With $108 Million in debt, does Gloucester Township really need to spend over $10 Million on "AstroTurf?

Gloucester Township

With Gloucester Township's mounting debt of over $108 Million, does Mayor Mayer and his all Democratic council need to borrow another $10.4 Million on Astro Turf?
Gloucester Township just saw an almost 9% rise in property taxes just after the Mayor was re-elected, due to a "banking" of the 2% cap they deferred the 4 years leading up to
Mayor Mayer's re-election, but does it seem like a common sense thing to do to township taxpayers.

We have already bonded everything, that we can't afford to pay for, why take the township and it's taxpayers even deeper.

If this was a common household, it would be like running up credit cards because our budget can't afford it. The main problem is that in our private households, we eventually have to pay the bills, and those mounting debts. Those of us with credit cards know, that every time we pay the minimum payments, the balance never seems to go down much.

Every resident of Gloucester Township knows that feeling. Why would our government do that with our tax dollars. Our children will be strapped with this debt as well.


What is Gloucester Township RAID ?

Gloucester Township, Camden County

In the weeks to come, we will cover the Gloucester Township RAID (Republicans and Independent Democrats) and what it should mean to Gloucester Township voters this November.
You don't see this in the Courier Post, Inquirer, or even the Gloucester Township Patch.

Buying votes? After all these years, Politics paves Erial little League parking lot.

Gloucester Township

After decades of dealing with dirt, mud, and gravel, Erial sees black top on their parking lot.
For decades Erial little league remained a Powerhouse in NJ Little League competition. Winning several District titles, and always maintaining their domination, and independence.
As soon as the local politicians got their meat hooks into Erial Little League brass. It all looks as smooth as the Blacktop in the parking lot, but as predicted, there is always a price.
Who do you think pays for that?

Erial was the very last of all Youth Sports organizations in Gloucester Township that did not allow the Youth's parents email to be utilized for political emails. Those email have been used in other sports groups to ask for votes, come to free "hand out" traveling Barbecues, and all for the low price of the parents personal emails.

In some cases, youth sports organizations are non profits and tax exempt. That practice may put that at risk. All for Politics. Is it worth it?

Is Mayor (Comcast) Mayer, the reason that FiOS won't run lines in Gloucester Township for competition? Does your cable bill look like a car payment?

Gloucester Township

While your Comcast bill continues to rise towards, and sometimes over $200/month, FIOS is still not an option in most of Gloucester Township.
If you don't already know, Gloucester Township's (full time) Mayor, Dave Mayer, is also a (full time) Lobbyist for Comcast.
Gloucester Township is about 6 years into a 25 year contract with Comcast as the provider of high speed internet and Cable/TV. The 15 year contract comes with 2 optional 5 year continuations, that helps keep competitors like FiOS out of the township. With Mayor Mayer and his position at Comcast, who would he then have to lobby? His buddies on Council.
Mayor Comcast doesn't seem to mind the arrangement, and also doesn't see your cable bill, as it surpasses $200/ month.

Recently, Verizon/ FiOS stated that they had no plans in the foreseeable future to run fiber optic lines, leaving Comcast without competition, and leaving Gloucester Township with cable bills like more like a car payment. It's no wonder that the Independent Democrats decided to run with the Republicans for Council. Should be fun to watch.

Time's up for Gloucester Township Councilman Orlando Mercado.

Gloucester Township, Camden County

In response to being compared to council President Glen Biancchini, Councilman Orlando Mercado decided that he would play hardball with the people of Gloucester Township.
Just before the first public portion of the August 24th council meeting, Vice President and Gloucester township school administrator Orlando Mercado, announced that the two public portions of the meeting would have a 15 minute time limit, 30 for the second. With the second portion on anything, and non agenda items, having a 5 minute time limit for each person, that would allow only 6 people to speak at all council meetings according to Mercado.

To add insult to injury, Councilman S. Daniel Hutchison injected on Mercado's behalf, stating that when the public speaks within their 5 minute time limit, that it would include council's response. The litmus test occurred this evening, when a resident asked a 1 minute question, and various council members chimed in for a 2 1/2 minute reply. The resident asked for the clock to stop, and Hutchison added that the public/council dialog should be included in the 5 minutes, thus limiting even more the public's ability to speak.

Mercado has in the past tried to show up Council President Biancchini, for his fairness to the public with flexibility on the clock. While Biancchini presides, everyone gets to speak during Gloucester Township council's public portion. This is not the first time that Mercado's arrogance has shined when "acting" as the Council President.

As a Gloucester Township School Administrator, that is some example to set for our school children.

GT Council meeting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DI1S8F_CsWQ&feature=youtu.be

How "pay to play" impacts taxpayers in Gloucester Township. Part 1 Remington & Vernick

If you are from Gloucester Township, you may not realize it, but "Pay to Play" does cost you. Let's look at the numbers, and you decide for yourself.
Gloucester Township collects taxes from every home owner in the township. It is for County and local services, which include, Police, trash collection, and other municipal services.
Sometimes, contractors, vendors, and engineers are needed to help provide these services. Well, one of those services is the Engineering services of Remington & Vernick.
They charge a fee to the township, for surveying, for future and current services and projects, as they have in the past, like the timing of the "red light cameras".

Remington & Vernick have been paid in recent years no less than $100,000 per month, or $1.2 MILLION per year for those fees. Sometimes just for "consulting".
So when you look at the amount of "political" contributions and donations, that they have made to the 5 or more Gloucester Township Democratic Political Action Committees (PACS),
you may wonder, is the township being overcharged?, and if so the taxpayers being overcharged? Is Remington & Vernick having such a profitable time, Are they just feeling charitable?
Since 2007, the Gloucester Township Democratic organization, PACS, and Team Mayer have received $300,350 in donations to date, and this year is another election year.

The donations may come in increments of $5,000 at a time, multiple times of year. That $5000 amount is to many of the 5 Political Action Committees run by the local Democratic party, and Team Mayer. So, think about it this way. If that $300,000 goes back to the taxpayers, rather than political donations, it would reduce the tax burden. Especially if that was multiplied times the other donors that do business in Gloucester Township. Remington & Vernick are just amoungst the bigger donors. An easier way of doing that is to just have R & V reduce the amount of fees, rather than political donations, the tax burden would already be reduced. It just that your local Gloucester Township Progressive government would rather find new ways to spend and waste it, rather that reduce the tax burden, and lower taxes.

A very simple way to put it. Remington & Vernick could stop making political donations and help lower our taxes. $300,350. That would help many people struggling to keep their homes and put food on the table. Maybe even save them enough to pay their high property taxes, or keep their home for going up for tax sale.
Either way, your tax dollars wind up in the hands of Gloucester Township Democratic politicians in the way of donations.

Think about that on election day this November.

GTNews may be opinionated, but Gloucester Township Patch is proving themselves to be Mayor Mayer's press hyperlink.

Gloucester Township, Camden County 6 Aug 2015

When negative news about the local Gloucester Township politicians and elected officials, spreads by word of mouth, local Newspapers like the Courier Post and Inquirer, are felt to be a lock for the Norcross machine. It is pretty much accepted that they won't print stories about their "friends.
A few years back, a young man came to town, and started the Gloucester Township Patch. Sean McCullen, would come to council meetings, school board, and attend events.
He would generally print what he saw, or at least write about how he saw it. He grew to gain a reputation for being fair and honest. The local news hyperlink began to grow, and get very popular amoungst Gloucester Township residents and even the blogs got busy discussing McCullens stories. The Patch was were you could go to catch up on local news and politics from a neutral point of view.
Since then, two new local "journalist" took the wheel. one is now gone, and are running the local Patch that appears that Mayor Mayer is handing over most, if not all of the information that they want out on patch. The negative news on the Mayor's team is apparently suppressed. With still no TV coverage of council meetings. Most in Gloucester Township will never know.

Recently the Vice President of Council Orlando Mercado made a motion to completely shut down the public portion of the July 27th council meeting. The basis of that motion, is that he did not agree with what the Local Republican resident had to say. Even though he never did hear what it was the resident was going to say.
It was seconded by Councilman S. Daniel Hutchinson, when again unanimously approved to stop ALL residents from speaking at the public portion.

Interestingly enough, Patch put out a story for the Mayor Mayer administration about "Red Light fatalities" across the country, which sounds very much like the Mayer's reintroduction to the "red light cameras" and the revenue that the tax and spend government misses.

Residents have for the past week tried to reach out to Patch, but they have not answered those calls, nor have they returned any of those calls.

Below is the link by the NJ Open Government folks on what the Patch had no interest in;

"Mighty Mouth" comes to the aid of "Captain Carlamere", to shut down public comments at Gloucester Township council meeting?

Gloucester Township, Camden County
From a GT Live Stream viewer.

I watched a Gloucester Township council meeting on the glotwp website, to see what is going on in my home town. I saw some things that seemed like they were being rushed thru or from behind the curtains. Last minute entries into the agenda that the public had no way of addressing. I see countless amounts of money being spent for unnecessary things that taxpayers don't need or probably want. AstroTurf?? Really??

It was then I saw some residents get up and speak. Most made very good points. However, each time policy or procedure were addressed, the township Solicitor David Carlamere sat up like a 60's cartoon Superhero to be the defender of the "faith". He seemed to spew gibberish in every instance that can only be described as "dog paddling" in explaining last minute "walk on" justification. For every concern, the Solicitor seemed to put on his Captain Carlamere outfit, and come to the aid of Council and Administration for less than transparent issues and policies.

When it came time for residents to address concerning "political" issues with sitting Politicians, that was something the solicitor could not delve into. It was then I saw another 60's Superhero come to the aid of the Council members themselves. We shall call him "Mighty Mouth". I never did get to hear what the sitting Councilman and school Administrator, Orlando Mercado was engaged in, because before it was even mentioned, Mercado's Superhero came out to defend council running mates, with a hearty "Here I come to save the Day"
(a very familiar song to those in the 60's era cartoon generation).

This Mighty Mouth character could not be helped by Capt. Carlamere, so he did what needed to Politically do. He made a motion to STOP the public from speaking. He motioned the Council President (who is not running for re-election) to stop the public from speaking. The motion was heard but not seconded right away. One more character was added to this cast of cartoon characters. Councilman Dan Hutchison. We shall call him "Pepe LePew". Hutchinson wanted to throw his little "stink bomb" into the mix before seconding the motion. There was no way to dignify this action, and it fell short, so he seconded Mercado's motion, and the public portion was completely shut down.

No one else was going to be heard. This would be almost funny if it wasn't so sad. I will have to tune in again to. see if this is the "norm"
The quality of the township's video was very poor, but worse than that, you can't hear the Council members when they speak.
You would think with all of the money Gloucester Township spends on toys, that they would have a decent video and audio system.

Here is Gloucester Township's own poor quality video: (It's near the end that the public speaks)

Another reason why some good Democrats joined the Republicans in quest of council seats in Gloucester Township

Gloucester Township, Camden County

Besides the lack of transparency, nepotism, and "tax and spend" mentality, the Gloucester Township Democratic organization gave another good reason for life long Democrats to run with the Republicans.
At a Friday night family friendly bowling fundraiser, the evening had one hiccup. Gloucester Township Democrat operative photographer Laura Powers came to the event with camera in hand and no bowling shoes in sight, to photograph the opposing council candidates that were out on the night with their spouses, and children for a night of bowling.

Bowling is surely not a high dollar fundraiser, but more of a night of family and friends, get together in support of their candidate, also known as "Family" or "friend".
Gloucester Township Republicans do not have Engineer firms that are hired by the township, (like Remington & Vernick) to write a check for thousands of dollars, or contractors and vendors, as do the Democrats in power.
The simple question is WHY?? Why did Laura Powers feel the need to take pictures of Candidates bowling with their families. What would Team Mayer, or Gloucester Township Democrats, need with those pictures? Really????

Gloucester Township Public Works. Good job after the storm, but overtime was a huge issue before the storm.

Gloucester Township, Camden County.

Residents of Gloucester Township have seen it's Public Works employees highly visible in it's efforts to clean up our streets and town following the storm. They got our town just about back to normal in a week, however, as the King of Politicians, (Rahm Emanual) put it best, " never let a crisis go to waste".
Gloucester Township is literally "Closed on Friday". The township employees are on a 4 day work week. Anyone who works on Friday is on OVERTIME.
Gloucester Township Public Works (GTPW) has been working somewhat regularly on Fridays and some Saturdays. The amount of overtime will be calculated for the year, but you can bet that the storm will get the attention.

In a local election year, you can count on the "Mayer Team" to write all of that overtime into the "storm", but Gloucester Township residents can see that the overtime is already a problem in Public Works. The 5 day work week has been brought up several times at the local Council meetings, with questions ranging from, "how much overtime", "why overtime, why not work 5 days like normal people do", to " when does time and a half end, and double time begin".

It almost makes it painfully obvious that the "let no crisis go to waste" mentality, will most certainly have Gloucester Township residents reaching into their pockets for a tax increase to
"Pay for the Storm". In an election year, Politicians most certainly wait until AFTER the election, to introduce that tax increase, all the while, blaming it on "THE STORM"

Residents know of the overtime before the storm, and as grateful as they may be to GTPW for the clean up, what will it cost them.

Public works yard will be open for brush drop off:
Thursday, July 2: 07:00 am – 08:00 pm
Friday, July 3: 07:00 am – 3:30 pm
Saturday, July 4: 07:00 am – 3:30 pm
Sunday, July 5: 07:00 am – 3:30 pm