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Opinion: Civics 101

Committee member Bandrowski responds to fellow official Ziad Shehady's criticism of professional contracts.

At Springfield's Township Committee re-organization meeting on Jan. 1, Committeeman Ziad Shehady caused a bit of a stir by claiming irregularities involving the approval of several resolutions authorizing the awarding of contracts to six professionals to be employed by the township in 2013.

Mr. Shehady voted against the resolutions, claiming no one had seen the actual contracts nor was there a COAF (Certificate of Available Funds) to cover the costs. This last, in fact, has been issued and was irrelevant to the resolutions themselves.

A review of the documents may clear up any questions. The form of the resolution is the same for each position and clearly states its purpose is to authorize the drawing up of a contract between the Township Committee and the professional it is intending to employ.

Part of the process of the Reorganization is for the Committee to approve the nomination of the professional. As clearly stated in the Resolution itself, Local Public Contracts Law NJSA40-A:11-1 et seq. "requires a resolution authorizing the award of a contract, etc."

First the professional must be approved by the Committee, then the resolution publicly authorizing the drawing of a contract must be passed, then the contract can be drawn up confirming the details. Last year's contract between the Township and Jeffrey Lehrer for legal services was not done until July. To insist on seeing the contracts prior to having the necessary approvals is a classic case of putting the cart before the horse.

The procedure as observed was not only perfectly proper, it was legally required, and is exactly the same order of events that has been followed for years, including Mr. Shehady's time on the committee as member and chair. 

I hope this explanation of the process, made clear by a simple reading of the resolutions themselves and past practices, rebuts any accusations of impropriety made at the January 1 meeting.

SpringfieldTruth January 04, 2013 at 05:22 PM
Tirade in M-W: "a protracted speech usually marked by intemperate, vituperative, or harshly censorious language" Voice of Reason, without knowing what Shehady said, you can't characterize it as a tirade. On the other hand, the ramblings of Bandrowski do qualify as a tirade. Shehady's response puts her in rightful place.
Kevin M January 04, 2013 at 05:53 PM
Margaret, you obviously didn't know this when you voted to approve the resolutions. So I am wondering why you voted yes for something you clearly did not understand? You could have asked questions about the resolution but you didn't. You could have abstained from voting since you clearly didn't have enough information to form an independent opionon but you didn't. Instead, you voted to affirm the resolutions following the other members of your party. That dear Margaret is the problem. You are not an independent thinking TC member. You are a puppet who responds to the master. You could use a course in Civics 101 yourself. Very scary indeed.
BART FRAENKEL January 04, 2013 at 07:21 PM
It would serve the publics greater good if posts by Shehady, Krauss or anyone else for that matter would allow for comments. Instead they make statements that no one can dispute without starting a new thread or article. I did not attend the reorganization meeting nor did I read the agenda or the specifics of each resolution, and Shehady may in fact be correct regarding the procedural aspects. As I said, I don't know. But what I can see is that we're on a path of regression if the infighting continues.
Kevin M January 04, 2013 at 07:41 PM
Regardless of whether it does or does not happen every year, if Margaret did not understand (which she clearly did not) she should have asked for an explanation. She was a committeemember for all of 30 minutes and she voted in favor of something she did not understand. Sounds like puppet politics to me.
Sprinfield Resident tired of the bickering January 04, 2013 at 10:00 PM
Here we go again. It would be nice if the TC worked for us (the residents) instead of their party. Where are all the true idependent thinkers in Springfield? We need a real change in this town and it is not with the Democrats or Republicans. Is power that important to these people that they bicker like this constantly? Is the power to appoint cronies (both parties do it) that intoxicating that hiring the best person for the job isn't that important? I know they say all politics is local but this is getting ridiculous. The only thing going up are our taxes. When will the independent minded people rise up and get what is best for this town?
a fan January 04, 2013 at 10:32 PM
I feel the same way you do.... it is all a power play, like a bunch of school kids to see who is more popular with the most friends - honestly, even the kids in town are learning how to do it.... i am disgusted with both parties' antics, from Barnett/Bandrowski hiding his SEC fraud , to the Krauss/Fernandez junket.... I'm tempted to run myself next time -
MJ January 04, 2013 at 10:46 PM
This is the kind of thing that makes the rest of the country think that New Jersey is the most corrupt state in the union.
Bob Groder January 04, 2013 at 11:01 PM
i noticed that Marc & Ziad's posts didnt allow for comment. i guarantee they did this by design. This to me is blocking peoples freedom of speech who want to oppose anything they wrote. personally I dont know enough about the law to comment but I feel by blocking others right to free speech this is just a continuation of the 2012 former Mayor's antics and its not appreciated. Let people speak. Some will agree and others wont. to me all patch articles should allow comments. I dont always agree but at least as i have said many times people should be able to say how they feel on any issue.
Committeeman Jerry Fernandez January 04, 2013 at 11:08 PM
You must be a little nuts. Stepehen or whatever your real name is. To say that I was getting Text or emails on how to vote or what to say is pretty ridiculous. And I would love to see this proof you speak of. Have committee people received text from people in the crowd? Yes. In fact Mr Groder sends them to Mayor Amlen at least one a meeting, but to say I was told how to vote or what to say? God then you really do not know me.
Committeeman Jerry Fernandez January 04, 2013 at 11:25 PM
Bob can you honestly say you never sent David a message? Really?
Tony T January 05, 2013 at 01:12 AM
Municipal Court Prosecutor: Yale Greenspoon, Esq. wasn't he the Board of Health Attorney.... Nice job for being a good soldier! Nay but none of that was political... Him or Bergen the other Board of Health Attorney.... Just lucky...
BART FRAENKEL January 05, 2013 at 05:51 AM
Unfortunately Bob is correct regarding the difficulty of an independent winning an election in Springfield. I ran that way and was extremely pleased receiving 900+ votes because I knew each vote I received was from someone who knew that I would represent them and not a political party. It's ironic that when an independent person sits on this local committee, both political parties take turns being happy with them when they're in the minority. It's too bad that once they gain a majority they repeat the poor behavior of the previous majority party. Two TC members seats will expire at the end of this year, so without a real independent candidate, we'll have the same circus next year regardless of who wins. The town approved a Charter Study Commission last year, but what we should have on a ballot is whether or not the residents think the township should have non-partisan elections (just people not political parties).
James January 05, 2013 at 02:18 PM
Same old stuff in Springfield, elected leaders who are working for the party not the people. Shehady and his crew a bunch of sore losers. Clear message is that regardless of party, voters will keep voting incumbents out regardless of party until the right people get elected. It's obvious we haven't found them yet.
Walter G January 05, 2013 at 04:35 PM
It's like a kindergarten class. He said, she said, he said. Who will get the last word? It is evident that the members of our new committee have no respect for each other (last committee probably didn't either) and every meeting will be filled with arguments and name calling and followed by more "believe me more than them" pleas in the form of Patch articles. It is embarrassing to ALL members of the committee and unfortunate for the town.
BART FRAENKEL January 05, 2013 at 05:16 PM
Correct Walter.
Brett Biebelberg January 05, 2013 at 06:05 PM
By your logic, any account that posts comments attacking Ziad (including yours) must be an alias of Bruce Bergen (or some other Democrat).
B Freeman January 05, 2013 at 06:12 PM
That's right Bart you. You need to have the last word. Walter, would you have any respect for any that commits fraud? Cooks the books? Basically lies to profit in business? Leaves town during a crisis? Has no clue about civics 101? Only shows ups to town meetings? Hires friends/party members for key critical town positions? Now watch Bart respond and spin this around and try and have the last word.
Bob Groder January 05, 2013 at 06:14 PM
it could very well be true anonimous. i wish people no matter who they are would post under a full 1st and last name. i wish the patch forced people to log on with full names but due to privacy laws anyone can post under any name they wish.
Bob Groder January 05, 2013 at 06:17 PM
also i forgot all about the article you mention anonimous. like i said at the bottom of this feed both sides need to stop bickering and just concentrate on what they were hired to do which is help the township of springfield.
Walter G January 05, 2013 at 07:00 PM
Mr. Freeman, you are referring to criminal activities and of course I would not have respect for people proven to do this things. About leaving town, civics 101 or town meetings - those are not reasons to disrespect people- Hiring party members for positions, well that is the way politics is done going back to George Washington - so like it or not, it is what it is. My only point is that regardless of what personal feelings people may have for each other, they should be put aside in a professional manner to get a job done. I have sat at many conference room tables doing deals with people I did not like but acted professionally to get the job at hand done. My comment on here was just an expression of opinion. Not for one political agenda or another. Just a dismay of reading the three Patch articles by current and former committee people. I did not realize I would be chastised for it.
SpringfieldTruth January 05, 2013 at 07:20 PM
Ah, Walter G! I see Jeff Rosenberg has abandoned his other alias and sprouted a new one. I enjoy your seemingly impartial commentary. Oh, and anonimous (and the other 50 other Fraenkel/Bergen/Amlen aliases), I'm not who you think I am. I can't speak for the others you accuse of being Shehady, but I'm not them, they're not me, and I'm someone else. They wish!
B Freeman January 05, 2013 at 07:27 PM
Walter - did not mean to chastise you. Your business experience is different. At the end of the day both sides are motivated by profit. Not in local politics.
BART FRAENKEL January 05, 2013 at 07:38 PM
The only reason I'm even responding is because I haven't condoned behavior by either party of late. By bringing my name up only further confirms in my mind, and probably that of others, that you are Shehady. Give it a rest already, because my posts have only identified that infighting and poor behavior, and not necessarily bad decisions. Bad decisions will be made by both sides and as long as the proper procedures are used that's all we, as residents, can be concerned with. The ballot booths are where we get to express our pleasure or displeasure with those who have made the decisions.
Bob Groder January 05, 2013 at 07:41 PM
Perfectly said Bart!
Walter G January 05, 2013 at 07:46 PM
No harm done. Thank you.
Shore Girl January 06, 2013 at 06:28 PM
LOL!!!! What a joke of a town!!!!!!!!!
Warren Frank January 07, 2013 at 04:53 PM
You have some nerve talking about Ziad and aliases. Look what you are hiding behind anonimous. If Ziad is doing what you say he is wrong, but you are no better. Just like the pot calling the kettle black. Warren Frank
The Voice of Reason January 18, 2013 at 02:09 AM
Mr. Shehady's slimy politics again. Mr Shehady knows the process. He was grandstanding and made a pitiful attempt cast doubt on the competence of the new TC.He is taking advantage of the public who might not know that the resolution was to approve the first step in the process, authorizing that contracts be written. Of course no one read them before they voted. They didn't exist!! When they are written, every member of the TC should not only read them, they better scrutinize them. This is slimy politics on Mr. Shehady's part.
DaJo January 18, 2013 at 02:43 AM
Voice your tantrums are childish. Youre just regurgitating what Bandrowski wrote (are you Bandrowski) or likely what the puppetmaster Bergen wrote (maybe your Bergen) or are you Amlen? How nasty can you get? Not only that but Shehady explained how it really works. http://springfield.patch.com/blog_posts/bandrowski-resorts-to-shameful-politics Guess you didn't read that? He even gave facts and gave a copy of the resolution instead of just name-calling and lying like you and Bandrowksi. The resolution doesn't say anything about "when they are written". If that is how the process works, and that was just the "first step" why didn't any of the democrats say that at the meeting? In fact, Bandrowski lied on record when he asked and she said she read it. Then she looked to the puppets and they told her no so she changed her story. If she is so smart to give a lesson in civics why didn't she say that at the meeting instead of looking so confused. To top it off, Amlen was clueless too. He said the Administrator and CFO read it which they admitted they didn't. So he didn't know the process either after 2 years to explain it. It seems this "process" was created after they messed up. This is slimy politics on your part and their part.
a January 18, 2013 at 03:00 AM
dana you have no clue what you are talking about. not only is shehady a phony he did the same exact thing on january 1, 2012. its standard procedure that the party in charge hires their own attorney to work with. on january 1 in the 2012 reorganization shahady was named mayor and he promptly named attorneys with no contracts being signed. this makes him a hypocrite. in addition what shehady did was more shady as he added over 80,000.00 to the attorneys bills at the end of the calendar year to stick it to the democrats. this is on the record when he changed the amendment to add money to the budget for attorneys which were his republican choice. now the democrats are running it so they chose their own attorney. it goes both ways dana. it seems you look through rose colored glasses.

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