Listening to What the Money Says

There promises to be a lot of pension material to blog about in the next week with New Jersey actuarial reports due out, the state brief in the pension payment case due on Tuesday, and Christie coming to Kenilworth the same day but first an experiment.

There is a lot of activity in Union County politics especially as regards the influence of money over the wishes of people in Rahway.  The blog below will be posted on http://www.countywatchers.com on Monday morning (typically the best time for new posts) but I am previewing it here on Saturday night (the worst time) as a test.

Initial impression of seeing Rahway River Park last Friday evening for the first time:

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This looks like a smaller version of  Warinanco or a larger Tamaques in Westfield and it would be all those softball, baseball, soccer and criquet players who would complain if their fields were taken away for a high school football stadium. I can see why hundreds of Clark and Rahway residents would be against it. 

Regardless of what any freeholder may say this is why a stadium will be supplanting those fields:
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Projects need to move forward, regardless of what the vast majority may want, to keep paying the piper through the Union County Improvement Authority (UCIA) and their general counsel DeCotiis, Fitzpatrick & Cole, LLP (DeCotiis):

  • Galloping Hill Clubhouse: $421,198
  • County Courthouse: $275,286
  • County College Building: $547,115
  • Child Advocacy House: $403,856
  • Juvenile Detention Center: $479,073
  • Linden Library: $448,4536
  • Linden Firehouse: $551,4502
  • Solar Panels:$1,282,985

Those numbers are not the cost of the projects but rather the fees DeCotiis has been paid by the UCIA through March 4, 2015 in connection with those projects.  How do they manage to get so much money?

Since 2009 individual DeCotiis lawyers (all who live outside of Union County) have donated a total of $30,000 per election cycle in equal installments to the campaigns of county Democrats, all who have won. On June 3, 2014 DeCotiis extended this practice with 20 DeCotiis lawyers donating a total of $2,600 ($130 each) to the campaign of Samson D. Steinman for Mayor of Rahway and $10,000 ($500 each) to Miles Mojica Baker & Giacobbi – Rahway Democrats.  All won easily. Now it’s payback time for that money.

15 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on March 28, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    follow the conversation on twitter @SaveNJPensions

    Reply

  2. Posted by hondo on March 29, 2015 at 9:54 am

    I think where I live in Hunterdon County Republican territory its no different both parties corrupted.

    Reply

    • Posted by javagold on March 29, 2015 at 11:02 am

      Correct. Stop thinking in terms of Red vs Blue team. Right vs. Left. Both gang of thiefs are public takers and use their monopoly of force. They are both the enemy. No government is the only answer

      Reply

  3. Posted by dentss dunnigan on March 29, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 29, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      It is interesting.

      Disalvo:
      “For workers with advanced degrees, however, the public-sector pay scale is likely to be slightly below the private-sector benchmark. Private-sector economists, for instance, earn an average of $99,000 a year, compared to the $69,000 earned by their government colleagues.”

      “slightly below”, as in the private sector pay is 43% higher. This is not unusual. In nationwide studies, private sector professionals earn up to 59% more in wages than equivalent public sector workers.

      a “slight advantage”?

      Even with the so-called “egregious and unsustainable benefits”, these private sector professionals earn 20% more than do the public sector peers.

      Fair and balanced, according to Disalvo: “Nationwide, among the 108,000 janitors who work in government, the average salary was $23,700; the average salary of the 2 million janitors working in the private sector, meanwhile, was $19,800.”

      The average public sector janitor makes $3,900 a year more than a private sector janitor.

      Is that shocking?

      The private sector economists earns…….$30,000……a year more than the public sector.

      I hope that is shocking, also.

      Factoring in pensions and other benefits, the public sector advantage at the lower end increases and at the higher end, the private sector advantage decreases.

      But.

      Even with all benefits, in nationwide averages, those public workers with Bachelor’s degrees earn “about the same” as their private sector equivalents. All those in the public sector above the BA level earn less than the private sector. Substantially less, at the highest levels. This accounts for about 55 to 60% of government workers who are either “roughly equal” to, or earn much less than the private sector. Not overpaid. Not overcompensated. Not even with pensions and retiree healthcare discounted at the risk free rate.

      Which leaves the lower level. These are the ones that drive up the “average” pay advantage. Do we want to go there?

      Reply

      • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 29, 2015 at 4:57 pm

        My apologies. I glanced at the article, then scanned through the responses and commented on the Disalvo piece, which appears to have nothing to do with the BP article. As punishment, I should take the remainder of the day off line.

        Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on March 30, 2015 at 10:33 am

        The problem may be that private sector companies hired who they need with the best qualifications whether it be a janitor or an economist. The public sector hires way way more employees than needed all being paid way too much to do way too little and promised way too much with Mediocre if any qualifications. Can’t get rid of anybody either whether there is a down turn or simply not a good employee.

        Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 29, 2015 at 5:25 pm

      That article is from …… Fall-2010.

      It’s clear that the 2011 Pensions changes in NJ were FAR too little and impacted far too few (i.e., CURRENT workers).

      And retiree healthcare subsidies ALSO needed to be very materially reduced … as ALSO proposed by the NJ pension Commission.

      Reply

      • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 30, 2015 at 12:20 pm

        It’s clear that NJ contributed FAR too little of the ARC. There oughtta be a law……..

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on March 30, 2015 at 12:52 pm

          “Funding” FOLLOWS “Generosity”…… and excessive “generosity” is the ROOT CAUSE” of the problem

          A Plan that is too generous cannot be properly “funded” (which means, paying the calculated ARC)….. and ALL Public Sector Plans are too generous.

          Reply

  4. Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 31, 2015 at 12:26 am

    There oughtta be a law.

    Reply

  5. Posted by Anonymous on May 24, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    TL and devout followers; individuals presenting a right wing conservative perspective based on half-truths and lies.

    TL continual posts repetitive misinformation citing sources with extreme ideology. Yet sumarial dismisses other posts with conflicting opinions and sources.

    Specifically, purposely misstated the tax status of public pensions in the following post; https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2015/05/22/christie-curses-out-nj-media/#comments When called to task tried to double talk their way out of it. Standard operating procedure for most of their commentary.

    Fair and equal for all is the mantra. Fair enough, but not when I suggest Federal workers and members of our beloved Armed Forces be part of the bigger conversation. The response, they’re different. But why, because they risk their lives like first responders at home. Their DBP are paid with Federal tax dollars as opposed to State or Local. Everyone knew the job risks when they accepted employment. But they also knew what their salary, pension, and benefits were supposed to be.

    To blame and demonize public workers for the current situation is unfair and untrue. Do politicians make “deals” with unions that don’t always have the taxpayers best interest? I think everyone knows the answer to that is yes. But politicians are always making “deals” it’s what they do. Just ask the various segment market corporations; defense spending (lucrative contracts), farming (subsidies) and the list goes on and on.

    Your bully tactics and demeaning attitude only motivate me more to push back your parties ridiculous vision for NJ and America. Yes I’m sure John knows all of our IP address, so you and your business name can be exposed as well.

    The purpose of continually posting this comment is to allow the counterpoint perspective to be heard. I will no longer personally engage your comments tit for tat.

    Reply

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