November 13, 2005

State criticizes Union County Clerk for "being disingenuous" and engaging in stalling tactics"

On July 8, 2002 the state Legislature passed the Open Public Records Act (OPRA). They also created the Government Records Council (GRC) to oversee complaints against records custodians. To this date, the GRC has not found a records custodian guilty of a “knowing and willful” violation of OPRA, which would lead to the custodian being personally fined by the agency. In lieu of fining custodians, the GRC has been placing violators on their “matrix,” which was theoretically used to track custodians who repeatedly violated the OPRA.

At their November 10, 2005 meeting the GRC announced that they will abandon use of the “matrix”. It appears that the GRC has received a legal opinion that OPRA allows one and only one punitive action: the imposition of civil penalties for custodians who knowingly and willfully violate OPRA in an unreasonable manner. The legal opinion is said to have concluded that other “penalties” such as reprimands, letters of reminders, and use of a “matrix” are disallowed because they are not authorized by the OPRA. GRC Chairman Vincent Maltese remarked that he “reluctantly concedes the point based on advice received.”

I have filed fourteen OPRA complaints against the County of Union since 2003.They where found not to have complied with OPRA four times, without rising to a “knowing and willful” violation. They have been placed on the GRC Matrix three times to date, with more complaints still pending. A fifth violation was determined this past summer, and rather than ruling directly on whether a “knowing and willful violation” had been committed, the GRC referred the case to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL).

By sending a complaint to the OAL the GRC gives an unfair advantage to the records custodian who would be represented by taxpayer-funded attorneys, while a private citizen might not afford the expense of hiring an attorney to represent them. After much research I reluctantly conceded that the task the GRC placed before me, which was basically making me a prosecutor, was all but impossible.

Also decided at the November 10 meeting in 2 cases I had before them, GRC Chairman Vincent Maltese harshly criticized Union County's custodian for "being disingenuous" and "engaging in stalling tactics" in the way in which my requests were dealt with. He also said that an accumulation of such "slight infractions" although "annoying at the very least" do not support a finding of knowing and willful misconduct in any particular case.

If engaging in stalling tactics and committing slight infractions of the law, repeatedly over the years, can’t move the GRC to take action against a custodian then what will?

Executive Director Paul Dice said that he may also prepare an advisory opinion concerning the elements that must be proven before a custodian can be subjected to monetary penalties for knowingly and willfully violating the OPRA.

Many states fine records custodians without regard to their knowledge or motive. In Florida, record custodians can be fined for any violation. In Wisconsin custodians can be fined if they violate the law arbitrarily and capriciously. In both situations the custodian’s purported belief in the legality of his or her actions is no defense.

If OPRA is ever to fulfill its promise of providing freer access to government records, the GRC must start using its power to fine violators. To do that, the council will have to specifically outline what is needed for a citizen to prove a knowing and willful violation against a records custodian. This will not only cut down on a citizen’s time and frustration but will also greatly cut down on the cases the GRC would be presented with. Knowing what I know now it is blaringly apparent that the OPRA has been broken from its inception with the GRC lacking either the will or the power to impose the fines that the legislature intended them to.

As far as prying records out of the County of Union, I can tell you that OPRA and the GRC were helpful for a short period of time. When it became quite apparent that there would be no penalty for their actions the stall and delay tactics became common practice. Especially around election time. I was also given a record with a disclaimer “there may be errors or omissions on this document” regarding an employee’s paid days off. The OPRA does not require government bodies to keep accurate records.

It is little wonder to me that New Jersey is viewed as the most corrupt state in the Union. The OPRA enforcement is another example of our state condoning nefarious government practices that in other states would be considered violations of the law.

The OPRA has become another bad New Jersey joke. Who are the comedians responsible for it, the Legislature or the GRC?

Public Records Room Reported to be Like a Dungeon

The Public Records Room housed in the Union County Court House building in Elizabeth is one of the few places where the general public has unlimited access to in the county government complex. However, the County Watchers have heard it is not exactly the place where the average citizen would choose to spend much time.

The Records Room is home to thousands of public documents, both old and new, and is managed by the Union County Clerk, Joanne Rajoppi, who just recently won reelection to this salaried public position for another term.

Poorly ventilated, extremely dusty, with peeling paint and traces of mold, the room also houses title searchers who pour over the documents relating to Union County real estate transactions. Although they spend the business day working there, they are not county employees. Rather, they are employed by title companies, attorneys or even as contractors working on a per diem basis, their mission is to detect any encumbrances which would get in the way of a buyer obtaining a clear title to a piece of real estate in Union County.

Rajoppi’s office is charged with keeping county records and land-use documents dating back to the County’s founding in 1857 when Union County split from Essex County. This is a valuable historic archive, and according to the clerk, are not just stale pieces of paper. We would have to agree with her.

Recently Union County received more that $1 million in grants from the state for projects to launch record-keeping into the 21st century with technical and strategic improvements and will be split between the offices of the Union County Clerk and the Clerk of the Board of Chosen Freeholders. (Perhaps that will help Nicole T. and supervisors keep accurate employee attendance records and locate other “non-existent” documents). Some of the monies have been earmarked as follows: $311,065 for map restoration, $77,734 to pay for a records manager, and $60,000 for commercial storage. These monies come from New Jersey’s Public Archives and Records Infrastructure Support Program, or PARIS.

One visitor to the Public Records Room related to the County Watchers that it was a “Dusty old room,” which was “very stuffy” and they had almost expected to see Bob Cratchet negotiating with Ebenezer Scrooge for an extra piece of coal. However, the outside temperature was over 80 degrees that day and the room is not air conditioned nor is it ventilated so it felt like 100. It has also been reported that the water fountain was removed recently and one of the ceiling fans fell and has not been replaced. Some insiders have also reported an unpleasant odor from time to time which they feel could be attributed to the room’s proximity to the old UC jail and possible “outdoor plumbing problems” which needs no further explanation. The bottom line here is that working conditions are said to be unbearable.

Most of us working in a dusty room with mold in the corners, peeling paint that could contain lead, poor ventilation and no air conditioning in the heat of summer would be calling OSHA anonymously to complain. However, this course of action is not an option in this situation as these individuals are not employees and the few county employees working in this area have opted to keep their mouths shut, that being the case they, the title searchers, have no where to turn.

Ms Rajoppi, to her credit, takes the preservation and recording of documents/records quite seriously and has moved forward utilizing the latest technology to the fullest making these records available to the general public through the standard manual means as well as through the Internet.

At this point in time preliminary title searches can be done online, as the first page of most documents going back some 20 years can be accessed offsite but the searcher must still view the actual remaining pages in person to determine anything unusual which may cause problems with a buyer obtaining a clear title to a property. Even with the new technology in place searchers are required to spend hours in the Public Records Room.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, mold of the common variety in most cases is not a major health hazard but does pose a risk to those suffering from respiratory deficiencies, such as asthma, as well as individuals with compromised immune systems or even suffering from the common cold.

Those who are allergic to dust and mold are advised to stay out of these types of situations as serious sinus infections can occur from prolonged exposure and headaches are common among even the healthiest of individuals. One wonders just what form of mold is present and if it has been tested for toxicity - as in a building this age it could be Stachybotrys, a very unhealthy variety.

Exposure to peeling paint and the accompanying dust it creates is also less than desirable if the paint contains lead - and most paint did prior to the mid 70s. Extended exposure can lead to lead poisoning, causing a myriad of health problems even in adults.

A good HVAC system could squelch these problems and also provide a comfortable work environment.

Ms. Rajoppi prides herself on the dollars that the office of the County Clerk has managed to rake in from fees these past few years. Her recent campaign literature says her office has delivered $30 million in tax savings, though she doesn’t say for what period of time. Coincidentally, the county budget in 2005 went up just that amount this year alone so apparently it didn’t really help much to relieve the burden on taxpayers especially spread out over her five year term.

She seems to have forgotten that the very people who pay the fees for copies of the documents are the general public, the attorneys, and the title searchers employers and clients. They are the ones being short changed here.

Ms. Rajoppi would do well to campaign for the funds to tidy up things in her own space and for her own county workers as well as the visitors to the records room before she tackles funding for uncovering the hidden blue skies of the courthouse dome.

November 10, 2005

The banana republic of Union County

The numbers in Union County freeholder races don't change much from year to year. The Democrats win by the same margins. The only thing that causes a fluctuation in freeholder race numbers is the top of the ticket; presidential and gubernatorial elections bring out more voters who more than likely will vote straight down their party line.

The Democrats don't win because of "their services"; they surely don't win because of their charming personalities, or good looks for that matter. They win because all nine freeholder seats are at-large and Union County is overwhelmingly Democratic. The Republican freeholder candidates win the race in most of the towns but the large population of just a few cities outdoes the efforts of the rest of the county.

Using 2003 numbers:

Towns in which Republican freeholder candidates won the election were:
Berkeley Heights, Clark, Cranford, Fanwood, Garwood, Kenilworth, Mountainside, New Providence, Roselle Park, Scotch Plains, Springfield, Summit and Westfield.

A breakdown of registered voters of the above towns by party affiliation is: 54 percent unaffiliated & independent; 22 percent Democrat; 24 percent Republican. With a combined total of 106,306 registered voters.

Towns in which Democrat freeholder candidates won the election were:
Elizabeth, Hillside, Linden, Plainfield, Rahway, Roselle, Union and Winfield.

A breakdown of registered voters of the above towns by party affiliation is: 49 percent unaffiliated & independent; 41 percent Democrat and a paltry 10 percent are Republican. With a combined total of 142,600 registered voters.

It's not just the numbers that are stacked against the chance of ever having a watchdog on the nine-member freeholder board. There's the pay-to-play money and misappropriation of tax dollars for freeholder campaigns. There's also the county employees being used to work on campaigns. These campaign abuses are what make Union County a banana republic.

This year it was politics as usual around the county with the Democrat machine getting out the vote in the urban areas. They rent white passenger vans and stick Column ‘B’ posters in the window and drive people directly to the polls. They probably give them lunch or a light snack on the way.

In many places like School Nos. 1 and 3 in Elizabeth there were election board workers who steadfastly marched voters into the booths and told them to vote the Democrat line. In spite of a large Republican poll challenger presence. The workers were written up and we'll soon find out if it was worth all the bother. Nothing less than these workers being bared from working the polls ever again would be an acceptable outcome. Including Freeholder Dan Sullivan's beastly mother-in-law who relentlessly harassed the poll challenger assigned to her booth. Sullivan family gatherings must be a delight with that cast of characters.

There were the usual literature hand outs outside of the polls. Most likely if you approach a polling place in one of the urban areas you will be approached by some greasy looking goon trying to hand you a card with the local Democrat candidates' names on it. The goon will say something to the effect of "Don't vote for George Bush - Vote the Democrat B Line".

George W. Bush has been a favorite campaign tool for the Democrats these past two years. Apparently New Jerseans aren't taught in school that there are several layers of government with the federal government having all but nothing to do with freeholders or local municipal governments.

In Union County, the dead people apparantly have suffrage.

Its been reported that 325 dead people voted in Union County last year. At this writing there is no count on how many rose from the grave to cast their votes this year. People being marched into voting booths and told how to vote might as well be considered dead voters.

This year’s election has convinced me that people aren't reading newspapers much. However, the apathetic media always takes its toll on Union County elections. The Star-Ledger's county coverage has been awesome as of just recently, but Worrall's has slipped way down with its endorsement of powerbroker/Linden Mayor John Greggorio's appointment of Nancy Ward for freeholder.

The highlight of the debate this year was Nancy Ward responding to the question, "What is a freeholder’s salary?", she replied in that little blonde way of hers, "I don't know, I have direct deposit." This little cutie replaced John Wohlrab after his arrest for domestic violence, almost a year ago to the date, and has supposedly been making decisions about the $390 million county budget ever since.

Worrall endorsed Daniel Sullivan last year. I don't know what criteria they use for endorsements but if they are going to continue to endorse these empty-heads (Ward), who have utter contempt for the public (Sullivan), who are the powerbrokers' puppets - I'd like to see Worrall ask and then publish the response to the question "Which powerbroker anointed you and what will you be expected to do for them in return?"

County employees, including the million-dollar taxpayer-funded public information department, were seen out and about on Election Day as well as on the campaign trail. I counted at least ten county employees at the Cranford freeholder debate where they behaved like the low-class baboons that they are.

The room was packed with spectators and several reporters, yet this didn't cause the county employee/campaign workers to act like they deserve their blotted taxpayer funded salaries. For my entertainment, they placed a stooge right behind me to make comments and cough throughout the debate. I easily ignored him, after all I have teenagers and can block out juvenile girlish banter. Afterwards he was seen running to his car and locking the door behind him.

I considered it an honor when the Public Information Department took souvenir photos posing behind me. Next debate I'm going to wear my F.B.I. hat for their photo shoot.

I was amused at all the attention I received, so I was a good sport about it. I even wanted to join in the fun. I thought a swift knee in Seb D'Elia balls in a crowded room full of people would be hilarious. This isn’t cruel or violent on my part, because I don't think it would hurt him much as apparently he doesn't have any balls, seeing as he sent his underlings to harass me while he kept himself clear across the room from me. Funny, but I didn't see him leave the building. He must have been hiding in the ladies' room 'till the coast was clear.

Then there was the pay-to-play (extortion) money - Republicans were outspent 42 to 1 according to a recent Star-Ledger article.

The taxpayer-funded commercial and mailers kept pace with what the Democrats spent of our dollars on their campaigns in past years. They've spent upwards of $327,769.85 to date this year. This year, the Republican County committee has filed ELEC complaints. Good for them - and me. They saved me all the paper work of having to file a complaint for the Watchdog Association.

The Democrat freeholders win in landslides in the banana republic towns. No wonder between the sheer number of registered Democrats and the way they are manipulated by the machine.

This was my second year working as a poll challenger in Elizabeth. Elizabeth's polls are lawless in many spots. Without the poll challenger presence it would have been much worse. No doubt Plainfield, Union, Rahway, Linden, Hillside and Roselle were just as lawless.

Of course it's illegal to use taxpayer’s money to promote campaigning freeholders; county workers working on campaigns during working hours; marching people into voting booths and telling them how to vote; pay-to-play is a nice term for extortion which is highly illegal in the business community; and the rest of the shenanigans that go on Election Day. But this is New Jersey and our tolerance for corruption hasn't changed much in the past 100 years since the days of Frank Hague.

Despite all of the major newspapers and talk show radio hosts warning about Corzine, we now have another governor who is a friend of the powerbrokers and, barring a scandal, he'll be in office for the next four years. Don't expect a thing to change in the banana republic fiefdom of State Sen. Raymond Lesniak under Corzine. In fact, if the county follows the same course as previous years, they will up it another notch and be even more arrogant than ever.

They'll be upping our taxes another notch too. Somebody's got to keep feeding the baboons their bananas.

November 01, 2005

and a few more things.....

The Star-Ledger’s coverage today of the ELEC complaint filed by the Union County Republican committee was welcome news, however, a few facts weren’t stated and the egregious law braking as well as the total costs has not been exposed to the fed up over- burdened taxpaying public.

Since 2003, I have been keeping track of the costs of taxpayer paid for county campaign mailings and commercials that mostly feature incumbent freeholders who are up for re-election.

The county times these mailings around the primary and general elections. For at least as far back as 2002 the county has launched a media campaign in September which lasts through October featuring a commercial and mailer. The county has defended these mailings as needing to inform the public about services.

Today’s quote in the Ledger by powerbroker/freeholder-maker Charlotte DeFallipo was the same old same old. She must have quotes filed in her home rolodex, mailings under m and so on; or maybe they’re all taped to her refrigerator for quick reference.

Not mentioned in the Ledger article is the fact that there are no 'We're connected to you' propaganda mailings or commercials sent out during the rest of the year. All of these mailings occur during election time, it’s a documented fact. Also not mentioned is that there are nine freeholders, yet every year the three up for reelection become the stars of this literature. If you read this literature as well as the county press releases you would believe that only these three freeholders have anything to do.

What do the rest of them do?

Also not mentioned is the fact that Message and Media does the design of these mailings and produces the commercials. This firm has a long standing county no-bid contract in the form of a $6,000 monthly retainer ($72,000 a year) for ‘Creative Consulting Services'.

One of these contracts boosts that the firm was responsible for the successful county 'Image Building Campaign' which featured the branding of the logo 'We're connected to you!' on signs and literature. Along with their $6,000 monthly retainer for consulting, the firm bills for the individual pieces separately.

Message and Media also does campaign consulting work for the county Democrats as well as state-wide. The Union County Democratic Committee pays Message and Media a $5,000 monthly retainer. Do the math and it would appear that the Democrats get their campaign work for less since the taxpayers are paying for their campaign mailings and commercial.

Documents obtained through the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) have shown no description of these creative consulting services. A proposal dated March 9, 2005, consists of just four short paragraphs which Freeholder Chairman Rick Proctor refers to in a memo as, a detailed proposal, states that this no-bid contract was awarded for monthly creative consulting.

Another document states, "The services to be offered by MediaSquared, Inc., are based on the extensive involvement with the County of Union in the planning and development of a marketing plan for the county. An OPRA request for the marketing plan mentioned was returned "document does not exist."

The result of this moonlighting is that the designs and colors used are very similar. The recipient of literature would have to look very closely to know if the message is coming from their government or from campaigning politicians. This gives the campaign a double bang for their pay-to-play bucks. Because pay-to-play is another term for kick-back of tax dollars to campaign contributors, the Union County taxpayers are paying for the Democrats campaign on both fronts.

The Ledger article mentions the Union County Directions Newsletter which is supposedly published by the Union County Alliance. It is the county’s Public Information Department employees that produce this newspaper on taxpayer time in the county Administration building. Can they deny this? Most of the articles in the Directions Newspaper appear on the county website as press releases. The county charges back to county departments for advertising in this newspaper. Other advertisers are heavy pay-to-play contributors, such as Schoor Depalma.

What’s up with Kean University’s (state taxpayer money) big financial involvement with this past publication? I don’t know yet. Kean is also stonewalling my OPRA requests.

Michael Murray, the president of the Alliance, is a former head of the county’s Public Information Department. He still draws a salary from the county ($100,000) as well as having a now infamous county vehicle assigned to him. He gets a Ford Explorer with all the amenities that go along with that on the taxpayer’s dime. Yet an OPRA request seeking financial information regarding this publican was returned from Murray: We are a 501(c)3 Corporation. OPRA applies to government.

What a convenient loophole.

Let’s hope the Ledger keeps up their good work of uncovering these abuses of the public's trust. The Union County Watchdog Association is committed to staying on top of this. We will follow every taxpayer dollar that is spent on campaigns. Kudos must also be given to the Union County Republican Committee for joining the fight.

This is no small amount of money ($327,759.85 2005 to date). The mailings mentioned in the Leader article aren’t the only ones. I have filed two GRC complaints in as many weeks because the county is trying to withhold the costs of these mailings until after the election. Good, that leaves this story opened for a continuation…….. And a few more things:

I count three more stories in the above for the Ledger to sniff around at:

Message and Media’s county contract/Democrat campaign work

The Union County Alliance scam

Charlotte DeFillippo’s home office

2005 commercial:
Freeholders Proctor, Estrada and Ward are up for reelection as well as County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi

Keeping Union County Families Healthy commercial featuring Freeholder Rick Proctor
Cost: $ 23,000.00 for production of (1) :30 second TV spot
$119,824.00Cable Buy 9/12-9/25 (2 weeks)
Total: $142,824.00

2005 mailings to date: Freeholders Proctor, Estrada and Ward are up for reelection as well as Clerk Joanne Rojoppi

Keeping Union County Families Healthy mailer featuring Freeholder Angel Estrada Mailed 9/19/05
Cost: $30,000.00 (no bid) Printing Media M2 Squared (Message And Media)
$21,658.15 Postage
Total: $51,658.15

Healthcare Programs Brochure
Cost: $8,025.00 Printing Media M2 Squared (Message and Media)Postage: ? GRC complaint filed

Mailers sent to residents dated 9/15/05 – 10/20/05
GRC complaint filed. I was given postage bills without having them referenced to which mailers they go along with.

Letters addressed to Dear Homeowner sent to all property owners in 9 municipalities listing county services rendered over an indiscriminate amount of time (not mentioned is how much tax revenue is sent to the county) mailed in months of July-September
Cost: $9,787.32 Postage for only 9 letters - GRC complaint was filed on
9/27/05 for other 2 bills
Dividing this number by a .37 cent stamp would indicate that approximately 26,452 letters were mailed (minus the 2 bills missing). The county claims that there is no in-house print bill for this mailing.

Union County Directions Newspaper - Published by the Union County Alliance - Cost to the county approximately $100,000 Published right before the Primary and General elections.(See note at end of list regarding this newspaper.)

Senior Newsletter mailed during primary week featuring campaigning freeholders. 'Meet freeholder Nancy Ward' on back cover and a message from freeholder Rick Proctor.
Cost: Postage $12,768.78. Copies are done in house so the county claims
there is no cost (4 pages).

Four color pieces mailed to Summit regarding the acquiring of Open Space (which they later backed out of)- OPRA request for costs is still pending

Approximate expenditures 2005 Y.T.D. - $327,759.85
2004 commercial: Freeholders Sullivan, Kowalski, Wohlrab and Routolo were up for reelection as well as Sheriff Frohlich
•Aired beginning September and ran though October - Hop on the bus for education commercial featuring Freeholder Angel Estrada
Cost: Approximately $185,203.19 For production and cable buy.
2004 mailings:
A postage bill with no description for $26,000.00 dated 10/13/04, I am waiting for an explanation for this as of 8/27/05.
Three mailings were sent to residents just days before the general election:
Mailed 10/21/2004: Berkeley Heights Open Space mailing featuring Daniel Sullivan and new freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski
Cost: $683.39 for postage, no printing bills revealed (Note County Manager's wife was hired as township administrator shortly thereafter.)
Mailed 10/26/2004:
• Hop on the bus for education featuring Freeholder Angel Estrada
Cost: Media M2 Squared (Message And Media): printing bill $33,000.00 (no bid)
Postage for 134,273 pieces: $22,627.87 (another postage bill came up in an OPRA request for $2,819.02)
Total: $55,627.81
Mailed 10/28/2004: Senior Newsletter featuring all freeholder's up for reelection with meet Bette Jane Kowalski, Union County's newest Freeholder on back cover
Cost: $2,190.09 for postage, no printing bills revealed (Earlier mailings of this same newsletter cost $6,501.57 in postage- I don't believe the post office runs sales on postage.)
Union County Senior Newsletter - Featuring Sheriff Ralph Frohlich, front cover; Daniel Sullivan; and a back cover article titled 'Meet John Wohlrab, Union County's Newest Freeholder' . Postage $6,501.57. Copies done in house, county claims there is no cost (4 pages).
• Union County Directions Newspaper - Published by the Union County Alliance and mailed to all residents right before the primary and general elections - Cost to the county approximately $100,000 (See note at end of list regarding this newspaper.)
• Honor Student Letter - Featuring Daniel Sullivan - No record of postage. Copies done in house, county claims there is no cost. There are a lot of miscellaneous letters of this sort that showed up in an OPRA request for documents. One interesting one was for Roselle Catholic High School. This was the only private school that received honor student letters. Joe Renna attended Roselle Catholic and is still actively involved with the school.
• Union County Arts Center - Featuring Daniel Sullivan
Cost: $2,355.26 for postage on 8,176 pieces, color copies were done in-house, county claims there is no cost.
Letter to Roselle residents signed by Daniel Sullivan and Angel Estrada
Cost: $501.49 fo postage on 2,585 pieces.
Approximate 2004 total (I can't be sure I was given everything, this also doesn't include most printing and copying costs) - $379,062.80
2003 commercials: Freeholders Scanlon, Mirabella and Holmes were up for reelection
Aired begining September and ran though October *The STAR Center - Featuring Debra Scanlon
I have the service contract for the Star Center - It shows a total proposed budget of $240,831 (The county used 14% of the total federal STAR grant money on this promotion.) Also note that Message And Media did this work. Message And Media also does campaign consulting work for the Democrats Freeholder campaigns as well as state-wide.
• Runnells Specialized Hospital - Featuring Debra Scanlon, Al Mirabella, Chester Holmes. The county ran this commercial in 2000 when the same freeholders were up for election. They didn't run it 2001 & 2002. Cable buy: Approximately $186,000
2003 mailings - - All mailed within 6 weeks of the general election (I'm sure I am missing a few.)
• Open Space Trust Fund - 2003 Progress Report - Featuring Al Mirabella
Media M2 Squared (Message And Media): printing bill $33,000.00 (no bid)
Postage for 134,273 pieces: $22,627.87
Total: $55,627.81
• Open Space Trust Fund Letters signed by Deborah Scanlon & Al Mirabella
2/03 Letter mailed to all Rahway & Clark residents - Esposito Farm Postage: $863.00
August 14, 2003 - Letter - Trailside Nature & Science Center expansion
Postage: $216.57
September 10, 2003 - Letter to all Clark & Rahway residents: New leisure and recreational park for all residents of Clark.
Postage: $874.01
• Open Space Trust Fund - 5 More Acres Saved - Deborah Scanlon
Misc Postage:
Total: 5,282.30
• Open Space Trust fund - 8/14/03 - Letter mailed to Clark residents
• 2 Senior Newsletters - Debra Scanlon photo and letter on front - Chester
Holmes and Al Mirabella along with Scanlon photos throughout 4 pages (total
- 11 photos of the incumbents). Postage $12,768.78. Copies done in house, county claims there is
no cost (4 pages).
• *The STAR Center 4 page, full color, glossy brochure - Featuring Debra Scanlon, Angel Estrada (See * above)
• Sports Safety Forum postcard - Featuring Debra Scanlon
Cost: Postage - $1,270.78, Printing done in house, county claims there is no cost.

• Homeland Security brochure/The Role of Union County Government - Debra Scanlon and Chester Holmes featured on 1st page. This wasn't mailed. Copies done in house, county claims there is no cost.

• Para Transit Welcome Veterans post card featuring Al Mirabella
Cost: Postage - $2,934.63, Printing done in house, county claims there is no cost.
• Youth Sports Safety - Featuring the entire freeholder board - Cost: Postage - $1,270.78. Also sent home in children's book bags. Printing done in house, county claims there is no cost.
• And the Union County Directions Newspaper which is 24 pages and mailed to every postal patron in Union County twice a year before the primary and general elections. Featured - 22 photos of incumbents,
Scanlon, Mirabella & Holmes. Most articles pertained to programs that the incumbents were working on. Also featured 2 photos with captions of incumbent Senator Raymond Lesniak and 2 photos of Nicholas Scaturi also
running for a Senate seat.
Approximate costs:
Postage: $25,000
Printing: AFL Printing $23,000.00
SVO Printing printed the first two issues and charged $40,000 more than a second bid. SVO is owned by Richard Stender who is Assembly Woman Linda Stender's husband. She was a sitting freeholder at the time the contract was awarded.
Approximate 2003 total (I can't be sure I was given everything, this also doesn't include most printing and copying costs) - $607,939.66