Gloucester township's $302,000 "Swamp Pink" at the GEMS landfill, continues to cost taxpayers

Gloucester Township, Camden County,NJ

From late 2010, to mid 2014, Gloucester township taxpayers funded the infamous "swamp pink" plant and the GEMS landfill.
Once again GEMS made a "cash call" to Gloucester Township for almost $1 million, for cost maintenance, and Gloucester Township Mayor Mayer, and council once again failed to ask the GEMS trustees where the money goes. Township residents pushed the issue for the past month, before Mayer and council pass another resolution to borrow even more money at taxpayer's expense.

Several years ago, former Mayor Hatton, had requested to put a solar field on the GEMS sight when the SREC was above $600. Gloucester Township council obstructed her efforts at every turn. When all else failed, an 11th hour discovery of "swamp pink" at the base of the landfill mound was suddenly found and endangered. So residents are familiar with the "flower of power". It may be worthy of mention the the former Mayor was a Republican, introducing this project to a Democratic controlled council.Even though this was also being paid for by investors at no cost to the taxpayers of Gloucester Township.

Now that council finally requested project expenditures from the GEMS trustees, the costs to township makes you scratch your head. listed are just some of the costs listed.
"Swamp Pink monitoring program" $302,000 by CH2M Hill professional services
"Government oversight" $20,000 NJDEP
"Trustee oversight" $256,000 ???????? (Note Public Works supervisor is also Gloucester Township's GEMS "Trustee".

Do Gloucester Township residents have any ideas where their hard earned money goes to? Besides photo ops, Mayor Mayer does not remain at council meetings to do the business of the township, or answer questions.

(Update) Gloucester Township council did pass the resolution to borrow another $1.6 Million to answer the GEMS most recent "cash call". Mayor Mayer is surely expected to sign it.

Crime and criminals attracted to Gloucester Township?

Gloucester Township,Camden County,NJ

In the past five years, Gloucester Township has seen crime and criminals increase and worsen. Murder, sexual assault, burglary, weapons offenses, drugs, and others.
It is not that the Gloucester Township Police are not doing a great job, but it calls to question why are these crimes and criminal element coming to the township?
Under current Mayor, Dave Mayer, new housing development is opening up in areas that are already battling, drugs and crimes that concern those living in fear as new elements introduce themselves. What is the attraction to Gloucester Township of these elements?
New Jersey State Police crime reports indicate the following crime statistics: Homicide is up 50%,rape up 85.7%,robbery up 52.6%, including with a fire arm, assault up 95.2%, and burglary up 58.4%. Other Gloucester Township crime stats and trends are available at NJSP site : http://www.njsp.org/info/pdf/ucr/current/091214_crimetrend.pdf

Back to school in Gloucester Township

Gloucester Township,NJ

It is back to school for all Gloucester Township students, including all elementary and high schools. Please be cautious, and exercise awareness as our township children walk to school and to their bus stops.

Remember most of all, no texting and driving. All texts and cell calls can wait. Our children a so much more important than what is on our phones.

Lawsuit: Gloucester Township allegedly used threat of arrest to coerce employee to resign. (njopengovt.blogspot.com)

Gloucester Township, Camden County
By: John Paff

On August 5, 2014, West Berlin attorney Donald M. Doherty, Jr. filed an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) lawsuit on my behalf against Gloucester Township (Camden County). The lawsuit, John Paff v. Township and Gloucester and Rosemary DiJosie, Township Clerk, Docket No. CAM-L-3147-14 is on-line here.

The lawsuit's basis is a tip from an informant that those in power in Gloucester Township government sought to remove a high-ranking employee from his position so that they could give the job to another person who was politically connected and favored. In order to prod the employee into leaving his position, those holding political sway allegedly arranged for the employee to be caught doing something illegal and then used a threat of arrest and prosecution to coerce him into resigning.

I sought disclosure of several records, including police reports, regarding this alleged incident under OPRA and the common law right of access. In her response, Gloucester Township Clerk Rosemary DiJosie admitted that there was an "on-going investigation" into the employee but that public disclosure of the police reports "would be inimical to the public interest." DiJosie did, however, disclose a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) screen shot on "Police Case # 14-019933" showing that police were dispatched to a Township address on May 13, 2014 at about 3:30 p.m. The "Call for Service" description on the CAD report was "Theft - All other."

Further documents received indicated that the Township entered into a "Severance Agreement and General Release" with the employee. The agreement, which was signed on June 4, 2014, allowed for the employee to retain his paid medical benefits through July 31, 2014 and contained a covenant under which the employee gave up all rights to sue the Township.

Interestingly, the Agreement provided that the employee's date of severance from Township employment was May 12, 2014--the day before he was allegedly caught in committing an illegal act. According to the lawsuit, the timing of his severance lent "substantial credence to several elements of the 'tipped' facts - i.e., that while 'the powers' wanted [the employee] out, they did not want to "hurt" him by jeopardizing his pension etc."

Posted by John Paff

Gloucester Township still in hiding

Gloucester Township< Camden county,NJ

For over 7 years, residents have asked Gloucester Township council to televise their meetings. Council has literally ignored residents, and even performed the "New Jersey two step" around the subject. They diverted the attempts by suggesting, then implementing a free on line live stream, to keep from allowing the meetings to be televised on the local free cable channel 19 that Comcast provides established within the 15-25 year exclusive contract they have with the township.

Two problems exist with the township's live stream are that seniors that are not computer or internet savvy would find great difficulty in tuning in, and those whom can not afford high speed internet would not be able to watch. Seniors and lower income residents would surely be left out.

You would think that with Mayor Mayer being also a full time lobbyist for Comcast, that Mayer would find a way to use his position at Comcast to make televising the council, governmental meetings. Residents just recently saw a 9% increase in their property tax, maybe more residents would be able to see just who that came about. As most surrounding and adjacent towns have televised meetings, Gloucester Township has fought not be be on TV.

For now, the government business of Gloucester Township will remain hidden from the residents who can't go out of their way to attend the meetings.

How many tanks and toys does Gloucester Township need?

Gloucester Township, Camden County

Currently Gloucester Township has parked in it's town 2 Military type response vehicles. Camden county parks their's in township, but Gloucester Township, wanted to have one to call their own. Seldom used, but available for parades, and periodically seen at eating establishments, overkill, would be a phrase most residents would use to describe their tax dollars spent. The township also boasts, new segways, and several new police Crossovers, that stay in use for 5-6 years, but chooses to bond for 15-20 years.
Gloucester Township's spending spree is hidden behind "bonding" purchases, but they now seem to have maxed out those credit cards as indicated by the recent 8% municipal tax increase to local residents.

During the first four years of Mayor Mayer's tenure, he and council found a way to show "zero" tax increases due in part to new red light camera and other revenues. The township adopted a spending pattern, rather than reduce taxes to residents. They also fueled the spending by bonding (borrowing) to stretch out payments, but as we all know, eventually when you have several credit cards, all of those bills add up and must be paid. Mayer and council also need to be reminded that grants also come from the pockets of taxpayers. There is no FREE money Mayor Mayer. It always comes from taxpayer pockets.

What will Gloucester Township do to make up for revenue when the "red light scameras" are gone?

Gloucester Township, Camden County, NJ

In mid December, the state of New Jersey will end it's "red light camera" pilot program that has been a great cash grab for many New Jersey municipalities.
One of the more beneficial towns, has been Gloucester Township. The township has 10 red light cameras in 4 intersections on just one road alone. The township has basically averaged about $1.5 million in "fines" or revenues each of the 4 years of the 5 y ear pilot. Gloucester Township's pilot ends in May 2015,and when asked of Mayor and council, they have no plan to replace that revenue source once it ends.

There is no doubt that Gloucester Township will do all that it can do prolong the use of these revenue generating devices, but it may just be out of their hands. We just recently learned that the operator of these cameras, American Traffic Solutions ( ATS Arizona) has experienced systemic issues, resulting in violations being all but dismissed, but that does not make up for the $47,500 monthly fee that the township pays ATS to operate and maintain the cameras. When asked at the August 25th council meeting, township solicitor Dave Carlemere, indicated that they may seek those losses. He also stated that ATS "settled" error(s) in the past.

Still Gloucester Township officials continue to shrug their shoulders when asked what plans do you have to replace the revenues when the cameras are gone. Arrogance would be an understatement with the handling of township council. As for Mayor Mayer, he refuses to attend council meetings unless there are photo ops or awards to hand out with photo ops. It has been a long standing tradition in Gloucester Township that the Mayor be present, and have a portion of the meeting to address council. Comcast lobbyist Mayor Mayer seems to believe that he has better things to do, then be accessible at the town's public meetings.

Gloucester Township regular council meetings are every 2nd and 4th Monday at the Municipal Bldg, on Chews Landing Rd at 7:30pm.

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Current News and Information
01/30/2014 - NJ,com: Gunman robs man in Gloucester Township parking lot
09/26/2013 - CBS 3 Philadelphia: Drug Raid In Gloucester Township Yields Quantity Of Heroin, Three Handguns And Child Endangerment
09/21/2013 - NJ.com: Washington Township woman found fatally shot in Gloucester Township
08/21/2013 - Phillynews.com: Gloucester Twp. hopes mall gives it an identity Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20130821_Gloucester_Twp__hopes_mall_gives_it_an_identity.html#jaT8KaQ4QYsVPQop.99
06/25/2013 - 6ABC/Yahoo news: Body found during search for missing woman in Gloucester Township
06/25/2013 - NJ.com: Gloucester Township body to be ID'd with dental records, authorities say
06/20/2013 - NJ.com: Gloucester Township police take first place in New Jersey Law Enforcement Challenge for 2012
06/20/2013 - Phillynews.com: Dumb criminal breaks into Atlantic City Expressway toll machine in full view of camera Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/Dumb_criminal_breaks_into_Atlantic_City_Expressway_toll_machine_in_full_view_of_camera.html#wH
06/14/2013 - NJ.com: Philadelphia Mob case: Gloucester Township man admits to loan sharking
05/24/2013 - NJ.com: Child ejected during two-car crash in Gloucester Township
05/21/2013 - NJ.com: Burglar jumps from Gloucester Township garage roof, arrested, police say
04/24/2013 - NJ.com: Roads closed in Erial area due to oil spill, police say
04/24/2013 - NJ.com: Roads closed in Gloucester Township area due to oil spill, police say
04/02/2013 - NJ.com: Gloucester Township shooting range draws fire from residents
03/31/2013 - NJ.com: Woman offered 7-year-old boy candy from Suburban, Gloucester Township police say

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