CWA Local 1081
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Newark, NJ, 07102
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Newark Teachers Union

New Jersey Citizen Action Oil Group

March 25, 2009


Joyce Wilson Harley, Esq., Administrator

County of Essex

Hall of Records

465 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, Rm. 510

Newark, NJ, 07102


Re: Resolution #27

       Shauger Property Services, Inc


Dear Ms. Wilson Harley:


CWA Local 1081, having fastidiously re-scrutinized Resolution 27 of the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders’ March 4, 2009 Conference Meeting agenda, proffers our Union’s following additional observations regarding the fact that the Administration has submitted Resolution #27 to the Freeholders asking they approve the expenditure of $1,759,976.20 to construct a Gibbons ape exhibit within the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo and that the company selected by the Administration to construct the exhibit is Shauger Property Services, Inc.:

  1. Our Union’s attached letter of February 10, 2008 written you questioned Resolution #14, of the then Freeholder Board agenda, regarding a contract proposed by the Administration awarding Shauger Property Services, Inc. $1,173,000.50 for the construction of a bird aviary at Turtle Back Zoo. We noted the fact that “Shauger was awarded the bid on a number of other construction projects involving the Essex County parks, as well as for the County’s  zoo:
    1. $700,000, in July 2007, to for improvements to Verona Park, including a five-station fitness center.
    2. $780,000 in July 2007, for upgrades to the Branch Brook Park welcome center.
    3. $353,510, in November 2007, to reconstruct the Octagon Shelter within Branch Brook Park.
    4. According to an article within the July 24, 2007 edition of The Star Ledger, Donald Shauger ‘has worked on a handful of county park projects, including completing improvements at Branch Brook Park, Grover Cleveland Park and Orange Park’”.
  2. CWA Local 1081 is a bit awed by the seemingly assiduous selection of Shauger to complete construction projects for the County of Essex. While we cast absolutely no doubts or aspersions upon either the legitimacy of the County’s bidding process or the quality of work Shauger provides, we can’t help but recall the venerable and now long deceased Nicholas V. Caputo, the “Man with the Golden Arm”, the Essex County Clerk who picked the Democrats 40 out of 41 times for first place on election ballots. “Only in 1967 did the Republicans win the favored spot in what must have been an off day for Mr. Caputo. Republicans eventually sued, saying they'd been robbed. The case made it to the State Supreme Court, which took judicial note of the phenomenon in 1985 by pointing out that the odds of replicating Mr. Caputo's string were less than 1 in 50 billion. The court said that few reasonable people would attribute the Democrats' success to ‘blind chance’ but stopped short of accusing the County Clerk of wrongdoing. The court put quotation marks around the word ‘coincidence’ and suggested that Mr. Caputo provide witnesses with a closer look at what was happening when he conducted the drawing.” (The New York Times, December 10, 1995)
  3. Of the six scheduled contracts Shauger had in progress for the year ended December 2007, four of its five projects were undertaken for the County of Essex with two in Branchbrook Park ($768,551 and $353,510, respectively), one in Verona Park ($721,188) and one in Vailsburg Park ($349,420). For the year ended December 2006, two of its five projects were undertaken for the County of Essex by Shauger with one in Branchbrook Park ($1,497,261) and one in Grover Cleveland Park ($718,830).
  4. In this time of the “Great Recession”, when so many businesses are doing poorly, filing for bankruptcy or closing their doors, we are heartened to see that Shauger Property Services, Inc. enjoyed net retained earnings of $2,940,720 at the close of 2007, which was $307,052 more than the year before.
  5. Our Union observes that the “Bidder’s Addidavit” of January 13, 2009, contained within Resolution #27 and signed by Mrs. Shauger, states “being duly sworn in, deposes and says that he resides at East Orange, New Jersey”. CWA suggests the Administration amend this document to accurately reflect Mrs. Shauger’s genuine gender as well as the fact that she apparently actually resides at 11 Arnold Drive, Randolph, New Jersey.
We suggest the Administration then withdraw, and abandon, Resolution #27.






David H. Weiner, President

CWA Local 1081