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Special Commissioners Meeting 2/03/09

First, after input from some professionals I have decided to keep my picture on the blog.

Almost all appointments stayed the same. I am not familiar with many of the positions and what they require so I don’t feel I can comment either way. They are changing auditors and animal control.

Most of the meeting was to clarify Mr. Klineburger’s billing procedure. It was explained that he is not under a contract but was hired on a basis of previous year’s billings. I still don’t understand how if 2007 was approx. $126,000 and 2008 was approx. $101,000 how they came up with a $75,000 figure, which he has gone over in 6 months. Mr. Klineburger is not a salaried employee therefore is saving the Twp. money by not being in the Pension Fund.

Commissioner Foley went to Mr. Klineburger’s office to review the billing procedures and was confident that after a spot check things were billed correctly. Mr. Klineburger apparently has detailed information of his billings that are available upon request. It was suggested that he include it with the invoice. I feel that would be a good idea even if in the instance an OPRA request be made, most of it would have to be blacked out for reasons of confidentiality. The explanation to the 33 hr day was that it was a couple of days work that was entered in one day. I made a suggestion that, if in fact this was the case, why couldn’t the input include the date the service was performed. Mr. Klineburger stated that was something they were already looking to implement for future billings. When questioned further about the about the accuracy of the billing by Tom Cassel, Mr. Klineburger asked if he was being accused of lying and if so asked that Tom state that for the record.

Tom also had a question in reference a couple of meetings that were held. I’m not well versed in this area so I can only state what was said. Tom questioned the legal aspect of having more than one commissioner and the solicitor in a closed meeting with no public notification or minutes being kept. He referred to the Sunshine Laws of NJ. The Mayor stated it was client/attorney confidentiality and would not comment as to what the meetings were about. It became a very intense discussion but the Mayor would not say anything more and Tom insisted it would be investigated.

Don’t forget to sign up for the email information list. jonjenja@verizon.net

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37 Responses

  1. By our towns form of government if 2 of the 3 commissioners meet it’s a meeting. If it is legal matter they can have a closed session but it has to be publicized as such.

    Are they running the town based on one 30-40 minute caucus meeting each month?

    Or is it possible they are holding meetings and having the discussions on issues away from the public eye?

    For people who think it is no big deal —
    the sunshine laws are so that a group of policticians can not run a town in secret without public accountability.

    This is our town and our government and we pay for it with our fast-rising taxes.

    The fact that the officials can not even extend the basic decency of a polite response to the citzens’ questions is incredible.

    Our taxes are going up, our expenses are mounting, and there is little to no public accountability of our elected officials.

    Say what you want about Bill Park but at least he sat at the meetings at let people have their say. Park had the guts to stand up in from of the people.

    We voted out Park for this mess? Maybe Park should run for office again.

  2. I think all the people of this town need to know the truth about what is going on and the Commissioners need to be held accountable for what they say in public meetings. In my opinion, some things just didn’t make sense or add up, so I decided to ask further questions. I just sent this email to Commissioner Foley and our CFO Denise Adams. When I receive a response, I will post it. It wouldn’t surprise me if they avoid answering in writing.

    ———————————-

    As a point of clarification, did the $102,000 quote annual billings from Klineburger include a bill for Oct – Dec 2008? It wasn’t paid in the January payments when I looked for it. Have you received it? Has it been approved? What is the amount of it if it is not included? How much was his July to September bill?

    Also, the public notice where Mr. Klineburger was hired said the following:

    The Board of Commissioners of the Township of Haddon has adopted a “Fair and Open Process” policy to Request for Qualifications pursuant to N.J.S.A. 19:44A-20.4 et seq. and have awarded one year contracts as Professional Services to: AMOUNT OF AWARDED TO SERVICE DURATION CONTRACT

    Richard F. Klineburger, III Municipal Solicitor 1 year $75,000.00

    The fees are subject to the amount appropriated for such services provided, however, those services rendered in excess amounts will be compensated through additional appropriations.

    Last night they made a statement different from the public notice. They said that this was not a contracted amount but was an hourly rates contract. What is correct? Was the public notice, published while Mr. Klineburger was solicitor, inaccurate? Is a resolution required for increases as it is for all contract changes? If so what resolution (please provide a reference number) was done by the town to appropriate more money specifically for Mr. Klineburger? If not, why was the public notice prepared this way? Are they suggesting that we can hire professionals on an open ended basis without any accountability or public notice?

    Thank you in advance for your assistance in clarifying this matter.

    Thanks,

    Tom

  3. WELL DONE MR. C.

    IT IS NICE TO KNOW THAT RANDY AND PAUL THINK THEY CAN WASTE OUR MONEY LIKE THIS WHILE OUR TAXES GO UP UP UP UP

    LAST ONE OUT OF THE TOWN TURN OFF THE LIGHTS

  4. Here is what I found on the Sunshine Laws of NJ. I am not aware of any resolution and the Mayor stated that were no minutes from his meetings.

    A public body is a group of two or more persons, empowered as a voting body or public fund-spending body to perform a public governmental function

    Prior to any closed session, the body must adopt a resolution stating the general nature of the subject to be discussed and the time when the discussion can be disclosed. The precise nature of the matter discussed may be withheld until the need for the closed session has passed.

    MINUTES: Minutes must be kept of closed sessions. The minutes should start with a statement of the time, place and manner of notice, or in the case of an emergency meeting, a statement sufficient to satisfy the emergency meeting notice requirements. Minutes should show, at a minimum, the names of the members present, individual votes of each member, subjects considered and actions taken. Minutes must be promptly made available once the necessity of the closed session has passed

  5. EXACTLY

    They apparently had the township solicitor bill for meeting because it was township ‘business’
    meeting and the two attorney commisioners and their campaign-donating attorney associate that was given the job of solictior for which he appears to be billing like crazy and making a fortune on OUR TAXPAYER DOLLARS

    and here is the kicker:
    it appears that one could argue the meeting was IMPROPER and possible VIOLATED THE LAW

    these guys dont get it

    and why is Foley sitting back while Randy and Paul appear to be holding secret meetings to scheme?
    What exactly is Foley doing and why isnt he part of the boys club the meetings? do you have to be an attorney to get into randy and pauls secret meetings? Quick John Foley get yourself your law degree or they wont teach you the secret handshake.

    what are they apparently scheming about in secret? How to take Sulocks property? Taking more property? Fieldstone? Organizing more fundraisers for their private 501C charity?
    Building a new poolhouse (whatever happened to that boondoggle?)
    Gettig more remote controlled video camera buggies for the DPW guys to drive around the pipes?
    Spending TENS OF THOUSANDS on remote controlled gates at DPW so nobody has to get out of the truck to open the gate?
    Spending more money on contractors to endlessley dig up the streets with no apparent effect on the flooding?
    Passing ordinances to raise our taxes, raise fees?
    Passing ordinances mandating that all sidewalks be approved by Betty Band at time of sale of house (HINT– look to see if any local concrete companies gave money to their campaign…..)

    Maybe the meeting was about approving more “change orders” for the projects that were apparently underbidded but yet get jacked up in expense by change order shennanigans?

    We can only guess because they wont tell us what they are meeting about and that is not proper.

    2 more years of occupation then we are free

  6. For those ranting about your high taxes, please read the article in the Courier Post about HT ranking in the top 10 in South Jersey for SAT scores. The schools take over 50% of your tax money, followed by the county, municipality, fire district and then county library. While complaining about your municipal taxes, you should also have these discussions with the school board. There are a number of advertised school budget meetings in the coming weeks. Maybe Mr. C and his wife will attend one so he can ask questions on school spending. The county is next and i think those in county government would enjoy your questions about why, in the middle of a budget, they suddenly stopped patrolling the Cooper River area during evening hours as reported by the CP. Asking questions of budgets and spending are legitimate, but if sincere, would apply to ALL layers of government. Otherwise, it’s really just personal partisianship, wrapped in the perception that one really cares.

    Congratulations to all involved in the Haddon Township Schools for making us proud!

  7. When meetings are held in apparent violation of the sunshine laws public can’t ask questions. that is the point.

    This is nothing about politics. The questions are simple, and they have been asked for about 2 years now, and still not answered.

    Why are Randy and Paul now apparently conducting secret commissioner meetings?
    How can the town be run on a 30 min caucus meeting each month? Or is it possible there is a ‘secret’ caucus that the public is not invited to? The billing records of our very own (and evidently very over-budget) solicitor seem to indicate that they had a little meeting a time or two about a thing or two and may have VIOLATED THE LAW.

    stay tuned folks, this issue is growing legs.

    glad the schools are doing well. What in the world does that have to do with kickback jobs, overbudget lawyers, secret meetings, rising town costs, and apparent no-work jobs?

    Here is an SAT question for ya:
    Randy Teague and Paul Dougherty are: A) corrupt B) incompetent C) all of the above D) I don’t care as long as you show free movies on the astroturf field.

  8. Well its back to Castle taking anonymous jabs on the elected officials because he can proceed with his personal attacks as “anonymous”

    Two bitter people come to the meeting(one ex employee who was unnecessary in the tax office and the leader of the pep boys slate who lost the last election)

    The same two bitter people go home and create issues that do not exist and blog back and forth as anonymous with each other in an attempt to think more people believe any of their BS

    The next meeting will come and the same two bitter people will speak of some topic with no truth to it and ’round and ’round they will go back to blogging anonymously to each other hoping to find bitter angry people like themselves

    Good luck

  9. Check the IP addresses. I only post with my name on it. By the way, why do you post anonymously? And what are you afraid of? I love being accused of things I haven’t done. It is liberating that there are others in the town who may not speak up at the meetings but are unafraid to voice their equal displeasure.

    And do you think that it is legal to have secret meetings? Do you think it is OK for Klineburger to try to put words in my mouth so that he can try to find grounds to sue me for speaking up? That is what he did at the last meeting on Tuesday.

    Have some courage and post with your name.

    Congrats to the schools! To the poster asking me to attend school and county meetings and ask questions, I am divorced and all the time I get with my son takes priority. Perhaps, you can help in this regard. You are more than welcome to contact me for advice.

    Thanks for setting this up, Jen. It is getting fun again to be involved. Especially when the partisan accusers get back in the game.

  10. I have followed these blogs since the old one on CP. Not everyone likes Cassel but he has a right to talk. Sounds like same issues raised on old blog still around.

    Commissioners:
    Why not just answer his questions and move on?

  11. “Two bitter people come to the meeting…”

    Are you calling Randy and Paul bitter? That’s not nice. Paul does look awful red and angry at times whats going on?

  12. Well, it looks the people that stopped blogging on CP because they were too scared to register have returned.

    Bitter? Not really. Upset, a little, but it has nothing to do with the tax office. I knew that was coming just not when. Upset with the hiring practices of the new administration involving an available position and, gee, look where that ended up, she is no longer there.

    Is it bitter to notify the residents of what is going on? It’s not me that created the current issue, I just made it public. I think, after reviewing the Sunshine Laws, this can be put right back on the Commissioners shoulders.

    I use my name when I blog. I have nothing to hide. Why don’t you use your name?

    Bitter? Nope, can’t waste time on that. More interested in informing our residents of the good, bad and ugly that happens within the town.

  13. I am not bitter either. Just trying to make things better by speaking up.

    I am just incredulous that they don’t understand how to do government right. I just want us to have an honest, open, properly run government. I had high hopes but the more I go to the meetings, the less hope I have. I believe that the Mayor chooses his words so carefully at every turn so not to officially lie, but not to volunteer the whole truth. It isn’t what he is saying, but what he is NOT saying. Their desire to have such short meetings so that they can be home in time for American Idol in place of having open discussions in public as required by state law does not serve the interests of the taxpayers. I have been mostly quiet for the last year other than going to meetings and asking questions. I don’t take kindly to getting attacked by the solicitor Klineburger at our meetings. It is unprofessional and uncalled for. I had legitimate questions about his bills so much so that they announced that they would make procedural changes to the way that they handle bills. He stated on the record that the bills were not totally accurate–the dates are wrong. Is that not a positive thing based upon my involvement?

    Not bitter. Just trying to make things better.

  14. Mrs. Sawchuk-
    Maybe you should email the blog texts to your list so all the people know what is going on. they may not all log in to read it here.

  15. Compliance with open government “sunshine laws” is not difficult.

    It’s an important public right to have government operate in the open, with proper notifications and procedures followed.

    It shouldn’t have to be a big fight to get good government to happen, it should be the norm.

    It’s burdensome for a private citizen to personally challenge poor government practices (been there, done that).

    I’m grateful for citizens who step up to insist on open government practices.

    Most towns have no one challenging bad government practices.

    Some have one person, maybe two if they’re lucky.

    Towns that flourish are ones with a lot of public involvement, and responsive elected officials.

    Those towns are few and far between, but they do exist.

  16. you all sure stuck a stick in a hornet nest. bill park laughing for sure

  17. I have included a link to the blog in my emails. I think it’s better to leave it as a choice.

  18. any news on :

    1. Lawsuits: “the boys” got us into more lawsuits. No real updates given to us, but legal costs (paid by YOU THE TAXPAYER) likely growing.

    2. Theater: “the boys” pledge desire to save the theater. Then they issued a request for proposals to demolish the front of it in the Courier post. It was said the structure was falling falling. Result: Theater still standing after another 2 years. No progress on issue.

    3. Poolhouse: “the boys” were alarmed the poolhouse was falling falling (sound familiar?) Frantic rush to discuss approving over a MILLION dollars to build a new slushee stand. Talk of making a state of the art “bubble”. All paid by you the taxpayer. Result — Poolhouse is -ta da- still standing. No progress

    4. Open meetings. “the boys” pledged a new tone for the government and public accountability. Result — police chief instructed to time public free speech to 5 min. Several meeting tims switched to 4pm with very short notice and little to no explanation given. One resident silenced by Mayor under threat of being taken into at least temporary police custody for reading a prepared statement. An editorial written by courier post commented on the shady issue of a resident being threatened with a lawsuit by an associate of our town solicitor for a blog he wrote commenting on their sordid pay to play.
    Oh and the pledge “the boys” made to try to improve the tone of the meetings and stop these lawsuits — well “the boys” are now associating with folks that threaten to sue their own citizens. More on this in a minute.

    5. Emminent Domain. “the boys” pledged no new emminent domain. They pledged they would honor existing contracts but would not more to use new eminent domain. Look at what is being done to poor Mr. Sulock. They pledged no more eminent domain. They then reopened master plan, made moves to change designation of areas to facilitate the use of eminent domain, sent items to planning board for planning board to vote on redevelopment issues, etc. If you think “the boys” are not facilitating Mr. Sulock losing his property then I’ve got a property on Mars to sell ya and a bridge to Brooklyn you can invest in.

    6. Betty Band. That issue speaks for itself. “the boys” have continued business as usual with that issue.

    7. Budgets: “the boys” approved what must be recent if not historical record tax increases on us the taxpayers. Why are taxes so high? “the boys” say its because less state aid. Maybe it is from all the spending listed above.

    8. Pay-to-play” “the boys” pledged pay to play reform. Then “the boys” rushed and appointed a number of individuals alleged to be campaign donors and associates BEFORE passing pay-to-play. Some of the very appointments made by “the boys” would not have been appropriate under the very “pay-to-play” legislation they passed. One of those appointments is alleged to be that of their solicitor, Klineburger. Klineburger is at the center of a controversy regarding his allegedly improper billing. This same Klineburger fellow is an associate of the individual that threatened a vocal citizen with a lawsuit on an issue the Courier Post wrote an editorial supporting that citizen. See a pattern here folks? “the boys” have been busy indeed.

  19. Richard F. Klineburger
    Klineburger
    New Jersey
    Haddon Township
    Attorney
    lawyer
    jersey lawyer
    south jersey
    court
    camden lawyer
    Klineburber & Nussey
    haddonfield lawyer
    New Jersey Defense Lawyer
    Attorney Richard Klineburger
    Richard Klineburger, III
    38 North Haddon Ave Suite 100
    Haddon Township
    Teague
    Dougherty
    Foley

  20. interesting!

  21. I have heard Betty Band has added another notch to her belt by letting go an employee for lateness. I also was informed that she takes the longest lunch hours.

    This was told to me, but as an employee I certainly have witnessed on numerous occasions where Betty was late in the morning and had very long lunchs. It was not always due to Senior Citizen obligations.

    It amazes me that they can justify her continued employment.

  22. The “she” referenced in longest lunch hours would be Betty not the employee

  23. why do you think betty band has to play by the rules?

  24. Very sad state of affairs in Haddon Twp. I live in Collinswood and we have the same problem with our Comms. They have secret meetings to discuss public business. The people should be part of the process. Sounds like your guys are typical low life politicans. They will only hurt your town like our guys did here.

  25. There are 2 sets of rules. One set for Randy/Paul/John & supporters and one set for everyone else.

  26. The measurement of a well run town is measured by the level of its citizen involvement.

    The lack of public involvement has long been a serious deficit for HT.

    Very few of our citizens are involved, and the few who are get little support for their efforts (and, too often, a lot of undeserved trash talk).

    I, for one, am grateful for the efforts of the few who take the time to show up, listen, observe, and voice their views.

    We need more of it.

  27. Is foley vouching for this klineburger fellow?
    does that mean if more errors found in klineburger’s bills John Foley will accept responsibility since he just said all is OK?
    If John Foley won’t accept responsibility and Klineburger is allegedly denying any errors who is responsible for any alleged billing errors? — US THE TAXPAYERS have to bend over while they BILL US INTO THE POORHOUSE!!!!

    So to summarize (correct me if I’m wrong here folks)
    This klineburger fellow donates big money to the teague dougherty foley campaign. Klineburger gets appointed solicitor when teaguedoughertyfoley elected. Then they appoint a bunch of other campaign donors. they stall on paytoplay reform for months while they are appointing their alleged buddies. Then they pass paytoplay, and the ordinance they pass (after MONTHS of delay) would allegedly not have allowed for the appointment of Klineburger!!
    Then the alleged law partner of Klineburger allegedly threatened a vocal citizen critic with a lawsuit. Around the same time frame Mayor Randy Teague has police chief sit down critics at meeting, and institutes 5 minute free speech limits (he calls them timelimits).
    Then the Courier Post runs an editorial about how they are concerned about these antics of Randy and friends.

    See a pattern here?
    You couldn’t make this stuff up!!!!
    These guys are bad bad news for the town.

  28. The best part about the play to pay ordinance is that Castle asked that be tabled. Funny how things work out.

  29. No, the best parts about this were:

    (1) The bill was never presented until a year after they came into office and they had already appointed their campaign contributors so that the new law would not be applicable
    (2) Klineburger made drafting errors in the ordinance which I pointed out and they agreed to. In fact, it was unintelligible as written originally. The effect was that he made changes which were never otherwise brought up.
    (3) The Peoples Campaign had to explain to our solicitor why there were problems in the Ordinance, and
    (4) They never communicated the changes and took several months to make them.

    So, I didn’t hold anything up. They did. Get it yet?

  30. Well its back to Castle taking anonymous jabs on the elected officials because he can proceed with his personal attacks as “anonymous”

    Two bitter people come to the meeting(one ex employee who was unnecessary in the tax office and the leader of the pep boys slate who lost the last election)

    The same two bitter people go home and create issues that do not exist and blog back and forth as anonymous with each other in an attempt to think more people believe any of their BS

    The next meeting will come and the same two bitter people will speak of some topic with no truth to it and ’round and ’round they will go back to blogging anonymously to each other hoping to find bitter angry people like themselves

    Good luck

  31. Can’t think of anthing more original than copying and pasting your original post on 2/5?

    We post with our names. I see you haven’t the guts to post yours.

  32. will the commissioners ever answer a single question or will they just keep on attacking the taxpayers that ask the questions?

    bet randy sure is mad he can’t have the police chief shut down the blog. (but no doubt some legal trickster is working on some such strategy alleging libel, etc.) wonder if klineburger’s law associate will be involved in that one too.

  33. Well its back to Castle taking anonymous jabs on the elected officials because he can proceed with his personal attacks as “anonymous”

    Two bitter people come to the meeting(one ex employee who was unnecessary in the tax office and the leader of the pep boys slate who lost the last election)

    The same two bitter people go home and create issues that do not exist and blog back and forth as anonymous with each other in an attempt to think more people believe any of their BS

    The next meeting will come and the same two bitter people will speak of some topic with no truth to it and ’round and ’round they will go back to blogging anonymously to each other hoping to find bitter angry people like themselves

    Good luck

  34. Why would I post anonymously like you? This is way more rewarding, not being afraid to post with my name. In fact, I am not the issue.

    “The next meeting will come and the same two bitter people will speak of some topic with no truth to it”. What isn’t true? Please be specific.

  35. it’s all true cassel
    that’s why the rats that support the current commissioners are coming out to attack you guys
    instead of answering the questions

  36. Well its back to Castle taking anonymous jabs on the elected officials because he can proceed with his personal attacks as “anonymous”

    Two bitter people come to the meeting(one ex employee who was unnecessary in the tax office and the leader of the pep boys slate who lost the last election)

    The same two bitter people go home and create issues that do not exist and blog back and forth as anonymous with each other in an attempt to think more people believe any of their BS

    The next meeting will come and the same two bitter people will speak of some topic with no truth to it and ’round and ’round they will go back to blogging anonymously to each other hoping to find bitter angry people like themselves

    Good luck

  37. Same old email. No substance. I hate to break the news to you guys, I don’t post anonymously. How about a response to my questions.

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