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DUFFY'S CULTURAL COUTURE
Sunday, 22 September 2019
When Leaders Ignore Their Residents
Topic: COMMUNITY INTEREST

 


 When Leaders Ignore Residents

 

For over 7 years Cornell Height residents have been trying to get the attention of the leadership to remove the truck traffic off the Cornell Heights roads. The open door policy they tout is as open as a door with five padlocks on it.  In the course of those years, residents have had issues with gas trucks driving through the neighborhood, trucks driving at high rates of speeds, tractor trailers that are too high and ripped down utility lines, children almost getting hit as they get onto buses etc. 

 

This summer, a 24 year old boy was killed at the corner of Sandalwood and Carlise as he rode his bike. The mother of this child has placed a memorial at the pole near where her child was hit. The day after this child was hit, council met to finally approve the signage to remove the truck traffic of the roads. Its too late. They waited too long. The Director of Public Safety would not listen. The directors were unresponsive, would close HAMSTAT requests without responding, etc. 

 

The residents of Cornell Heights have been working agressively with the current council to change this issue.  But, the relief cannot come soon enough. The damage the truck traffic has done is significant to residents and the roads.

 

This weekend, the road near the water outlet on Sandalwood completely collapsed causing severe damage to the water main below the street. The residents called TWW and they immediately came out. Their engineer said," This happened for one reason, the truck traffic. The road was not made to support all of the trucks that come through the neighborhood."  This has also happened numerous times on Sweetbriar Ave as well. The County has had to redo that outlet numerous times. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The remedy for this issue is going to cost Hamilton township alot of money. This could have all been avoided if the Director of Public Safety would have listened to residents over 7 years ago. They adamantly refused to listen or even respond to residents.  There is also another water outlet on Sweetbriar that also is signifcantly damaged. Every winter it creates an ice skating rink on Sweetbriar ave for drivers and is now causing collapse to a residents driveway.  Again, this could have been avoided if the economic development in the township was done by qualified individuals who actually understand the ramifications for their poor decisions. But, as residents have seen, its all about them and to hell with the residents. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But, one may ask, how did this happen? It happened because the administration is grossly incompetent, and allows corrupt business practices to take presidence vs ensuring resident safety is on the forefront.   

 

When the American Metro Way Project went into full swing, there were many issues, lack of followup and accountability by the township and ignorance by the leadership then and now to understand the issues.  These behaviors still run rampant in the current administration.

 

Let's start from the beginning of this project.  There were questions asked as to why the improvements to the roads were being given to a particular contractor. There was a large disparity between the two project estimates. One of the bids were unreasonably high, and that was the bid the township went with. Below are letters that we obtained from an OPRA request.  There were questions asked on how could the township expend public funds on a construction contract that has not been handled as a Public bid?  There was over a $400,000 difference between the project estimates from two contractors.

 

Well, guess what the contractor who got the bid gave thousands of dollars to the Yaede campaigns...look it up you will see the amounts. So, it would appear they were given "special" treatment.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

One step in the process of this project was to do a traffic study. Oh, but that was riddled with shenanigans as well. I am sure you are surprised. The company Maser conducted the traffic calming measures for Cornell Heights for the project.  They put together 3 different alternatives. Each alternative included calming measures, ie. speed bumps. The speed bumps were never installed, nor were the speed limit 15 MPH signs. Wait....this gets better, they also closed Princeton Ave from Sloan Rd. As you see that was not part of the project. However, the contractor that was awarded the contract lived on the road at that time. Residents came home one day and saw the road closed. The emergency services also were not sent notification of the road closure.  One week after the Princeton Ave was closed a home on the corner of Princeton and Sweetbriar caught on fire.  When the fire teams arrived, they stated they had no idea that the road was closed off. They arrived later than they would have because they had to figure out how to get to the home. The home burned beyond recognition and all the pet cats were killed in the fire. After the fire, the home had to be leveled and replaced with a prefab home. This decision by the administration to allow this to happen had a large negative effect. 

 

At the top of this article, you see the types of signage and speed bumps that were supposed to be installed through out Cornell heights. These were never installed. When residents for the past 7 years asked the administration, why this occurred they would never respond. Where there invoices sent to the contractor to do these and were they paid for them, but never installed them? Would you like to know the answer to that?  OPRA that....

 

Let me continue....  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the traffic calming study was done, it was not done to include the closure of Princeton Ave. So the results are grossly flawed.  Below you can see what was included, clearly Princeton Ave was. The effect on the results of the study with the closure of the study are great.   The study also did not address parking and internal site circulation. It also did not address roadway conditions, sight distance calculations, traffic calming measures for the Cornell Heights region. (See below OPRA document). They knew that closing Princeton Ave would increase the traffic on Sandalwood, but they did it anyway. It was required as part of the project that the calming measures be installed. They never were.

 

So, think about this for a minute. When this all occurred, residents were left out of the loop. There were concerns that the project at that time abused the redevelopment laws in the township. These concerns were ignored. 

 

Let's focus on the site calculation part of the study that was not done. Of utmost importance in road design is the arrangement of the geometric elements so that there is adequate sight distance for safe and efficient traffic patterns. It also focuses on adequate light, atmospheric conditions and drivers visual acuity, stop sight distance, intersection sight distance, and decision sight distance. So, none of this gets done in Cornell Heights nor at American Metro Way. If this would have been done, could it have stopped the accidents and deaths in Cornell Heights that have happened over the years. You bet!  So, the mother who just lost her 24 year old son in July at the intersection of Carlise and Sandalwood, could have a very strong case against the township.  The lighting at that corner is abysmal at best. There are less than adequate white road lines there and at night the stop signs are impossible to see.   The white paint in the intersection remind everyone of this yound man's needless death. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was more important to keep the contractor who was a large donor to the current administration campaign coffers. (See memo outling what happened). This project did not follow the bid process and was awarded to a contractor with  $361,000 delta over the over contractor.  In the contract, there was not verbiage that addressed future construction, although statements were made on the record in meetings that they would.   

 

Let's not forget the cancer concrete they brought in. Due to numerous residents complaints an immediate air monitoring was done, but the damage to the residents was already done. There were levels of PCB's  that were airbourne and could pose a health risk to residents. The construction workers were given devices to help deal with this, the residents....keep your windows shut. Who is responsible for all of these pitfalls with projects? There is never accountability in the township. Current projects also follow this same process.  There is never a series of checks and balances.  At a recent council meeting a resident showed the council photos of the tennis courts in Cornell Heights. The township just paid a lot of money to have them redone. They were all shocked with the photos. However, the township employees cut the lawns near the courts. Why did none of them bring the tennis court issue to council or anyone else? They would have to see it when they are mowing the lawns at the park.  The culture from the top drives these suboptimal behaviors. No one cares, and this is buring taxpayers dollars frivilously.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This project was riddled with issues. Cancer Concrete, PCB dust spewing into the neighborhood.....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What happened on Sandalwood this weekend could have been 100% avoided. As you can see from the above OPRA documents, there were means to ensure that calming measures were supposed to be installed, but they were not. Who did the inspection of the site to allow that to happen?  It will be very interesting to see how much it will cost to fix the water outlet issue. It is not in the budget, this is a Hamilton road so they now have to go an get permits from the township to address this issue. The employee who was on site this weekend said it could take days or weeks to get the permits.  In the mean time.....bring your boat for Sandalwood Ave. Take this into consideration as you make your decision in November, which candidate will not allow things like this to happen? That is the one I want for our leader. 

 

 

 


Posted by tammyduffy at 5:57 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 22 September 2019 6:05 PM EDT
Saturday, 21 September 2019
Public Trust is Shredded
Topic: COMMUNITY INTEREST

 
 
 

Public Trust in Hamilton Has Been Shredded

 

 

 

 

The Public Safety Director in Hamilton has lost the trust of the residents of Hamilton and they do not care. Trust in your government is essential to the sustainability of the government.  This lack of trust has decreased the effectiveness and efficiency in the Hamilton government operations. The continued blatant disregard for the public's safety by the administration in a word is.....terrifying

 

The residents of Hamilton are properly appalled at the abuses that have occurred during what we will call, Textgate. Textgate,  represents the bankruptcy of the American political system.  It also represents a series of illegal acts and bad judgements by a number of individuals. It was the system and courageous people that brought the facts to light.   It will in the end bring those that are guilty to justice.  A system that in the end could include a determined jury,  an honest prosecutor, a courageous judge, and a vigorous free press.  With their help the residents of Hamilton will heal and rebuild trust in their government. It will rebuild Hamilton. 

 

It is essential now that we place our faith in that system, especially in the judicial system.  It is essential that we let the judicial process move forward.  We must respect the safeguards to convict the guilty.  It is essential in reacting to the excesses of others, that others do not fall into excesses themselves.  It is also essential that we are not distracted by events of yesterday, that  we neglect the vital work before us.  Before this town at a time of critical importance to this town. 

 

Public trust of the leadership is lost in Hamilton.  The leadership owes it to the residents to speak to us on the critical issues. We are into day 61 of their refusal to do so. Yesterday, statements were made about vindication. There was no vindication, if there were, there would not have been charges in the first place. There would not be text messages and supporting documentation that proved what occurred, occurred. The Public Safety Director did not pay a fine yesterday, but they will forever pay a fine to the residents of Hamilton.  The lost of public trust with all the failures in the administration, 2 other directors charged, the removal of the CFO to ensure a budget that would not have gotten approved, slipped thru,   the issues at the animal shelter, failed economic development, failed inspections of food establishments, the failure list goes on and on. The administrations failures are extensive and costing the town millions of taxpayers dollars. 

 

There will be continued distrust by the residents of the Public Safety Officer in Hamilton and the administration. The current scandals and those yet to be disclosed,  will forever cast a shadow on the town.  The permanent public distrust towards the leadership in  the government will permanently leave a scar on every person in Hamilton. These scandals have made such an impression, that it’s suffix “-gate” has been used to name other scandals that have occurred around the world in the past decades. Textgate, Animalsheltergate, CFOgate, gate, gate, gate gate…..

 

God bless the MCPO, the free press and every resident who is fighting to make a better Hamilton. To safeguard our future and help rebuild public trust. Everyone must continue to fight for what is right. 

 

The government has failed its residents and lost the public trust in Hamilton, that is not vindication in any rational persons world.  But, we are not talking about rational people here.  The only time the current Public Safety Director and administration will be vindicated, is when they finally admit guilt, that they made huge mistakes, and will speak to the residents about all the issues. Until then, there is ZERO vindication. 

 

Hamiltonians for a better Hamilton, must join forces to continue to hold those accountable, accountable. The deception runs deep, and the residents are not a care in their world.  The abuse of authority and defiance of subpoenas by the administration is terrifying for residents. The acts of defiance and ignorance to public safety is just radically delinquent. 

 

What’s next, will the administration feel that have a legal right to disclose all the medical history of anyone who ever walked into the health office, of the employees at the township? They already are on that path. At a recent council meeting the Environmental Safety Officer disclosed private health information of an employee at a council meeting. This was a large HIPAA violation that was reported by residents to the proper authorties.    

 

There is nothing frivolous about these behaviors in the administration. The habitual refusal to meet with the public by the Public Safety Director proves that they have something to hide. The habitual refusal to properly react to subpoenas, proves they have something to hide.  What are they hiding that the residents have yet to disclose? That is the scary question residents ask themselves every day in Hamilton. Residents can only hope the removal of computers in a raid by the MCPO will disclose what they are hiding. 

 

The safety of residents is in jeopardy in so many aspects. An elderly resident brought to the attention of the Public Safety Director an issue on their street. The issue focuses on the fact that emergency vehicles, trash trucks etc cannot get around their court due to the numerous cars that park on the court. The township engineers this week told them, there is nothing the township can do.  That it is up to the police to correct the issue. The police will say, it’s not their issue.  This consistent passing of the buck endangers residents’ lives. Emergency vehicles cannot get to these homes, and the Public Safety director takes zero ownership on this issue. So the residents who live in on this court could die from the lack of a fire truck getting to their homes. They could die do to the fact an ambulance cannot get to them. The Public Safety Director is allowing this to happen. They will own the tragic outcome, if God forbid something ever happens to residents on that court and emergency services cannot get to them.  

 

The Public Safety Director is not been vindicated.  The PSD is not focused on public health, the proper running of the animal shelter,  the proper leadership behaviors needed to ensure public safety.  The Neighborhood Watch groups are taking on additional responsibilities, fighting the crime in the administration as well as local crime in their neighborhoods.  They are tired of the sleepness nights they have due to the lack of concern by the local leadership. 

 

The public is not the only thing in danger in Hamilton. The data in the township is also in danger.  We wrote an article on a recent large shredfest that occurred in Hamilton. In addition, the employees are using Dropboxes to back up their data from their computers. A free service not encrypted; it is not a secure cloud service. How does that make you feel? The director of IT, the Public Safety director and Clerks office in Hamilton, has a legal and ethical responsibility to safeguard the government data. 

 

They have failed the residents. When residents OPRA  emails, they always get the response, sorry the data does not exist. How is that possible?  Yet, they claim they are an open government. The only thing open is their own hands to feed themselves and their inner circle.  Their hands are definately in the cookie jar. 



Posted by tammyduffy at 10:18 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 21 September 2019 1:35 PM EDT
Saturday, 14 September 2019
Mayor Abandons Ship
Topic: COMMUNITY INTEREST

 
 


 

 
 
 

Mayor Abandons Ship

 

 

I am a member of the Republican Party and I am embarrassed by the goings on in Hamilton. This is not a politically motivated article, just the facts.

 

“That was no raid”, said the BA of Hamilton this week after his place of employment was raided by the MCPO.  Who in their right mind would make such a statement? Maybe, one can conclude, that the level of criminal activity occuring in Hamilton is so high, a raid is viewed as a flower delivery.  What will the comments be like when the charges of those indicted in the town, are finalized with judge sentencing?  See, it was just a traffic ticket, see it was just 300 dogs killed illegally?” The comments by those leading the town are so far-fetched, but are they?  Not in their eyes, as they focus on one thing, their pensions.

 

The leadership is avoiding the public. We are at day 57 that the Mayor refuses to answer council to do a town hall. Residents have also made this request, crickets in the garden are all they hear. No response from leadership.

 

This week as well, the Trentonian did numerous articles on the hanky panky in Hamilton. In the link below, there is an audio of the Mayor. Listen to it, carefully. This is not a good situation for the residents.  This audio demonstrates pure panic in the voice of the leader of Hamilton.

 

https://www.trentonian.com/news/mayor-yaede-claims-she-has-emergency-avoids-questions-about-hamilton/article_244786c8-d66f-11e9-bf7c-4bdd0dba9065.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=user-share&fbclid=IwAR3zwOp-yZKv935_PjmR2JrF3S3l5Md8UeuuZgEeU4cvSH5e-nFmAoVNlII

 

During the raid by the MCPO this week, the Mayor chose to leave the building as this was going on.  The excuse, she had an appointment. NOPE!!! Hogwash alert! Even if that is true, a true leader would have cancelled whatever magic make believe appointment they had to stand with their team. If she has no guilt, she would not have done an Irish goodbye and slipped out stage right swiftly.

 

The captain goes down with the ship" is a maritime tradition that a sea captain holds ultimate responsibility for both his ship, and everyone embarked on it, and that in an emergency, he will either save them or die trying. You do not exit the building when shit is going down. That is a true sign of a coward.

 

There have been real captains that abandoned their ships and that did not go over so well, ask Yiannis Avranas, captain of the Greek luxury liner Oceanos, which sank off the coast of South Africa in 1991.  When he ordered abandon ship, he felt it did not matter what time he left. He felt abandon is for everybody.  His logic was, if some people like to stay, they can stay. These  words were spoken by Avranas and he was charged with misconduct after it was discovered that he and numerous crew members left the ship while the passengers remained behind.  The ships entertainment crew had to take over the rescue efforts.

 

Why can’t the Mayor of Hamilton be charged with misconduct for leaving her ship?  Where is the band to help the employees of Hamilton? The administration is comparing this legal scrutiny to the scrutiny given to the song, Louie Louie in the 60’s by the FBI.  Nothing obscene here….says the administration of Hamilton. We are as clean as Mr. Clean.  

 

Let’s share one more example of a captain who abandoned ship.  What was supposed to be a routine trip from Norway to Denmark, became one of Europe’s worst ferry disasters after an arsonist set ablaze the Scandinavian Star late one evening. As the fire raged out of control, most passengers were sound asleep in their cabins unaware of their imminent doom.

 

Those fortunate enough to escape the smoke of their rooms were left dumbfounded and powerless, pondering how to acquire life vests, let alone, survive the sinking ship. The poorly trained crew, many of whom could not speak a common language, only added to the confusion and panic aboard the burning vessel that contained faulty fire alarms, smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers. Only adding to the mayhem was the absence of the captain who jumped ship long before any of the passengers. When asked his reasoning for abandoning helpless women and children, Captain Hugo Larsen replied, “Did you want me to drown?”  Did the Mayor of Hamilton leave because she felt she is the most important person in the building and town?  Or was it done in shear panic?  We think her voice in the audio above spells that out.

 

Captain Hugo was subsequently tried by a Danish court, where he was found guilty of being responsible for inadequate security aboard the Scandinavian Star that claimed the lives of 158 passengers. Hugo was sentenced to 60 days in jail, while two of his crew, a Danish ship-owner and the shipping line director, both received 40-day sentences.  A captain cannot leave the ship.

 

The Mayor made the choice to leave the building/ship. She also made the choice not to return to the building (if indeed an imaginary friend appointment was occuring that made her leave the building)  These were very bad choices for the employees and residents. When times get tough, real leaders roll up their leaves and make sure their underlings are taken care of, not abandon them. These raids can have a negative influence on the employees. What was done to help them? The BA said, “That was not much of a raid.”

 

There are many leadership lessons  that can be learned from the Costa Concordia disaster. There are questions of preparation as well as how to handle a crisis in a calm, composed and coordinated fashion. But the biggest lesson in leadership is the most obvious one; that a captain—in this case Captain Francesco Schettino—should never abandon his ship.

 

What crisis management SOP’s exist in the township?  There is no “dawn raid” SOP? Does the SOP for dawn raids say, Mayor run!

 

While it is obvious that the examples, we shared are from  cruise ships, the same thing is true of leaders of any organization. You don’t abandon your ship. You don’t turn your back on the people who depend on you for their safety and well-being—whether we are talking your employees or your most valued stakeholders.

 

Great leaders don’t panic. They have a sense of calm, even in the most dangerous and perilous situation. We saw it during 9/11 with the crew and passengers of Flight 93 that crashed into a field in rural Pennsylvania. We saw it with Chesley Sullenberger, known as “Sully,” the pilot of the US Airways plane that landed in the Hudson River . A leader’s calm demeanor has a direct impact on the demeanor of others around him. Conversely, when a leader panics, it is obvious that he or she induces panic in others.

 

CALM down Madame Mayor, talk to the people of Hamilton and stop hiding.  It's time to have courage.  She cannot win  the election this way.  However, she can win if by some stroke of luck she gets through all of this without a handcuff and demonstrates strength beyond belief.  That;s the person residents want for mayor, a leader in the face of a Category 5 huirricane.  There have been mayors in jail in the USA that still got elected while they were in jail. So, no one can underestimate the outcome of the election in Hamilton.

 

This is going to be interesting to watch.  

 


Posted by tammyduffy at 7:37 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 14 September 2019 7:44 AM EDT
Tuesday, 3 September 2019
What's up in September?
Topic: COMMUNITY INTEREST

 

 

 

Does Hamilton’s leadership walk the walk as it pertains to their claim of open government? No. This consistent charade that is stated by the administration only holds true for a select few, like one of the three leaves. They have no issue making OPRA requests in the town and getting information, ever. IT is given quickly and without incident. The residents deserve the same treatment.

 

 

 

After attending the 2019, National Night Out at Veteran’s park, residents were very disturbed by the lack of accommodation that was made for residents with special needs or were handicapped.  The police and volunteers that attended, who directed traffic, stated that no accommodation was made for anyone with special needs, it was a complete oversight. 

 

 

 

On Aug 8,2019, an OPRA request was sent up that requested the following…

 

 

 

Please send all meeting minutes that have to do with the coordination of the 2019 Hamilton township National night out and all planning documents for the event Hamilton Townships National Night Out 2019 that occurred on Aug 8 2019.

 

 

 

 

A response from the clerk’s office came on Aug 16 and they replied as follows:

 

 

 

Pursuant to OPRA request 19-1396, please be advised there are no responsive records regarding minutes pertaining to the coordination of the 2019 Hamilton Township National Night Out. In accordance with N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1 (1) inter-agency or intra-agency advisory, consultative or deliberative material (note: generally, refers to draft documents or documents used in a deliberative process) any notes regarding the planning of this event are exempt.

 

Additionally, your request for planning documents for the event are exempt from disclosure as they relate to emergency or security measures, in accordance with N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1 (9) emergency or security information or procedures for any buildings or facility which, if disclosed, would jeopardize security  of the building or facility or persons therein, (10) security measures and surveillance techniques which, if disclosed, would create a risk to the safety or persons, property, electronic data or software.

 

This request is considered closed.

 

 

A response to the clerk’s office and Mayor  was sent that day.

 

 

I do thank you for your response. However, I have genuine concern that there are zero documents available that focus on the planning of National Night out. How does the township plan an event where there are 60 vendors, numerous residents in attendance and there are no planning documents? No meeting minutes. Nothing how can this cannot be possible. This was an event planned by the DPW according to Chief Stevens. What security measures  are so large that it inhibits you from sharing any planning documents on the event? 

 

 

 

Kelly: As you are aware there were zero accommodations made for the elderly and handicapped at this event. When those in need entered, they were told to park near the tennis courts (where there are only two handicap parking spaces) or the dog park (where there are two spaces as well). Kelly you parked your car near the event. The elderly and handicapped were ignored at this event. When I came to the event the police at the event clearly stated this was a miss. I sent you an email after the event, that also went unresponded to in concern about this issue. 

 

 

 

The residents never received any response, so they sent a second email asking for a response the next week.  At no surprise to the resident, the Mayor has never responded to date.  The clerk’s office however a week later sent this….

 

 

 

Pursuant to the emails below, I would like to communicate that they have not been disregarded. Additionally, they are in the process of being reviewed. An update will be provided as soon as I received any records or information regarding this matter.

 

 

Thank you, in advance, for your understanding”

 

 

 

 

To date, there is still no information that has been sent.

 

 

 

 

 

An open and transparent government is all the residents  of Hamilton want. The residents continue to be perplexed on how the administration consistently continues to send responses like this to OPRA requests by residents. This lack of transparency is costing the township a lot of money in lawsuits for lack of response for OPRA requests. This is not representative of an open government. This is representative of a government hiding from corruption or bad deeds that have been done to harm the residents.  

 

Today, the Mercer County Prosecutors office issued charges to the Mayor of Hamilton and other  for revealing the existence of expunged records of a resident.  Her Chief of Staff, Opra’d  several police reports in February 2019 from the police department. That OPRA request was left on the Clerk’s office desk.  

 

 

The Hamilton administration is toxic and in need of a complete replacement. The Director of Public Safety has ignored and hurt the residents beyond repair.    This quote by Dave Henderson in a recent Trentonian article speaks volumes.

 

 

“And it underscores the criminal lengths that these people will undertake to keep a grasp on their corrupt administration," he said of the Yaede administration.

 

 

This is the same administration that pushed out John Barrett, because he was viewed as a threat to their strategy to grow the corruption in government.   The Hamilton township, Mercer county government is one that legislates beyond its rightful power. They are deliberately causing harm to residents to inflict injury, lack of justice and individual rights.  The Prosecutors office put the stamp on one of their shenanigans today. What does the future hold? Time will tell. Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Posted by tammyduffy at 7:37 PM EDT
Sunday, 1 September 2019
Hamilton Matters
Topic: COMMUNITY INTEREST

 
 


 

 
 

Hamilton Matters

 

There is a lot of tension in Hamilton township, Mercer County.  The issues are massive; the suspension of the CFO, the large illegal issues at the animal shelter, the sewer issues with Robbinsville, a health director indicted, an ACO indicted, the list goes on and on. The leadership refuses to meet with the public to discuss the issues; even though they have been contacted by residents, by council and concerned friends. Their unified silence is deafening.  The leadership has failed its residents.  What is next for Hamilton? Only a select few; who have been performing an extensive investigation of the town, know the real answer to that question. The same agent who did the investigation of Hamilton during the prior administrations rein, is also doing the current investigation.  Is there more than one agency looking into the issues, residents will soon find out.

 

Let the story begin…….this weekend, we interviewed the CFO of Hamilton, Mercer County, John Barrett.  This is a man who has had to withstand some grave hardships over the past several months, because he stood up for what was right. He signed up for this, this family did not. The strain this local political hit has on one’s family is devasting.  Those that created hit, could care less. It’s all about them. You are either on their team or you become their next victim. Maybe they will even leave pamphlets on your doorstep that preach about the death of Jesus.  The threats are quite substantial.

 

Some of the great things Barrett did for the township of Hamilton are:

 

  • ·     Turning a $79,000 fund balance into close to $10 million.  That gave the town a better bond rating and less interest costs to make capital improvements.
  • ·       Getting the towns financial house in order and getting the town out of state oversite over a year early because the state new Barrett’s track record of getting Ewing out of state supervision.
  • ·       He is a hired gun to fix towns that have financial disasters.
  • ·       He has always treated everyone the same. He does not report to the 6 elected officials, he reports to the 90,000 residents of Hamilton township.
  • ·       As the CFO he is the custodian of the public trust.  If trust in the number’s fades, it’s the beginning of the end.

 

What has happened in Hamilton, Mercer County, the trust has eroded. The township officials removed Barrett to do the things they knew he would not allow them to do, due to the damage it will do to the town and its residents.  He is not to blame for any of it.  He looks forward to coming back and fixing Hamilton, just like he did in 2008 when he was hired originally.

 

In 2008, Hamilton was in a $16 million operating deficit.  This was since the leadership spent $16 millions in funds that were not approved. They spent it on sewer projects and they raided the Uniform Construction Code trust.

 

In 2007, the auditor gave over 45 comments to Hamilton on issues with their finances. That is the audit that Barrett inherited when he came to Hamilton in 2008.  He got the audits cleaned up to where there were only clean audits without audit comments. Hamilton was on the mend.  However, since the removal of Barrett, the shenanigans are in full throttle and it will take his level of expertise to make Hamilton solvent again.

 

There was recently a posting on the www that talked about how the people in charge of the money now in Hamilton were moving moneys from the trust funds.  There are trust funds that begin with the letter “T” in the budget.  If there are any budgetary certifications on any resolutions,  anything  with a T is clearly identified as a trust fund.  This could be for storm basin maintenance, i.e. a developer will pay money to maintain a storm basin.  There are also third-party escrow fees that exist, there is off duty employment, there is an animal control trust, and recreation trust.

 

When the town under-budgeted in the current fund and the utility fund budget to get through this year, creative accounting took the front seat in 2019.  When the leaders need money, and they do not have it in the operating funds they attack the trusts. This is a very quiet place where no one really understands the purpose of the trust funds, except the CFO or the deputy CFO. However, since the removal of Barrett the leadership has already raided the trust funds to put one-time revenues in for this year’s budget.  

 

There is a report that demonstrates, that the funds were drained quietly.  They were put into appropriations.  An audit will reveal this, and it will have all the fingerprints of those responsible for this on it.  Their names will be on the entries.  For example, let’s say you need a million dollars and you have a million dollars in a trust fund, that no one is worrying about, one can bring it in and reimburse the currently fund with it. This drains the trust fund and instead of having a $100,000 in a line item,  and you reimbursed it $50,000 from the trust fund, now you have $150,000 to spend. However, in the budget it will still only show as $100,000. If all the trust funds are depleted, by the time the smoke clears with Barrett’s suspension, this puts Hamilton in a very bad financial state.

 

Barrett’s leadership style is one where he is not the “boss”; he is an equal coworker with his team. Unless he must deal with an HR issue or must protect his team, they all worked as equals. The culture on this team was very positive and a great place for him to work.  Until last October or 2018, he would gratefully drive the 45 miles from his home to Hamilton to perform his duties as CFO.  When he was on vacation or sick, he still enthusiastically answered his phone to help his team and the residents of Hamilton township.  He would always remote in to help everyone at any time.  There are very few people in any organization, that behave in this manner.  The consummate professionals do. There are other employees that would sooner hand in their keys than compromise their integrity.  Many are being harassed by the leadership. These bad behaviors allow other bad behaviors to be stimulated in the town. They see what the leadership is doing and has gotten away with so far, and they feel they can do other crazy things that compromise resident safety.

 

The position of ambivalence that the leadership is taking is no surprise to anyone.  To a large degree this is due to the arrogance and lack of intelligence by the leadership. They are going to very famous when all of this done, this will make the mayor extremely happy.  One of the leaders in both staff and private meetings, weeks prior to the removal of Barrett,  stated in a meeting, “That the town has handled the issues at the animal shelter like pros.” As if they had brought in a PR firm to help them spin the story. They went on to say, “We are going to win the November election without issue. The Mayor is at the ballfields, hanging on the fences talking to residents. People do not follow this stuff going on in town.” This comment was made by one of the three leaves.

 

Leaves of Three, let it be... 

 

 

 

History will expose why this leadership has done what they have done and the motivations behind their decisions and behaviors. It also appears from the conversations on the street, the end is near for the shenanigans and a cure for the residents. There have been numerous interviews of both township employees, residents and the like over what has transpired over the last 18 months. Many were done under oath by different agencies.  It’s a trying time for the town and its residents.  The residents are looking forward to healing.

 

There was a mediation this past week between Barrett and the township officials. The township does not want Barrett to come back, for obvious reasons. It would appear they do not want him to continue to discover the financial shenanigans that have been going on since his removal; especially with the election around the corner.  This case will continue to go on in the future.  

 

In Oct 2008, Barrett was hired to become the CFO of Hamilton Township, Mercer County. At that time the town had a $79,000 fund balance. The current mayor was on council and Wrinkle Penny was dating their sister.  There were approximately 50 employees that were either laid off or threatened to be laid off.  There was a $16 million-dollar deficit, the town was in a financial mess.

 

Wrinkle Penny was moved from personnel director under Mayor Gilmore to payroll supervisor this was a demotion and a cut in pay. Barrett at that time had a team of four people. Out of all the employees in the room, Wrinkle Penny was the only person who raised their hand when Barrett asked, “Who wants to do bank req’s?”  Wrinkle Penny became a friend in 2008.  In 2009, Barrett received a phone call from Little Egg Harbor that they too needed a part time CFO.  Barrett reached out to Little Egg Harbor and found out that he could mentor the new CFO they had just appointed, who was on their planning board. To ensure that all was on the up and up, Barrett went to the then BA of  Hamilton to ask if it was okay for him to work part time for Little Egg Harbor. This would have been a consulting agreement due to the fact Barrett has his own consulting firm. The township had no issue with this. All the audit schedules were already done for Hamilton and they were way ahead of the financial tasks for the year due to Barrett’s expertise.

 

Soon into 2009, there started to be collection calls to the township for Wrinkle Penny to the office. Barrett realized that WP was under stress due to this. This was a person that Barrett could rely on and he wanted this person to take CFO classes. These CFO courses would have helped the wp to best understand how to move money  and book it and perform journal entries.  Barrett offered WP the ability to do work for his consulting company in Little Egg Harbor. WP made an additional $1,000 a month doing this work so that their family could pay their bills by doing the bank req’s for Little Egg Harbor township.  This helped develop a strong friendship between Barrett and the administrations family.  Barrett was invited to holiday parties, weddings, birthday parties and the like.  The mayor was  appreciative of the help Barrett was giving to her family members and the town financial issues. At the league of municipalities, they would all go out together for drinks and dinner. He got hugs not handshakes. He felt like part of the family.

 

In 2015, things shifted, the hugs stopped, and the turmoil began. The BA was out on medical leave, and the ball committee and mayor that year thought it would be funny to have all the directors dress up as women at the ball.  The directors were instructed to dress in different manners that the mayor would dress.  In the end, all the male directors had to parade into a room of very 500 people dressed in this manner. The prior year Barrett had done the invocation at the ball, so going in drag the next year was quite the pivot.  While in drag at the ball in 2015, he was called upon to do the invocation,  as his name was still on to do the invocation this year at the ball.

 

Barrett has just entered in the deaconate program in August that year.  He was so embarrassed that he had to do this.  The year prior all the directors were forced to act as though they were all the back up dancers for the Jackson 5 song, I want you back.  In case you do not know the song….here it is.

https://youtu.be/s3Q80mk7bxE?t=25

 

Here are the lyrics….ironic….was this a cry for what would happen in the future?  The directors had to put on top hats and dance behind the mayor. Barrett is a white finance guy; he would agree his dance rhythm is not seen in the video of Michael J. He did not invite his wife to the second years ball for he was so embarrassed by what they were making him do, dressing drag. He shared with others how demeaning this was. The mayor did not walk in dressed as a bald guy; she wore an evening gown.   

 

I Want You Back"


Uh-huh huh huhhh
Let me tell ya now
Uh-huh
(Mmhhmmm)

When I had you to myself, I didn't want you around
Those pretty faces always made you stand out in a crowd
But someone picked you from the bunch, one glance was all it took
Now it's much too late for me to take a second look

Oh baby, give me one more chance
(To show you that I love you)
Won't you please let me back in your heart
Oh darlin', I was blind to let you go
(Let you go, baby)
But now since I see you in his arms
(I want you back)
Yes I do now
(I want you back)
Ooh ooh baby
(I want you back)
Yeah yeah yeah yeah
(I want you back)
Na na na na

Trying to live without your love is one long sleepless night
Let me show you, girl, that I know wrong from right
Every street you walk on, I leave tear stains on the ground
Following the girl I didn't even want around

Let me tell ya now
Oh baby, all I need is one more chance
(To show you that I love you)
Won't you please let me back in your heart
Oh darlin', I was blind to let you go
(Let you go, baby)
But now since I see you in his arms

All I want...
All I need...
All I want!
All I need!

Oh, just one more chance
To show you that I love you
Baby baby baby baby baby baby!
(I want you back)
Forget what happened then
(I want you back)
And let me live again!

Oh baby, I was blind to let you go
But now since I see you in his arms
(I want you back)
Spare me of this cause
(I want you back)
Give me back what I lost!

Oh baby, I need one more chance, hah
I tell you that I love you
Baby, oh! Baby, oh! Baby, oh!
I want you back!

I want you back!

 

 

 

When Barrett got into the deacon program, they knew he was aligned with politicians in Hamilton.  As  the CFO it is a political position in the town. The laws of the church states that no deacon can participate in any political activity, which includes a fund raiser, ball or dance, gold outing, contributing or run for office without Bishop approval.  That was the best news Barrett got in late August.  He felt this was his way out of the galas. In 2015, he went to the then Economic Development director and shared with him what the Bishop shared with him. He asked him to share this detail with those above him.  Since his suspension since January 2019, to make matters worse, a member of the administration called the Bishop to inform him that Barrett was going to be indicted, so he should be kicked out of the deacon program.

 

This message, that Barrett could not participate in future political shenanigans,  got to those higher ups and what he knows, is that this triggered the thought process that now Barrett can no longer be involved.  He was the number two guy under the BA.  He knew where all the numbers were and all the inner workings in the organization. There is no neutral island with the administration. You are either with them or you are voted off the island. There is no middle ground.

 

This is where the shift occurred with their relationship. All the friends and family of the administration unfriended and blocked Barrett on social media. At the end of 2015, going into 2016 the BA was out on medical leave. The town had just had a re-evaluation so the penny on the tax rate switched from 500,000 to approximately 800,000. 

 

After this, all the sudden Barrett was not being contacted by the administration. He then found out from the municipal clerk that the mayor has delivered a budget with a zero-cent tax increase, they went around the CFO.  He received a copy of the budget and was in bewildered on where the numbers came from on the revenue side. It turns out that there was a shenanigan done to do a zero-cent tax increase. However, they used 500,000 as a penny vs. 800,000  and it was a one cent tax increase as they were presenting to council.  All the fund balances were now gone. The surplus was gone, and no one ever consulted the CFO, Barrett. The hard work by Barrett for years was erased in an afternoon by the leadership.

 

Barrett met with the Mayor and the township attorney to share his concerns.  The rating agencies look at the finances of a town with great rigor, so there was great concern about this. Barrett had a meeting with them to help them understand the ramifications of their decision to create a budget without him. The adjustments to revenue were not consulted by the administration to the CFO. He asked them why this was in the meeting.  Why did they create a budget without him, and decrease the surplus?  He did all he could to protect them.  Barrett had reached out to the then BA and he was not aware of what was going on. 

 

 

Out of respect, Barrett signed the document. He must report to the state and has a fiduciary responsibility to the town. He contacted council immediately and while he was in the clerk’s office he stated, “Do not introduce that budget its wrong.”  That year taxes were raised, $1.3 million since the budget that the leadership (without the CFO’s input) introduced was not appropriate. This was also the year that it was a family event, just like in 2019.

 

At this point, the relationship between Barrett and the administration dissolved. He got called into frequent inquisitions. One of which, the then township attorney, the mayor, the mayor’s assistant (who for the first time was the official note taker) during the inquisition and Barrett were in attendance.  This was a meeting that was quite bizarre, like an episode of the Twilight zone. (see link) Unfortunately, this was not a first-time occurrence of this space odyssey type meeting. This was the norm not the exception.  

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_C34g5mz1ZQ&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR2tK5OtBzAdP081e1kpQ3fU8PGYTagla5usGY2UwjKyKM0jc_QChauqc0c

 

Even though Barrett asked repeatedly in the meeting why did the Mayor go around him to submit a budget, the mayor refused to answer him. She attacked him about an email where he called her classy. The dialogue in this meeting leaves one to wonder about the leader of the township.

 

During this timeframe, Wall township had reached out to Barrett to recruit him to be their CFO. It was an amazing opportunity. This would have put him closer to home (4 miles vs. over 40 miles) and an increase in salary. When he shared that he had this offer, the attitude was from the administration, GREAT, leave. A conversation with the township attorney, asking for his advice, he stated, “ If you leave, the mayor wins.” At that point, being a stubborn Irishman from NY, he decided to stay on in Hamilton.

 

When we asked Barrett if the current mayor is capable of responsibly running the town, Barrett answered,  with a swift No response. When asked what she has demonstrated in meetings to convince him of that, Barrett stated, that the process by which the municipal budget and finances are run are as follows. The administrator has control of personnel, purchasing and budget.  The CFO has control of finance. The task of building the budget is the administrator’s duty.  It was a team effort between the BA and the CFO. They worked together to ensure what the tax rate needed to be, they brought the revenues together, what the surplus targets were for the rating agencies for S&P and Moody’s. They had to understand every move they made and how it would affect not only that year, but future years as well. They always wanted to keep the taxes flat during election years.  Once the budget is almost completed and in binders, it was only at that time when they met with any mayor. The mayor, the budget officer and CFO would meet to review of the entire budget.  At that point, it was very easy to see, based on the questions or challenging questions they asked, what grasp any mayor had on the budget or finances of the town. During these meetings Barrett shared that there was an eye glazed over response from the Mayor during these reviews.  There was no engagement that he experienced in the day to day financial operations of the town.

 

So, the question is what does the administration do every day? Barrett’s office faced her parking spot in the lot. On Tuesdays, they have staff meetings at 9am to 11am.  All the directors, surrogate and at times a member of the police department will come to the meetings. In the last two years, after the staff meeting there would be a second staff meeting that only the Three Leaves, Sammich, Legal Eagle and the mayor would attend to refuse “other items”.  There were only minutes for the first staff meeting and at the conclusion of the meeting there was always an email sent to all the directors with the minutes from the meeting. There were never minutes done during the second meeting that was held with the elite group.

 

When asked if he knew he was going to be suspended, Barrett stated it was a huge surprise. He had scheduled a vacation over a year ago in January of that year.  The day before he left for vacation two of the three leaves entered his office to ask for his computers. Due to the forceful nature, he left and went to the police station. He reported the altercation and then shortly thereafter left for his vacation. While he was in Florida, he received a phone call from  his attorney stating that the administration had reason to believe he was still at home in Brick. It appeared someone went to his home and saw all the cars in the driveway and reported back that Barrett was not in Florida, which was not the case.  He had to send copies of his airline tickets and take a photo of himself in Florida to prove to his attorney that he indeed was in Florida. The administration was very concerned about the computers that Barrett used during his employment. Barrett’s attorney said he will return them upon his return.  But that was not good enough for the administration.  The administration not only filed the tenure charges against Barrett. They also filed theft charges for $4,000 worth of computers. So, Barrett now has a police report that he stole computers, even though his attorney was in touch with them.  They sent the tenure charges to him. He was scheduled to go back to work after vacation. However, upon his return from vacation, he learned that he was suspended with pay pending the hearing.  The administration immediately cut off all his access to the township systems. This left the town without a CFO and no one managing the fiduciary responsibilities of the town.  This was a huge surprise to Barrett.

 

The shenanigans did not stop there. There was a photo from 5 years ago of Barrett that was sent to the Trentonian taken by a member of the administration. It was sent to the paper on their personal cell phone. 

 

When we asked Barrett, “What do you think they are trying to hide that they wanted you out so desperately?  He knows exactly what it is. They wanted to play the tax gimmick, by giving a false tax break. The towns ratable base went up and our levy went down by $165,000. It’s immaterial. They have used $4,000,000 of one-time revenue that Barrett would have never let them use. He also would have never let them cut the budgets on the appropriation side to under fund budgets.  The utility budget has been cut so drastically.  It does not appear that Robbinsville is ever going to pay an extra million dollars to Hamilton. This is on top of the $1.6 million they have been paying for years.  The worksheets prove it. This is the fight. The administration had to get rid of John Barrett so they could fool the residents that taxes have been cut and helped re-align sewer fees.  What are they hiding with this sewer drama? Does Hamilton owe Robinsville? Time will tell. 

 

After this week’s mediation, Barrett will be getting his job back when a new mayor comes in. If the current mayor wins the election, Barrett will still get his job back.  The stars are aligning in his favor in the judicial system.  The allegations are weak that they have developed.  The motion that was initially sent into the courts also was not written by the township attorney.  It was written by the BA. It was viewed as an illegal document.

 

The mediation forced Barret to develop two formula’s,  Option one and Option two.  Option one: the administration would immediately have to take Barrett back, pay for all his legal fees, pay pain and suffering, an apology letter, dropping the administrative charges and loss of income. He has lost  a lot of revenue in the towns he consults with.  The township administration has also harassed the towns he consults in with numerous OPRA requests. They have all hired another consultant in Barrett’s in his place due to this.  

 

The mediation last week was Barrett vs. Hamilton, not Hamilton vs. Barrett. The administrative law judge overseeing this case will again in the future review the case.  At that point they will either charge Barrett with something or recommend some discipline if charged or he could be exonerated. This decision will then be sent to the director of local governmental services team. They will then take the result and uphold the judge’s decision, reverse it or amend it. She has that authority as the director. This same director had one of her surrogates reach out to her to see if Barrett would be willing to go to a larger town under state supervision to fix their issues. 

 

Barrett stated that he will be getting his job back. All the damages from his civil case and whistleblower case may go away.  They will no longer be the amounts that were calculated but will be limited to pain and suffering from the time he was a whistleblower. There is no huge payout for Barrett at the end of this ordeal.  The township will be on the hook for the legal fees ( at least $55K). One cannot put a price on one’s reputation. In option two, the township would have to pay him to leave. They would have to buy him out for the next 20 years, with benefits.

 

After three hours, the mediator stated that there are hundreds of thousands of dollars accumulated in legal fees and other expenses for this case.  They are paying Barrett $140,000 a year plus another $40,000 in benefits to stay home.  This is resident’s taxpayer dollars. By the time this is done, it would have been a year and a half, that is a lot of taxpayer dollars.  If he would be found guilty, he would have the right to appeal it and would be put back on his salary during the term of the appeal.  The township is not gaining anything by doing this. This could cost the township over a million dollars by the time this ends.

 

Barrett asked the township attorney, “What are they thinking?”  The township’s legal council said,” I went to them in October 2018 and told them  that they should stay away from Barrett and bring the joint insurance fund in. He has a huge valid claim against the township.” They did not listen to their attorneys advise.  

 

This same township attorney shared that a township employee, we will call this person, the Hulk, got 45 extra days of vacation.  Evidently before the other BA left, he supposedly signed something  that gave him this. That is why the Hulk was on vacation most of the year. Barrett called in an auditor for it was the township attorney who shared this story. The auditors came in and they brrought with them their forensic accountant.  They ask Wrinkle Penny who entered these vacation days into the system, why he did this. WP was not truthful to the forensic accountants.  He said he could not remember doing that in Jan of that year.  They confront Wrinkle Penny further with the printout they had of the entries.  Then WP’s amnesia was cured, and they remembered a memo that the employee evidently had stating that they were to add 45 days of vacation. The auditors and CFO asked for the memo, Wrinkle Penny said he no longer had the memo. However, all documents are on a shared drive in the township for documentation. When the auditors and CFO asked WP why they did not load the document up onto the shared drive, they stated, “I do not know, I forgot.”  By twelve noon that day. Barrett met with the prosecutor’s office and everything unraveled. This is one of the major issues that he was reprimanded.  Later that evening, after Barrett lawyered up, he attended the council meeting. At the meeting council asked Barrett why they were buying flowers from capital accounts. Barrett stated he was just as shocked when he read the reports. 

 

Barrett believes that the expenditures are reviewed and approved appropriately. The purchasing agent is very detailed oriented in Hamilton. During the good times with the administration’s family, members would share with him that when their air conditioning broke, a “friend of the family” would take care of it for them. When asked how much it was their response was, “ I do not remember.  When residents must replace their air conditioners, they never forget how much it was for this is a very expensive replacement in one’s home.  

 

When we asked Barrett, why do you think Sammich, who has been indicted, has not been fired. His response was interesting. “He knows too much.  He was the municipal chair of the party prior to the current leader.  He takes direction from the mayor and was made director by the mayor. He is someone who has leveraged himself against his pension, and he has obligations that he cannot meet according to Barrett.  He is not someone who can walk away from the town. He should have just retired.   The towns leadership is helping him by keeping him game fully employed. There chatter on the street that they have asked him to leave.” 

 

This case is going to get expensive for Hamilton. The township has a $50,000 retention.  The first $50,000 the town pays;  everything else is the JIF (joint insurance fund) pays.  The JIF could come back and create a standard for these types of cases due to the large payout that could happen if the town does not settle this case.

 

Barrett told the two of Three Leaves that they are not dealing with the animal shelter correctly. That they needed to show that this type of behavior would not be tolerated.  It’s better to have these people get their jobs back on appeal that sit ideally by and do nothing.  The administration is very loyal to people who yes them.

 

We asked Barrett what is next for his case against the township of Hamilton. Barrett stated that there is a conference call at the end of September with the judge assigned to this case.  Since mediation has failed a hearing will be scheduled and they will go into discovery with depositions.  The next step will be a hearing in the first quarter of 2020. Based on the  results of that Barrett will not be cleared to come back to work until June of 2020, unless the charges are dropped. If the charges are dropped this all goes away.

 

Editors note: What we have shared with you above represents a substantial systemic failure in the aspect of leadership in Hamilton, Mercer County. The “three leaves”, Wrinkle Penny, Sammich and the mayor have a strategy, point the finger and take zero accountability. The mayor of the town, being the first female mayor has missed the opportunity of a lifetime. She has done zero to help the female population in the town, as it pertains to inspiring them, holding them up when they needed assistance, and driving positivity with the youth. She has surrounded herself with directors who only think about their pensions and payouts. 

 

The missed opportunity to mentor, inspire and take the town to new levels it not of any interest to the mayor or the “three leaves”.  She has chosen to put herself first, the residents are an afterthought at best. As the Public Safety Director, she has zero interest in the safety of the public, only herself. But she cannot help it, for she lacks the resilience that is needed in leaders to drive teams to success; in the face of unforeseen circumstances.  

 

In March of this year, the mayor visited one of the schools (7th and 8th graders) in the township. She started the conversation with the students, “I am here to talk about how the fact that I am so pretty and how that affects my ability to be mayor.”  She went on to say to the students that people told her that she was too pretty to ever achieve anything.  I think the mayor missed the memo on how to motivate children and do public speaking. I can only hope that after that fiasco, that the Superintendent of schools in Hamilton set a protocol for political visitors. One student after her visit was so disgusted by her visit they tweeted this….. his last sentence is compelling. She wasted their time, not a smart thing to do to a future voter. The complete disrespect of their time was yet another missed opportunity to inspire. That student no doubt went home and shared what happened that day to his family. They vote too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you think they were inspired from her visit? This tweet roars the frustration. Do you think she talked about anything but herself? Do you think she spent any time getting to know the students and understanding their needs and future dreams? No, of course not, except yes to the second question, that is all she did. It is not in her DNA to care what others think or to have apathy.

 

The mayor grew up in the Bromley section of Hamilton, yet recently she told residents in the Bromely section of Hamilton, when they reached out to her, “We have done enough for Bromley.”  She has also proven to the residents of Hamilton, its not in her DNA to care about them. The examples to prove this statement are endless.

 

The mayor is fixated on titles. She has done this in every job she has held.  This has allowed her to never learn what leadership is truly about.  It is not about the title, its not about the position, its not a crown, its not a red carpet, a throne for her to sit upon with the right to order everyone around.  It is an opportunity. A chance to turn the whole into something greater than the sum of its parts. She has missed this opportunity in all aspects of her career and as mayor.  She has demonstrated gross abuse of power in her role of mayor, causing her to not become an effective leader. The phrase one person used was,” She is a tyrant in heels.”

 

The mayor spends a lot of time combing the streets, not looking for things to optimize, but stalking the residents. She spends a lot of time driving by my home.  As she drives by, she tells passengers, “That is were that Democrat, Tammy Duffy lives.”  Well, I must break your bubble mayor, but I have been a  Republican since I registered to vote.  However, I vote for the right candidates.   I request you stop the drive by’s. My house is not Starbucks, I do not sell coffee.  This is just normal behavior that all who have ever challenged the mayor on a topic are rewarded with harassment, stopped OPRA requests, being the topic of staff meetings in a negative manner with nonstop defamation etc.  The residents will never stop fighting for right is right. One good thing all this bad behavior has done, it has brought the community closer together to fight “city hall” for the rights of the people

 

It’s day 43 that the mayor has not responded to council to have a town hall meeting about Jeff Plunkett and other ailing issues in the township. This is grossly unprofessional of the mayor and the three leaves.  It is the duty of the administration to create an atmosphere for residents that is not harassing, bullying or intimidating. The residents would give the mayor and the three leaves an A plus in this arena. But my dear that is not something you want an A plus in.  

 

The best leaders learn how to pace themselves- in everything they do both personally and professionally.  One must develop a rhythm that suits you and enables you to use your energy as efficiently as possible.  If you don’t the likelihood you will meet your goal, is unlikely.  At worst, you risk physical and mental exhaustion as well. 

 

It is important that you develop a rhythm that suits you and that enables you to use your energy as efficiently as possible. It takes fortitude to keep yourself from the natural urge to just get the task done as quickly as possible at any cost.  Make sure you get perspective before you make decisions and earn to pace yourself. Create moments of rest for yourself and the people around you.  Recognize that the best people or employees are not workaholics, but rather people who are connected to the world, who are connected to families, who give back to the communities.

 

Apathy and lack of passion are serious encumbrances that need to be jettisoned and replaced with positive attitude and a commitment to excellence. There is no room for ego in these types of roles you have been either elected to do or hired to do. It is not very classy to behave in the manner that K and the three leaves do.  

 

The experiences you as leaders in our town must have on residents is critical to the residents.   The talk at the high school “I’m so pretty” left an indelible impression on each of the students in that room.  The fact that that mayor could not read their body language also speaks volumes. Read the room. Each member of a team must generously give and graciously receive.  We all need to continue to step up to the plate and fill the void with positive forces.  We need to face the difficulties and challenges life gives us in the most positive manner.

 

What are those challenges that are inside us all? When we conquer vanity, excessive love of self, insecurity, fear of failure and perfectionism we summit in life.  We live a life where we not only conquer mountains but conquer ourselves as well. In doing so, you will one day look back at a time of crisis with satisfaction that comes from having courageously conquered the challenges within and without, and with the assurance that you have fulfilled your purpose in life.  

 

No time or energy should ever be wasted searching for a path to realization. Live your prophecy. Never question fate. We experience a life that in no way resembles the ordinary civilized life to which we have grown accustomed.  Inside each of us, is the ambition to reach the summit, to realize that you are stronger than the obstacles, that it is within your power to do something uncommon and indeed impossible for most people. But one must be prepared to face those obstacles.

 

It would be far better if ambition compelled people to train, to commit to preparation that went from simple to complex, hardening the spirit.  An individual should derive pleasure from the process of leadership and mental development.  The payment for ambition should be made in preparation, in training and improving oneself, not threats, intimidation and bullying. The greatest significance of our efforts is to have a way to evaluate our actions in life.  It is time for the mayor to evaluate herself, to show the Hamilton residents matter.

 

 

 


Posted by tammyduffy at 6:28 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 2 September 2019 8:46 AM EDT
Sunday, 25 August 2019
Hamilton Residents Do Matter
Topic: COMMUNITY INTEREST

 
 


 

 
 
 

Last night, a local resident celebrated the one-year anniversary of rescuing a turtle from the Hamilton Shelter. It was quite the event. The musical group, the Jazz Lobsters performed, playing a multitude of jazz songs and other requests made by the guests.  It was a great night had by all those who attended.

 

The Mercer County Prosecutors office has been diligently working on a case that led to the indictments of the ACO and Health Director of Hamilton Township. The unthinkable acts performed by these two people and others are beyond human recognition.  The turtle was rescued from the Hamilton Shelter.

 

The support by the local Mayor, Director of Health, her Chief of staff, and BA, of these unthinkable acts has perplexed residents for over a year. How can anyone support the purposeful killing of animals? How can anyone ignore subpoenas to testify? Well, this is what is the norm in Hamilton, Mercer County. The current Mayor has not only allowed the animal shelter to be a point of contention for the town but she has allowed public health to be ignored. The Mayor made herself the Director of Public Safety when she was elected, so she is 100% accountable to all the wrong doings, and ignorance to public health in Hamilton, Mercer County.

 

Residents and council have been reaching out to the Mayor to request a town hall meeting to discuss all the issues. The Mayor for several months has demonstrated a belligerent position to residents and council, ignoring all emails and phone calls. She has gone as far, it would appear, as to direct employees to ignore government issues subpoenas.  

 

Let’s look at the public health issues that have resulted in deaths in Hamilton

 

1.  2014: EVD68, Eli, a 4-year-old Hamilton resident dies from the disease.  The Mayor, health director and entire administrative staff were obtusely unaware of a Nationwide epidemic going on. They stood up town halls and openly admitted to the fact they had no idea what the disease was. An OPRA request also demonstrated that prior to the death of Eli. No SOP's existing in the schools in Hamilton to manage dealing with outbreaks. This was demonstrated from an OPRA request. It was not until there was a death in town that they learned about the epidemic that the Mayor and her administration, addressed the public demonstrating they had no idea what the disease was. They misled the public by stating they were rewriting the SOP's. The SOP's at that time never existed. 

2.  In 2019, Legionnaires cases and a death in Hamilton. To date, there has been no information shared on the township website. Other municipalities in NJ, that have had this unfortunate event as well, all have been forthcoming with residents.  The administration of Hamilton, Mercer County, stated that the state is responsible for telling residents.  The township Health department never let the BOH know this was happening.

3.  Director of Health department gets indicted for numerous issues. DOH states they are in process of revoking his license. No public annoucement from the Public Safety Director on this issue. When she was approached by residents, she ignored all of them as well as councils requests for a town hall. 

4. For 7 years, residents in the Cornell Heights area have contacted the current Mayor on traffic issues. They have been ignored for 7 years by the Mayor, even though she claims she has an opened door policy.  In July 2019, a 24-year-old boy was killed on the corner of Sandalwood and Carlise while riding his bike. The township officials the next day had an emergency meeting to finally approve signage to stop the use of trucks on the streets. Again, it takes another death before the leadership responded.

5. Currently there is a Hepatitis A outbreak in NJ. This is a disease that is very contagious. There are 361 cases on record, 19 of which are in Mercer County. Yet, again there is zero information of focus on community education on this issue from the Public Safety Director: Mayor Yaede or anyone on her staff. They again are obtusely unaware of this epidemic.  The Director of Public Health for Hamilton who is also the Mayor, must be waiting for a death or two to happen before alerting the residents of this epidemic. 

6.  Youth Suicide Epidemic. Statistics show that Mercer, Warren, and Ocean counties have the three highest rates of suicide attempts and self-inflicted injuries in the Garden State, which has 21 counties overall. So what is the Hamilton Public Safety Director doing about this? Nothing. 

 

 

 

ETC. ETC. ETC.....you get the picture?

 

This consistent ignorance by the Hamilton Public Safety Director has residents very concerned. There is a very bad pattern of behavior that exists in this administration and the directors that is causing deaths in the township, needless deaths.  They have zero remorse for their wrong doing. 

 

Below are some informative links focused on the current Hepatitis A epidemic in NJ.

 

https://www.state.nj.us/health/cd/documents/topics/hepatitisa/Infographic-HepAOutbreak-GayMen.pdf

https://nj.gov/health/cd/documents/topics/hepatitisa/hep_a_2019_data.pdf

https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/outbreaks/2017March-HepatitisA.htm

 

Another example of the closed door administration of Hamilton, Mercer County….

 

The letter below was sent to the Mayor several weeks ago, the resident never received a response even though they have called, emailed and placed a request for a call with HAMSTAT. All requests have gone ignored.

 

 

Dear Kelly Yaede,

 

I never received a response to this request/email. I do look forward to a response and do expect one as a 53-year resident of Hamilton township. The residents of Hamilton pay your salary. It's not unreasonable to expect a response. 

 

This evening, the animal shelter subcommittee scheduled and held a meeting in Hamilton Chambers. As you are aware, this meeting was to have ACO Munford present to residents and the subcommittee details of optimization at the animal shelter.  There was a request by council for months to have Ms. Munford share the information regarding the shelter. She refused, as you are well aware. This should have been a very positive meeting but the refusal by your team to share the details forced council to subpoena her, and she received the subpoena. She refused to come without it. It is our understanding that you and Mr Kenny advised her not to come to evening. Why did you do that? If you and the employees of Hamilton have nothing to hide, and all is well at the shelter, there should be no reason why a harmless meeting like this evening could have taken place.  Residents took time away from their families to attend this meeting. Only to have their time wasted because the instruction to Ms Munford was....don't show up. 

 

 

A subpoena is a court issued order that cannot be ignored, at least not without consequences. Failing to comply with a subpoena can result in a legal penalty, as noncompliance almost always constitutes contempt of court, which can lead to imposition of fines and/or jail time. To have Ms. Munford behave in a manner this evening where she ignored the subpoena leaves residents to believe that things are not fixed at the shelter.  The ad you placed in regards to the shelter,  which was paid for by the Republican party, of which I am a member, was propaganda.  Your position on this issue is quite perplexing and very concerning. It's time to stand up and speak to the residents.

 

 

A Mayors role is to enforce the laws of a town. It is also the Mayor’s job to maintain safe streets to control crime and establish programs that preserve the health and welfare of residents. You gave yourself the additional title of Public Safety Director when you were elected. It is also a Mayor’s responsibility to supervise the conduct of all officers and department supervisors in our town authorized by law.  An additional responsibility of the Mayor is to provide council with information they request in order to help them make good decisions for the residents of our town. You have failed the residents in every aspect of your responsibilities. This is gravely disappointing as a fellow Republican to see such widespread failure in the administration.

 

At the 2018, at the US Conference of Mayor’s in DC, there was a forum (see link) https://www.c-span.org/video/?443646-1/us-conference-mayors-examines-school-public-safety, where Mayor’s from all over the United States discussed public safety in their towns, challenges in their towns, etc.  I highly recommend you watch this 3-hour video. For you were not in attendance to this break-out at the meeting. This could prove to be an effective training for you to learn what Mayors are doing to keep their residents safe, deal with challenges, and be a leader in creating an active communication link between departments, residents and the administration.

 

Barbarians at the gate usually don't bring down once-successful civilizations. Nor does climate change. Even mass epidemics like the plague that decimated sixth-century Byzantium do not necessarily destroy a culture. Far more dangerous are institutionalized corruption, a lack of transparency and creeping neglect of existing laws.  Ultimately, no town can continue to thrive it its government 

refuses to enforce its own laws and ignore its residents. The residents of Hamilton are wondering why you and your administration are selectively exempt from following the law.

For the past 7 years the residents of Cornell Heights have been in contact with you and your directors about the traffic, speeding, and road issues in our area. You have ignored residents for 7 years. The council recently has been very helpful to try and move issues along to course correct signage that should have been put up over 10 years ago during the American Metro Project. This signage would have decreased speeds, put in calming measures on the roads, increase signage. For seven years, you and your directors ignored the residents.

A few weeks ago, another young youth was killed in our neighborhood on a bicycle.  He collided with a car. His 24-year-old body went through the back window of the car and then he was catapulted back onto the street. This killed him instantly. His face and neck were torn beyond recognition and his body lay in the street for over 3 hours while police did their investigations. The sheet over his body was soaked in blood.

Last week the mother of this child was in the neighborhood. She leaves fresh flowers at this death site every week. She proceeded to go to the area where her son’s body was during the accident and sniffed the ground where his body laid. She then proceeded to kiss the ground and sob uncontrollably in the area as well. She repeated this at every mark on the ground, where his bike was, where his sneaker was, etc.  No Mother should ever have to make the last kiss, the last scent she gets to do with her child in a street.

The area where this young boy was killed lacks enough lighting as well as properly marked stop lines. They are worn away. There was no way for this child to see the stop sign or the street line to know to stop. Why did you ignore residents for 7 years on the issues in Cornell Heights?  Why did you allow the project not to be properly managed by your directors for the calming measures in Cornell Heights? As our Public Safety Director, you must take ownership for these institutional failures.   If all the things residents asked for, for the past 7 years were taken care of, this child may not have died on our streets. His Mother would not have had to have her last kiss and inhalation of air to try to capture her son's scent, would not have had to happen on Sandalwood Ave.  

The failure at the Animal shelter, with our Director of Health and elsewhere in the administration, are making residents to have pause about the abilities of the administration.  Your commitment to residents is concerning. A Mayor cannot be absent from the administration.  There is a large public safety concern as it pertains to all food establishments, the animal shelter and many other issues. It is your responsibility as Mayor and Public Safety Director to ensure our safety. To speak to residents in time of need.

So, in closing I will ask again, when will you hold a town hall meeting to address the residents of Hamilton township, Mercer County. It's time to do your job as Mayor. If you do not feel like doing the job, resign. Let someone who cares about the residents take over. The residents need leadership and someone who cares about them. Not an absent Mayor. 

 

Kind Regards,

 

Hamilton Resident in Cornell Heights

 

 


Posted by tammyduffy at 5:06 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 25 August 2019 6:32 PM EDT
Tuesday, 30 July 2019
Government Gone Bad
Topic: COMMUNITY INTEREST
 
 
 
 
 

Government Gone Bad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seven days ago we Opra’d the food inspection reports from 2010 to 2019 for several food establishments in Hamilton township. We got a message yesterday from the township stating that the request was too broad, and they would not share the information. We pushed back on them to state our request was not too broad and in the event the township did not reconsider their response, we would seek legal assistance to get the information.

 

Today, the clerk’s office sent the information we requested. However, there was one extra document in the mix that we did not ask for, a document that is quite compelling.  Turns out on Feb 26,2019 the clerk’s office of Hamilton township certified the destruction of records. There were 72 cubic feet of records destroyed. The certification of the destruction is below. The specific records that were destroyed were:

-All food surveillance inspection reports from 2000-2015 have been destroyed. The email from the clerk’s office stated,

Good afternoon Ms. Duffy,

Pursuant to OPRA request 19-1286 regarding specific food delivery/restaurants in Hamilton Township, please be advised that the inspection report records that you have requested for the time period of January 2010 through December 2015 were destroyed through a request and authorization for records disposal of (Food Surveillance Sanity Inspections Reports [01/2000 to 12/2015], Food Establishment Inspections Reports [01/2008 to 12/2015], and Reports of Inspections [12/2007 to 12/2015]) as submitted and approved by the NJ Department of the Treasury, Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services, Records Management Services.

That being said, attached hereto is the original OPRA request for reference, the disposition request review summary sheet, and responsive records. This request is considered closed. “

Well, Well, Well…….how timely to destroy all of the food inspection reports when there is an active investigation going on of the health director for not doing the inspections. They are required to hold onto the documents for three years, so not out of the ordinary, but timely to destroy everything in one day.  Leaves one to question why it took over 15 years to destroy the documents.

-Food Establishment inspection reports from 2008 to 2015: DESTROYED

-Report of Inspections from 2007 to 2015: DESTROYED

-Animal Impoundment records from 2000 to 2017, Adoption forms: DESTROYED

-Animal Impoundment records from 2000 to 2017: DESTROYED

Hmmmm…. why the shred fest oh Hamilton leadership? What were you hiding? Why did it take 17 years to do this? The documents only have to be held for one year. This is highly suspicious. Why is the township playing catch up with the destruction of records? Has someone told them to destroy anything that could incriminate them? You be the judge of that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

The OPRA request also focused on certain food establishments in Hamilton. These were selected based on personal frequency of patronage. We asked for the full inspection reports for: Stone Terrace, JoJo’s, Reading Center, the Hamilton Garden Inn, Fred and Pete’s, Longhorne Steakhouse, Banzai and Risoldi’s supermarket.  We asked for reports from Jan 1 2010 to July 20 2019.  We were only able to obtain some of the reports due to the extensive destruction of records that occurred on Feb 26 2019.

 

These reports in their entirety are attached. There were claims made by a few food establishments when the DOH report came out with the intent to revoke Mr Plunkett’s health license.  They claimed the inspections were extensive.  However, you be the judge of how the templates were filled out by the inspectors during each inspection. 

 

 

 

 

We have placed the inspection reports at the link below

 

https://www.sendspace.com/filegroup/utQr9b%2BlMdbN8xzvbW4LRrlqVnUF4jPUtoqk96D12aIREddv7mq7gbj46JNt5ouB5lPZMMlyi8o 

 

 

 

 Where is the accountability? Tomorrow is day 14 of zero response from our Mayor on these critical issues as it pertains to public health.  The mass destruction of documents from the animal shelter as well as the food establishments are concerning. We hope you find this information useful as you make decisions on where to obtain food and meals in Hamilton township.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Posted by tammyduffy at 7:48 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 30 July 2019 8:22 PM EDT
Saturday, 22 June 2019
DPW in Hamilton Assists With Flooding
Topic: COMMUNITY INTEREST

 

 DPW in Hamilton Assists With Flooding

 

 

 

photo taken by Tammy Duffy on Laura Ave in Cornell Heights last week after the paving by Hamilton DPW 

 

 

 

Storm drain inlet bags are made from a heavy fibrous material that allows the water to drain into the storm drain. When these are used, and it is mandatory in the state of NJ that they are used when a road is being paved in the presence of a storm drain, they keep the asphalt and tar from entering the waterway. These inlet bags are used by taking the storm drain head off and put it on, then place the storm drain cover back on. This then keeps all the contaminate rocks, milling, tar from entering the storm drain. The bags fibrous material allows water to keep on flowing into the storm drain. These bags are very strong and can withstand a lot of material into them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the past several weeks Hamilton Township DPW has been repaving roads in the Cornell Heights area. They ignored the fact that the usage of these bags is mandatory. There is not an option to not use them. Severe fines, jail time can result if a contractor ignores this law that requires the usage of storm drain inlet bags. The detrimental effect this level of ignorance has a negative impact on flooding. The material dumped into the storm drain by the Hamilton DPW will clog the storm drain. The township and or the state then will have to come back and use a large suction vacuum to clean the storm drains.  If they do not clean up this mess they made its guaranteed that flooding will result due to this amazing technique utilized by the Hamilton twp DPW. Many years ago the inlet pipes were made smaller so that water bottles and trash could not get into the water ways. So dropping asphalt and tar down a storm drain during resurfacing of a road, it just gross negligence. 

 

 

When the township used their asphalt paver, when they came up to one of the storm drain boxes, they paved right over it and then scraped the asphalt off. When they scraped it off it fell into the storm drain. The tar they used also was scraped off and that too fell into the storm drain. This gross negligence on the behalf of the Hamilton DPW will clog the storm drain and increase flooding in the area.

 

After the asphalt and tar leaves the storm train it will enter the waterway. Even if the township employees cannot read (the storm drain has labeling on it, DO NOT DUMP GOES TO WATER WAYS) there is iconography of fish that demonstrate whatever you dump in the drain will have a direct effect on the waterway and fish life.

 

LAZY, that is the only word to describe this road resurfacing technique utilized by the DPW from Hamilton township. On the highways, the DOT makes the union companies that are doing the overlays, mandate that the companies use the storm drain inlet bags. This then saves money to the state because without the use of the bags the state would then have to pay to have the storm drains cleaned on the highways.

 

Looks like the taxpayers of Hamilton are going to have to pay to have the storm drains cleaned again, thanks to the Hamilton DPW. There are three different outfits paving the roads in Hamilton. The  non-union company, Earle that the township has hired to do many of the repaving in Hamilton are using the inlet bags. The Hamilton DPW is not. There is a third company, Crisdel, a union company,  that the township has hired to repave the roads has state inspectors that oversee their work. This ensures they are using the bags and ensure that no toxics go into the basins. The road Crisdel they did in Cornell Heights did not have any storm drains on it. So one has to ponder, why is the Hamilton DPW taking the strategy they are taking to pave the roads? Who is giving them this direction? Who will hold them accountable for their actions? The residents will. An offical complaint to the DEP has been submitted against the township DPW for their actions. The complaint is under investigation. 

 

During this month’s Hamilton Council meeting a resident brought this issue up, she had sent an email to council, the Mayor and the business administrator.  The Mayor has never responded and the Business Administrator at the meeting said, “He would look into it.” Residents are not holding their breath for a resolution.

 

Why is no one checking the work that DPW is doing? Why would no one be inspecting this work and using the mandated storm drain inlet bags? 

 

Hamilton DPW will and is doing the resurfacing work on Basin Road in Cornell Heights as well. The teams are working from 9am to 12 noon and then they are done for the day. The neighbors are seeing this lack of work ethic and are furious. They are furious that the drains are being deliberately clogged by Hamilton DPW and this will flood the surrounding area. This is not how they want to see their tax dollars spent. 

 

When it rains, water washes over roofs, streets, driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, and land surfaces. Along the way, it can pick up a variety of pollutants, such as oil, pesticides, metals, chemicals, and soil. This polluted stormwater drains into the storm system that eventually discharges into our rivers and streams. The pollutants can endanger the water quality of our waterways, making them unhealthy for people, fish, and wildlife. No matter where you live, there's a drainage system in place to help rainwater find its way to the river. 

 

Inlet protection devices intercept and/or filter sediment before it can be transported from a site into the storm drain system and discharged into a lake, river, stream, wetland, or other waterbody. These devices also keep sediment from filling or clogging storm drain pipes, ditches, and downgradient sediment traps or ponds. Inlet protection may also include placement of a barrier to create a bypass of an inlet transferring flow downstream to a sediment trap, basin, or other inlet discharging to a non-critical area.

 

The Construction Stormwater General Permit states: Permittees must establish sediment control BMPS on all downgradient perimeters of the site and downgradient areas of the site that drain to any surface water, including curb and gutter systems. Permittees must locate sediment control practices upgradient of any buffer zones. Permittees must install sediment control practices before any upgradient land-disturbing activities begin and must keep the sediment control practices in place until they establish permanent cover.

 

The federal Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and Endangered Species Act direct the City to improve stormwater quality and protect watersheds, rivers, streams, and drinking water resources. With the exception of storm drains maintenance, the overall management of the stormwater system is the responsibility of the Bureau of Environmental Services (BES). BES coordinates the citywide response to the federal stormwater permit that requires the town to reduce stormwater pollution, and oversees programs that respond to water quality requirements and promote private stormwater management efforts.

 

The Bureau of Transportation (NJDOT) is responsible for maintaining storm drains and responding to street flooding and other safety concerns.

 

To lessen street flooding, residents need to act as storm drain sweepers to help clean the inlets and storm drains in front of their properties. Use a rake or pitch fork to clear leaves, limbs, and debris from the storm drain. Do not put your feet and hands into the storm drain because all kinds of debris collect there that could be dangerous. Do not try to remove the grate, only the debris on top of the grate.

 

The best time to inspect the storm drains in front of your house or business is prior to a rain event and right after a rain, snow, or ice storm. If you cannot clear a clogged storm drain yourself, notify the town that help is needed.

 

Never rake or blow the leaves from your yard into the street. Bag them at the curb in the parking strip and prepare them for curbside pickup by your garbage hauler. The town’s leaf removal service is intended solely for leaves that impede stormwater drainage and cause traffic hazards.

 

For leaves that have fallen into the street, please keep them out of the channel right along the curb, where they will block the path of rainwater. Rake them at least one foot from the curb.  

 

When it rains, storm water runs off roadways, driveways, and construction sites into grates which carry the storm water to rivers, streams, lakes and other waterways. Unlike sewage, storm water is not treated so as it flows into grates it carries with it sediment, trash, oils, chemicals and other elements that are harmful to our water resources. Why not do your part and help protect our water resources?

 

The township has laws against these kinds of things from happening. (see below) the residents want to know why the township directors and officials continue to act as if they are above the law.

 

 

 

§ 577-11 Violations and penalties.

 

Any person who erects, constructs, alters, repairs, converts, maintains or uses any building, structure or land in violation of this chapter shall be subject to penalties prescribed by the Township with consideration to this chapter, including any penalties contained in the Municipal Land Use Law, N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.; the Stormwater Management Rules, N.J.A.C. 7:8-1.1 et seq.; and/or Chapter 1, General Provisions, § 1-2, Violations; penalties, of the Code of the Township of Hamilton.

 

 


Posted by tammyduffy at 7:40 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 22 June 2019 7:42 PM EDT
Saturday, 11 May 2019
Hamilton Twp Leadership and How It Compares To Theranos and ENRON Leadership
Topic: COMMUNITY INTEREST

 

 

 

 

 

Hamilton Twp Leadership and How It Compares To Theranos and ENRON Leadership

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hamilton Twp Leadership and How It Compares To Theranos and ENRON Leadership

 

 

Both female blonde CEO’s

Both demonstrate narcissistic tendencies

When confronted with negatively the person giving the negative statement are attacked.

Factually not true statements are a staple for their existence.

False information is given to investors, patients.

Lack of concern with false information

Reckless comments based on ignorance

Nepotism is a core hiring strategy

They try to convince everyone that everyone is stupid and that they are the brains of the operation

Whistleblowers exposed their gross negligence and maleficence

They view themselves as the victim

They blame the media, her employees and her lawyers for what happened

Manipulative to make people going. They hand out things that are 100% not true

Greed and Incredible Deception is eaten for all meals ingested by the CEO

Personal strategy is to Deny Deny Deny!

 

You get the picture….you see the similarities? Elizabeth Holmes was the CEO for Theranos. She pleaded not guilty last summer.  There are 16 million pages of documents that demonstrate the fraud she committed. She faces 20 years in prison.

 

At the end of a five-year investigation, the FBI discovered that Enron Corporation — an American energy, commodities and services company based in Houston, Texas —  who also used a variety of deceptive and fraudulent accounting practices to cover its financial reporting fraud. Corporate officers created the illusion that Enron was making profits in the billions, and its stock soared. Between 1996 and 2000, Enron reported an increase in revenue from $13.3 billion to $100.8 billion. However, the company was actually losing money.

When Lay was indicted for fraud, he conveniently blamed Skilling, Fastow and CAO Richard Causey for Enron's demise and denied he'd known anything about the accounting fraud. Before his trial, he insisted he was a victim in an interview with "60 Minutes," stating: "I don't think I'm a fool, but I think I was fooled … I can't take responsibility for the criminal conduct of someone inside the company."  Sound familiar?  What’s next for the leadership in Hamilton? The recent statement from the leadership of Hamilton are right out of the book of Lay and  Holmes.

 

Fraudsters, like Lay and Skilling, commonly proclaim their innocence by denying a guilty mental state. In a securities fraud case, for example, management will artificially inflate an organization's stock price and then claim it was only a temporary measure to get through a difficult period and not an attempt to deceive anyone. Or in an embezzlement case, the perpetrator will say he never intended to fraudulently take the money because it was only a temporary loan.

 

High-level executives and CEOs might try to distance themselves from fraudulent behavior by claiming ignorance to demonstrate they didn't know of any organizational fraud to minimize the chances of possible indictment. They'll argue that subordinates who orchestrated the fraud scheme kept them in the dark. At a recent council meeting it was stated by a member of council that they felt the mayor knew nothing of the issues at the animal shelter.  How can that be, she is the Public Safety Director. Her job and title dictate that she knows and knew everything.

 

In most criminal trials, prosecutors seeking a conviction must prove that the defendants showed a "guilty or culpable state of mind" — the legal concept of mens rea. Unfortunately for Lay and Skilling, Fastow testified at trial that his superiors encouraged him to make the financial health of the company look as positive as possible and to avoid public disclosure. So, the jury found that Lay and Skilling knew exactly what they were doing. The damsel in distress statements by the Hamilton leadership will not keep them out of orange jumpsuits.

 

Legislators, public employees, and other public servants may face severe consequences for violating the public trust. The range of penalties includes censure, removal from office, permanent disqualification from holding any state position, restitution, decades in prison, and fines up into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

 

Not all ethics violations are treated equally. Punishments correspond to how bad an instance of misconduct is viewed in the eyes of a state and in consideration of the harm a violation may cause. The most severe consequences are normally reserved for cases of bribery involving large sums or similar types of violations. Like most issues in ethics, however, states vary widely on the details. When Mayor Yaede came into office she disbanded the ethics board and for good reason. She and her team had a lot to accomplish.

 

The criminal justice process works separately from commissions and committees to impose punishments for wrongdoing. Each may discipline violators of ethics laws using criminal or administrative penalties, respectively, independently and concurrently, depending on the law violated.

 

 

New Jersey

Public corruption profiteering subject to penalties of $500,000, $25,000, or $75,000

depending upon severity, or three times the

 value of any property involved in the crime. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:30-8.

First degree crimes:

§  Corruption of public resources if the value of the resource is $500,000 or more

§   and subject to obligation to facilitate

§   a public service. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:27-12.

§  Punishable by term of imprisonment between 10 and 20 years. N.J. Stat. Ann.

§  § 2C:43-6. Restitution plus a fine of up

§  to $200,000. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:43-3.

Second degree crimes:

§  Pattern of official misconduct, if one of the acts is a first or second degree crime.

§  N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:30-7.

§  Speculating or wagering on official action or information, unless benefit is of

§   $200 or less. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:30-3.

§  Official misconduct, unless benefit is of $200 or less. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:30-2.

§  Corruption of public resources if the value of the resource is between $75,000

§  and $500,000 and subject to obligation to facilitate

§  a public service, or over $500,000 if not. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:27-12.

§  Offer of unlawful benefit to public servant for official behavior, if over $200.

§   N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:27-11 & N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:27-10.

§  Bribery, if value is over $200. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:27-2.

§  Punishable by term of imprisonment between 5 and 10 years. N.J. Stat. Ann.

§   § 2C:43-6. Restitution plus a fine of up to $150,000. 

§  N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:43-3.

Third degree crimes:

§  Pattern of official misconduct, if none of the acts is a first or second degree crime.

§  N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:30-7.

§  Speculating or wagering on official action or information, if benefit is of $200 or less.

§   N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:30-3.

§  Official misconduct, if benefit is of $200 or less. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:30-2.

§  Corruption of public resources if the value of the resource is less than $75,000,

§  and subject to obligation to facilitate a

§   public service, or between $75,000 and $500,000 if not. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:27-12.

§  Unlawful benefit to public servant for official behavior, if under $200. N.J. Stat. Ann.

§  § 2C:27-11 & N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:27-10.

§  Improper influence in official and political matters. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:27-3.

§  Bribery, if value is $200 or less. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:27-2.

§  Punishable by term of imprisonment between 3 and 5 years. N.J. Stat. Ann.

§   § 2C:43-6. Restitution plus a fine of up to $15,000

§  . N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:43-3.

Fourth degree crimes:

§  Public servant transacting business with certain prohibited persons

§  (him or herself, a family member, associated business).

§   N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:27-9.

§  Corruption of public resources if the value of the resource is less than $75,000,

§  and not subject to obligation to facilitate a public

§  service. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:27-12.

§  Retaliation for past official action. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:27-5.

§  Punishable by term of imprisonment no more than 18 months. N.J. Stat. Ann.

§   § 2C:43-6. Restitution plus a fine of up to

§  $10,000. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:43-3.

Joint legislative ethics committee on ethical standards is able to impose, for violations

 of the state conflict of interest provisions:

 fine of between $500 and $10,000 per violation, reprimand, restitution, removal

from office, permanent disqualification from serving in public office in the state.

 N.J. Stat. Ann. § 52:13D-22.

 

 

013 New Jersey Revised Statutes
Title 2C - THE NEW JERSEY CODE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Section 2C:30-2 - Official misconduct

 

Universal Citation: NJ Rev Stat § 2C:30-2 (2013)

2C:30-2. Official misconduct
A public servant is guilty of official misconduct when, with purpose to obtain a benefit for himself or another or to injure or to deprive another of a benefit:

a. He commits an act relating to his office but constituting an unauthorized exercise of his official functions, knowing that such act is unauthorized or he is committing such act in an unauthorized manner; or

b. He knowingly refrains from performing a duty which is imposed upon him by law or is clearly inherent in the nature of his office.

Official misconduct is a crime of the second degree. If the benefit obtained or sought to be obtained, or of which another is deprived or sought to be deprived, is of a value of $200.00 or less, the offense of official misconduct is a crime of the third degree.

 

REFRESHER ON CRIMINAL COERCION

AN ACTOR COMMITS CRIMINAL COERCION IF HE OR SHE PURPOSEFULLY AND UNLAWFULLY RESTRICTS A PERSON’S ABILITY TO ENGAGE OR REFRAIN FROM ENGAGING IN CONDUCT THROUGH THREATS:

N.J.S.A. 2C:13-5 A(2), CONSISTING OF FALSE ACCUSATIONS THAT A PERSON COMMITTED A CRIMINAL AND/OR OTHER OFFENSE.

 

N.J.S.A. 2C:13-5 A(4), CONSISTING OF AN ACTION TAKEN OR WITHHELD BY AN OFFICIAL, OR CONSISTING OF AN ACTION THAT WOULD CAUSE AN OFFICIAL TO TAKE OR WITHHOLD ACTION.

 

N.J.S.A. 2C:13-5 A(6), CONSISTING OF PROVIDING TESTIMONY OR INFORMATION, OR WITHHOLDING TESTIMONY OR INFORMATION WITH REGARD TO A PERSON’S LEGAL CLAIM OR DEFENSE.

 

N.J.S.A. 2C:13-5 A(7), CONSISTING OF ANY OTHER ACT THAT IS INTENDED TO HARM A TARGETED PERSON WITH REGARD TO HIS OR HER HEALTH, SAFETY, BUSINESS, CALLING, CAREER, FINANCIAL CONDITION, REPUTATION OR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS.

 

Did the leadership of HAMILTON TOWNSHIP commit an act of criminal coercion when they purposefully attempted to restrict a resident to obtain government records as the leadership is named as the defendant in a legal matter.  In addition did the leadership of Hamilton commit an fourth degree crime when they sent a township employee to a residents home, to harass them for challenging the leadership.

 

Let’s pay a visit to Mayor Yaede’s website… http://kellyyaede.com/about-kelly which was developed for her last campaign. I bet she wishes it was deleted now…..Well in case it disappears. Below is the exact text on the site. I would also bet in hindsight she should regret also giving herself the extra title of Public Safety Director.

 

Hamilton Township Mayor Kelly A. Yaede was sworn into office on November 30, 2012, as the first-female Mayor of our township. Subsequently, during a special election in November of 2013, she was overwhelmingly elected to the office of Mayor.

Mayor Yaede also serves as the Township’s Public Safety Director, overseeing the health, safety and general welfare of Hamilton’s nearly 90,000 residents. She is a spokesperson for the Hamilton Township Animal Shelter and an advocate for the residents, taxpayers and businesses of our community. Under her leadership, Mayor Yaede has prioritized open and accessible government by implementing an open-door policy for residents, enhancing the Township’s use of social media and outreach to better communicate with our community and by enacting the toughest ethics laws in Hamilton’s history.

During her tenure, Mayor Yaede has also worked to reduce government spending, enact a municipal budget with no tax increase and achieve a credit upgrade of the Township’s finances.

Mayor Yaede efforts in the area of economic development have led to several new businesses opening across our community, as well as the start of several, prominent revitalization projects that will reinvigorate historically underutilized sites.

Most notable has been Mayor Yaede’s leadership during several health-related and emergency situations that impacted our community during her term of service. During these crises, Mayor Yaede led local response efforts along with Township’s Division of Health and Office of Emergency Management by immediately assessing and addressing each situation, implementing the necessary corrective actions and the quickly communicating information to residents.

Mayor Yaede is a lifetime Hamilton Township resident, who is a graduate of Nottingham High School and Stockton State College.

Prior to becoming Mayor, Ms. Yaede served several terms as a member of the Hamilton Township Council, where she served as both Council President and Vice-President. She also previously served on the Hamilton Township Board of Education, during which time she aggressively advocated for, and successfully achieved, a new State educational funding formula that benefitted the Hamilton Public School District with additional funds.

Mayor Yaede’s career in public service includes work in both the State Executive and Legislative branches of government. Her private sector career includes working as the Senior Director of Corporate Relations of the American Cancer Society and as Vice President of Community Relations for Roma Bank. During that time, Mayor Yaede also served as the Co-Chair of the Hamilton Chapter of the Mid Jersey Chamber of Commerce.”

 

Well, Mayor Yaede states on her website…” Mayor Yaede also serves as the Township’s Public Safety Director, overseeing the health, safety and general welfare of Hamilton’s nearly 90,000 residents. She is a spokesperson for the Hamilton Township Animal Shelter and an advocate for the residents, taxpayers and businesses of our community.”

There are people in the leadership of Hamilton saying that Mayor Yaede new nothing of what occurred at the animal shelter. As the Public Safety Director it is her job and her sole responsibility to oversee it. As the spokesperson for the animal shelter she must know and be responsible for all aspects of the shelter.

 

What are the job details of the Public Safety Director for Hamilton…

 

Assumes full management responsibility for all Public Safety Department services and activities; manages the development and implementation of departmental goals, objectives, and priorities for each assigned service area; recommends and administers policies and procedures.

They are responsible for the plans, organization and directing the activities of the Public Safety Department, providing general law enforcement, criminal investigation, fire suppression and prevention, rescue services and emergency medical services, disaster responses, nuisance abatement, and code enforcement.  Oversees the hiring, supervision, training, evaluation and discipline of all department employees.  Ensures all local, State and Federal laws and ordinances are properly enforced. She is also responsible for developing the long-term plans to improve departmental operations.  Evaluates pending legislation and statutes and responds to changing regulations and technology regarding law enforcement and fire prevention and suppression through review of technical materials and professional education. Being able to develop annual department budgets for operations and equipment are also part of the role.  Also assists in developing long-range capital budgets for various public safety programs.  She also is responsible for monitoring the departmental budgets throughout the fiscal year and oversees the purchase and maintenance of equipment, vehicles, and supplies. In addition, she coordinates with the planning and zoning department including the enforcement of zoning regulations, nuisance ordinances and code enforcement.

The Public Safety director also establishes, within township policy, appropriate service and staffing levels; monitors and evaluates the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery methods and procedures; allocates resources accordingly.  Planning, directing, and coordinating, through subordinate level staff, the Public Safety Department's work plan; assigns projects and programmatic areas of responsibility; reviews and evaluates work methods and procedures; meets with key staff to identify and resolve problems. So to say she knew nothing about the issues at the animal shelter is complete hogwash. Maybe she can get away with that as Mayor, but as the Public Safety director she cannot.

It is the responsibility of the PSD to responds to and resolve difficult and sensitive citizen inquiries and complaints; explains, justifies, and defends department programs, policies, and activities; negotiates and resolves sensitive and controversial issues.

The PSD also has to develop and administer departmental goals, objectives, and procedures. There must be a continued analysis and assessment of programs, policies, and operational needs and make appropriate adjustments expeditiously. 

Do you think the PSD for Hamilton failed the residents? You be the judge.

 

To ensure it does not disappear….screen captures below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2015, Capodanno, a former councilman in the early 2000s, said Yaede should shed the title of public safety director and the police department should have daily crime briefings with the local media.

"One of the things that really bothers me the most is that when you're not aware of what's happening in your town when it comes to crime, that's when you're most vulnerable," Capodanno said.

"It's a quality of life issue," said Gambino, a former mayoral candidate.

Capodanno said Yaede appears out of touch by not talking about the heroin problem in Hamilton, but often referring to the township as "the big H."

"That's a street term for heroin," Capodanno said. "That shows you where her head's at."

 Below is the link the article in NJ.com: where her now running mate Capadanno shares his opinion of the Mayor.

 

https://www.nj.com/mercer/2015/08/hamilton_residents_challenge_mayor_on_portrayal_of.html

 

"Yaede is putting politics above public safety," Capodanno said in the article a few years ago.

While Hamilton has had a string of burglaries recently, a carjacking at a local hospital and a shooting this past weekend, Yaede was on a golf course Monday raising funds and campaigning, Capodanno said.

 

The residents of Hamilton agree with Mr. Capadanno. Recently a resident at the Hamilton Council meeting brought up the fact that the Yaede campaign removed competitive campaign signs on the corner of Sandalwood and Sweetbriar to place a large sign for her campaign. However, the property they placed this sign on, owned by Vincent McDonald of Florida, has grass 20 inches high on it. The resident asked that the safety of pedestrians be on the forefront for the Mayor versus the destruction of competitive signage.  The next day the Mayor’s team came out and weed wacked a “makeshift sidewalk” for pedestrians, yet her signage remained. The grass is almost covering her sign completely at this point. Why not hold the resident accountable for not keep the property maintained? I bet research into how much money the McDonalds have given to her campaign in the past will show interesting information.

Residents are still waiting for answers to many questions…..such as…

What talent has Ms Yaede hidden from us that qualifies her to manage the 169 officers and to protect and serve us?



Why is it that we keep hearing reports of Yaede showing up at police calls and crime scenes when a civilian Public Safety Director is clearly prohibited from meddling at police crime scenes or police operations?



How much did that specially outfitted SUV cost the taxpayer?



Why does Yaede have police equipment in her SUV when it too, is clearly prohibited for civilian Public Safety directors?



If Yaede was insistent on playing Public Safety Director shouldn’t she at least have followed the Faulkner Act and the state statutes outlined therein and formally nominated herself, subjecting the nomination to public comment and Council approval as is required for all Director’s positions?



The 10 meetings of the PSAC actually brought up many serious issues, thoughts and ideas. How could Yaede put the safety of Policemen, Firemen and Hamiltonians at risk by ignoring and not acting on those issues?

 

Why is it that Yaede disputes a gang problem in Hamilton, yet her own government applied for a grant to fight gang related crime and the Public Safety Commission expressed its concerns about gangs in Hamilton at 3 meetings?



When will Yaede address the rampant increase in violent crime in Hamilton, particularly the armed robberies, assaults and shootings?

 

There is a perception that most of the new businesses in Hamilton are small businesses that will bring insufficient ratables to offset the businesses that have closed or left town. Rather then throwing random numbers about business openings, why did Yaede not provide documentation of the NET business growth or reduction and what value it will translate to in future tax revenues for the Budget?



If Ms Yaede believes in an open-door government why was she unable during her 6 years on Council and 1 year as Mayor to ever get the Council meetings televised so residents could see their government at work?



Why does it take nearly 6 months to get Council meeting minutes up on the Township website and why are some meeting minutes selectively missing?

 

 

The Mayor’s running mate said in 2009 in at a council meeting….

 

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

 

 

VINCENT CAPODANNO, 4134 South Broad Street:  You should all be ashamed of yourselves, except for Kevin.  It took a judge to bring yous here to have Britton come back with a bid.  Apparently, the other bidder Reliable slapped you in the face with a $39,000 bid.  And there is no more wood chips or whatever there.  I guess what’s ever there really doesn’t amount to nothing.  I don’t think you have learned your lesson.  Once again, you’ve lost in court.  Once again, a judge had to bring you here.  And yet, all of yous just sit here like you didn’t do nothing wrong.  

 

COUNCILMAN KENNY:  Mr. Capodanno,

 

MR. CAPODANNO:  I’m talking here.

 

PRESIDENT YAEDE:  (gavel) Mr. Capodanno.

 

COUNCILMAN KENNY:  You want to make accusations.

 

MR. CAPODANNO: You know what you got a whole….He interrupted me.

 

COUNCILMAN KENNY:  You’re saying things that are incorrect.

 

MR. CAPODANNO: He has a couple of hours to sit up here and politic about everything.

 

VICE-PRESIDENT GOODWIN:  Talk about politics.

 

PRESIDENT YAEDE:  Mr. Capodanno, please do not bring up politics.

 

MR. CAPODANNO:  Don’t bring up politics, that’s all you do is politic.

 

PRESIDENT YAEDE:  Mr. Capodanno, please stick to the resolution.

 

MR. CAPODNANO:  The resolution is that even a judge that had to bring you here, you still don’t get it.  You caused a local company to spend hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars and you’re not even ashamed of your actions.  So now, go ahead and say whatever you have to say.

 

 

What happens when Lack of experience is ignored? Newsweek this week and numerous media outlets have published that this week for the town of Hamilton.

 

Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri announced the charges Friday as part of an investigation by his Humane Law Enforcement Unit (HLEU).  Todd Bencivengo, 56, of North Hanover, and Jeffrey Plunkett, 62, of Hamilton, are each charged with two counts of third-degree animal cruelty and one count of second-degree official misconduct.

Prosecutors say that, while investigators uncovered multiple examples of mismanagement, there was insufficient evidence to establish any additional criminal charges. Administrative aspects of the investigation are being handled by the Hamilton Township Council.

 

Both men are scheduled to appear in court on May 21.

The mismanagement of Hamilton stems beyond the animal shelter for the leadership of Hamilton.  When  an OPRA was done for the SOP’s for the school systems from the Board of Health recently, the results demonstrated zero SOP’s exist.  The dates that were asked for were a few years prior the  youth who died in Hamilton from EVD68 and the range ended with the day the 4 year old died.  Prior to the death of the young boy, there was a nation wide epidemic occuring of EVD68. Forty-three states according to the CDC were affected prior to the death in Hamilton. Yet, when the Director of Public Health and the Director of Public Safety came to a public forum they both stated, “We never heard of EVD68.”  During the public forum the leadership stated that the schools were not rigorously cleaned to avoid the spread of EVD68. It was not until the death of the young boy that SOP’s were scripted. We are not sure if the SOP

S were ever implemented. This is a very concerning  pattern a behavior that exist with the leadership of Hamilton. The leadership owns what happened at that shelter as does the mayor.

 

Let's not forget the other suboptimal events that occurred under the “watch” of the Hamilton leadership.

 

-A Bloodmobile at Oktoberfest.

-Flu Shots at Oktoberfest that were kept in a box with no cooling mechanism.  The leadership had a Drug store come to the event. It was an unseasonable day, 80 degrees that day.  A resident received one of those shots and got sick from it. This was reported to the CDC. When Mr. Plunkett was approach on the issue he stated this he has nothing to do with the supplier coming to the event. He only coordinated it.

-A resident a few years back went on a trip to Peru and unfortunately got sick on the day of their return. They contracted two different types of bacteria. Evidently from Chui and cheese. The doctors caring for the resident, couldn't figure out what was wrong with the resident. The resident’s doctor eventually did a unique blood test to help diagnosis the patient. That unique blood test triggers an automatic notification to the health department.  The health department should have contacted the resident immediately. They contacted the resident almost two months after their return from Peru.

 

In Jan 2016, Mayor Yaede nominated Jeff Plunkett to director. Why was this done? What qualifications did council review to make this decision?  

 

"Through Mayor Yaede's leadership, Hamilton has realized a sense of pride in our community, public confidence that the township is headed in the right direction and a sense of trust that our local government is prepared to respond to issues and challenges that we may face," he said. "I consider it a privilege to be asked to join Mayor Yaede's cabinet team and I'm eager to continue my public service to help protect the health and safety of our community in this new role." From 2016 NJ.com article

 

In Feb 2013, Hamilton's mayor asked the town council to abolish Hamilton’s ethics panel and turn enforcement of the code of ethics for public employees and officials over to the state’s Local Finance Board.  She did this for good reason. So that her staff could run amok.  One of her directors has been named as taking 69 free rounds of golf as a government employee. This same employee never disclosed this information on the required Federal disclosure forms.  The rules are for everyone except the Mayor of Hamilton and her staff.

 

The mayor’s request to abolish the ethics panel, along with the reforms of contracting procedures that are in the works for the township and the school district, was supposed to be a part of an effort to restore Hamilton residents’ faith in their government after the depressing revelations that emerged when former Mayor John Bencivengo and an aide were convicted on federal corruption. She has does little to nothing to restore any residents faith in government. The mayor has made it a point to hire her relatives, sister-in-laws , brother in laws and others for a high ranking position.

 

The Center for Public Integrity ranked New Jersey first among the states for “transparency and accountability in state government,” with “some of the toughest ethics and anti-corruption laws in the nation. However, bridgegate, Barbiegate, and lots of other corrupt tales have been flying out of New Jersey of late.

 

 

Among the things that clearly impressed the center were the state’s Uniform Ethics Code, with its ban on nepotism, zero tolerance for gifts, stringent post-employment restrictions and extensive training protocols; its powerful State Ethics Commission, with a majority of its members from outside government, which investigates complaints, holds regular hearings and delivers penalties for violations; it’s tough pay-to-play law that bars political contributions by vendors; the easy access for the public to officials’ financial disclosure statements, and the anonymous hotline on which citizens can ask questions and report possible wrongdoing.

 

The laws are clear in NJ. What the Hamilton administration has been allowed to go on is against the law. Will anything will happen to those who broke the law? Let’s see the week of the 20th.

 

 

The NJ State laws are:

 

 

 New Jersey

·        Public official, directly or indirectly offers, confers or agrees to confer upon another, or solicits, accepts or agrees to accept from another any benefit as consideration for a decision, opinion, recommendation, vote or exercise of discretion of a public servant, party official or voter on any public issue or in any public election, or any benefit as consideration for a decision, vote, recommendation or exercise of official discretion in a judicial or administrative proceeding (Bribery in official and political matters)

·        Acceptance or receipt of unlawful benefit by public servant for official behavior

·        Official misconduct

CC §2C:27-2

CC §2C:27-10

 CC §2C:30-2

 

 

 

If the bribe/benefit is $200 or less, Crime of the third degree
Max. imprisonment  3-5 years; max. fine $15,000

If bribe is more than $200, Crime of the second degree
Max. imprisonment  5-10 years; max. fine $150,000

 

·        Public servant , while performing his official functions on behalf of a governmental entity, knowingly transacts any business with himself, a member of his immediate family, or a business organization in which the public servant or an immediate family member has an interest (Unlawful official business transaction where interest is involved)

CC §2C:27-9

Crime of the fourth degree
Max. imprisonment  18 months; max. fine $10,000

 

·        Representation, appearance or negotiation, directly or indirectly, for acquisition or sale of property by state

·        Representation of state agency in transaction involving pecuniary interest

·        Disclosure or use for personal gain of information not available to public

·        Solicitation, receipt or agreement to receive thing of value for service related to official duties

EC §52-13D-21(i)

EC §52:13D-15

EC §52:13D-20

EC §52:13D-25

EC §52:13D-24

 

Max. fine $500 - $10,000; suspension from office for 1 year; if decided to be willful and continuous disregard of the code of ethics, may be removed from office and may further bar from holding any public office in the State for a 5 year period.

 

A resident that sat on the economic development board for 1.5 years. They resigned from the board due to the unprofessional aspects and lack of integrity of the township.  The way volunteers were treated was despicable. The lack of integrity demonstrated by township employees was despicable as well.  Their financial papers, invoices, etc were in complete disarray for the board.

 

The township employees have to sit through "integrity training" which in the past was actually taught by the township’s insurance company. There are normally zero township officials at the training. Only the worker bees and volunteers (at least at the scheduled training I attended). The HR team from the twp also does attend the training it is rumored.

 

It was clear from the townships insurance company that after the training that if anyone ignored the training aspects and the township was sued for something an employee/volunteer did, and they were trained on this aspect, that employee/volunteer would not be covered under the townships policy. They would need to hire their own lawyer and the township would not help them in any way.  So, will Plunkett and Todd have to hire their own lawyers? Will others?

 

The integrity policy that the township has does not have the teeth in it as the Mayor touts. It is nothing more than a memo, see link below.  

 

 

http://www.hamiltonnj.com/qcontent/NewsFeed.aspx?FeedID=1193

 

This memo which was written by the prior mayor who went to jail.  It makes reference to a state policy, but the township does not share this state policy with anyone who is asked to sign this memo. One would think they would have the link directly to the State policy near the memo. This is not the case. Clarity on these types of issues is the only way to ensure everyone understands the policy.

 


 

In an article by the Trentonian they make reference to a statement by the Mayor.

 

"In a memo dated Feb. 4, 2013, Yaede informed all township employees, including police officers, that “gifts and other things of value that are otherwise permissible to accept may be impermissible if they are used or displayed in an inappropriate manner, such as in a manner that may create an impression of favoritism or endorsement.”

 

Any government employee worth the honor of holding office or having a government job, knows full well that they cannot take ANY gift EVER. There are no exceptions. They cannot take even a pencil. If you do, you are out of a job, instantly. So, is this why the township employee thought it was okay to take 69 rounds of free golf?

 

This Hamilton leaderships law is not worth paper it is written on. There is no accountability demonstrated to those who break the laws. A few years ago an employee was arrested for possession and distribution of drugs who worked in compliance and planning. They still have their job with the township, nothing happened.

 

There is never follow up or accountability given for breaking the law with the current administration. They have a social media policy that their own employees do not follow. There are directors within the township that post inappropriate items constantly. There are no repercussions for that. 

 


If Hamilton really wants to have "teeth" in their law they will formally prosecute all the people involved with destroying government records over the years. The now retired employee who during his employment thought it was ok to take 69 rounds of golf for free should also be prosecuted. All of the digital files and email prior to July 2010 have been destroyed.  There was no certification done to formally destroy these records. This is against the law, a serious violation of the law. One that should not be ignored as well. Why is the township clerk, mayor and her administration not being held accountable? The same person who took 69 free rounds of gold was the same person in charge of all of the IT (internet and computers)  for the township. 

 

This tale is all too familiar in Hamilton, Mercer County. The last mayor went to jail. The new one looks like she is on the runway ready to take off to the land of orange jumpsuits. She cannot possibly state she knew nothing of her directors lack of integrity. This is a mayor who deliberately ignores numerous public safety issues, allows her directors to break the law, has 15 double dippers on the payroll who are draining the pension system.  She has also has hired her family members, allowed the destruction of public records with no certification for the destruction of the records, the list goes on and on.

 

When residents asked the Hamilton mayor what happened to the calming measures that were supposed to be installed in residential neighborhoods, they got zero response. The contractor who was hired to do the work has financially supported the mayor’s campaigns with thousands of dollars in the past. The contractor is also personal friends with the mayor. The calming measures were never installed, and the contract given to the contractor was over $400,000 higher than the other bids given to the town. Today, residents are dealing with tractor trailers speeding through their neighborhoods with toxic with anything from gasoline, explosive materials, oversided loads, etc.  Residents have been fighting for years to get this changed. It looked like a decade of fighting for the residents will allow them to win this fight. The calming measures won’t go in, but signage to ban tractor trailers in the residential area of Cornell Heights will happen shortly.

We give the town of Hamilton, Mercer County an F-- for integrity and an A++ for wasting taxpayers dollars and forgetting what public service really means. It does not mean.....steal all you can from taxpayers, hire your family, ignore public safety, etc The current leadership is on the same road as the prior mayor.

 

https://www.nj.com/mercer/2016/01/hamilton_health_officer_promoted_to_department_dir.html

 

Additional tidbits on Hamilton….For women's history month, the Mayor of Hamilton Township claimed herself the first female elected to that office.  This is a fact.  However, sadly her record doesn't reflect that she has used this historic milestone to promote other women, .  In her first year, she dissolved The Advisory Commission on the Status of Women that had been productive under another township Mayor, Glen Gilmore.  During Mayor Gilmore's term former Councilwoman Eileen P. Thornton organized and got sponsors for annual events at Kuser Mansion in March for Women's History Month and another in August at Sayen House and Gardens for Women's Equality Day.  Women were invited to come to hear a guest speaker and enjoy refreshments provided by sponsors of the event.  Now we celebrate women's history month with a Letter to the Editor from the Mayor. Also, notable is that Ms. Yaede has not given a position in her Cabinet to a woman, nor has she appointed any women to lead or be part of one of the Township Boards or Commissions.  For the most part the Mayor just says she is a woman and the first one to be elected in Hamilton as Mayor and will tell little girls they can grow up and be just like her.  Well, let’s hope that does not happen, unless they aspire to be like the executives from ENRON and Theranos.  


Posted by tammyduffy at 9:31 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 11 May 2019 9:33 PM EDT
Sunday, 5 May 2019
Transparency of Local Government
Topic: COMMUNITY INTEREST

 

 

 

Transparency of Local Government 

 

 

 Where is the Harinet, ponytie or hair restriction device? #abovethelaw

 

 

Transparency is an important principle of good governance since a degree of clarity and openness about how decisions are taken can help to build the capacity of the poor and/or marginalized to play a role in policy formulation and implementation; to influence these decisions that affect their lives; and to encourage.

 

 

 

Excessive secrecy can undermine the quality of public decision-making and prevent citizens from checking the abuses of public power. This can have a corrosive effect on virtually all aspects of society and governance. Transparency -- in terms of both information disclosure and dissemination and access to decision-making -- is therefore very important as it better enables civil society to:

 

 

• hold government and/or key decision-makers to account;

 

• promote good governance;

 

• improve public policy and efficiency;

 

• combat corruption.

 

 

 

Recently I sent in two OPRA requests. One for the gun range, the other for emails related to the Synnergy project.   April 2018 I sent these to the clerk’s office.  I got responses, however they refused to share any of the information. They said none exists.  This is a preposterious response by the town. 

 

 

 

The township has broken their contract with the residents. They have forgotten that the resident’s matter, that we pay their salaries. The level of disrespect that the Mayor’s office has for residents, the negative culture they have created for the township employees has bred a dangerous environment for all those involved.  The oldest and simplest justification for government is as protector: protecting citizens from violence. The idea of government as protector requires taxes to fund, train and equip an army and a police force; to build courts and jails; and to elect or appoint the officials to pass and implement the laws citizens must not break.  The leaders also need to not break the laws, they are not above them. Elected Officials' have very clear Duties & Responsibilities. It is the duty of the mayor, clerk, and councilmembers to ensure the city fulfills its duties under the law and lawfully exercises its powers. When they do not, there must be accountability. Recently, our MCPO held employees of the township accountable. Our Mayor refuses to accept this accountability. That is not acceptable and is preposterous.

 

It also is preposterous, that I had to push back a total of 5 times collectively on the two recent OPRA requests. Asking the clerk’s office, “I respectfully ask you to reconsider and re-evaluate your response.”   They sent one piece of information to me after the 5th request.  The residents took the only route available to them – they went to court.  Residents are fed up with this approach by the Mayor’s toxic culture.  The one OPRA request asked for all invoices for the firing range behind American Metro Way for the last few years. Two years ago we asked for the same information. The response to that OPRA request was, “there is no firing range.” UNREAL!  Now, at least they are acknowledging the existence of the firing range, but only would send an invoice by GRES paving for the years we asked, and its well aware to all that there was a lot of work done there over the past 3 years.  Do you think that is representative of transparency?  You be the judge.

 

 

 

The other OPRA request we sent up we asked for all of the emails between the Mayor, and all her directors, between Synnergy and their attorney over the past few years.  They came back with there are no emails in existence, even after we pushed back several times. Do you think that is representative of a transparent government? How can there be ZERO emails between all those people for the last several years. (solar project on Sweetbriar ave)

 

The rise in government secrecy carries a big cost. When governments have to defend lawsuits or other proceedings challenging their practices, the public bears the expense. When governments fail to post documents on a website and instead respond to repeated queries from the public by photocopying the same material again and again, there is waste. Perhaps most significantly, lack of transparency poses a major risk to good government: When the public is shut out and information is hard to get, governments can mask poor practices, corruption, waste, fraud and abuse.

 

 

 

The blame game continues as Republican Mayor Kelly Yaede rebukes her GOP opponent and political adversaries for filing Open Public Records Act requests.

 

The increase is because of a failure in transparency. Taxpayers have the right to information. This administration simply cannot accept that residents will not accept their lack of transparency.  Taxpayers have the right to information. This administration simply cannot accept that.

 

Mayor Yaede’s poorly thought out press releases are consistent with her other actions. In 2016, Mayor Yaede and the council correctly put into place an ordinance banning the sales of dogs and cats, except those that are rescue animals, at retail pet stores. However, Mayor Yaede recently admitted to buying a puppy from a pet store called the Puppy Palace in a nearby community. In other words, Mayor Yaede circumvented the very law she put into place. Even worse, Mayor Yaede sent a message that it is better to obtain pets from shady pet stores rather than saving lives from the town’s animal shelter. If that was not enough, Mayor Yaede brought her dog to a park where dogs are not allowed. Even worse, the Trentonian newspaper said Mayor Yaede contacted the Hamilton Little League President to make excuses for the mayor. While I do not approve of banning dogs from parks, Mayor Yaede’s total disregard for the law and her attempt to get others to excuse it speaks volumes about her character.  Remember the photo opp she took at the local sandwich shops opening, where she made her own steak sandwich. No hairnet, no hat above the grill. All food handlers must have their hair covered. There is not a clause in the law that saws, except when Mayor Yaede is at the grill.

 

 

 

Article on the HAIR issue below from 2015….

 

 

 

http://www.tammyduffy.com/ARTFASHION/index.blog/2352096/above-the-law/?fbclid=IwAR0MKpC5b71oQyDZ7jGqPeMqCaNPlarSMS-vl4z4kzZf3h7OOVzc_SSNIgE

 

 

 

Mayor Yaede’s team overseeing the shelter proved the current team running the facility lack the ability to impact positive change. In order to solve a problem, one must acknowledge the problem exists. She refuses to acknowledge a problem existed at the shelter, ever.  But remember the playgrounds…again “best playgrounds in the county”.  Remember when she denied that there was a gang issue a drug issue in our town. When she nicknamed our town the “Big H”, all the while acutely unaware of the street name for heroin was the Big H.  Let’s not forget the famous, ”Crime as low as 1977 she trumpeted for quite a long time. There is a disturbing pattern here. 

 

The township will pay out $50,000 and spend $75,000 on special environmental projects as part of a broad settlement it reached with Save Hamilton Open Space, ending a decade-old legal battle centered around a housing development.

 

The township was sitting in proverbial hot water ever since the Hamilton Township Planning Board fully approved a major subdivision for developer Gres and Kaluzny Land Development in 2005, which smoothed the path for Christopher Estates to be built on a 7.68-acre plot at Laura and Evelyn avenues in the Cornell Heights neighborhood.

 

The developer built 16 homes and a detention basin facility, but Save Hamilton Open Space, a New Jersey nonprofit corporation, has alleged the basin was improperly designed.

 

This basin didn’t infiltrate because the soils were not of the right nature, Hamilton should have never approved it. But it went through.

 

When Hamilton Township Council authorized the settlement a few years ago, at a public meeting, the township’s then attorney, Lindsay Burbage, publicly stated that the township was “technically in violation of our permit” by approving the basin design. “It’s technically a failed technology,” he said, noting the township is committed to remediating the problem. Burbage at that council meeting also disclosed that the township is suing the builder.

 

“The basin doesn’t drain quickly enough, and it creates some mosquito problems. The township has filed a lawsuit against Gres and Kaluzny seeking to get the developer to bring the basin into compliance with state and local storm management regulations. This still is not done.  This has caused a negative environmental impact to the community.

 

Defining the matter as “strictly an engineering issue,” is the position of the Gres and Kaluzny “The township engineers approved and came out on site and they signed off on everything, just like any other development would be. We build what the engineer says.”

 

I have attended numerous council meetings in past years as well. What is clear is that the residents are angry with the Mayor. She owns this chaos.  The dishonesty, the lack of accountability, the ignoring of residents is despicable.  Her responses to the recent animal shelter investigative results is in a word….certifiable and very concerning to residents. 

 

She refuses to get in front of the town, where residents do not have to pay a fee to speak to her. This is not acceptable. She must address what is happening and stop going into hiding and trumpeting, it’s a political witch hunt.

 

God bless the current council, the MCPO and all the residents who joined forces to hold the administration accountable when the administration refused to acknowledge the issues.

 

 

 

There is a complete lack of concern for the residents and their safety. For over 10 years we have been fighting to get the tractor trailers off our roads in Cornell Heights. It took OPRA requests, letters to DOT, letters to the Governor, Congress, presentations at council to finally get a firm commitment this past week from Dave Kenny that the signage is on the horizon.  I was told he stated, “this should have happened from the beginning.” I was not on the phone to hear that directly, but it should have. Why does it take ten years and fighting with the administration to make this happen? It was slated to happen with the construction of American Metro Way, who let this not happen. Why did the administration not hold the developers accountable for not doing it? Where is the series of checks and balances on the township?  This however, is the typical atmosphere with the current administration…..the animal shelter, OPRA requests, construction, etc.  It is not acceptable.

 

 

 

The residents have created a bond, a strong bond that will never go away. We will refuse to take this nonsense anymore. This is our legacy. This is our town. What will be the Mayor’s legacy. I think Newsweek did that for her this week.  The resident revolution will continue, we will continue to hold you accountable for not meeting needs of the community, for illegal behaviors, for ignoring the safety of the community.

 

 

 

 

 

If you are honestly concerned about the anger and “civility” of residents, and I know that you are not, you should step in and meet with them directly in town hall style settings, where they could speak directly to you and get answers to their questions and concerns straight from you, not having to ask council so that council can then ask the business agent and then, if we’re lucky, we get an answer at the next meeting in two weeks or a month later. Wouldn’t that be nice, having a mayor who doesn’t hide from the people she is paid to serve, protected by an armed security detail, and using layers of buffers to shield herself from the very residents who pay her salary?

 

It should go without saying that candidates should definitely not steal their opponents’ yard signs. Incredibly, however, enough candidates have been caught stealing signs that it warrants a mention: don’t steal signs. Not only is it unethical, it can result in hefty fines and, frankly, it’s just bad PR. Instead of Yaede campaign stealing Henderson signs....how about they focus om the fact where they placed the sign.....and removed Dave’s sign; the grass is over 20 inches high. Did Mayor Yaede not notice that? That the resident that they had an opponent’s sign removed in in violation of a township ordinance as it pertains to lawn maintenance? Why is this overlooked?  Why is the safety of the residents who are forced to walk in the street on sweetbriar where this new huge sign is by Mayor Yaede? There is no sidewalk or road shoulder in front of this vacant property and adding the tall grass growing, the large political sign, is a recipe for a future pedestrian fatality. 

 

 

 

In closing, let’s not forget our sweet animals. The revolution to safeguard them has only begun by the residents of Hamilton. Below is a link to a story that focuses on an interview of an industry expert that focuses on the mismanagement of euthanasia at the shelter.  

 

http://www.tammyduffy.com/ARTFASHION/index.blog/2367838/be-a-voice-for-the-furangels-of-hamilton/?fbclid=IwAR3Bli1eNKKaxASpppo-W8PBTiKKBTVAHXgKQmIs_MbddE7zdTxM7Vq9di4

 

 

 

God Bless the residents of Hamilton, keep holding the administration accountable. 

 

 

 

 

 


Posted by tammyduffy at 10:44 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 5 May 2019 11:40 AM EDT

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