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Opinion: Township Dems "Appalled" by Shehady's Stance With JCP&L

Committee member David Amlen chides Mayor Shehady for not searching for positive solutions.

Over the last few days, Springfield's mayor has made local headlines by calling JCP&L "blatant liars."  As a township committee member, and representative of Springfield, I am appalled at the lack of professionalism and respect shown in such a statement. Rich Huber and I want to publicly state that we do not condone our fellow committee member's words in this case.

The past week has certainly been trying and stressful for all of Springfield's residents. With most or all of us lacking in heat, electricity, and in some cases, hot water, we believe our local elected officials should be doing their best to find positive solutions. Taking a combative and hostile stance with the company that is clearly working hard to help us get back to normal is the last thing we should be doing.

I believe Mr. Shehady's message was not only hostile to the JCP&L management, but it was also extremely disrespectful to the incredibly dedicated crew members who have been working tirelessly on our behalf and who I and other residents have been meeting and speaking with over the last few days.  We have met crew members who have traveled to our town from places like Illinois, Kansas, California and as far as Nova Scotia.  These workers deserve better than to have their company and their efforts disparaged.

I would think that if our mayor is the skilled politician he claims to be, he would understand that in circumstances like this, one gets more flies with honey than with vinegar.

While many of us share Mr. Shehady's frustration with the avenues of communication between JCP&L representatives and us, Rich Huber and I believe that it is far more effective to work positively with others, especially in the midst of this trying situation. Name-calling is a juvenile and ineffectual method to obtain what you need.

Rich Huber and I want to take the time to thank the people in charge of our office of emergency management, led by Scott Seidel and Wally Schultz, who have led the relief efforts in town and who have accomplished so much during this past week. We owe you a great debt.  I believe all Springfield residents can be very proud of the way we came together as a community and continue to work together to get our town and our lives back to normal.

David Amlen
Springfield Township Committeeman

Springfield Neighbor November 05, 2012 at 09:08 PM
After reading Mr. Amlin's post (today) it just confirms my opinion of the sad state of choices the Dems have offered in the past (and based on the recent debates) currently running for office. I think the Mayor was much more pro active and has a better handling of the recovery then Mr. Keffer ever did (just one year prior). Shame on the Democratic party and Mr. Amlin for his negative post. My vote will not be with my party this time around - locally or (considering the sad state of the economy these past 4 years) Nationally. Sorry Mr. Obama but your promises were far from kept. I saw Mr Fernandez and the Mayor before, during and after the storm showing support, making decisions and implementing plans to help Springfield get back on track. My hat off to them, our Police Dept, The First Aid Squad, Fire Dept and DPW. as well as the Auxiliary PD and all other volunteers who helped and continue to help get Springfield through this terrible event and back on our feet.
Michelle F November 05, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Who is this guy? I don’t recall seeing him around town during any of the recovery efforts? This is a disgusting, unbelievably stupid letter, the day before election. How can you criticize someone for trying to help while you sit there and do NOTHING?!?! Shehady has been working tirelessly for our residents to keep us constantly updated. He has been on conference calls, in meetings, out on our streets, updating web pages and helping us through this catastrophe. David Amlen should go back to the hole he's been hiding in!!
Springfield Neighbor November 05, 2012 at 10:17 PM
What does that have to do with all of the good he's done leading us through this ordeal. Great idea, lets vote for only soft spoken, timid leaders. I can only guess who posted this.
Geri Ann Bujnowski November 05, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Hay anonymous, have the strength of your convictions to put your name on it next time, I might be interested then. I have the privilege to see leadership in Action this past week. I have seen Jerry, Marc and Ziad at the shelter at least every day. I don't know I'd most of you know, but Jerry's restaurant was flooded during the storm on Monday. He had at least 3-4' of water in his basement. I saw him everyday, helping in he town when he could have been cleaning out his business, his livelihood. That's dedication. Jerry and Marc have my vote.
Elisa November 05, 2012 at 10:37 PM
A big thank you to Mayor Ziad, Jerry Fernandez, and Marc Krauss for the tremendous community service during and after this disaster. They work tirelessly to restore us back to normalcy. I personally watched Jerry Fernandez and a team of volunteers take down trees off of 3 different homes the day after the storm... and it wasn't a photo opt. Then you've got David Amlen, who has the nerve to critisize the folks that are actually doing something. Actions speak louder than words! David Amlen, I am "appauled" at your lack of support as a township committee member. I am embarrased that you represent our town, but not for long....
Phil Iuliano November 05, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Dear Anonymous (A.K.A. Damage Control for Amlen's Letter). Thanks for wasting 14 minutes and 81 seconds (to be precise) of my time watching the pointless videos you presented. I see nothing that supports your theory of our Major treating citizens in the manner you claim. Folks, please do not do what I did and watch these meaningless videos. It's a complete waste of time. Has nothing to do with the letter, the recovery, and leadership our Mayor has demonstrated, especially this week. Don't know what is worse, Amlen's letter or the manner/attempt you did in presenting the videos. Perhaps both. Either way, I will not change my mind on tomorrow's vote. Amlen's letter convinced me which way I need to go, your approach and comments simply affirmed it.
BART FRAENKEL November 05, 2012 at 10:58 PM
RG you hit the nail on the head. The mayor has been extremely visible and has communicated the situation nicely with the public, which was not done during Hurricane Irene. But that is what he and the other TC members are suppose to do. The hero's are not any of the elected officials, they're the men and women doing their jobs to restore power, and keep us safe. And all the people who volunteered to help in any way possible, without the cameras taking pictures.
Andrew Schwartz November 05, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Mr. Amlen, As a lifelong Democrat, I must say the following: Open mouth, insert foot, try not to choke. While I certainly do not support all of the Mayor's initiatives, or the manner in which he accomplishes them, there is no basis to fault him this time for taking a hard stance with JCPL, a company with a long and horrendous track record for taking the residents of Springfield for granted. You picked an odd time and manner to emerge from the shadows during this crisis. Next time, perhaps it would have been better for Springfield if you stay in them.
Cheryl November 05, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Instead of being appalled with the mayor's behavior I wish Mr Amlen was outraged at the fact the Springfield Township , one week after the storm STILL has a significant number of people without lights, heat or hot water.
advo November 06, 2012 at 01:10 AM
For a small town ....Shehady has done ten times my expectations. Information, support and real updates. Never voted and no party. I have always left my "imaginary" vote reserved to exceptional performance and i think it may now be warranted for me to actually register. Good job Z.
LHG November 06, 2012 at 01:42 AM
So I watched those videos and frankly, I do not see where Ziad behaved inappropriately. He answered the questions asked in a straightforward manner. I am a liberal Democrat, but in terms of what is best for Springfield, the actions of Ziad, Jerry, and Marc, compared to those of the Democratic majority during last year's storms is striking. They, along with Scott and the OEM have shown tremendous leadership. Since the social issues about which I care about dearly are not impacted by local party affiliation, I will vote to keep Ziad, Marc and Jerry in power.
Scott Truglio November 06, 2012 at 01:59 AM
Our mayor has done his job...what would you have done for us Amlen? Your disrespectful liberal babble is not productive for this situation...so keep your mouth shut and stand on the sidelines and see how a "MAN" unlike yourself gets the job done!! If you have nothing positive to say or do for the town...then go away! I know first hand how Mayor Shehady worked tirelessly throughout this disaster....He has done a Great job for all of Springfield!! You need to retract your statement and apologize to the man!
Jeff strumpf November 06, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Dave I have to disagree with your perspective. I applaud Ziad for his leadership And assertiveness in getting getting the Power Company to pick up the pace. Whether you like him, hate him or disagree with him, the man gets things done and and that's why he got my vote as will Jerry and Marc tomorrow. These guys were there for the community when we needed them and the level of communication during This disaster was the best I have experienced in the 20 years my wife and I have lived in Springfield. Dave you are a very bright guy and you are smarter than this. Follow the example of Governor Christie who put partisan politics aside during the storm to do what was best for the state
Laura Delia November 06, 2012 at 02:46 AM
As the Springfield residents go the polls tomorrow, I will assume that they will do the right thing and vote for Fernandez and Krauss. Perhaps the residents haven't always agreed with all their decisions during the last 3 years. But the one thing that we have all learned in the last 9 days is that they would NEVER run away as the two current Township Democratic committeemen have. You were elected to serve our community,not bail out on us when the going gets tough. I don't care what political party affiliation you are with. The character of a person is defined by their deeds and actions not by their words and rhetoric. While volunteering this week, I have never seen the current democrat candidates there. It's my understanding that Ms. Bandnowski claims she had no idea that there was anything going on until last Friday. Are you saying that you, Mr. Barnett or Mr. Huber couldn't or didn't keep her informed? After researching this further, I come to learn that she doesn't even have a computer at her home. My question for her would be how do you plan on being informed if you want to be one our township representatives? I know that she was at the Bonfire. How did she learn of that? And while at the Bonfire, she was just reminding people to vote. "Was this one of the Photo Ops" for your party? If so, that's a disgrace! I believe that the Springfield residents will do the right thing and continue to move forward with Fernandez and Krauss.
a November 06, 2012 at 12:28 PM
gaston i have no power either and for what it is worth yelling at any comporation only gets their wrath. i agree with the article. yelling never works for me when i have an issue with any company.
a November 06, 2012 at 12:29 PM
shehady is an outright liar and if you ever bothered ot go to town hall meetings youi would know this. he belittles anyone who opposes him and is himself a bully at meetings with his nasty attitude.
a November 06, 2012 at 12:37 PM
The mayor has done nothing but make sure he is in the public spotlight by acting like he was in charge BUT the truth is the office of emergency management run by scott seidel & wallay shcultz are the ones who get 100% of the credit. they refuse to take credit while the mayor shehady gets all the press. everyone should be ashamed of themself.
a November 06, 2012 at 12:40 PM
ziad is nothing but a phony career politian who only tries to make himself look god. he is not in charge here the office of emergency management run by scott seidel & wally schultz is.
Janet Pincu November 06, 2012 at 02:05 PM
8 days and counting and I still have no power in my home or surrounding neighborhood, Yet I applaud the mayor and his team for the extraordinary efforts around the town's recovery to this point. What is appalling is the attempt to politicize this horrific event on the backs of those who have suffered and continent to do so. Your motives not go unnoticed when I vote today,
Joseph Meehan November 07, 2012 at 02:44 AM
. Yeah everybody has an opinion bottom line is we just had a natural disaster and this is not easily solved and will take patience and perseverance by all of us
Tracy November 07, 2012 at 04:01 AM
I feel annonymous should not be allowed to post if he can't be man enough to put his name. Everyone else put their name. I would love to know who this is because I don't want my family anywhere near this moron.
a November 08, 2012 at 03:19 PM
seeking logic the reason they werent there is because they were told they werent needed as the office of emergency services is in charge during a crisis NOT the governing body. people are misinformed when they give credit or blame the board for anything. the emergency service dept run by scott seidel and wally schultz deserve most of the credit for both of these storms. david would have surely done more if he was asked to do so. he stayed in touch with scott every single day but diesnt get enough credit.
Debra Marshall November 08, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Mayor Z is doing an outstanding job communicating with residents through texts, email, calls. He is working tirelessly to get some answers from the inept management at JCP&L. He is one man. He's not the governor or the president or the head of the BPU. Let's praise his efforts on our behalf. I have been out of power for 11 days and there are disabled people on my block who have no access to the items Z has informed us about, so neighors get together and help them out. Any politician who posts a comment here in an effort to further his agenda and belittle the work of the Mayor will never get my vote, ever. I am a registered Democrat but I view elected officials on the basis of how they perform, and Z has performed in an outstanding fashion, given his limited abilities to force a powerful utility company to stop its previously-accepted lying practices. Stop with the name calling and personal attacks behind anonymous computer screens. Help out your neighbors or volunteer or otherwise do something positive instead of acting like a petulant, churlish brat.
Phil Iuliano November 08, 2012 at 05:00 PM
It has nothing to do with taking credit. It's all about doing what is right and servicing our community. All of our elected officers (EO from herein) take an "Oath" to serve the people of Springfield to the fullest, in good times and especially in bad times. It's their responsibility. Since the storm, it's clear which EO's carried out their oath and which EO's did not. I would bet for the EO's that did step up, had they elected to take a side seat, they would be criticized as well from people like annonymous. So for annonymous and for anyone who thinks like you, you make no sense. You criticize the EO's that got involved, stick up...defend...make excuses for the EO's that did nothing, and there is no doubt for the EO's that did get involved, had they elected not to, you would blast them for that. Hypocrite to say the least.
a November 08, 2012 at 06:47 PM
they were behind the scenes seeking as they took place in calls with emergency management on a daily basis. they were told everything was under control and supposedly when margaret tried to volunteer to help she was told her help was not needed. it sounded to me like ziad ordered her away but i dont know if this is a fact or not just talk going around town.
Phil Iuliano November 08, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Anonymous, I am an independent. I refuse to align myself with a party because in my opinion, it's nonsense. I support for the person who does the best job or has the potential to perform in doing the best job, in the best interest of the community regardless of the party they belong to. There's nothing wrong with being a career politician providing the person does the right thing for the community. Perhaps it's better to have a career politician on a full-time basis as opposed to a politician who does it on the side. Had Amlen not send out the letter, there would be no responses from people. He was the aggressor and went on the attack against Ziad during the worst storm NJ ever had. I question his integrity of his timing. Day before the election? I'm sure he found time to assist his party in campaigning just like he found time to write the letter though. Amlen was told not to get involved? Sorry, not buying it. He should have been out there on the streets with the other guys. In terms of Huber, I would not be surprised if he had nothing to do with the letter that Amlen presented. I bet he did not even know about it until it was written and published. Not the first time this has happened to him. Finally, it's clear you are not a Ziad fan. You are certainly entitled to your opinion. However your hatred to towards him is rather pathetic to the point that you simply cannot even acknowledge that the man was out there since the storm busting his hump every day.
Phil Iuliano November 09, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Cannot comment on how he hurt you and your family. It's a personal issue and none of my business. To reiterate, if those are your opinions of the man, that is fine. I do know that there are always 2 sides to every story, sometimes 3. To me, actions speak louder than words. I have seen the actions and the lack of actions by our elected officers in our time of need. I support those that demonstrate actions when needed. When you speak with Amlen, ask him why Huber was not informed of the letter being published yet his name was attached. Gut feeling, this happened. Thanks for the communication exchange. I wish you and your family well.
Debra Marshall November 09, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Thanks, SeekingLogic. We have arranged for the disabled neighbors to get to the shelter. Appreciate the info.
Louis Herkalo November 25, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Don't even bring Obama blamegame into what was going on in little 'ole Springfield NJ! Thank your lucky stars you were not living in Seaside, Ortley Beach, etc. Then you can do some real crying! As for the economy, don't blame Obama. You need to blame the original source it came from; Bush/Cheney! If you think for 1 min. if Romney was voted in that he was going to do everything he said he was going to do or promised & turned the economy around, your living in a fantasyland! 4 yrs. is not enough for ANY president to turn a country around. Compare the stock market today from 8 yrs. ago. Obama never lied to the American people nor got over 5000 soldiers killed & 1000's maimed or injured. Cheney knew that Iraq would have to be re-built. All he saw was $ signs so he could bring in Haliburton to rebuild. While the US troops lived in squalor, the Haliburton workers lived in nice hosing w/AC, good food, etc.. Where were the Bush's during Romney's campaign? The GOP was distancing themselves from them because they felt they would hurt him. Didn't need him. Stuck his foot in his mouth so many times, he blew it!!!
Louis Herkalo November 25, 2012 at 05:37 PM
You better do your homework on that one. See how the "SuperMayor" runs meetings, belittles, is rude, or just ignores the public if he doesn't like your qustion or comment. Has had legal troubles while on the TC & he thinks he's better then everyone, even the judical system. That's why his 2nd arrest while a committeemen was a failure to appear. Not because he forgot to show up for court, because he decided he wasn't going to go because he's Ziad Shehady! Becareful, he's a wolf in sheeps clothing!

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