CNB Archives Friday, November 06, 2009
HOPEFULLY CHANGE IS ON THE WAY-The Monday morning quarterbacks are out in force giving their opinions on why Christie won the top seat in the state. The Democratic pundits are making light of the fact that Corzine lost the election saying he loss because of the recession and high unemployment. And they brush over the fact that although President Obama, Vice President Biden and former president, Bill Clinton were running around the state campaigning for the governor he still loss in a state that "bleeds Blue".
I think the public was not only fed up with high taxes but also the political corruption in Trenton. And I do believe people were sending a message to the President and Congress (both Republican and Democrat) to clean-up their act or they will be the next ones to be shown the door. The populace has had enough of their wasteful spending (stimulus and bailouts),the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the partisan politics.
The newly elected governor, Chris Christie, said on the campaign trail that tax dollars were being spent frivolously by the ABBOTT Districts. And he was going to take a hard look at each project before spending any more money in those districts. His comment about the Abbott Districts was one of the reasons why the state’s Teachers Union didn’t back Christie’s campaign.
The last cost estimate for the Middle School was $67 million. When it was first proposed six or eight years ago the cost was $20 million. Enough time has been wasted on this project. Do you remember, Corzine promised to have the school built when he was first elected? Mayor and council should ask for a meeting with Christie ASAP. If the state isn’t going to fund the school then City officials should know now. Move on and maybe build new homes on the site.
Congratulations to Democrat Councilmen Jay Brophy, Nick Marchese who were re-elected on November 3 to another three year term. And welcome back to former Councilman Dan Spencer who replaced Bill Hagan in the First Ward. Spencer served on the governing body in the 1980’s.
Marchese, who represents the 2nd Ward, was the only one of the three who had anyone opposing him on the ballot. Running against him was Independent candidate Wil Levins. I asked Marchese about his promise to look into changing the charter which he made to me back in June during the Primary election. He said that he still believes the Ward system is outdated and would continue to push for a charter change. And he also promised to propose to mayor and his fellow council members that they do away with paid health benefits for themselves and their families. The cost for that benefit is estimated to be $80,000 a year.
He also said that after this term he would be stepping down. “I need another three years to complete the projects that we started when we were first elected. And I believe two terms is all that a councilmember should serve. Six years is enough. You get burned out and or complacent.”
Marchese is part of the negotiating committee that is dealing with the city employee’s contract talks.
The James administration has asked the employees to accept a package that gave them zero percent raises plus pickup some of the cost of their health benefits.
In July Mayor Bill James said, “The country is in the middle of a recession. We have asked all bargaining units to work with us this year so no one will lose their job. Businesses in the private sector are laying people off. Some are going out of business altogether. Homeowners are facing foreclosures. Unemployment is at an all time high. The City has no money available for raises.”
According to the figures released today (November 6) by the Department of Labor the United States economy shed 190,000 jobs in October, and the unemployment rate crept to a 26-year high of 10.2 percent, up from 9.8 percent in September.
Some would argue that public employees should be thankful they have a job.
I came across an article written in the Gloucester Daily Times about the firemen in Gloucester City, Massachusetts settling their contract.
Reporter Patrick Anderson writes, “Oct. 22--Gloucester firefighters have come to terms with the city on a new no-raise labor deal, ending three years of often acrimonious contract talks.
The new three-year deal, covering the current 2010 fiscal year, plus fiscal 2008 and 2009, which ended June 30, is expected to resolve a firefighters' union lawsuit against the city for not funding minimum staffing rules in the previous contract.
In exchange for no direct salary raises and a reduction in the minimum number of firefighters on duty for each shift, the union got a new provision establishing mandatory firefighter details during all construction blasting.
The details will pay $40 per hour with a four-hour minimum.
Like police patrolmen, who signed a deal earlier in the year, the firefighters got stipends for educational incentives and training folded into their base pay.”To read more…click
CORRECTION: In my story about the taxi cab law I mistakenly reported that Dan Miller owner of Always Affordable Taxi , wanted to open a store across from the senior citizens complex on South Broadway. He wanted to open his office at 243 S. Broadway, which was most recently a Dollar Zone store. Miller was going to sell off the Dollar Zone stock and use the building for an office to dispatch his cab fleet. Because the City has a rule against taxi cabs parking on Broadway he was denied a certificate of occupancy.
Miller incidentally is looking to locate his business elsewhere since the City of Gloucester City has given him such a hard time. The Gloucester Cab company also left the City recently for Bellmawr for the same reason.
Joe Stecklair, of the City's Housing Code Office, said both owners could have appeared before the Zoning Board to ask for a variance to park their cabs on Broadway. "I informed them both that this was the next step in the process. For whatever reason they chose not to take that extra step. Allowing taxi cabs to park on Broadway is not allowed under the ordinance passed in 1996. You can open a taxi cab business but you can't park the cabs on Broadway."
Stecklair said the City is presently drawing up a new Master Plan and if anyone has a suggestion (s) they are welcome to attend the meeting next month."
- See more at: http://www.gloucestercitynews.net/clearysnotebook/2009/11/tips-and-snippets-a-new-governor-congratulations-james-gang-correction.html#sthash.7cPL3uES.dpuf-