Saturday, March 22, 2014

Meeting Bloomfield's GOP Congressman at "Meet the Mayors"

Six local Chambers of Commerce joined the League of Women Voters of the Montclair area as hosts of the annual “Meet the Mayors” Breakfast from on Saturday, March 22 at the Crane’s Mill assisted living complex in West Caldwell Mayors were invited from 22 communities within Essex County as well as Little Falls and Clifton. About a dozen showed up including Bloomfield's new mayor who was invited to sit at the congressman's table.
Many were there to network with local political leaders and Chamber members. Essex County Executive Joe De Vincenzo gave some brief welcoming remarks before taking early leave to make 3 more previously scheduled campaign stops.

One of the event's many sponsors, PSE&G, made a brief statement reassuring everyone that there was nothing to be concerned about regarding it's local natural gas line expansion projects.

 U.S. Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen of NJ's 11th District was the keynote speaker and introduced himself to me the minute I entered the room.
Although he wouldn't commit to conducting a Town Hall meeting in Bloomfield.  he seemed to be considering the possibility.
Later on, he did not hesitate to speak his mind on a variety of subjects including the impact of The Affordable Care Act on New Jersey. While he has always opposed the legislation, he acknowledged that it has had 3 years to take root and cannot be repealed. Many local health care advocates were in attendance and addressed issues that could improve its effectiveness.

Among other topical issues he addressed were the Russian annexation of Ukraine and the National Security Agency(NSA). He responded to an attendee's question of concern for the NSA's surveillance expansion with a vigorous defense of it's role in defending the U/S. from terrorism.

 Congressman Frelinghuysen represents 54 municipalities, including communities in Morris, Sussex, Passaic and Essex Counties. He is serving his tenth term in Congress.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Public Safety vs The Public

It did not take long for the major local TV news media to react after Acting Police Behr made his dramatic attack on Bloomfield Councilman Carlos Bernard. The first was NBC News 4 who came to the next meeting to film segments and interview the opposing subjects.

A few days later, ABC News 7's leading investigative reporter, Sarah Wallace, ran several exclusives on the indictment of 3 BPD officers for assaulting a resident and covering up dashcam evidence that proved his innocence.

At Monday's council meeting, it was announced that Newark's newly retired Police chief was being hired to manage a major investigation of the BPD.

On Tuesday Eyewitness News7 ran an exclusive interview with the two newly cleared veterans and other officers who repeatedly zeroed in on Internal Affairs Detective Sergant John Seirchio for posting a "hit list" of officers he was focussing on.

On Ash Wednesday, Bloomfield Life filed one of many recaps of the events leading to Monday's Council Meeting. It referenced Sergant Seirchio's founding in 2013 of a lobbying group called Public Safety United.
".....In November of 2009, Mr. Sierchio was appointed by Governor Christopher Christie to serve on his transition team. He served as a member of Governor Christie’s Law and Public Safety subcommittee....." 
The above quote was from Seirchio's lengthy bio on the Public Safety United website. Seirchio's goals in founding the group are clearly stated to include: 
...Public Safety United will strive to improve the relationship and to share ideas between government leaders and its membership.
...Public Safety United will encourage, through the establishment of a voter data base, all of its members, their families and friends, to engage in the electoral process in all Local, County, State and Federal elections.
...Public Safety United will be a lobbying organization for all retired public safety officers in the State of New Jersey and throughout the United States of America and make its voice heard.
...Public Safety United will establish a Political Action Committee and Fund to help promote and finance the campaigns of candidates who support public safety and the issues.
While the group is open to all, memberships for Public Safety personnel is subsidized by higher rates for the public and $1,000 sponsorship status. Despite the sophisticated website. it's difficult to find any online news of their accomplishments. Yet with dozens of local sponsors and hundreds of members, the group seems to be one of the most profitable businesses in Bloomfield.

It may become even more profitable if it decides to sponsor lawsuits against our town.