Scutari 412 – 341

It was a packed house (and parking which is all I saw as reporters were kept out):

According to :

Scutari wins.


“Why?” A Mahr partisan grouses. “Why did she agree to having people put names on paper?”

That was the deal, someone suggests.

Mahr wanted machines.

Scutari wanted hands.

He agrees to paper over hands if they provide their names.

That’s how the vote went forward tonight amid acrimony over process.

“But that’s all he wanted,” the source groans, referring to the winner. “A way to find out how you voted by any means.”


More Open Space Tax Theft

The theft continues as money raised by the Open Space tax is diverted to the county budget:

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What They Look For In A Union County Manager

And so it was with the search for a new Union County Manager which likely consisted of a few phone calls telling the freeholders who it was going to be with the main criteria not being who had the most relevant experience but rather who would not have to change any speed-dial numbers (which may not be the case come this Wednesday – still time to vote below).

When an OPRA was sent for all documents related to the hiring of Ed Oatman as the new county manager all that came came back were his job application and resume:

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Making Up Union County Taxes

Outgoing County Manager Al Faella desperately wanted to make this statement:

County taxes (excluding the Open Space theft) since 2001:
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$8.7 Million County Tax Hike In 2018

The 2018 Executive budget was released today at the freeholder meeting and taxes will be going up to $363,468,156 from $354,769,823 in 2017 – 2.45%.

Here are the county manager’s summary, the announcement of where the dog-and-pony budget ‘hearings’ will be this year, and the revenue page from the Executive Budget. Much more detail on the budget over the next few days on this blog.

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UCCF 2/8/18: $19 Million More for Courthouse Stairwell

2018-153: Authorizing the County Manager to award the proposed contract obtained through advertised public bidding in accordance with the Local Public Contracts Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 et seq: Engineering, Public Works & Facilities Management; Division of Engineering: GPC, Inc., of Millburn, New Jersey, for Union County Courthouse Fire Code Upgrades Phase C1 Rotunda and Phase C2 Tower (Internal Stair) – 2 Broad Street, City of Elizabeth, County of Union, New Jersey for an amount not to exceed $19,000,000.00. (Union County Engineering Project Number 2010-033C)

From the 2/1/8 agenda meeting:

Prior Countywatchers coverage:

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UCCF 2/8/18: Ed Oatman’s Salary

Late last year we got Ordinance 790-2017 giving raises to freeholders and department heads:

At tonight’s freeholder meeting we see how much a political appointee with no relevant experience for the county manager position will make per 792-2018

No opposition:

Though on the residency resolution:

2018-165: Request for a waiver of the County’s residency requirement for Edward Oatman, for the position of County Manager.