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In Defense Of Taxpayers…..And Maggots

Of course the hot topic at tonight’s Borough Council meeting will be ordinance 2014-1, specifically the language in it that requires bidders to either participate in a Dept of Labor-approved apprenticeship program or pay uncompetitive wages.  Last week, in light of the resounding “no” vote on the bond referendum, Jim Bean and Mike Seebeck issued a press release calling for the immediate introduction of an ordinance to reverse that mandate.  The mayor, knowing this issue was not going to go away but apparently not wanting to repeal the law, put the matter onto the workshop agenda for tonight.  I’m sure he plans to defend it.

One issue sure to come up is the fact that there were 10 bidders for the original pavilion plan but after the law was passed and the redesigned pavilions were put out to bid, there were only 3 bidders.  I’ve heard the mayor talk about his “time line” saying that the bidding was before the law took effect and tonight I’m sure we will hear the chronology dissected in great detail.  But come on.  How could it not restrict the bidding?  The whole point of the ordinance is to restrict bidding.  What builder (and I’d bet a lot of them heard this was coming even before we learned of it in mid-January) would think that there would be a snowball’s chance that this law wouldn’t apply to one of the biggest public projects ever done by Belmar?  Only a very stupid builder would take that chance.

Of course any builder smart enough to know not to bother bidding in Belmar after hearing about that law is also smart enough to know not to state publicly that the law was the reason.

And remember, critics of the law didn’t need the disparity seen between the two bidding episodes to know the law was no good.  We opposed it from the 1st reading.  It’s clear to us that it forces the people who pay taxes here to help subsidize powerful unions.  That’s what it does.  And the taxpayers here did not ask to be a part of it.

Had the bond referendum passed that union would have been Laborers International, or LIUNA.  Nice group of guys.  The mayor’s wife used to work for them and winning bidder Robert Epifano of Epic Construction is on their Board of Trustees.  Here’s a 48 second clip of LIUNA president Terry O’Sullivan addressing the Fire Fighters Union earlier this year and referring to Tea Party folks as “maggots”:


I just have to say something here.  Maggots are not parasites.  No maggot ever attacked another living creature.  They simply clean up the mess left by other living creatures after they die.  We should thank them for it.  And actually, maggots have been used medicinally for thousands of years and even today.

From the BBC:

Maggot therapy dates back to early civilisations.

But with the discovery of penicillin and the development of antibiotics in the 20th Century, modern medicine dropped it as the treatment of choice in hospitals.

With resistance to antibiotics now a growing challenge, doctors are looking at alternatives.

“Basically maggots feed on dead tissue, what we call necrotic tissue,” explains Dr Kibiwot.

“By so doing they compete with bacteria for food… so the bacteria will not grow. That’s one way of achieving the healing of the wound without use of antibiotics.”………………

…………………….Phoebe Mukiria, an entomologist at Kari who oversees the maggot production, says the reason they are so “special” is that they just feed on dead tissue.

“It cleans the wound and will not go on to eat live tissue so you don’t feel any pain,” she says.

In essence, Ms Mukiria says the maggots turn the dead tissue into liquid, which they are able to suck up as food.

They do this by excreting saliva containing special chemicals onto the wound, she says.

“They are called micro-surgeons because they are able to reach where surgeons are not able to reach,” Ms Mukiria says.

Now intestinal worms, they’re bad.  They feed off the vitality of their unfortunate and unwilling hosts, usually not killing them….they wouldn’t want to do that…..but just sucking out their energy and generally making their lives far less pleasurable than they would otherwise be.


  1. guest wrote:

    Admin, I will be unable to make the meeting tonight and look forward to viewing it on your website (unless it is cancelled at the last minute). It is a great service that you provide to taxpayers of Belmar by posting these videos. Thank you for keeping those like me that are often unable to attend the meetings informed.

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 7:43 am | Permalink
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    “Time Line”

    When a union contractor bids a job, his bid is set on the union scale of the timeline of the job. If the contract doesn’t go into effect by a certain time, he has to adjust his bid to the new union contract he signs with the union. All employer/union contracts only have a certain lifespan and then have to be renegotiated and that new contract he signs with the union[s] is always upward.
    That’s why the mayor was in such a hurry to get his plan passed I think.

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 8:50 am | Permalink
  3. MATH WOMAN wrote:

    ANONYMOUS…Correct in your assumptions. However I do not agree the mayor wanted to sign because of a potential higher price. Probably had other reasons.

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 10:57 am | Permalink
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    Another small point is that with this ordinance, that effectually requires Union contractors to get the job, the public is forced to become an unrepresented party to the Contractor/Union wage negotiations and in effect, bound by the outcome of those negotiations they’re not represented in.

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 12:53 pm | Permalink
  5. Pootsie wrote:

    The mayor stated many times before the No vote that if we did not hold this election in August we would lose Epic as our contractor. Epic would no longer be interested in this job and would not rebid.
    This was a dire warning to borough residents that if we lose Epic there would be no better alternatives and it would cost a lot more. Should be interesting to see if there are any other contractors interested and if Epic is truly gone.

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 1:52 pm | Permalink
  6. Teddy Ehmann wrote:

    Writing from Clearwater,Fl,I will also miss tonight’s meeting.I for one won’t miss EPIC after the 31% change order increase on a $6M boardwalk. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 3:58 pm | Permalink
  7. TheFacts wrote:

    There were 5 bidders the second time

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 4:15 pm | Permalink
  8. Shrugged wrote:

    THEFACTS – please tell the whole story if you are going to speak on this forum. Don’t purposely try and mislead people. 2 companies only bid on one building. Some of the single buildings actually came in cheaper then Epic’s, but the Mayor insisted that the 2 building be combined for award. Only 3 companies bid on the 2 buildings combined. Guess THEFACTS weren’t really THEFACTS huh?

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

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