Runnells Fiasco: The Details

By John Bury | December 21, 2014

The Runnellls/Center Management lease agreement that has cost county taxpayers over $387,000 to date to negotiate is a windfall for Center Management at the expense of Union County taxpayers, Runnells employees and, apparently, the residents.

Editing down the lease agreement to the basic provisions it becomes clear that choosing Center Management to buy Runnells was a massive mistake since they were not able to get the state certifications needed to run the 44-bed psychiatric unit.  On top of that the county negotiated a terrible deal that will greatly subsidize Center Management’s repayment of the $26 million it cost them to buy Runnells and allow them to make substantial profits on the 300-bed nursing home as they slash expenses.

Unless, that is, the county can make $317,000 per year on each psychiatric patient as per this spreadsheet developed from the numbers from the lease agreement.

Continue reading “Runnells Fiasco: The Details”

UCCF 12/18/14: Change Orders

By John Bury | December 20, 2014

2014-1072: Amending Resolution Number 2010-1062, a Professional Engineering Service Contract with Neglia Associates, of Lyndhurst, New Jersey for additional Engineering and Construction Administration Services for the Watchung Stables Riding Rings Project in an amount not to exceed $93,436.00 for a new contract amount not to exceed $127,586.00. (Union County Engineering Project Number 2010-020)

2014-1075: Amending Resolution Number 2014-677, a Professional Architectural Service Contract with Netta Architects of Mountainside, New Jersey for additional Architectural/Engineering Services for the Warinanco Park Ice Rink, New Clubhouse Improvement Project in an amount not to exceed $274,000.00 for a new contract amount not to exceed $655,000.00. (Union County Engineering Project Number 2014-021)

2014-1076: Amending Resolution Number 2013-235, a Professional Construction Management Service Contract with Pinnacle Consulting and Construction Services, Inc., of Newark, New Jersey for the Union County Justice Complex, Phase II and Phase III Project in an amount not to exceed $150,000.00 for a new contract amount not to exceed $1,404,404.52. This amendment will extend the contract period from January 1, 2015 through June 30, 2015. (Union County Engineering Project Number 2010-035)
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Freeholder Questions:
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Citizen Questions:
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Runnells: The Fiasco

By John Bury | December 18, 2014

The Runnellls/Center Management lease agreement that, through the UCIA, has cost to date over $387,000 for the county to negotiate was signed on Monday but the situation at Runnells appears anything but settled.  From tonight’s freeholder meeting we start with the relaying of comments by an ex-employee that the freeholders never get to hear:
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which elicited this response:
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and in freeholder comment time:
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Runnells: Negotiating With the Clueless

By John Bury | December 17, 2014

Runnells Hospital was sold on Monday to Center Management after all-day negotiations.  When we get the final contract we will do an extensive analysis which will include scores of videos from the entire process but just some excerpts from what was reported in the nj.com story are scary.

Officials said 209 workers, or slightly more than half of the 391 employees who worked at the hospital for the county, have either been rehired by Center Management, or have been transferred to other county jobs. Officials said about 63 employees retired.

Center Management is expected to rehire more employees, the county said.

The company agreed to give current hospital patients the right to remain in the facility, committed to a five-year capital improvement plan, agreed to share revenue from any new health-care services with the county, and agreed to a deed restriction that maintains the hospital be used for long-term patient care, the county said.

Also, the company will retain a certain percentage of the hospital’s 300 beds for county residents and indigent patients, according to the officials, though they did not specify the percentage.

As part of the sale, the county agreed to continue operating the 44-bed Cornerstone Psychiatric Unit that is located in the hospital. That unit has a separate entrance.

Union County began studying options for the hospital in 2012, hiring an consultant to make recommendations.

The county opened negotiations with Center Management last March, despite concerns voiced by hospital staff.

County officials voted to sell the hospital to the private company in May and intended to complete the closing by the fall, but negotiations continued through Monday, officials said.

But scarier still, from just after the freeholder board decided to sell and Runnells employees made their case, this is an example of the the acumen of those we have negotiating for us:

Continue reading “Runnells: Negotiating With the Clueless”

UCCF 12/11/14: Joint Insurance Fund

By John Bury | December 16, 2014

2014-993: Renewing the New Jersey Counties Excess Joint Insurance Fund to administer and provide excess insurance for the following: Liability (other than motor vehicles), Property Damage (other than motor vehicles), Motor Vehicles, Public Officials Liability/Employment Practices Liability, and Workers Compensation for the budget period of January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015 in an amount not to exceed $2,574,513 (Union County portion).
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This issue is not the need for insurance but rather whether the cost of this insurance is fair and worth it.  Since 2011 about $8.5 million has been paid into this fund.  No information on how much that has bought. Again, the freeholder board neither knows nor cares.

Runnells Sale Tomorrow (Maybe)

By John Bury | December 14, 2014

It was supposed to be on May 15 and then on October 14 and then on December 1 but it looks like December 15 is the day and for those interested in what’s going on we have an update from inside and a little inconvenient history lesson through campaign ads and videos.

Continue reading “Runnells Sale Tomorrow (Maybe)”

UCCF 12/11/14: Missing Hudak and Sheridan Gardens

By John Bury | December 13, 2014

On the 12/4/14 agenda-setting meeting agenda the third Freeholder-sponsored resolution was:

3. Resolution providing the consent of the Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Union to the sale of the Sheridan Gardens Housing Project financed with the Union County Improvement Authority’s Guaranteed Mortgage Revenue Bonds, Series 2003 (Sheridan Gardens Housing Project – Roselle) and providing for the refunding of said bonds.

UCCF 12/11/14: $300,000 To Sign Up Citizens

By John Bury | December 12, 2014

As approved 9-0 at last night’s freeholder meeting:

2014-1000: Authorizing the County Manager to enter into a contract with the New Jersey State AFL-CIO Community Services Agency, Inc., for the provision of social and human services that educate, empower and uplift working families in an amount not to exceed $300,000.

Are there really 52,000 documented non-citizens in Union County and where will the $300,000 come from:

Continue reading “UCCF 12/11/14: $300,000 To Sign Up Citizens”

UCCF 12/11/14: Runnells Update One More Time

By John Bury | December 11, 2014

Tonight’s freeholder meeting ended with an executive session to discuss the Runnells sale though there were no representatives from UCIA, DeCotiis, or anyone associated with the sale so it was likely only a status update.
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According to one inside source here is where the Runnells/Center Management transfer stands (and we welcome any corrections, embellishments, or just comments from anyone at Runnells who is impacted):

Continue reading “UCCF 12/11/14: Runnells Update One More Time”

$300,000 to Sign Up Citizens

By John Bury | December 11, 2014

To be approved 9-0 at tonight’s freeholder meeting:

2014-1000: Authorizing the County Manager to enter into a contract with the New Jersey State AFL-CIO Community Services Agency, Inc., for the provision of social and human services that educate, empower and uplift working families in an amount not to exceed $300,000.

As explained at the 12/4/14 Agenda Meeting:
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More questions:
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What these responses tell me:

  • There are 52,000 documented non-citizens in Union County?
  • NJ AFL-CIO gets some money with which to make campaign contributions
  • Low-show patronage county job at Jersey Gardens Mall
  • 300 Democrat voters