Thursday, January 6, 2011

Council Hears Public's Blizzard Stories - Advice

Blizzard of 2010 Post-Mortem

    Fails to Mention Emergency Management Plan

   Accolades & Recriminations Fly

iStar Financial Disagrees with City Position on its Default

    Council Passes Quarter of a Million Dollar Legal Offense Fee

Temporary Budget Passed (numbers TK)

AP City Council Meeting 1/5/11

Welcome to AsburyRadio's Reporters' Notebook - corrections, spellings, clarifications invited.
All Council members present: Sue Henderson, Deputy Mayor John Loffredo, Mayor Ed Johnson, form mayor Kevin Sanders, former deputy mayor James Bruno

Workshop –

Reps from big Sisters Big Bros/ need mentors, who must be 18 yrs or over, need office space 1800 SF, 91c of every dollar donated goes to programs.
James Famularo – applicant for atm machine for transportation center, PNC bank rep at table w/ JM before council.

Also discussing putting one along beachfront…any other locations?

Mayor Johnson – I know been a long wait for us to be able to accept credit cards here in the city.

City mgr TReidy – we put out req for proposals and then come back w/ best for us/ more operational issue/ supposed to meet with them this Friday/ cd be resolved at that mtr/

FM – something about Swan boats on Wesley Lake


EJ – what kind of fees?

FM – every transaction, what was it…surcharge $2.50

EJ – don’t want to charge people $5 fee/ seen look on people’s faces when they do that.

EJ – reads proclamation of AP – ref lives of children…big bros big sis, helping to …competent competent children…mentoring programs… more likely to graduate high school/ city promises to frame / app goes to interview…hugs reps from

Tonight w/ Reverse procedures – public mtg w/ start at 7 pm tonight,

then public participation after they discuss snow w/ staff, then private session

Public Meeting –

Budget current fund for 3 mos. - $5 million 400k///beach $30k salaries and wages/ …incomplete…first mtg of every yr state statute adopt …26 /14% of adopted budget of prev yr. so muni can continue business until official budget is adopted/

Community bnk of Asbury park is actually Rumson Fairhaven bank.

PNC Bank, Sovereign and other banks are to be used by AP

Interest and delinquent property tax fees – way too fast to catch

Delinquent check fee

Public hearings on ords’

Salary for zoning officer parttime/ omnibus driver – sen citizen bus driver/ diff finding competent bus driver/ mks this fu/time pos to get someone reliable etc. at this for yrs. Trying to get/

Zoning ord wd lower salary range/ currently asst planner and zoning officer/ so no add’l $ for zoning officer duties/ was on bks at much higher rate – went from 25 to 55/ now it’s part-time for $4k, doesn’t eliminate the title.

Wd use the pos for other driving opportunities/ our exp is that there’s a need for a f/time driver/ p/time pos isn’t wkg/ seniors can’t go where wnt to go/ that person w/ be paid according to what do and w/ find duties if no plc to drive/ only one public member asked q’s – Rita Marano – all yes

Allows PBd to hire someone for sound mitigation analysis, when a business application requires sound analysis is req’d/ this wd change ordinance which now assumes sound analysis is needed. So if not a live music venue they the subcommittee of the PBd would decide if need sound analysis.

All in favor to adopt ord– all aye

Bond Ordinance – moved to next mtg

Blizzard Post-Mortem – Brian Grant and Bob B. go to address council and mayor motions for them to trun and face the audience, (rarely done).

TR – lot of lessons learned during this period. Another stm coming in this fri. some of lessons w/ be applied in next storm. [Reidy is the emergency management officer for AP]

This was the largest, fastest mg storm dumped more snow in this are than 1947. every storm has its own personality/ came in steady, sun am 11 am, gale force winds by night/ what did we know as a state and when did we know it/ predictions of snow on Christmas eve but not that it was a blizzard. Fact it hit day after Christmas, none of this is by way of excuses/ think job done was phenomenal, knew early on that we were on our own/ state abandoned vehicles in AP and got stuck…didn’t do anything for 3 days/ county had own challenges, multiple aban veh, tow trucks abandoned veh/ if wanted to come out wdn’t hv been able to/ Crime was down… Babies born, one del by firefighter Anastasia/ 3.5 hrs to get ambulance from 4th av and grand to hospital, baby born in hosp/ Santander residents put people up for days…

Started as a rescue mission/ henry vaccaro was stuck in Eatontown, cdn’t get equipment bak in ap til Wednes. His eqpt was commandeered by Eatontown police to plow there/

Brian Grant – 24 – 30” in fall, drifts up to 7 --8 feet. Robert (Bob B.) was dudoing the emerg response.

Bob – this was actually the perfect storm at the worst pos time, holidays, materialized to mega storm/ when he lft toms river 12” to 20” I showed up at 10:15 in AM, had 4 guys out for 2 – 3 hrs/ w/in that time streets impassible , then it became a plowing mission/ pedestrians walking ar’d, first day had control in cbd, had drivable in cbd, few hrs later totally impassible, bad to wrse in such short perod of time/ saw cars there, 2 hrs later buried/ had to poke w/ stick to see if there.

10 pm Sunday night, new Holland frontend loader used 90% of time to pull own eqp’t out/ anyone who called called them directly, we got caught bad as anybody in state/ stuck by HS loader got stuck/ Brian was in Atlanta, communicating by phone, cars abandoned throughout the city…no way cd attack snow storm/ no plc to put snow/ for am’t of sno not right am’t of equpt, no one has that much eq’t/ tried to do everything cd/ jprob no way of getting ar’d it/ luckily did hav loader/ we had one comfort, contractor in town lent hvy eqpt, so when reality came we started to clear/ when we got one lane, people started pkg behind / know lot of people were frustrated so was i. When get storm of that magnitude/ All commun in wld we trying to do/ we tk garbage trks out for dep mayor loffredo’s hse, cdn’t get it out of there and this was 2 or 3 days later.

Brian – we hav manpower…only equip’t approp we had was loader/ we lost use of it for 3 hrs, when needed for emergency rescue operation/ we got low on salt/ for a 30” snowfall we didn’t hv what needed/ some of shift wkrs put in 28 hrs, that was bob, others cdn’t get into area/ given resources we had staff did a great job in the beginning/ it’s not a simple plowing operation, our plan calls for stepping back,/ mass and velocity, once u lose your velocity it impedes the effort/ when u plow someone in, people were pushing snow back into street to dig selves out/ then tried to do curb to curb/ we’re physically removing snow, never did so before, into lakes and ocean/ some idea how prioritize snow removal/ I got bk Wednesday/ I was on the street driving vehicles/ we prioritize by supporting on Springwd ave and cookman ave/ Ridge, Bangs and Prospect, Third Ave on Sat. and Sunday/ moving snow from ar’d schools, coord w/ Bd of Ed/ that was fri, sat, sun.

Next, on Monday, code red, started on main avenues, cont’d on ridge av/ projgress on main and Asbury av/ w/ be removing sknow on state hiways/ left for end bez not city jurisdiction/ 6” storm usually mov to side and move on w/ your business. Snding up another cde red message for public to adhere to alternate side/ don’t have snow removal rules/signs in plc yet/ Are we overwhelmed, we said yeah/ Duane Small called to volunteer I said yes. We looked at a contractor recommended by Councilman Kevin Sanders, who had cleared Jersey City in 48 hrs /turned out he wanted $7000/hr/ 50 – 60 hrs or $280,000 to $350,000 to cln up the city – we didn’t hv that kind of money

So asking in this next phase for people to move cars off streets while we clear them.

We need to hv emerg contracts in place/ vaccaro was ad hoc basis/ contractors we reached out to had obligations to other towns/ cedn’t mobilize equip’t until Wedn. Rode red system lot of good feedback/ voice mail filled up every 2 hrs/ was lack of information / really hv to leverage that code red system to constantly communicate/ but really our job was to communicate better/ residents have a role clng strs sooner than later/ try not to clr too soon/ so not constantly digging out/ try not to pk in travel lanes because that impedes/ this is what we’re lkg for from u to mk this / it’s a geam approach, rly need cars off streets, fstr we can serve the public/

w/ be communicating about this much more/ now we’ll mobilize on that day shift to really communicate beter than done in past/

TReidy –

Wnt to tk a few seconds to mention heroics that went on…so mny lifesaving efforts going on in those initial days/ 48 dalysis pats in this little city. Emergency rescue – front end loader used majority of time in life saving/ we said no lives wd be lost bez stranded in need of medical help/ pub wks, fire and police never seen better teamwk/

EJ – jst wnt to say there are a lot of lessons to be learned, we don’t hv lux another storm coming thurs, fri Saturday, crews wkg overtime, to try to lrn those lessons and qkly befor…one of mny lessons lrn’d this wk/ dedication of crews …some left families on Christmas knowing there was storm brewing, some walked from Asbury circle in chest deep snow/ out on st mon, tues, our men and women never gave a thought to giving up…lot of things wnt to do better, need to do better…we need to listen to your input on you experiences and what we can do to be better prepared.

Jim Henry – 6th Ave

We were one of people w/ medical emergency/ called terry 5:15 Monday moring, Robert called out his f/end loader, chf keddy had a truck out for emerg run to hospital/ I was appalled conditions bet here and hosp can’t bel state didn’t do a better job/ we had a 4 wheel vehicle and kept having to turn ar’d …storm of 47 not as bad as this storm/ sometimes not equipped, thnk u guys did a gd job, lot of problms people who jst don’t use their heads/ appreciate

Amy quinn – Santander

Lot of probs w/ storm u had no control over, poli fire dpw did grt job on

\I called DPW don’t know how many times/ if there was a thoroughfare to get out. There was woman in Santander husband was diabetic, family wanted to pick up/ we didn’t even know which

TR = city does have emerg management routes but cdn’t get word out to citzens

Jack – Asbury Tower – don’t know where to put cars. There’s a church in neighborhood one of recom brian made, on that blk alone on any given day…bug empty pkg lot in church/ it wd take city to mk arrangementw w/ the churches/

EJ – we do hope to hv those in place so next time can move them…

Rita Marano – one of things think u shd do and want to come bef planning bd, apts w/ inadequate # of spots. Every car has to have a pkg space/ cookman has pkg lot but charges tenants to pk there. When we come before and complain we’re trying to head off these. Think they did a good job for what they did, but hav to control the pkg on the street.

Dr charles e Mitchell sr., dewitt ave/

Like to address pertinent situation, church located at dead end part of dewitt, sort of problem re plowing in that area/ residents, even homeowners can’t pk anywhere else/ still mounds of snow, 15ft pile of snow and debris right next to marquee w/ my name on it.

It is quite large and menacing. Bible says spk to the mtn we hve and it has not moved.

Myra Campbell –

What is plan fining absentee landlords or abandoned houses not cleared their houses/ What about people who have cell phones re. code red calls/ Monroe Ave no removal at all on one area.

TR – code enforcement…bal we’re trying to achieve myra, don’t wnt to go after people even when can, when you’re tlkg absentee lanld def right/ but wnt be sensitive to people who may not be able to shovel, we’ve reached out to youth corp/ we do wnt to put people on notice/

MC – we hv same prob not jst snow removal but people who don’t cut grass. Other ques?

TR – if u hv a cell phone it’s not automatically included in sys, so yu hv to register your cell phone,

EJ - go to city, click on the code red, enter your information.

TR – we hv to coordinate w/ Neptune, channel 12 was called first, but we did

Pat Fasano – I’m a non absentee and did plow all properties/ city worker plowed a ton of snow into mouth of his parking lot

Met w/ iStar’s real estate person , who came from trammel crowe and Hovnanian and sounded like he really knows what he’s doing – Brian…encourage you to try to wk with this person if possible.

Tarrantino – Heck St./ paid twice to remove snow from prop/


At this point your omniscient observer lost her anonymity and other things and took to the mic to state that were this rain instead of snow, we all would have drowned while Public Works determined the best route out of town; to remind Reidy and others that there is an Emergency Management Plan (Reidy is the Emergency Management Coordinator for the City), that it was only after prodding from yours truly 4 or 5 years ago that Reidy finally produced the plan, which was filled with contact names for dead people, defunct communications companies, and obsolete telephone exchanges -- but did not contain an Evacuation Plan. The EMgr coordinates with the county and state police, effectively making the reinventing of the wheel discussed by so many in this meaning, unnecessary. Local authorities, under Mr. Reidy's direction, do however have to fill in the plan with the local information.

If you would like to review the pdf files for the revised, work in progress plan the fire company is working on, please click on the yellow caution sign in the left hand banner on this site If you would like the history of Asbury Radio's efforts to attract attention to this life and death issue, please go to the directory on this site.

Public comment cont'd...

Jerry Scarano – hav fire hydrants more available, people whose kids playing their yards but not shoveling snow.

Kerry Butch – happy friends and neighbors helped each other, amy quinn called Butch on cell phone to say code red, much appreciated.

Her Q -Bond ordinance for $250,000 reads for redevelopment. Is that for legal fees? Yrs ago city said we’d never pay legal fees for redevelopment, wd always be developer's respons.

TR – This is the money to litigate against developer no way he is going to pay for it/

KB – goes against the spirit of what was told to city. Paid for not with one tax dollar of people of Asbury park. So it’s a violation of promises made to us.

Duane Small – gen’l contractor/ wnt to thank brian giving me opp to help with snow removal. Like bible tells us

Danny Weiss – 4th ave – has partner not well right now. Afraid might need medical help.

We were stuck in hse facing 4th av, not one salter, not one sander, Garrett Giberson was on internet telling storm was coming. Terry u just said phenomenal, perform not any where near phenomenal / not one person has complained about fire, poliece/ Grant they are complaining about - lack of vision / should hv better communication next time/ every once and awhile impatience is a virtue.

Denise Richards – Ridge Ave/ did see front loader come through and he was stuck after cleaning out a driveway/ only way ambulance got thru, put patient on a sled and pulled him all the way to heck av. When frontloader got out, he never came back. if we hired people w/in town we wdn’t hv to worry about them getting into town in a crisis.

We were talking about snow storm for a long while. Shd’ve been better prepared / cooperation. I don’t know what plan you had in place but you have to take that plan out and...

George Kary - What’s status of city's ultimatum to iStar, the 10 days has lapsed.

TR – basically iStar said it doesn’t agree with us. (smiling)

GK - That's it?

JL- Well, it was a little bit more than that Terry. (smiling)

TR - Debated our points and said disagree.

GK - How long can this go on? We’re all stuck here, couldn’t sell if we wanted to. .

TR – governing body and admin has come up w/ strategy that will move things along, we can’t discuss it in public.

GK – can you bar people from driving in bad weather?

TR – unfortunately can't

Cerise – Lake Ave –

Do u hv agreements with county, state for how avenues will be opened, any plans to communicate w/ state.

TR – already started communication during the storm / dialogue was this never happened before and never happen again.

C – looked to see if I could park in State garage but it was locked/ one plow guy did push snow away so she and kids, husband cd dig car out

Keith ?–

From mayor’s rq to share our experiences/ share photo of two DPW workers sitting in broken down plow for 12 hours…/ hope 5 of you up there support brian grant in gaining credibility for what he’s trying to do

Linda Phillips – Bridge is there a plan for that storm that’s coming?

Contracts in place?

BG – right now we have approx 4 contractors assisting us/ we stil hv to get rid of this snow/ repairing lot of the equip’t damaged in storm, mechanics wkg 12hr days/fortunately I operate the cad cam system for color coding, continue to get //

--end of meeting-- Please Note: Brian Grant tells Asbury Radio calls he made to the County Emergency Management Officer were not returned. This is how our investigation of former EMO Harry Conover began. Does the State Office of Emergency Management hold any sway over the counties?

No comments: