Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Council Agrees to MOU with State, Merges Sewer, DPW & Engineering

Asbury Park Council Meeting

November 3, 2010 Welcome to the Reporter's Notebook

All clarifications, corrections encouraged...

WorkShop Session - Click Here for Asbury's Memorandum of Understanding with NJ-  READ IT NOW
Councilmembers: Sue Henderson, Mayor
Ed Johnson, Kevin Sanders, Jim Bruno

John Loffredo, absent/ family illness

AsburyRadio arrived 6:25 pm

City Engineer Brian Grant was giving report on street repaving, etc. Double sided Sheet available to public with status of all streets, also a Springwood Ave update and full report from the engineering dept on various projects. Grant is making personal visits to West Side to meet with community officials and hear their needs. He’ll be meeting with the ministerial alliance also.

Mayor – resident contacted him re. new sidewalk caved in and water is collecting, ponding.

Grant - has spoken to the person already. Contractor has insured the city, so a contractor to come in and repair.

Mayor – don’t want any puddling as enter winter months.

Grant – explains details of mitigating ponding problem.

SH – pile of documents has gone down considerably.

Gilmour, UEZ requests: 2 of city’s dates at
Paramount, May 2, bring military band for free concert.

March 13, Madison Marq researching, w/ be opening wkend when Smithsonian coming, ticket prices w/ be reasonable – no more than $20. Have to raise money to pay for library and other venues to remain open late.

Special events: AP relay, pls table that, have researched and hv Allapalooza too close to other date. Taste of Asbury, Passion grp to run, April 30th on Cookman Ave

Mayor – we’ve moved event sev’l times, dif problems / are we going to jump ar’d with it?

TG – only blk to be closed is 600 blk, merchants w/ benefit becz it’s a smaller event.

Mayor – concerned we’re clsg a street/ over Wesley Lake we hv lots of giant oopen fields, to we consider doing it there?

TG_ that’s all possible, MM wd hv to be involved in that since it’s their property. Only tkg one blk, traf can get thru on Bond, etc.

Something on Apr 30th, cdn’t hear.

AP triathalon – August / good event, attracts top athletes, usually done by 10 am

Sandblast – trad’l event w/ Sat. Roadtrip, ask move to north side of Conv Hall, comm. Is in favor of hvg on that side/ MM wd like to hav on 5th Av side/ App is for 6th av side

SH – did we set record for most zombies… never saw so many zombie brides in my life/

TG – irony is even if did brk record, part of criteria to be counted was needed to hav white faces and darkened eyes…

Matters to be intro’d by city council:

SH – attended contemp art exhibit and fundraiser/ very successful, rly hope that comes true/ w/ bring lots of people to Asbury – that’s south end of Asbury, a great bldg/

Mayor – like to recognize Bishop soccer team, game at APHS, 0-0, but amazing game,

Transportation Ctr renovations finishing up, like to put together a re-grand opening event, artists hv donated pieces, heating has rely transformed ctr/ w hv more info.

City Atty, Fred Raffetto – council w/ not be tkg action on any matters from exec session tonight.

Public Portion –

Myra Campbell – 314 mattison av / plans to merge public wks, engineering and sewer dept/ Article in Coaster City’s Pledge to do Better on West Side/ Grant said wd put out schedule of streets to be done on West Side/ Many of same things we saw bk in oct, tho some corrections, still mnythings need to be addressed/ prog not gone as expected/ scope of influence, job responsibility/ to merge depts. Wd be a mistake, mr grant and others hv only acted when residents brought to attention of council. Consider all things we’ve brought here befor decide to allow

Transgender female – lives in the Bradley … 4 ft hole, stepped in wet cement, workers yelled at him, ridiculed him as “a freak”, has an appt in ny w/ lawyer for ACLU, I’ve asked u to lk into this attitude of lucas, this springwd ave is damnation alley/ what take to change it? Class action lawsuit?

Judy Parker – 2 children go to Obama School on Bangs Av, every morning when kids going to school trucks are moving…going on ever since first day of school, s/b no trks, no movement. In afternoon, trks shdn’t be on sts when kids are coming home/ my kids live 1 blk from school and I have to walk them /unless get hit by truck

Lou Parisi – the end of the WWI, war to end all wars, armistice day on that date, 11th hr, of 11th day of the 11th month/ when it was Armistice Day/ Now it’s Veterans day next week honoring all of Thurs, 11 am at Mem’l Park, join all our citizens / VFW post on Lake Ave invite all to have refreshments/ also honor our fire heroes at that time. Like u to be present for that.

Steve Wider – AP –

Hear city is going against the homeless shelter, disgusting…Harry Chapin started all the Hunger crusade, w/ be civil rights lawsuit against city if city throws out mission. Some people froze, went to hospital…to say u jst don’t wnt it to be open/ people can’t afford th rents they wnt up 80% between 2000 – and 2006 (?) pls stop hurting homeless and do something to help them. Where the plan for homeless people? I want to know the official plan right now. Time is up/

Mayor – happy ot tlk to you after.

Michael D Fornino – feel like days of rome , here not to kill ceasar but to praise him/ Hear two sets of stories on construction/ too slow/ too fast/ if we had a problem chk w/ contractor or engineering dept/ ex of Dr. Brantley’s bldg wd’ve caved into if not for reinforcement by thre contractor/ think plan to put in all new drainage, lighting, smaller trees, etc., done a marvelous job/ fact engineer is right here is great/ don’t hv to wait 2 days for engineer to come down/ engine dept doing more than you cd even expect

Leo Clark – fitness lifestyles, Cookman

Wnt to comment on Lake and Cookman construction/ a monumental job like this is never easy/ business owner, no good time to do something like this

Valerie Roberts – thes two prev gentlemen / we don’t have no path like he said they made for him/

Leo – no I said they lft a path

Valerie – same thing

Tim Johnson – AP / prop on west side/ issues folks are raising is real, has been progress…urge keep open mind…is large project…seen lot of news reports on infrastructure not jst a prob here it’s ll over country…prob cd’ve done differently/ my concern is watched elections/ don’t know who respons for getting the funding…other cities haven’t gotten/ jst wonder if w/ the changes are we at risk of losing any of the funding.

TR – a) we’re not at risk and b) got low loan (bond) rate thru the Environmental Trust Dept/ 'stimulus' is being subsidized thru EIT money. 75% is % free/ 25% is 3+%

Edward Young – AP resident/ importance of issue incident where it is alleged a city employee threatened a citizen of our community for mkg a legitimate complaint against contractors/ if this is true, to hv a city employee against citizen for mkg legitimate complaint, if that employee was in a position to be somehow promoted to another position, I wd hv q’s about whether that employee was fit to serve citizens of ap// is issue I believe mr grant owns or is in partnership w/ a construction firm, if true I’m wondering if any wk is given out to that particular firm wd it not create a conflict of interest.

Am I going to get aresponse.

TR – yes. First w/ allegations and innuendo. due respect hv problem w/ mr grant does hv construction company he consults for but has no assoc w/ AP

EY: Serious situation someone bringing power of the state against a citizen

Rve Dr. Charles E Mitchell – True__ Baptist Church, on DeWitt Ave

Know this is big project/ holes in street jst tremendous, hav parishioners w/ disabilities who can’t get to church, impedes our congreg to come and participate we need some spec dates, we can’t go on w/out contributions, torn up sidewalks right up to our building/ I’d like to tlk to someone who can help me.

Denise Richardson – ridge av, u started Ridge Av in April, not on list, I understand it won’t be done until next year…what was purpose of tearing up ridge av/ tore up mattison ave and the next week it ws closed up again, good job over there, sure/ as far as infrastructure for , she reads from ordinance referencing various bureaus/ what’s going to happen when it snows? When I came bk from vacation had sewer backing up in basement/ sure came out / went to springwood and it was cleared…but comes back each time/ why tear up Ridge over and over…what kind of planning is this? Pleaser don’t do it.

Paul McEvely – like to giv update on sprwd building project tk title to land today, 3 story mixed use bldg, 27kSF, police dept, permanent home for senior center, third flr 8 affordable rental units. Had kick off mtg today w/ contractor who w/ start next few wks, confined to northwest corner of springwd and atkins av, Hope to have completed early


Lester Corbo –

Hv to show admiration for council and crew for what undertaking/ I’m sure this infrastructure is diff for accessing businesses, etc. but hav to commend…gets cell ph call… mark apostolou I wd’ve taken it out for that…I’ve got pizza overns and 10 ft deli cases, you’ve got small businesses, but the infrastructure of depth has to be tkn care of now, snow is a concern, everyone is overreacting, maybe don’t have knowledge of brian grant…

Dwayne Smalls – AP – whoever was behind pitting east against west side is a a shame, hv elderly and young babies suffering thru this/ way this thing is going down is sad it really is/ and all of you who’s tring to divide up, everyone in this town knows everybody. I’ve got to pay for a drivers license in nj - $24 for drivers licnese…registration $, everyone in nj has to/ after 30 days everyone has to register their vehicle/ saw young man go to court other day had a ticket for jaywalking/ they’ve got two license plates, some contractors letting them drive their vehicles with N.C. license plates

Julian Purvus - Vida Gardens – tk picture of dewitt last wk when coming home, like jumping over a lake, had to go maybe distance of all these chairs, and no path was made for these people/

Chester Gordon – Gordon Construction – lot of people down on brian grant and don’t think it’s fair. There’s not a lot of money, treat him like he’s digging the holes, unfair to blame one man for a whole city’s worth of problems, think to hv engineer in chg of DPW is good idea…shn’t be using false info…don’t care if you’re white black gay or whatever, don’t mk statements about someone w/ no proof. If hv proof that’s a dif matter.

Telesha Crane – 51 Ridge Ave member NAACP Neptune, Ridge Av is horrible, flooding is horrible when it rains, drains not working/ hv children, hop over puddles, pk on opposite side so daughter can get out of car/ very small st for 2 cars at a time, hv to pk way down and walk every time it rains. Been like this 5 mos at a time/ I go to community ctr, big dip in middle of DeWitt/ had to get tires fixed on more than 4 occasions. Lot of people upset and tired lkg for qk results, first frost this morning/ is something needs to be corrected sooner rather than later/ someone came down to assess but jst one.

Rita Marano –

Have u started budget for 2011 -90$ - $60k for sick time when they retire/ you’re going to have to limit am’t of money they get when they leave/ hv u prepared or r u lkg at how to meet later

TR – yes are, labor contract that gave them that money, now $15k maximum.

RM – good, what about health plan?

TR = yes wkg on that as well

Mohammed’s Barber Shop – Mr Mohammed – when are the businesses of ap going to be compensated for what’s going on? I

TR – businesses not being compensated on the west side, east side, been in this business 30 yrs, no business been compensated, no mechanism nor is there money to compensate businsess for it/

M. – our businesses going out because of this.

TR – no money being paid for loss of business.

M – I have a big machine right in front of my door. I know you hv to change things in the city, but a trk crashing into the bldg it’s like the same thing…we need some type of compensation…how are we going to function…waive the mercantile fee…it’s only $50.

Public portion closed –

$905, 318.52 payroll for 2 wks

Resolution approving MOU involving $11,750,000 for 2010 transitional aid - exceptional aid.

TR – DCA of nj requires any muni to comply with certain thingsl

Had to do this before w/ the other aid. This is more strict than corzine admin, but basic tenet – explain your transitional plan/ when add personnel must report/ Christie even if hiring special counsel, or expanding services has to be app’d by state – been doing this for 5 yrs, and ap has great reputation w/ state, run everything by them, they mk recommendations, it’s really more than a partnership…we’ve been mkg recommendations to state on even more ways to save money. Even in MOU where says may not do this or that, if city believes can make a case for it w/ state.

Audit was under dif grant program, MOU doesn’t req an audit, but in tlkg to DCA we always tk the offer of assistance…all yes…

Resolution parts and eq’t $27,000. all yes

Resolution recommending properties to Planning Board for scattered sites. All yes

Contract brilliant environmental services $2,500, $3,000, $3,000 for three different lots for site remediation

ABC Control – IDs for employees of liquor establishments / changed way process liquor licenses and IDs for employees, asked city to do it as 3 yr program. Others said may not be here for 3 yrs…this ord is flexible, can pay fee for either time frame. No public wants to comment…All yes

Ordinance to - Restructuring/ and/or deleting positions – engineering and public wks/ puts city engineer as head of Pub Wks, engineering is w/in that dept. I’ve wk’d in munic, my exper is that when both dpts go hand in hadn much mor effective approach, better communication/ w/ best input when separate brkdowns in commun/ w/ be better served w/ merged dpts. Opps for add’l training for both depts.. bk in day pub wks did a lot more but today lot of tasks given to outsource contracts. But lot of exper people retired. See op to max skills in both areas, bring together for…

Denise Richardson – Ridge Av, re. training, mst of gentlemen in PW hv been there for yrs/ so I don’t know what kind of training you’re talking aobut/ don’t know how u cd think of doing this w/ problems going on in city, and you’re going to put him in charge of the signage, where was it in the beginning, no detour signs, no unpaved rd sign/ now u tell me when the snow comes we’ll move to another street/ why don’t u hire someone who’s been in DPW? What understand there’s been a secr hired, and then got rid of 10 employees, one has been here a resident for 20 yrs, bt the person brought in doesn’t live in AP. Council member Henderson know you can’t do much about this because it’s going to happen whether you like it or not. it lks like he’s doing so much for city of Asbury, but I can see my garbage and my recycling w/ be sitting in front of my house, you’ve already gotten rid of people who’ve been here for years and brought in new people.

TR – that’s a temp position and is an APk resident. The previous woman retired. In crse of reorg brian felt shdn’t hire until pass this and decide if positon is still needed.

I’m not expecting any erosion of city services/ w/ be just as good a job. Bobby Bannchini a man w/ extensive construction experience is being brought over.

DR – that’s just another bone into the dog’s mouth. I don’t know why you can’t hire from within. Are you saying none of these gentlemen are good enough to be promoted to higher post?

TR – in no way a reflection on any of these employees. Some of them hav thanked me, because see opp – can we get training in this area or that area. I respect you and know you’re coming to the microphone sincerely. In few months if it’s not what I say it will be, I’ll be right here, I take responsibility for it.

DR – who’s being held accountable for what’s going on on the West Side?

TR – Brian Grant is. Everyone…prob biggest mistake brian made was being to ambitious about the project. Residents have come to these meetings and we’ve done best to …dirt pile reduced from 32’ to about 14’ – everyone deserves a chance to learn. Mistakes hv been makde admit that. So what do you do when you make mistakes, you don’t cut the head off. I don’t believe in doing that. Brian has taken responsibility…people hv ben serviously inconvenienced.

DR – But this started in April. Peoople were complaining in April and May about the dust when did hey jst start spraying the streets, because when you drive away from this mtg, you drive out of Asbury Park. I have to decide which street I shd drive to get to the west side. I commended the PDW when the snow came last yr. But I’m sorry. I see it as a bad move. Asked u to delay it, wk w/ gentlemen in pub wks. Sure send them to training – Brian has enuf on his plate, and who

Anna Hill – Springwood ave, thoroughly agree shouldn’t punish brian grant/ I’m graduate student at Monmouth Univ. Because I didn’t communicate correctly with a professor I was put on academnic notice …PhD will be delayed accordingly, you shouldn’t promote Brian Grant until he’s corrected his situation…

Dwayne Smalls – 1304 Mattison Ave

w/ anyoe be losing their job?

TR – no plan for anyone ot lose their job. I say but though because polic, fire, every dept in town…we’re working on budget for 2011, last conversation had w/ dca someone said don’t count on that much money next yr. be a liar if I sat here and said everyone w/ keep job/ I don’t know who’s going to keep their job in 2011. There is no secret hit list.

DS – These are hard times. When I got laid off it was tough. But now I’ve got my own business. I don’t have to work for nobody. Will the kids still get to work w/ DPW?

TR – is a commitment in this city to train and hire…one of priorities since took over community dev.

DS – number one problem in this town. We’ve got to have that program

Pam Lamberton – beach not included in reorg?

TR – Garrett Giberson will be brought back on limited schedule to supervise beach operation. Coordination goes on between PWD.

PL – Is that a new position?

TR – Garrett is doing that now

PL – Didn’t government say you can’t do that?

TR – this is minimal $15k

Ridge Av resident – how are positions advertised?

TR – all open positions are advertised for f/t positions, ad in paper, posting in city hall

Myra Campbell – thnk mst people on WSide agree constr has to tk place, but we havne’t seen any plan on how progression of wk w/ take place. As for consolidation, engineer now gets $115k, will he get more pay? Will asst engineer get more pay? What type of cost anlysis has been done? Individuals who do wk for PWD proba so uptight because they don’t see their…

Edward Young – suggestion jst brought up is an excellent one involving mr grant. Think u should allow job currently underway to be finished, then review performance and if it’s satisfactory then…put him to the test before giving him add’l responsibilities.

Jim Bruno has ques – million $ we saved on downtown utilities.’

TR – It wasn’t $1mn it ws $1.5million we saved.

BG – when did budget on CBD, bid as an add on to project, low bid was $6.5mn. We said it wd be ridiculous to do sidewalks and not do street lights – started kicking ar’d some numbers, bought own conduit wire, stocked it, bought wire ties, - $100k - $150k for the materials, lights are A$4000 a pc- or total $960k for lights…Tom made appli thru state gov’t to get funding for the lights – cover CBD and 85 lights for Springwood Ave. The 1.1 mn strictly for …bills, If we had contractor do wk $2.6mn, by doing ourselves $1.1 mn/ Doing inlets ourselves at $500 vs $1500 a piece has saved more.

Can now allocate manpower w/out communications breakdowns.

JB – last yr the plan was to reduce staff and not hire summer help.

BG – intend to go thru /w Garrett, time sheets, what are you doing, how long… I asked my bosses to take 2 mos to make that really seamless transition.

JB – I’m not going to do it.

BG – I told you I’ll come to your house and go over it w/ you.

JB – When did you make that offer…laughter…Why are you hiring three people?

BG – objective was to get that new engineer for zoning and…right now we bill at $110/hr for my services. Junior engineer, Doug Knowles, City needs long term is good maps. If we can get one person a principal drafting technician…

JB – shouldn’t there be a salary provision with this.

Vote: JB – for months dealing with this issue, lost sleep, loyalty trust respect issues/ now …I don’t like the move, it is what it is, we hv to keep an eye on it so our residents and our employees aren’t disrespected. And I vote no.

SH – when elected talked w/ terry, I wk in ocean twp and can talk to politicians tell me how theirs operates…I hva control over whether I vote or not and I’m voting yes.

KS – if brian isn’t wkg for us, he’ll do it for someone else/ because he’s very professional/ to make it a smooth trasntiton, regardless of bob or brian in position, regardless who’s in positon, it’s to mk engineering and DPW smoothly / so I vote yes.

Mayor – I don’t tk these comments or issues stated tonight lightly at all – I don’t judge u how you fall but how u stand up when you’re done. I was not the biggest brian grant fan, we wk’d thru our diff/ wk’d for the right idea…what’s best for the city. This is a nt’l match engineering DPW, diff personalities and other issues, which tinge this restructure , but how it w/ better serv city save money, budget this yr is nothing compared to what’s to come. We are going to wk together as one community, gt this done as one gov’t and that’s why I vote yes.

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