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Re: Editorial: Building vote proves council is inept
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Another Jersey Journal Editorial from May 9, 2009 Endorsed Louis Manzo for Mayor.

http://jclist.com/modules/newbb/viewt ... id=195494#forumpost195494

Posted on: 2009/12/1 16:57
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Re: Editorial: Building vote proves council is inept
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From Steve Fulop --

I hope you had a good Thanksgiving. I recognize that these are tough times in our City and there has never been a more important time for our City government to function efficiently and effectively to help ease the growing burden we are certainly all feeling.
This past week's City Council meeting was among the most difficult that I have had to sit through as a member of the Council. I have attached an editorial and an article below that I strongly believe is worth your time to read:
Editorial: Building vote proves council is inept
New Appraisal Nixed, Building Purchase Moves Forward
In the end, this is really your money that is being spent; and this is your government.
If you have ever had an interest in getting involved in reshaping the City and have even a little bit of time to spare, please send me an e-mail. Changing the political culture in Jersey City is a goal and change will only come about through the collective commitments of one person at a time.

Sincerely,
Steven

Posted on: 2009/12/1 14:15
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Re: Editorial: Building vote proves council is inept
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So the City didn't have a problem using an appraisal on this property dating back almost two years ago...from the top of the market. Apparently there are no standards with regards to that. So I suppose that means that when they reval my property and try to raise my taxes I can appeal it by using an appraial on my property from 2002 - 2003 or earlier?

Posted on: 2009/12/1 13:00
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Re: Editorial: Building vote proves council is inept
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Christie vs. Healy = Pot vs. Kettle

Posted on: 2009/12/1 2:53
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Re: Editorial: Building vote proves council is inept
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Quote:

JRL wrote:
Since they cannot be trusted, perhaps a recall is in order. Some how, some way, we need to kick out these inept members.
Hopefully Christie will launch an investigation into Team Healy. We all need to write letters, makes calls, whatever it might take for Christie's involvement towards steps to help clean up the mess we have in City Hall.

Let's remember they were voted in, so I hope those that voted for Team Healy are all very proud of yourselves.


[quote]
super_furry wrote:
Editorial: Building vote proves council is inept
By The Jersey Journal
November 30, 2009, 12:01AM

This city government cannot be trusted.


All of those who did not vote are equally to blame. A very, very small minority of people actually voted at all. That's why he got in again.

Posted on: 2009/12/1 0:36
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Re: Editorial: Building vote proves council is inept
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Since they cannot be trusted, perhaps a recall is in order. Some how, some way, we need to kick out these inept members.
Hopefully Christie will launch an investigation into Team Healy. We all need to write letters, makes calls, whatever it might take for Christie's involvement towards steps to help clean up the mess we have in City Hall.

Let's remember they were voted in, so I hope those that voted for Team Healy are all very proud of yourselves.


[quote]
super_furry wrote:
Editorial: Building vote proves council is inept
By The Jersey Journal
November 30, 2009, 12:01AM

This city government cannot be trusted.

Posted on: 2009/11/30 19:08
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Re: Editorial: Building vote proves council is inept
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Our city council did not have a building or
a structural inspection done, did not consider renegotiating the lease, did not talk to the feds about the post office renewing its lease and did not have a second appraisal. With no budget what is the urgency in purchasing the building?
Hopefully Governor-Elect Christie will launch an investigation into our crooked rcouncil .

Posted on: 2009/11/30 18:14
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Editorial: Building vote proves council is inept
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Editorial: Building vote proves council is inept
By The Jersey Journal
November 30, 2009, 12:01AM

The Jersey City City Council approved bonding to allow the city Parking Authority to purchase this Central Avenue building that leases space to the Parking Authority office.

How much more evidence is needed to show that the people of Jersey City are being ill-served by those members of the City Council whose strings are being pulled by a City Hall administration that cares little for the taxpayer or well-being of its citizens. This is either an intellectually deficient or a sinister bunch in power.

The latest exhibit for the court of public opinion came last week, when the council approved bonding that would allow the city Parking Authority to buy the building that the agency has been renting at 392-394 Central Ave.

The purchase price was a highly questionable, $4.2 million in a down real estate market. Actions of these of elected officials in providing the agency with a go-ahead to buy this building is tantamount to malfeasance.

These self-appointed masters of investment and property acquisition refused to pay the $500 or so for a new appraisal of the building. Instead, they were content to rely on a year 2008 appraisal when the real estate market was booming. Their ineptitude was so blatant that it is easy to suggest their actions may have been planned.

Among those who approved the funding was Councilwoman Nidia Lopez, who has some trouble filing New Jersey tax returns. Another was Councilman Mariano Vega, who has so badly botched his campaign filings with state ELEC that it is difficult to accurately determine who donated to his war chest in May's municipal race. These are people who should not be making decisions with taxpayers' money.

The ordinance was introduced with a 5-4 vote but bond ordinances need six votes for approval on the second reading. Conveniently, it was Vega -- who once frighteningly chaired the city Tax Enhancement Committee -- changed his vote to yes. The councilman, who faces federal corruption charges and refuses to step down claiming he did nothing wrong, said he was convinced by supporters that this was a good deal for the city. He made this explanation with a straight face.

Downtown Councilman Steve Fulop, Ward F Councilwoman Viola Richardson and Councilwoman at large Willie Flood did the right thing by voting against the bond ordinance. Fulop argued for the new appraisal and noted that one of the property owners contributed to the Team (Mayor Jerramiah) Healy slate in this year's election.

Perhaps a review of past real estate deals approved by this City Council is a necessity. This city government cannot be trusted.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/voices/index ... building_vote_proves.html

Posted on: 2009/11/30 13:25
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Re: Jersey City Council to vote on spending $4.6 million for parking authority building
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most mortgages end up in trouble due to high purchase price. This building at $4.6mm will be no different should the morons on the city council vote yes...

Posted on: 2009/11/30 12:31
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Re: Jersey City Council to vote on spending $4.6 million for parking authority building
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I believe these folks know exactly what they are doing. They know, along with everyone else who has an IQ over 10, that it is wrong to go with an appraisal from a year and a half ago. That is exactly why they tabled it when there were a lot of people at the meeting speaking against it and then decided to bring it to a vote on an off-cycle (Tuesday) meeting before a major holiday.

Posted on: 2009/11/30 11:45
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Re: Jersey City Council to vote on spending $4.6 million for parking authority building
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Posted on: 2009/11/26 16:38
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Re: Jersey City Council to vote on spending $4.6 million for parking authority building
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On this issue, I am 100% behind Councilman Fulop's position.

A new appraisal is absolutely required if the transaction is be considered on its economic merits, but I would suggest that the transaction itself is perhaps unnecessary and wasteful in the current economic climate.

To the extent that the US Post Office is running a $7 billion dollar deficit and looking to cut even Saturday services, this makes them a potentially unreliable long-term tenant. Further, when Jersey City itself will face its own budgetary challenges, the focus should be on avoiding unnecessary expenditures, and taking on an overvalued $4.6 million dollar investment is one we don't need.

Posted on: 2009/11/26 14:19
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Re: Jersey City Council to vote on spending $4.6 million for parking authority building
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To me, the part that makes this deal criminal is that you have six people voting for something on which they have no professional expertise and in so doing expressly refusing to seek readily available professional guidance.

Sottolano lists thirty-seven years of government service and cites his IT expertise along with "early employment at Western Electric and Progresso Foods." (Interstingly, Guaghan and Lopez worked at Western Electric around the same time - Guaghan as a pipefitter.) Sottolano often seems to express supreme confidence in the correctness of his view on a given business deal the city is contemplating. From what does that confidence stem?

Gaughan is a funeral director. Brennan owns a bar. Donnelly doesn't seem to have held a job outside of government and his expertise seems to be focused on planning and environmental issues. Vega's background is in education and Lopez's dentistry.

So the city probably overpaid by a million dollars, maybe more, for a building that could be without its anchor tenant in three years. That's a million or more dollars that interest will have to be paid on and ultimately will require the repayment of principal as well.

We are telling municipal employees that they have to take twelve unpaid days over the next six months - so we can do things like this? Grossly overpay for a building owned by a consistent financial contributor to this and prior administrations? Merry Christmas, Mr. Padovano. Anytime you can get a 33,400% return on your political contributions you have to take it, right?

You know what would be fun this year? Rather than the cheesy photo-op stuff like preparing a meal at a church or soup kitchen that our elected officials seems so fond of, perhaps the six who voted for this deal could make house calls to the furloughed municipal employees and explain their votes.

Posted on: 2009/11/25 23:20
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Re: Jersey City Council to vote on spending $4.6 million for parking authority building
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does anyone have the exact address or pictures of this building? 225k a year in rent is about a 20 year return, it's not that bad.

But 4.6m does seems a lot even for a commercial building in that area, unless it really is a huge building. Will reserve judgement for now..

Posted on: 2009/11/25 18:18
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Re: Jersey City Council to vote on spending $4.6 million for parking authority building
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Quote:

jcmiles wrote:
Hello,
I was at the Council meeting last night to speak about a completely different issue, but I watched in horror as the Council voted to purchase this bldg...


I was there also, and listened with an open mind to the arguments on both sides. What Fulop was asking for were two new appraisals. The argument that the current appraisal is still accurate defies logic. It was truly astonishing. The majority of the council could just as well have been arguing that the world is flat. Business Administrator Brian O'Reilly (not present at this council meeting) was on record in support of performing new appraisals. The majority of the council, for whatever reason, was hell bent on buying this building for pre-real estate crash prices. It's questionable if the city should be in the business of owning commercial properties (they will be a landlord) and Fulop's request to at least value the property accurately was prudent and reasonable.

All Council meetings have minutes which are in the public record. I have a strong suspicion this vote will be be remembered as an abject example of government's failure to act in a responsible manner.

Posted on: 2009/11/25 16:52
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Re: Jersey City Council to vote on spending $4.6 million for parking authority building
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Posted on: 2009/11/25 16:40
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Re: Jersey City Council to vote on spending $4.6 million for parking authority building
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Hello,
I was at the Council meeting last night to speak about a completely different issue, but I watched in horror as the Council voted to purchase this bldg.
Councilman Fulop argued cogently about all the reasons to get a new appraisal of the bldg's value.
I think he also suggested that maybe the Parking Authority should renegotiate the rent it is currently paying since it seemed completely out of touch with today's rental rates.
Then the new appraisal would use these adjusted rental rates.
The new appraisal should have also factored in the extremely high possibility that the post office would at the minimum, demand much lower rental rates when its lease was up next year, and could even move the branch to another bldg. or close it entirely.
This new appraisal, done correctly, would have shaved millions off the price of the bldg. my opinion and it was the right thing to do and would have cost maybe $600 tops.
To see the Council members argue against doing such an obvious thing made we want to puke. Maybe I don't have the stomach to see corrupt, greedy, self-serving politicians blatantly rewarding their cronies (in this case the bldg. owners) in return for contributions.
Even though this is now done, could an NGO finance a 2nd certified appraisal anyway? Then they would sue the city for the difference?

miles

Posted on: 2009/11/25 15:47
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Jersey City Council to vote on spending $4.6 million for parking authority building
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On Tonight's Agenda!

Jersey City Council to vote on spending $4.6 million for parking authority building
By Melissa Hayes/The Jersey Journal
November 24, 2009, 3:29PM

The Jersey City Council is expected to vote tonight on purchasing the Parking Authority office on Central Avenue for $4.6 million.Despite a heated debate last night, Jersey City Council is expected to vote on purchasing a Central Avenue commercial building for $4.6 million at tonight's meeting.

The council tabled the ordinance Nov. 10 after questions were raised about the purchase price. It's back on tonight's meeting and if approved would appropriate $4.6 million, including nearly $4.4 million in bonds, for the Parking Authority to purchase the property at 392-394 Central Ave.

Ward E Councilman Steve Fulop took issue with the purchase pricesaying it was based on an appraisal from April 2008.

Last night, city officials presented the council with an appraisal conducted by the building's owner this year as well as a letter from the city's appraiser both standing by the original appraisal price.

"There is no way this building is still the same value or remotely the same value as it was last year," Fulop said, calling for a new, independent appraisal of the site.

Ward D Councilman William Gaughan and Ward A Councilman Michael Sottolano asked if they could get notarized letters from the city's appraiser saying the price is still accurate.

Gaughan said the building was unique in that it has a federal tenant, the U.S. Postal Service, and it's a large space with the possibility of other tenants.

"It's well worth it," he said. "Take a tour. It's a great building."

Fulop and Sottolano got into a heated argument over the worth of the building.

"This looks like a plus in revenue going forward," Sottolano said.

But Fulop said he feels the building is not worth what the city is offering.

"You are all stewards of taxpayer dollars," he said. "If you can say with a straight face that the market hasn't changed in the last year and a half, then vote for it."

The Parking Authority has a 10-year lease, which expires next year, and pays about $225,000 a year in rent.

It subleases some space to the city for its closed circuit surveillance television system for $50,000 a year.

In addition, the U.S. Post Office rents space on the first floor from the owner, for about $177,000 annually. If the Parking Authority were to go through with the acquisition, it would become the post office's landlord.

While the Parking Authority would pay more monthly toward a mortgage than it does in rent, the post office's rent would offset the cost and result in a lower monthly payment, city officials said.

The building is owned by Hudson Central Building, LLC, whose managing members are Seung Kyom Kim and Matteo Pavodano, according to the lease agreement.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... council_to_vote_on_1.html

Posted on: 2009/11/24 21:19
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