More AshBritt….Jersey Style

Ok. So alot of that federal aide money is going out of New Jersey. But more important, alot of the money is staying right here in our state. Only some of those dollars are not going to help rebuilding efforts. No, typical Jersey style, AshBritt and their construction partners, Conti hired ” influential marketers” from both sides of the aisle to tell the local municipalities what was actually in the State contract. I guess none of these towns have business administrators, CEOs, or town attorneys to interpret a state contact for them. Let’s see if the press will find the amount of federal aide dollars  going in to the pockets of the “marketers”. Yes, those are definitely dollars that are staying in New Jersey

The Senate Legislative Oversight Committee, under the leadership of Senator Bob Gordon, will be holding hearings on the AshBritt contract, and the Assembly Budget Committee, chaired by Assemblyman Vince Prieto, might be asking for subpoena power if the Treasurer refuses to answer questions. One inquiry should be why the AshBritt contract cost some towns more money than those who did the same debris removal with their own contractors. And why the State did not have a publicly bid contract in place prior to Sandy as do many other states? The public is entitled to the answers.

Open Public Meetings and Open Public Records update.
I’ve been getting tremendous pushback from some Senators who claim the Mayors and Councils they represent have too many complaints. In spite of the facts that these updates will actually improve the handling of public requests and input by employing more available technology, too many seem resistent to any change. Any Middlesex folks there? Lobby Senator Bob Smith and any of your local governing bodies. We need some grass roots help here.

On Wednesday the Assembly will be hosting an initial hearing on a gun safety package. Meanwhile, citizen activists in Bergen County are going to their town councils to get resolutions of support for the President’s gun safety proposals as well as those in our State. Teaneck and Ft. Lee most recently joined New Milford, and others with supporting resolutions. Ask your own council members to get involved.

Lots of assignments here for our citizen activists. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Comments (5)

  1. carolh

    Mayors and Councils always want to work in the dark.  I was the victim this past year of my public comments on the record being not even included in Bergenfield. It was like the residents who came to the meetings never even existed.  There are still loopholes in the current law.   We need to keep government transparent.  The folks who don’t want it to be are the ones who seem to be complaining.

  2. Senator Loretta Weinberg (Post author)

    Carol, you can count on that. But some citizen involvment always helps.

  3. JackHarris

    Why not spend it on real marketers who can help tell the

    story of the recovery and the vast number of businesses & communities who are open & ready for business. Consumer marketing rather than B2B insider stuff.  

  4. ken bank

    The most powerful GOP boss in the state gets an Ash-Britt contract to lobby Ocean County cities and towns. Most of these towns owe their political patronage to Gilmore’s machine (thankfully Barnegat where I live flipped from GOP to Democrat last year, otherwise my tax dollars would be going into Gilmore’s bank account). Imagine the uproar if a Democrat was Governor and Ash-Britt gave a similar contract to George Norcross.  

  5. Nick Lento

    These folks are used to being able to operate in the dark.

    Yes, they are going to squeal like the proverbial stuck pigs if they are forced to change in the direction of transparency but if they don’t like it they can resign…or not run again and let folks with a more progressive attitude do the job.

    Anywhere the local officials balk at adhering to these regulations they need to be thrown out of office at the next opportunity.  THAT’S REAL CITIZEN ACTIVISM!!!

    Please stay strong Loretta!  Most of the people in tis state have absolutely no idea of the details of what’s going on…….but whenever I engage them in conversation in any depth  just about EVERYONE wants a progressive agenda implemented.

    (The status quo profits from momentum and ignorance and the power of incumbency……but if there were actually a way to successfully communicate with the people, we would have virtually overnight change in government…..but now I’m kvetching.)


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