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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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Jersey City delays vote on full-time council jobs

By Melissa Hayes/The Jersey Journal
March 10, 2010, 7:43PM
Photo by Steve Gold

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Ward F Councilwoman Viola Richardson (left), who is proposing that council jobs become full-time gigs, engages in testy exchange with Ward E Councilman Steve Fulop (right) at Monday's council caucus. Ward C Councilwoman Nidia Lopez is caught in the middle. The measures were tabled tonight.

Ordinances that would have made City Council positions full time in Jersey City were pulled from tonight’s council agenda.

Councilwoman Viola Richardson sponsored two ordinances, one to make the job full-time, requiring 40 hours a week, and another to increase the maximum salary from $22,500 to $90,000 and for council president from $24,500 to $100,000, both beginning July 1, 2013.

Richardson said Corporation Counsel Bill Matsikoudis presented the council with a memo prior to the meeting that questioned the legality of stipulating that council members must work 40 hours per week.

“It’s our opinion that you can’t stipulate any other requirements than what are in the Faulkner Act, or city charter,” he said. “Trying to make council positions full time by prescribing a number of hours, I don’t think is permissible.”

Richardson took issue with the memo saying the law department drafted both ordinances for her and should have known sooner of the conflict.

“I do not appreciate receiving a notice like this when I asked you to draft me an ordinance and you had time to draft it, you had time to bring it,” she said. “For me to get this now when it’s time to vote is unfair.”

Richardson noted that Newark has fulltime council members.
Matsikoudis said Newark’s ordinances state that council members “should” devote full time hours to the position.
“It doesn’t stop the council members in Newark from having another job,” he said.

He added, “One of the things we talked about was restricting other types of employment. That may pass muster.”

Council President Peter Brennan asked that the ordinances be removed from the agenda for further discussion.
Council members salaries already exceed the cap Richardson is looking to increase. The base salary for council members is $33,430. The base salary for president is $35,430.

Posted on: 2010/3/11 2:51
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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Quote:

JRL wrote:
Except for Fulop, there is no other person on that City Council worthy of a $90,000 salary.


Fulop or not, I think $90k is too much for city council.

Posted on: 2010/3/9 16:00
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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Posted on: 2010/3/9 15:46
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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Except for Fulop, there is no other person on that City Council worthy of a $90,000 salary.

Does the Healy council really think we would believe they would work any harder.

If by 2013 the City Council job does go to full time with a salary such as $90,000 and the incompetent Healy Council is re-elected then the Jersey City residents need to have their heads examined.

In addition Healy is not worth the salary he is receiving.

Posted on: 2010/3/9 14:43
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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The other political reality is that such an ordinance would attract more candidates into each race. Crowded races typically benefit incumbents. For years this was one manner that political machines survived in cities like Chicago and Boston. There are some intelligent folks (see DanL post here) that can make a reasoned argument for a full time city council. It may certainly deflect discussion from other issues that are not happening sometime in 2013.

Posted on: 2010/3/9 14:19
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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I'm partial to o73o2's subterfuge theory - brilliant. The ordinance as proposed won't go into effect until 2013. Vega will be well into his sentence by then and many of the others won't be around to benefit either. I imagine Christie will have solved for the part-time pension problem before then.

Posted on: 2010/3/9 11:29
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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Chris Christie is proposing to due away with pensions for part time workers. So Wala they become full time and increase their pension three fold before they retire or get recalled or go to jail.

Posted on: 2010/3/9 10:45
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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Its their way of sticking it to Fulop and to us.

Fulop started this with the cars. He argued that they can't be 24hr on call and part time. So bing bang boom, they will become full time.

Posted on: 2010/3/9 9:49
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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Does anyone have any contacts with Arnold Diaz or Tappy Phillips for an expose tentatively entitled Fleecing the City?

Posted on: 2010/3/9 9:33
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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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 9:21
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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Jersey City councilwoman aims for full-time council jobs paying $90G a year, with no 2nd jobs in government allowed

Tuesday, March 09, 2010
By MELISSA HAYES
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

City Council seats could become full-time jobs in Jersey City.

"I think we need to finally change it," Councilwoman Viola Richardson said at last night's caucus.

"We've talked a lot about alliances to every place else but the city. Now you'll have one job, with the city."

Richardson has sponsored an ordinance to make the job full-time and another to increase the maximum salary for council members from $22,500 to $90,000 and for council president from $24,500 to $100,000, both beginning July 1, 2013.

She is not the first to suggest full-time council jobs.

Councilman Steve Fulop proposed a package of ordinances when campaigning in 2008 that was geared toward prohibiting council members from holding a second government job. Five City Council members, including City Council President Peter Brennan and Richardson, are county employees.

Brennan is a facilities manager in the Buildings and Grounds Department and earns $81,972 a year. Richardson is paid $90,502 a year as program monitor for the county jail.

Councilwoman Willie Flood is the county register and earns $113,358 a year for that job. Councilman Bill Gaughan is chief of staff for County Executive Tom DeGise and earns $125,665 annually.

Councilman Mariano Vega was suspended from his $128,244-a-year-job as director of Parks, Engineering and Planning after his arrest on corruption charges in July.

Fulop last night questioned how Richardson's ordinance would prevent someone from holding another job. He also took issue with the salary increases at a time when city workers are being laid off.

"Even considering something like this, I think is being out of touch a little bit with what's going on," he said.

Richardson shot back, "Don't tell me it's out of touch, it's for 2013."

Corporation Counsel Bill Matsikoudis said a clause could be added to restrict other employment.

Richardson urged council members to come up with other suggestions, and said she would still introduce the measure tomorrow.

In a statement, Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy said the city does not have the resources to support the salary increase, which amount to more than $500,000.

"Furthermore, this proposition came up before by Councilman Fulop, and as we said at that time, such a move would preclude qualified individuals, such as doctors, teachers, lawyers, stockbrokers, and small-business owners from participating in government and would keep them from using their valuable knowledge for the betterment of our great city," he said. "We have not wavered on that position."

Posted on: 2010/3/9 8:41
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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Quote:

o73o2 wrote:
i have to admit that this is a pretty smart political play from the council and team healy ...

nobody has asked why would anyone on the council propose such a preposterous idea when taxes are being raised ... nobody has asked the motivation why a sitting council person would support a spending increase when the taxpayers are increasingly angry with the sitting political leadership ... why would anyone advocate a 500k increase on the city budget when the proposals to cut the city's budget are in the low 100k range ... why would anyone come up with such an idea when the last several council meetings are packed by hundreds of frustrated, disappointed, and increasingly disenfranchised taxpayers?

has anybody picked up on the fact that the mayor - the leader of team healy - refuses to support the increase coming from one of its core members?

well, the answer is simple: this is a way to steer away some of the public anger the impending tax increase has generated because this is a proposal that
(a) nobody likes
(b) can be debated in absurdum.

this proposal seeks to create political diversion; it is a wonderfully intelligent tactic from a woefully incompetent political administration with lack of any forward looking leadership ...

and this would give a wonderful opportunity for young mr. donnelly to actively vote against an insane proposal ... to defuse some of the rightfully directed criticism against him that he is just another incompetent political appointee ... he can criticize the proposal and still be considered a team player ...

frankly, the more and longer this is being debated, the less energy can be spent on what is important for the taxpayers right now: to defeat, through political and public pressure, a crippling tax increase that can easily put some of the marginalized communities in the city back into the pre-gentrification days ...

so, let's not spend time to debate this diversion ... we must focus on bringing out as many people on march 10th to demonstrate outside city hall, to pack the council chamber, to advocate against the financial and political incompetency of team healy ...


calling me a "nobody" huh???... LOL... first thing I thought and said in post #6

Posted on: 2010/3/9 8:19
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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i have to admit that this is a pretty smart political play from the council and team healy ...

nobody has asked why would anyone on the council propose such a preposterous idea when taxes are being raised ... nobody has asked the motivation why a sitting council person would support a spending increase when the taxpayers are increasingly angry with the sitting political leadership ... why would anyone advocate a 500k increase on the city budget when the proposals to cut the city's budget are in the low 100k range ... why would anyone come up with such an idea when the last several council meetings are packed by hundreds of frustrated, disappointed, and increasingly disenfranchised taxpayers?

has anybody picked up on the fact that the mayor - the leader of team healy - refuses to support the increase coming from one of its core members?

well, the answer is simple: this is a way to steer away some of the public anger the impending tax increase has generated because this is a proposal that
(a) nobody likes
(b) can be debated in absurdum.

this proposal seeks to create political diversion; it is a wonderfully intelligent tactic from a woefully incompetent political administration with lack of any forward looking leadership ...

and this would give a wonderful opportunity for young mr. donnelly to actively vote against an insane proposal ... to defuse some of the rightfully directed criticism against him that he is just another incompetent political appointee ... he can criticize the proposal and still be considered a team player ...

frankly, the more and longer this is being debated, the less energy can be spent on what is important for the taxpayers right now: to defeat, through political and public pressure, a crippling tax increase that can easily put some of the marginalized communities in the city back into the pre-gentrification days ...

so, let's not spend time to debate this diversion ... we must focus on bringing out as many people on march 10th to demonstrate outside city hall, to pack the council chamber, to advocate against the financial and political incompetency of team healy ...

Posted on: 2010/3/9 8:05
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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Quote:

JCLAW wrote:
What's most awful about this is that the council members aren't even suggesting that they give up their other government jobs in order to make the council position full time.

What they are demanding is MULTIPLE 'FULL TIME' GOVERNMENT JOBS!

This is really bizarre. It's like they are daring the voters to throw them out because they know we are incapable of it.


I know. It's very bizarre to bring this up while people are in crisis.

BTW, the recall committees are in the process of being formed for three wards.

Posted on: 2010/3/9 7:23
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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What's most awful about this is that the council members aren't even suggesting that they give up their other government jobs in order to make the council position full time.

What they are demanding is MULTIPLE 'FULL TIME' GOVERNMENT JOBS!

This is really bizarre. It's like they are daring the voters to throw them out because they know we are incapable of it.

Posted on: 2010/3/9 5:31
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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The mayor is against it. He says we won't be able to get doctors and lawyers to serve on city council if we go to full time positions. He really should attend a meeting sometime soon - he'd be surprised at who sits in those chairs up front. (Doctors and lawyers??? Flood, Lopez, Gaughan and Brennan???)

Jersey City Councilwoman Richardson makes case for 90K-a-year council posts

By Melissa Hayes/The Jersey Journal
March 08, 2010, 9:27PM

City Council seats could become full-time jobs in Jersey City in Ward F Councilwoman Viola Richardson gets her way. .

"I think we need to finally change it," Richardson said at tonight's caucus. "We've talked a lot about alliances to every place else but the city. Now you'll have one job with the city."

Richardson has sponsored an ordinance to make the job full-time and another to increase the maximum salary for council members from $22,500 to $90,000 and for council president from $24,500 to $100,000, both beginning July 1, 2013.

She is not the first to suggest full-time council jobs.

Councilman Steve Fulop proposed a package of ordinances when campaigning in 2008 that were geared toward prohibiting council members from holding a second government job. Five City Council members, including City Council President Peter Brennan and Richardson, are county employees.

Brennan is a facilities manager in the Buildings and Grounds Department and earns $81,972 a year. Richardson is paid $90,502.91 a year as program monitor for the county jail.
Councilwoman Willie Flood is the county register and earns $113,358.02 a year for that job. Councilman Bill Gaughan is chief of staff for County Executive Tom DeGise and earns $125,665.64 annually.

Councilman Mariano Vega was suspended from his $128,244.77-a-year-job as director Parks, Engineering and Planning after his arrest on corruption charges in July.

Tonight, Fulop questioned how Richardson's ordinance would prevent someone from holding another job. He also took issue with the salary increases at a time when city workers are being laid off.

"Even considering something like this, I think is being out of touch a little bit with what's going on," he said.

Richardson shot back, "Don't tell me it's out of touch, it's for 2013."

Corporation Counsel Bill Matsikoudis said a clause could be added to restrict other employment.

Richardson urged council members to come up with other suggestions and said she would still introduce the measure tomorrow.

In a statement Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy said the city does not have the resources to support the salary increase, which amount to more than $500,000.

"Furthermore, this proposition came up before by Councilman Fulop, and as we said at that time, such a move would preclude qualified individuals, such as doctors, teachers, lawyers, stockbrokers, and small-business owners from participating in government and would keep them from using their valuable knowledge for the betterment of our great city," he said. "We have not wavered on that position."

Posted on: 2010/3/8 22:53
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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The idea of full time Council people is not something I feel totally opposed to.

But not at this time and not with this crew.

We'll be spending more money for more of nothing.

Posted on: 2010/3/8 22:43
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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After reading some of the points above:

1) This is definitely not the right time to do this.

2) MAYBE, MAYBE we need a full time council...but maybe not because from my vantage point Councilman Fulop is doing a great job part time.

3) The amount is too high - these are elected positions and should be about service. I have no problem giving them a bonus if they meet some criteria (for example I don't know +/- 5% of the budget from previous year, some crime metrics, etc. But it can't just be built into the salary or there still isn't incentive for them to do a good job.)

4) I don't understand why some thimk the part time status is a barrier to non government people? If anything I think it is helpful. I couldn't afford to take the job if it was full time, because I make more in the private sector (as I should.) So if it is part time and meetings are done in the evenings, I can continue in the private sector and also be in government service. Even if I don't make more than the proposed amount, I can still continue my day job and do this part time job. It really goes back to point #1, which is that we have seen someone excel doing the job part time.

5) This should ALL be off the table NO MATTER WHAT unless they are banned from holding multiple government jobs. I would want to go further and say that as salaried full time employees paid by my tax dollars they can't moonlight anywhere else during normal business hours.

Posted on: 2010/3/8 21:03
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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Does that mean they can't hold any other positions?

Posted on: 2010/3/8 20:49
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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frankly, if you only (heavy sarcasm alert) make 90k and live in this city, you need the additional side income as a burlesque dancer or a florida real estate investor, or a general "greaser" of the political process ...

Posted on: 2010/3/8 20:23
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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Quote:

DanL wrote:

while yes, the city deserves and warrants a full time city council at a level of compensation to draw people from the private sector. a better council would save a lot more money than the additional cost. and the part time status is a barrier to those from outside of government ...


I respect and value many of your ideas and opinions but not this time. The present compensation along with the many perks is sufficient IMHO. These positions should attract folks that are interested in public service and/or are motivated to do a good job to use the job as a stepping stone to a higher office. I would suggest that less greedy council members might be inclined to do a better job and empathise with their constituents better.

Posted on: 2010/3/8 20:23
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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If they acted on behalf of the citizens and didn't take kickbacks, I would be OK with it. But considering they abuse their power, do not give a sh*t about anybody but themselves and sleep through meetings, this is ridiculous. If this gets serious people into the positions, I am OK with it. It will save a lot of money.

Posted on: 2010/3/8 20:10
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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Quote:

FGJCNJ1970 wrote:
WOW. Holy cow Batman.

What is this and where did it come from? Who introduced this Ordinance?

FG


Councilwoman Richardson

Posted on: 2010/3/8 19:23
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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wow!

while yes, the city deserves and warrants a full time city council at a level of compensation to draw people from the private sector. a better council would save a lot more money than the additional cost. and the part time status is a barrier to those from outside of government ...

but not right now and NOT until Mariano Vega Jr., under indictment resigns.

Posted on: 2010/3/8 18:37
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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WOW. Holy cow Batman.

What is this and where did it come from? Who introduced this Ordinance?

FG

Posted on: 2010/3/8 17:22
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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Maybe this is just a bizarre diversion to deflect our attention away from other issues they intend to try to slid by us......yea any trust of them is waaaaayyyyy gone

Posted on: 2010/3/8 17:18
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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maybe we are all on candid camera...that HAS to be it...this cannot be real...

Posted on: 2010/3/8 16:59
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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This will go over REALLY well at the next council meeting/rally.

Posted on: 2010/3/8 16:35
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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They need to add language to prohibit Council people from holding other City or County jobs or being recipients of City pensions.

Posted on: 2010/3/8 16:27
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Re: City Council Seeks to Double Salary; Ordinance Would Convert Position to Full-time
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At this point I am throwing my hat into the ring for a seat on the council.

Posted on: 2010/3/8 16:16
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