NEWS, SPORTS, COMMENTARY, POLITICS for Gloucester City and the Surrounding Areas of South Jersey and Philadelphia

For Two Hours Police Chase Man Wanted for Stealing Underwear from Brooklawn Store
Coast Guard Assists in Release of 600 Sea Turtles Off Boca Raton Coast

CNB Archives November 2009: A New Governor, Congratulations James Gang, Correction

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. 

Locally one wonders what effect this election will have on the construction of the proposed Gloucester City Middle School on Market Street.

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."

Related: Bills Point of View 

Related: Bills Tips & Snippets



scratching my head said...

Bill it's amazing the city does not want taxi cabs parked on broadway, but apparently it is ok to park them in a residential section of the city. also I remember a limo company that left town because they wanted to charge a fee for eachlimo. yet our city leaders wonder why we can not attract new businesses to our city.

Questions said...

What is the text of the 1996 ordinance regarding taxi cabs?
Could it be published for all to read?

Why do we keep paying Triad to make us new master plans?
Can't the governing body ask the community what direction it wants to travel and then write it down.

The last master plan wasn't worth the paper it was written on. What will make this one any different?

It sounds like the new master plan will be a CYA document to cover the deviation from the last plan and a way to legitimize the expenditures for the boat and the apartments.


dan miller said...

What Mr Stecklair said has me confused???
The property I rented for 750 a month had off street parking . This is the old lucky dollar store.After I payed the down payment and signed the lease, I was informed that there was no way a taxi company was allowed on Broadway. We asked if we could answer the phones and to my disbelief we were told Don't even try it you will lose.Taking the threat,I as in my company were allowed to operate out of my house. Fearing any retaliation this is what I accepted.Now 1 year later , Mr Steckliar allowed another company to rent on Broadway to open a cab company, their reason for moving is none of my concern . I was not offered the same.I lost out on 3000.00 dollars over this.Again I had off street parking what is the diffence from a cab and a large commercial van that now rents the same dollar store I rented. Going about ones business and trying to support my family ,I never asked for any of this. VERY SCARED I know what Joe Stecklair is capable of doing changing the master plan! again WOW ???? LIKE MR Stecklair said on Oct 6 th 2009 in Mr Clarke's office since I minded there business he will mind mine. Again a threat to a citizen of Gloucester City . And we ask ourselves why are there no new bussinesses in Gloucester City?? Can someone show me this 1996 ordinance on taxicabs ?

dan miller said...

I just want to thank Mr Cleary for bringing this to the attention of Gloucester City's governing body and residents.

Dan Miller

Dot said in reply to dan miller...

In my opinion Mr. Stechlair frequently misstates/misrepresents city ordinances.

I feel he also subjects people to unnecessary delay and expense by requiring "requests for use" even though the use does not appear in any ordinance as a prohibited use.

Is he micro managing or is he being a control freak?

nothing new said...

Sounds like typical Gloucester City political bullying to me. This town has been doing it for years. If you dont do what your told or you blow a whistle you are a marked man for sure. Look at what happened to one of our own police officers when he backed the wrong team. Only to find himself subject to the same kind of bullying when he had words with a councilman's son. This is what you asked for. You voted these guys in.

Tired of Joe!! said...

just another threat from Joe Stecklair,,,,is ANYONE LISTENING TO WHAT HE HAS DONE IN THE TOWN!!!!!! AND TO THE RESIDENTS OF THIS TOWN!?!?

help said in reply to Tired of Joe!!...

if the property values continue to fall in gloucester city maybe i will buy a rental property near joes house. he has trashed the east side so its time to move them north, great job james gang and housing for wrecking the city. the city is looking much better just take a drive a look around. what a joke you guys really are!


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