Friday, February 18, 2011

Update: North Hudson Sewerage Authority Meeting 2/17/2011 - Maurice Fitzgibbon's Contract is Renewed

Update 2/18/2011: Last night the North Hudson Sewerage Authority re-organizational meeting was held and a number of professional service contracts were granted for the current year. Fitz Media Inc., run by Hudson County politico and ardent Tim Occhipinti and Peter Cammarano supporter Maurice Fitzgibbons, had his web services contract renewed for $25K. The main reason why is that his firm was the only bidder that submitted a response to the NHSA. The details of the contract were not disclosed at the meeting but the topic was opened up by Commissioner Tony Soares to see if the board could possibly combine that with the Customer Service contract since there might be areas that overlap. That notion was also commented on by Commissioner Libero Marotta who thought this might yield some cost savings.  Commissioner Richard Wolfe, the chair of the NHSA explained the the RFPs for the two went out separately and thus the bids were received separately. The Customer Service Contract had two bidders, one at $30K and the other at $25K. One of those firms was Fitzmedia but the board decided to hold off on the responses and send the contract back to subcommittee. So for now the NHSA does not have a CC (customer communications) contract in place but will do so most likely by the next meeting.

The NHSA Board

Richard Wolfe, Chair of the NHSA took the time to explain the RFP process as follows: the specs were put onto the website on November 18th and then the responses were analyzed in the appropriate subcommittee, reviewed for compliance and then sent to the board for final vote. A number of contracts that were up only had one bidder. Perhaps more noticing in the future in other media sources would be helpful in getting more responses. More responses usually mean better prices and hence a savings to taxpayers.

Here are the terms for the CC and Website contracts which are very broadly stated:


The Communications Specialist shall provide, to the Authority, strategies and materials for customer educational activities, awards management, media relations and copy writing services related to customer communications.


The Communications Specialist shall provide, to the Authority, strategies and materials for interactive media activities, web site design and maintenance.

Commissioner Joseph Rivera remarked that whoever is awarded either the CS or website contract should be required to attend all 12 monthly meetings during the course of the year. Richard Wolfe, who runs a very professional and efficient meeting remarked that it was not asked of the website administrator in the past. For reference, the customer communications contractor Meadowlands Associates was at every meeting last year.
It does naturally beg the question, why wasn't that requirement for the website contract as well?

Stay tuned for next month when we will find out if Maurice and Fitzmedia get the whole enchilada.

Original Post 2/16/2011: The North Hudson Sewerage Authority is having a special reorganization meeting tomorrow night 2/17/2011 at 6:15pm. Besides the re-organization of the board a slew of professional services contracts are up for consideration. One contract that is in my focus is that of the Web Site Design and Maintenance Contract currently held by none other than Tim Occhipiniti backer and five term former Freeholder Maurice Fitzgibbons. The NHSA is a very professionally run board overall in my estimation and Chairman Richard Wolfe deserves a lot of credit for modernizing operations and creating efficiencies.

With that said one step that would be beneficial for myself and other homeowners is to have a bill pay feature set up as part of their website. Why this hasn't been done yet is beyond me but whatever firm is selected should be able to set that functionality up for $25K as part of the yearly agreement. Anything less and I will suspect it is a patronage contract!

Here is the link to Maurice Fitzgibbon's website: I leave it to you to decide if this firm has "the right stuff" to automate bill paying by the North Hudson Sewerage Authority. By the way I am fine if Maurice's firm is up to the task of adding additional functionality but I would just like to see the best firm capable that replies to the bid get the work provided the bid was properly noticed of course.

Maurice Fitzgibbons website's about page. Notice the page itself is designed by Whitehorse Strategies
who did work once for Peter Cammarano. If Whitehorse did the design for Maurice then why does the NHSA
need Maurice's firm? Things that make you go hmmm. I say eliminate the middle man and save.
At least RFPs went out for this.

North Hudson Sewerage Authority
Address: 1600 Adams St., Hoboken, NJ 07030


1. Call to Order
2. Salute to the Flag
3. Roll Call
4. Open Public Meetings Act Notification
5. Election of Officers
a. 10-001 The Election of a Chairman
b. 11-002 The Election of a Vice-Chairman
c. 11-003 The Election of a Treasurer
d. 11-004 The Election of an Assistant Treasurer
e. 11-005 The Election of a Secretary
f. 11-006 The Election of an Assistant Secretary
6. Appointment of Committees by Chairman

7. Consent Agenda
a. 11-007 The Designation of Official Newspapers
b. 11-008 The Designation of Official Depositories
c. 11-009 Establishing the Schedule of Meetings for Fiscal Year 2012
d. 11-010 Establishing the Schedule of Holidays for Fiscal Year 2012
e. 11-011 Designating the Authorized Representative of the Authority
f. 11-012 Designation of the Public Agency Compliance Officer
g. 11-013 Designating a Custodian of Records

8. Professional Services
a. 11-014 The Award of a Fair and Open Contract for Accounting
Services Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40a:11-3(b)
b. 11-015 The Award of a Fair and Open Contract for Auditing Services
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40a:11-3(b)
c. 11-016 The Award of a Fair and Open Contract for Bond Counsel
Services Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40a:11-3(b)
d. 11-017 The Award of a Fair and Open Contract for Engineering
Services Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40a:11-3(b)
e. 11-018 The Award of a Fair and Open Contract for a Financial
Advisor Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40a:11-3(b)
f. 11-019 The Award of a Fair and Open Contract for an Expert
Financial Advisor Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40a:11-3(b)
g. 11-020 The Award of a Fair and Open Contract for a General
Counsel Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40a:11-3(b)
h. 11-021 The Award of a Fair and Open Contract for a Customer
Communications Specialist
i. 11-022 The Award of a Fair and Open Contract for a Web Site
Design and Maintenance/Interactive Media Specialist
* Contract currently held by Maurice Fitzgibbons of Fitz Media Inc.

9. Authority Business to be Acted Upon:
a. 11-023 Authorizing 1.6% Annual Salary Adjustment for the Authority
10. New Business
11. Public Comment
12. Adjournment ◦