Highlands Mayor Nolan Calls For Sharing Municipal Accounting Services, Criticizes Proposal To Give CFO Candidate A 6th Government Job

If one person can do six government jobs for $300,000, why can’t those governmental entities get together and hire one person to do that work for half the amount or less?

photo by Tim Larsen, Governor's Office

Highlands Mayor Frank Nolan, photo by Tim Larsen, Governor’s Office

In his column on facebook and Atlantic Highlands Herald, Highlands Mayor Frank Nolan said there is currently a contract being negotiated for a new Chief Financial Officer in the borough.  The candidate, who Nolan did not name, currently has five government jobs, including another job in Highlands, and earns $244,606. If hired as Highlands’ new CFO, the candidate would have to work 160 hours per week, theoretically, to justify the combined full time and part time salaries which would exceed $300,000.

As of this writing, there is a contract being written for someone to fill that position that already has 5 municipal jobs across the state. If this individual was to be given this 6th municipal job at our council meeting on December 18th they would be one of the top paid public employees in the state and would hold 2 jobs in the Borough of Highlands. His current salary listed on the state website is $244,606 for his 5 current positions. If we add another $65,000 to the total and highlands would be putting him over the $300,000 per year mark.

By definition most part time jobs are about 20 hours per week. The average fulltime job is 40 hours. If you have 4 part time jobs, that means you are working, in theory, 80 hours per week on those jobs. Plus you have 2 full time jobs. That’s another 80 hours. The person who is potentially being given a 6th municipal job at the Wed, December 18th council meeting that will be held at Highlands Elementary School at 8:00pm for the public. This person will be working 160 hours per week. There are 168 total hours in a 7 day week. How can someone work 6 jobs and be effective? The answer is: they can’t.

MMM believes the accountant is Highlands Tax Collector Patrick DeBlasio, who, according to APP’s Data Universe, has two jobs in Carteret, and one job each in Keansburg, North Plainfield, in addition to his tenured position in Highlands, all of which will pay a pension.

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Posted: December 12th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Government Waste, Highlands | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Government for the “servants” by the “servants”

Happy Labor Day.

NewarkToday we can celebrate that “government of the people, for the people and by the people” has perished from this State.

It has been replaced by government of, for and by the government workers’ unions, bureaucrats protected by civil “service” laws and contracts, and the politicians, protected by gerrymandering and incumbency, who have abdicated the most fundamental functions of government to said unions and bureaucrats. The so called public “servants.”

There have been eight people killed violently in Newark, either by shooting or stabbing, in the last seven days.

If this was a partisan political post, I’d be slamming Newark Mayor Cory Booker for the rise in crime in his city over the last over the last three years.

But that would be disingenuous.  Violent crime in Newark declined from 2006, when Booker was elected mayor through November of 2010 when he laid off the 167 city police officers that had been hired since he became mayor.

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Posted: September 2nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Cory Booker, Crime, Crime and Punishment, Government Employees Unions, Government Waste, Law Enforcement, Legislature, New Jersey, Newark, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

There’s no such thing as a free beach

Sweeney wants to pay for beach safety and maintenance by getting rid of cops and dpw workers

Photo credit: www.SignsByTheSea.com

MMM has called Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester) three times since he jumped on board with the Senator Mike Doherty (R-Warren) in sponsoring legislation that would ban shoreline municipalites from selling beach badges or imposing other user fees to pay for lifeguards, beach cleanup and policing, if those towns accept federal and state money to rebuild from the destruction of Hurricane Sandy.  He hasn’t called back.  Steve Sweeney is a kitten.  Kitten, kitten, kitten!

Given that he won’t talk to us, we’ll have to judge Sweeney’s crusade for free sand in his ass by what others report he says.  The Senate President invited himself to a meeting with the Asbury Park Press Editorial Board earlier this week to make his case for free beaches.

“You don’t charge me to breathe air, why are you charging me to sit on a beach?”

We should be grateful that the top elected Democrat in New Jersey hasn’t figured out how to tax breathing (yet).  But really now, our Senate President thinks breathing air (as opposed to grapefruit juice?) is analogous to sitting on a beach?  That is something we should be concerned about, especially since this guy is considering a run for governor.

Sweeney told the APP that Belmar and the other shore communities that impose beach user fees should cover those costs by consolidating police forces and departments of public works.  He said he would “beat up mayors down the shore” to make it happen “because its not acceptable, you know, to charge beach fees.”

Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty took Sweeney’s first beating:

“I asked (Doherty), how many people live year-round in his town,” Sweeney said. “He’s got a one-square mile town, he’s got 5,800 people. Now, could we run a shared police department? I met his public works director today, could we run a shared public works office?”

“You guys know how I feel about shared services,” Sweeney told the APP.  We don’t know if the APP knows how he feels, but MMM thinks Sweeney is thwarting shared services and other methods that municipalities could use to reduce the size and cost of local government.   If Sweeney was serious about property tax reduction and more efficient local government he would have passed Governor Christie’s property tax tool kit.

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Posted: December 21st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Beach Access, Belmar, Government Waste, Hurricane Sandy, Jersey Shore, Matt Doherty, Mike Doherty, NJ State Legislature, Property Tax Tool Kit, Property Taxes, Reform Agenda, Stephen Sweeney, Superstorm Sandy, Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Project Veritas Video Exposes SEIU Leader Claiming That Menendez Would Blindly Fund Make Work Jobs

James O’Keefe, the independent journalist and president of Project Veritas who has exposed corruption and malfeasance at ACORN, NPR, the NJEA and Planned Parenthood , released the second video in a series that exposes corruption at SEIU yesterday.

O’Keefe secretly records his meeting with SEIU leaders as he is ostensibly seeking government funding for his project of digging ditches and refilling them.

SEIU Local 617 President Rahaman Muhammad is caught on camera exclaiming that U.S. Senator Bob Menendez would be enthusiastic about the project.

“Menendez is going to be like, ‘Oh for real? SEIU, Oh, good, great!” Muhammad says at the 1:53 mark of the video.

Menendez is not the only politician the union officials discuss.  The other is Newark Mayor Cory Booker who fares better, or worse if you believe in wasteful government spending.   Booker is not a supporter of the working class, in the assessment of the SEIU officials recorded.

 

Posted: September 28th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: 2012 U.S. Senate Race, Art Gallagher, Bob Menendez, Cory Booker, Government Waste, James O'Keefe, Project Veritas, SEIU | Tags: , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Naming Public Facilities

The Assembly Transportation Committee released a bill yesterday that if passed will rename Route 19 in Passaic County after Congressman Bill Pascrell.

Now Pascrell, 74, should announce his retirement and save the New Jersey Congressional Redistricting Commission a lot of work.  Doing so would eliminate all controversy over naming a state highway after him.

Barney Frank, 71, the Massachusetts Congressman from Bayonne, announced his retirement after the Bay State announced their new congressional districts.  Frank said he didn’t want to raise the money or do the electioneering necessary to get elected in his new district. 

Pascrell announcing his retirement prior to the new congressional districts being determined would be a selfless act of public service.  The rest of New Jersey’s congressional delegation would want to name a more prominent road after him.  The Resdistricting Commission’s work would become easy and appropriate, as the district to be eliminated should be from North Jersey where the population has declined vis-a-vis the rest of the state.

If Pascrell announced his retirement, the bill to name Route 19 after him could be fast tracked in the lame duck legislative session.  Governor Christie might even sign it, despite the fact that Pascrell was a Corzine caddy, second only to Frank Pallone, during the 2009 gubernatorial campaign.

If Pascrell does not take this opportunity to retire, the question of the appropriateness of naming public facilities after sitting office holders should be hotly debated.  Every member of the Assembly Transportation committee except Burlington County Assemblyman Scott Rudder voted to release the Pascrell naming bill to the full Assembly. Rudder said that naming a road after a sitting office holder was hypocritical and that the state has more pressing issues. 

Rudder is right, but there is a stronger argument against giving away the names of public facilities.  In these difficult economic times, we should sell and resell the names of our roads, bridges and buildings, with all of the proceeds going to either retire debt or build new facilities, thereby avoiding new debt.

There is precedent for this type of revenue generation.  Former Governor Brendan Byrne’s name was taken off the Meadowlands Arena in favor of Continental Airlines and later Izod who both paid handsomely for the naming rights.

Glassboro State College was renamed Rowan University after Mr. Rowan donated $100 million.

The State and New Jersey’s counties and municipalities could benefit greatly by selling naming rights to businesses and philanthropists.

Posted: November 29th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Congress, Congressional Redistricting, Economy, Government Waste, Legislature, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Give Me My “Smash Mouth” Governor

By Art Gallagher

Since the “chopper gate” story hit the fan last week, The Record’s Charles Stile has been gleefully making the case that the media and partisan noise about Governor Christie’s use of the State Police helicopter has been so ferocious because of “smash mouth” style.  Stile, and other NJ media elites, have cited two recent polls, both taken before the chopper hullabaloo, that showed Christie’s approval ratings slipping as evidence that his style is wearing thin on New Jersey voters.

Stile has noted correctly that the chopper noise has been so harsh, despite the facts that Christie’s use of helicopter has been far more frugal than that of his predecessors and that  his use of the chopper didn’t cost taxpayers anymore money than if he had traveled by SUV, because of Christie’s “in your face” plain spoken style.   Christie’s political opponents and their media lapdogs have been laying in wait for an opportunity bash him back.

Stile has joined The Star Ledger’s Tom Moran in arguing that Christie should be nicer and more polite while turning Trenton upside down.  Stile and Moran would have Christie’s compromising more and reforming less.

The irony here, from my point of view, is that over the last few months Christie has been nicer and more compromising.   He’s toned it down.   His opponents have subsequently stepped it up.

Maybe Christie’s poll numbers have slipped because he’s toned it down.  Last spring he was railing against the NJEA and urging voters to defeat school budgets where unions wouldn’t compromise.  Voters responded by defeating budgets in record numbers.  Christie’s polls were strong.  This spring Christie was silent on the school budgets.

Is there no more waste in our public schools?  Has the the problem of excessive compensation, pensions and benefits been solved?

Since the GOP lost the legislative redistricting battle, Christie and Senate President Steve Sweeney announced a compromise over Supreme Court nominee Anne Patterson’s nomination that had been held up for a year.  Part of the compromise included a promise by Sweeney that a hearing to fill the Court seat of former Justice John Wallace, which has been vacant for a year because Sweeney didn’t like that Christie did not reappoint Wallace, would take place next March.  By making that agreement Christie acknowledged that Sweeney would still be Senate President in March, meaning Republicans are not going to win control of the State Senate in the coming election.

That the Democrats will retain control of the Legislature after the November election is probably realistic calculus on Christie’s part.  He probably made a strategic decision that he can get more of his agenda accomplished by compromising than by fighting.  That might be the best decision, but it also means that New Jersey will only have incremental improvement to our dysfunctional governments, rather than real reform…turning Trenton upside down reform…for the rest of Christie’s term.

I’d rather have the confrontational governor we elected.  Even if it means stalemates and the shutting down of government, I’d rather Christie ridicule and embarrass the Trenton cesspool than compromise with it.  Christie has only been in office less than 18 months.  The cesspool has spent decades putting us into the mess we’re in.

As a matter of style, the chopper hullabaloo demonstrates that the media/establishment cesspool is not going to respond to a kinder, gentler Christie in kind.  As a matter of substance, today’s news that the Democrats are going to attempt to increase education spending more than the Supreme Court has ordered and increase income taxes, demonstrates that the cesspool will always try to maintain and protect the status quo that makes them fat at the taxpayers’ expense.

Christie came into office promising to govern as if he only had one term to get the job done and without consideration for whether or not he’d be re-elected.  Since then he has admittedly fallen in love with the job and become enamoured with national attention and presidential wooing his in your face style has brought to him.

Christie’s “in your face” style works.  His adjustments should be by adding humor and charm to his ridicule, like Reagan did, not by compromising and being more polite. 

If Christie has concluded that he has accomplished all he can in New Jersey with confrontation, he should get ready quickly and run for President.  New Jersey and the United States both face horrendously serious problems.  Compromise and tinkering around the edges of a broken system will not do.

We need Chris Chirstie’s unabashed leadership in New Jersey and in America.  As Christie advised the new Republican leadership in Washington, we need to put up or shut up.  

Shutting up is not an option.

Posted: June 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: 2012 Presidential Politics, Chris Christie, Economy, Education, Government Waste, NJ Media, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Fastest Government Study In History

Is Common Sense Decision Making A New Trend?  Don’t Count On it!

By Art Gallagher

The New Jersey Department of Transportation completed its engineering study into the feasibility of allowing commercial trucks to travel the Garden State Parkway north of exit 105 with lightning speed.

The Asbury Park Press reported that the department’s engineers were studying the issue on Saturday.  By Monday afternoon, Transportation Commissioner James Simpson announced that the truck ban would continue.  The department’s engineers had concluded that there were significant engineering issues that would prevent even a preliminary consideration of the idea.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if common sense decision making was at work throughout our various governments as it apparently is in the Department of Tranporation.  How much more affordable would New Jersey be if our leaders could do or not do something without first performing expensive studies simply because the answer is obvious.

Isn’t it obvious that it doesn’t make sense to pay men and women in the prime of the lives generous pensions for the last 30, 40, or 50 years of their lives while they pursue new careers either in or out of government “service?”  Isn’t it obvious that paying for health benefits for those men or women and their families for life is not sustainable fiscal policy?

Isn’t it obvious that paying elected officials a pension and a salary for the same job, while they are in the job, is ludicrous?

Isn’t it obvious that it is wasteful and inequitable to pay someone who worked part-time for 20 years a full time pension if they work full time for 5 years at the end of their career.

Isn’t it obvious that the Abbott District experiment didn’t work?

Isn’t obvious that government employees having civil service protection and union contracts is overkill?

Isn’t obvious that guaranteeing a teacher lifetime job protection after three years gives no incentive to that teacher to preform exceptionally?

Please add more in the comments.

Posted: April 19th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Government Waste | Tags: | 4 Comments »