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Re: Jersey City mayor and councilman clash over plan for merging JCIA and Dept of Public Works
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Caucus Video 11/08 (you need quick time) Mayor defending merger

http://www.jc1tv.com/meetingscaucus20101108.html#part2

Posted on: 2011/1/25 6:16
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Re: Jersey City mayor and councilman clash over plan for merging JCIA and Dept of Public Works
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I stand with Fulop! Or we can all continue to drop more tax money down the bottomless pit of JC government with no end except moving out of JC! (which I dont want to do). Whichever entity merges with which, it HAS to be accountable and transparent!

Wait till the coming tax re-assessment! When some peoples taxes will go up 50-100% (which the city tax assessor addmitted is theoretically possible). All hell is gonna break loose!!

All the corruption and waste kills the JC economy, real estate values, schools...etc. The status quo is unacceptable. Please help to improve JC...it has tons of potential.

Posted on: 2010/12/23 15:26
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Re: Jersey City mayor and councilman clash over plan for merging JCIA and Dept of Public Works
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Quote:

jcrecall wrote:
KELLY MUST RESIGN !!!
HE LIED TO THE COUNCIL THAT Eric M. Bernstein and Associates' REPORT DOES NOT mention ABOUT $10.54M SAVINGS in the last council meeting. Resign NOW Kelly!!! We can find better talent in JC...!!!


BA Jack Kelly is proving to be a complete incompetent. He knows nothing of Jersey City and it appears he knows nothing about the operation of incinerator authorities or autonomous agencies. Another great choice by Team Healy.

Fulop 2013 !!!!

Posted on: 2010/12/23 4:03
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Re: Jersey City mayor and councilman clash over plan for merging JCIA and Dept of Public Works
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KELLY MUST RESIGN !!!
HE LIED TO THE COUNCIL THAT Eric M. Bernstein and Associates' REPORT DOES NOT mention ABOUT $10.54M SAVINGS in the last council meeting. Resign NOW Kelly!!! We can find better talent in JC...!!!

Posted on: 2010/12/23 3:11
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Re: Jersey City mayor and councilman clash over plan for merging JCIA and Dept of Public Works
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Mayor Healy acknowledged there's a budget crisis? He and his minions have ruined the finances of this city and now he's decided that this is the solution to fix the budget? My guess is that none of his cronies will be affected by merging the JCIA & DPW. And if any of them are, he'll move them.

And sorry to go off-topic but what the heck do the editors at the Jersey Journal do? And don't the reporters ever bother to do a simple software spelling/grammar check?

"Last month Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy announced last month..."

Sounds like Healy wrote it himself.

Posted on: 2010/12/23 0:45
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Re: Jersey City mayor and councilman clash over plan for merging JCIA and Dept of Public Works
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State tells Jersey City incinerator authority can't take over Department of Public Works
Published: Wednesday, December 22, 2010, 5:15 PM Updated: Wednesday, December 22, 2010, 7:01 PM
Melissa Hayes/The Jersey Journal By Melissa Hayes/The Jersey Journal

Last month Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy announced last month he planned to merge the DPW into the JCIA, which would cut 80 positions and save the city roughly $5 million annually.

But a Dec. 9 letter from the state Department of Community Affairs takes issue with that plan, saying statutorily incinerator authorities are not meant to perform certain responsibilities, several of which the JCIA already does.

?What is the legal basis for the JCIA to prove demolition services, snow plowing, sanitation inspections and enforcement of the city?s sanitation ordinances, building and street maintenances, traffic light installation and maintenances, street repairs, park maintenances and operation of the city?s Neighborhood Improvement Districts program,? questioned Thomas Neff, director of DCA?s Division of Local Government Services.

Jersey City Business Administrator John ?Jack? Kelly wrote a letter to the City Council today in response saying the city would postpone the merger, but plans to seek legislative changes to allow it in the future.

Oren Dabney, executive director of the JCIA, was in a meeting and could not immediately be reached for comment tonight.

Ward E Councilman Steven Fulop, who has called for the merger of the JCIA into the DPW since Healy?s announcement, said he agreed with the plan to cut the budgets in the short term, but disagrees with the long term plan.

?Despite the trend to eliminate autonomous patronage agencies around the state the mayor is going to try and have state legislations changed so that the patronage of the autonomous agencies can be protected,? Fulop said. ?In Healy?s new plan he is wasting valuable time to consolidate the JCIA into the DPW and realize long term cost savings?

The state has other issues with the merger. Neff wrote that of the list of employees the city proposes giving a one year service credit to, 140 of them do not have the state-required 20 years of service to receive additional retirement incentives. He said some have only nine years.

Neff also said that the Jan. 1 merger date does not provide enough time for a sufficient cost analysis.

Kelly said the city will take no immediate action on the merger, something he announced at last week?s City Council meeting, though he did not reference the state?s letter.

In his letter today, Kelly said the city would achieve its savings by downsizing both agencies by $2.7 million each in calendar year 2011.

?We are committed in the future to consolidating these two city agencies that currently have many redundant responsibilities, to significantly reduce the costs on an ongoing basis,? Kelly wrote.

He said the city began considering the consolidation three years ago. He said a 2007 analysis from an independent consultant shows the JCIA performs at a superior level. The agency also operates outside the state Civil Service system, which was the motivation for eliminating the DPW, Kelly wrote.

Kelly does not mention a May analysis from Eric M. Bernstein and Associates LLC, which calls for the JCIA to be merged into the DPW.

That report called for the reduction of 34 JCIA workers and 125 DPW employees for a savings of $10.54 million. The report notes, ?elimination of an autonomous entity which can now more clearly fall within the jurisdiction of the city is in the best interest of all concerned.?

Posted on: 2010/12/23 0:23
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Re: Jersey City mayor and councilman clash over plan for merging JCIA and Dept of Public Works
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It was difficult for Kelly to prepare the report since he has his other full time job in Orange keeping him busy.

Posted on: 2010/12/15 21:50
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Re: Jersey City mayor and councilman clash over plan for merging JCIA and Dept of Public Works
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It is OBVIOUS to anyone with any familiarity with the FACTS that Public Works should be absorbed by the vastly more professional JCIA.

Posted on: 2010/12/15 18:57
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Re: Jersey City mayor and councilman clash over plan for merging JCIA and Dept of Public Works
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Jersey City to postpone vote on public works, incinerator authority merger

Updated: Monday, December 13, 2010, 8:46 PM
Melissa Hayes/The Jersey Journal

Jersey City workers will have to wait a few more weeks to see if the City Council moves to merge the Department of Public Works into the Jersey City Incinerator Authority.
Business Administrator John ?Jack? Kelly asked the city to keep the ordinance on the tabled agenda while he prepares a report to answer council members? questions.

Several council members told Kelly they were upset they hadn?t yet received any information on the proposed merger, considering the issue was first raised several weeks ago.

Ward A Councilman Michael Sottolano said the council has no idea where the issue stands.

?Sitting waiting in the dark, waiting for a report to come out, is not good,? he said. ?We?d like to have some update from you.?

Ward F Councilwoman Viola Richardson said the administration still has not addressed the pension issue.

Several council members and public works employees have expressed concern over what would happen to workers pensions if they were laidoff then rehired by the autonomous agency.

Kelly said that issue would be addressed in his report.

Ward D Councilman Bill Gaughan also asked for current organizational charts of both entities. He said the council was given a proposed chart for the merger, but members have no idea how that compares to what the city has now.

?We need things that make comparisons,? he said.

He also asked for information on how many police and fire vehicles the Department of Public Works? automotive division services and also for information on the work the division of parks and forestry does.

Sottolano said council members want to ensure no services are lost in the merger.

Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy has said the merger would save about $5 million, something the city needs to help close an $80 million deficit by January.

Gaughan also asked about the layoffs. He said council members were told 60 public works employees and 20 incinerator authority employees would be cut.

Kelly said 60 is the maximum number of public works employees and 20 JCIA members is the minimum number from that agency based on the proposal.

Sottolano said numbers should not be announced until there is data to back them up.

?It creates unnecessary anxiety,? he said.

Council members seemed to agree that they want to discuss the plan in an executive session closed to the public before voting to finalize it.

Posted on: 2010/12/14 16:11
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Re: Jersey City mayor and councilman clash over plan for merging JCIA and Dept of Public Works
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Jersey City Council introduces ordinance to merge public works, incinerator authority

Updated: Wednesday, November 10, 2010, 7:21 PM
Melissa Hayes/The Jersey Journal

The City Council just voted to introduce an ordinance that would merge the Jersey City Department of Public Works into the Jersey City Incinerator Authority.

The move comes despite dozens of public works employees dressed in their blue work shirts and uniforms packing council chambers in protest of what they think is the wrong merger. The move also calls for the elimination of 80 employees at the two agencies.

This merger that they want to do here is going to take away our job security,? Parks Supervisor Santo DellaMonica said.

DellaMonica noted that Public Works falls under the state Civil Service Commission, which provides job security and could curtain patronage. He said the city officials project saving $5 million through the merger, but he thinks more could be saved by having the DPW take over the JCIA. He noted that JCIA employees are on a higher pay scale than those at the JCIA.

He said that in order to merge the departments ? Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy said Monday he hopes it could take affect Jan. 1 ? the city would have to issue a notice of layoff to all the DPW employees, which requires 45 days notice.

Ward E Councilman Steven Fulop and Ward C Councilwoman Nidia Lopez voted against introducing the measure.

Other council members expressed concern with ironing out several issues, including employee pensions and retirement credits, but said they were willing to introduce it.
It was introduced 6-2 with Ward B Councilman David Donnely, who is absent, not voting.

?There is a lot of work to do,? Ward D Councilman Bill Gaughan said drawing boos from the workers after saying he planned to support the introduction. ?Please understand that in two weeks from now we?ll have more information.?

Ward A Councilman Michael Sottolano said if the issues aren?t addressed in two weeks when the issue is up for public hearing and adoption, the council can vote it down or table it until everything is resolved.

But Lopez said she couldn?t support the introduction without more information.

?I dislike that we?re being asked to vote on such a significant move without more details about it,? she said adding that it impacts workers who have given their lives to the city.

?I think it?s a little bit disrespectful especially for those people that have spent 22 years with the city,? she said drawing applause from the workers.

Fulop has said he wants to merge the JCIA into the DPW. He said Monday that there is too much political patronage at the JCIA and he would rather dissolve the autonomous agency and keep a city department, which falls under the jurisdiction of the administration.

Healy has said the JCIA needs one year notice before the city can abolish it and the city doesn?t have the luxury of time in the current budget crisis. City officials are working to close an $80 million budget gap.

Posted on: 2010/11/11 6:53
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Re: Jersey City mayor and councilman clash over plan for merging JCIA and Dept of Public Works
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The mayor finds his honest men at this location :

Resized Image

Posted on: 2010/11/10 3:46
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Re: Jersey City mayor and councilman clash over plan for merging JCIA and Dept of Public Works
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Healy said Dabney conducts annual reviews of his employees and Hadley knows his staff well. He said both are honest men who would pick the most productive workers to staff the new combined agency.


Healy wouldn't know an "honest man" unless one fell out of a beer tap....

As usual, Fulop has a total grasp of the issue.

2013 can't come soon enough.

Posted on: 2010/11/9 19:28
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Re: Jersey City mayor and councilman clash over plan for merging JCIA and Dept of Public Works
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The Councilman is 100% correct.

It's an established fact that the promise of the autonomous agency concept, has been an abysmal failure.

There have been no cost savings, efficiency or effective revenue streams back to the city where ever the concept has been applied -- just a new unaccountable structure that's become the new patronage dumping grounds.

All the best.

Geoff

Posted on: 2010/11/9 14:57
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Re: Jersey City mayor and councilman clash over plan for merging JCIA and Dept of Public Works
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"One of the reasons I'm recommending we do the merger into JCIA and keep the Incinerator Authority alive when we do that, (is because) we will not be restricted or somewhat burdened by the labyrinthine regulations of the Civil Service code," Healy said.

Regulations designed to prevent thieves from raiding our coffers.

Posted on: 2010/11/9 14:47
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Re: Jersey City mayor and councilman clash over plan for merging JCIA and Dept of Public Works
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Keeping JCIA autonomous in merger with DPW will only worsen patronage: Fulop Op-Ed

Published: Tuesday, November 09, 2010, 6:40 AM
The Jersey Journal

By STEVEN FULOP
SPECIAL TO THE JOURNAL

The Healy administration and their allies on the City Council have proposed consolidation by eliminating Jersey City's Department of Public Works (DPW) and putting it into the autonomous agency known as the Jersey City Incinerator Authority (JCIA).

This move is yet another clear example of politicians' desires to place political agenda ahead of what is best for you, the overtaxed resident. Consolidation is good, but it should be the exact opposite direction, with elimination of the autonomous agency and put the functions under the city's control so that there is council and taxpayer accountability and oversight.

There is no question that there are considerable (and desperately needed!) savings to be realized by combining the two agencies -- administration estimates place these cost reductions at $5 million per year. Even greater cost reductions could be realized by keeping the DPW and folding the JCIA into it. By eliminating the JCIA, there would be no need to pay for separate financial reporting accountants, separate lawyers doing legal work, and the city would no longer be on the hook for the gift of health benefits it provides to JCIA's board members.

But the real benefit of eliminating the JCIA and not the DPW goes well beyond these additional cost savings. As an autonomous agency, the JCIA has very little oversight and has long been a source of jobs and contracts for friends, family members and the politically connected. For the past hundred years, it has been through these types of handouts that the local machine has been able to keep its hold on power -- handouts funded entirely by the taxpayer.

Furthermore, the administration is proposing 80 layoffs and they point to the fact that these layoffs within the JCIA would not be subject to Civil Service restrictions on who receives a "pink slip." As I mentioned to the mayor personally, the city has never done performance reviews of its employees so how is fair that political appointees can arbitrarily select who stays and who is fired based on who they like without facts on performance. This is bad for city morale and bad for employee effectiveness. If the surviving entity was the Department of Public Works within the city there would be oversight and clear process on which employees stay or go and it would not be based on politics or who campaigns for whom.

These autonomous agencies also have the ability to independently issue debt with no regard to the city's bonding capacities -- debt that the city's current and future taxpayers will be on the hook to repay.

Incredibly, not only can the JCIA give jobs to dozens of neighbors, in-laws, former mayors and campaign workers, but they can essentially borrow to do it! This is one of many reasons why we should be moving to eliminate autonomous agencies rather than strengthening them. If the combined DPW/JCIA entity is kept as a department of the city government under the current JCIA leadership, rather than allowing it to be an autonomous agency, it will be much easier to prevent these types of abuses.

While it may be "easier" to proceed with the administration's plan, much of what they seek to accomplish could be achieved in the same time frame by keeping the DPW and eliminating the JCIA. In keeping the DPW, we not only realize the desperately needed savings the mayor's plan targets -- and then some -- but we also create a structure that will truly serve the people's interests. Don't be fooled by the administration's false urgency -- there is never a wrong time to do the right thing.

The autonomous agencies have been a bastion of political patronage since they were created.

STEVEN FULOP is the Jersey City councilman representing Ward E.

Posted on: 2010/11/9 14:10
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Jersey City mayor and councilman clash over plan for merging JCIA and Dept of Public Works
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Jersey City mayor and councilman clash over plan for merging Jersey City Incinerator Authority and Department of Public Works

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

The Jersey City administration and City Council agree on one thing: there's a lot of duplication between the Jersey City Incinerator Authority and Department of Public Works.

But there's plenty of disagreement over how to merge the agencies.

Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy attended last night's council caucus and asked members to introduce an ordinance tomorrow that would allow the JCIA, an autonomous agency, to take over the DPW.

The merger would eliminate 80 positions and save the city about $5 million annually, Healy said.

"One of the reasons I'm recommending we do the merger into JCIA and keep the Incinerator Authority alive when we do that, (is because) we will not be restricted or somewhat burdened by the labyrinthine regulations of the Civil Service code," Healy said.

Healy said if the city were to eliminate the JCIA, it would require a one-year notice and the city would have to deal with bumping rights and other Civil Service restrictions.

Healy has proposed that JCIA Executive Director Oren Dabney remain in charge of the agency and that DPW Director Rodney Hadley become deputy director.

But Ward E Councilman Steven Fulop argued that Public Works should take over the JCIA, which would require it to report to the City Council and administration, and be accountable to taxpayers.

"There's an easy way to do it and there's a right way to do it that is good for the longtime health of the city," Fulop said. "The proper thing to do is eliminate the autonomous agency."

Fulop sparked a debate when he asked how the 80 employees would be eliminated and accused the administration of keeping on political supporters.

Healy said Dabney conducts annual reviews of his employees and Hadley knows his staff well. He said both are honest men who would pick the most productive workers to staff the new combined agency.

Posted on: 2010/11/9 13:53
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