Special “lead” meeting: Recap

5/2/2008 Update:

Field ripped up today?

A 411 reader said: “I play in the Hoboken Adult Soccer League and had a game scheduled for tonight. I referee informed us that the field will be ripped off on May 2nd and the soccer field will be out of commission for three weeks as they replace the turf. Don’t know if that is going to kill the season or not.”

4/29/2008 Update:

Special Meeting Recap

hoboken-mayor-david-roberts.jpgHoboken Mayor David Roberts made sure plenty of youth soccer parents and players were at the emergency meeting to pressure the council to approve the $300,000 no-bid contract to for new artificial turf. It was one of those “But it’s for the children” moments as the council approved the resolution. Knowing he had the votes, Roberts naturally showed up to the meeting. The room was brimming with supporters to drive home the idea that any votes against this contract would be remembered as votes “against the kids.”

Still, several people rose to oppose the way the whole thing was handled. One complained that the toxic turf should be replaced by real grass. Another questioned why proper open bidding procedures were not followed (who determines what is considered “emergency” anyway? You would think that a no-bid contract should be reserved for emergencies of disastrous proportions, not a slight health hazard. Either way, they still could have instituted a “7 day RFP,” and still enlisted multiple vendors.) Another noted there would not have been a “soccer field crisis” in the first place had the Mayor kept his campaign promises to build more recreational fields. Soccer league officials and parents urged the council to follow the Mayor’s recommendations.

While a few members of the council made some noise about being unhappy about there being no bidding process, ultimately everyone fell in line and approved the expenditure, which will be paid for with unused capital project bond moneys. FieldTurf will rip up and dispose of the old field and install a new one.

Reader Poll:

{democracy:135}

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Read previous updates after the jump…

4/29/2008 Update:

Meeting TODAY

Mayor David Roberts is leveraging the appearance of a crisis to rush a six-figure no-bid contract out to a favored contractor to resurface the Sinatra Park soccer field. Instead of bidding the contract out Roberts is asking the City Council to vote in an “Emergency Meeting” today to award the contract no questions asked.

Want to see the contract before the Council votes on it? SORRY! It’s not on the City Website. Want to ask questions about the contract before the vote? Good luck! Roberts called the meeting for 5:30pm to avoid pesky members of the public who will still be at work and can’t make an early meeting. The question now is if the Council will take the bait and fall in line with the Mayor.

It’s also unknown if Roberts will seek damages from the contractor that originally put the field down or let them off the hook like he did with the politically connected design and engineering firms that did the work on the now crumbling portions of the riverfront walkway. You can expect taxpayers to pick up the tab for this yet again. Meeting starts at 5:30 at City Hall.

4/24/2008:

Our toxic open space at Sinatra Park makes a little more news today. It’s ok for adults to inhale lead, but kids, not so good.

From Hoboken411 reader “soccer player”:

Toxic news gets more attention than good news

Signs have been put up, but no takers yet. Fame seekers! Fox News on the scene to catch the footage of you stirring up clouds of lead!

Pertinent to the signage, taken from the Fox News story April 18 article on the contamination:

“New Jersey’s epidemiologist, Dr. Eddy Bresnitz, said fibers and dust created through wear and weathering might become airborne, where they could be inhaled or swallowed.

But Rick Doyle, president of the Synthetic Turf Council, said the lead is fixed in place in the nylon and does not leach out, and thus poses no health risk.

Bresnitz has ordered additional tests on how easily fibers and particles from artificial turf can be swallowed or inhaled. He said the risk from playing on a lead-impregnated field is probably very low.

Nonetheless, he suggested washing thoroughly after play, laundering clothes separately and wetting down fields to keep the dust and fibers down during play.

A city-owned field in Newark was closed last fall after similar test results; officials there are replacing the surface.

Lead can cause brain damage and other illnesses, particularly in children.”

A special (no-bid) council meeting next week.

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61 Comments on "Special “lead” meeting: Recap"


matt_72
Member
8 years 4 months ago

[quote comment=”83931″]Anyone going to the ribbon cutting today at 4:30? The soccer field looks fantastic! So professional. See you there ~*[/quote]

I would only go if I knew I could heckle the mayor and not get arrested & beat down by is buddies on the police force.

ShhhDontTell
Member
8 years 4 months ago

Anyone going to the ribbon cutting today at 4:30? The soccer field looks fantastic! So professional. See you there ~*

stevens32
Member
stevens32
8 years 4 months ago
[quote comment=”80572″]If this constitued an “emergency” excuse for no-bid contracts that the council unanimously kow-towed to the mayor on, just think of all the other “emergencies” that will now crop up for them to approve without thought to finding the price… such as emergency parking meter collections by a tool & tie factory, emergency filling in of potholes, emergency office supplies, emergency cell phones, emergency 12-story abatement in SW area, emergency new field on the parking building, the list will go on. What a town we live in! :roll:[/quote] Ultimately, whether this rises to the level of an emergency is determined by whether or not you have kids. If you do, this is an emergency. If you do not, then it isn’t. What was funny to me though, as I watched the meeting on TV, is that it seemed to me that to some, the larger emergency was not that the field was unsafe, but that the soccer leagues would be out of commission. Regardless, the field is unsafe and needs to be addressed. While I would have liked the Mayor & Council to have gone through the bid process, I’m not really up in arms about this. The main reasons, as I see it, for going through the bid process are: a) To ensure that the work is done by a reputable firm; b) that the work is done at the lowest price possible, and c) to ensure that the process is above board and that the company selected… Read more »
stevens32
Member
stevens32
8 years 4 months ago
[quote comment=”80572″]If this constitued an “emergency” excuse for no-bid contracts that the council unanimously kow-towed to the mayor on, just think of all the other “emergencies” that will now crop up for them to approve without thought to finding the price… such as emergency parking meter collections by a tool & tie factory, emergency filling in of potholes, emergency office supplies, emergency cell phones, emergency 12-story abatement in SW area, emergency new field on the parking building, the list will go on. What a town we live in! :roll:[/quote] Ultimately, whether this an emergency depends on whether or not you have kids. If you do, this is a serious emergency. If you don’t, it isn’t. What was funny to me as I watched this meeting on TV was that it almost seemed that the bigger emergency was that the soccer programs would be out of commission, not the fact that the field was unsafe. Regardless, while I do not have children in town, the field is unsafe and needs to be addressed. That having been said, the 2 main reasons why we go through an open-bid process are: a) To ensure that we can get the work done by a quality vendor, and b) To make sure that it is done at the lowest possible cost. From everything I’ve heard and read about FieldTurf, they are a well-regarded company that has a lot of experience in this area, so I have no concerns there. However, couldn’t the Mayor and Council,… Read more »
Fatty
Member
Fatty
8 years 4 months ago

This was placed on http://www.hobokenadultsoccer.com

NO GAMES TONIGHT OR THIS WEEK !!!!

Please be advised, We have been informed by the Parks and Recreation dept that construction on Sinatra Park will begin today Friday, May 2nd.

The process from start to completion should take no longer than 3 weeks. The season is on hold until the field is completed. More updates to come.

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