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Brick May Explore Hiring In-House Engineer

Mayor in favor of proposal

Some Brick officials are pushing for an in-house engineer that would replace annual contracts with an engineering firm.

For decades, Brick has utilized the services of Birdsall Engineering for its engineering services, but in the post-Sandy world, some believe hiring an in-house engineer dedicated only to Brick Township would lead to both better services as well as a better deal for taxpayers.

Councilman Joseph Sangiovanni suggested the idea at the Jan. 22 council meeting.

Under the present situation, Elissa Cummins, a Birdsall employee, acts as the primary engineer for the township. Several residents praised Cummins at the Jan. 22 meeting, saying she has been accessible to residents and has proven herself as one who is extremely knowledgable in disaster recovery since the storm hit.

If the township does, indeed, decide to move to an in-house engineer, Councilman Dan Toth suggested exploring a shared services agreement with another town - specifically, Toms River.

"We have an extremely large shared services agreement with them currently, and speaking with officials there, they are up to the challenge to join us with that," said Toth. "I would say that should be the first option."

Sangiovanni disagreed, however.

"Any engineering department ... that was affected by Sandy is going to have their hands full," said Sangiovanni. "I don't think that going outside what we have in-house is a good move. Your thought process under normal cirucmstances would probably work, but under these circumstances it may not."

Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis - who, under Brick's form of government, is tasked with appointing an engineer - said he would support the move.

Acropolis also said since an engineer would be focused primarily on storm recovery projects, FEMA could pay for a portion of that person's salary.

BW January 25, 2013 at 12:25 PM
Wonder which political cronie is looking to pad his pension. Maybe Juan can do it. He could pay the IRS the 210k+ he owes. Or Mr. Sangiovanni who is currently having his wages garnished by the state for back taxes. This move will not save us money, and as far as Fema paying a portion, dont hold your breath, they dont have any money cause the feds love to spend as much as our local politicians
fed up January 25, 2013 at 12:56 PM
While it may save money initially, what about future years where there not only would most likely be addition staff but then the never ending pensions which will add up with each person assigned to the job.
Chief Wahoo January 25, 2013 at 02:57 PM
Never let a crisis go to waste.
Scott Wright January 25, 2013 at 04:25 PM
No idea what kind off dollars talkig about. At least give potential cost and potential savings.
JB January 25, 2013 at 05:05 PM
Just had ice preventor spread on my street off Lanes Mill Rd for the expected snow. Can anyone explain why we needed two men in the truck when the vehicle needs only one man to drive it. Guess one to drive and one to do nothing. Bet there was something else he could be doing for our tax dollars.
Mrgrumpass January 25, 2013 at 05:41 PM
This idea my have some merit, but I have another idea the town has engineers in the BTMUA they always talk about shared services this could work! Don’t renew Birdsall’ contract and use the engineering dept ant the BTMUA!
WMS826 January 25, 2013 at 09:46 PM
This starts out god but finishes with political croynies milking the system and needing "assistants" and so fourth. Lets outsource this to India I say. Let's save money like big business does, if it is good for multi million dollar companies to do, they why not us. So what do we do with a dud employee...what do we do when the next group wants to remove a good one to give some newly graduated grandson a job.
Susan January 26, 2013 at 01:46 PM
Should hire the guy that designed the house at the base of the Mantoloking bridge that was the only one left standing after Sandy. He designed it to withstand a hurricane and it worked!
Missing Brick January 26, 2013 at 08:58 PM
^^^exactly.
J.JONES January 28, 2013 at 12:17 AM
NAVIGATION CONTROL...
nan February 15, 2013 at 06:55 PM
How much will the Engineer's salary be? What will be the entire cost of the benefits package be? Will the engineer be a member of a union? I greatly approve of the Ellissa Cummin the current engineer. Unfortunately, the horns of the dilemma is that I believe we need smaller government. That means not taking on in-house personnel because the money we spend goes on for a lifetime when you consider pension. I am against lifetime contracts with service providers which is what we effectively have with Birdsall. I am against unions engaging in collective bargaining. Not having Birdsall means no Ellissa. That is unless she works on a consulting basis where we do not pay benefits.

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