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Tuesday, November 6, 2007



Star Ledger Reporting

Corruption in Harrison

 

November 6, 2007.  Harrison, NJ.  On October 22, 2007, the Newark Star Ledger reported in a front page story entitled "Little town a big target in hunt for corruption" various illegal and unethical acts from various Harrison town officials.  Mayor Raymond McDonough denied the allegations to a local newspaper the Observer in an article entitled "Star Ledger reports are false".   

In an unrelated article in the Asbury Park Press, the Harrison Democratic organization was reported to have funneled $200,000 in campaign contributions acquired over four months to the Hudson County Democratic Committee to avoid pay-to-play restrictions.  In the article the treasurer of the Harrison Municipal Democratic Committee and brother-in-law of Mayor Raymond McDonough, Gregory Kowalski,  stated when asked how the committee raised a reported $215,000 in four months that "As far as I knew there was a fundraiser in Kearny."  Kowalski is also the Executive Director of the Harrison Redevelopment Agency as well as being an attorney.

Council candidates in Harrison face opposition from a slate of candidates running under the Change for Harrison banner.  Councilman Steven McCormick who was elected last year is spearheading the opposition against Mayor Raymond McDonough and his council candidates.  McDonough is not running but has been actively campaigning with his council candidates.

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MERKT SAYS STADIUM DEAL SHOWS DEMOCRATS ARE FOCUSED ON THE WRONG PRIORITIES

AS REPUBLICANS PROPOSE 30 PERCENT PROPERTY TAX CUT, ADMINISTRATION SPENDS MILLIONS IN TAX DOLLARS ON STADIUM

 

            Assemblyman Rick Merkt today said that the decision by the Codey administration to commit public dollars to a stadium deal for the New York Giants on the same day Republicans unveiled a property tax reform proposal highlights the contrast in priorities between the two parties.

            "We are proposing property tax relief for homeowners, while the Codey administration is cutting a backroom deal that uses tax dollars to keep the Giants in New Jersey," said Merkt, R-Morris. "This demonstrates an unmistakable difference in priorities."

            The Codey administration has reached a deal with the New York Giants to keep the team in New Jersey. The Giants will pay the cost of building a new stadium, but the state will assume $124 million in debt on the old stadium, will pay $30 million for infrastructure and utility upgrades at the new stadium site, and will lease 75 acres of the Meadowlands to the Giants.

            "This stadium deal will have a direct impact on taxpayers, at a time when property tax relief has been scratched from the budget," Merkt said. "That is at least $154 million in public funds that could have been put toward property tax relief."

            The Assembly Republican Policy Committee today unveiled its Blue Print for Property Tax Reform, a plan to cut property taxes for homeowners by 30 percent, put controls on state and local spending, and constitutionally lock-in the relief.

            Merkt, a member of the policy committee, said that this plan represents the right priorities.

            "We are proposing a plan that puts property taxpayers first, and seeks to eliminate unnecessary state spending," Merkt said. "This stands in stark contrast to a proposal to spend more than $150 million to help a sports franchise build a new stadium.

            "We all want the Giants to stay in our state, but what is more important: Property tax relief or a sports stadium?" Merkt asked. "I think most New Jersey residents are united in the opinion that property tax relief should be the state's first concern and top priority."

 


Group Says Harrison Redevelopment Agency Illegally Formed

 

(Harrison) - A group calling themselves the Harrison Community Coalition has posted a report setting forth its position that the Harrison Redevelopment Agency should be disbanded for several reasons among them that the Board's membership violates  state law because too many of its members are town employees; and the municipal ordinance which formed the Board and the basis for which the Redevelopment Board was formed.  The Coalition calls for the Local Finance Board to disband the Board.  The Harrison Redevelopment Board was formed in 1999 in an effort to redevelop the Waterfront area of Harrison (Hudson County) in an area which was formerly zoned industrial.  The Coalition contends that the Redevelopment Agency is impeding the development by the private sector because it has entered into development contracts which it continues to renew even though the designated developers have not complied with requirements such as environmental studies.  The MetroStars have also expressed an interest in building a Stadium in the Redevelopment Zone.  The Stadium would result in the razing of a building build at the turn of the century.  The building which once produced cannons for warships during War World II now stands defiantly stoic waiting for a visionary to convert it into a wonderful marketplace.   Other property owners in the Redevelopment Zone have expressed an interest in developing their own properties but have been turned down by the Redevelopment Agency.  Property owners unsure of the future ownership of their property have failed to make improvements.  Others have simply stopped maintaining their properties.  To review the report, click here.


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Quote of the Week:

US Attorney General Christopher Christie commenting on why N.J. politicans become corrupt as they hand out lucrative contracts to professionals and others,

"I'm making that person rich. Where's my piece?"

"The first time that politicians go over the line, they no longer know where the line is. They're lost,"

Christie suggests term limits to curb political corruption

Statement of:
Charles “Charlie” Fallon

“Today is one of the lowest points of my life.

Just a short time ago, I stood in front of Judge Pisano in Federal District Court in Newark and pled guilty for my actions related to Robert ‘Bobby J.’ Janiszewski, the former county executive of Hudson County.  I did this because I am guilty and because what I did was wrong.

Though, I have tried to lead my life by a personal code of ethical conduct and honesty, in this instance I failed terribly.  And while there may be reasons behind my serious lapse in judgment, there are no excuses for my behavior and I will not attempt to make any.

I made a mistake.  I have publicly admitted that mistake and I am now prepared to accept the responsibility and the consequences of my actions.

I also want to acknowledge the professionalism of the Office of the US Attorney during this time.  While it would have certainly been my preference to not have interacted with that office at all, they were, at all times, professional, honest and forthright in their dealings with me.

Finally, the last few months have been particularly difficult for my family as they have had to deal with the stress of this approaching day.  I wish to apologize to them and to anyone else who may have been hurt by my careless behavior.  I am deeply sorry for what I have done and I hope to earn forgiveness as I move forward from this day.”
 Past Quotes of the Week:

“As we mark the 2nd anniversary of the Iraq war, our thoughts and prayers are with the brave men and women of our armed forces, and their families.  You have shown more courage and greater conviction than most Americans will ever be asked to show.  This state and this nation are  proud of you. 

 

“There is no more noble a calling than to serve in our armed forces.  The thousands of men and women from New Jersey deployed across the globe are a testament to that.  We are grateful for your patriotism, and we will never forget your sacrifice.          

 

“We continue to pray for a quick end to the war, and look forward to the safe return home of our troops."

 

--Acting Governor Dick Codey

"In politics, you never plan to run for a particular office at a particular time. You always prepare yourself. So if that door opens, you're ready."

 --Acting Governor Dick Codey

 

 

     
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