxxx
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Councilman, IMO this is one of those which came first (or in this case, which should come first) "the chicken or the egg".

I 100% still stand by my opinion that the most important and productive thing that can be done to improve all aspects of this city; Is to adopt a Code of Ethics for all persons collecting a paycheck. In my opinion it is more important to improve productivity and accountability in each department and this includes autonomous agencies.

The same problems that existed when the former Councilman Junior Maldonado was in office and still continues with you in office. Junior Maldonado didn't have a magic wand and neither do you. If you look at 80% of the constituent problems you deal with and we dealt with are; because someone did not do their job or a department is so under staffed that proper distribution of manpower made it impossible.

Once a uniform Code of Ethics is put into place clearly outlining what can and can not be done for all employees, IMO will improve the quality and standards of Jersey City. Without standards and accountability there is nothing.

I wish all this energy( from all sides) was used in a more productive manner, having both sides of Government sit down and do what is truly best for the residents of this city. I personally don't want to see 2 more years of councilpersons fighting each other about each other and IMO,I don't think anyone wants to wait until 2009 to see who wins and if things will ever change. The true hero's here will be those who extend and those who accept the olive branch and do what is best for JC!

Posted on: 2007/9/16 5:45

Edited by r_pinkowitz on 2007/9/16 6:09:06
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