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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Mountainside Judge Rules In Favor of Westfield Board of Education

     A Mountainside Judge ruled in favor of the Westfield Board of Education today.  Three complaints filed against the WBOE for erecting generator run lights, were dismissed.   The use of mechanical equipment during prohibited hours, the shielding of the lights to prevent spillage onto neighboring properties, and the height of the lights in violation of town code were the basis of the complaints.
     The complaints were dismissed based on a state statute that supersedes town code.  There was also some uncertainty as to who is the proper defendant in the case, the WBOE or the WSA.
     The Westfield Soccer Association partnered with the Westfield Board of Education to use Kehler Stadium, property owned by the WBOE, for practice during a 10 week "pilot" program which allowed the use of the stadiums artificial turf field during evening hours.
     The WBOE was able to circumvent public oversight by not spending any tax payer funds to temporarily light Kehler Stadium during the 10 week "pilot."
     The WSA, a "non-profit" organization, spent over $5000 to rent portable lights and make modifications to the stadium property during the "pilot" in an attempt to mitigate neighborhood complaints as well as funding the WBOE's defense costs.
   
 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Westfield H.S. Art Show Stirs Controversy with "Police Brutality" Artwork

     Westfield has made the national news scene and its not for its lovely award winning downtown, or its ranked educational system.
     Westfield has drawn the attention of national news outlets because of a controversial art exhibit that appeared at the annual art show at Westfield High School last week.
     The art show displays artwork from Westfield students in grades pre-K thru 12.  One particular piece of art titled "Law Enforcement - Police Brutality" has garnered national news coverage due to the controversial subject.
     TFoTM supports the 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution, and believes freedom of speech to be a protected right despite the inflammatory nature of this "piece of art."
     However, without providing both sides of the issue, the "artists" appear to have thrown a blanket over the entire law enforcement community.
     The incendiary nature of the artwork should be questioned and those responsible for its creation should explain why such a topic was chosen with a one-sided view.
     I wonder how accommodating the Westfield High School art teacher, administration, and Board of Education Superintendant would have been had students decided to create "art" depicting an adult teacher engaging in misconduct with a teenage student?
     What would the reaction be if an "artist" wanted to display a water color painting, of an elementary school teacher smoking marijuana after coaching a high school sports team.
     According to a source within the Westfield law enforcement community, what is most disturbing to some is that a retired Westfield police supervisor's daughter contributed to the art exhibit.
   
     In other police news, Westfield police department Captain Chris Battiloro strapped on a backpack landscaping blower to tidy up the front of police headquarters while on duty.  Does that mean taxpayers can expect members of the Westfield Department of Public Works to be patrolling the streets of Westfield in the near future?

     .........and how are the potholes on your street.




   
   

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Westfield Police Chief Wayman Violates Motor Vehicle Law

     Westfield Police Chief David Wayman has the luxury of the free use of a town owned vehicle 24 hours a day.  His "company" vehicle, an SUV, is paid for by the Westfield taxpayers including costs for maintenance and repairs, insurance, vehicle registration, and fuel. This "freebie" is worth thousands of dollars a year in savings for Chief Wayman.
     While Wayman primarily drives his "company" vehicle, he does utilize his own personal pickup truck to haul debris to the town dump but refuses to have the vehicle inspected as per state statute.
     The inspection sticker displayed in the windshield of Chief Wayman's personal pickup truck expired years ago while he continues to encourage his own subordinates in the police department to enforce this NJ motor vehicle statute during their patrol duties.
     It appears that Westfield Police Chief David Wayman is "above the law" while preaching "Do as I say and not as I do."

TITLE 39 - MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC REGULATION

39:8-1 - Motor vehicle inspections

39:8-1. a. Every motor vehicle registered in this State which is used over any public road, street, or highway or any public or quasi-public property in this State, and every vehicle subject to enhanced inspection and maintenance programs pursuant to 40 C.F.R. s.51.356, except motorcycles, historic motor vehicles registered as such, collector motor vehicles designated as such pursuant to this subsection, and those vehicles over 8,500 pounds gross weight that are under the inspection jurisdiction of the commission pursuant to Titles 27 and 48 of the Revised Statutes, shall be inspected by designated inspectors or at official inspection facilities to be designated by the commission or at licensed private inspection facilities.  Passenger automobiles registered in accordance with R.S.39:3-4 or R.S.39:3-27 and noncommercial trucks registered in accordance with section 2 of P.L.1968, c.439 (C.39:3-8.1) or R.S.39:3-27 inspected pursuant to this section shall only be inspected for emissions and emission-related items such as emission control equipment and on-board diagnostics.  The commission shall adopt rules and regulations establishing a procedure for the designation of motor vehicles as collector motor vehicles, which designation shall include consideration by the commission of one or more of the following factors: the age of the vehicle, the number of such vehicles originally manufactured, the number of such vehicles that are currently in use, the total number of miles the vehicle has been driven, the number of miles the vehicle has been driven during the previous year or other period of time determined by the commission, and whether the vehicle has a collector classification for insurance purposes.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

O.P.R.A. Request Reveals WBOE/Town Meeting on Kehler Stadium Lighting

     An Open Public Records Act request has revealed email correspondence between Westfield Town Administrator Jim Gildea and the Westfield Board of Education regarding the usage of temporary lighting at Kehler Stadium on Rahway Ave.
     Another email from a local resident claims that neighborhood residents aren't opposed to the lighting, contradicting the obvious opposition to the "pilot" program.
     TFoTM will post both emails.
     Kehler Stadium is located in a residential neighborhood zoned RS-12 under town land use ordinances.
     Despite the objection of neighborhood residents, the Westfield Board of Education entered into a joint effort with the Westfield Soccer Association, a private business, to light Kehler Stadium each night until 9:45pm, Monday - Friday for 10 weeks to allow the soccer association to practice into the evening.
     What was touted as a "benefit to Westfield High School sports," has proven to be nothing more than a nuisance to the neighborhood while the temporary lights have not been used by any of the high school sports teams.
     The Westfield Board of Education has yet to provide an "independent" monitor of the lighting "pilot" as they had promised during contentious meetings prior to the approval of the "pilot."
     Westfield Board of Education President Richard Mattessich, in an email obtained by TFoTM, suggested that members of the Board's Facilities Committee had their minds made up prior to the 3+ hours of public comment, before the WBOE voted to approve the "pilot" in March.
     Town officials will not reveal who told the Westfield Police Department to ignore enforcing Town Code 14-12 which prohibits the use of machinery/generators after 8pm.
     The police department had initially fielded complaints from neighbors, logging the complaints into department computers without responding to the stadium to enforce town code violations.      Recently, a police supervisor stated that the police are using "discretion" in allowing the use of the generators during prohibited hours and that the WSA is turning them off at a "reasonable hour."
   

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Police & Politics......Who Authorized the WPD to Ignore Town Code Enforcement

     During last night's Westfield Town Council meeting, Mayor Skibitsky was asked who directed the Westfield Police Department to ignore enforcing Westfield Town Code Violation 14-12A concerning the use of generators during prohibited hours.
     Mayor Skibitsky did not answer the question but town attorney Russell Finestein addressed the council.
     While Finestein did not answer the question of who directed the police to ignore the town code ordinance with respect to complaints about generator use at Kehler Stadium during prohibited hours, Mr. Finestein attempted to deflect and divert attention to a state statute that he believes supersedes town code in allowing the generator usage.
     The town attorney may advise a client, in this case the Town of Westfield, of his opinion.  However, it is the duty of the police to enforce a complainant's town code violation, by a neighboring land owner, regardless of an opinion.
     It is the court, the judicial system, that interprets the law and renders a ruling/decision, not civilian government.  While R. Finestein might be correct in his opinion, it does not excuse the Westfield Police from enforcing a Town Code violation that should be adjudicated in a court of law and not in the office of a civilian town official.
     When the town attorney was asked if he had instructed the police to ignore the town code ordinance, he remained silent.  TFoTM does not suggest that R. Finestein instructed the police to ignore enforcing a town code violation.
     However, it is ironic that Town Administrator Jim Gildea, seated next to R. Finestein in the front row of council chambers, remained silent as well, but his face began to resemble the color of a ripe tomato.
     So TFoTM asks Westfield Town Administrator Jim Gildea ......."Jim, did you instruct the Westfield Police to ignore Town Code 14-12 that will allow the Westfield Soccer Association to run generators on Westfield Board of Education property also known as Kehler Stadium?  In the words of a retired police captain......."Come clean Jim."
Keep in mind that Westfield police personnel have indicated that this is "The Town and the Board of Education" when explaining why the police won't enforce Town Code violation 14-12.

To be continued not only here, at The Fact of The Matter, but also in court.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Accident Shuts Down Rahway Ave In Front of Kehler Stadium

Motor vehicle accident on Rahway Avenue near Kehler Stadium has Rahway Avenue, heading North, shutdown.
Police just reopened the road at 5:58pm.
Westfield rescue squad ambulance still on scene.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Let the "Night" Games Begin: Board of Education Allows WSA Lights at Kehler Stadium


     The Westfield Soccer Association took delivery of four portable light towers at Kehler Stadium this afternoon to light up Kehler Stadium for the next 10 weeks.  The generators and lights will run until 9:45 pm., Monday - Friday.
     By 7:30pm, the lights were raised and the generators were fired up and running.  The raised lights exceeded Westfield's Land Use Ordinance restriction of 15 feet.
     While no soccer practice took place tonight, the WSA spent most of the evening testing the lights and attempting to position them where they'd be less intrusive to neighboring homes.  Only time will tell if they are successful.
     The following photos were all taken between 8pm. and 8:30pm without the use of a flash camera.
     Houses on Grove St., Westfield Ave., Beechwood Pl., Everson Pl., Rahway Ave., and Washington St. were illuminated by the lights.
     The sound from the diesel generators echoed off the metal bleachers and could be heard from 150 ft. away while an odor of diesel fuel permeated the air along the Rahway Ave. side of the stadium.

PLAY VIDEO (on laptop or home computer) TO HEAR LIGHTING GENERATORS THAT SOME BOE MEMBERS DESCRIBED AS "QUIET," WHILE ONE RESIDENT STATED THE GENERATORS SOUND LIKE A FREIGHT TRAIN.

video

Rear yard of Grove St. residence

Light in NE corner of field that lights up Grove St. residences

Rear yard of residence on corner of Grove St. & Westfield Ave.

Westfield Ave. at Beechwood Pl.

Light in NW corner of field that lights up Beechwood Pl.

Corner residence of Beechwood Pl. & Westfield Ave.

Parking lot of Lincoln School facing Westfield Ave. & Beechwood Pl.
Corner residence of Everson Pl. & Westfield Ave.

Picture taken from front yard of Everson Pl.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Misinterpretation of Land Use Ordinances by Board of Education Could Cost Taxpayers

     There is no doubt that Kehler Stadium is wholly owned by the Westfield Board of Education and is not a park or recreation field owned by the Town of Westfield.
     There is also no doubt that the board of education does not have to apply to the town for use approval if it is not spending public money.
     That does not, in any way, give the board of education the right to abuse it's position as the land owner of Kehler Stadium.
     If the board of education were to spend public money on alterations to the property, they would have to ask for approval from the town.
     Whether or not they obtain the approval of the
town would not change their duty to the neighboring land owners.
     At no time during the public board of education meeting on Tuesday night, did their attorney state that the board could light Kehler Stadium and create noise to the detriment of the neighbors.
     Westfield Board of Education attorney Richard Kaplow was most specific in stating that he disagreed with a letter of objection submitted to him on behalf of a neighbor to Kehler Stadium, challenging the Westfield Soccer Association's proposal to light Kehler Stadium.
     That is a far cry from stating that his client, the board of education, has an absolute right to use it's property to the detriment of it's neighbors.
     Past apathy by the neighbors has allowed the board to run rampant over the neighborhood.  There should be no apathy when it comes to the board approving the Westfield Soccer Association's request to erect lights and conduct sporting events at night.
     If anybody needs any proof as to the results of apathy in the neighborhood surrounding Kehler Stadium, consider the encroachment of your peace and quiet since the construction of an artificial turf field and the alteration of the property over the years without action by the neighborhood.
     Time will tell whether or not apathy will continue. Time will tell how much it will cost the taxpayers of Westfield for the board of education to defend their position.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Westfield Police Chief Acquires Construction Equipment


     Westfield Police Chief David Wayman is no stranger to obtaining toys.  Whether its a seized BMW from a drug arrest that he and his sidekick Det. Joe Costanzo pestered the Union County Prosecutor for, or a donated sport utility vehicle for the D.A.R.E. program that Wayman reclaimed for his own personal use, he loves to ride in style.  His $300,000 emergency mobile command center has yet to respond to an emergency in Westfield in the two years since town officials approved its purchase.
     What Wayman will do with a mobile crane and bulldozer is unknown, but one thing is for sure, Chief Wayman really knows how to shovel it to town officials that allowed these recent acquisitions from the United States military.
How are the potholes on your street?

Prospect St. Basement Fire

At approximately 5:15 am. this morning, the Westfield  fire department responded to a report of a  basement fire on Prospect St.
Volunteer fire departments from Scotch Plains, Mountainside, and Springfield were requested for mutual aid as were the paid departments from Plainfield, Roselle, Cranford, and Springfield.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Board of Education Postpones Vote on Kehler Field Lighting

   
     On Tuesday evening, March 10th, the Westfield Board of Education tabled a vote that was scheduled to take place regarding a request by the Westfield Soccer Association to place temporary lights at Kehler Stadium for a "pilot" program expanding practice into the evening hours.
     The WSA has requested permission to place four generator-run light towers around the field.  The lights would remain on until 9:40/9:45pm, Monday-Friday, between mid-March and the end of May.
     Residents against the lights showed up to voice their opposition against the request while WSA coaches, and some of the association's board members, touted the "pilot" program's benefits.
     After 3 hours of public comment, Westfield Board of Education President Richard Mattessich suggested an amendment to the WSA's original proposal that had been posted in the meeting's agenda.  Mattessich suggested that the members of the Westfield Board of Education vote on whether or not to approve the installation of temporary lighting pending the review of the resolution by Bd. of Ed. Attorney Richard Kaplow, who was not in attendance at the meeting.
     Earlier in the meeting, it had been pointed out to members of the board of education that they are currently in violation of Westfield's Land Use Ordinances considering some of the non -  board of education activities that take place at the stadium.
     The current WSA proposal for temporary lighting at Kehler Stadium appears to violate several of Westfield's Land Use Ordinances and the Westfield Board of Education, as the land/property owner, would be subject to court action in the event those ordinances are violated.
     A letter detailing the land use ordinance violations was handed to the board of education for their attorney's review.
     Board of Education Vice President Gretchen Ohlig made a motion to table the vote until the board meets on March 17th so that their attorney could review the proposal with regards to land use ordinance compliance.
     A vote is scheduled for Tuesday, March 17th, at 7:30pm.  The Westfield Board of Education meeting will be held in the main cafeteria of Westfield High School according to the school district's official website.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Westfield Police Officer Removed from AC Casino after Altercation

 
     Last week, Atlantic City hosted the annual New Jersey Policeman's Benevolent Association mini convention.  The event brings together, police officers from around the state for a week of seminars, parties, and "extra curricular activities."
     A TFoTM source, in Atlantic City for the convention, confirmed an altercation that took place between officers that resulted in a Westfield police officer being escorted from the casino property by hotel/casino security.
     It is alleged that two Westfield officers, became agitated when officers from another police department were seen talking to a female Westfield police dispatcher that had accompanied the WPD officers to Atlantic City.
     Casino security was notified and a Westfield police officer was escorted off the property shouting profanities and threats at the other officers.
     TFoTM is withholding names so that the police department's Internal Affairs Division can conduct their own investigation.
     The Westfield police officer removed from the casino is described as tall, thin build, with light colored short cropped hair or balding, while the other officer is described as short, with a "fake mohawk' and a Russian or Polish accent.
     Westfield Police Chief David Wayman is no stranger to anger management issues that have plagued his career, anger issues that have obviously manifested themselves in some of the police recruits he is hiring.
      You don't have to look any further than the physical altercations that have taken place at police department softball games that Wayman and some of his cronies have played in against other police departments to realize that testosterone and alcohol are a dangerous combination.
      In appears Wayman's softballs aren't falling far from his own mitt based on the character and actions of some of his closest allies and recent hires.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Mayor McBitsky: Sunday Morning Funny Page

     Mayor Skibitsky may not be a full blooded Irishman, but he has no reservations about wasting Westfield taxpayer money by sending police department personnel and equipment to Hoboken for a drunkin' bar crawl, once again, for the city's St. Patrick's Day celebration.
     Westfield's emergency mobile command center was in Hoboken yesterday for that city's annual bar crawl.  The command center was absent from a municipality that, in the event of an emergency, would not have its $300,000+, taxpayer funded asset, ready and available.  Not a very "sober" decision.
   

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Westfield Taxpayers Providing Manpower & Equipment for Hoboken Bar Crawl

Westfield Police are currently providing security in Hoboken today for that city's Lepre-Con festival. Mayor Skibitsky approved the expenditures associated with Westfield Police transporting equipment to Hoboken.  Westfield's portable message board sat in Hoboken all week, advertising today's event.
See related story Posted on NJ.com


HOBOKEN--It's 9:30 a.m., and a growing crowd outside Teak on the Hudson is ready to start drinking. 
The bar is the first to open for the St. Patrick's Day Bar Crawl, an annual event in Hoboken now in its fourth year that is unofficially known as "Lepre-Con." More than 5300 people have purchased passes to the event, which includes 25 bars in the Mile Square City, said Eddie Miller, chief executive officer of Wesell.com, the parent company of the event's organizer, HobokenStPatricksDay.com. He said the bar crawl is expected to draw at least 800 people outside of the metro area. A majority of the bars will open their doors at 11 a.m.
Lepre-Con launched in 2012 in response to the cancellation of the St. Patrick's Day parade, an event that became well known for its rowdiness. Event organizers  say they shed the "Lepre-Con" monicker a few years ago, due to the negative connotation of the name.   
Hoboken police Chief Kenneth Ferrante told NJ Advance Media that the bar crawl has proven increasingly less troublesome in recent years but that the day is still one of the department's busiest. All 141 police officers will be working on Saturday for a seven hour stretch and will be joined by the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office's Rapid Deployment Force, as well as police from NJ Transit, Port Authority, Stevens Institute of Technology and Westfield, he said.
The department will have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to public urination and unruly house parties, he said. Several festively green porta-potties are at the ready outside several participating bars. 
When asked about the police response to the bar crawl, Miller said that his company has worked with the police department to ensure that Saturday's event is a safe one. He acknowledged that some misbehavior could probably be expected, but said that the city has done a good job addressing it. 
"Of course there is going to be some debauchery. It's St. Patrick's Day," Miller said. "Every year the event is held, less and less citations are issued."


Thursday, March 05, 2015

Political Police Promotion

     
John Ricerca
     Westfield Police Chief David Wayman recently promoted Officer John
Ricerca to the rank of Captain.  Ricerca's meteoric rise through the ranks from patrolman to captain has many shaking their heads in disgust over the backroom politics that have been alleged to have taken place to promote someone that ranked near the bottom of the promotional testing results for the rank of lieutenant not long ago.
     Ricerca had been accused of allegedly circumventing his own police union, PBA Local 90, to obtain the pay raise of a lieutenant while he served as a sergeant in the detective bureau at a time when town officials claimed money was tight.  Chief Wayman passed over, what appeared to be, more deserving candidates. 
     There are no testing procedures for the rank of Captain and the promotion is made at the discretion of the chief of police.  Ricerca surely knows how to play the political game.
     TFoTM congratulates Captain Ricerca on his accomplishment and wishes him the best of luck leading the department's patrol division supervising superior officers he "leapfrogged," supervisors that have served in their respective ranks longer than Ricerca.
    
     


Sunday, March 01, 2015

Sunday Funny Pages "....and the Oscar goes to......"

     
Councilwoman Neylan
     On Tuesday night, "Acting Mayor" JoAnnn Neylan filled in, once again, for an absent Mayor Andy Skibitsky.  Skibitsky has been a "no-show" at council meetings this year and is on track to surpass last years absenteeism rate.
     So, one week removed from the "Oscars" ceremony that awards actors, actresses, directors, and others in the motion picture industry, TFoTM awards the "Best Supporting Mayor" award to Acting Mayor JoAnn Neylan.
     Great job JoAnn, keeping the Mayor's seat warm while he is absent once again.
     Neylan's significant role could be an indication of her party's desire to thrust her towards the Republican nomination for Westfield Mayor someday.  Not only would she be the Republican Party's first female candidate, if she's elected in the general election, she'd become Westfield's first female mayor.  
     Somewhere, Skibitsky is writing a script to a movie that casts him in a role as an elected politician in Trenton's legislature.  Others, are hoping that any political sequel to a Skibitsky administration is pure fiction.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

WHS Appears to be on Lockdown at 12:30 pm

Westfield high school is currently holding all school bells, keeping all students in class, in school.
Westfield police are on the scene, it is unknown at this time what the holding of students in classrooms is for.
Police officers were seen walking around the Baptist church on Trinity Pl. while a plain clothes officer was walking the front of school on Dorian Rd.
WPD marked police vehicles are patrolling neighboring streets.
Updated:
All WHS school bells were held between 12:15 and 12:35 pm. at which time students remained in classrooms.  Westfield police personnel are on scene investigating.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

TFoTM Sunday Morning Funny Pages

     As reported in the news, Brian Williams, the anchor of NBC Nightly News, apologized for embellishing an erroneous story, a story he categorized as a conflation of memories from his own coverage of the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
     Williams has something in common with Westfield Police Chief Dave Wayman and Mayor Andy Skibitsky, they each have a tendency to "mis-remember" and "conflate."
     If you haven't already heard, Williams has announced he will step down from his position at NBC after fabricating and embellishing his involvement in a wartime helicopter flight that took on enemy fire.    
If only Wayman and Skibitsky would follow Williams' lead.

Conflategate




Chief Wayman really was at the Super Bowl, an "opportunity of a lifetime." 

Sunday, February 01, 2015

"Deflategate" vs "Waymagate"....Town Officials & Police Chief, Cheat the Taxpayer with "Hocus Pocus"

     One year ago, during the week leading up to "Super Bowl Sunday," the Town of Westfield's newly acquired emergency mobile command center and a platoon of police officers  were in Hoboken to stand guard at a street fair while Super Bowl XLVIII was played at MetLife Stadium in E. Rutherford, N.J..
     After the Super Bowl, Westfield Police Chief David Wayman read a prepared statement to the Town Council, and taxpayers, at a February 2014 council meeting stating, "The ability to work with Hoboken at the Super Bowl was just another unique opportunity and probably the opportunity of a lifetime."  A year later, and with the Super Bowl being played this year in Arizona under a black cloud of alleged cheating and an NFL investigation nicknamed "Deflategate", we
now know Wayman's words were a facade, another lie.
Military Vehicles were recently acquired by the WPD
     Mayor Skibitsky, Town Admin. Jim Gildea, and Mayor Andy Skibitsky had to justify to the taxpayers the purchase of a $300,000 machine when all the town needed in the aftermath of Super-Storm Sandy was a back-up generator for the municipal building.  Never before had the police department lost power, in any storm. that a generator couldn't restore.
To make the purchase look worthwhile, why not send it to Hoboken and tell everyone Westfield was requested as part of Super Bowl security?
     It was a well orchestrated show put on by town officials for the better part of 8 months following New Jersey's first Super Bowl.  It wasn't until November 2014 that Mayor Skibitsky would finally admit during a town council meeting, "We were not at the Super Bowl, I never said we were."  Mayor Skibitsky had been pressured to admit the truth in light of inquiries made into the questionable purchase and use of Westfield taxpayer funded equipment in other cities.
     Mayor Skibitsky must've forgotten that he allowed both his police chief and his Acting Mayor JoAnn Neylan to read prepared statements specifically stating that Westfield Police were at the Super Bowl with all its emergency response equipment to provide security along with the Office of Homeland Security, the FBI, New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, and NJ Transit.  Hanging today, in the front hallway of the Westfield Police Department, is a photo of Westfield's emergency response vehicles in front of a Roman numeral 48, making it appear as if the department had a hand in the protection of the iconic event.  What is not pictured is the emergency mobile command center sitting nearby.
Photo by Westfield Leader Newspaper
     What most people don't know is that the photo was taken on a pier in Hoboken while Westfield Police stood guard at a curling exhibition at the "Hoboken Huddle," a street fair for that cities cash-in or "money grab" during the week leading up to the Super Bowl.  Hoboken's security cost Westfield taxpayers thousands of dollars, another FACT that town officials refuse to admit.
     If it weren't for Mayor Skibitsky's relationship with Westfield's former disgraced parking official John Morgan, who now heads Hoboken's Parking Authority and still remains one of Skibitsky's political appointees to a Union County  committee, Westfield would never have been in Hoboken.
Hocus & Pocus
     As the old saying goes in politics, you gotta' pay to play.  In this case, the taxpayers paid dearly for Mayor Skibitsky and Chief Wayman to stage one expensive "playdate" with Hoboken.
TFoTM suggests that town officials keep their "toys" in town in the event the equipment is needed so that it is "ready and available" at a moments notice to service the residents of Westfield.
     Police Chief Wayman once claimed that in 20 minutes he could have Westfield's equipment packed up and on the move from Hoboken, arriving back in Westfield should an emergency arise.  What he doesn't tell you is that he might have to enlist the expertise of Harry Houdini or David Copperfield to pull that one off. Then again, both those magicians were experts in creating a facade much like Mayor Skibitsky and his magical assistant Chief Wayman.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Militarization of the Westfield Police Department

     As a blizzard is set to hit the tri-state area, Westfield braces for what could be a record breaking storm across New Jersey.
General Wayman
     If you see military assault vehicles driving around Westfield tonight and tomorrow during the storm, driven by police officers, don't be alarmed.   There's no terrorist attack unless you consider Al-Qaeda to be disguised as Mother Nature.
     Westfield Police Chief David Wayman, aka "fobbit," has turned in his police uniform in exchange for the "fruit salad" display on his chest and requests that all subordinates refer to him as General Wayman for the duration of the storm.
"Deuce and a Half"
     If you don't already know, Westfield now owns a minimum of six military vehicles including a military personnel transport vehicle referred to as a "deuce and a half" often used by the national guard to rescue people from flood ravaged areas.
     No longer will the residents of Westfield have to flee to their rooftops to escape the rising waters of Mindowaskin Pond waiting to be rescued.
     What's next?  Maybe a helicopter or an amphibious vehicle?  Another example of wasteful spending and mismanagement?
     Westfield still has roads in need of repaving for over 25 years.  The reduction in public safety personnel within the police department and fire department, to all-time lows under Mayor Skibitsky's leadership, hasn't saved the taxpayer a dime as property taxes continue to rise and services are cut.
     Mayor Skibitsky just finds other ways to waste the surplus of money realized from these cuts.
     So, the next time Mayor Skibitsky tells residents he is operating a budget that includes salaries at a level comparable to 2006, don't believe the hype.  His "Doing more with less" campaign slogan is all smoke and mirrors.
Time to fire up the snowblower.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Overnight Snowfall Snafu

     Westfield residents woke up this morning to find a blanket of snow on the ground measuring between 4 - 6 inches.  Westfield's Department of Public Works was out early plowing residential streets and by 10 am. had made at least one pass down a majority of the town's paved roadways.
     Rising temperatures seem to be helping melt remaining snow along with some pre-storm salting of roadways.
     The Westfield DPW has a new superintendent in charge and he appears to have better managerial skills than the recent retired Claude Shaffer, judging by the efficiency at which the DPW seems to be operating these days and an overall positive morale exhibited by the staff.
     The season's first major snowfall gave police the opportunity to issue summonses to motor vehicles parked in violation of the town code prohibiting parking on snow covered roadways in town that are marked with warning signs.
     A police officer was on W. Broad St. early this morning placing tickets on the windshields of cars parked along the curb that hindered plowing efforts to clear roadway from curb to curb.
     No doubt, Mayor Skibitsky is beaming, smiling ear to ear given the efforts of the DPW and WPD.
   




Monday, January 05, 2015

2015 Hangover Run: Counter-Terrorism Training or Tamaques Park Playdate?

     The fact of the matter is, Mayor Skibitsky finally admitted publicly that the Westfield police department and the town's emergency mobile command center had nothing to do with security at last years NFL Super Bowl contested at MetLife Stadium in E. Rutherford, N.J.   It was however, transported to Hoboken numerous times at the expense of the Westfield taxpayer.  TFoTM will admit, it did a great job guarding the recent "Hangover Run" in Tamaques Park on New Years Day........no terrorists in sight.
     The fact of the matter is, Westfield has no shared services agreement with the city of Hoboken, nor has it ever had one which is required to be on file in Trenton if one did exist.  This contradicts Councilman Frank Arena's claim that the town's emergency mobile command center was sent to Hoboken in 2014 under a "shared services agreement."
     In a news article titled "Westfield Police Participate In Counterterrorism Training," Westfield Leader newspaper reporter Paul Peyton quoted Westfield Police Chief Dave Wayman as
Tamaques Park, January 1, 2015 CJRRC "5K Hangover Run"
saying "The ability to work with Hoboken at the Super Bowl was just another unique opportunity and probably the opportunity of a lifetime."  Not one town official, including Mayor Skibitsky, corrected this lie by Police Chief Wayman.
      Is it because town officials would rather the taxpayer believe that the $300,000 mobile command center was a prudent purchase?  Do town officials think that leading the taxpayer to believe our police department was rubbing elbows with Homeland Security, the FBI, New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, and other prestigious law enforcement agencies at the Super Bowl, would justify taking the command center away from Westfield?
     We now know that Mayor Skibitsky and his Town Administrator Jim Gildea will divert and deflect from answering questions that will expose the truth.  This was evident during the 8 months it took for Mayor Skibitsky to finally admit the truth after his town administrator, his police chief, and his "Acting Mayor" JoAnn Neylan, lied to the taxpayers.
     Left with the embarrassment of wasting $300,000 on what Mayor Skibitsky calls a necessary purchase out of "redundancy," his police chief must now justify the purchase of the emergency mobile command center by hauling it around town to street fairs and road races.  Mayor Skibitsky and his police chief would like everyone to believe that these events are safe from terrorism when the mobile command center is on the scene.  The fact of the matter is that there has never been a perceived or credible threat to any of these events in the past.  Perhaps Mayor Skibitsky will make an appearance with the emergency mobile command center at a block party, in Westfield, in 2015.
     The final fact of this matter is that the emergency mobile command center was purchased as a demo model and never built to any original specifications, meaning Westfield tailored its specifications to meet what was already being hidden in Westfield, and what was the "apple of Chief Wayman's eye", long before the town council passed a bond ordinance authorizing its purchase.  While not a crime in the eyes of the Union County Prosecutor's Office, which Mayor Skibitsky will hang his hat on, its definitely an ethical violation to be determined by a state authority.
     Happy New Year Mayor!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Westfield Town Council Meeting

The Westfield Town Council will meet tonight at 8pm. in the court chambers of the municipal building located at 425 E. Broad St.
Date: Tuesday (tonight) 12-16-14
Time: 8pm.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Westfield Mayor Skibitsky 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.
PARIZEAU
     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.
   
WAYMAN
      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.