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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Stealing Time: Theft in Union...Coverup in Westfield

The theft of time by a police officer in Westfield was covered up allowing Detective Sergeant John Rowe to retire while in Union, NJ, an officer loses his job.

Cop loses job, faces probation after admitting overtime theft

Friday, February 02, 2018

Westfield Police Chief Wayman: Blatant Liability

Should a town employee be allowed to operate a town owned motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol?
How about on weekends, returning home from a bar, or after a lunch date or night out with his secretary?
What about rendezvous at Atlantic City hotels and other convention destinations?

A recent situation has arisen where a public employee is being questioned about her use of taxpayer money while she engaged in immoral behavior. 
Nashville Mayor Megan Barry has admitted that she had an extramarital affair with the former head of her security detail.
She has denied improper use of taxpayer money during the affair with her security head, as Metro police Sgt. Robert Forrest Jr.”

It wasn’t long ago that disgraced Westfield Police Chief Barney Tracy totalled a town owned unmarked police vehicle after a night of alleged drinking.  The accident scene in Rahway, NJ allegedly included parked cars and a building.  One rumor speculated that Tracy’s unlicensed nephew was at the wheel. 

After Chief Tracy, Westfield Town Administrator Jim Gildea named John Parizeau to lead the WPD.  It wasn’t long before his exploits were uncovered by his own subordinates on routine patrol one night when they came upon his parked municipal owned vehicle behind a local business off South Ave. with steamed up windows and a mistress occupying the passenger seat. 

History has a habit of repeating itself.  Must be something about absolute power that currupts absolutely. 

Someone needs to question the town administrators police chief selections. 
Three strikes already. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Former Mayor: Plaintiff Andy Skibitsky

A court case looms in the near future that will potentially expose the retaliatory behavior of the former mayor scorned by his election loss.
More details to follow.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

WPD Mobile Command Center Showcased at Hangover Run.....For What?

     The Central Jersey Road Runners Club of NJ held their annual Hangover 5K run in Tamaques Park on January 1st to ring in the new year.
     Runners and walkers from across the state, including some participants from across state lines, stepped to the start line amid temperatures hovering in the mid teens.
     The Westfield Police broke out their state of the art mobile communications command center to protect runners and spectators from, well, we're not actually sure from what.
     The mobile command center has seen it's glory in Hoboken over the past few years at several street fairs and drunken bar crawls during the holidays.  Unfortunately, for Westfield Police Chief David Wayman and his designated crew of command center comrades, Westfield's invite to Hoboken no longer exists after Hoboken parking director (the former disgraced Westfield parking director) John Morgan suddenly resigned.  No longer will Westfield taxpayers have to foot the bill for the police chief's "playdates" in Hoboken.
     Absent from the WPD doomsday arsenal at the Hangover run were the two Zodiac assault boats acquired years ago that sit unused.
     Allegedly, there was a request to use the boats, minus the motors, as tube rides on the snowy slopes of Echo Lake Park.
     Back to the mobile command center that sat idle in Tamaques Park during the 5K run......the remote tower camera wasn't deployed and it appeared that nobody was inside the unit.  Police Captain Chris Battiloro was seen standing outside the $300,000 command center monitoring the days race along with other officers cruising around in an all-terrain vehicle.
     At least the police officer backing up the mobile command center, onto the basketball courts, didn't back into a concrete backboard post, reminiscent of a past mishap in Tamaques Park by the WPD's elite CRTU (Community Response Tactical Unit).
     Years later, the Town still hasn't replaced the damaged post.
     So look for the mobile command center at a non-emergency event near you like a street fair or maybe a block party.
     Maybe the acquisition of a military helicopter, by Westifled, is next under the government surplus program.
     Wayman can commute to work by air to avoid the heavy Lawrence Ave. traffic and crossing guard at Dudley Ave.
     The number of times the mobile command center has been deployed for a Westfield emergency, during the four years Westfield has owned it, can be counted on one hand.
     Wasteful spending on display.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Westfield Police Chief Obtains Pick-up Truck

Westfield Police Chief David Wayman has obtained a pick-up truck for his personal use which has been parked frequently at his home address in Westfield. 
To avoid the scrutiny of the watchful eye, the vehicle has no identifiable police markings. 
This town owned, taxpayer funded, municipally insured and maintained vehicle, is just another unnecessary acquisition through LESO. 
Time will tell if he plans to outfit the pickup truck with a plow to clear his personal driveway.

Participating in the 1033 Program 

The Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO) is accepting applications to participate in the 1033 Program. To date, thousands of Federal, Tribal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) have participated. 
As an active member, the LEAs receive a Department of Defense Activity Address Code (DODAAC), which allows LESO to track issued property.  Additionally, LEAs are granted access to web-based applications which will allow them to search for and request equipment. Requests for excess DOD property by State LEAs must be approved by the State Coordinator as well as the LESO.
Once property is received on record, the LEA must ensure its accountability and responsibility of it.  If the LEA desires to Transfer, Turn-In, or Dispose of the property, they must have LESO approval.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Westfield Leaf Pickup

     Ever wonder why the Town does not clean up the leaves left behind after the large piles of leaves piled at the curb are picked up by the large front end loaders and tandem trailers?
     The Westfield DPW pushes the leaf piles down the street into one large pile to be loaded into trailers and hauled down to the conservation center.
     What’s left behind is the leaf debris that doesn’t make it into the trailers and eventually gets washed into the storm sewer system during rain storms.
     In the past, a street sweeper would follow up and clean the remaining leaf debris from the curb line.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Westfield Town Officials Turn a Blind Eye?

•Once again, a Westfield police officer found to have stolen time from the taxpayer via the police department and Westfield Board of Education, remains on duty.
•How many times does the town have to look the other way before something is done to terminate those engaging in theft while wearing a uniform.
•Town Administrator Jim Gildea has to go and should it be proven that Mayor Skibitsky and/or other members of the Westfield Town Council had knowledge of the theft and allowed the continued employment of a corrupt police officer, they need to go as well.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Westfield House Fire on Prospect St.

Sources have confirmed the death of one person at a house fire that occurred in the early morning hours, on Prospect St.
TFoTM will not publish any details of the circumstances surrounding the fire, or the name of the deceased, out of respect for the family and the ongoing investigation.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

WPD Demotes Supervisor

A Westfield police officer was entrusted with the safety of students at Westfield High School.  The Westfield Board of Education and the Town funded the salary and benefits of this officer while he was assigned to the high school as a school resource officer.
Ultimately, Westfield taxpayers are on the hook for the cost of placing an officer in a school.
The officer was assigned to the high school at a time when there was a heightened alert in our nation's school systems after numerous "active shooter" incidents.
The Internal Affairs investigation conducted by the WPD was done with the utmost secrecy in an attempt to cloak the investigation from prying eyes.  At the center of the investigation is the alleged theft of time that occurred when the officer was allegedly absent from his assignment at WHS.
This is not the first time that a police supervisor has been caught stealing time from the Westfield taxpayer.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Westfield Police Chief demotes police sergeant after internal affairs investigation reveals insubordination and other alleged departmental violations related to his position as the school resource officer (SRO) at Westfield High School. 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

TFoTM Archive: The Arrest Of An Out-Spoken Citizen Part I

On June 1, 2004, Westfield resident James Abate was arrested. The arrest of James Abate, after he had spoken at a Westfield Town Council Meeting, had some people claiming it was an act of retaliation.

Monday, May 22, 2017

TFoTM Archive: The Arrest Of An Out-Spoken Citizen Part II

The following is a continuation of last nights blog story. 

     The arrest of James Abate came as no surprise to some of the rank and file of the Westfield Police Department.  It wouldn’t be the only time that Chief Bernard Tracy would be accused of impropriety with regards to obtaining information on a person illegally.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Councilman Mark LoGrippo, You Can Delete a Facebook Comment, You Can't Delete the Truth

Councilman Frank Arena
     At tonight's Westfield Town Council meeting, Councilman Frank Arena attempted to divert from the message by once again attacking the messenger.  He apologized to the public stating, "I'm so sorry you had to see this and hear this tonight," referring to comments made during the open public discussion. He called the remarks "self-serving" and never addressed the fact of the matter which was Councilman Mark LoGrippo's ill-advised and racially charged comment in the public Facebook group "Westfield, NJ."
     The text below is in response to a comment made by Councilman Mark LoGrippo at approximately 11:20 a.m. on April 21st, on the "Westfield, NJ" Facebook group moderated by TapIntoWestfield editor Jackie Lieberman with a membership of 8,760 people.  
     Tonight, Councilman LoGrippo denied posting the racially charged comment by stating, "Where are you getting this from?" Councilman LoGrippo would not acknowledge the fact that he had the incendiary comment deleted from Facebook moments after I commented accusing him of the bigoted comment on April 21st.
     Members of the  town council denied that race is an issue in Westfield and that it's a national issue and taboo to talk about in local politics.  Members of the audience were shocked that the town council denied that race should be a topic of discussion in local politics. 
     Westfield resident Pam Brug approached the microphone to refute this, using personal anecdotes to prove that it is in fact a concern for Westfield residents as it affects them on a daily basis. 

The following was read to the members of the Westfield Town Council and residents in attendance.

"On April 21st I got involved in an exchange of comments in a Westfield Facebook group after another member had posted in the group hosted by TapInto Westfield editor Jackie Lieberman.  A Westfield Councilman joined in on the discussion.

The original person posting, had attended a Westfield "meet the candidates" night and had described how inspired she was by this year's slate of candidates from the Democratic Party. 

What followed were comments from the public in support of these candidates, until a comment was posted by Westfield resident John Barker.  John Barker's wife Alicia Barker, who is here tonight, happens to be mayor Skibitsky's campaign manager for the upcoming fall elections. 

I responded with comments of my own, basically rebutting John Barkers comments, I kept it respectful, as did Mr. Barker.
My comments had gained the support of others in that comment thread, in fact one person posted..... "Mr. Kasko, your comments make so much sense and are so appreciated on here! Thank you!"  

Councilman Mark LoGrippo soon joined the conversation. 

Perhaps councilman LoGrippo felt the need to halt whatever momentum and support these new candidates were receiving, or maybe he was attempting to  contradict my comments.  

He reminded me that as a longtime resident of Westfield, I should be familiar with what happened in Plainfield and eluded to that when the governing body went from Republican to Democrat, stating, “you saw what happened to Plainfield.”

Councilman LoGrippo’s response to my comments, was directed at me, but clearly he was sending a message to each and every other person that was in the discussion, reminding everyone, what he thought had happened to Plainfield and why it has become what it is today.  He insinuated that the demise of Plainfield was attributed to the city government going from a Republican stronghold to a Democrat governing body.  

I then responded with a brief history lesson for councilman LoGrippo and admonished him for posting such an inflammatory comment that wreaked of racial bias. 

After I posted my response, and before I could screenshot his comment, it disappeared. It's quite obvious that he realized the mistake he had made with his inflammatory comment. 

What Councilman LoGrippo didn't realize, is that the riots that started on July 14th, 1967 and lasted 4 days/3 nights, is what brought about Plainfields demise.

The Plainfield riots caused the beating death of a police officer, countless arrests, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage.     

The Riots were started by a group of 150-200 residents from the west end of Plainfield. 

Civil unrest was occurring around the country in over 150 other cities most notably in New Jersey’s city of Newark.

For years black residents in Plainfield–including the local NAACP chapter, black ministers and others–had complained about various forms of racial discrimination, including housing segregation and slum conditions, school segregation, racist hiring practices by major employers (including the city government and the local hospital), low-wage jobs, lack of recreational facilities for West End young people (especially a neighborhood swimming pool) and harassment by local police. 

By 1967 only five of Plainfield’s eighty-one police officers were black. Black leaders and their white liberal allies complained that cops and radio dispatchers often used the "N" word to describe suspects over the police radio.

Emotions were at a boiling point. 

Historians have labeled what subsequently happened to Plainfield, after the riots, as the "white flight." 

Plainfield had a number of Republicans serve as mayor from 1915 until 1981. The last Democrat to lead Plainfield as mayor had been Percy Hamilton Stewart in 1914. It wasn't until 15 years after the 1967 riots that a Democrat was elected Mayor again in Plainfield, that was 1982.

During the riots of 1967, nine of the 11 council members in Plainfield were white and two of the council members were black, one of which was a Republican. So at the start of the riots, 10 of the 11 council members were Republican. 

At the time, the Plainfield town Council was dominated by Republican businessman and lawyers not unlike what we have here in Westfield. 

In fact, the Republican town Council in Plainfield in 1967 was reluctant to bring federal job training and other anti-poverty programs to the city which caused more animosity from the African-American community. 

Factories shutdown, businesses left and jobs were lost.  The city of Plainfield never rebounded to it’s glory days of the 40's, 50's, and early to mid 1960's.  

The city of Plainfield's demise had nothing to do with a changing of political party in town government as Councilman LoGrippo insinuated to in his comment, in fact some might say that the Republican leadership in Plainfield and its refusal to accommodate an ever changing demographic is what led to what Plainfield has become today. 

When I ran for town Council as an independent in 2011 against Mark LoGrippo and Democrat nominee Matt Sontz, I took part in a candidates forum here in this Chamber, with Lauren Barr of the Westfield Leader moderating. 

There were approximately 10 to 12 questions we had to be prepared to answer.  

Having been a resident of Westfield, at the time, for almost 40 years and having retired from the police department with some intimate knowledge of how things were being run, the questions were not that difficult to answer. 

I had a few index cards with some key bullet-points I wanted to emphasize, should I be asked a specific question.  Each candidate was asked two questions of the 10 or 12.

Democrat candidate Matt Sontz was well-prepared that night, being able to answer questions extemporaneously. 

Councilman Mark LoGrippo
Councilman LoGrippo sat to my left that night and each time he was asked a question he had to refer to what I now call the "Republican playbook" for his answer. 

When he was asked a question Mark would pause and look down at a three ring binder, flip to the page that would address the question asked, and then would read verbatim, a prepared answer of what was written on the page for him. 

On April 21st, in the Westfield Facebook  forum, Councilman LoGrippo posted an incendiary comment without the knowledge of local history necessary for a factual rebuttal. 

Instead, he posted a comment, reminiscent of that "Republican playbook" in that he had no intimate knowledge on the topic being discussed.  Only this time, his remarks were misguided and are an example of “fear mongering” in an attempt to possibly sway votes.

This town council needs members that will represent the people of Westfield regardless of political party, and not just be a rubber stamp to the policy's of Westfield's mayor, regardless of who it will be. 

Councilman LoGrippo, I believe you owe the residents of Plainfield and Westfield an apology for your public comment on April 21st.

Comparing what could happen here in Westfield, to what happened in Plainfield, should voters elect democrats to this town council, was not only disingenuous in an attempt to sway voters, it was reprehensible. 

Once again, thank you for the time I've been allotted here tonight, I thank you all for your service to the town, and I wish all the candidates for town council the best of luck in November." 

Greg Kasko

     Immediately after I finished speaking I was accused of bringing race into the discussion, however, my comments were in response to Councilman LoGrippo interjecting race and the demise of Plainfield, into his own public online comment.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Westfield Mayor Andy Skibitsky Denies Collusion During Purchase of Emergency Mobile Command Center

     When confronted Tuesday evening with facts regarding the purchase of the police department's emergency mobile command center, Mayor Andy Skibitsky denied any collusion between town officials and the command center's manufacturer.
     You be the judge after considering the following.
     *In fall of 2012 - Westfield police chief David Wayman and police captain Chris Battiloro boarded a flight to meet with Power Innovations International Inc. President/CEO Robert Mount in American Fork, Utah.  The purpose of this trip was to shop for an emergency mobile command center.
     *In January 2013 - The Westfield police department plans an exhibition at the armory on Rahway Ave., for town officials and other agencies to get a glimpse, for the first time, a mobile command center that Chief Wayman wanted to obtain.
     *February 11, 2013 - A 96 hour motor vehicle "In Transit Permit" was issued by the state of Utah, to the Westfield Police Department, to have a 2008 Ford Expedition, from Power Innovations International, delivered to Westfield.  The permit lists Westfield as the owner.  See photo below.
     *March 5, 2013 - Westfield town council presents the first reading of a bond ordinance to purchase emergency equipment.
     *March 15, 2013 - pictures are taken of a Ford F-350 Pickup truck parked inside a closed garage of Sevells Auto Body on South Ave. in Westfield.  The Ford F-350 was used to tow the emergency mobile command center to Westfield, from Utah, in January.  The mobile command center was stored at another unknown location.  See photo below.
     *March 19, 2013 - Westfield town council presents the second reading of a bond ordinance to purchase emergency equipment.  A vote was taken and the bond ordinance to purchase emergency equipment passed.
     *April 4, 2013 - Town of Westfield advertises a Public Notice in the Westfield Leader Newspaper, an "Invitation to Bid" to those interested in submitting a proposal to deliver "public safety equipment."  All bids are to be submitted by 10:00 am. on April 16, 2013.
     *April 9, 2013 - Power Innovations International Inc. of Utah is issued a State of New Jersey "Business Registration Certificate" which allows Robert Mount/Power Innovations to obtain specifications to submit a sealed bid proposal to Westfield.  Note: The certificate's effective date is backdated to April 5, 2013.
     *Robert Mount of Power Innovations International submits a "Noncollusion Affidavit of Prime Bidder."  See photo below.
     The "Technical Specifications" are a listing of public safety equipment Westfield is seeking to purchase.  The specifications are a blueprint of the general items, communications equipment, computing equipment, generator transfer switch equipment, and other fixtures of a mobile command center that Westfield is looking to purchase.  Only two companies answer Westfield's public notice inviting companies to submit bid proposals.  Only one company, Power Innovations International, submitted a bid proposal.
     The Town of Westfield accepts Power Innovation International's bid proposal to supply the town with "public safety equipment" now known as the emergency mobile command center that was brought to Westfield in January, along with the Ford Expedition and the Ford F-350 truck used to tow the command center.
     Westfield Police Chief David Wayman is praised by Councilman Sam Della Fera, at a town council meeting, for his negotiating skills and the great deal he got on the town's purchase of the emergency mobile command center.
     It is discovered that Power Innovations International is delivering a "demo" model and not building a new mobile command center based on the specifications supplied by Westfield.
All the while, the "demo" model emergency mobile command center is being hidden in Westfield since its arrival in January long before any bond resolution was voted on.  This alone, calls into question, who wrote the specifications that Westfield supplied to potential bidders?
     The specifications allegedly match the "demo" emergency mobile command center already in Westfield.  Did Power Innovations International supply the specifications to Westfield prior to being a liscensed New Jersey bidder?
     A former Westfield town council member revealed to the Fact of The Matter that Westfield Police Chief David Wayman had appeared before Mayor Skibitsky's finance committee and stated that he could get a better price on the emergency mobile command center if Westfield town officials agreed to allow Power Innovations International to showcase the command center, after Westfield makes the purchase, at expos and other police related exhibitions.
     Was this agreement listed in the specifications or anywhere else in legal bid documents?
     Westfield's emergency mobile command center showed up in Atlantic City and again in Philadelphia at police related exhibitions.
     When Mayor Skibitsky was asked numerous times, at town council meetings, if a "backroom deal" was made with Power Innovations International to showcase the emergency mobile command center at exhibitions in return for a discounted purchase price......Mayor Skibitsky refused to answer and remained silent.  The mayor has a right to remain silent, anything he says can and will be used.....etc.
     A phone call was placed to Power Innovations International in 2013, after Westfield's purchase.  When asked if the same purchase price, for the same unit Westfield received would be available if another police department was interested in buying an emergency mobile command center, Robert Mount stated, "We gave Westfield a special deal."
     When the Union County Prosecutors Office was contacted regarding the questionable bidding process that took place to obtain the emergency mobile command center, it was determined that there was no bribery that took place.
     With the information received from a former Westfield Councilman, months after the Union County Prosecutor released it's findings, should the investigation be reopened?  TFoTM has been advised the the former Westfield Town Council member would cooperate and provide a statement to investigators.
     This investigation should not be done by Union County.  It should be done by a state law enforcement agency or a federal agency employing a municipal corruption unit.
     Why don't  local news agencies question the purchase process now that they are presented with these facts?
     With a municipal election this November, an election that will decide who represents Westfield citizens for the next four years, voters and candidates need to question Mayor Skibitsky and his town council members regarding the wasteful spending, mismanagement, and lack of transparency that has infested Mayor Skibitsky's administration.
     Mindowaskin Pond was drained last year.  Time to drain the "swamp" of what has become a tainted administration run by arrogance, entitlement, and partisan politics.



Friday, March 31, 2017

Westfield Police Chief David Wayman Hypocritically Disciplines Subordinate


     Should a police chief plagued with past disciplinary issues himself, be judge, jury, and executioner, in the decision to levy disciplinary penalties on a subordinate?
     Should a police chief that knowingly broke rules and regulations and allegedly criminal law, during his career as a police officer, be involved in any part of the process that resulted in a recent decision to penalize a subordinate?
     Why is a police chief that was never disciplined after he had his service weapon stolen while he partied with scantily clad women in an "adult entertainment" bar, judging anyone?  Keep in mind, the stolen police issue 9mm handgun was subsequently used in a crime and recovered after an arrest was made.
     Why is a police chief that has allegedly been banned from instructing at the Union County Police Academy, due to an incident with a police recruit, allowed to sign off on any subordinates departmental discipline?
     How can a police chief, who during his career had criminal charges filed against him by another police officer, that if found guilty of those charges would have had to resign from his job or face termination, institute disciplinary actions against anyone?
     A Westfield police chief that has avoided disciplinary penalties for infractions that violate departmental rules and regulations, and potentially criminal law, recently approved of the penalties levied on a subordinate police officer.
     The police officer was involved in a motor vehicle accident at the intersection of Lawrence Ave. & E. Dudley Ave.  The officer was transported to the hospital for treatment after his patrol vehicle rolled over and onto the front lawn of a residence.
An internal investigation resulted in the following penalties to the police officer:
*Loss of vacation time for a period of 2 years.
*Suspended from overtime off-duty jobs for 9 months.
*Suspended from duty for 2 weeks with loss of pay.
     The fact of the matter is that Westfield Police Chief David Wayman shouldn't have any authority with regards to the disciplinary actions levied on subordinates.  Time and time again, Wayman has committed violations of departmental rules and regulations with impunity, taking advantage of the relationship he has had with disgraced former police chiefs Bernard Tracy and John Parizeau.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Westfield Mayor Skibitsky Ignores Pedestrian Safety Request

     On January 10th, The Fact of The Matter posted a picture of the un-shoveled ADA (American with Disabilities Act) ramp/sidewalk installed at the HAWK pedestrian crossing at the cul-de-sac intersection of Cambridge Rd. and Central Ave.
     This crosswalk's location was requested by Mayor Andy Skibitsky and the Westfield Town Council.
     The construction of the sidewalk requires it to be maintained, but the town refuses to do so even when the safety of elementary school children is at stake.
     The picture below was taken this morning, 36 hours after Tuesday's snowstorm.  An email to Westfield Mayor Andy Skibitsky and 3rd ward councilmen Mark LoGrippo and David Oliveira included this picture and asked when would the Town shovel the ADA ramp and adjoining sidewalk.
     No response has been received.
Central Ave HAWK Pedestrian Crossing

Mayor Skibitsky Refuses to Respond to Calls & Emails Addressing Pedestrian Safety

     So much for Mayor Skibitsky's claim that his administration is transparent and open to communication with residents.
     Multiple emails and phone calls remain unanswered by Mayor Skibitsky regarding questions surrounding the new town ordinance mandating that motor vehicles be removed from Westfield roadways when a snowstorm of 3" or more is predicted.
     Skibitsky refuses to answer why he has the police department enforcing this new town ordinance when an ordinance requiring the removal of snow and ice from sidewalks has been on the books for decades and is ignored by town officials.
     Snow covered pedestrian walkways/sidewalks, accessed by school students, are a hazard and safety issue in need of immediate attention.
     Downtown sidewalk "sandwich boards" advertising a stores menu are also banned by town ordinance and with springtime just around the corner, Mayor Skibitsky will no doubt turn a blind eye to the enforcement of the town ordinance.
     This "selective enforcement" of town ordinances is quite obvious when you consider Mayor Skibitsky having his zoning official recently warn the residents/owners of a fence on Rahway Ave. to remove a "love trumps hate" banner and dozens of heart shaped messages attached to the fence.
     Mayor Skibitsky has his town ordinance enforcement priorities all screwed up.  How about addressing the safety related ordinances, Mayor.  How about enforcing all town ordinances instead of the ones that benefit you politically.
     Voters need to remember this coming November, at the polls, when Skibitsky runs for another term in office as Mayor of Westfield.
     Skibitsky has gotten way too comfortable smiling for the cameras at ribbon cuttings, rescue squad dinners, resolution announcements at town council meetings.....when he actually shows up......and other photo ops for publicity.
     It's time for new leadership.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

TFoTM Archive: Westfield Mayor Skibitsky Fails at Delegitimizing TFoTM. Calls It Innuendo, TFoTM Provides FACTS

     Today, 12-10-14, this site and this story/editorial are dedicated to E.M.  It is E.M. that once asked, "You're a cop, what goes on behind the closed doors of town hall?"  "You never read about the dirt in the local newspaper."
     It would appear that facts have caused some cracks in Mayor Skibitsky's rose colored glasses.
Westfield Mayor Andrew Skibitsky likes to divert from the facts that are damning to his administration.  At a recent town council meeting the mayor couldn't help himself by claiming that facts, presented to him, were innuendo..
     Claiming facts to be "innuendo" is Mayor Skibitsky's excuse and defense anytime he can't defend himself or defend against criticism supported by facts.
     Case in point:  When asked whether the following "Confidential Police Department Memo," that was referenced at a town council meeting, is "innuendo" or fact, Mayor Skibitsky refused to answer.  Instead, he stated that innuendo is "always" presented.  He then changed his response to "regularly" presented.  Mayor Skibitsky has a bad habit of backpedaling.
     TFoTM will let its readers decide.
     Here is the "factual" memo that was referenced to.  In the memo, then Westfield Police Chief John Parizeau admits to evidence of stealing/theft by one of his superior officers, but chose to do nothing but cover it up and sweep it under the rug.
So much for the office of the chief of police abiding by the oath he took when placing his hand on the Bible.  It has been alleged that the superior officer caught stealing time was John Rowe, a very close friend to Parizeau and the current police chief David Wayman.

     At the same town council meeting, and caught off guard, one of Mayor Skibitsky's staunch supporters on the town council came to his defense and stated, "Why don't we investigate how you got your hands on a confidential memo."
ANSWER: Because your police department already investigated it and couldn't find out how TFoTM got our hands on the memo.  Just like how town officials couldn't find out how TFoTM obtained a hand written memo by then Captain Dave Wayman, that instructed the municipal building's custodial staff to keep the handicapped bathroom across from Wayman's office locked at all times and to not give the key out to anyone.  It was revealed that Wayman was using the handicapped bathroom as his own personal commode.

     The Westfield Police Department's Internal Affairs Division, led by Wayman and Lt. Chris Battiloro, now a police captain, conducted an investigation within the police department to try and find out how The Fact of The Matter was obtaining information.  Questionnaires were handed out to both sworn and civilian employees asking over thirty questions regarding the employees' on-duty and off-duty internet activity with regards to this website and its moderators.  While the investigation went nowhere, $$$thousands$$$ of Westfield taxpayer dollars that funded Wayman's investigation were wasted.
      If that wasn't enough, town officials contacted the Union County
Prosecutor's Office and asked them to step in.  At the time, Chief Parizeau and Captain Wayman's "Elite" police department, as he now likes to call it, needed help.
     A Union County Grand Jury subpoena was issued and the wheels of justice began to spin again until they were stopped by the American Civil Liberties Union.  The ACLU stepped in to defend The Fact of The Matter and have the subpoena "quashed."  New Jersey's "Shield Law," that protects journalists from revealing sources, was cited.
     Ultimately, the subpoena was withdrawn after motions were made to the court by the ACLU, and town officials were left empty handed and embarrassed once again.  More wasted tax dollars because Mayor Skibitsky and his police department don't want the public to know what really goes on.

     So it's reasonably understandable why Mayor Skibitsky, allies on the town council, and other town officials, will go to any length to discredit this website and the information it obtains.
     TFoTM will continue to bring information to its readers that can't be obtained anywhere else.  Our avenues of information remain open and protected despite attempts by town officials to thwart the process by wasting thousands of taxpayer dollars to satisfy their own, in the words of Councilman Frank Arena, "self serving ad-nauseam propaganda" .
     To Mayor Skibitsky, Town Administrator Jim Gildea, and Police Chief David Wayman:
There is a reason why there are those that share information with The Fact of The Matter.  It's because, believe it or not, some town employees are disgusted with the nepotism, back room wheeling and dealing, wasted tax dollars, favoritism, and corruption that has permeated Mayor Skibitsky's administration.
     No different than when I reported to the town, prior to my retirement, that former disgraced Westfield Police Chief Barney Tracy was having illegal criminal history checks done on Westfield residents, members of the press, and a sitting councilman during the infamous parking decks debate.  It is because of the town's retaliatory tactics towards an employee reporting corruption that has forced current employees to remain silent for fear of retribution.  TFoTM  can't blame them and will continue to provide an avenue of relief.      


Saturday, March 04, 2017

Mayor Skibitsky Approves Westfield Police Patrol at Hoboken LepreCon Pub Crawl

     It has become an annual ritual.......not just Hoboken's LepreCon pub crawl and the drunken mayhem that takes place during the pre-St. Patrick's Day event, but the Westfield police department sending manpower and equipment to the Hudson County city at the expense of the Westfield taxpayers.
     Westfield town councilman Frank Arena once tried to justify this waste of Westfield resources, and burden on the Westfield taxpayer, as a "shared service" agreement between Westfield and Hoboken.  
     There is no shared service agreement between Westfield and Hoboken that appears on the New Jersey League of Municipalities website........there isn't one.  
     Instead, disgraced former Westfield parking director John Morgan, who has been appointed by Mayor Skibitsky to be Westfield's delegate to the Union County Transportation Advisory Board, has allegedly been the  liaison between Westfield and Hoboken.  Morgan is now Hoboken's transportation and parking director.  It seems as though backroom wheeling and dealing, handshakes, and questionable negotiations regarding the acquisition and usage of the mobile command center are commonplace within Skibitsky's administration.  
     Whether it's a street fair in another city, a trade show in another state, or any other non-emergency event outside Westfield's borders, Westfield taxpayers continue to finance the emergency mobile command centers usage, even when it leaves Westfield.
     Just another waste of tax dollars by an administration that has no regrets when it comes to wasteful spending.

 Westfield police department vehicles parked in Hoboken, NJ

Westfield Emergency Mobile Command Center

Monday, February 27, 2017

Westfield Property Owner's Tax Rate Among the Highest in NJ

     The next time you look at your property tax bill, realize that living in Westfield isn't cheap.
     According to statistics from the state Department of Community Affairs, Westfield ranks #22 of the top thirty municipalities with the highest average property tax bill while ranking the lowest on that same list when it comes to the average residential property value.
     Westfield's average property tax bill in 2016 was $16,282, in part because of one of the highest tax rates in New Jersey at 9.03 percent.  That's approximately $9 for every $100 of assessed value.
     The average residential property value in Westfield is $180,342 thanks to the lack of a reassessment in decades.  Should a Westfield property tax reassessment occur in the near future, Westfield property taxes will rank #1 in the state if Mayor Skibitsky and his town council keep the property tax rate at 9%.
     Westfield Mayor Andy Skibitsky often touts a catch phrase of his own......"We are doing more with less."  He should consider rephrasing it to, "Westfield taxpayers are paying more for less."

Here is a list of the top 30 municipalities in NJ with the highest average property tax bill.
       Municipality                   Average Property Tax.          Average Property Value
30.  Deal.                                        $15,377.                             $2.2 million
29.  Chester.                                   $15,443.                             $665,750
28.  Glen Rock.                              $15,459.
27.  Rockleigh.                               $15,551.                             $1.6 million
26.  Woodcliff Lake.                      $15,562.                             $725,883
25.  Ho-Ho-Kus.                            $15,580
24.  Cresskill.                                 $15,718.                            $600,000
23.  Old Tappan.                             $16,071.                            $823,000
22.  Westfield.                                $16,282.                            $180,342
21.  Mantoloking.                           $16,561.                            $2.4 million
20.  Ridgewood.                             $17,180    
19.  Franklin Lakes.                       $17,198.                            $1 million
18.  Saddle River.                          $17,221.                            $1.69 million
17.  Upper Saddle River.               $17,462.                            $769,123
15.  (Tie)  South Orange Village.  $17,576.                            $459,258
15.  (Tie)  Summit.                        $17,576.                            $408,739
14.  Haworth.                                 $17,769.                            $601,751
13.  Montclair.                               $18,292.                            $503,448
12.  Princeton.                                $18,333.                            $809,991
11.  Demarest.                                $18,418.                            $753,388
10.  Essex Fells.                             $18,743.                            $923,039
 9.   Mendham.                               $18,752.                           $908,246
 8.   Glen Ridge.                             $19,045.                           $543,553
 7.   Rumson.                                  $19,146.                           $1.3 million
 6.   Mountain Lakes.                     $19,775.                           $782,636
 5.   Tenafly.                                   $19,866.                           $803,377
 4.   Alpine.                                    $20,910.                           $2.72 million
 3.   Loch Arbour.                          $22,323.                           $1.04 million
 2.   Millburn.                                $23,327  
 1.   Tavistock.                               $31,128.                          $1.72 million

*Fact and figures obtained from

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Westfield Police Issue Tickets Warning Vehicle Owners of New Parking Ordinance

     Today's snowstorm exceeded the 3" that allows the Westfield Police Department to enforce Mayor Skibitsky's new town ordinance requiring all motor vehicles to be removed from Westfield's roadways so that the department of public works can plow residential streets from curb to curb.
     The town ordinance was passed by the Westfield town council despite the fact that there are many residents that do not have access to off street parking.  Those living in apartments, 2-family homes without driveway access, and others visiting friends or family overnight don't have the luxury of a garage, driveway, or parking lot to park their car overnight.
     The police were out issuing tickets warning vehicle owners to move their vehicles.  See pictures below.  (Westfield Ave. across from Holy Trinity Church)
     Did you receive a fine?  Or, were you lucky enough to receive a warning from Officer Friendly?
     If only Mayor Skibitsky would instruct his police department to enforce the snow shoveling town ordinance that has been on the books for decades.  Or, maybe enforce the minimum distance between downtown sidewalk cafe tables/chairs and the curb so that pedestrians can pass by safely during the outdoor dining season.
     On second thought, forget the sidewalk cafe ordinance for now, Punxsutawney Phil says we should expect 6 more weeks of winter-like weather.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Westfield Board of Education Approves Request by Soccer Association to Illuminate Kehler Stadium

     At last night's Westfield Board of Education meeting, members of the board voted to approve the Westfield Soccer Association's request to illuminate Kehler Stadium with temporary lights for the months of March and April.
WBOE Brendan Galligan
BOE Facilities Committee chairman Brendan Galligan, recently re-elected to the BOE, "flipped" the no vote that he cast in 2015 citing the Westfield Soccer Associations compliance to a list of changes to the lighting program that caused issues in the Kehler Stadium neighborhood.
     Galligan stated that the Westfield Soccer Association will comply with height restrictions of the portable generator driven lights.  When pressed for what restrictions he was referring to, Galligan could not answer and deferred to Westfield Soccer Association trustee Peter Franks to answer the question.
     Peter Franks stated that the height of the lights would not exceed the height that they were at in 2015. When asked what height he was referring to, Franks stated "About 22 feet."  Note: In 2015 the lights were measured at a height of 25 feet by TFoTM.
WSA Trustee Peter Franks
(Photo credit: TAPinto Westfield)
     Franks admitted that the higher the lights are positioned, they can be pointed down and would cause less spillage of light into the neighborhood.  He continued by stating that the lower the lights are positioned, it would cause them to be pointed straight out which would cause the adjacent neighborhood to be lit up.  At no time did either BOE Facilities Committee chairman Brendan Galligan or Peter Franks acknowledge Westfield Town Code Ordinance 16-28a, restricting the height of the lights at 15 feet.  
     WBOE President Gretchen Ohlig was asked if a professional engineering report was provided by the Westfield Soccer Association regarding light spillage into neighboring yards from the portable lighting to which she answered, "No."  Ohlig also announced that members of the board of education will not be on site at Kehler Stadium to address neighborhood complaints, during the time the lights are in operation, as they were in 2015.  She stated that the WSA will have a contact number and that WSA trustee Peter Franks will field all calls.  TFoTM suggests that this is no different than the fox guarding the hen house.
     The WBOE continues to charge Westfield elementary, middle school, and high school students a participation fee between $60 and $125 a year to partake in a sport, club, drama production, band, chorus, and other after school activities but continue to allow a private business (Westfield Soccer Association) to utilize BOE fields free of charge and on the backs of the Westfield taxpayer. 
     It's been 2 years since a request was made by TFoTM, to the WBOE, to consider a user fee for private entities to pay when using the fields to offset the costs incurred by the BOE/taxpayer to maintain the fields.  As of last night's meeting, WBOE president Gretchen Ohlig has not presented a plan.  
     While a 2015 court case resulted in a Mountainside judge dismissing complaint summonses issued against the Westfield Board of Education for violation of generator use/noise, summonses issued for violating height restrictions and the required shielding of the lights were never properly addressed by the court on their individual merit, setting up a legal challenge this spring season, should the Westfield Soccer Association violate town ordinances governing height and proper shielding.
     The Westfield Soccer Association lists twenty one fields on their website that they use for their soccer activities......14 of those fields are in Westfield.  Of the 14 fields in Westfield, 5 are owned by the town of Westfield and 9 are owned by the Board of Education.
     The town of Westfield requires a $10 fee for each player of the WSA to use a town own field. This one time fee is assessed to Westfield Soccer Association members through a registration fee.
     As of last year, the Westfield soccer association website listed this fee at $15 on it's registration page, $5 more than the what town ordinance mandates.  That disclaimer has since been deleted.
     With approximately 2600 soccer association members, the town of Westfield would have  collected approximately $26,000. However, the soccer association took in $39,000, netting them a profit of $13,000.  It appears that the WSA has lumped the field usage fee into its registration fees.
     Nontheless, residents in the neighborhood surrounding Kehler Stadium will be subjected to the fumes, noise, and light generated from the diesel powered portable lights in addition to the eyesore created when the WSA erects a mesh barrier attached to the visitor side of the field bleachers and fence in an attempt to shield the Westfield Ave. neighborhood from the intrusive lights.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Westfield Police Chief Domesticates Police Department Personel

     Westfield Police Chief David Wayman continues to issue general orders to all subordinate personnel that has the rank and file wondering why.  
     Wayman has struggled to legitimize his regime ever since he was promoted under a questionable promotional testing process that many allege was tainted by Westfield Town Administrator Jim Gildea and Mayor Andy Skibitsky. 
     TFoTM is wondering if Chief Wayman will be offering a departmental training program to certify officers in sanitary cleaning procedures and domesticated appliance operations (vacuuming.)
     Perhaps, Wayman is establishing a need for a department maid in addition to the janatorial services already provided by the town.  
     TFoTM continues to obtain information through confidential sources and other channels of communication that Chief Wayman and town officials have unsuccessfully attempted to thwart through departmental investigations and a court ordered subpoena, ultimately wasting taxpayer dollars. 
     What's next......a general order on toilet paper roll replacement?