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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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Is this person receiving 86 plus 129K - seems like he has two nice paying jobs?

Jeremy Farrell, the city's corporation counsel, last night accepted a gig as the MUA executive director after the previous director, Dan Becht, abruptly resigned. The city said Farrell will work part-time and take half Becht's pay, $86,831, in addition to his city salary, $129,384.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... e.html#incart_2box_hudson

Posted on: 2/23 14:01
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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Jersey City agency chief abruptly resigns

By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on February 22, 2017 at 7:26 PM, updated February 22, 2017 at 7:59 PM

JERSEY CITY -- Dan Becht, the executive director of the city Municipal Utilities Authority, abruptly stepped down today and was replaced by Corporation Counsel Jeremy Farrell.

Becht, 55, told The Jersey Journal he resigned to focus on working for the private sector. He has led the autonomous MUA, which runs the city water and sewer systems, since 2005, and has worked for the city in some capacity for 28 years.

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


Posted on: 2/22 21:28
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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The council voted to give the money to the administration, based on the fact that tax abated properties pay water bills too. If there was a refund they would also get a refund. The solution is not to give out tax abatements. This money will go into the budget and it is not earmarked to fix the water leaks in JC. It is nothing but a back door tax.

Posted on: 2014/12/17 22:00
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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I have a better one, Dan Becht was the attorney for the Newark planning board, while he was Executive Director for the MUA and guess who had him hired in Newark, none other than Elnardo Webster, Cory Bookers right hand man. Oh, and Elnardo was the attorney for the MUA until that was give the Mike DeCottis as an election gift. The MUA is a very important part of how a city operates and for the past 9 years its been run by the least qualified person to handle that responsibility. And because Dan Becht flipped and raised money for Steven, he was allowed to keep the job he wasn't qualified to hold in the first place.

Posted on: 2014/12/16 12:39
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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I cannot wait for the results, I remember what happened in Newark.
http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/201 ... _at_newark_watershed.html

Posted on: 2014/12/15 21:51
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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Posted on: 2014/12/15 14:56
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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brewster wrote:
Quote:

Bad as the pumping is environmentally, it's better than it being in our homes.


From what I have read, the EPA may require it back up into homes.

It would be nice if that huge sewer rate increase went into building underground surge tank and relining sewers. Instead it went to the Passaic Valley Sewage Commission.

Since JC doesn't have its own treatment plants now, we are chained to this cash sucking leviathan.

Posted on: 2014/11/10 15:16
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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Here is a wonderful connection, Balmir worked in Woodbridge under Mayor McGreevey, Balmir is now our freeholder backed by Fulop. McGreevey is employed in JC. And Fulop placed Balmir on the Board of the MUA. Did I mention Balmir voted yes on the contract?

Posted on: 2014/11/10 14:33
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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Engineering firm whose partners donated to Fulop gets $1.4M no-bid contract from Jersey City agency

By Terrence T. McDonald
The Jersey Journal

An engineering firm whose five partners donated to Jersey City Mayor Fulop's campaign has received a $1.4 million, no-bid contract from the Municipal Utilities Authority to oversee a project replacing 20,000 feet of Downtown water mains.

CME Associates, of Sayreville, is already the autonomous MUA's engineering consultant, a $296,000-a-year job it won competitively last December. The $1.4 million contract will be in addition to that the consulting gig.

MUA Executive Director Dan Becht argued during and after the MUA's Oct. 30 meeting that CME is the best firm to oversee the main replacement project because it has already been involved in attempting to secure state grants that would help to pay for it. Becht defended awarding it without seeking bids from other firms.

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Posted on: 2014/11/10 12:03
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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Quote:

Dolomiti wrote:
Also, sewer infrastructure doesn't have much to do with flooding. When there's a storm surge like Sandy, there isn't really anywhere for the water to go. That's one reason why they are now talking about making higher seawalls along JC's waterfront.


Surge flooding from the river is an extremely small proportion of JC flooding events, dramatic as it is. Most flooding is the sewer systems of the low lying areas unable to drain rainfall due to the system having no storage capacity nor enough pumping capacity to drain it to the river or treatment plant. A surge does exacerbate this, but it happens even at low tide. The entire system ends up as the "storage tank", and since most of the 100+ year old sewers leak like sieves when filled nearly to the street (and sometimes in it) it ends up in our basements, or worse, garden apartments. Bad as the pumping is environmentally, it's better than it being in our homes.

Posted on: 2014/11/5 23:37
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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Yvonne wrote:
While this is slightly off the topic, I have noticed workers throwing concrete down the sewer after some work is done. I am sure that adds to the flooding problem.


That's helpful to know. It should be reported and the companies should be fined.

Posted on: 2014/11/5 20:51
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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While this is slightly off the topic, I have noticed workers throwing concrete down the sewer after some work is done. I am sure that adds to the flooding problem.

Posted on: 2014/11/5 19:37
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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brewster wrote:
Here's a genius idea, how about "surplus" sewer money be spend on the crumbling sewer system?

I may be wrong, but I believe updating the sewer infrastructure is the responsibility of United Water. It's part of the contract.


Quote:
It's disgusting that any of this money goes to the city when huge areas flood in any sizeable storm.

The issue is apparently that utility bills were overcharged. There's some discussion of using the dinero to cut rates, which would be nice.

Also, sewer infrastructure doesn't have much to do with flooding. When there's a storm surge like Sandy, there isn't really anywhere for the water to go. That's one reason why they are now talking about making higher seawalls along JC's waterfront.

Posted on: 2014/11/5 18:59
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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Here's a genius idea, how about "surplus" sewer money be spend on the crumbling sewer system? It's disgusting that any of this money goes to the city when huge areas flood in any sizeable storm.

An MUA camera crew told me 17 years ago that my ancient undersized (18") brick street sewer had longitudinal crack and offsets. Every big rain it leaks into the street fill and squirts from my foundation. This same sewer caused hundreds of thousands in damage to McNair in Irene. This sewer was determined by the "survey" 2 years ago to to be "sound" and was removed from the renovation list.

Posted on: 2014/11/5 18:05
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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I agree with Thieroff, any relief should go to rate payers. Right now, Fulop is using water as a hidden tax increase because the surplus goes to his budget.

Posted on: 2014/11/5 17:16
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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Jersey City to get $31.5M from utilities authority; Fulop's former campaign manager objects

By Terrence T. McDonald
The Jersey Journal

Jersey City is set to receive $31.5 million from the city Municipal Utilities Authority over the next 13 years, thanks to an agreement approved by the agency's commissioners last week

The deal amends the city's franchise agreement with the MUA, an autonomous agency formed in 1998 to manage the city's water and sewer systems. As part of the agreement, the MUA forks over tens of millions annually to the city.

The city will now receive between $1.5 million and $4 million more in these fees from the MUA each year until 2027, giving Mayor Steve Fulop an influx of unexpected revenue for next year's budget and beyond.

READ MORE

Posted on: 2014/11/5 14:32
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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Morgan: Jersey City autonomous agency awards contracts to the politically connected

By Earl Morgan/For The Jersey Journal
October 01, 2014 at 6:12 AM

Contracts recently awarded to various politically connected firms by the autonomous Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority could very well mean higher water rates for city residents.

That’s not to say all water and sewage hikes are solely the purview of City Hall. Sewage rates are regulated by the Passaic Valley Sewage Authority, an agency with its own history of accusations of nepotism and cronyism. The JCMUA also voted to award its new legal counsel — the law firm, DeCotiis, Fitzpatrick & Cole — a $500,000 contract, a substantial increase over fees paid the previous legal counsel.

It should be noted that 21 of the law firm’s employees donated a total of $27,400 to Fulop’s mayoral campaign in 2012. Also, the firm’s Michael DeCotiis served as corporation counsel to ex-Gov. Jim McGrevey, now a Fulop administration regular.

But that’s not all. the law firm was awarded an additional contract to act as the agency’s bond counsel with fees ranging between $12,500 and $25,000 per bond sale and could also dole out a few bonuses along the way. This last move was, to say the least, unusual. It’s virtually unheard of for a law firm to hold duel contracts in an autonomous agency.

Still there’s more to tell. The engineering firm CME Associates, whose “associates” contributed to Fulop’s mayoral campaign, received an initial $148.000 contract, then a second one for $621,000. And there’s more.

Several days ago, it was announced that Christy Davis Jackson, who once ran former Gov. Jon Corzine’s campaign for the U.S. Senate, just snagged a seven-month, $77,000 contract to handle “community relations and grants” for the JCMUA.

Davis is the wife of Rev. Reggie Jackson who is himself a player in state politics and was once invited by Fulop to participate in a public presentation for KIP Charter Schools held in the City Council chambers, when the mayor was still a sitting councilman.

When the MUA was phoned, in an effort to reach Mrs. Jackson, no one there seemed to know who she is, nor did she respond to a phone call.

Former Jersey City Mayor Bret Schundler created the JCMUA in 1998, by combining the former city Water Department to the former city Sewage Authority — and the rates have only gone up. Those rates, like very thing else, inevitably increase and it become a matter of how much of an increase.

Schundler, a Republican whose politics strongly mitigated against property tax increases, created the MUA to have it pay the city a “franchise fee” from a bond issue floated to plug a deficit in the 1997-98 municipal budget. The franchise agreement stipulated the city would receive $16 million each year for a decade. Then the MUA hired United Water for $7 million annually to operate the city’s water system that was previously the responsibility the city’s Water Department.

Fulop told The Jersey Journal that the contracts do not violate the spirit of the city’s “pay-to-play” laws. Be that as it may, the bucks to pay for these new contracts will flow from the pockets of the rate payers, i.e. residents of Jersey City.

http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2 ... olitically_connected.html

Posted on: 2014/10/1 12:16
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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There’s nothing wrong with a consultant seeking fees for additional services if they’re required to increase the scope of their work, and in every case that should be easy to explain.

If it’s true that CME literally cited “unforeseen workload,” it would already be a poor explanation, but considering this particular contract appears to have them functioning only in a supervisory or representative capacity rather than offering more complex design services, it would be completely unacceptable. It’s even more perplexing that only one Commissioner asked questions about the additional fees.

What sort of client writes a check just because a consultant wants more money for vague reasons? Or are we simply not aware of the facts?

Posted on: 2014/10/1 8:54
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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Autonomous MUA doubles amount of Fulop donor's contract

By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
on September 30, 2014 at 7:51 AM

An engineering firm whose partners donated to Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop's campaign has doubled the amount of its consulting contract with the autonomous Municipal Utilities Authority.

CME Associates, of Sayreville, asked the MUA's board of commissioners last month to amend its consulting contract by an additional $148,000, citing unforeseen workload. CME is one of two firms with partners who supported Fulop in last year's mayoral race and later won lucrative contracts with the MUA.

CME won an initial $148,000 contract with the agency in December to oversee various MUA projects and attend regular meetings with agency staff and its board of commissioners. The pact expires this coming December.

The board voted 3-0 on Aug. 28 to amend the contract by adding the additional $148,000, with Commissioner John Thieroff abstaining.

During the meeting, Thieroff, who managed Fulop's mayoral campaign, was the only commissioner to ask questions about CME's request for more cash.

Read more from the Jersey Journal

Posted on: 2014/9/30 23:14
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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I went to a MUA meeting last year, the commissioners complained about all the infrastructure they must replace due to Sandy and they are getting the run-around from Fema. I guess, Fema came through, now they can spend money.

Posted on: 2014/9/24 17:53
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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Fulop gets plausible deniability by his campaign manager voting against the contract. Who knew the MUA needed community outreach? Or why?

Posted on: 2014/9/24 16:59
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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Posted on: 2014/9/24 15:25
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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I guess the reporters will keep on asking if the bidding process in this case followed standard procedure, or was it altered. I'd like to know if the other bidders, all ahead in the process until the 'interview' which vaulted the winner ahead, also made sizeable donations to the Fulop campaign.


Posted on: 2014/9/10 20:14
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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I wasn't involved in the initial bidding process (I joined the commission in February.) Since I wasn't part of the initial discussions around the contract or the bidding process - I abstained from the vote on whether or not to increase the amount of their contract.

Posted on: 2014/9/10 12:51
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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terrencemcd wrote:
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Monroe wrote:

If you don't read the article, know that the MUA head was Fulop's campaign manager...!



Fulop's campaign manager, John Thieroff, doesn't head the MUA. He's a commissioner on its board.


Yes, I noted my mistake in another thread. With that said it still stinks, although by a tiny bit less. I've asked Thieroff about the bidding process, how 'points' are given for the 'impressive' presentation that won them the bid after they were ranked last at that point in the process.

Posted on: 2014/9/10 12:01
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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Monroe wrote:

If you don't read the article, know that the MUA head was Fulop's campaign manager...!



Fulop's campaign manager, John Thieroff, doesn't head the MUA. He's a commissioner on its board.

Posted on: 2014/9/9 13:30
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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Autonomous Jersey City agency doubles contract amount for firm whose partners donated to Fulop

By Terrence T. McDonald
The Jersey Journal

An engineering firm whose partners donated to Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop's campaign has doubled the amount of its consulting contract with the autonomous Municipal Utilities Authority.

CME Associates, of Sayreville, asked the MUA's board of commissioners last month to amend its consulting contract by an extra $148,000, citing unforeseen workload. CME is one of two firms with partners who supported Fulop in last year's mayoral race and later won lucrative contracts with the MUA.

CME won an initial $148,000 contract with the agency last December to oversee various MUA projects and attend regular meetings with agency staff and its board of commissioners. The pact expires in December.


READ MORE


If you don't read the article, know that the MUA head was Fulop's campaign manager, and that CME vaulted over the other companies bidding for this contract after there was a 'do-over' set of interviews with unknown criteria after they came in last in the race for the contract.

Those darn independent 'authorities'!

Posted on: 2014/9/9 12:11
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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Autonomous Jersey City agency doubles contract amount for firm whose partners donated to Fulop

By Terrence T. McDonald
The Jersey Journal

An engineering firm whose partners donated to Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop's campaign has doubled the amount of its consulting contract with the autonomous Municipal Utilities Authority.

CME Associates, of Sayreville, asked the MUA's board of commissioners last month to amend its consulting contract by an extra $148,000, citing unforeseen workload. CME is one of two firms with partners who supported Fulop in last year's mayoral race and later won lucrative contracts with the MUA.

CME won an initial $148,000 contract with the agency last December to oversee various MUA projects and attend regular meetings with agency staff and its board of commissioners. The pact expires in December.


READ MORE

Posted on: 2014/9/9 12:05
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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"David and I were not friends in high school. We were not even acquaintances in high school. I mean, I had a high school in Livingston, a three-year high school that had 1,800 students in a three-year high school in the late '70s, early 1980. I knew who David Wildstein was. I met David on the Tom Kean for governor campaign in 1977. He was a youth volunteer, and so was I. Really, after that time, I completely lost touch with David. We didn't travel in the same circles in high school. You know, I was the class president and athlete. I don't know what David was doing during that period of time…We went 23 years without seeing each other. And in the years we did see each other, we passed in the hallways."

So do you just internalize the lies?

And yeah actually there is a difference between politically connected...and ethics violations such as those committed by Samson on Christie's behalf.

Samson is an APPOINTTEE TO A JOB. Lesniak was RETAINED TO FILE A LAWSUIT. Do you know the difference? My guess is no. Lesniak does not work for Fulop or for Jersey City. He is performing one task on their behalf. His salary is not paid by us.

The 1M expense was not justified because he knew they would take the 5th...what was the point?

And is your argument that Christie and Booker couldn't both be on the ballot on the normal November election? Because that of course is flagrant lie with no basis in reality.

Name for me ONE other governor who made up a political position for someone at the PA and then said they were not even acquaitances, and then went on to express knowledge of what a high school teacher said about the individual decades ago?

Name for me ONE other governor who directed PA funds to a city/town with no PA facilities.

I'm just going to keep asking because you claim it's par for the course, which is another blatant lie of yours.

Christie is going to be federally indicted. Even in NJ, that's a rarity.

Of course, it's a commonality among the Republican Party though. So he's got that going for him!

Posted on: 2014/7/11 16:32
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Re: Fulop, MUA, and the Spirit of the Law
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RUinHamiltonPark wrote:
That's rich. You can't possibly believe anything you say.

Please find me ONE other governor of NY or NJ who made an appointment to the Port Authority to a new position he made- and then claimed not to know said individual.

Please find me ONE governor who had an aide in direct contact with the Port Authority that advised said contact "time for traffic problems in X place."

Please find ONE governor who directed PA funds to a city with no Port Authority facilities or even access to water or the border between the states.

Please find ONE governor that assigned not one, BUT TWO law firms where he had personal connections- and then one of those firms actually was pushing for a development where they needed PA help.

And yeah Christie wasn't involved- he just called Cuomo to ask him to back off...a bunch of aides just did it sua sponte. OK, Michael Drewniak how do you have so much time on your hands?


Point one-he never said he didn't know him, first oopsie.

Point two-a stupid comment. Name one President who told an IRS head to take the 5th. Do you hold Obama to the same silly standard?

Point three-You don't understand how the Port Authority has worked since its inception, obviously.

Point four-I won't waste my time on this, except to say-point me out a single law firm engaged by any city, government agency, or NY or NJ that doesn't have political connections, Lesniak/Fulop being a prime example.

Do you really live in Hudson County?? Do you know how politics work around here? See what happened in Essex, the other NJ county not to vote for Christie? Booker took over as mayor of Newark, got on the Newark Watershed Board, and immediately moved their giant law firm expenditures to his allies and political supporters. Are you equally outraged at that?

Posted on: 2014/7/11 12:35
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