Special “lead” meeting: Recap
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.”
Special Meeting Recap
Hoboken 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.
Read previous updates after the jump…
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.
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.