Sunday, March 22, 2015

PLAINFIELD'S MARCH MADNESS



March Madness is full blown. The NCAA Basketball tournament is living up to expectations. Yes three ACC teams moved on to the round of 16, all in close thrillers with the Irish needing an overtime to win. Today the two ACC teams playing better win.

Friday I received a notice of a Special Council Meeting on Monday at 6pm for approval of funds and permission to tear down a fire damaged building on North Avenue that has stood untouched for over three years.

I was going to write a blog about why a special meeting at a time that would be inconvenient for the public to attend, and probably at least some of the councilors would be there by Speaker Phone. The timing makes this very suspicious, why an emergency after 3 years? What is the city’s legal position, is not the owner responsible and if so why has he not been forced or billed to do the job? Were there bids? How experienced and responsible is the company contracted for the removal?

Much to my surprise I read in Bernice’s blog this morning that the destruction of the building took place YESTERDAY, Saturday. This comment to her blog by Bill Kruse best expresses all the question that should be answered but probably will be obfuscated.

Let us try to understand what has happened. The application to award a demolition contract to Yates Realty in an amount not to exceed $250,000, is being presented to the City Council next week. The presentation seems a bit tardy since the work is substantially complete. There are a number of questions that seem appropriate.
1. Who declared the EMERGENCY and what was the nature of the EMERGENCY? 2. When was the EMERGENCY declared? 3. What qualifications does a small Real Estate firm, located in South Plainfield that posts 2 employees and an annual sales of $160,000, have to perform a specialized high risk demolition project?
3. Who are the principals and officers in Yates? 4. The work was performed by B & B Demolition with offices in Newark. If Yates acted as the Prime Contractor why was the work given to Yates ( whoever they are ), and subcontracted by Yates to B & B rather than having
given it to B & B directly thereby saving the margin placed on the work by Yates? 5. When was the demolition permit issued? Considerable preliminary work is required prior to the commencement of demolition. Utilities must and marked out and secured. The Fire and Police department notified so that they can schedule and provide jobsite protection. The Utility companies must be notified. Certificates attesting to customary insurance coverage and indemnification of the City must be submitted and reviewed. The point is all this takes time. So why wasn't the application for EMERGENCY appropriation submitted concurrently rather than now?
City Council, demand to examine the Yates/B & B Agreement. Demand to see the books, i.e., obtain permission to follow the money in both companies as a condition of approving the contract...assuming you agree to approve the contract. I don't think you are compelled to approve anything. The Public is entitled to answers regarding the above questions Bill Kruse

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