Crime Stats Still Questioned
2/8/17 Council Meeting
PERTH AMBOY – R-69-2/17 Resolution pertaining to the Energy Savings Improvement Plan for an amount not exceeding $2,500,000.
Resident Stanley Sierakowski came up to speak. He has been against this Resolution from day one and stated, “There is a change where the Council has been eliminated from decision making. It only states that certain officials of the Council can be informed – but who will that be – the Council President? Did anybody read this resolution? I’m opposed to this. Who is the lessor? Who drafted the resolution and contract (the original one). If they (Honeywell) wants to renew this for another 15 years, it’s out of your (the Council’s) hands. Look at going solar instead. Whose idea was this?”
Resident Ken Balut came up next and stated, “Councilman Irizarry always talks about our debt. We’re not saving anything. The lights we have now were just installed two years ago. A lot of people in the City are not happy about this. Did you accept any money from these companies that are contracted on these resolutions?”
Councilman Fernando Gonzalez tried to convince Sierakowski that R-69 was a good deal. “The contract is being overseen by the State. There will be a $76,000 a month savings. It will take us 15 years to pay the bond off, but their work will be done in one year.”
Sierakowski was still not convinced and told the Council, “I’m disappointed in all of you. You are not assertive.”
Acting City Attorney Judith Verrone told Sierakowski that the City was represented by McManimon & Scotland. “The title was changed because of a contract. The Council does not execute agreements.”
Resident Balut said, “This a bad deal, because you don’t know what the administration fee will be.”
R-69-2/17 was pulled until the next meeting.
There has been a back-and-forth discussion as to who is at fault when it comes to audio problems on Channel 34 Public Access TV Station. Communication 3 & 4 on the Agenda dealt with the City receiving a check from Verizon for $203,640.19 and a check from Comcast for $199,859.71.
Councilman Fernando Gonzalez wanted to know, “Where does this money go?”
Business Administrator Adam Cruz responded, “To a general fund.”
Gonzalez responded back, “I don’t want this money spent until we take care of the audio problems on Channel 34.”
Cruz responded back, “In August, we had someone here to check our audio and the problem seems to be on the Board of Education’s end.”
Councilman Joel Pabon spoke up and suggested that representatives from Verizon and Comcast come to a meeting and discuss this problem. “It may be something technical, but we need to rectify this.”
Councilman Gonzalez agreed, “We need this resolved. The Board of Education may have the wrong equipment. I talked to someone who’s retired who is familiar with this. He said it’s problems with the equipment on the Board of Education’s end.”
Resident Stanley Sierakowski said, “Whenever I go to a Board of Education Meeting, there’s never a problem with the equipment and people being heard. I can hear every word that is being said on TV. The problem has to do when the Council Meetings are televised.”
Businesswoman Virginia Lugo talked about Verizon and Comcast in another context, “The Disabled and Seniors should be getting a discount from these two companies. Other Cities do that.”
When it came to crime in the City, Resident Ken Balut brought up part of Communication No. 2 pertaining to incidents at the Dominican Festivals that were held in 2015 and 2016.
Balut questioned, “Is the City going to send residents notifications about incidents that were committed during the festivals? I told the Festival leaders that they should let the residents (in that area) know how much they were appreciated for their inconveniences. The Council should get CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) Reports.”
Balut also told the Council that there was sexual harassment suit filed recently. “It’s all out there about crimes. This is worse than Joe Vas, and it’s worse on how the police are treated. The Mayor is Joe Vas Heavy. At least we knew where Joe Vas’s money came from. You’re all unethical.”
Resident Jeremy Baratta told the Council, “Your agenda is not very informative.”
Resident and Businesswoman Virginia Lugo said, “Everything is not listed in the CAD System that the City has. We should all get another listing of lawyers.”
Resident and Businessman David Caba came up to speak, “I heard that there was a family that got held up at gunpoint and was robbed of $5,000 on Carson Avenue. Police Officers are doing their jobs, but it’s not being reported. Please let us know, Mr. Cruz. Let people know that at night they may need to be on the lookout for crimes being committed. There was a bank robbery in Metuchen and they had it publicized immediately. We have to depend on rumors that crime happened.”
Resident Sharon Hubberman came up to speak about the Dominican Festival. “Residents came forth to complain that the Festival is exceeding the expectations of that area with its growth.”
Councilman Fernando Gonzalez asked Chief Roman McKeon about the robbery at gunpoint that had been mentioned earlier in the Meeting by David Caba.
The Chief responded in an affirmative that there was.
Gonzalez responded, “We should know about these problems. I also want to know about any meetings involving any improvements going on in town. I’m retired and have the time.”