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Now, It’s Their Turn — Second Public Portion 1/14/15 Council Meeting

Correction

PERTH AMBOY – On page 2, Paragraph 8 of the 1/21/15 Issue of the Amboy Guardian Story “Now it’s Their Turn,” there was a comment by Resident David Caba. “He was concerned about derogatory comments that were made on social media by the Mayor’s Chief of Staff and an acquaintance.” 

In response to Caba, Lissette Martinez, the Mayor’s Chief of Staff states: “Comments were made by a “Facebook Friend” regarding a speech made by Councilman F. Gonzalez during the Reorganization of the City Council. Just to verify I made no comments, I just hit ‘Like.’”


 

PERTH AMBOY – Resident Stanley Sierakowski challenged Council President Nanton again. “Any elected or public official can be mentioned at meetings.” He rattled off some names such as: Former Newark Mayor Sharpe James, who served time for corruption, “Or for that matter, the President.” Sierakowski wanted to know, “Is the Rosengarten property that we’re selling to the county still contaminated, and who is paying for the re-mediation?”

Kenny Balut

Kenny Balut

At the 1/12/15 Caucus Meeting, Ken Balut had asked if former Councilman Kenneth Gonzalez was getting health benefits from the City and if the Chief of Staff, Lissette Martinez had required training necessary to be a Planning Board Member.

Business Administrator Jillian Barrick said, “Gonzalez was not getting any health benefits and that all Planning Board Members met the requirements and had the necessary training.”

Balut also said, “A fence is needed around the Rosengarten property. Homeless people were living there and were burned out. And what is the latest status on YMCA?”

City Attorney Mark Blunda responded, “The Y is still in discussions and cannot be commented on.”

Balut retorted, “The Y is making more money,” responding to Blunda.

Then Balut addressed Council President Lisa Nanton, “You should read the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and maybe the Ten Commandments. It took 18 years to get Vas indicted. The Council gave Ruiz a raise and see what it got you.”

Resident David Caba was concerned about derogatory comments that were made on social media by the Mayor’s Chief of Staff and an acquaintance. “If they make these comments, are they the right people to serve on the Boards? The staff should keep in mind that it’s the taxpayers that are paying their salaries and not the Mayor.”

Addressing City Attorney Blunda, Caba still reiterated the fact, “There still has not been a release from the 12/4/13 shooting of Dixon Rodriguez.” He stated there was another case in September 2014 in another town where a crime was committed and a judge ordered the tape released of the crime in a short period of time.

Resident Alan Silber

Resident Alan Silber

“In another instance a police officer in Buffalo, New York who had 19 years of service was suspended for being a whistle blower. That suspended officer was punished for reporting misconduct of another officer while on duty,” Caba said.

Resident Alan Silber still had concerns about the law firm of  McManimon, Scotland and Baumann, LLC. “One of the attorneys served pro bono for the Mayor. They’re representing Sergio Diaz who is contesting the November 4, 2014 Election results and they are representing the Redevelopment Agency. They are receiving $75,000 on top of $25,000. You (Pabon – Petrick – S. Diaz) all work together and shared expenses during the campaign for the election of November 2014. This law firm should be served a notice that they can’t have a City contract while they are working on this case involving the election.”

Silber addressed Council President Nanton saying to her, “Now you are telling us we can’t mention a person’s name that is on the Agenda? I have the utmost respect for the City Attorney, but he is not representing the residents. He is representing the City.” Silber wanted to know if anyone has been down the Waterfront since Hurricane Sandy. “Part of Lewis Street is one-way but you wouldn’t know it. I have seen cars going down that street at 60 mph. The sign indicating that street is one-way has been down for 2 years.”

Nanton asked Silber, “Why didn’t you let anyone know about this?”

Silber answered back, “It’s not my job.” He also commented about people who were City employees making derogatory comments on social medias. “Especially when it comes to talking about Members of the Council.”

City Attorney Blunda answered the question about the law firm representing Sergio Diaz and the lawsuit about the 11/4/14 election. “There are only two parties of interest: Sergio Diaz and Fernando Gonzalez. The law firm of McManimon, Scotland and Baumann, LLC. has been representing the City in the lawsuit involving the Landings. No one in the City did anything improper. There is no conflict of interest for Councilmen Pabon and Petrick to vote on resolutions involving this firm.”

Councilman Fernando Gonzalez said, “I am being deprived of voting on Resolutions involving this law firm because of the suit involving myself and Sergio Diaz.”

Perth Amboy Democratic Chair Leslie Dominguez-Rodriguez addressed the City Attorney Mark Blunda. “I’m investigating the election, too. Our City Clerk said there were discrepancies when ballots were turned in on election night. The Dominican Community is being harassed. Sergio Diaz and Fernando Gonzalez were not the only ones involved in this suit, but all who ran in the elections.”

She talked about the Zoning Board of Adjustments where she has been a member of for many years and she was one of the candidates reapplying for her seat which was expir shortly. She said, “I have been serving for 10 years with honesty and integrity and the Zoning Board has not been manipulated by the City or politics. You should vote on this in public. Give people respect if you want respect.” Dominguez read a quote, “All power tends to corrupt. Absolute corrupts absolutely.”

Towards the end of the meeting, she told the Council and the City Attorney and whoever else was interested that she can give them a full copy of the complaint filed by Sergio Diaz. “Perth Amboy is named in the suit.” She also wanted to let them know that there is party being held for all the Democratic elected members. During the campaigning of the November 2014 election, I had people who came to up to me to say if I supported the Diaz team. It would be to my advantage, but I just chuckled at them.”

 

Kenny Balut

 

 

 

 

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MON. Jan 22
• City Council, Caucus,
4:30 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

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