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No Delays for Engineering Projects in Brick Expected

Township will hire its own in-house engineer beginning April 1

Fears that the seizure of Birdsall Services Group's assets this week could result in engineering projects being delayed statewide should not affect Brick Township, officials said.

A number of company executives were indicted this week in a pay-to-play scandal, including Brick's former township administrator, Scott MacFadden.

The Newark Star-Ledger reported on Thursday that some public officials worried that seizure of assets could lead to projects stalling in local communities.

The seizure could "risk the completion of a lot of good projects statewide," Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage told the newspaper.

But the company's troubles should not affect ongoing engineering projects in Brick, Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis said.

The township has been winding down its relationship with Birdsall over the past year, he said, and beginning April 1, his administration will hire current township engineer Elissa Commins as its full time, in house engineer.

Acropolis said Commins, who has received frequent praise from residents at public meetings for her expertise and accessibility, will become a township employee whose salary will be reimbursed 75 percent by FEMA due to ongoing storm recovery efforts.

Over the past several months, Commins has been working on dune restoration plans as well as on FEMA maps and flood zone issues.

Her salary will be approximately $100,000, Acropolis said, which even before the reimbursement would be a savings over an outside engineering firm.

Richard Lau March 29, 2013 at 11:05 AM
A great choice. Elissa is an individual who has demonstrated her love and devotion to our community. It's not just about the money. It's about continuity, and integrity.
knarfie March 29, 2013 at 12:25 PM
I had an occasion to contact her a while back with a personal problem. She was very knowledgeable,polite and helpful. Never met her personally, but she would appear to be a good choice just based on my experience.
Larry reid March 29, 2013 at 12:29 PM
Excellent move to bring Elissa in house. Her responsiveness to residents is a breath of fresh air, along with a very professional approach to the underlying engineering problems. Congratulations.
Tom Cular March 29, 2013 at 02:11 PM
The days of having a third party engineer or architect should be over. Brick and other municipalities and counties have outgrown the need for part time professionals who suck more money from the towns and counties than a full time staff. I worked for Birdsall several years ago, when it was a reputable firm and “Billy and Howie “ worked under me. I was proud to say I was part of that group at that time.
Art March 29, 2013 at 04:09 PM
A welcome addition to our engineering department.
Bob March 29, 2013 at 05:23 PM
What took so long? Had to wait until all Birdsall political contributions were in, checks cleared and millions in no bid contracts were given to Birdsall to make up for the contributions (wonder how many millions were lost to the taxpayers in the meantime). How about reporter asking acrolpolis how much money Birdsall was paid while he was on the Council voting yes, yes and then as Mayor recommending that Birdsall was a cost savings. Wonder when he got religion...pure coincidence that requests for Birdsall documents started last year and acropolis thought about changing to employees last year. Also coincidence that Sangiovanni suggested this at January 2013 Council meeting..couldn't have been acropolis telling him to do it as the heat started to get turned up and another coincidence that acropolis decided not to run...why hasn't acropolis thought about hiring a full time attorney rather than paying millions since becoming mayor to Gilmore firm...guess his philosophy is wait for indictments for him to govern in the best interests of the taxpayers and then claim I have been thinking about this for a year now. you're the best Stevie at bobbing and swaying and skrewing the taxpayers.
Mrgrumpass March 29, 2013 at 06:22 PM
The only thing you all seem to have forgotten is that Birdsall and MacFadden were securely anchored in Brick by our former mayor and this democratic controlled council, by the way our good old Criminal Democrat mayor also worked for Birdsall as some kind of consultant. I am sure you all can’t be that forgetful!
Bob March 29, 2013 at 09:31 PM
Agreed..the current mayor just continued with same past practices as his predecessor. Do not want to waste space commenting on someone that is history rather than current events..
smoke March 29, 2013 at 11:03 PM
elissa commins also worked for birdsall,you people need to wake up and do your homework. ask her about, how much chemical waste is sitting under all that fill dirt that they put in at traders cove. i dug up half of that place and the smell from the chemicals would make you sick the second you broke the surface. what is your reply to that mayor acropolis because , just like everything else you always have an answer. well the answer is this,it smells just like your corrupt administration.i.e ocean ice palace,food town,your little trist with a certain someone from ocean icepalace shall we go on!
Cherry Quay resident March 30, 2013 at 12:04 PM
I'm glad Brick has hired Elissa. She will be a great asset to the township's engineering dept. I've worked with her in the past and she is responsive. Thank you Steve and council.
Mrgrumpass March 30, 2013 at 02:19 PM
Why is it a waste of space to show the root of a problem? I quote you “How about reporter asking acrolpolis how much money Birdsall was paid while he was on the Council voting yes” is it only a waste for me and not you? Birdsall got the contract because they had the lowest bid for the contract don’t make people think it was a criminal ACT!
J Diaz April 29, 2013 at 01:14 AM
We stopped by Town Hall to pick up paperwork, and when we had a question, Elissa took time out of her day to meet with us, answer our questions and go over the process and paperwork with us. We left not only with the information needed but tremendous reassurances. Hiring Elissa is a terrific decision by Brick!

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