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Friday, May 20, 2016

Accident Alert

Motor vehicle accident this morning at the crossing guard/STOP sign controlled intersection of Dudley Ave. And Clark St.
Westfield Police are on the scene.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Trader Joe's Property To Become Apartments?

     There is talk around town that Trader Joe's is being rebuffed by owners of the property that the store once occupied.  The store was demolished following the roof collapsing under the weight of snow after this past winters storm that dumped over 20 inches of snow on Westfield.
     Plans to rebuild the store were anticipated but lately rumors are circulating that the property owners are interested in constructing an apartment complex.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

WBOE Offers a Consolation to WSA

At Tuesday night's Westfield Board of Education meeting, board president Gretchen Ohlig offered a consolation to the Westfield Soccer Association by indicating proposals to temporarily light Kehler Stadium would be entertained next year.  The following is quoted from The Alternative Press.
"After a letter to the board suggested that town approval was needed in order to erect temporary lights on their own property and subsequent hesitation was given after a court case referenced by the Kehler Neighborhood Preservation Association, the board stood by its original disposition.
“We’ve received confirmation that our position remains valid,” Ohlig said. “We do not, in fact, need the town’s approval to move forward. The town [of Westfield] concurs with our position. However, the delay has rendered the possibility of moving forward to vote. There is no point in us taking any steps this season.”
According to Ohlig, if the WSA or any other organization brings forth a similar proposal next year, it will fall first within the discretion of the "facilities committee and then recommended to the board."
      Whether or not the WBOE has received confirmation that their position remains valid in that they do not need the town's approval to move forward with approving the use of temporary lights at Kehler Stadium, the fact of the matter is....the WBOE refuses to waste any more time or budget resources on the dispute between the Kehler Neighborhood Preservation Association and the Westfield Soccer Association.
     The WBOE is currently discussing requiring organizations, utilizing board of education fields, to pay a fee similar to the fee required by Westfield town ordinance to use town owned fields.  Currently, that ordinance requires a $10 fee for each player of each sport 
     

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Westfield Leader Newspaper "Editor's Note"...a Contradiction


     The following Letter to the Editor of the Westfield Leader newspaper appears in this week's edition.  The "Editor's Note" at the bottom is a contradiction of sorts in that the newspaper HAS altered its reporter's news reporting.......just ask a reporter at the Westfield Leader.  
     A Westfield Leader reporter confirmed, to TFoTM, that a story has been altered after its submission for print.
     The Westfield Leader also creates it's own titles for letters submitted to the editor which don't always reflect that which the author has written.

Are Leader Reporters Biased on ‘Cap’ Bank’?
I smiled recently when I read two Westfield Leader reporters’ articles on the Westfield and Garwood Coun- cils, both voting to establish “cap banks” as part of their budgetary ac- tions.
When reporter Christina Hinke re- ported Westfield’s action, she de- scribed it as “utilizing an accounting measure that could ease budget re- strictions in the next three years.” When reporter Brian Trusdell re- ported on Garwood’s action, he de- scribed it as “essentially granting the borough council permission to use an accounting measure in coming years to evade state limits on budget expen- ditures.”
Wow! Same actions, two different value descriptions. It’s of further in- terest because both towns use audi- tors Suplee, Clooney, who supported the bank creation in both towns and yet have it reviewed so differently in each town. Could it be that publisher Horace Corbin is suing Garwood, and therefore paints Garwood in nega- tive light whenever he can? Or maybe it’s bias of individual reporters? Just asking.
Bill Nierstedt Garwood
Editor’s Note: This newspaper never alters its reporting to promote an agenda. Mr. Nierstedt might like to read the editorial on the complex subject of “cap bank” on page 4 of the March 31 edition. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

It Happened There, It Happend Here

     Police chief "ticket fixing" is nothing new.  It happens.....but the political landscape of each town is what determines how far the investigation goes and who gets investigated.  In Westfield, the "whistleblower" becomes the targeted.
     It's not what you know, it's who you know.  Connections to prominent politicians, county investigators, and local government officials inevitably trump corruption claims and thwart proper investigations.
     Just ask disgraced former Westfield police chiefs Bernard Tracy and John Parizeau.  Only time will tell, whether or not current Westfield Police Chief David Wayman can avoid the pitfalls of his own ignorance and arrogance.

http://www.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/2016/04/englewood_cliffs_police_chief_suspended_by_council.html#incart_river_home

Monday, April 04, 2016

Race Relations Panel Discussion

     Tonight's panel was gathered to discuss and address the issue of race relations and what the
Westfield community can do to better understand and resolve the racial divide that has permeated society.
     The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Westfield hosted the event inside the auditorium of Westfield High School.
     The members of the panel were asked questions by moderators Dr. Claudia Cohen and Rev. William E. Lawson and at one point, audience members were allowed to submit questions on an index card of which a handful were presented to members of the panel.
     Overall, it was a well received event and a start to opening up further discussion on race relations in Westfield.
     TFoTM prepared a question but unfortunately it was not selected by the moderators and presented to the panel.   
     Throughout the evening there were some very articulate answers provided by some of the panelists however, early on, it was clear that one member of the panel should have followed his own advice which was, "Maybe not speak so much but listen to everyone here tonight," so as not to expose his incompetence.

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt."

TFoTM will follow-up with a more detailed account after notes and audio recordings are processed.
We just can't make this stuff up.
*NOTE: The panel discussion was recorded by Westfield TV36.  The video will be posted here at TFoTM when we receive a copy so that readers can draw their own conclusions as to the success or failure of this event and formulate their own opinions.  

From left to right: Rev. Ronald Allen, WBOE President Gretchen Ohlig, Dr. Brenda Jemal, WPD Chief David Wayman, WHS Vice Principal Dr. Derrick Nelson, Tamecka Dixon, Rabbi Douglas Sagal

Westfield Police Chief David Wayman Featured Tonight on Race Relations Panel: Racist or Ignorant Fool?

Photo: Westfield Leader Newspaper
     Tonight, at 7:30pm., Westfield Police Chief David Wayman will take part in a panel discussion on race relations.  The gathering will take place in the Westfield High School auditorium.
     Wayman, a former resident of Clark, N.J. and graduate of ALJ High School, has been accused of racial profiling during his career as a Westfield police officer.
     In February 2014, TFoTM posted a story detailing some of Wayman's alleged racial tendencies.
     The public is welcome to attend tonight's event and ask questions.

Westfield Police Chief David Wayman was interviewed by Westfield Leader Newspaper reporter Paul Peyton for a story that appeared in the February 6th, 2014 edition of that newspaper.
     Peyton's "Puff Piece" detailed the use of Westfield's taxpayer funded emergency mobile command center for festivities in the city of Hoboken the week leading up to this year's Super Bowl.
     While Chief Wayman misleads the public with regards to the costs associated with having Westfield provide Hoboken with emergency response vehicles and manpower, Peyton falls short of asking investigative questions that would reveal a waste of taxpayer money and the overall mismanagement by Westfield's administration.  At no time does Wayman or Peyton address the issue sought at a previous town council meeting.
     There have been numerous uses of the purchased emergency equipment and the police of Westfield, distant from Westfield, that have gone unexplained by Mayor Skibitsky.  While it may be useful for Westfield policemen to learn how to control crowds of 50,000 to 100,000 people as Wayman described in his presentation to the town council, it would be interesting to determine when Westfield has such crowds.
     As the Mayor keeps pointing out, we must do "more with less."  How does the Mayor justify the priority given to displaying the Westfield police "toys" in foreign jurisdictions at occasions that can only be considered "equipment fairs."
     These various displays cost Westfield the money to own the vehicles, transport the vehicles. and the manpower needed to do so.  It also includes the overtime for those men and also for the men used to fill the void of the absent officers.
     On the topic of local crime, Wayman describes Westfield as an "attractive" target of criminals because of the "profits they can gain here."  Wayman states that Westfield's location between two of Union County's largest cities appears to be the culprit.  Here is an excerpt from the Westfield Leader of what Wayman suggested:
   
     "He said North and South Avenues both link Westfield to Plainfield to the west and Elizabeth to the east, enabling criminals to access the town via Route 22.  He said these roadways offer criminals an "easy escape" out of Westfield.  NJ Transit trains as well as the NJ Transit 59 bus, which runs from Plainfield to Elizabeth, stops in Westfield.  In conclusion, Wayman states, "Westfield police make motor vehicle stops and are out looking to prevent crimes, which creates an omnipresence."
   
     While assigned to patrol duties earlier in his law enforcement career, Wayman was not discreet in his description of minorities while creating his own "omnipresence."  Long before Westfield began tracking the race of the driver of a motor vehicle stopped by police, Wayman was accused of racial profiling, by an off-duty African American N.J. State Trooper believed to be Erskin Marks.
     Wayman has described the African American occupants of a motor vehicle as "a car load of coal."  He was also accused by another Westfield police officer as referring to that Hispanic officer as a "Spic."
     Wayman's actions as a Westfield police officer throughout his career speak louder than the ignorant words spoken from his own mouth.  However, those words bring to life the actions that other police officers have long suspected were racially motivated.
     Residents of Plainfield to the west, and residents of Elizabeth to the east, what say you?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Roosevelt Intermediate School Students Suspended

     A TFoTM source has confirmed that up to 10 students at Roosevelt Intermediate School have been suspended in the wake of students purchasing knives and selling them to classmates.
     The weapons, described as "butterfly" or "pocket" type knives, were allegedly purchased online and sold for a profit, in some cases close to four times the original purchase price.
     Story will be updated as information is made available.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

WSA Remains In The Dark About Kehler Stadium Lights

     At last night's Westfield Board of Education meeting, a brief update was given on the status of the Westfield Soccer Associations request to use temporary lights to illuminate Kehler Stadium. 
     Bd. of Ed. President Gretchen Ohlig was quick to dismiss WBOE member Chris Langhart's description of a recent letter, received by the WBOE, as a "lawsuit."  The letter, submitted by an attorney representing the Kehler Neighborhood Preservation Committee, has caused the WBOE to table a vote on approving the WSA's lighting request.  The WBOE has not set a date as to when the vote will take place and is waiting until legal matters addressed in the letter are resolved.
     The portable generator/light that was being stored at Kehler Stadium after a WSA demonstration for Westfield BOE members, in anticipation of the WBOE's approval to light Kehler Stadium, appears to have been removed from the site.
     Westfield Soccer Association Trustee Peter Franks has insisted that the WSA needs more fields to accommodate the privately run soccer association's increasing number of participants and lack of time afforded to the WSA on town owned recreation fields.  A check of the WSA website revealed that they currently utilize 21 fields, with 14 of those fields within the borders of Westfield.  Of the 14 fields in Westfield, 9 fields are owned by the Westfield Board of Education.      
     While the Town of Westfield requires a $10 fee to be paid by each member of the WSA to use a town owned field (the WSA imposes a $15 fee on each of its members to cover the cost), the Westfield Board of Education requires no such fee.  The Westfield taxpayer is left to foot the bill for the cost of maintenance and other expenditures associated with the Westfield Soccer Association's free use of WBOE fields.  The Westfield Soccer Association is a private organization not affiliated with the Westfield Recreation Department.
     The WBOE's operating budget has topped $100 million dollars of which 7.5% is allocated for "Maintenance, Insurance, and Utilities."  The BOE's "Maintenance Staff," which includes employees that maintain WBOE fields, makes up 7.3% of total staffing.
     The Westfield Board of Education requires middle school and high school athletes, band members, drama production participants and others to pay a one time yearly fee to the Westfield Board of Education to participate in school activities that offsets operating costs. Currently, that fee is $125.
     The Westfield Soccer Association pays nothing in participation fees to the WBOE to use their fields.......fields maintained using Westfield tax dollars.





Saturday, March 05, 2016

Westfield Police Department Patrols Hoboken: Emergency Mobile Command Center

     The Westfield Police Department's emergency mobile command center is in Hoboken, N.J. today for that city's St. Patrick's celebration at a cost to the Westfield taxpayer that Mayor Andy Skibitsky refuses to divulge.
      Drink up and be merry on the backs of the Westfield taxpayer.  Maybe Mayor Skibitsky and his police chief Dave Wayman have been compensated with a free "All Access" pass.

Official Hoboken LepreCon St Patrick's Day 2016



Saturday, March 5, 2016 from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM (EST)

Event Details

Keep the tradition going strong! That's exactly what we're here to do. The phenomenon that takes hold of Hoboken every single March is quickly approaching. Not only is the weather going to get a little warmer, it is the perfect way to get the party started for St Patrick's Day - a real pre - St. Paddy's day event! The first Saturday of March is a special day in Hoboken, NJ. Not only do all of the great bars and venues in Hoboken collaborate on a star-studded event, this year the "All Access Pass" is the one package you'll need in order to spend the entire day in excitement. Join us this Saturday March 5 during our annual St. Paddy's Celebration as Hoboken unites in solidarity to offer a great package for those who wish to celebrate in style and tradition. It's been a long winter and at HobokenStPatricksDay.com, we're definitely ready for the spring to come and the St. Patrick's Day festivities to get under way.
All of the hottest bars in Hoboken will be flooded for this year's annual Saint Paddy's Celebration – so make sure you're ready! With the "All Access Pass" package, you'll be able to visit the best route of venues throughout the entire day. The times might surprise you - starting at 10AM? Yep! That's what Hoboken and the first Saturday in March is famous for. Keep the tradition going strong and make sure to get up early and support the Hoboken community during the great holiday of St. Patrick's Day. This is what it's all about - fun in the streets, socializing with your closest friends, and rejoicing in celebration. You've probably been to Hoboken before but you might not be prepared for the festivities that take place on the streets of Hoboken during this joyous occasion. Gather your friends and come out to enjoy a full day of partying and revel with the ultimate party experience in Hoboken, the St Paddy's All Access Pass!
With the "All Access Pass", you register at the location that you choose (your starting point). You'll receive a wristband, entitling you to reduced admission to all of the participating venues. Each guest only needs 1 All Access Pass in order to participate in the event. You will also receive a full map of Hoboken's best venues to visit during the day. Over 20 venues are participating in this year's Hoboken St Patrick's Day Celebration!
Last Year's Participating Venues Included: Mills Tavern, Biggies, Hoboken Bar & Grill, Tally Ho, Texas Arizona, Reign, Cadillac Cantina, Arthur's Tavern, The Shannon, Room 84, Scotland Yard, Green Rock, Northern Soul, 1Republik, Havana Cafe, Hotel Victor, The Brass Rail, Black Bear Bar, Trinity Bar, Mikie Squared Bar, Village Pourhouse, and more! 
House of Que Line-Up: 9AM - 12PM featuring Whiskey Fuel, 6PM - 9PM Dueling Pianos, 9PM - UFC McGregor Fight, LIVE Music all day long
For more information, please visit HobokenStPatricksDay.com
* All Sales are final. No refunds *

Westfield Soccer Association Gets a Free Ride While Raking In Hundreds of Thousands $$$$$


   

The Westfield Soccer Association has requested permission from the Westfield Board of Education to use Kehler Stadium, once again.  The WSA has plans to light the athletic field nestled within a residential neighborhood at the expense of Westfield taxpayers.
WSA Trustee Peter Franks
     WSA trustee Peter Franks appeared at a board of education meeting in late February to present the lighting proposal on behalf of the privately run soccer association.


     Again, the WSA wants to utilize a board of education field in an effort to circumvent the "pay to play" policies of field usage in neighboring towns.  The WSA is required to pay $10 per player for the usage of town owned fields in Westfield as per town code statute cited below.  By utilizing Kehler Stadium and other Westfield Board of Education fields, the WSA pays nothing and the Westfield taxpayer picks up the cost of field maintenance, repairs, and replacement.
     TFoTM has learned that last years WSA registration fees and other related costs were in excess of $800 per player.  Additional personal coaching/training fees are extra as are the purchase of uniforms and equipment.
     Based on the WSA's membership at all levels of play, well over a half a million dollars is being collected by The WSA......and that's a low ballpark figure.  TFoTM is in the process of obtaining the WSA's financial data.
     TFoTM has asked the Westfield Board of Education how much they charge private sports leagues to use their fields.  There is no record of any fees paid by any of the private user groups such as the WSA, so for now and into the future, Westfield taxpayers will continue to foot the costs of the WSA's use of BOE fields.
     The Westfield Soccer Association website states that it charges each player a $15 fee for the use of town owned fields such as Sid Fey and Houlihan fields located on Lambertsmill Rd. at the intersection on Rahway Ave.
     Town code requires private users groups, such as the WSA, to pay $10 per player for the use of town owned fields.  It appears that the WSA is profiting $5 per player, bringing in thousands of dollars into their coffers without paying so much as a dime to the Westfield Board of Education for the use of multiple BOE fields.


Sec. 16-28. Athletics programs; fees and charges.
(a) Westfield –based youth athletic programs:
A fee of ten dollars per child, per season, per sport shall be charged to, and collected from, each private sports league that uses a field administered by the recreation department, except Board of Education fields. This subsection to take effect January 1, 2006.
(b) Non-Westfield-based and adult athletic programs.
A fee of thirty dollars per game, per three-hour period, shall be charged to adult leagues and/or teams, or all non-Westfield-based teams and/or leagues for use of a field administered by the recreation department, except Board of Education fields.
(G.O. No. 1381, § II; G.O. No. 1438, § III; G.O. No. 1511, § II; G.O. No. 1699, § I; G.O. No. 1851, § I.) 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Westfield Mayor Andy Skibitsky's "Snow Job"


     At Tuesday night's town council meeting, Westfield Mayor Andy Skibitsky thanked municipal workers for their efforts cleaning up after the weekend blizzard that left 24 inches of snow blanketing the town.
     While briefing residents on the preparations that took place before the storm, Mayor Skibitsky's thanked his police chief for acquiring military surplus vehicles that assisted in patrol duties during the storm.  Skibitsky claims the vehicles were acquired "At no cost."
     These vehicles include a troop transport vehicle, bulldozer, military Humvees, two zodiac boats, an industrial size crane, industrial size snow thrower, and other surplus military equipment from the federal government.
     For Mayor Skibitsky's to make a statement that these vehicles were were acquired "At no cost," he is once again lying to the taxpayers.  While the weekend blizzard may have reduced visibility, we can see right through Mayor Skibitsky's "Snow Job" by claiming the town acquired the military surplus vehicles "At no cost."
     A town employee, familiar with the acquisition of the surplus military equipment stated, "Total waste of taxpayer money, aside from the Humvees, the equipment is unnecessary."

Merrimack-Webster Definition: Snow Job
A strong effort to make someone believe something by saying things that are not true or sincere.










Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Clark Teen Tips Off Shooting Suspects That Family Was On Vacation

     An online news source recently published a story about teenagers being shot in Westfield with an Airsoft gun that was loaded with plastic pellets.  Additional facts, not provided In that news story, are revealed here.
     The shootings took place after 18 year old Edward Bergin of  Garwood, along with a 17 year old Clark resident, went "joy-riding" in a motor vehicle taken from the home of an acquaintance of one of the suspects in the shootings.
     A TFoTM source not authorized to speak on behalf of police investigators stated that the acquaintance, a female sophomore student at a magnet school in a neighboring town, alerted the suspects that her parents were out of town and allegedly provided the suspects with a key code combination to access the residence and where to locate the keys to the family BMW.  The suspects took the vehicle and "cruised" around Westfield when the shootings took place.  Text messaging between the girl and the suspects revealed her willingness to provide access to the family residence while they were away on vacation.
     Suspect Edward Bergin is charged with possession of a weapon, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and the unlawful taking of a motor vehicle.  Being charged with the unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, and not possession of a stolen vehicle or other charges related to "stealing" a motor vehicle, is most likely because of the vehicle owners daughter being involved with tipping off the suspects.
     Edward Bergin, a senior at Arthur J. Johnson High School in Clark, NJ, was sent to the Union County jail and is now out on bail.
     The 17 year old suspect, also a student at ALJ in Clark, allegedly returned to school with a law monitoring ankle bracelet and a security officer in tow but was eventually removed from school due to the distraction caused to other students and because of objections made by school officials.
     The name provided to TFoTM of the 17 year old suspect is being withheld as is the name of the owner of the motor vehicle used during the assaults.
   

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

When Egos Clash, Towns Pay Cash

It happened in Westfield, it's happening in Rahway.  
      A news article appearing online yesterday chronicles what has led to a lawsuit in Rahway, N.J.  A federal lawsuit has been filed by Thomas Lewis, the athletic director of Rahway H.S. and member of the Clark Board of Education.     See the link below for details of what led to the lawsuit that names Rahway Police Chief John Rodger as a defendant.  Chief Rodger is the brother of Westfield Police Captain Scott Rodger and Westfield Police Lieutenant Jason Rodger.
http://www.nj.com/union/index.ssf/2016/01/hold_story_rahway_athletic_director_sues_city_over.html
     The name "Rodger" is no stranger to controversy in Union County police circles, more specifically......in Westfield.
     The $1 million dollar settlement paid out to the Rolnick family of Westfield after police violated arrest, search, and seizure laws involved another Rodger.......Westfield Police Lieutenant Jason Rodger.  Jason Rodger was the supervisor on scene at the Rolnick residence the night police made the fateful costly arrests.
     Lt. Rodger, a sergeant at the time of the Rolnick arrests, was recently promoted despite some of his past departmental violations and his involvement as a defendant in the recent settlement by Westfield, with the Rolnicks, ultimately costing taxpayers.
     Most notably, Jason Rodger initiated an arrest that resulted in disciplinary action against him after he lied about the circumstances surrounding a motor vehicle stop on South Ave. in Westfield.  The driver of the motor vehicle stopped by J. Rodger was being driven by the son of a prominent Westfield attorney that worked alongside NJ Governor Christie Whitman's staff.  Current Westfield police Captain Chris Battiloro was Rodger's back-up officer that night.  There were many questions surrounding the motor vehicle stop and the alleged violation of the driver's 4th Amendment rights protecting him from unlawful arrest, search, and seizure.
Lt. Jason Rodger on right
Capt. Scott Rodger 2nd from right

     On April 17, 2011, during municipal court proceedings stemming from the Rolnick arrests, it's been alleged that a Westfield police officer yelled at Austin Rolnick, "Get over here you rich fuck!" and then "Get the hell over here you spoiled fuck!" when officers were attempting to make an arrest.
Rahway Police Chief John Rodger
     Court testimony revealed that Westfield police officer, Jason Rodger was one of 2 officers that attempted to place Austin Rolnick into the rear of a police vehicle after his arrest.  A source familiar with the case suggested Jason Rodger as the officer involved in the name calling of Austin Rolnick.  Lt. Jason Rodger has previously displayed his bias towards Westfield residents often calling them "Wally," a term used by some Westfield police officers to describe residents of the affluent town.
     The municipal court judge hearing the case stated, "The Police made a fundamental error."  "The credibility of events is touching."
     The federal lawsuit naming Rahway Police Chief John Rodger as a defendant is not surprising if you consider the alleged bias and retaliatory accusations made by the defendant. 
     When egos clash, the right decision is often clouded by a superiority complex that can cause "fundamental errors in judgement."  The credibility of events as described by police in the Rahway case are as questionable as they are in the Westfield case.....both cases involving an officer named Rodger and the protections against unlawful arrest, search, and seizure.




                                             

Westfield Settles Out of Court with Rolnicks and Martinez for $1.1 Million.....Years After Town Resident's Arrest, Search, and Seizure



See front page story in local newspaper and at NJ.com


The following is from trial notes taken by TFoTM during the initial municipal trial.
Facts:
2/17/2011  Clark Municipal Court (Change of venue from Westfield)
Clark Municipal Court Judge:  Antonio Inacio

Defendants:  Lawrence Rolnick, Austin Rolnick, Kim Sorrentino, Ramon Martinez
Defense Lawyers Present:  Don DiGioia, Robert Stahl, Robert Stone

Prosecution Witnesses (Police Officers): Ptlm. Marcin Kapka, Ptlm. Preston Freeman, Sgt. Jason Rodger
Prosecutor: Jon-Henry Barr (Clark Municipal Court)

December 23, 2009 is when Westfield Police responded to the Rolnick/Sorrentino residence located at 545 Boulevard on the corner of Boulevard/Park St.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

You Can Run, But You Can't Hide.....Public Bidding Compromised by "Wheeling & Dealing"

Emergency Mobile Command Center
     There is no question when the Westfield Police department's emergency mobile command center arrived in Westfield. 
     Months after police chief David Wayman and Captain Christopher Battiloro met with Robert Mount of Power Innovations of Utah (the manufacturer of the mobile command center), and months before the Westfield town council voted on a resolution authorizing the purchase of the emergency equipment, the mobile command center arrived.  Westfield eventually advertised in a local newspaper that potential bidders could pick up specifications in the town clerk's office on what Westfield was looking to have built. The emergency mobile command center and its attendant vehicle were hidden in Sevell's Auto Body garage on South Ave. during the fa├žade of a bidding process. 
     TFoTM obtained and posted the photos of the hidden vehicles, here at The Fact of The Matter.  The photos clearly show WPD markings on the vehicles months before the public bidding process began.  The vehicles were being hidden from the public eye.  
Mayor Andrew Skibitsky
     TFoTM recently obtained information from a source close to members of the Westfield town council that Mayor Andy Skibitsky, other members of the town council, and Westfield town administrator Jim Gildea had knowledge of the intent of Power Innovations of Utah, the company that sold Westfield the emergency mobile command center during a questionable "smoke & mirrors" public bidding process, to discount the purchase price of the command center in return for Westfield agreeing to showcase the command center at exhibitions.
     Mayor Skibitsky refused to answer questions regarding this agreement when asked numerous times during town council meetings in 2014. 
     It is clear now why Mayor Skibitsky and other town officials refused to address the questions.  To admit that an agreement was discussed long before a public bidding process, town officials would be subject to accusations of collusion and circumventing a fair and public bidding process that is supposed to allow fair and competitive bidding of services being sought.
Town Admin. Jim Gildea
Police Chief Dave Wayman
     TFoTM is nearing the completion of an almost 2 year long investigation into the purchase of the emergency mobile command center.  By obtaining documents, photos, and statements, that will ultimately provide a timeline piecing together the questionable and alleged tainted bidding process that brought the $300,000 emergency mobile command center to Westfield's police department, TFoTM seeks to hold Westfield's public officials, that had knowledge of the "backroom wheeling and dealing," accountable.
 
    

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Town Officials Retaliate and Harass at the Expense of Taxpayers

    It happens in other municipalities, and it happens in Westfield but taxpayers are met with silence from town officials when payouts or "payoffs" are made in out of court settlements.  All too often, town officials, administrators, police chiefs, supervisors, and employees are not held accountable when these "payoffs" are made. 
     Take for example the $1,100,000 out of court settlement to the Rolnick family of Westfield to compensate them after members of the Westfield Police Department trampled on the 4th Amendment.  Town officials remain silent on this settlement and sources within the Westfield Police Department not authorized to comment have indicated that no disciplinary action was taken against the offending officers involved in the lawsuit.  The fact of the matter is that one officer, Marcin Kapka, has been promoted to Sergeant since the melee at the Rolnick residence on the Boulevard took place.    


     See related story of whistleblower harassment and retaliation costing taxpayers when a police officer breaks the "blue code of silence."
http://www.nj.com/monmouth/index.ssf/2015/11/retired_cop_gets_527k_settlement_in_whisteblower_s.html#incart_river_home

     The term "blue code of silence" is used to "denote the unwritten rule that exists among police officers not to report on a colleague's errors, misconducts, or crimes." 
     Municipal employees are often subjected to frivolous department disciplinary hearings on trumped up departmental charges to silence their whistle blowing.  Despite town officials settling out of court without admitting any guilt of retaliation or harassment, the public perception is that towns would rather cut their losses by settling and not risk a much greater jury award to compensate for the retaliation and harassment of the whistleblower or victims of police misconduct.


http://www.nj.com/union/index.ssf/2015/11/westfield_pay_115_mill_to_settle_lawsuit_over_arre.html


     Whistleblower and victim lawsuits will continue to be filed as long as municipalities continue to protect the misconduct and mismanagement of town officials, department heads, and employees.
     Westfield taxpayers have, and will continue to, subsidize the "out of court" settlements to town employees and residents like the Rolnick's as long as mismanagement, incompetence, and the willingness of town officials to turn a blind eye toward illegal actions, continues.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Westfield Republicans Ride Voter Apathy To Victory

     With voter turnout at the polling booth for Tuesday's local municipal elections hovering around 34.75% of all registered voters in Westfield, the Republican Party commandeered town council seats once again.
     Low voter turnout coupled with town council elections taking place in non-presidential election years continues to guarantee candidates of the Republican Party, victory.
     This is no coincidence.  Recent census and federal elections results have proven that Westfield has more registered Democrats than Republicans but also boasts an even greater number of those registered as "Unaffiliated".   In recent POTUS elections, the Democrat candidate has received more Westfield votes than the Republican candidate.
     It's no secret that the Westfield Republican Party would rather hold Town Council elections in years that voters are not voting for a new President.
     Once again, low voter turnout and non-presidential voting years have been the Westfield Republican Party's best friend as they currently maintain every town council seat.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Election Day 2015

Today is Election Day and the voting booth at your local polling place is open from 6am. to 8pm.
Get out and vote. 

Friday, October 02, 2015

Hurricane Joaquin: Enemy of Westfield....Police Chief Bolsters Arsenal

     Hurricane Joaquin appears to be tracking further east into the Atlantic than predicted less than 24 hours ago. The Category 4 storm is hovering over the Bahamas with sustained winds of 130 mph.  The storm is expected to track northward today and hurricane force winds will continue.  However, those winds are predicted to remain far enough offshore and should have less of an impact on New Jersey and here in Westfield as previously forecasted.
     Despite what appears to be less of an impact by the storm, on Westfield, town officials are preparing for a direct hit.  In fact, they've been preparing for 3 years ever since Super Storm Sandy left parts of town without power for more than a week.
     Westfield Police Chief David Wayman has been assembling a motor pool of military vehicles that could defend some small countries from not only a natural disaster, but from a military attack.
     In the event Westfield is the victim of a tidal surge never seen before by the town, Chief Wayman has two military assault boats that have been sitting idle at the Westfield Armory on Rahway Ave. for over a year. These boats were obtained through the Department of Defense's 1033 program, which Congress passed in 1997.  Initially, the program was aimed to give surplus military equipment for police use in counter-narcotic and counter-terrorism situations.  So, if El Chapo or Al Queda infiltrates Westfield's town borders, Chief Wayman has us protected.
     Although the police department didn't pay for the equipment and vehicles obtained through the government program including a crane, bulldozer, humvees, and troop transport carriers, tax payers do foot the bill for the shipment of the vehicles to Westfield and the storage and maintenance costs.  These costs have burdened the Westfield taxpayer with thousands of dollars each time a delivery is made.  Mayor Skibitsky and Westfield Town Council members have approved of these costly acquisitions.
     So, should a
tidal surge of epic proportions require a search and rescue mission by Chief Wayman and his department on the waters of Mindowaskin Pond, Tamaques Pond, Brightwood Pond, and/or Gregory's Pond, be rest assured that the military assault boats which appear to be propelled by 50-75 horsepower engines will no doubt complete a successful mission.
     Then again, you never know whether or not Hoboken will send out a distress call for our help..  Hoboken, the city that Councilman Arena has claimed Westfield has a shared services agreement with.
     A search of public records revealed no such agreement and handshakes with Hoboken's parking director John Morgan (former Westfield parking director) are not recognized as an official shared services agreement.










   
   

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Westfield's Bramnick Calls for Accountability

     It what TFoTM considers to be NJ Assemblyman and Westfield resident Jon Bramnick's "Tour de Governorship," Bramnick was on NJ 101.5 radio station once again.
     Look for Bramnick to run for New Jersey Governor after Chris Christie vacates the office at the end of his current term.  Bramnick is calling for surprise audits on towns to see where taxpayer money is being spent and/or wasted.  See internet link below.
     TFoTM suggests that Bramnick start with his own hometown where municipal spending on frivolous expenditures has gone unchecked.
     Bramnick can start with the money spent on the police department's emergency mobile command center that was purchased to the tune of $300,000.  It's use has been the center of debate as it's been carted around the state of NJ and used more outside of town, than in town.
     Aside from street fairs, fun runs, and high school football games, the emergency mobile command center has yet to be used in Westfield for an emergency that it was purchased for......and the spending continues on the mobile command center including the purchase of more equipment and the latest technological advancements in communications and surveillance.

http://nj1015.com/jon-bramnick-lets-resurrect-surprise-audits-for-government-offices/

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

WPD's Aquatic Investigator & Alcohol Infused Interview with Leader Editor


Blogger interviews Westfield Police Detective described as looking like "a fish."
Blogger interviews Westfield Leader Editor Horace Corbin during "Horace's Happy Hour"
Westfield Leader Editor Horace Corbin
Photo Credit: Christian Hansen/Gothamist

     Westfield Police have not revealed any further information on their ongoing investigation.

See blogger link below.....entertaining to say the least.

**Copy and paste link to computer browser

http://gothamist.com/2015/07/31/the_watcher.php

Photo Credit: Christian Hansen/Gothamist

Friday, July 03, 2015

"The Watcher"......Harassment or Hoax

   
     Who is "The Watcher?"  the question remains unanswered but speculation continues as a lawsuit has been filed, Hollywood explores a motion picture or television movie deal, and police continue to investigate.
     Previous news stories have reported that the Broaddus family received two letters from "The Watcher" and a third letter was sent to the previous owner just before the sale of the home.
     Recently, it was reported that the Westfield Police were not in possession of any letters from "The Watcher" that predate three letters received by the Broaddus family.
     Like many desirable homes in Westfield, 657 Boulevard was the center of a bidding war that was won by Derek and Maria Broaddus leading some to believe that perhaps a jilted losing bidder or real estate broker might be behind the menacing letters.  A 6% real estate commission to be shared between the listing and selling agent, on a $1,355,657 purchase, would amount to a $81,339 commission.
     TFoTM has learned that Westfield Police had received numerous calls from an angry neighbor shortly after work began on the property after the closing when the Broaddus family took ownership.  Some believe "The Watcher" might be an angry neighbor unhappy with renovation/construction noise or that the house's character and charm was being altered.
     Why did the Broaddus family initially report "The Watcher's" menacing letters to the Union County Prosecutor's Office and not to the local Westfield Police Department?
     When asked why the Broaddus family initially contacted the UCPO and not local police, a law enforcement source not authorized to speak about the ongoing investigation stated, "Would you trust the Keystone cops that are running our detective bureau?"
     Westfield Department records list officers Leonard Lugo and John Ricerca as the last two supervising officers of the detective bureau.
     If John List could remain on the lam for the better part of two decades, why not "The Watcher?" Perhaps, because the difference this time around is that Westfield Police Chief Dave Wayman's "Elite" personnel aren't in charge.
     "Elite"......that is how he has referred to his subordinates.

So who might "The Watcher" be?......cast your vote(s) in TFoTM's Reader Poll to the left of this page.
   
     

   

   

Thursday, June 25, 2015

"The Watcher" Lawsuit

Follow link to read lawsuit filed by the Broaddus family, owners of 657 Boulevard.
Copy and paste the Internet link to your computer's Internet search bar.

http://documents.gawker.com/the-watcher-lawsuit-1713657328

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Disclosure of "The Watcher"......Do As I Say, Not As I Do?

     The owners of 657 Boulevard have allegedly tried to sell their home twice, since purchasing it in June of 2014.  TFoTM has been unable to uncover any real estate record of any disclosure by the current owners listing "The Watcher" when they attempted to sell the home since purchasing it in June, 2014.
     Other news agencies have reported that Derek and Maria Broaddus are filing a lawsuit against the previous owners for, among other issues, failing to disclose "The Watcher" in real eastate disclosure forms typically filed when selling a home.
     It appears that Derek and Maria Broaddus are pur"suing" the previous owners for non-disclosure of "The Watcher," while it is believed that they (D. & M. Broaddus) failed to disclose "The Watcher" in their own real estate dealings.

Monday, June 22, 2015

657 Boulevard.....Home Stalked by "The Watcher"

The Broaddus family says they began receiving threatening letters immediately after closing on a new home.
The owners of a house on the Boulevard are suing the previous owners after receiving several frightening and threatening anonymous letters from a person only identified as "The Watcher."
Derek and Maria Broaddus purchased the home for $1.3 million from John and Andrea Woods.  After the real estate closing on the home, the Broaddus' started receiving disturbing and threatening letters from someone calling themselves "The Watcher" of the home.
See related story posted yesterday. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Motor Vehicle Accident at Grove St. & Summit Ave. Crossing Guard On-Duty

     Yesterday, Wednesday afternoon, an accident took place at the intersection of Summit Ave. & Grove St. while a Westfield Crossing guard was on duty.  This accident raises the question, "Was the crossing guard directing traffic through the Summit Ave. STOP sign?"  It wouldn't be the first time, nor does it appear to be the last if she did.
     On November 19, 2014 at 7:43am., a phone call was placed to the Westfield Police Department's traffic safety supervisor Lt. Jason McErlean seeking an answer to the question of whether or not civilian crossing guards have the authority to direct traffic through STOP signs.  New Jersey statute states that they do not have that authority. A message was left on Lt. McErlean's voicemail.
Lt. McErlean never responded.
     On January 6, 2015 another phone call was placed to the Westfield Police Department's traffic safety bureau's supervising officer Lt. McErlean.  The phone was answered by Officer Bill Kleeman who stated that McErlean was off for the day.  A message was left for McErlean to return the phone call.  Lt. McErlean has yet to respond to the safety concerns regarding a civilian crossing guard directing traffic through a STOP sign at Westfield Ave & Park St.
     One month later, on February 6, 2015 at 7:23 am., a phone call was placed again to Lt. McErlean after a crossing guard waved traffic through a STOP sign in the absence of any crossing pedestrians and narrowly missed causing a motor vehicle accident at Park St. & Westfield Ave.
A message was left on McErlean's voicemail and again, Lt. Jason McErlean has yet to respond.
   
Why hasn't Westfield Police Department Traffic Safety Officer Lt. Jason McErlean responded?
Has Lt. McErlean been directed by Westfield Police Chief David Wayman, not to respond?

Three separate phone calls to Lt. McErlean and no response so we called three separate insurance companies seeking an answer.

NJ Manufacturers, All-State, and State Farm Insurance all stated that if a civilian crossing guard waves a motorist through a STOP sign and it causes an accident, the motorist that went through the STOP sign is at fault because the crossing guard does not have the authority to direct motorists to ignore traffic laws, only a sworn police officer has that authority.

It would appear that Lt. McErlean and Chief Wayman have chosen to ignore the issue and "roll the dice" hoping that accidents won't happen or that the lack of knowledge of motor vehicle laws by civilian motorists will give them immunity.



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.