Tuesday night I attended the Parsippany council meeting to share my thoughts on the proposed PLA ordinance.
I realize that this was not going to be a typical meeting as I had to park in the overflow parking lot by Embassy Suites.
There were crowds by all the entrances, groups in the parking lots, and hallways.
Inside there was no seats available, only standing room.
I thought the meeting might be cancelled or postponed since capacity was overflowing.
It was a bit intimidating and I almost left, but ended up standing to see how this was going to play out.
Because of the large crowds I contemplated leaving or not saying anything.
Most of 150 plus participants were Union members, with pre made signs, there to support this pro union ordinance.
Many gave testimonials of their work ethic, family, schools, and their pride in Parsippany. All good and right.
A few individuals, about six, did voice concerns about this ordinance and did provide their comments as to why this ordinance should be voted down.
Toms River, which has a similar ordinance has seen a 30% increase in projects and with delays
*On a $5.5 mil project that is $1.65 mil more in costs. The Parsippany budget cannot afford this extra $1.65 million on all these large projects.
* Are these numbers are inaccurate? Parsippany should verify.
Another speaker commented that Unions were one of the largest campaign contributors to our Parsippany officials. “The mayor received over $50,000,” Mayor said there was not a conflict.
I am not a union or nonunion construction person.
I did speak, but I edited my comments drastically and left immediately after saying my 3 minutes.
There were some technical difficulties and I had to restart a few times.
No one asked me to state or write down my name and address.
Almost all “non?” Parsippany speakers did not state or list their names or address. This has been always required at past council meetings.
This new bidding change does not make any sense.
Where are the facts on to how this benefits Parsippany?
An open competitive bidding process should be the ideal, and don’t limit the pool of competitors.
It was stated that over 80% of firms or projects are non-union. Should their voice be eliminated?
Is this fair to the firms that do not want to be unionized?
A free and open bidding market should be maintain and the pool of competitors should not be restricted.
Parsippany should not be picking winners and losers or setting up parameters that limit the bidding process
Has the council reviewed past bids to see how many nonunion and union companies won bids and the results on these $5.5 million dollar projects?
I was impressed by the union turnout and the articulation by its members , but they should bid in a fair and open market.
They are very talented and don’t need to be handicapped in order to win a bid.
Competition keeps us honest and brings out the best in all..
Was a financial impact study performed?
Perhaps Parsippany should perform a market / field test on this proposed change.
Please don’t obligate Parsippany before discovering all of the advantages and disadvantages of this change.
Perhaps hold this vote till next year after a better analysis is done on this multimillion dollar impact.
Has anyone reviewed the other bidding programs in successful NJ communities and other states?
Did someone speak to officials in Toms River?
Sunshine on the “PLA” and our officials
If the ordinance is approve then I suggest, that all officials not receive, in any manner, source or form, campaign contributions from any union organization doing business with Parsippany. At the meeting it was implied that officials were not influence by campaign contributions. So this stipulation should be easy to include.
In addition any government representative, or family member, can’t work with any successful bidding entity for one year during or after termination.
Finally, in a timely manner list all contributions (in any form) with officials within 15 days, from any unions or their affiliates to the media (interesting right?)
What we need is an open bidding process with plenty of sunshine on all contributions . Good Communication equals Good Governance. There is nothing to hide.
Please persuade me with facts and not number of voices.