When Puppets Attack

Members of the Union County freeholder board are chosen for their obeisance to their financial benefactors who occasionally need a favor in exchange for their favors (i.e. the current Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Board are employees of the local college) but when political bosses have conflicting priorities this type of Kafkaesque scene plays out:

There needed to be an election of a Chariman Pro-Tempore at the last freeholder meeting in order for the freeholders to adopt this suddenly-inserted resolution:

2014-340 FREEHOLDER LINDA CARTER: Resolution opposing Kean University exercising its right of first refusal to purchase the property at 1011 Morris Avenue in Union adjacent to Kean University property.

According to tax records that 1011 Morris Avenue property is 44.61 acres owned by Merck upon which they pay $2.44 million in taxes, much of it to Union Twp., while their neighbor, Kean University on the 27.67 acres nearby, according to tax records, pays $0 in taxes.

Kean seems to want that Merck property but if they get it and it becomes Exempt School Property it would cost Union Twp and County taxpayers $2.44 million in lost taxes so someone leaned on this freeholder board to do something. However, there are some issues here. Freeholder chairman Christopher Hudak and vice-chairman Mohamed S. Jalloh are Kean employees. Freeholder Vernell Wright is a resident of Union Twp and Freeholder Sergio Granados is a Kean student.

Here is how they worked it starting with four freeholders out of the room:
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Comments on the unexplained resolution:
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Where’s Granados?
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What we made of it:
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23 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tough Love on April 26, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    It would be a shame for Union County to lose such a large ratable.

    Question ….. I know hospitals often pay fees “in lieu of taxes”, perhaps to reimburse towns for out-of-pocket costs. Does Kean college now pay anything for it’s current campus ?

    Also, It would seems bad practice for the Taxpayers for Kean to buy it now (effectively taking oft off the tax rolls immediately) unless it had very near-term intentions to develop it for college purposes.

    And what stops Kean for buying it (as a real estate investment), doing nothing for 10 years and then selling it for commercial development. Taxpayers get screwed for no good reason. There should be some Taxpayer-directed controls in place to prevent such activities ….. perhaps a retroactive payback of taxes lost if not used for college purposes and then sold for commercial development.. at least to the extent they sold the property for more than they paid for it.

    Reply

    • Kean does pay taxes on an upscale restaurant on campus:
      http://unionnewsdaily.com/news/union/kean-restaurant-handed-a-50k-tax-bill

      which I found out about when looking into Union County itself paying taxes on the banquet center they run. Apparently any operation designed to generate a profit would not be exempt from taxation.

      And that property might be off the tax rolls anyway. Even if Kean doesn’t buy it Merck will likely shutter it if they can’t get a good price.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on April 26, 2014 at 9:38 pm

        Shuttering a Private property would seem to lower a commercial property’s value …. via the reduction in value of “improvements” (i.e., buildings), especially if very specialized and/or obsolete. But 44 acres should still have very substantial “land” value.

        Are you saying the entire property (land included) might be valued at zero under Union County’s procedures? Seems very odd.

        Reply

        • As I understand it if you stop using a piece of property (and secure it) that is zoned industrial or commercial you don’t pay taxes on that part you don’t use. With Merck though it’s different since they have a ready buyer who happens to be a tax-exempt institution. It’s unlikely Merck could sell it to anyone else because of the congestion in that area (thanks to the presence of an expanding Kean University) for what Kean would give them so that’s probably what’s going to happen. As much as Kean is building they could use the space if only for parking which would benefit everyone there (except for that lost $2.44 million in taxes).

          Reply

  2. Posted by Anonymous on April 27, 2014 at 7:24 am

    • Posted by Tough Love on April 27, 2014 at 11:50 am

      And the “required payment” shown are the phoney ones, based on the assumption the Plan assets will earn 7.5% forever.

      Reply

  3. Posted by Anonymous on April 27, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    the only phony is here is TL. she repeats her nonsensical rant like a broken record. I would be surprised if TL is really Chris Christies wife. ha!

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on April 27, 2014 at 11:07 pm

      So tell me genius, what is nonsensical ….

      Is it identifying the ROOT CAUSE of the problem being YOUR grossly excessive pensions & benefits ?

      Is it pointing out that your Union has BOUGHT-OFF our elected officials with campaign contributions and election support (and where that won’t work, threats) ?

      Is it that demanding that taxpayers pay “their share” is grossly unfair to them when, to fully fund YOUR pensions, would require contributions from THEM 3-5 times what YOU contribute ?

      Is it that my demonstrating that your pensions ROUTINELY have a value at retirement 3, 4, even5 times greater than comparable (in pay, service years, and age at retirement) Private Sector Taxpayers ?

      Reply

  4. Posted by Anonymous on April 28, 2014 at 1:01 am

    blah blah blah, spout as much phony rhetoric as you like. Your cup runneth over with bitterness, sadly it consumes you.

    Reply

  5. Posted by Anonymous on April 28, 2014 at 3:05 am

    I knew Jack Nicholson and you are no Jack Nicholson, although you could be his understudy in as Good As It Gets!

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on April 28, 2014 at 3:11 am

      Well, based on your experience as a Public Sector worker/retiree, your CLEARLY well suited for the roll of Kermit’s co-star … Ms. Piggy.

      Reply

  6. Posted by Anonymous on April 28, 2014 at 7:44 am

    Well, its ridiculously easy to pull your strings, so you are suitable material for a starring role in a Muffet Movie! Or better yet you could give an oscar winning performance as Pinocchio on the IMAX 3D Screen.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on April 28, 2014 at 9:48 am

      Yes, after returning from a night out and a few drinks, I must admit, I did succumb to foolishly trading immature barbs with a nitwit.

      Reply

  7. Posted by Anonymous on April 29, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    You drank enough to impair your judgement and you also foolishly operated a motor vehicle, However, I am certain you wont be forthcoming about it, as you nature is to distort the facts or even deny them when they clearly present themselves.

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on April 29, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      How do you know that TL did not get a ride from a friend or walked to a neighborhood establishment?

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on April 29, 2014 at 5:09 pm

        Don’t bother with him …. he’s a nitwit and thinks attacking me lessons the factual statements and demonstrations I have posted highlighting the extraordinary and grossly excessive generosity of Public Sector pensions & benefits … and is desperately trying to protect them from the very material and eminently justifiable reductions surely to arrive in NJ within a few years.

        Reply

        • Posted by Anonymous on April 29, 2014 at 6:52 pm

          She go off on drunken rants quite often. I worked for 30 years and I receive the grossly excessive pension of $1300 per month. She wants to steal from the poor and give to the rich. Seriously why wouldnt I stand up to her false rhetoric. The only public sector getting rich off of pensions are the politicians and heads of departments who are well connected. In any case she is better off getting drunk because things will not get any better for the taxpayer nor for myself. I must admit though I dont drink so I dont know how a drinker operates. At any rate I wish she would ignore me but it s sure bet she wont, she cant.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on April 29, 2014 at 7:47 pm

            Well, I simply don’t believe that you have 30 years of service towards THAT pension. Why? Because even a 2% (per year-of-service-factor … on the lower end of Public Sector plan formulas) would have given you a 60% pension to start (with subsequent COLA increases). So, a $1,300 monthly pension ($15,600 annually) would imply a pensionable salary of $15,600/0.60 = $26,000. It is VERY hard to believe that a 30-year career Public Sector worker would have such a VERY low end-of-career pay level.

            More likely, (if you are not outright lying) since your exact words were ….”I worked for 30 years and I receive the grossly excessive pension of $1300 per month.” is that many of those 30 years were NOT service years contributing towards THAT $1,300 monthly pension, but in the Private Sector work.

            There is very little LESS TRUSTWORTHY than the words of a Public Sector worker trying to protect their grossly excessive pension

  8. Posted by Anonymous on April 29, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    How do you know that TL did not get a ride from a friend or walk to a neighborhood establishment? or maybe had drinks at a neighbor’s house across the street?

    Reply

  9. Posted by Anonymous on April 29, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    Tl you love being wrong, dont you? I told the truth so it looks like you cant handle the truth!!!

    Reply

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