Author Topic: WO Patch blog and video: January 14 council meeting  (Read 2558 times)

Offline Joe_Krakoviak

  • **
  • Posts: 87
WO Patch blog and video: January 14 council meeting
« on: January 18, 2014, 09:44:55 PM »
My West Orange Patch post and indexed video of the January 14, 2014, town council meeting is now online: http://bit.ly/1dHDB1W. A council majority declined to second the motion to introduce my proposed ordinance to lower costs and increase transparency in insurance procurement. (Video of this 24-minute portion of the meeting is here: http://bit.ly/1adN7eg.)

Other discussions of interest included payout of another $132,000 in successful tax appeals and the potential to borrow another $1 million to fund more, an investigation of police firearms procurement, $268,000 for environmental remediation at five municipal locations, review of the budget for the Downtown West Orange Alliance, review of the 2012 independent audit, and year-end 2013 financial and budget housekeeping.

Keep up with your municipal government easily and efficiently by reading, and subscribing to, my blog at http://bit.ly/1amS9Rm. You can also efficiently review council meeting videos -- downloadable and indexed so you can quickly find the topics you’re looking for – at West Orange Grassroots http://bit.ly/17eRQWY.

Offline Bill G

  • **
  • Posts: 23
Re: WO Patch blog and video: January 14 council meeting
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2014, 04:47:21 PM »
INteresting stuff.  What's up with that guy Sayers butting in and interrupting our duly elected representative when the Councilman clearly had the floor?  Why didn't McCartney gavel him out of order?  It was disgraceful - I wonder if Cirilo found it "really scary", too.

Offline Suefreivald

  • ***
  • Posts: 135
Re: WO Patch blog and video: January 14 council meeting
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2014, 03:39:09 PM »
I took this issue up with Vic on his FB page, here:  https://www.facebook.com/victor.cirilo.3/posts/10152132759253351?comment_id=164736843&offset=0&total_comments=13

Note that he doesn't at all understand that the broker fees are included in what we pay the insurers. Also, note that he tries to use terms like "free market economics" and when I ask him to explain, he says "we all know what this is about" and that politics should not influence policy--that is, we "all know" it's about supporting Joe K whenever someone asks him questions he can't answer.  :)

Sayers is either faking an astonishing amount of ignorance, or he isn't faking it at all.  What on earth does it matter that the broker doesn't know which company will get picked?  It's negotiated its fees with ALL of them, their fees are in every bid, so whoever the Town picks, Fairview gets their chunk. 

And Sayers acts like the fact that the town doesn't take lowest bid, that they get a bunch of bids and often someone is willing to come down and underbid the others, is a PLUS.  It's not--it means no one has any incentive to give their lowest possible bid the first time around, they can give high-ball offers and then wait to see just how low everyone else goes and then just barely beat that, when in fact they might be able to go far lower. 

In fact, this is the Starlite-Spango Pizza Picnic Method of Town bidding--bid high (say, $10/pie) then find out how low other businesses are willing to charge ($8/pie), then use your town connections to meet the lowest bid and get the job for $8 yourself, instead of, say, bidding $7.50 in the first place, or losing the job because you were so darn expensive a bid.  This is where the favoritism/cronyism comes in.  Thanks to observant PRC members making the Starlite Pizza bidding method public, this method is no longer being used for the several-hundred-dollar Town Picnic pizza job--now the lowest bid gets the job.  But for less important things, such as six-figure broker fees for insurance, we stick to the Starlite Pizza crony method to chose the Town's broker and insurer, and Sayers thinks that's a good thing.

There is so much to pick apart here it's astounding, and yet making sense to some Council members earns you accusations of "politics over policy."  Because Sayers interrupted the Council's business due to policy, not politics, of course.

Kayser's citing of case law would, if you accept his interpretation, mean that no Council should ever pass ordinances at all--does he work for Trenk?
« Last Edit: January 21, 2014, 04:27:54 PM by Suefreivald »

Offline WO-StatusQuo

  • ***
  • Posts: 108
Re: WO Patch blog and video: January 14 council meeting
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2014, 11:27:57 PM »
From the Facebook encounter:
Quote from: Vic's facebook page (classic cop out)
"Victor Cirilo Sue, this is getting too personal for my taste. Unfortunately, personal feelings tend to cloud honest discourse. I am sorry but I will have to discontinue this dialogue because it will not lead anywhere if the premise is that we are not educated on the issues and that we do not take our responsibilities serious. You are welcome to call me on my cell phone at 862-266-****. Thank you for your opinion."

Haha.  I take that as DUI claiming, "I'm losing this debate so good day to you, Sir".   I didn't see anything "personal" in the exchange up to that point.  Does transparency in Cirilo-land mean let's take this offline where there's no record of what I say?
Interestingly, he starting sprinking "lol's" into his ensuing comments.  I found it somewhat disturbing that an elected official typed "lol" during an online public policy discussion.  Was he really reduced to laughing out loud at his keyboard?

I vaguely recall Mayor Robbie making a commitment to attend all Council meetings (unlike his predecessor) and having his Directors available to answer residents'/taxpayers' questions and concerns.  How long did that last?  We're now reduced to "Open Office Hours" where any concerns can be raised privately with absolutely nothing on-the-record leaving Sayers to act as the de facto mayor AND Council President.  Does he still get to park that taxpayer owned Crown Vic with free township supplied gas (remember - the one he required in his capacity as the $144K "paper accomodation" PD in case of some middle-of-the-night police emergency) in Roseland or does Police Director Robbie park it at home in West Orange now?

For those forum readers who avoid Facebooking‡:



‡ Interesting, also, that the Councilman's take on the January 14th meeting is represented by an article in an online blog where it was claimed that the "firearms resolution" was defeated 4-1 with only the Council President voting in the affirmative when, in fact, the resolution never made it to a vote at all (and that bit of disinformation was the only thing reported from the meeting.)

Offline Suefreivald

  • ***
  • Posts: 135
Re: WO Patch blog and video: January 14 council meeting
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2014, 11:45:18 AM »
Really, the firearms resolution never went to a vote at all?  How did it end up reported as a 4-1 vote? (Well, I mean, we know the source of the mistake, but was there any kind of motion or something that could be mistaken for a vote by the "reporter?")

The thing I find astonishing (OK, the whole scene was astonishing) is that Sayers actually said the Town doesn't pay for the broker fees, and Cirilo apparently believes this.  Despite a clear explanation from Councilman Krakoviak that the fees have cost the Town $1.1 million over three years, Sayers blurts out that we don't pay the fee and the other Council members simply accept this.  That's because, as Cirilo says, they don't believe it's their place to question the administration, which means they're making it clear that they are very likely to have no idea what they're voting on.

Sayers also kept ranting about how the broker doesn't know which insurer the Town will pick, as if this means Fairview can't be looking out for its own interests in negotiating its fees.  But he ALSO revealed that often, after all the bids are in, a high-bid insurer is allowed to come in under everyone else--so it's clear favoritism is allowed, and that it is likely those who are best connected to the Town get the second chance to underbid everyone else, which means Fairview might have some idea (or even input) into who gets this special chance to adjust their bid.


Offline WO-StatusQuo

  • ***
  • Posts: 108
Re: WO Patch blog and video: January 14 council meeting
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2014, 12:38:39 PM »
The thing I find astonishing (OK, the whole scene was astonishing) is that Sayers actually said the Town doesn't pay for the broker fees, and Cirilo apparently believes this. 

I understand that point fully - Sayers would have us believe that the insurance company eats the broker fee rather than passing it through to the insured (i.e. to us, the property tax payers) in the premiums charged.  It's ridiculous to think anyone could possibly believe in such fairy tales but, after all, Vic is not exactly versed in the ways of the real world having spent his career in the public sector.  It's so easy to be cavalier when one is spending other people's money.

Thanks for clearing up the "misunderstanding". :)

Offline WO4Trump

  • ****
  • Posts: 303
Re: WO Patch blog and video: January 14 council meeting
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2014, 12:57:37 PM »
Let's be clear on what happened at that meeting...DUI Cirilo was just trying to help Jack get his foot out of his mouth since Parisi wasn't there to do it for him...otherwise DUI Cirilo would have kept quiet and voted how he was told to by Jack and Robbie.

Offline KG

  • **
  • Posts: 49
Re: WO Patch blog and video: January 14 council meeting
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2014, 02:34:03 PM »
Quote from: Councilman Cirilo Jan 14, 2014 meeting concerning Ordinance on first reading 2398-14
Council President, I'm not in favor of questioning the efforts of the Administration in their procurement of insurance for the best interest of the residents of West Orange; I'm not going to question that.   In this - by agreeing to this ordinance, I would be questioning that.  I would be limiting the, uh, I would be limiting the flexibility that the local public contracts law allows and I'm not in favor of that.  I think that the Administration should be given all the tools to find what's in the best interest of the residents of West Orange and where we're going to realize the most savings. Whether it be this procurement process or whether it be the procurement process currently being implemented.  This is not about, this is not a personal issue, this is just about the policy and this is about the process.  And that's why I'm going to be voting NO on bringing this resolution (sic) up on first reading."

If the Councilman isn't in favor of questioning the Administration, deciding to vote 'no' before any council discussion or public comment, what's the point of sitting on the Council at all?  Perhaps all we need is a triumverate comprising the Mayor, the Business Administrator, and the Deputy Town Attorney to make any and all decisions concerning how our property taxpayer dollars are spent and to whose benefit.   At least that would save the taxpayers the cost of the biennial Council elections and keep our children safe from those rampaging hordes of bloodthirsty local voters that make the national news so frequently. ;)

So is this now dead in the water or will the Citizens Campaign folks be invited to the next council meeting to share their thoughts on the matter with the residents.  Will the taxpayers be offered an opportunity to understand the benefits and/or pitfalls of the ordinance and offer their thoughts at public comment?

Offline Raymond Helfrich

  • ***
  • Posts: 156
  • "Mr. Hospitality"
    • The West Orange Watercooler (WOW!)
Re: WO Patch blog and video: January 14 council meeting
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2014, 05:00:04 PM »
I took this issue up with Vic on his FB page, here:  https://www.facebook.com/victor.cirilo.3/posts/10152132759253351?comment_id=164736843&offset=0&total_comments=13"

So, one has to be a registered user of Facebook in order to be able to read this discussion?? 
And a "friend" of the Councilman in order to be able to comment on it?!
Share more information (and fewer opinions, ideally) (about the town) (and vicinity) on the West Orange Watercooler (WOW!)!
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WestOrangeWatercooler/

Offline Jake Freivald

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 306
Re: WO Patch blog and video: January 14 council meeting
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2014, 04:38:50 PM »
It's a public Facebook post, so you should be able to read it without signing up or in. Commenting would require a Facebook login.
Twitter: jdfreivald or westorangenj
AIM: jdfreivald
YM: jdfreivald