Category Archives: Birdsall Service Group

Middletown Board Of Education Meeting Tonight – What You will Hear and Not Hear

Tonight’s Middletown Board of Education meeting that will take place at High School North @ 7pm will be interesting for a few of reasons that you will and won’t hear about.

To open up the meeting there will be a presentation by Birdsall Engineering to the Board by Birdsall on a proposed district solar project that will involve several school site. It should be interesting but don’t expect too much information if this presentation by Birdsall turns out to be anything like the one presented at Town Hall a few months a go. That presentation left a lot to be desired.
Attendees to the meeting will also hear that the resignation of BoE member John Macrae has also been accepted which should lead to in the not to distant future, an announcement on a new search (or appointment) for someone to fill his position on the board that he vacated.
What you won’t hear tonight are many details about the appointment of a new Superintendent to take over from interim superintendent Pat Houston, who resigned last month and will be allowed to leave as of September 26th, unless of course something is dropped into the agenda at the last minute.
Word out of Hazlet though is that Middletown offered the School Superintendent’s job to Hazlet’s Superintendent of Schools Bill George but he turned it down, possible due to the salary being offered, possible due to other reasons.
Seeing how the Middletown school district is nearly 3 times larger than Hazlet’s and Bill George is currently earning $192K salary (according to Data Universe) from Hazlet, a move to Middletown seems unlikely at this time but not out of the question totally.
Hazlet sources stated that Middletown BoE has applied to the State for some kind of waiver that would enable George to come to Middletown and take over the school system.
To sweeten the pot a little for Bill George did the Middletown BoE seek a waiver from the State that would have allowed the BoE to exceed the mandated cap on school superintendents salaries that Governor Christie put in place this year, in order to lure George away from Hazlet? Or was the waiver requested of the State something less extraordinary like asking for a waiver of rules that would enable the board to appoint a new superintendent without the usual guideline procedures?
Regardless, I was told by my Hazlet connections that the request for a waiver was turned down by the State and that Bill George will be staying put, where he is, in Hazlet for the time being.
Of course though anything can happen and the Hazlet people could be wrong, in the mean time, the search a for new Middletown School Superintendent go on.

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Filed under Birdsall Service Group, cap wavier, Hazlet NJ, Middeltown Board of Education, school superintendent, solar presentation, William George

Savings From Middletown Solar Project Questioned

By guest blogger Linda Baum

Anyone who attended the Middletown Town Committee meeting on June 20th got to see Birdsall Engineering’s presentation of its solar feasibility study. A pdf version of that presentation is now on the town’s website. The Birdsall representative, Jessica Vogel, repeatedly emphasized the 9 cent solar electric rate assumed in Birdsall’s savings analysis, and the Town Committee joined her in repeating the $6.6 million savings achieved over 15 years.

Interestingly, the analysis doesn’t list what assumptions were made in arriving at that savings figure (labeled “cost avoidance” in the study). To know what you’d save, you have to know what you’d otherwise pay, right? So Birdsall would have to have known what the town pays its supplier for the electricity.

I brought up this issue at the town workshop meeting on July 6th. I learned that currently the town pays around 11 cents per kilowatt hour. I played with the Birdsall numbers — they assume a utility rate of more than 17.5 cents, and rising. I asked about the other assumptions used in the study. Committeeman Settembrino said that the panels are expected to produce 0.5% less electricity each year, but the Birdsall numbers assume that production will drop by only 0.25% each year.

The effect of those inaccuracies is to make it appear that the town will achieve much bigger savings than they actually will. Per Birdsall, a 9 cent per kilowatt hour rate for solar electricity (escalating by 3% each year) will produce savings over 15 years of $6.6 million. Had they used accurate inputs, the savings figure would be closer to $1 million. But if the town is able to get a utility rate closer to the county’s current rate of around 9 or 9.5 cents, there will be no savings at all.

The Town Committee said that they hadn’t checked the numbers in the study and pointed out that Birdsall is a reputable firm. So who am I to question them, right?? They asked what I was getting at. They said, “If the savings are lower, should we not do this? Are you saying we shouldn’t provide tax relief to residents?”

Whoa!!! No, that is not what I’m saying at all. I’m all for solar. Always have been. But I’m also for truth and accuracy. If the assumptions underlying Birdsall’s analysis are inaccurate, then the study does a poor job of assessing feasibility. And wasn‘t that the point? Does that mean we shouldn’t pursue solar? No. It means we should be looking for a much better deal than 9 cents per kwh.

I have to wonder why no one on the Town Committee seemed more concerned that Birdsall’s numbers are wrong. If the town is using the study as a guide to assess offers from developers, then they will be ill-equipped to do so.

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Filed under Birdsall Service Group, cost analysis, kilowatt hour, Middletown Township Committee, solar energy, solar panels, solar project, tax relief, utility rates

>It’s Your Town Newsletter Volume 3, Issue 12- 6/20/11: The Methadone Clinic Uproar

>The new edition of It’s Your Town newsletter has been published and ready for reading and covers what happened during the Middletown Township NJ monthly Committee meeting of June 20th, 2011.

besides there being a presentation of the Township Solar Project by Birdsall Engineering and a public hearing on theTownship’s ADA compliance plan,the newsletter tells about the very large crowd of concerned citizens that attended the meeting to express concerns about the Methadone Clinic that opened on Rt. 35 at Apple Farm Rd.

As reported here and at other websites the meeting was overflowing with residents from the the Applebrook and TwinBrook neighborhood that are effected by the methadone clinic being so close to their homes. At times the meeting became very loud boisterous and contentious. Residents found it hard to believe that they were being told the true about the clinic and the process that enabled it to open at the current location.

You can read all about it HERE in the newsletter.

As an added bonus for your listening pleasure I have an audio clip from that night that features resident Patricia E. Corridon, who spoke to the committee about the opening of the Middletown Methadone clinic. She said she did not feel a great deal of trust in the Committee who were elected to protect their citizens. She said everything from a broken toenail to a cell tower is aired in Middletown. She said it is hard to believe when they say they knew nothing about this and were blindsided. She said for them to say they will be protected but then turn Apple Farm Rd. into a police state is not what is wanted. She said the Committee does not have the pleasure of plausible deniability.

Ms. Corridon was interrupted midway through her comments by Tony Fiore who sounded arrogant, exasperated and helpless in the wake of all the criticism being leveled against himself and others who’s job it was to know about this before the clinic opened at the only entrance into or out of a residential neighborhood

http://www.archive.org/flow/flowplayer.commercial-3.2.1.swf

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Filed under Applebrook, Birdsall Service Group, Its Your Town, methadone clinic, Middletown Medical clinic, Middletown Township Committee, Newsletter, solar project, Tony Fiore

>Methadone Clinic Uproar At Town Hall

>I briefly attended last nights Middletown Township Committee meeting, I was there for only the first 45 minutes, leaving at 8:45pm. It’ to bad that I did because I could tell from the get go that it was going to be one hell of a night.

The first indication that it was going to be a hot one last night was the parking lot, nearly every space was full and that has happened in a very long time.
The other indication was the agitation of many in the audience. The standing room only, overflowing into the lobby crowd, was a mixed bag of residents who had never attended a Township Committee meeting before until last night and wanted to express their displeasure at having a methadone clinic open up just outside of the only way in and out of their neighborhood.
Having never been to a meeting before they were unaware of the protocol of following the agenda and couldn’t understand why they had to wait to speak their mind.
Many hemmed and hawed having to wait their turn while sitting through the solar project presentation presented by a Birdsall Engineering representative that rushed through the presentation and a couple of public hearings on different ordinances, which by that time I had to leave.
Before I left however I did speak to a few individuals who expressed their dismay at not being informed of the methadone clinic a head of time, wondering exactly how something like this could happen and were hoping that the Township Committee would stand up to the clinic and somehow, someway have it shut down.
As I expected and found out earlier today from talking to a few that were their and reading online accounts, those that govern the Township told those in attendance that nothing could be done, that the clinic is in it’s legal rights to be there and anything that the Township did to try and prevent the clinic from operating could possible lead to a very costly law suit that more than likely be decided against the Township.
When I asked if last night’s meeting was really as loud and crazy as it was made out to be by the online accounts from the redbankgreen.com and MiddletownPatch I was told “most definitely”. More raucous then some meetings from last year when the planned turf fields were being fought against by members of SONIC, LVGA and the Pop Warner Chargers of Trezza Field? Absolutely I was told. The reason being, which made a lot of sense, was because while SONIC, LVGA and the Chargers were against a proposed plan that hadn’t been implemented yet, the residents of Apple Brook development, who’s only way into and out of their neighborhood is directly past the methadone clinic, didn’t have a say into whether or not they wished to be living within walking distance of a clinic that distributes one dangerously addictive drug to stop the cravings of another and who’s clients have potential criminal records. And when you consider what could happen to the values of their homes because of the presence of the Middletown Medical clinic, I understood why.
So what’s their recourse? According to those on the Township Committee, the Municipal Attorney and Township Administrator not much, but I have heard talk that the residents are thinking of hiring lawyers in order to, somehow, force the town to take action or force the clinic to move, neither of which I think will be effective.
I’ve also heard word that residents may start picketing the clinic to draw more attention to it, which would then drive away those seeking treatment, that way the for-profit clinic may come to the conclusion that it wouldn’t be prudent for their bottom-line to continue operating at the location and move on their own.
I hope to have some audio of the meeting later this week for posting so that myself and others can hear how crazy it actually was.

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Filed under Birdsall Service Group, committee meeting, heroin, methadone clinic, Middletown Medical clinic, Middletown Patch, Middletown Township Committee, opiate addiction, RedBankGreen.com, treatment center

>Ever Wonder Why Lillian Burry Maintains Her Silence On Resignations?

>Yesterday’s editorial in the Asbury Park Press questioned why the Brookdale College Board of Trustees didn’t do a better job of scrutinizing the expenses of former college President Peter Burnham and once again calls for the resignation of the Board President Howard Birdsall and Board Attorney John M. Cantalupo.

Birdsall and Cantalupo have both arrogantly ignored numerous requests from Freeholders Amy Mallet and John Curley, the Asbury Park Press and others to resign. So why haven’t they felt it necessary to admit a certain degree of fault in this scandal and heed the call to step down? It could be argued rather successfully that both looked the other way when others told them of Burnham’s improprieties.
It is also rather curious why the grand-dame of the Monmouth County Freeholder Board, Lillian Burry, hasn’t spoken out and demanded Birdsall and Cantalupo step down. After all, Burry was criticized for not speaking out sooner on the Burnham situation when the first allegations of improprieties surfaced against him.
Why is that do you think?
It couldn’t have anything to do with the fact the John M. Cantalupo is a close personal friend of Burry’s and has been acting as her Campaign Treasurer over the years, could it? Let’s think about it for a second, who was negotiating the terms Peter Burnham’s Brookdale contracts over the years, it was Cantalupo. Given Cantalupo’s status as personal friend and campaign treasurer, I find it hard to believe that Burry had no idea of over the years, what was contained in Burnham’s employment contracts.
And what about Howard Birdsall and his company, Birdsall Service Group ? Both are so intertwined within Monmouth County through political donations and public contracts, that Lillian Burry must feels it’s not in her best interest to speak out publicly against Birdsall
It’s for these reasons and others why it is so important to impose term limits on those that serve on volunteer boards and commissions in Monmouth County as Freeholder Mallet proposed last month but had her proposal voted down by her Republican colleagues on the Freeholder Board.
As stated in the APP editorial, it’s time for Birdsall and Cantalupo to accept part of the blame for the Burnham scandal and step down from the Brookdale Community College Board of Trustees.

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Filed under Amy Mallet, Asbury Park Press, Birdsall Service Group, Board of Chosen Freeholders, Board of Trustees, Brookdale Community College, Howard Birdsall, John M. Cantalupa, Lillian Burry, Peter Burnham