$59 Million Bond Ordinance – 2016

By John Bury | July 29, 2016

Whatever Union County can’t get from raising taxes as much as is allowable under the tax cap and stealing Open Space taxes they bond for each summer. This year it is $59 million:

776-2016 BOND ORDINANCE TO AUTHORIZE THE MAKING OF VARIOUS PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS AND THE ACQUISITION OF NEW ADDITIONAL OR REPLACEMENT EQUIPMENT AND MACHINERY, NEW ADDITIONAL FURNISHINGS, NEW COMMUNICATION AND SIGNAL SYSTEMS EQUIPMENT, NEW INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT AND NEW AUTOMOTIVE VEHICLES, INCLUDING ORIGINAL APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT, IN, BY AND FOR THE COUNTY OF UNION, STATE OF NEW JERSEY, TO APPROPRIATE THE SUM OF $58,933,154 TO PAY THE COST THEREOF, TO APPROPRIATE STATE GRANTS, 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 Westfield Leader noticed that the amount was a little higher this year:

Union County freeholders introduced a $58.9-million0-general-purpose bond ordinance last Thursday, by far the biggest ticket item on the 11-page agenda….The bond was $15 million more than a similar ordinance passed last year and the largest amount of what has become an annual summer action over more than a decade by the freeholders , eclipsing the $49.6 million bond adopted in 2011.

The only details…were included in the printed agenda, and read aloud….The wording was similar to past years. A public hearing and final vote is scheduled for Thursday, August 18.

Looking over the Ordinance itself provides no more detail as the word ‘various’ is appended to practically every line item.

 

UCCF 7/21/15: 911 Funds to be Properly Allocated

By John Bury | July 28, 2016

2016-641: Urging Governor Chris Christie and the New Jersey State Legislature to support the A-1821 bill which will properly allocate 911 System and Emergency Trust Fund Account (Fund) monies to county and municipal 911 centers as required under federal law.
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From the bill Statement:
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This bill requires 9-1-1 service facilities, within three years  following the bill’s enactment, to be equipped with a Next Generation 9-1-1 system approved by the Office of Emergency Telecommunications Services for the processing of requests for emergency services sent via electronic or text message. The bill temporarily increases the 9-1-1 System and Emergency response Fee by 10 percent, and requires that it only be used to fund the 9-1-1 service facilities with the enhanced Next Generation 9-1-1 systems. The temporary fee increase will be imposed for bills issued for billing periods ending on or after the operative date of the bill and only for a period of 36 calendar months following the operative date.

The bill sets forth a funding prioritization for equipping public safety answering points with Next Generation 9-1-1 systems, by requiring funding to be distributed to county, regionalized, or other large centralized public safety answering points before funding other public safety answering points.

Currently, the 9-1-1 System and Emergency Response Fee, which is used to fund the 9-1-1 system, is a $0.90 monthly fee imposed on mobile service customers and telephone company customers in this State. This bill increases the monthly fee to $0.99.

The bill provides that a person is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree if the person knowingly sends an electronic message to a 9-1-1 emergency telephone system without purpose of reporting the need for 9-1-1 service.

UCCF 7/21/16: Contracted Health Benefits

By John Bury | July 27, 2016

2016-622: Authorizing the County Manager to sign any and all documents necessary to enter into a Collective Bargaining Agreement with FMBA–Local R2343, effective January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2017.

2016-624: Authorizing the County Manager to sign any and all documents necessary to enter into a Collective Bargaining Agreement with Council No. 8, effective January 1, 2015 through December 21, 2017.
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UCCF 7/21/16: More Pay-to-Play

By John Bury | July 26, 2016


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2016-579: Amending Resolution Number 2016-526, a Professional Engineering Service Contract with Matrix New World Engineer, Inc., of Florham Park, New Jersey for LSRP Services for Oversight of UST Closure Activity at the Public Works Complex, Scotch Plains, New Jersey to reflect a change in Account Numbers only.

2016-580: Amending Resolution Number 2016-44, a Professional Engineering Service Contract with CME Associates of Monmouth Junction, New Jersey for the provision of Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) services related to the former Lenape Park Trap and Skeet facility located in Cranford, New Jersey, in an amount not to exceed $132,210.00, for a new contract amount not to exceed $488,271.00 (Union County Engineering Project Number 2011-029)

2016-581: Amending Resolution Number 2015-528, a Professional Engineering Service Contract with CME Associates of Monmouth Junction, New Jersey to provide Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) Services related to the former Probation Building located in Elizabeth, New Jersey, additional Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) Services in an amount not to exceed $19,550.00, for a new contract amount of not to exceed $20,300.00.  (Union County Engineering Project Number 2013-027)
2016-582 FREEHOLDER LINDA CARTER: 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 Architectural Design Services, Construction Administration and Inspection Services for the Union County Historic Window Replacement at St. John’s Parsonage Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs Project located in Elizabeth, New Jersey for an amount not to exceed $82,000.00.  (Union County Engineering Project Number 2014-017)

2016-612: Authorizing the County Manager to award a contract to T&M, Middletown, New Jersey, to provide Workplace Health and Safety Compliance and Consulting Services for the option of an additional one year from August 1, 2016 through July 31, 2017 in an estimated amount not to exceed $136,000.00.

UCCF 7/21/16: UCIA Gets $70,000 For ?????

By John Bury | July 25, 2016

More stipends maybe?

Last September we had this resolution:

2015-800: Authorizing the County Manager to enter into a Shared Services Agreement by and between the County of Union and the Union County Improvement Authority for Strategic Facility Planning Services.

which was not supposed to cost anything but, as it turns out, last Thursday we got:

2016-620: Amending Resolution 2015-800, a Shared Services Agreement with the Union County Utilities Authority for Strategic Facility Planning Services, for additional services related to the Strategic Facility Planning Services at an amount not to exceed $70,000 for a total contract amount of not to exceed $70,000.

which was explained thusly:
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UCCF 7/21/16: Laquan Kearney get $18k, Lawyers get ????

By John Bury | July 22, 2016

2016-621 : A Resolution to approve the settlement of pending litigation entitled Laquan Kearney v. Union County, et al in the amount of $18,000.
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Prior resolutions on this lawsuit:
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2/18/16: 2016-176: Amending Resolution Number 2015-276 to increase the appropriation to Alexander W. Booth, Esq. Jersey City, NJ in the matter entitled Laquan Kearney v. UC, et als. in an amount not to exceed $10,000 for a sum not to exceed $20,000.

1/21/16: 2016-96 Amending Resolution 2015-694 dated August 20, 2015 to increase the appropriation to Weber Dowd Law of Woodland Park, NJ in the matter entitled Laquan Kearney v. UC, et als. in an amount not to exceed $10,000 for a sum not to exceed $46,956.48.

UCCF 7/21/16: UCC Under Tyrant (Maybe) McMenamin

By John Bury | July 21, 2016

Past Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day parade and current alleged creator of an atmosphere of fear, intimidation, and retaliation got a mention at tonight’s freeholder meeting:
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To which 5 freeholders responded:
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Video Updates and Memories

By John Bury | July 17, 2016

The situation as of today at a couple of parks plus a few personal favorites from the past:
Continue reading “Video Updates and Memories”

UCCF 6/23/16: Special Time Sensitive Resolutions and Miscellany

By John Bury | July 13, 2016

Finishing up coverage of the last freeholder meeting plus some items of interest:

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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Then this week we had another county vendor sent up and though Union County was not mentioned in the story:

According to court records, Dattilo, part owner of Bayway Lumber, conspired with others to overbill, charge for more expensive items or larger quantities of items and charge back the cost of gifts to customers’ employees through fraudulent billing from 2007 through November, 2015.

Bayway Lumber inflated the prices on items sold or intentionally failed to provide the prices set in contractual agreements in a number of ways, prosecutors said. With Rutgers University and University Hospital, Bayway altered vendor invoices to bill higher mark-ups, they said.

that could be because of a lack of cooperation with prosecutors as Bayway Lumber, per check registry data, sold millions of dollars of materials over that period to Union County.

While someone else who did some damage to Union County taxpayers got a little comeuppance this week.

On a sadder note Joan Wheeler passed away on Sunday.

Finally, for those nostalgic for the old days:

Continue reading “UCCF 6/23/16: Special Time Sensitive Resolutions and Miscellany”

UCCF 6/23/15: Green Acres Matching Grants

By John Bury | July 8, 2016

2016-545: Authorizing the County Manager to execute a State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection, Green Acres Enabling Resolution regarding the Union County Open Space and Recreation Plan for the provision of administrative acceptance of an additional Green Acres matching grant in the amount of $3,975,000.00 for a total matching grant in the amount of $13,125,000.00.
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