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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Fungus Among Us: Westfield Municipal Building Contamination?

Town can't cover this one up. 

Photos documenting what appears to be extensive mold growth that allegedly infiltrated the building's HVAC system, walls, ceiling tiles, etc., and the lack of maintenance and inferior repair work resulting in constant water intrusion and continued mold growth and damage are featured here.

     The Fact of The Matter had brought to the attention of it's readers, 9 months ago, that there was a mold-dust-asbestos and other allergenic issues festering in the Westfield Municipal Building.  Now, a Westfield Police Sergeant may have become ill due to the facts of a matter that TFoTM exposed months ago.  Will this become a civil claim and/or will other town employees in the building become ill because of the Town's alleged unwillingness to properly address the problem. 

      TFoTM has now learned that a Westfield Police Sergeant fell ill last week after working his night shift, Wednesday evening into Thursday morning, in the police department's dispatch center.  Earlier in the evening, it was discovered that an air filter in the ceilings ventilation system was caked in dust and other respiratory agitators.  It appeared the filter had not been changed in recent months, if not years and it's removal may have caused particles to become airborne thus creating a more significant health hazard.  Airborne mold spores can trigger an allergic reaction.
     A similar but more toxic irritant, (mold issue) was discovered years ago by police department personnel and reported to town officials.  Their first response was to close the door to the police department's Juvenile Bureau conference room, where the mold was found, neglecting to properly remediate the problem.  After TFoTM  released photographs of the inside of police headquarters and posted them here, police department personnel were forbidden to photograph the inside of the municipal building and allegedly threatened with disciplinary action. 

Go to the following link to watch video posted earlier this year documenting issues:
     The Town's response was to paint over dirty ceiling vents and allegedly place plywood over the areas where mold had been found.  Did anyone ever think to check the buildings HVAC system?  Dark and damp ventilation systems are a breeding ground for mold spores.
     The municipal courtroom had repairs made to areas where water leaks caused extensive damage.  Did anyone think to check the water's path of least resistance?  The mold issue found in the police department is under the courtroom.
Best at what?
     Another case of mismanagement, but Mayor Skibitsky will tell  everyone that Westfield Town Administrator Jim Gildea is one of the best Town Administrators in the state of NJ. 
     Gildea generates complaints, grievances, and lawsuits like damp dirty HVAC systems attract mold.  In order to get rid of the problem, try getting rid of the source. 

     What will it cost the taxpayer to have this potentially life threatening issue resolved?  The taxpayer need not foot another bill if a class action lawsuit were to result from Town Administrator Jim Gildea's mismanagement.  No doubt, Westfield's town attorney's are enthralled with Mr. Gildea; he keeps them busy.

     Had the mold issue been dealt with when first reported years ago, perhaps the police  sergeant  would not have been the victim of an illness last week, causing the need for him to seek medical attention. 

Click on the following link for another blog story posted earlier this year warning town officials.


  1. No worries, the sergeant will be handed a promotion to keep quiet. But first he will be directed on what study course to attend so that he can obtain test answers and finish number 1 or 2 on the next promotional exam. Just ask Costanzo and Tango. The test is easy when you have the answers.

  2. Whoopsy daisy, the cat is out of the bag. Dave, when you going to throw John that gold detective badge. you gave one to his cousin to be sure she would remain your secretary. Remember, it takes two to Tango and in the WPD the Tango's are dancing.

  3. Dear Editor
    In speaking of testing procedures What ever happened to your OPRA request for the test results for the Wayman and Tracy promotions, test procedures that were paid for by the Taxpayers of Westfield.Bearing in mind that Tracy never took a promotional test until he had to for Chief and Wayman failed the Sergeants test and Captains test but..well you know the rest If there is nothing to hide why not just furnish the result?

  4. The Fact of The MatterWednesday, November 23, 2011

    An OPRA request was filed with the Town several months ago and the information sought was denied on the grounds that the information is protected under state statute. An appeal to the denial has been made to the Government Records Council.

    While TFoTM has not obtained proof as of yet that the promotion of Dave Wayman to Captain circumvented the testing procedure and results, one would have to look no further than the promotion of John Ricerca to Lieutenant to realize that promotions within the Westfield Police Department are not always fair, equitable, and above the bargaining table.

    Ricerca accepted a pay hike behind the backs of his fellow Union members, ultimately undermining the PBA's bargaining agreement with the Town.

    The union is only as strong as it's weakest link.

  5. I find it interesting that Tracy failed the Chiefs test but made Chief, Wayman failed both the Sergeants and Captains test but was promoted and Ricerca finished Dead Last on the Lieutenants test but got promoted, and Gildea states that information is protected by Statue?