Brigantine City Council Notes & Video. July 18, 2015

Lisa McClay Brigantine Corruption
McClay in Pocket of Guenther? PHOTO: Press of Atlantic City

An open container/ trash hauling contract was voted on. Delucry was not happy with how it was awarded.  Lot’s of pricing & estimate confusion.

DeLucry questioned City Manager Stinson’s rationale for awarded bid for trash removal. Stinson: “it went past John & I’ (Doring & Stinson) What was expectation for price?

‘There was paperwork out of place’ stated Delucry. At this point, Mayor Guenther blinked…and called on City Attorney Scerni to step in and help defend this move.

Delucry: ‘I have questions about the bid’. City Manager Stinson squirmed. As per usual, Councilman Simpson belittles expenditure of taxpayers funds by saying ‘we’re talking trash here’.

Delucry voted NO. ‘Nothing about this feels right’. NOTE: as is becoming the norm, Councilpersons McClay & Piccardi did little research on this major expenditure, and once again sided with the free-spending Guenther, Simpson and Stinson.

Delucry & Brigantine Taxpayers lost that battle by vote of 6-1.

See a recent Brigantine Trash Removal Scandal here. 

Going on close to 3 years… contract negotiations with public safety & teachers in Brigantine drags on. READ BACKGROUND: Brigantine Public Safety Contracts. Few inside City Hall think this needs to be a priority. Understandably, Brigantine public employees fear new deal would not be as good as the current, valid yet expired, agreements. As noted, the public safety deals were developed & signed-off by former City Manager/Public Safety Director; Jim Barber. The infamous Mr. Barber openly stated in a recent social media post that if he was still in charge, he would give the Brigantine public employee unions an even better deal. WATCH VIDEO >

Meeting Minutes Still Very Late To Post. On average they take about 5 months to post. The minutes, re-constructed by City Clerk Lynn Sweeney, are dramatically edited down from the hours of actual meeting. In other towns, public comments and other items are accurately recorded for the record. Contrary to what some inside City Hall may think, the actual video recording of the meeting is the best and most accurate documentation of what transpired. That video is considered a legal. Public Comments: AUDIO from meetings should be online….. it’s cheaper & easier to do. It’s been noticed that the video & audio of meetings are no longer regularly posted to YouTube or the city site; Resident John Pucci reminded council again that the official council meeting agenda was NOT posted prior to meeting. Members of the public suggested this was a way for Mayor Guenther and City Manager Stinson to keep critical decisions & resolutions under wraps until the very last minute.

Part-time residents in particular, have quietly wondered how to get proper representation at council meetings. The elected opposition lead by Lisa McClay has consistently proven in-effective to keep the 26+ year Mayor in check. The council minority just doesn’t have the teeth or motivation to keep appropriate pressure on Guenther, Simpson, Sera & Bew…..along with City Manager Ed Stinson. To date, Councilman Rick Delucry has been the only elected official to ask simple, appropriate and fiscally sound questions. When Brigantine City Council considers measures to spend taxpayer dollars, Delucry typically receives no support from his party’s co-members; McClay & Piccardi.

To be considered: retain services of independent attorney with expertise in municipal, taxation and real estate issues. This attorney would primarily represent the best interest of part-time residents with no voting rights…but would most certainly benefit all taxpayers. Described as a legal version of John Paff, this attorney could be paid via donations placed into a non-profit fund. If amount is small enough, ($25) most believe high % of participation would occur. Relying solely on efforts of the Democrat minority & Brigantine Taxpayers Association has proven to have limited and in most cases…. no success in stopping the following:

  • Overtime abuse inside fire department
  • Links Golf Course & Liquor License give-away to Mad Dog Morgan owners
  • Sending $6,000 per month to Meadowbrook Golf for services unknown.
  • Bonding for projects that have little detail or transparency
  • Missing money and accounting errors
  • Consistent glitches in City Hall operations
  • Rise of empty retail store fronts
  • Over-development of residential, and downfall of retail.

The Brigantine Democratic club has yet to endorse/nominate a 1st ward candidate for the open seat that will occur in November. That seat is being temporarily occupied by Guenther supporter: Karen Bew.

Council urged citizens to avoid social media and websites that share public Brigantine info. McClay, Piccardi, Guenther complained about online ‘negativity’. They pointed to the very popular BrigantineNOW….as one example of transparency. The BrigantineNOW website audience appreciates the non-biased sharing of info. The Mayor talked about how the web is just ‘fabricated news’….even though it comes straight from the mouths of city council, during council meetings….which are video-taped to ensure accuracy. To be sure, Brigantine politicians and city management are unaccustomed to such scrutiny. The Internet allows for superior transparency. Guenther & Council have enjoyed virtual anonymity over the years prior to the introduction of BrigantineNOW. The local paper; The Brigantine Times, is well known for ignoring major stories that are vital to basic local journalism. WATCH VIDEO >

Pedestrians vs Motorists; who has right of way? Lt. Jim Bennett discusses recent incident at 28th street where a female pedestrian was hit. Bennett also mentioned that pedestrian crossings were partially to blame for the injury to a Brigantine officer. Police Officer; Rich Deleon, is still out of work since being rear-ended after stopping for crossing pedestrian. Deleon was rear-ended by off duty Brigantine Firefighter; Eric Ireland. Police Chief Reed and Fire Chief Weidner have yet to release a statement as to whether a drug test was administered to Ireland, and if he was found guilty of wreckless driving. Recent documents show the City of Brigantine paid to have Police Tahoe repaired…instead of the insurance company of Eric Ireland.

Hero of the New Shark Park; Paul Amalfitano, was honored with a public proclamation. The Brigantine father, single-handedly spearheaded efforts to rebuild the popular Brigantine playground. It was two years ago that residents notified BigantineNOW staffers about the rusty and dangerous decline of this important kid-focused attraction. This brought much needed attention to this worthwhile project.

Unlike his counterparts in other towns, Mayor Guenther has yet to embrace Brigantine’s fair share of affordable housing. ‘Don’t believe that number’. City Atty Scerni stated; ‘not certified’ ‘they are not real numbers’. ‘Brigantine is historically in compliance’. Brigantine has been identified as owing up to 520 affordable homes by 2025.

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