Summit Budget Pleas

By John Bury | February 26, 2017

From the February 23, 2017 freeholder meeting visited by Summit residents:
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Buying Moody’s Rating

By John Bury | February 25, 2017

In bragging about an AAA rating from Moody’s:
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What was not mentioned was how much that rating cost county taxpayers – especially recently.

According to the check registry:
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MOODYS UC PAYMENTS

FITCH-UC

Four Budget Suggestions

By John Bury | February 24, 2017


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  1. Get into the state health benefit program
  2. Stop stealing the Open Space tax
  3. Bar campaign contributors from being vendors
  4. Close down the UCIA

2.9% County Tax Increase

By John Bury | February 23, 2017

After pleas from several Summit residents for no tax increase and some pointed suggestions from the last speaker in public comment time the County Manager announced his executive budget for 2017. What you need to know:
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Full budget statement:
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After my making four pertinent suggestions about how to cut tens of millions of dollars from this budget:
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Nothing I suggested was illegal in New Jersey, as far as I know, which is the whole point. New Jersey is a cesspool of corruption where pay-to-play rules provide a roadmap instead of a roadblock and the most unethical theft of taxpayer monies is either completely ignored or tacitly approved.

In the next blog you will see my four suggestions.

Charlotte Defilippo Dies

By John Bury | February 22, 2017

Per a Union County press release:

Charlotte DeFilippo was a visionary, an innovator, and a trailblazer throughout an extraordinary governmental and civic career that spanned six decades.

A titan of County and local government, Charlotte also served in various elected, and governmental capacities in her hometown of Hillside. At the County, she served as a Freeholder early on in her life. She later served for more than a decade as the Director of the Union County Improvement Authority where she created a legacy of public projects that transformed County Government and are providing long lasting benefits to all citizens at every level of society.

On a personal level, Charlotte had a brilliant mind, was a great strategist and incredibly engaging in conversation on so many topics. Her influence on her friends, as well as local and County government, and the residents of our community will be long felt. She will be sorely missed. Flags in Union County will be flown at half-staff.

UCIA Walking to LFB

By John Bury | February 16, 2017

The Union County Improvement Authority (UCIA) will have an item on the Mach 8, 2017 Local Finance Board (LFB) meeting agenda asking to bond for another $8 million to finish the Family Court Building Project and pay the fees and salaries of the people (many of whom may well be ‘walking’ to Washington at this very moment on a taxpayer-funded junket) who screwed up the project so far.

Remember back in February, 2012 when this project kicked off:
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Among the highlights from that LFB application:

Continue reading “UCIA Walking to LFB”

UCCF 2/9/17: UC Inmates to Essex County

By John Bury | February 15, 2017

2017-154: Amending Resolution Number 2016-331, in an additional amount of $469,268.21 for the purpose of relocating approximately forty (40) Union County adult inmates to Essex County Correctional Facility during construction phase in an amount not to exceed $1,969,268.21.

UCCF 2/9/17: UC Economic Development Corp

By John Bury | February 14, 2017

2017-157: Authorizing the County Manager to award a contract to the Union County Economic Development Corporation, to provide General Economic Development Services to Private businesses in Union County, in an amount not to exceed $100,000.

2017-158: Authorizing the County Manager to award a contract to the Union County Economic Development Corporation to provide procurement training/technical assistance to private businesses within the County of Union for the period of January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017, in an amount not to exceed $100,000.

Payments to UCEDC since 2004: $3,893,148

Lesniak’s Laser Focus

By John Bury | February 13, 2017


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Unfortunately the rest of the interview had no focus on these issues and the context of that statement was in bashing the Elizabeth Board of Education:
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Mayor Woodruff is Questioned about Taxpayer Support for Doubling Town’s Debt.

By Tom Maciejeski | February 12, 2017

The Berkeley Heights Town Council is pushing forward with a $33,000,000 municipal complex that seems to have very little support from the taxpayers.    During the February 7, 2017 Berkeley Heights Town Council meeting a $28,000,000 bond ordinance was approved for this project.    The $28,000,000 will more than double Berkeley Heights debt.   Under normal circumstances,  the voters in town would be able to petition for a referendum under either the Home Rule Act of Faulkner Act to put the approval of this bond to a vote.     However,  the Town Council chose to bond under the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law which denies the residents their right to a referendum.

During an executive session, a closed door meeting,  the town discussed a non-binding referendum but it was decided that it would cause a “moral dilemma”.     A non-binding referendum is one way for the town to gauge the resident’s interest in a project.

During a discussion period on Feb 7,  a resident asked the mayor: “How do you know that the people of this town want to double the town’s debt?”.   The mayor stated that they didn’t.

Local officials are elected to make decisions for the town.   However large decisions with long-term impacts on property owners should not be able to move forward by the will of a very small number of people, elected or not.   Long after they have left the council the town will still be burdened with this debt ( 27-40 years ).

Here is a video of the Mayor’s response:
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