Archive for the ‘Pay-to-play’ Category

Harbor Hopes – Scotch Plains Edition

Democrats did not get elected this year in Kenilworth which gives republicans a 4-2 advantage on the council so the tenement project is in doubt and the pay-to-player engineering firm that pushed the project, Harbor Consultants, is also in doubt for 2022. However donation records show that, if Kenilworth falls through, Scotch Plains can step up as there the democrat triumphed.

Working Union County is one thing as that is a big pot but going after Kenilworth or Scotch Plains might get some notice.

Scotch Plains billing records just came in so here is how much Harbor Consultants donates and how much they get back. We’re talking Oatman money.

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Harbor Hopes

If Democrats get elected tomorrow in Kenilworth the tenement goes up and traffic, which at peak hours often backs up to the Parkway on the Boulevard side and Route 22 on the Michigan Avenue side could occasionally be backed up to Roselle Park. However, for Harbor Consultants it likely means augmenting the quarter million dollars in fees that they are getting from Kenilworth taxpayers annually. Which is why, despite being called on making donations in the past to politicians who give them ‘contracts’, with so much on the line they can’t help themselves. The latest candidate filing on the NJELEC website has Harbor Conslutants donating $600, though not from Anthony Gallerano individually this time.

Donation records also show that, if Kenilworth falls through, seeds are planted in another Union County municipality.

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Cloud of corruption lingers over city

nj.com has this gimmick where they give you just enough of a headline to get you interested but leave out a major piece of information, in this case the name of the city, to get you to either impluse-subscribe or pay $5 for the paper. It worked this Sunday with this story headlined:

Corruption has long been pervasive in New Jersey. Was this the state’s most corrupt city?

From no-show jobs and sweetheart deals, the business of government in New Jersey for some can be a game of opportunity.

I did buy the paper for the first time in years and it was worth it as I found a lot to relate to. In appreciation to nj.com I will keep the name of the city secret, substituting a K for wherever the city name appears and initials for names of people.

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Harboring Section 20 Costs

New Jersey’s Local Bond Law includes this section:

40A:2-20. Expenses included in cost
The cost of an improvement or property may include interest on obligations until the end of the fiscal year in which the obligations are issued or until 6 months after the completion of construction or acquisition, and architect’s fees, accounting, engineering and inspection costs, legal expenses, costs of authorizing, selling and issuing obligations, preliminary planning, test and survey expenses, and a reasonable proportion of the compensation and expenses of employees of a local unit in connection with the construction or acquisition of such improvement or property.

Municipalities can borrow for road repairs or to buy vehicles and other equipment apparently without voter or state approval as long as they pass an ordinance saying what they are going to spend the money on. Kenilworth has been doing that regularly over the years.

Here is a summary of those ordinances and what they were supposed to go for along with a listing of how much of that money, based on check registry data, went to Harbor Consultants for Section 20 costs.

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Kenilworth Contracts – Suplee Clooney

On September 8, 2021 I sent the following OPRA request to Kenilworth for:

1) Contracts between Kenilworth and the following vendors for services to be rendered in 2020 to Kenilworth:
Suplee Clooney & Co.
Harbor Consultants
Reliance Insurance

2) Proof if any of these contracts were awarded through a Fair and Open process

Among the 10 pages of material in the response was:

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Kenilworth Contracts – Harbor Consultants

On September 8, 2021 I sent the following OPRA request to Kenilworth for:

1) Contracts between Kenilworth and the following vendors for services to be rendered in 2020 to Kenilworth:
Suplee Clooney & Co.
Harbor Consultants
Reliance Insurance

2) Proof if any of these contracts were awarded through a Fair and Open process

I finally have a chance to review what I got back on September 20. Let’s start with reviewing the full response for Harbor Consultants.

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Pay-To-Play Rules Westfield and Kenilworth

The most amazing aspect about this David Wildstein piece on the mayor of Westfield taking campaign money from a developer on the same day she voted him a tax abatement is that this sort of thing is allowed in Westfield (and I’m guessing Kenilworth too).

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UCCF 9/23/21: Contractor Donation Guidelines

We will get to Bruce Paterson on resolutions and the emotional brouhaha at the Union County Improvement Authority in due course but first, me. At the 9/2/21 commissioner meeting I asked about prohibited campaign contributions. Not getting an answer, I did some research, and here is what I found being read into the record:

Text of comments:

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CBBS (4) RMAs Buying Work

There are 11 Registered Municipal Accountant (RMA) firms who prepared the 2021 budgets for New Jersey’s 21 counties. All donated to politicians, either directly or through their accountants, according to the NJELEC website. Here they are those accountants and what they made in political campaign contributions

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Insuring Kenilworth Bankruptcy

General Motors spends more on health care than steel. Kathleen Sebelius

Based on check registry data put into worksheets Kenilworth (and likely most municipalities in New Jersey) spend much more on insurance than politicians can steal.

https://burypensions.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/ins-kenilworth.jpg

Each of these rows has a story. Among the more interesting:

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