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Tuesday, March 05, 2013

You Scratch My Back, I'll Scratch Yours..Town Purchasing $500,000 Mobile Command Center


UPDATED: Upon delivery from the manufacturer, Mobile Command Center (Vehicle) to be housed at Westfield Fire Station 2 located on Central Ave.

     The Westfield Town Council voted on Special Ordinance #2180 tonight during the town council meeting.  The ordinance, which has been copied word for word from the Town Council's Proposed Agenda for the March 5, 2013 meeting, reads as follows: 
     "Bond Ordinance to authorize the making of various public improvements and the acquisition of new additional or replacement equipment and machinery in, by and for the Town of Westfield, in the County of Union, State of New Jersey, to appropriate the sum of $360,000 to pay the cost thereof, to make a down payment, to authorize the issuance of bonds to finance such appropriation and to provide for the issuance of bond anticipation notes in anticipation of the issuance of such bonds." 
Chief Wayman and Lieutenant Chris Battiloro
     But before Special Ordinance 2180 was voted on, Westfield Police Chief Dave Wayman and Lieutenant Chris Battiloro presented each member of the Westfield Town Council, and Town Administrator Jim Gildea, with a Hurricane Sandy Service Award and commemorative pin that was given to all Westfield police officers and civilian employees of the police department to honor their service during the storm. 
     The vote by members of the Westfield Town Council, in favor of Special Ordinance 2180, was unanimous. When Mayor Skibitsky was asked if this ordinance was for the purpose of purchasing a new mobile command center for the Westfield Police Department he responded, "Yes."  See related story by clicking on the following link: http://07090.blogspot.com/2013/02/mobile-command-center-boys-toywasteful.html
Councilman Sam Della Fera
     Councilman Sam Della Fera, chairman of the Town Council Finance Committee, defended the expensive purchase and stated, "There is a need for redundancy" when questioned why Westfield needed such a vehicle that comes with a price tag of approximately $500,000.  Not more than a month ago Della Fera indicated that his finance committee had to make some "tough decisions" on bugetary matters. 
     Della Fera stated that a mobile command center vehicle could have been used during Super Storm Sandy.  TFoTM asks, "Where, why, and how?"    Councilman Della Fera was reminded that the municipal building has back up generators in the event the building loses power so that the police department and emergency services can still function.  Vehicles such as the one being purchased by Westfield are typically found in cities and other urban areas where crowd control, major events, and the need for a mobile command center outside of the central dispatch of a police headquarters is needed.   
Westfield's Money Tree has Blossomed
     Councilman Della Fera cited other examples where the mobile command center could be utilized such as the Whitney Houston funeral, active shooter events, and the visitation of the United States President (George Bush).  Della Fera also stated, "With the purchase of this equipment we will be ready."  TFoTM asks, "Ready for what?"   You mean to tell the taxpayer that Westfield wasn't ready for those events? That's the excuse for making a $500,000 purchase when local roads are disintergrating and public safety staffing has been reduced jeapordizing the safety of residents and employees of the police and fire departments?
     Councilman Della Fera also stated that Westfield Police Chief David Wayman and Westfield Fire Chief Dan Kelly determined the need for the new equipment.  With all due respect Councilman Della Ferra, what is the need that has all of a sudden appeared that will now make us "ready" in your own words?  What will be interesting is to see who will be in charge of the mobile command center, Wayman or Kelly?  Chief Wayman's history of micromanaging might come in conflict with Chief Kelly's authority as Westfield's OEM Coordinator. 
     Along with the purchase of this half million dollar vehicle will be the expenditures associated with building a garage to park the mobile command center in.  The garage would most likely be built on the Department of Public Works site located at North Ave. and Crossway Pl.   So taxpayers, tack on another $25,000 to $35,000. 
     TFoTM asks our readers, "What do you think the Mayor and Town Council should be spending $500,000 on?"  To start, TFoTM could recommend a few streets that need paving  
     So much for Mayor Andy Skibitsky touting he and the Westfield Town Council are doing "More with Less."
Councilwoman JoAnn Neylan
     PS.....Will someone on the Town Council please remind Councilwoman JoAnn Neylan that a school needing a back up generator falls under the decisions of the Westfield Board of Education's Budget Committee.  Her attempt at tonight's council meeting to somehow justify the need of a mobile command center to power a school during a power outage is befuddling.  
     Neylan, who in defense of accusations that the Town Council's reduction of manpower in the fire department rendered their ladder truck impotent, once proclaimed that the ladder truck is used primarily for "scenic aerial views" at fire scenes in an attempt to minimize its absence from devastating fires at Ferraro's, Mountain Avenue's Hamilton House apartments, and several residential fires.  Councilwoman Neylan must think that aerial rescues, roof top fire ventilation, and an aerial water attack on a structure fire take a back seat to "scenic aerial views."
Perhaps Councilwoman Neylan and the Town Council should consider the purchase of 10 mobile command centers in the event Westfield loses power again for 9 days.  That way all 9 schools and the Board of Education building can power up to the tune of $5,000,000.   
      

30 comments:

  1. A 500000 dollar bond to buy a piece of equipment that will just sit and collect dust...then when it is needed Dave and Dan can fight over it like to spoiled children ..... the monies could have gone to much better things such as pothole repair, infrastructure updates, give back to the rank and file who have had to settle for cuts in benefits or how about a nice raise....nah...lets buy Dan and Dave a toy...Merry Christmas....

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  2. You have got to be kidding me. Is this how the town is going to get around the 2% property tax increase just like the school board and its roofing bond? If this isn't a reason to vote Shibitsky out of office this fall I don't know what is.

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  3. Floating a bond....way to do more with less...whats the terms of the bond.???..how much is this going to cost the taxpaying public....and for what something that can sit also where will it be stored...??..will Dave be taking it home at night?????...

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  4. Is Wayman pimping Chirs for captain? Why should he give Chris captains bars when he can get the same work out of him as an LT as he has all along. Grow a set Chris, remember when Wayman tried to screw you on Jason Rodgers car stop on South Ave where Rodgers served a suspension for lying about the stop.

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    1. Hey Petey.......guess Chris and Jason suffer from long term memory loss......or in Rogers case give me some stripes and all if forgiven

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  5. Guess it was Chris' turn to kneel before Zod....Guess Rodgers had to rest his knees.....

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  6. Sounds more like a I'll pat you on the back Mayor, now you pat me on the back and get me that new toy I want. This is how the suckfest between Skibitsky and Wayman continues? At our awards dinner Skibitsky told everyone how he comes from a long line of law enforcement. Typical politician.

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  7. You have to hand it to Wayman. At least he is trying to sponge as much as he can off the town unlike Chief Parizeau and Thief Tracy.

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  8. And the Fire Department gets...?

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  9. Wayman stepped on anyone and screwed everyone he could to get to the top. Now that he is there he will smile all the way to the bank with requests like this one. He is a master at smiley and shaking hands with politicians all the while screwing them and they don't even know it. If only Neylan and Skibitsky and Haas knew about some of the commenta he has made about them.

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  10. Comments?????Dave???????like what........

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  11. Dave, by giving the town council the same award I earned by working my ass off tarnishes my award. I didn't see them responding to calls at 2 in the morning or in the middle of the day when the storm hit hard. They shoul be praised for their concern for residents but no way do they deserve the same award.

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    1. Of course they deserve it...afterall the mayor could have gotten a paper cut while filling out the paper work for the new mobile command post...

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  12. Don't let Officer Ferry drive this big rig, he might total it out.

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  13. Wish we had the mobile command center for this snowstorm today.

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  14. This was approved on 1st reading, do the residents get to vote on this bond or is it pretty much a done deal?

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    1. Unlike the Westfield School Board of Education bond vote on turf field/school roof repairs, the expenditure for the mobile command center does not go to a public vote.
      The next town council meeting is on March 19th at 8 pm. It appears that it will pass at the next meeting as the town council was unanimous in their vote in favor of the purchase after the first reading of Special Ordinance 2180.
      The only recourse is for the public to speak at the next town council meeting meeting during open public comments and again at the voting polls in November when Skibitsky, Della Fera, Kimmins, Loughlin, and Haas are up for re-election. They all voted in favor of the purchase.
      This expenditure has been kept quiet by the police department, the Town Council and Town Administrator. Even the local newspaper hid the topic in its front page story choosing to run the purchase of a less expensive generator for the DPW in the story title.
      There was a private showing of the mobile command center for members of the town council but not the public/taxpayer. While Mayor Skibitsky and Finance Committee Chairman Sam Della Fera believe there is a need for "redundancy," or backup, to the police department's communication system, they are bypassing a more fiscally responsible purchase of a generator to backup the one used during Super Storm Sandy, when town hall lost power, which would cost several hundred thousand dollars less than a mobile command center. The mobile command center is a luxury and not a necessity during the current fiscal climate.
      Mayor Skibitsky has been quoted that this will allow us not to have to rely on other towns. It seems that the Mayor has no issue in relying on mutual aid from other towns to fight house fires after he and the town council elected to reduce the number of fire fighters in the fire department.
      Lastly, Councilman Della Fera stated that a mobile command center could have been used during Super Storm Sandy. TFoTM asks, "To go mobile where?" Roads were closed due to downed wires and trees, and other storm related issues. If he is suggesting that the mobile command center would have remained parked and communications could have been run out of the command center, why pay hundreds of thousands of dollars when a generator costing $50,000 to $80,000 would backup the municipal building which houses the police department that already has an existing communications/dispatch center.

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  15. And the DPW rides around in hand-me-downs and rust buckets..........!

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  16. Too bad you couldnt get the majority of the tax payers to withhold their local taxes if they werent in favor of this waste of their money......

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  17. Whats next? A helicopter?

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  18. Dear Santa,
    I have been a good boy this year and for Christmas I want a submarine for the two ponds...... a fishing boat......couple of jet skies.... and an unmanned drone....

    Your Friend,
    Davy

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  19. How about a snow mobile. The new mobile command also comes with an Odyssey 6 wheeled vehicle. It never stops. Next purchase, a hover craft.

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  20. Maybe Dave can transform the mobile command into his personal debauchery den for his extra marital affairs.

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  21. What the heck does the Police have on the town council? We can't have enough firemen on a shift to operate a ladder truck because there isn't enough money but we can spend 500,000 on a Winnebago? Seriously!!! Mr. Blake we need you!

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  22. Makes sense to store it at Station 2....they dont have enough fire equipment to put there........so tell me who makes the decision to activate the mobile command center..???

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  23. Please support the Westfield Fire Department!

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    1. Would love to support the Fire Department...however Dave and his friends are going to reaching deeper into my wallet so Dave can have all the toys he wants.....

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  24. Really. Come on Mr. Blake, we do need you

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  25. Hey did Dave get his toy??????

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