“I’m not sure why we’re all still here”

Something I’ve often felt about living in New Jersey – Union County – and lately, Kenilworth. It may not be much longer.

However the quote in the title is from Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Walsh at a hearing yesterday on the construction of a Union County government complex.

Other excerpts from the TAPintoWestfield article.

Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Walsh appears poised to grant a permanent injunction on the construction of a Union County government complex estimated to cost upwards of $120 million.

At a hearing for motion of summary judgment on the case brought by taxpayer Jose R. Jimenez Jr., attorney Greg Trif argued for permanent restraints on the project while attorneys Kevin J. O’Connor, representing the county, and Matthew R. Tavares, representing the Union County Improvement Authority, spoke in opposition Thursday.

Trif also represented Wayne-based construction company Dobco Inc., which bid on the project. Dobco and Jimenez have claimed the Union County Improvement Authority illegally circumvented the state’s public bidding laws in awarding contracts for the project.


On Thursday, Trif sought “a permanent injunction on proceeding with the project” and a voiding of “the contract that was entered into, the resolution authorizing the contract and the resolution authorizing the solicitation of developers.”

The judge, however, was under the impression that the parties had come to an agreement on the dispute.

“I’m not sure why we’re all still here,” Walsh said at the hearing.

After the judge upheld a state supreme court decision stopping construction on the project earlier in July, a spokesperson for the UCIA had told TAPinto “it is in the best interest of the taxpayers to move on and begin the process over, finding alternative means to build this project.”

Such comments made on behalf of the UCIA in the press gave Walsh the impression he would see a stipulation of dismissal in the matter, he said.

Trif, arguing the motion for summary judgment, said the county improvement authority had done an “about face,” and was asking for “protracted discovery” of Jimenez rather than following the local public contracts law after the supreme and superior courts’ decisions.


The judge, however, was not swayed by the argument made on behalf of the UCIA and said, “I do find that the plaintiff is entitled to summary judgment as to count two of the complaint.” The second count in the complaint claims that the county issued an RFP for the project “without any intent on awarding the contract to the lowest responsible bidder.”


One response to this post.

  1. Now the question is: why are they (Ed Oatman and Bibi Taylor) still here? Wake up, Commissioners. You have officially been scammed and misled to the extreme detriment and cost to Union County taxpayers and those who trusted you enough to vote for you. Shameful.


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