Posts Tagged ‘claremont’

DeCotiis Using Lesniak

As thanks for the millions of dollars in fees that DeCotiis, Fitzpatrick & Cole, LLP (DeCotiis) get from the Union County Improvement Authority, the Union County Utilities Authority, and Union County in general a group of DeCotiis lawyers decided to make $120,000 in donations to the Union County Democratic Committee for the years 2009 through 2011.  When I brought this up in a budget presentation on April, 2012 these grouped donations mysteriously ceased.

But now, after a search of NJ Election Law Enforcement records, it looks like they have resumed and their mule appears to be Senator Raymond Lesniak to whom twenty-one DeCotiis lawyers contributed a total of $10,000.02 so far during 2013.

Other interesting Lesniak donations:

$13,000 form the principals of Claremont Construction to whom the County paid over $15.4 million to build the new Galloping Hill Clubhouse/Banquet Center/Red Knot.

$2,600 from Kean University president Dawood Y. Farahi

$2,600 each from Las Vegas supporters:

to the Senator who introduced a Pro Online Poker Bill in New Jersey.

There are a lot more familiar names backing Lesniak.  Take a look at the full list of 2013 reported donations and tell us what hits you.


Freeholders’ Most Boneheaded Move

Commenters on today’s Star Ledger story about the overruns building the Galloping Hill Banquet Center seem to think it is. But there’s some stiff competition.



Use comments here to post reasons for your vote.


For the record on June 9, 2011  it was resolved to pay Claremont Construction Group, Inc. $14,878,776 to build a clubhouse and learning center at the Galloping Hill Golf Course.  On Thursday they upped that cost by $750,000.  So far from the check registry:
8/24/11: $117,600
9/14/11: $10,000
9/21/11: $220,634
10/19/11: $15,542
10/19/11: $393,531
11/30/11: $356,469
11/30/11: $447,992
12/21/11: $479,620
1/25/12: $843,291
2/29/12: $686,165
3/21/12: $1,114,899
4/18/12: $937,137
5/24/12: $235,679
5/24/12: $265,895
6/20/12: $8,000
6/27/12: $1,217,016
7/25/12: $839,805
8/29/12: $878,427
10/3/12: $844,069
11/14/12: $927,387
11/20/12: $860,743

TOTAL CLAREMONT: $11,699,901
Plus KemperSports for Construction Management:
3/23/11: $142,788
5/4/11: $40,062
6/22/11: $45,868
6/22/11 $3,214
6/22/11 $6,912
6/22/11: $25,876
6/22/11: $108,166
7/27/11: $27,342
7/27/11: $26,724
7/27/11: $5,209
8/31/11: $37,109
9/21/11: $20,000
10/5/11: $65,548
10/5/11: $19,318
10/12/11: $36,367
11/9/11: $26,827
11/22/11: $79,343
11/30/11: $34,007
2/15/12: $35,639
2/22/12: $28,265
2/22/12: $41,172
4/5/12: $39,235
6/13/12: $27,028
8/29/12: $174,520
10/3/12: $30,572
10/17/12: $25,480
10/17/12: $42,409
10/17/12: $66,874
11/14/12: $50,015

TOTAL KEMPER: $1,278,409

Galloping Hill upgrade cost: $30 million?

33 of 64 votes


Galloping Hill upgrades are supposed to be costing $17 million, “which includes the construction of the the TaylorMade Performance Lab, the new driving range and the Clubhouse” according to a 9/27/11 Union County press release

It was reported that unexpected costs will boost the price tag.  Where do you think it will go?  Here are some clues:

Claremont Construction quoted $14,878,776 which includes the Learning Center.

Through July, 2012 Claremont Construction has been paid $8,171,276.60 and all improvements to Galloping Hill since 2009 total over $12.5 million though hidden fees for all the ‘on-call’ engineers, architects, and lawyers are not included (except in the UCIA billing which has DeCotiis, Fitzpatrick being paid $161,428, including $47,181 in 2012, for what is labeled on the UCIA Approved Bills listings as the ‘Union County Golf Course Project’.


Five votes for ‘Other’:

Wave to your money when on the GSP! 1
Eleventy four hundred six thousand! 1
Over $50 million with interest and $500K to $1 million min operating losses a yr 1
nothing-they are using free money 1
I will take a mulligan

UC Golf Update

Union County is saying their golf operations are (or will be) profitable. They’re not and I say so within an article today where I’m quoted:

Critics are skeptical. John Bury, an actuary and active member of the Union County Watchdog Association, thinks the projections are exaggerated and that actual expenses in recent years have left out some personnel costs. And he doesn’t believe the county should be involved in the event business — something it plans to do with a large banquet space on the second floor of the new clubhouse.

“It’s not the business of government,” he said. “They’re just doing it because it’s an ego trip.”

in response to:

“In the next two years, once the clubhouse is finished, the golf operations will probably break even, said Sanchez, the golf director. They should be stabilized, however, by 2015, when he expects to once again earn a profit while paying down all the debt.”
So where did the Summit Council president get his information:

Through June golf operations made $2,595,505 according to official county numbers.

Based on the 2012 check registries, costs through June came to $6,863,660.

  • KemperSports hand check registry:$1,293,890
  • Claremont Construction: $5,308,083
  • Kemper Sports check registry:$225,046
  • Total Turf Golf Services: $36,641

Even without including any engineering, legal, or consulting fees that may be hidden under ‘professional services’ or any building material that may be hidden within the check registry, or salaries and benefits for Armando Sanchez and any ex-greenskeepers still on the county payroll,  the loss through June from golf operations in Union County comes to $4,268,155.  Black indeed.