Register now !    Login  
Main Menu
Who's Online
42 user(s) are online (36 user(s) are browsing Message Forum)

Members: 0
Guests: 42

more...




Browsing this Thread:   1 Anonymous Users






Re: JC shafted for county funds! Here's a pretty picture of how the game is played in Hudson county
#7
Home away from home
Home away from home


Hide User information
Joined:
2004/9/15 19:03
Last Login :
2020/8/25 18:25
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 9077
Offline
Feds subpoena WNY documents
Probe focuses on $7.2M in grants

Thursday, April 19, 2007
By JARRETT RENSHAW
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

As part of a growing statewide investigation, federal prosecutors have issued a subpoena to West New York Town Hall in connection with the millions of dollars in controversial state grants the town received while Albio Sires served as mayor and in the state Assembly.

Federal prosecutors subpoenaed documents related to discretionary grants placed into the state budget without public review dating back to 2004 and up to the present day, according to West New York attorney Daniel Hogan.

Sires was not specifically named in the subpoena, which did not identify any specific grants.

Sires, a Democrat who is now the congressman representing the 13th District, served as mayor of West New York from 1995 until 2006 and as Assembly speaker from 2002 until 2006. He gave up those posts after he was elected to the House in November, taking the seat of Robert Menendez, now a U.S. senator.

"We have complied with the subpoena, and we will continue to comply if more records are requested," said Hogan.

The controversial legislative practice of dishing out millions of dollars in discretionary state grants - commonly referred to as "Christmas tree" grants - through a secretive budget process has been under scrutiny by investigators for months.

U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie has also subpoenaed documents from the Governor's Office, the governor's chief counsel, two state departments, legislative leaders and legislative staff. Christie has refused to talk publicly about the investigation, but it is widely believed he is looking into whether lawmakers benefited from the grants.

Assemblyman and Union City Mayor Brian Stack is one of three legislators to also receive subpoenas. The others are Nicholas Scutari, D-Union, and Joseph Coniglio, D-Bergen.

The subpoena comes shortly after a Jersey Journal analysis revealed that since 2005 West New York scored the overwhelming majority of "Christmas tree" grants when compared to the county's 11 other municipalities.

West New York nabbed at least $7.2 million, roughly 40 percent of the $18.7 million in such grants doled out in Hudson County during the same time period. Comparatively, the much larger Jersey City got $3.56 million.

When asked about the disparity, a spokeswoman for Sires, Julie Roginsky, said: "You need to ask Jersey City legislators that question."

"He's not going to apologize for doing his job for the people of West New York," she added.

Some said the wide disparity underscores the power and influence party leaders wield as they divvy up the discretionary funding among the legislative districts, as well as raising questions about how those party leaders steer money into their home districts.

The projects included $2.75 million for renovations to the town's Department of Public Works garage and $450,000 to improvements to McEldowney Park.

The town's Parking Authority also received a $2 million state grant in fiscal year 2006 and the West New York Senior Outreach Transportation Program received a $250,000 state grant in fiscal year 2007.

These grants were not included in the Journal's analysis, suggesting the actual tally of pork barrel funding was much higher than initially reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Posted on: 2007/4/19 13:47
 Top 


Re: JC shafted for county funds! Here's a pretty picture of how the game is played in Hudson county
#6
Home away from home
Home away from home


Hide User information
Joined:
2005/9/6 15:48
Last Login :
2016/6/20 2:33
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 629
Offline
Don't get me started, janegeorge!

I could rant on for awhile about this asinine program, but there are already plenty of threads that touch on this subject. Search "tax abatements", but in short, PILOT stands for "payment in lieu of taxes". The city shortchanges the county in what would be their normal share of property tax. In the long run, the city taxpayers get shafted, too.

Posted on: 2007/3/22 14:02
 Top 


Re: JC shafted for county funds! Here's a pretty picture of how the game is played in Hudson county
#5
Newbie
Newbie


Hide User information
Joined:
2005/9/27 0:41
Last Login :
2007/3/23 1:19
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 13
Offline
What is a "PILOT" program?

Posted on: 2007/3/22 12:36
 Top 


Re: JC shafted for county funds! Here's a pretty picture of how the game is played in Hudson county
#4
Home away from home
Home away from home


Hide User information
Joined:
2004/11/6 21:13
Last Login :
2021/4/5 17:57
From Hamilton Park
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 5556
Offline
Quote:

Binky wrote:
Maybe this is payback for the PILOT program, with which JC shafts the county.


Touche!

It really is amazing that it's legal for the city to make PILOT deals that cut off the county from it's taxbase growth.

Posted on: 2007/3/19 20:06
 Top 


Re: JC shafted for county funds! Here's a pretty picture of how the game is played in Hudson county
#3
Home away from home
Home away from home


Hide User information
Joined:
2005/9/6 15:48
Last Login :
2016/6/20 2:33
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 629
Offline
Maybe this is payback for the PILOT program, with which JC shafts the county.

Posted on: 2007/3/19 19:45
 Top 


Re: JC shafted for county funds! Here's a pretty picture of how the game is played in Hudson county
#2
Home away from home
Home away from home


Hide User information
Joined:
2004/9/15 19:03
Last Login :
2020/8/25 18:25
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 9077
Offline
Here is another Jersey Journal article about this subject:

Probe may illuminate pork-barrel grants

Monday, March 19, 2007
By JARRETT RENSHAW
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

The secretive practice of state lawmakers funneling millions of dollars to their home districts in last-minute budget sessions has come under fire in Trenton, sparked by news of a federal investigation into the offices of the state's most powerful politicians.

U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie has served a host of subpoenas on the offices of the state's top elected officials - including Senate Majority Leader Bernard Kenny, D-Hoboken, and Gov. Jon Corzine - as federal investigators try to bring some light to one of the darkest parts of New Jersey's budget process.

What started as a probe into state Sen. Wayne Bryant, D-Camden, the powerful former Senate budget committee chairman, has now expanded into an investigation into the so-called "Christmas tree" spending on pork-barrel projects that lawmakers add to the budget every year through a secretive process.

Also receiving scrutiny is a grant to a non-profit Union City day care operated by the estranged wife of Mayor Brian Stack. The $100,000 grant, awarded in 2005, was used for capital improvements at a playground adjacent to the Union City Day Care Center.

Since 2005, Hudson County municipalities grabbed nearly $18 million through these grants, with West New York bringing down 40 percent of all the money - perhaps because Albio Sires, who is now a U.S. Congressman, was at the time Assembly speaker as well as West New York's mayor.

Local lawmakers told The Jersey Journal that they request the grants at different times throughout the year; they say they remain in the dark on approvals until after the decisions are made in last-minute deals to get the budget passed. Typically, the lion's share of the funding goes to districts controlled by the party in power.

Lawmakers don't sign their names to these grants and there is little, if any, public debate on the merits of the spending, widely believed to be controlled by the party leaders who control the Statehouse.

Lawmakers now vow to bring some transparency to the process.

Under proposals being debated in Trenton, lawmakers must submit requests for budget additions to the appropriations committee at least 21 days before the Legislature on the budget. Members also will be required to disclose whether they or their family members have any business relationship with the grant recipient.

"I have always been proud of the money I was able to bring home, so I would like more transparency in the process. I want the recipients of those grants to know that I was able to help them," said Assemblywoman Joan Quigley, D-Jersey City.

Assemblyman Lou Manzo, D-Jersey City, said the "whole process is broken."

Newhouse News Service Contributed to this report.

Posted on: 2007/3/19 19:26
 Top 


JC shafted for county funds! Here's a pretty picture of how the game is played in Hudson county
#1
Home away from home
Home away from home


Hide User information
Joined:
2004/11/6 21:13
Last Login :
2021/4/5 17:57
From Hamilton Park
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 5556
Offline
The state assembly speaker's city got nearly 11 times the discretionary county cash per capita as did JC. I voted against this guy for congressman. I don't know what's worse, his actions or JC's pols sitting still for it. You'd think having the largest voter bloc in the county would count for something. Apparently it ain't how big it is, but how you use it.

Kudos to the JJ for some actual reportage!


Jersey Journal
Monday, March 19, 2007
By JARRETT RENSHAW
For the last two years, Christmas time is a year-round celebration in West New York.

A Jersey Journal analysis of the practice of discretionary state grants - commonly referred to as "Christmas tree" grants - doled out by Hudson County's legislators through a secretive budget process reveals that West New York received the overwhelming majority of the pork-barrel spending since 2005.

Among the expenditures were $2.75 million on refurbishments and renovations to the town's Department of Public Works garage and $450,000 on improvements to McEldowney Park.

Some say the wide disparity underscores the power and influence that party leaders wield as they divvy up the discretionary funding among the various legislative districts, as well as raising questions about how those party leaders steer money into their home districts.

Freshman U.S. Congressman Albio Sires doubled as Assembly speaker and West New York mayor during this time period, and the bulk of the pork-barrel money was earmarked toward expensive capital projects in West New York that would have otherwise put a massive strain - or been impossible - to complete using municipal funds.

Sires declined to comment on the issue, referring all questions to a spokesman for the state's Democratic Assembly Office. However, Joe Connolly, a spokesman for that office, said he didn't know Sires had re-directed questions to him, and declined to comment.

Since 2005, West New York nabbed $7.2 million - or 40 percent of all the Christmas tree grants provided to Hudson County over that time period, according to an analysis of records from the state's Treasury Department obtained under the Open Public Records Act.

By comparison, the much larger Jersey City received $3.56 million, or 20 percent of the funds allocated to Hudson, during the same period.

In addition, unlike in West New York, the bulk of Jersey City's money went toward non-profit organizations, such as after-school tutoring and medical care for low-weight and HIV-exposed infants.

The latest U.S. Census numbers show Jersey City with a population of 240,055, compared to West New York's population of 45,768.

Mayor Jerramiah Healy said Jersey City put its $3.6 million "to good use" and deserved more.

"As the largest city in the county, Jersey City should have received more of these discretionary funds to support and meet the demand for services that our diverse and growing population requires," Healy said in a written statement.

Overall, Hoboken finished third in amount of funding at $2.4 million. State Sen. Majority Leader Bernard Kenny, D-Hoboken, could not be reached for comment.

Two municipalities in Hudson County haven't received a single dollar in discretionary grants since 2005: Kearny and East Newark.

Political insiders say Kearny hasn't received any money because Mayor Albert Santos is out of favor with state lawmakers.

Asked about the lack of funding, Santos replied: "To be frank, I don't know the answer to that. I know it's a political process."

Posted on: 2007/3/19 18:35
 Top 








[Advanced Search]





Login
Username:

Password:

Remember me



Lost Password?

Register now!



LicenseInformation | AboutUs | PrivacyPolicy | Faq | Contact


JERSEY CITY LIST - News & Reviews - Jersey City, NJ - Copyright 2004 - 2017