Our chatroom opens now, so please join us and Joe Chiusolo, candidate for Essex County Executive.
Chat room is closed. For the text of the chat, click through to the jump…
JChiusolo :: hi
Annette :: Good Morning
Liz :: i’m here
JChiusolo :: I’m here
ROC :: hello
JChiusolo :: Hi everyone
Liz :: Thanks for joining us today.
JChiusolo :: I’m glad to be here.
12:00Liz :: Joe — how do you feel you differ from your opponent?
ROC :: How will eliminating the public works department work? Isn’t it more than just roads?
JChiusolo :: I beleive in smaller gov. I think it has come a time in NJ that we need to start looking at all levls of gov and fidning ways to elminate duplicated service. We need longer can afford to pay the taxes and stay here.
JChiusolo :: The DPW services can be handled more efficiently by local gov and we can reduce the budget by almost 19M.
Guest 4582 is now Backsore
Backsore :: Who’ll take care of Brookdale & Eagle Rock parks?
ROC :: What is the total budget for the county? How does 19 compare?
JChiusolo :: Each local community drives over countiy roads each day. Therefore why have duplicated services?
JChiusolo :: This would be the begininng of down sizing gov. We need to start somewhere.
ROC :: I tend to agree, but want some specifics
Backsore :: I agree – I am wondering how mu u think u can cut the count budget?
JChiusolo :: well, when I am elected, I would immediately meet with our state elected officials and the gov and ask the state to take over all staTED PAY, MSTATE MANDATED SERVICES. tHEN i WOULD AUDIT
Backsore :: sorry for my typing I meant “cut the county budget”
JChiusolo :: each position to find out if we really need it and if another person could handle the work load.
Annette :: Joe, Do you think consolidating school boards is a viable solution and can it really save tax dollars?
ROC :: if the state takes over, don’t we just pay with our state taxes then?
JChiusolo :: YOu see, we are all use to the traditions of gov that no longer work. I’m am putting together a plan to reduce adn in some cases elminate the duplications. No one wants to address this and it need to happen now, no later
ROC :: totally agree, but need some specifics. 19M sounds good, 19M more than Joey D is proposing, but how to get more?
JChiusolo :: By the state taking over all these services, the state taxpayers will pay the bill and more important, we would be subjected to all the political jobs and potentail abuse of power.
ROC :: But, WE”RE state taxpayers. So we’ll still have to pay.
JChiusolo :: Have the state take over the prosecutor’s office. Have all state mandated services removed from county gov. We need to reform gov as we know it. Look at the problem with the votec school and the missing money.
Backsore :: What is the status of the plan you are putting together? Is an outline available?
JChiusolo :: We are paying now and we will be paying then. My issue is clear, we would not be paying for the use of our infrastructure and we won’t be adminsitring the programs
JChiusolo :: I have been speaking of this for some years now. I’ve seen first hand in Cedar Grove the lack of county services that our resdients have had to double pay for.
ROC :: How can thr country “refuse” a state mandate?
ROC :: the county
JChiusolo :: The county has accepted state mandated programs because it gives our elected officials more opportunity to control jobs and further inflact
JChiusolo :: iunflate the budget
JChiusolo :: inflact
JChiusolo :: sorry
ROC :: They are voluntary?
JChiusolo :: no they are not. However no one has refused them or stood up to the state.
JChiusolo :: Think about this, how much more money in taxes can you pay? Satte, local, school, open space?
ROC :: So, absent “insurection” how can we simply ‘refuse’?
ROC :: I am totally with you on the taxes too high thing. I just want things that CAN reduce taxes not hopes dreams.
JChiusolo :: We can start by meeting with the state elected officals and explaining that we need reform. The Gov has boasted his interested in downsizing gov. Now is the time to do it
ROC :: With respect, I don’t think Corzine will help reduce taxes or downsize government.
JChiusolo :: These are not hopes and dreams. I haven’t heard the county executive come up with any solitions? Have you?
ROC :: How can the county spend less without relying on a new set of rules? is the 19m the total? Anything else?
Guest 7218 is now Ken
Ken :: What I don’t get is, county roads have to be plowed and serviced. If the county stops plowing a road, and my town has to start, don’t my taxes have to go up locally to offset the county drop?
JChiusolo :: I beleive we need to put pressure on all the elected officals. That will create political pressure.
Guest 8944 is now TTD
TTD :: When/if you meet with state officials please push to radically reform our tax structure. Paying taxes on our houses is no way to fund Newark crimminal justice system nor is it the way to fund our schools!
ROC :: ” I haven’t heard the county executive come up with any solitions? Have you?” no and I applaud you for it, i want concrete cuts.
JChiusolo :: Not true. Our locals municipalities are already paying for people to do this, There will be little or no increase in taxes.
ROC :: How about a promise of , say, 10% cut in the county budget? Or a freeze in the budget?
JChiusolo :: The fact is that we need to look at the entire structure of gov.
ROC :: (agree with that!)
JChiusolo :: I had a debate the other night in Bloomfield and I promised to freeze all debt and freeze spedning.
ROC :: So a firm promise in absolutely no growth in the county budget?
Backsore :: what are your comments on county & municipal employee pension policy? it seems we have’n’t been recognizing the true cost…
JChiusolo :: I realize that many people are not used to hearing ideas like this, but it is clear with our tax increase that just became effective and other taxes that hacve gone up, now is the time
JChiusolo :: I feel that there should be no dual office holders unless you do like the State of Mass has done. One salary one pension
TTD :: anyone who promises to freeze growth or reduce spending gets my vote this time around!
Guest 8175 is now Jimmy229oz
Jimmy229oz :: What are the true costs of the county employees and their benefits and pensions that will be affected and who will be forced to absorb this workforce? Would they be laid off?
JChiusolo :: The prblem is that too many elected officals have absued there power and have create crinminal behavior that has cost each taxpayer lots of money
ROC :: So are you making a firm promise in absolutely no growth in the county budget?
JChiusolo :: Thank you. We can begin here and really make a change
JChiusolo :: No groth and I would be willing to set the stage by reducing the county executive pay by 25% to begin
JChiusolo :: growth
Guest 5521 :: Can you tell us about the missing money at the County Vo_Tech?
TTD :: Bravo! We need you to run Montclair as well – local gov is out of control!!!
ROC :: i appreciate the direct answer.
JChiusolo :: There is some 1.5M in money that has been paid to people who had contracts and the money can’t be accounted for. The article was in Friday’s star ledger.
JChiusolo :: It’s time to have the attorney general step in and have a review done immediately.
Guest 5521 :: Where there high profile officials who had contracts?
ROC :: Who discovered the 1.5 m? Please explain eliminating the office of inspector general
JChiusolo :: The county had to allocate more money to them and we are only into the 7th week of the school year
JChiusolo :: The inspector general is appointed by the County Executive. How can soemone be fair when he has ties to the county?
JChiusolo :: We need an outside investigation and if anyone has been found wrong, they should be sent to jail. No question that this is another abuse of the people’s money
ROC :: Sounds reasonable, who discovered the 1.5m?
Guest 5521 :: How much debt is the county in and can we pay it down in the near future?
JChiusolo :: I understand that the Votec asked for more money since they ran out of fnds and after a brief discover, the Presdient resigned
Jimmy229oz :: Are there other services that overlap besides the road maintenance?
JChiusolo :: The county debt is at 1.6BILLION dollars. That includes the county, ECIA and the ECUA. This is taxpayers moeny that has been abused by our elected officals for years! Not just today.
JChiusolo :: I would liek to see an audit done of all positions. After the aduit is completed, we need to meet with local Mayors and Councils and start the processing of eliminating duplicated services
JChiusolo :: like
ROC :: What do you think of the Green Acres Program?
Guest 5521 is now Henri687
Henri687 :: Does the county truly have a cash surplus?
JChiusolo :: no, The county exectuive is boasting a surplus on anticapted monies he is hoping come in. The county land in CG has no been resolved, therefore the 22M he is looking for will probaly not happen.
TTD :: Any chance of looking into some larger scale duplication of services? One that comes to mind is county jails – since the state does this on a larger scale – wouldn’t it be a great savings to have the state take over county jails?
Guest 1470 is now lasermike
lasermike :: How many county roads are there in Essex? I grew up on a county road. How would you determine who is responsible for road maintenance of county roads?
JChiusolo :: I think with all programs they need to be reviewed. All of these programs…state county are taxpayers money. There is no machine in Trenton that is printing this money. Its all yours.
ROC :: What do you think of the recently proposed Unified County School Districts?
JChiusolo :: All county roads would be audited and they would be broken down by the community they are in. At that time, wee need to look at what services are provided and determine the cost.
JChiusolo :: I think the school district issue needs to be reviewed, It is clear that all segmwents of gov have become quite costly to each of us. I’m open for all and any suggestions.
lasermike :: At the end of ridgewood ave bloomfield, glenn ridge, and montclair converge. That is why it is a county road.
JChiusolo :: Yes, and it would need to be determined which town is in which peice
ROC :: Neither for nor against the school district proposal?
TTD is now Hiding
Hiding :: Boxers or briefs?
JChiusolo :: I am for any proposal that will reduce our taxes and elminte waste
Henri687 :: do you see a need to change the ethical standards followed by the county?
Guest 6753 :: Do you think consolidation of boards of education will save money
ROC :: re the schools, do you have a position and don’t want to discuss it, or do you not have a position yet?
JChiusolo :: I beleive that all professional service contracts need to be bid out and they can’t be exceed in cost. The freeholder member;s are always changing amount to suit there contrubutors
Guest 3806 :: treehugger
Guest 6753 :: i dont understand
JChiusolo :: I think the consolidation of the school boards in many ways would redcue adminitrative costs. If you look at the tax money used it is very costs to have duplicated services.
JChiusolo :: The board of Ed issue needs to be studied more before a final decesion is made.
ROC :: So you’re ‘in favor’ ?
ROC :: I see.
Guest 6753 :: But providing administrative services to much greater number of students will result in additional costs
JChiusolo :: I’m not running away from a direct answer. I would be supportive of it after a study is complted and a solid policy is proposed
ROC :: thanks.
JChiusolo :: But understand, thsi school issue has little to do with my job as county exectuive.
Guest 6753 :: will we be training quality for $$$
Guest 3806 :: who will do the study? Another consultant?
Guest 6753 :: trading not training
JChiusolo :: I would be very interested in seeing the impact savings of the county schools.
Guest 3806 :: what do you think about the county purchasing kips castle?
JChiusolo :: Right now we are in a finacial mess. The debt is hemmoraging and our taxes are going up each year. Before we decdied to buy Kips, we need to review our financial picture
Guest 3806 is now treehugger
treehugger :: so you’re against it?
JChiusolo :: I am for preserving any and all open space. The county had an opportunity in West Essex to preserve the hilltop with a park, but they decided to sell it.
treehugger :: are there any county employees who are working two 9-5 jobs like the CFO of Montclair? Do you think it’s appropriate for a county worker to hold two 9-5 jobs simultaneously?
Guest 7850 :: Absolutley
JChiusolo :: I didn;t say I was against it, I am concerned that we maybe bitting off more than we can chew. I would like to see a report on the financial impact first
treehugger :: how long would that report take and who would write it?
JChiusolo :: If we are going to have to raise taxes at some point, I am against it.
ROC :: is it the job of county government to preserve open space at the cost to the taxpayer?
JChiusolo :: We would need to hire someone to give a finaancial impact report. If there is no impact to the taxpayers, I’m all for it
treehugger :: Couldn’t it be purchased and rented out for business meetings, retreats and the like. Would it pay for itself?
JChiusolo :: It is and we have an open scace fee that each of us pay for.
Guest 7850 :: The Township of Cedar Grove should serve as a microcosim for all of Essex County
treehugger :: why
ROC :: It is? ouch. You were doing pretty good up until that point.
treehugger :: I think you are still doing well!
JChiusolo :: Currently, there is a line item of salaries in the open space budget and another line item in the parks budget for employee salaries. That is double taxation
treehugger :: are the same names on both lists?
Guest 7850 :: cheap taxes and good service, they don’t waste money
JChiusolo :: I am for open space! I am against new taxes and double taxes. I have supported open space preservation for years and will continue to.
treehugger :: Thank you!
JChiusolo :: The fact is that open space is for purchaisng land, not paying salaries. The park budget has salaries in it.
Guest 6753 :: why are two different line items in the budget double taxes?
ROC :: No one is againts open space, the question is, should it be a county concern or a state one. Invarriably the county borrows money to “operate” things like Kips castle
JChiusolo :: I think the people of the county don’t realize that we have employees salaries being paid out of open space money. It
JChiusolo :: ‘s worng
JChiusolo :: worng
JChiusolo :: wrong
JChiusolo :: very sorry. trying to answer everyone
treehugger :: So, the salaries should be shifted back to the Parks Budget? Would that change taxes?
JChiusolo :: Well you raise a good point. Do we need three open space taxes? State county and towns?
ROC :: And you answered in the affirmative, no?
JChiusolo :: Thats the probelm with gov. We have three segments who fight to get your tax money and NJ has become very expesnive to live it
treehugger :: can you tell us about what you’ve been able to acomplish in Cedar Grove–and how?
JChiusolo :: No, I am saying that each segment of gov needs to be reviewed. I don;t know if we have reached a point with collecting open space moeny. It should be the voters to answer that since it is there tax money
Annette :: Heads up everyone, we’re going to be closing the chat room in 5 minutes, let’s take the last few questions.
ROC :: and, with respect, politicians often claim popular programs of expenditure for themselves and their respective level of government. Why do you thnk Joey D is so enamoured of Green Acres money. I don’t think the county or municipality should “preserve opens space” this should be done at the state level and only on projects with all state citizens might enjoy, like state parks etc.
Henri687 :: If elected, wha would your goals be in the first 90 days in office?
JChiusolo :: We were able to accomplish quite a bit here in CG. We have worked hard as a council to keep taxes low, elmiante positions that were not needed, improvae the quality of life for many residents. We have an open space fund that we have used for a few projects and we are continuning to look at others
treehugger :: What do you think about the dog parks that have been built recently.
ROC :: thanks for taking our questions.
Guest 6753 :: personally I really appreciate the dog park in Bloomfield
JChiusolo :: in my first 90 days, I would do three things. I would meet with the gov and state officals and have them take over all state mandated programs. We would remove them from our structure. Then I would have an audit done of each position to find our it’s need. Then I would elminate the county DPW.
JChiusolo :: After that, I would continue to review each segment of gov and find out it’s need and what can be done to reduce it’s cost
Ken :: If the state refused to take over those programs, say, they went to court to block the change, would the programs continue running under the county? Or would they be dropped?
JChiusolo :: That would be a great accomplishment in that time frame
13:00ROC :: You can’t make the state take over programs, and, why would they?
Annette :: Ok, last question…Thanks Joe, and chatters for participating in today’s discussion. Good luck Joe in your last week of campaigning, and thanks for reaching out to Baristaville…
JChiusolo :: They are currewnlt mandating state prgams that they pay for. I beleive by them taking them out of county gov, we could emintate the corruption that exists.
Ken :: that was my question, ROC, no?
Ken :: I think that sounds great, if they don’t just essentially tell you no. I’m hoping if they do, you’re able to drop them entirely, depending on exactly what they are.
JChiusolo :: Thank you all for your questions. I hope you will support me in bringing reform to our county. Tahnks
ROC :: yes, ken, cross posted. But neither of us really got an answer
Annette :: Ok, thanks everyone for participating in today’s chat.
Hiding :: HOWARD STERN!!!!!!!!!!!