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Old 08-02-2012, 10:58 AM   #41
Doofus1
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Bottle it..What a great idea.It is really the best water
Budweiser essentially does it, so can Newark. And Newark's water supply has excess capacity at present. And that is true despite the fact that nearly half of the water is lost through damaged delivery systems and leaks.
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Old 08-02-2012, 02:12 PM   #42
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The word "Newark" is a horrible brand name no matter how good the product. Besides, water should be for the common good; it's commodification is problematic on many levels. Has this ever been done? Would even be legal?

Look, we knew this was going to pass simply because Newark is all but bankrupt. And be clear, the actual MUA will also have to pass because Newark doesn't have another scheme to balance its books for the week. So Ras can quibble over the language all he wants, he did endorse the "next step" toward the privatization of the water system...and given where Newark is right now, it is probably the only decision they could make.

Shame on Quintana, who once shows that he is the "which way is the wind blowing" candidate. His abstensions on some of the most important votes during this term are pathetic, and it shows he lacks the courage of leadership. Whatever your decision is, please make it and justify it. But whether it is this or the other important votes, he's nowhere to be found.

A wet noodle also goes out to Crumples who was conviently absent for the vote. Again, in a vote this important, stand up and be counted no matter where you fall on the issue. But alas, the former council president has abdicated her duties.

The council will do everything in their power to preserve their 3rd world lifestyle. The MUA is, and has been, a done deal.
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:31 PM   #43
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If you listen to the Mayor's comments on Newark Today at the end of the show, he insists that Newark residents are in support of the MUA. (http://www.wbgo.org/newarktoday) But, I have never seen a resident speak in favor of the MUA... The spin is amazing...
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:33 PM   #44
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If you listen to the Mayor's comments on Newark Today at the end of the show, he insists that Newark residents are in support of the MUA. (http://www.wbgo.org/newarktoday) But, I have never seen a resident speak in favor of the MUA... The spin is amazing...
Residents support controlled spending, balanced budgets -- not on the backs of property-owners -- and a competent Executive (mayor) and lawmakers committed to long-term fiscal solutions, not quick fixes.
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:48 AM   #45
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Look, we knew this was going to pass simply because Newark is all but bankrupt. And be clear, the actual MUA will also have to pass because Newark doesn't have another scheme to balance its books for the week. So Ras can quibble over the language all he wants, he did endorse the "next step" toward the privatization of the water system...and given where Newark is right now, it is probably the only decision they could make.
Yes, indeed, Five. It is over. Newark needs the $24 million from the state to keep the lights on in city hall. There were no other revenue generating ideas on the table except for the MUA. Say good-bye to the pristine Newark Watershed.

http://newarknj.patch.com/articles/u...ty-application
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:51 AM   #46
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For those of you who feel this is a foregone conclusion, please help me understand a few things. By all accounts, the MUA is not a solution, but a reprieve. We may have cash-in-hand (read: debt) for the first 5 years to the tune of $16 Million-$18 Million, but a) our structural deficit far exceeds $16 Million annually, and b) this short-term fix does nothing to address the fiscal crisis that we will face (which will be exponentially worse than where we are now) in 2017.

So, with that said, why is this MUA being treated as a solution to a problem that it cannot fix?

If the problem is the city's water infrastructure, that's a whole different conversation than the one we are having. That has nothing to do with the annual operating budget for the City and has everything to do with how the city manages its capital projections.

If the problem is political, again, this is another conversation, because it strikes me as a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" scenario no matter how you slice it.

So, what problem is this fixing exactly?

Maybe I'm just too dense to understand... please clarify for me.
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:55 AM   #47
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Oh no, FOY, you're not dense. Your problem is quite common when thinking about government -- you're trying to use logic. You see, in the world of guvmint, that usually doesn't work.

FOY, here's the deal. The Clown Academy known as the council KNOWS that the party is about to end, one way or the other. They know it! My guess is that Rice Jr, Ramos, Sharif and Amador probably also have a clue on what the "end of the party" will look like. Their problem is one of politics, not policy. You see, they understand the culture of the council. And since the party is going to end - eventually - they are all going to ride it out for as long as it will last. Whether that party ends in bankruptsy or not, it really doesn't matter.

The bigger issue here is one that has been building for decades. Newark has made several poor choices by consistently investing in the wrong things. Newark has over invested in government jobs and that sector and under-invested in the private sector. They have over-invested in services to the needy (admirable), but under-invested in wealth building. They have over-invested in luring deleterious investments via abatements (which do nothing for your bottom line), and whoafully under-invested in keeping its own Newark-made educated class. The same outward flow of knowledge, skills and income that occurred in the 50s and 60s, continues today.

So now here we are at the end of the line. Last stop, Coney Island. This stop has been coming up for awhile. You could see it coming when Sharpe started with his budgetary tricks over a decade ago. There is no excuse for NOT seeing it coming when Booker went on a spending spree like he was Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. At every major decision-point when Newark could have chosen the path of sanity, stability, sustainability, it decided to choose Kawasaki and let the good times roll.

Now after decades of poor planning and nearly 20 years of just atrocious budgetary practices, the show is finally coming to a close. The fat lady is in the building and is having her makeup applied. Don't ever try to use logic to explain politics in Newark, it will drive you batty.
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:10 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by ForOurYouth View Post
For those of you who feel this is a foregone conclusion, please help me understand a few things. By all accounts, the MUA is not a solution, but a reprieve. We may have cash-in-hand (read: debt) for the first 5 years to the tune of $16 Million-$18 Million, but a) our structural deficit far exceeds $16 Million annually, and b) this short-term fix does nothing to address the fiscal crisis that we will face (which will be exponentially worse than where we are now) in 2017.

So, with that said, why is this MUA being treated as a solution to a problem that it cannot fix?

If the problem is the city's water infrastructure, that's a whole different conversation than the one we are having. That has nothing to do with the annual operating budget for the City and has everything to do with how the city manages its capital projections.

If the problem is political, again, this is another conversation, because it strikes me as a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" scenario no matter how you slice it.

So, what problem is this fixing exactly?

Maybe I'm just too dense to understand... please clarify for me.
Hear Hear!
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:38 PM   #49
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Default Newark Water Group Petition Would Force MUA Vote

http://newarknj.patch.com/articles/n...uspatc00000001

Newark Water Group Petition Would Force MUA Vote
Thousands of signatures collected asking council to decide fate of a water utility; issue could eventually go before Newark voters
By Paul Milo

The Newark Water Group presented a petition to the city clerk’s office Wednesday asking for an ordinance that would prevent the city from placing water and sewer operations under control of a utility authority without direct voter approval.

“It took just a few weeks to gather signatures,” said Terri Suess, one of the organizers of the drive. “Many people know about the issue already and were eager to sign.”

The ad hoc group gathered more than 3,400 signatures and will continue to seek more. Under state law, an ordinance can be forced onto a municipal council’s agenda if a number of registered voters equal to at least 15 percent of those who voted in the last General Assembly election sign a petition in support. The group needs a minimum of about 2,300 signatures, it said.

More than a dozen people, including council members Luis Quintana and Mildred Crump, were at the city clerk's office Wednesday afternoon as the petitions were being presented. South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka has also indicated his opposition to an MUA.

If the city clerk can certify the signatures, the “Save Our Water” ordinance would then go before the council for a vote. If it’s rejected by the governing body, the ordinance would then be placed on a ballot for a special election, when Newark voters would decide its fate.

The petition drive is the latest wrinkle in the long-running battle over the creation of an “MUA,” which was first proposed by Mayor Cory Booker a few years ago as a way to make city water and sewer operations more efficient.

An authority would be a largely autonomous body, run by an appointed board, with the ability to manage the system's debt and revenue.

The proposal immediately sparked resistance among those who feel an MUA would deprive city residents control over one of Newark’s most valuable assets -- its water system, which serves Newark and a quarter-million other customers in surrounding communities.

The MUA issue came to a head several days ago, when the council voted to apply with the state for creation of an authority. Had they failed to do so, Booker and state officials said, the city was at risk of losing more than $24 million in state aid. A “good faith effort” by the council to explore an MUA is one condition of an agreement between Newark and Trenton securing so-called transitional aid for the city.

State officials approved the application Wednesday, The Star Ledger reported.

The decision to send the application -- and its subsequent approval -- does not bind the city to an MUA, but the move still angered Newark Water Group members.

“The city government seems totally incapable of reforming the system,” the Newark Water Group’s Bill Chappel said in a statement. “All they seem to do is push crazy schemes like the MUA. We decided we wouldn’t sit around any longer and wait for them. Water is vital to the life of the city; it can’t be held hostage any longer to borrowing schemes and the creation of the shadow governments that the city administration and Governor [Chris] Christie are trying to set up.”

The ordinance proposed by the Newark Water Group also asks that the Newark Watershed and Development Corp., which manages thousands of acres of land in northwest New Jersey, be abolished “based on its history of operating outside its bylaws and failing to meet transparency requirements,” the group stated. As well, the ordinance would require the hiring of a full-time water and sewer director and would also prohibit the city from assuming water-sewer system debt without voter approval.
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:07 AM   #50
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Default Petitions Could Give Control of Newark's Water to Voters

This article was "buried" in today's print edition of the Ledger in the obituary section, page 28. I could not find a link to it on the Ledger website:

PETITIONS COULD GIVE CONTROL OF NEWARK'S WATER TO VOTERS
By David Giambusso and Akpene Simpri
Star-Ledger Staff

Newark's water wars are heating up.

Mayor Cory Booker scored a victory yesterday in his bid for a municipal utilities authority to run Newark's water system.

But the Newark Water Group, a lobby of residents opposed to the plan, launched a legislative broadside that could stop the mayor in his tracks.

Yesterday, the state Local Finance Board approved the city's application for an authority, but hours later the water group dropped off petitions with 3,408 signatures that could put the fate of the MUA in the direct hands of voters, via referendum.

"People are really concerned, deeply concerned, about what's going on with the water," said water group member Wynnie-Fred Hinds. "We have the expectation that based on these petitions, they will actually do the right thing."

The group is asking for an ordinance to make it illegal for the city to enact an MUA or issue bonds without a public referendum. According to state statute, 2,400 valid signatures are needed to force the city council to vote on such an ordinance.

The Newark Water Group presented the city council with 1,000 more signatures than required and says it's just getting warmed up.

"We can get more than that. Don't push us," said water group member Brenda Toyloy.

If the signatures are validated by the city clerk, the council would be forced to give the ordinance an up-or-down vote. If it fails or is vetoed by the mayor, the city has to negotiate with the petitioners.

Booker said he "has common ground with those who submitted this petition."

He cited three shared goals: resident control of the water system, fiscal stability for the city and the need for capital improvements.

"What's most important about today's Local Finance Board vote," Booker said in a statement, "is that it helps us move forward in rebuilding our water infrastructure, which will allow us to grow our economy and create good jobs for Newarkers. This process should be transparent. While the status quo is not acceptable, I have always opposed the privatization of our water system."

An MUA would take over water operations from the Newark Watershed and Conservation Development Corp. But whoever takes the reins, the city's antiquated water system is teetering on the brink of collapse and could require more than half a billion dollars in repairs.

And either the city or MUA would need to raise rates significantly to meet that cost.

Residents and city leaders such as South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka are deeply suspicious about any move taking the water system out of direct control of the council.

The petition drive for a "Save Our Water" ordinance also calls for hiring a full-time city water-sewer department director "to provide first-class management." And it calls for abolishing the NWDC "based on its history of operating outside its bylaws and failing to meet transparency requirements."

"The state is trying to push us in the direction of an MUA, and the residents need to voice their opinion." said Baraka. "Hopefully, things won't have to go as far as a referendum and the council does the right thing."'

The plan approved by the state specifically prohibits the proposed MUA from outsourcing to private vendors and makes the MUA commissioners accountable to the city council.

But for many, Newark's water is too important an asset to relegate to an authority -- even one that regularly answers to residents and city leaders.

"Water is a human right," said group member Joann Sims. "We gotta keep our Newark water public."

*******

Star-Ledger contacts:

David Giambusso: (973) 392-4178 or dgiambusso@starledger.com
Akpene Simpri: (973) 392-4169 or asimpri@starledger.com
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