.

Shared Court Services Proposal Rejected

Bridgewater's governing body cites concerns about risk, extra security costs.

Mayor Dan Hayes said the proposal is a dead deal after the council voted 3-2 Monday against a resolution to create a shared court service between Bridgewater and Somerville.

"I am extremely disappointed that the council chose not to advance the interests of the township in voting down the shared court proposal," he said after the meeting. "It would have saved Bridgewater and Somerville at least $73,000 per year, as well as given us the experience to increase the value of shared services in the future."

The shared service was presented by Hayes at a recent meeting, for Bridgewater and Somerville to both hold court in the municipal building on Commons Way.

"The concept is to operate a shared court, but both municipalities will remain separate court entities," he said. "The opportunity is to share facilities and personnel, and increase the utilization of resources, primarily the grounds in Bridgewater."

Hayes said there is the expectation of $73,000 in savings annually to the taxpayers, broken down to $26,000 in savings for Somerville and $47,000 for Bridgewater.

The two would have been operating a shared court, with each managing their own systems with their own judges, prosecutors and other court personnel. But all the court work would be done in the Bridgewater municipal complex.

"There is no reduction in services, and to Bridgewater it is transparent because court operations remain the same," Hayes said. "It is a 9 percent annual reduction in court expenses and the utilization of an under-utilized facility."

The agreement was written as a three-year agreement, but the council could evaluate it every year, and there was a 90-day termination period written into the resolution.

But council members expressed concerns about some of the facts and figures presented by the resolution, as well as information that they believed was lacking from the proposal.

For councilman Howard Norgalis, he was wondering why he hadn't been able to see an audit of 2012 expenses to determine that the numbers presented by the administration, and used to design the shared service, were accurate.

"It wasn't too many months ago that the issue of police consolidation was very briefly reviewed here," he said. "That issue, which had a massive potential amount of savings, went down the tube."

"I would support tabling this to see the security," he added. "The fact that the audit I have is from a year ago, I would imagine there would want to be another report."

Hayes said he doesn't believe another audit is warranted when the administration and Bridgewater municipal court judge William Kelleher were saying they had reviewed the facts and figures.

"I believe a request for court audits when we have the judge saying the audits are clear is essentially a delay that is unwarranted," Hayes said.

Councilman Filipe Pedroso said he does believe the idea of shared services is important in any community, but that the risk in this one may not be worth the reward. He said he sees in the proposal that the township will be saving $36,000 in rental income because of the money Somerville will pay to use the building, but the remaining $11,000 in savings is more ambiguous.

"Since this is listed as a line item expense, I must presume that if it is allocated as an expense, the money will probably be spent," he said. "Is $36,000 in revenue enough to justify an agreement?"

Basically, Pedroso said, the revenue coming in through the shared service would represent a potential of 0.18 percent in tax savings for residents, or $1.80 per homeowner.

"Because it is argued that Bridgewater is saving some money, that it not enough by itself to justify a deal," he said. "A deal has to be a good deal, and ultimately our role as elected officials is to determine if the deal is good for Bridgewater."

"My concern is that by signing into the deal, we will be making a little bit of money, but is a little enough?" he added.

Pedroso said he is also concerned that more use of the building will increase Bridgewater's liability, while also increasing the wear and tear on the building, and the need for repairs.

But Hayes said he doesn't think that justifies voting against the proposal.

"Simply wishing the numbers are better doesn't work," he said. "These are well thought out based on data. It is something we've been asked to look at, something we've looked at throughout the county. It's whether you think 9 percent cost reductions have no downside."

"The design of our government is not to turn a profit, it is to reduce expenses," he added. "The $47,000 is just that."

Councilman Matthew Moench had similar concerns about Bridgewater taking all the risks and possibly missing out on some of the benefits.

"I can't believe there aren't other overhead costs that haven't been considered," he said.

But the major issue Moench was concerned about was the costs of court security, namely using police officers during court hours.

"I think it warrants a much closer look at now because if we tackle the problem of court security, and there are additional savings, then we just have a bigger buffer," he said. "If we have underestimated, we don't."

Moench said he supports the idea of the shared service, just not the resolution in its current form. Particularly with court security, he said he believes there could be some additional considerations or possibly some security that could be handled by Somerville to avoid Bridgewater having to handle those costs.

Kelleher said Somerville is currently holding court sessions in Raritan, and, with a room smaller than the Bridgewater municipal building, there are 36 sessions with a seating capacity of 64. In Bridgewater, he said, there would only be 24 sessions, with a seating capacity of 130.

"There are less sessions and more people, that's where the numbers come from," he said.

Norgalis said he wondered why Somerville officers couldn't come to Bridgewater for court sessions.

"If Somerville can go into Raritan and have police there, why can't they come here?" he asked. "Then we would incur no additional Bridgewater police security."

Moench said he believes the amount of security needed could end up being more than the projections currently, and he is concerned that more money will have to be spent.

"This is an issue where we have struggled for keeping our costs down, and it's an area where we could still be lower," he said.

Moench also questioned whether they could follow a model like Hillsborough and Montgomery, having a shared judge, prosecutor and public defender for additional savings.

"Here we have the same judge and different prosecutors," said township administrator James Naples. "There is nothing that says we can't name the same ones between the two."

Moench, Pedroso and Norgalis voted against the resolution, while council president Allen Kurdyla and councilwoman Christine Henderson Rose voted for it, saying they would like to take a chance, knowing they can back out in 90 days, and understanding that there are cost savings.

"I see this as an opportunity for us to be creative," Rose said. "We are not locked in beyond one year, and I believe the mayor has set measurable outcomes to achieve to determine if this is a successful pilot program."

"I think we have obligations to taxpayers in both municipalities to at least explore it and try it," she added.

Kurdyla agreed, saying that if they see the program is not working, they could always abandon it.

"I'm of the thought to at least give it a year," he said. "I see the benefit going to Bridgewater Township and for our neighbors in Somerville."

But with concerns about liability, needs for additional court security and more, the proposal was voted down.

"Based on their comments here, there is no interest in this type of activity," Hayes said after the meeting. "The costs are based on a lot of our experience, and the administration's opinion was there was considerably more upside than downside, and the agreement could have been cancelled at any time if it was a disappointment."

"A lot of work went into it, and the judge who runs both courts, our financial workers, they all support it," he added. "All our experts support it, so I remain surprised that the council would discount those opinions so greatly as to put down their measure."

stewart resmer December 06, 2012 at 07:08 PM
10 Years Ago Today 'Deficits Don't Matter.' Cheney Ten years ago today on December 6, 2002, the Bush Administration fired its top two economic advisers: Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey due to the continuing lagging economy (when Bush took office, unemployment was 4.2%. In Dec of 2002... more than a year after 9/11... the rate jumped from 5.7% to 6.0% in one month). In November of 2002, when O'Neill, a "deficit hawk", tried to warn Vice President Dick Cheney that growing budget deficits... expected to top $500 billion that fiscal year alone... posed a threat to the economy. Cheney cut him off, saying, "You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don't matter."
Barry December 07, 2012 at 05:51 AM
Howard Norgalis wants to spend money on an audit for a proposal that will save about $70,000. Instead of trusting the experts in the township that Howard himself hired, he wants to see an audit of the numbers. The township pays a lot of money for these experts - why have them on staff if you can't trust them? Actually, they should be replaced if you can't trust them. I guess the Judge isn't an expert either since Howard doesn't trust his expert opinion either. Council members were concerned that the proposal was lacking numbers and figures but couldn't put their finger on exactly what they wanted to see. They wondered aloud about the what if's which may or may not happen? I suppose that's the reason why, each township could review the actual P&L of this department after a year and every year of the three year agreement. If at the end of the year, the numbers don't project well, the proposal could be canceled. So, three Council members rejected this proposal based on subjectivity. They were not objective in their votes. I suppose that Howard Norgalis is the only expert since he would only want to base his vote on audited numbers - regardless of what all of the other experts had to say. Is he looking out for the Residents of Bridgewater? Not when you base your vote on pure subjectivity. Howard Norgalis, the Fire Chief and on many of the committees in Bridgewater - perhaps, this one person has way too much power in Bridgewater. Is Howard the only expert in town
Barry December 07, 2012 at 06:02 AM
Is Pedroso for real? A department saves nearly 10% and he's questioning that? it's not enough? If every department could save 10%, we'd be in good shape. Then, he wonders about wear and tear on the building? Then, why bother to build it? Is the building a collectible or are we suppose to use it for Official business? A building that is not being used, is wasting money. Even if we break even - the deal is a good deal because the heat is now being used to be productive instead of heating an empty room. It's obvious that Pedroso has zero business experience. Even if you lower the heat in the Court Room, because heat is radiant the other room heat would seek it's way towards the Court Room and thus raise the cost of heating the other rooms. That is why, if the building can be used and to save money to boot - you go for it. Otherwise, you're just tossing money into a hole. Wasting tax payer dollars. A dollar saved is a dollar earned. It accumulates if you're able to save enough, it will make a real difference. But saving $40,000 is a real difference. Trying to equate it down to $1.80 per resident is a ploy. Perhaps. Pedroso should take that $40k out of his pocket and give it to the township. Every little bit helps. Another weak reason or excuse to reject this proposal.
Barry December 07, 2012 at 06:15 AM
Moench plays Bridgewater residents for idiots and fools. Moench claims that he's concerned about risk and liability. But - that's what insurance is for. The building is covered by insurance - 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. If anything were to happen, it would be covered. As an Attorney, Moench knows that but thumbs his nose at us by telling us something that he knows to be untrue. I have not read the agreement, but I would presume that Somerville would cover all costs regarding Security to Bridgewater. And if that's true, then again, these 3 Council members are taking us for fools to be played. And why would you want Somerville Police in a Bridgewarter Court Room where Bridgewater Police HQ is in the very next wing? Talk about speaking before thinking. If Moench wants to share the Judge, Prosecutor and Public Defendant - then go for it. But don't kill this deal just because of that. You have 3 years to work that deal out. I'm not overly sure how much of a killing you would make on that sort of deal, but then again - every little bit is worth talking about.
Barry December 07, 2012 at 06:32 AM
We have 3 supposedly intelligent people who voted against a proposal that should have been a no brainer to pass - especially with the 90 day back out clause and a review at the end of the year, for each and every year of the 3 year proposal. All three offered up weak excuses for rejecting this proposal at the cost to the tax payers of both Somerville and Bridgewater. Why? Because it's clear that they were not looking out for the interests of Bridgewater residents. Do they have personal agendas? Are they trying to make the Mayor look bad? I think that the Bridgewater Council may want to rethink its stance on this matter and stop playing Bridgewater residents as their fools. Residents of Bridgewater - I would suggest that you write to your Council members now and let them know how you feel. Should we save $40,000 and nearly 10% savings from one department with a back out plan?
Nicholas Clark December 08, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Hey Barry, I hear your issues, but aren't Councilmen Matthew Moench, Howard Norgalis, and Filipe Pedroso, the SAME three councilmen who voted NO to Mayor Hayes' 6.5% proposed tax increase at the beginning of the year? I mean, if Mayor Hayes had his way, Bridgewater would have had a $1.7-MILLION, yeap MILLION!, tax increase. It was these 3 guys on the Council that voted NO to this outrageous increase. They saved Bridgewater residents real significant money, and have a REAL TRACK RECORD of saving the Bridgewater residents money. So if these 3 guys -- all fiscal conservatives with a real track record -- voted "no" to this Court merger proposal, then there must have been some real risks to the town. I agree with you Barry, a little savings is good, but what if that proposal then has costs and risks that cost us more money? I think the Council weighed the issue back and forth and acted smart. Better safe than sorry. Why rush into a deal that has so many questions, these guys tackled all the details, probably many that we reading an article just didn't fully get, and acted. I for one tip my hat to them for showing the courage to stand up to their own Republican party Mayor and putting the interests of Bridgewater first! Bravo to Councilmen Moench, Norgalis & Pedroso!
Nicholas Clark December 08, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Hey Barry, I hear your issues, but aren't Councilmen Matthew Moench, Howard Norgalis, and Filipe Pedroso, the SAME three councilmen who voted NO to Mayor Hayes' 6.5% proposed tax increase at the beginning of the year? I mean, if Mayor Hayes had his way, Bridgewater would have had a $1.7-MILLION, yeap MILLION!, tax increase. It was these 3 guys on the Council that voted NO to this outrageous increase. They saved Bridgewater residents real significant money, and have a REAL TRACK RECORD of saving the Bridgewater residents money. So if these 3 guys -- all fiscal conservatives with a real track record -- voted "no" to this Court merger proposal, then there must have been some real risks to the town. I agree with you Barry, a little savings is good, but what if that proposal then has costs and risks that cost us more money? I think the Council weighed the issue back and forth and acted smart. Better safe than sorry. Why rush into a deal that has so many questions, these guys tackled all the details, probably many that we reading an article just didn't fully get, and acted. I for one tip my hat to them for showing the courage to stand up to their own Republican party Mayor and putting the interests of Bridgewater first! Bravo to Councilmen Moench, Norgalis & Pedroso!
Nicholas Clark December 08, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Hey Barry, I hear your issues, but aren't Councilmen Matthew Moench, Howard Norgalis, and Filipe Pedroso, the SAME three councilmen who voted NO to Mayor Hayes' 6.5% proposed tax increase at the beginning of the year? I mean, if Mayor Hayes had his way, Bridgewater would have had a $1.7-MILLION, yeap MILLION!, tax increase. It was these 3 guys on the Council that voted NO to this outrageous increase. They saved Bridgewater residents real significant money, and have a REAL TRACK RECORD of saving the Bridgewater residents money. So if these 3 guys -- all fiscal conservatives with a real track record -- voted "no" to this Court merger proposal, then there must have been some real risks to the town. I agree with you Barry, a little savings is good, but what if that proposal then has costs and risks that cost us more money? I think the Council weighed the issue back and forth and acted smart. Better safe than sorry. Why rush into a deal that has so many questions, these guys tackled all the details, probably many that we reading an article just didn't fully get, and acted. I for one tip my hat to them for showing the courage to stand up to their own Republican party Mayor and putting the interests of Bridgewater first! Bravo to Councilmen Moench, Norgalis & Pedroso!
Nicholas Clark December 08, 2012 at 06:57 PM
MAYBE save $40,000.... maybe SPEND more than that. Too many questions. I think we should write to the Mayor and ask him why jeopardize the town's quality of life by wanting to increase our traffic around our high school.... do we not have young 13 year old high school girls walking around next to the courthouse building. Do we want Somerville's criminals coming to Bridgewater? For how much POSSIBLE savings? Not much at all. The Mayor must not have daughters attending the school system here. I think he'd think differently. The more I think about this issue, the more I'm really disappointed with Mayor Hayes. Maybe the REAL QUESTION is... what does Mayor Hayes have to win by this merger??? Is there a personal agenda for the Mayor, because this deal isn't in Bridgewater's interests.
Sam K December 08, 2012 at 07:15 PM
I dont get it, why bring more problems to bridgewater for such little money. I dont want no somerville court here! Nicholas you are right on, we have kids next to this building. so glad the council stoped this nonsense!!!!!!!
Barry December 08, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Hey Nick - that may be true. I'd have to check on those issues. There are some things that you need to consider though, this is a new Mayor and he should be able run the township in an effective way. I don't know that much about the budget proposal you are talking about. Perhaps, these 3 did a great thing. But, did they could have done a bad thing too, by kicking the proverbial can down the road. I recall something about prolonging expense payments that in the long run, will cost the taxpayers of Bridgewater more in the long run. If you pay your mortgage off early, you save a huge amount in interest payments and as I recall - may have been the issue. A long term vision versus a short term vision. Again, I don't recall that situation clearly and will get back to you on that. However, on this issue, these three are dead wrong.
Barry December 08, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Again Nick - are we that sure that Bridgewater saved money over the budget proposal??? Are you that certain or are you just looking at the situation from the surface? I'm not sure that these three are all fiscal conservatives. We can go back and point out a number of issues - especially issues concerning the building of the New Administration building. And even with this budget vs. budget proposal, which I will now request a copy of, did we just kick the can down the road. Because, if these 3 simply kicked the can down the road - then that is not necessarily being a fiscal conservative. They are simply kicking the can down the road and in the process, costing tax payers money in the process. Are you so sure of your view points? Again, the issues raised are total non-sense, pure and simple in regards to the shared court issue. There is a back out clause if it doesn't go right. What more can you ask for? Safe than sorry? How about inept and arrogant? As Council President Kurdyla said - give it a shot and see if it works. If it does not work, you cancel the program. If it works, the Taxpayers save money. That's the practical track to take.
Barry December 08, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Nick - you do like to cut and paste - thus wasting space and a readers time.
Barry December 08, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Increased traffic??? Are you for real? Traffic concerns will be minimal at best. Somerville Court is much smaller than Bridgewater Court and Bridgewater does hold Court at that Building, That's what it was built for. May as well use it and stop wasting money to upkeep it for zero usage. Bridgewater has a more dangerous element at court than does Somerville. So, with your reasoning, Bridgewater shouldn't hold Court there. Many of Somerville cases are parking issues - take a look at the Court records. And, I thought you agreed that any amount of savings to the township was a good thing. If Mayor Hayes has a personal agenda for making this happen, you'll have to let me know. From what I can see, with the bulky trash collection and now this - he is trying to do what is right for the residents of Bridgewater. You guys can't even back up these non-sense excuses for rejecting the proposal. Wear and tear, traffic, not enough money - all non-sense. These are not earth shattering reasons to reject the proposal.
stewart resmer December 08, 2012 at 09:05 PM
gov christie and the entire state legislature will have the final word about sharing when the state budget ax falls and they deduct what you could have saved which was the estimated 47-k? "If we study your town, and we see you can save money from shared services and you refuse to do it, well this bill says 'That's fine, you don't have to do it," Christie said at a town hall at the Elmwood Park Recreation Complex Tuesday. "But we're going to reduce your state aid by that much." Gov Christie But then the majority of Bridgewater Voters have spoken by their votes cast, and will have no one else to blame right nick?
Nicholas Clark December 09, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Hi Barry, found this link to a previous Patch article showing how Mayor Hayes' proposed a 6.5% tax increase, and it was these 3 guys -- Moench, Norgalis & Pedroso -- who strongly voiced an opinion against a large increase: http://bridgewater.patch.com/articles/council-divided-on-percentage-to-raise-taxes
Nicholas Clark December 09, 2012 at 01:50 AM
Because of these Councilmen voicing their opinion against a 6.5% tax increase proposed by Mayor Hayes, budgetary expenses were reduced substantially. As far as I know, 2012 went by just fine. I haven't heard of the town being underbudgeted, have you? I think Mayor Hayes acted a bit irresponsible by asking for such a large tax increase. It's good we had these guys looking out for us.
Nicholas Clark December 09, 2012 at 01:52 AM
Oh one more thing Barry, I don't think the Mayor should get a free ride on everything he wants to do, do you really feel that way? If that was the case, then we would have been slapped with that 6.5% tax increase. And maybe it was good that the Council didn't jump the gun on this shared court thing. Besides, it's great that even though our governing body is all Republican, they can disagree on things and think individually. We don't want all puppets right?
Nicholas Clark December 09, 2012 at 02:00 AM
Gosh Barry it's like we're writing a book here..... Yeah these 3 are the MOST fiscal conservatives we have on the governing body, without a doubt. Kurdyla and Rose have voted for much tax increases. If you share fiscal conservative ideas, and want your property taxes controlled, then we need these 3. No doubt about that. I got a laugh out of the "give it a shot".... give it a shot sounds like irresponsible, impulsive decision making. It's not give it a shot, it should be studied and decided intelligently after weighting the + and - of the deal. That's what impresses me about Moench, Norgalis and Pedroso, it sure sounds like they did that.
Nicholas Clark December 09, 2012 at 05:03 AM
Gotta say, it's really start to sound like you're a buddy of Mayor Hayes, who's feeding you all this information? Look at court records, are you for real -- where did YOU look at court records?
Barry December 09, 2012 at 07:25 AM
If the Patch can get the info, then so can you. Try asking the Judge - he can point you in the right direction. Those records are open to the public. If you don't want to read the records, read what the Patch quoted the Judge as saying. Try it, you might learn something. LOL I'm quite sure, the Mayor wouldn't want to be one of my buddies. You see, I call things as I see them. The Mayor might not like what I have to say about the costs of the new Town Hall building since he was on the Council during part of the building process, as were Mr. Moench and Mr. Norgalis, Mr. Kurdyla and Ms Rose. Only Mr Pedroso would escape those criticisms. But that's neither here nor there. I believe in doing what is right by the Community as a whole - not what is good only for the Republican Party or the Democrat Party or only for one group or another. You, on the other hand, would support a side, even if they were always WRONG. Your brand of loyalty is the problem with politics, today. If the Mayor were wrong, I'd call him out on it. In this case, however, he's right. And you - can not back up any of the lame excuses offered up by the 3 negative votes. I would suggest that you find ways to support your arguments as to why the proposal should be rejected instead of tossing out speculative thoughts. You are capable of that, aren't you?
Nicholas Clark December 09, 2012 at 06:08 PM
You are incorrect in "branding" Barry, because if that was the case, I wouldn't be taking sides here. It looks like Republican vs. Republican. So I don't see your logic. What I am is someone who believes government should minimize taxing to the public, and excessive spending is bad. Those who support these views get my support. Irrespective of party or name. What is so wrong with these 3 councilmen wanting to make this deal BETTER for Bridgewater? What is wrong with them wanting a little give from a Mayor to minimize risks to Bridgewater? I see them doing their job. That's how a balanced government should work. Just because the Mayor says it so, doesn't make it so. I'm pleased the council is questioning their fellow party-member-mayor. That's the way it's supposed to work. I think they show courage and are fighting for us Bridgewater taxpayers, not some party line. I'm really proud of these guys. And yes, the Mayor hasn't shown these principles in the past year that I support -- minimal taxes -- clearly shown by his proposal to raise Bridgewater taxes by $1.7-million at the beginning of the year. That says huge amounts to me. These 3 council members - Moench, Norgalis & Pedroso - fought tooth n nail to prevent that tax increase. We owe lots to them. You can't take that credit away from them.
stewart resmer December 09, 2012 at 07:07 PM
stop with the brown nosing nick, the tea party of NO idealogues are going to cost bridgewater tax payers when it comes to not participating in the shared services program that the legislature and the governor are already in agreement with.
Barry December 10, 2012 at 06:04 AM
It appears that almost everyone, except these 3, are for the proposal. There is a back out clause that you seem to be forgetting. Most of the excuses that these 3 have offered up, are lame and subjective. Give the proposal a shot and see what comes of it. If, within the year, it does not work - cancel it. To reject the proposal when just about everyone else wants to make it move ahead, is not forward thinking. It appears that all of the township experts in both Bridgewater and Somerville said go. It appears that the Judge of both towns, said go. If everyone is saying - go - why then, would you not at least give it a one year shot? $40,000 is not something to sneeze at. If someone were to offer me $40k, I'd take it and I'm sure you would too. Why then, would you allow a $40k savings fall through the cracks on maybe's? Now, if you were to come back and say that you had solid evidence that this proposal was not what it is cracked up to be - let's talk. However, no one is coming forth with such cases. NO ONE. This leads me to suspect one's vote based on such flimsy excuses. Their job is to make decisions based on objective reasons. Where is the objective reasons??? They have provided NONE. Again, Wear and Tear on the building? Traffic? Security costs that they know will be fully covered by Somerville? Liability issues that they know will be covered by Insurance? Where is the credible reason for rejecting this? At the very least - give it the 1 year trial.
stewart resmer December 10, 2012 at 07:50 AM
40-k lost savings, minus 40-k= 80-k when the gov deducts the missed shared services agreement from the state allocations, and that will be just for this NO vote. If this council thinks that the governor is just kidding about shared services and the legislature isnt serious either about the deduction, well lets just say some body might be in for a bit of a reality check? you get the gvt you deserve Bridgewater
Nicholas Clark December 11, 2012 at 04:20 PM
"almost everyone"??? Well, there are 5 council members, and 1 mayor. 3 councilmen are against vs. 3 (2 council + 1 mayor).... seems pretty even to mean. And "give it a shot" is irresponsible decision making. Again, I don't think you're reading what I wrote, the point here is that it MAY NOT BE SAVINGS AT ALL! You keep saying $40,000 savings, but there are risks that Bridgewater may spend much more than that. It's the governing body's job to weigh those risks. Apparently, HALF, not "almost everyone" or "almost no one", is saying that these risks are too high that Bridgewater WON'T SAVE MONEY AT ALL. I think the point is worth considering. What's wrong with the 3 councilmen wanting to make this deal better for Bridgewater, to add better safeguards, and prevent Bridgewater taxpayers from paying more taxes? Oh wait, I forgot, you want them to just blindly "give it a shot".... maybe they should have just "give it a shot" to Mayor Hayes 6.5%, $1.7-million, tax increase at the beginning of the year instead of striking it down.
Nicholas Clark December 11, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Correction: me, not "mean"
Barry December 11, 2012 at 06:43 PM
I read what you wrote. And again, you have yet to prove your point. "May not Save" is not the same is "Will not Save". You did not write "Will not Save" which is why you should at least be willing to do this for one year. Again, it appears that all of the township experts say go - in both Somerville and Bridgewater. (Are the 3 Amigo's experts in this field - they have yet to provide Credible proof that this proposal will not save money. They have yet to provide evidence that this proposal will cost the taxpayers money. All they have - are "Maybe" this or "Maybe" that. Most of which have been debunked. The 3 Amigos have noted items which are totally irrelevant and you have yet to bring up any new points. Can you bring up a credible argument that can be discussed? Otherwise, you rest your case on people who are non-experts in the field and I'm wondering why the township has all of these experts if the 3 Amigo's are not going to consider what their input is. Even if the proposal saves Bridgewater $20k, it's worth moving forward. What you forget also, is that Somerville has to also agree to this proposal. You act as if no matter what Bridgewater says or does, that Somerville will also bow before Bridgewater's wishes. If Somerville doesn't gain anything, why would they want to move forward. This agreement must be a win-win for all parties involved. Don't be so arrogant as to believe that these 3 know more than all of the experts in Bridgewater, Somerville and the Courts.
Nicholas Clark December 12, 2012 at 07:28 AM
"all the experts"... who are all these experts? The same experts who have to answer to their boss Mayor Hayes, the same experts whose job depends on doing what the mayor says. Ok, sure. You weren't including the judge who testified right? I mean, speaking of having something to gain, that judge certainly would by this merger. Haven't read about any other "experts" except some quote somewhere were someone said, I think it was the mayor, that the "experts" agreed on the shared court, but really who are these "experts". Do you know, I mean REALLY know who these experts were? I think it's all baloney. When their bosses tell them to agree on something, they have no choice. Isn't this why the 3 councilmen asked for an independent audit, at least that would be something done by independent experts, not biased opinions. I don't understand why you'd be so pushy to have this deal go through with so many questions. I guess you're more of the risk taker type of personality, but I for one agree that all the risks need to be considered, and the Township can't just act without weighing all sides. Savings ISN'T savings if it costs us more down the road.
Barry December 13, 2012 at 12:02 PM
Are you certain that all of those experts in Somerville were hired by Mayor Hayes. Are you certain that all of those Court experts answer to Mayor Hayes as well. Do you see how silly your argument is? As a matter of fact, the Council has to agree to hire all of those Bridgewater Township experts. You do know that, don't you? You are also assassinating the character of all of the township experts when you insinuate that they must give the answers that only Mayor Hayes would be happy with. Shame on you for such implications. I personally, would put much more faith and trust, in the township experts than I would in either of the 3 Amigos. You have on your staff, experts in which you rely on their experience and expertise. Remember, the Mayor alone, did not hire these experts - alone. They had to be approved of, by the Council as well. And I'm quite sure that every Council member approved of every township expert, including the Judge, the Township Administrator, and the Township Attorney. Audited numbers would eat up any savings. And that's not a maybe. I'm still waiting for a credible argument from you.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »