Union County College Censure

By John Bury | June 28, 2016

In a June 18, 2016 press release it was reported that delegates to the 102nd Annual Meeting of the American Associations of University Professors (AAUP) voted to “add Union County College (UCC) to its list of institutions sanctioned for violating AAUP-supported standards of academic government.” The censure was based on a November, 2015 investigative report that concluded:

For several decades, the college faculty selected a Faculty Executive Committee to explore matters of academic policy with the administration, appoint members to faculty committees, and carry out other governance functions. The FEC had developed faculty bylaws and a faculty handbook that included matters of college governance; for many years, these documents were recognized and implemented with the consent of the administration. In a striking repudiation of this respectful relationship with the faculty, the UCC administration under President McMenamin declared that it would no longer recognize or do business with the FEC or its committees. Perhaps the most startlingly disdainful treatment of the faculty was the denial by a college administrator, near the end of the 2014–15 academic year, of a room on campus in which the FEC wished to hold its final meeting, including the discussion of its own dissolution. In a peremptory letter to the leaders of the FEC dated June 10, 2015 (three weeks before the end of FEC terms of office), the administration representative—almost certainly with the knowledge of the president or the vice president for academic affairs—wrote, “As for the FEC, let’s stop imagining that June 30 is a termination date for the FEC. The FEC became defunct with the introduction of the college’s new Governance system in May.
As the person who oversees room reservations, I will never authorize the use of any college room or facility for a committee that no longer has legitimate standing at Union County College.” (Quite apart from being a collegial affront, this unilateral and premature dissolution of the faculty’s representative executive committee by a functionary of the administration shows utter contempt for the authority of the faculty.) Finally, the administration has sought to impose, as a replacement for the FEC, a new “College Assembly” of faculty, staff, and students—without any advance discussion with any of these constituencies—and operational rules for this body have apparently been set exclusively by the administration. At a recent all-campus meeting for faculty and others, a mere ten minutes were set aside for “discussion” of recent changes in organization and governance.
The UCC Board of Trustees and Board of Governors met tonight and adjunct professors got their say:
Continue reading “Union County College Censure”

UCCF 6/23/16: More Pay-to-Play

By John Bury | June 28, 2016


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2016-525: Amending Resolution Number 2010-965, a Professional Engineering Service Contract awarded through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process with The Louis Berger Group, Inc., of Morristown, New Jersey, to provide additional construction inspection and administration services associated with the Intersection Improvements at Magie Avenue and Galloping Hill Road / Lincoln Avenue, City of Elizabeth in an amount not to exceed $4,000.00 for a new contract amount not to exceed $93,945.11. (Union County Engineering Project Number 2010-010)

2016-527: Authorizing the County Manager to award a Professional Engineering Service Contract, through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process, to Remington & Vernick Engineers, of Secaucus, New Jersey to provide Design, Construction Administration and Inspection Services for the 2017 Road Resurfacing Project for an amount not to exceed $390,084.00.  (Union County Engineering Project Number 2016-013)

2016-528: Authorizing the County Manager to award a Professional Architectural Service Contract, through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process, to Netta Architects of Mountainside, New Jersey, to provide On Call Architectural Services for the County of Union, New Jersey for an amount not to exceed $25,000.00, commencing June 1, 2016 through May 31, 2017.  (Union County Engineering Project Number 2016-015)

2016-529: Authorizing the County Manager to award a Professional Engineering Service Contract, through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process, to Alaimo Group of Mount Holly, New Jersey, to provide On Call MEP Engineering Services for the County of Union, New Jersey for an amount not to exceed , commencing June 1, 2016 through May 31, 2017. (Union County Engineering Project Number 2016-016)

2016-555: Approving the purchase of a Medical Malpractice insurance policy for Cornerstone staff, through Brown & Brown Metro Inc., with Princeton Insurance Company, Princeton, New Jersey, from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017 in the amount of $13,642.68.

UCCF 6/23/16: Major Issues at UCC?

By John Bury | June 27, 2016

2016-568: Appointing Cherron Rountree as a member to the Union County College Board of Trustees for a four year term beginning July 1, 2016 and ending June 30, 2020.
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Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin was appointed President of Union County College in July 2010 and the Union County Improvement Authority (UCIA) got more building projects which resulted in more fees for DeCotiis, Fitzpatrick & Cole, LLP which resulted in more campaign cash for the freeholders and their cronies.

Student Services Addition at Cranford Campus: $14 million

Plainfield Campus Expansion

Oak Ridge Park Athletic Field: $2 million

 

Oak Ridge Park Deal Done

By John Bury | June 24, 2016

A special meeting of the Union County Improvement Authority (UCIA), announced on Monday,  was held yesterday to pass a resolution where Union County would give the UCIA $2,312,788.40 to go to:

  • Pinnacle Consulting open balance: $668,008
  • Neglia Engineering open balance: $394,780.40
  • Project Architect to be selected (Netta?): $1,250,000

Then there is item 4 of the resolution which reads:

Compensation. The UCIA agrees to provide the Services herein to the County in exchange for the sum of not to exceed $250,000 to be paid upon approval and execution of this Agreement.

The term of the Agreement is nine months or until the Project is accepted by the UCIA and the County.

UCCF 6/23/16: Miscellany

By John Bury | June 23, 2016

There were several issues, some novel, that came out of tonight’s freeholder meeting that we will get to individually over the next eight blogs but first, due to time sensitivity for some items, we start with our miscellany:

Special Resolutions

2016-575: Resolution supporting the Township of Scotch Plains’ submission of a grant application for the “Safe Routes to School Program” within the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

2016-576: Resolution supporting NJ Senate Budget Resolution 4287, sponsored by Senator Steven Oroho (R-24), establishing a new line-item in the amount of $21 million to support county implementation of criminal justice reforms
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Revisiting Scotch Plains Business Administrator Al Mirabella and the Union County Budget
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No-interest loans for women
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Summer events
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Remember (EBOE Hunt)

By John Bury | June 17, 2016

While doing research for this blog I was watching Remember and the plot twist there turned out to eerily mirror this piece which was based on a story that came out today on the Elizabeth Board of Education’s (EBOE) hunting for wasteful spending by a prior political faction.  As reported by nj.com:

Continue reading “Remember (EBOE Hunt)”

UCCF 6/9/16: Resolutions and Presentations

By John Bury | June 15, 2016


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2016-473: Authorizing the County Manager to award a Professional Architectural Service Contract, through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process, to The Musial Group Architecture of Mountainside, New Jersey to provide Conceptual Design Services/Space Reconfiguration for the Union County Clerk’s Office, City of Elizabeth for an amount not to exceed $5,995.00.  (Union County Engineering Project Number 2016-021)

2016-485: Authorizing the County Manager to enter into a Shared Services Agreement with the Township of Clark to provide 9-1-1 Emergency Medical call screening and EMS Dispatch services in an amount of $9,550.87 for the first year, with a subsequent two percent (2%) increase in each additional year for the remaining four (4) years of the five (5) year term of the agreement.

2016-490: Resolution Modifying the 2016 Union County Adopted Budget in the amount of $69,879 as a result of notification received from the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection for a Program Entitled: New Jersey Clean Communities Grant.

2016-491: Resolution Modifying the 2016 Union County Adopted Budget in the amount of $425,766 as a result of notification received from the State of New Jersey, Department of Community Affairs for a Program Entitled: Community Services Block Grant.

2016-492: Resolution Modifying the 2016 Union County Adopted Budget in the amount of $826,925 as a result of notification received from the State of New Jersey, Department of Human Services, Division of Family Development for a Program Entitled: Social Services for the Homeless (SSH) Grant.

2016-493: Resolution Modifying the 2016 Union County Adopted Budget in the amount of $3,193,775 as a result of notification received from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development for a Program Entitled: SuperNOFA Continuum of Care (CoCr) Grant.

2016-494: Resolution Modifying the 2016 Union County Adopted Budget in the Amount of $16,401 as a Result of Notification received from the State of New Jersey, Department of  Health for a Program Entitled: Right to Know (RTK) Grant.

2016-495: Resolution Modifying the 2016 Union County Adopted Budget in the Amount of $180,000 as a Result of Notification received from the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection for a Program Entitled: FY 2017 CEHA Grant.

2016-496: Resolution Modifying the 2016 Union County Adopted Budget in the Amount of $283,970 as a Result of Notification received from the State of New Jersey, Department of Health for a Program Entitled:  FY 2017 PHILEP LINCS Grant

2016-513: Authorizing the County Manager to sign any and all documents necessary to enter into a Collective Bargaining Agreement with PBA 108–Sheriff Officers effective January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2017.

2016-514: Resolution authorizing the County Manger to enter into a Shared Services Agreement with the Union County Improvement Authority for the development, construction and implementation of the Oak Ridge Property Project; and further transferring existing funds to the Union County Improvement Authority in an amount not to exceed $2,562,788.40 as per terms of the Agreement.

Resolution presentations will be made by Freeholder Angel G. Estrada to two graduating high school students admitted to New Jersey Institute of Technology and Princeton University.
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Check presentations will be made by the Freeholder Board awarding the Start Now participation grants to the New Providence High School and the John E. Dwyer Technology Academy students for their outstanding efforts in the Union County Student Training and Enrichment Program’s Garments Gear Campaign.
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UCIA $1.25 Million Bond Ordinance

By John Bury | June 14, 2016

775-2016 BOND ORDINANCE TO AUTHORIZE THE PROVISION OF FUNDING TO THE UNION COUNTY IMPROVEMENT AUTHORITY IN CONNECTION WITH VARIOUS PROJECTS IN, BY AND FOR THE COUNTY OF UNION, STATE OF NEW JERSEY, TO APPROPRIATE THE SUM OF $1,250,000 TO PAY THE COST THEREOF, TO MAKE A DOWN PAYMENT, TO AUTHORIZE THE ISSUANCE OF BONDS TO FINANCE SUCH APPROPRIATION AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE ISSUANCE OF BOND ANTICIPATION NOTES IN ANTICIPATION OF THE ISSUANCE OF SUCH BONDS.
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The UCIA passed a resolution last Wednesday approving the settlement with Verge Properties Urban Renewal, LLC calling for:

CONSIDERATION. The Authority hereby agrees to pay ONE HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS AND NO CENTS ($150,000.00) to Verge, in consideration of the Release above, and the execution by Verge of a Stipulation of Dismissal with Prejudice of all claims pending in the Lawsuit.

According to billing records DeCotiis, Fitzpatrick & Cole, LLP has been paid $921,008 since 2007 on account of ‘Verge Properties’.

Freeheld Freeholder Plot Points

By John Bury | June 13, 2016

Freeheld got a lot wrong about how freeholder meetings and pensions operate in New Jersey but it is still worth a viewing now that it is on DVD for both the intended emotional punch and the unintentional laughs:

Continue reading “Freeheld Freeholder Plot Points”

Garwood Sports Compex Event

By John Bury | June 12, 2016

The Garwood Historical Committee re-dedicated a number of commemorative plaques honoring Garwood residents at the Garwood Sports and Recreation Complex this afternoon with comments from several Garwood politicians and friends and relatives of the honorees:

J. Acardi, V. Balakier, J. Balogh, E. Bermingham, Jr., A. Bradley, T. Brown, A. Bucciarelli, M. Castaldo, E. Cohen, E. Colonna, S.L. Colwell, A. Conrad, F. Corvelleyn, H. Cowell, C. Craig, R. Cuccaro, M. Curtin, H. Deane, A. DiMario, M. DiMario, L. DiStefano, E. Dias, J. Donnelly, W. Durow, E.D. Eagan, E.J. Eagan, F. Farley, R. Featherstone, H. Ferrell, F. Frey, J. Fuentes, J. Gallagher, J. Gavin, V. Greene, H. Gries, C. Greve, J. Guare, C. Guerriero, J. Hay, Sr., J. Herr, E. Herzog, C. Jones, J. Karalius, T. Kelleher, J. Kokulak, J. Laden, J.T. Leonard, L. Liskovec, L. Listo, W. Loveland, J. Lusardi, J. Markowsky, P. Materia, R. McComb, W. Miller, A. Mone, A. Morgan, J. Mossuto, E. Mousted, L. Mucci, P. North, A. Oliveri, W. Patten, E. Petill, F. Petrozziello, H. Piekarski, Sr., A. Prish, J. Quinn, R. Reed, W. Reinhardt, A. Romano, S. Rzeplinski, G.F. Schleicher, Sr., Y. Snow, E. Tiller, E. Tripka, J. Van Horn, C. Vogt, Sr., F. Wall, F. Wanca, H. Werthwein, A. Zappulla, J. Zappulla, Joseph E. Humenik, Robert Davis, James V. Guerriero, Charles J. Horrack, John L. Csupa, Sr., Thomas J. Colwell, J. Schnitzer, Jerry Russo, Frank Congiusta

Also attending the event were Freeholder Chairman Bruce Bergen and County Manager Al Faella:
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who seemed to be only ones in attendance not invited to speak by Master of Ceremonies Bruce Paterson.

Excerpts:
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