|Who needs HVAC?|
GA had a chat with a friend this morning about the intriguing Russo vote.
At last night's City Council meeting, his was the single 'NO' on the 3 million-dollar bonding for repairs to the HPD headquarters, HFD infrastructure needs and equipment for Environmental Services. The fact that Mason and Occhipinti missed the vote made Russo's purely symbolic.
Because his cousin, Terry "It's Been Cleared Up" Castellano voted 'YES'.
So why the symbolic 'NO' vote?
Let's revisit the repairs needed at the police headquarters so you may remember their urgency:
- There is no operable HVAC system. There hasn't been on for years. In the winter officers use space heaters. But if all are used concurrently, circuits blow. This caused a fire in the men's locker room recently.
- The electrical wiring is outdated and does not meet usage requirements. New wiring is needed. This caused at least one fire already. (GA suggests electrical inspection is urgently needed)
- Cell block toilet facilities back up and empty outside of the building. Urine can be smelled inside.
- The upstairs toilets leak to the floor below.
- Water leaks onto the IT room servers. Chief Falco had water leaking onto his computer.
- There is mold in the gym.
- In the men's locker room facility there is 1 toilet and 1 shower for 130 men.
- No storage room. Evidence is currently being stored in 3 trailers outside. A 4th is required.
- The lobby layout poses a threat to officers and the public. A separate area for processing those arrested is required. This would have a separate entrance to reduce the chance of someone escaping.
- The sidewalk in front of the station is broken and has caused people to trip and fall.
- Security cameras are non-functioning and need repair
- IT equipment is antiquated.
- Telephone system needs revamping.
- More 4x4s needed to navigate flooded streets.
- Hoboken needs a firing range; we currently rents one in Bayonne for an annual cost of 25K.
And ALL impact the ability of the police department to serve the public in one way or another, be it through physical discomfort of the officers, the efficiency of processing suspects, taking phone calls or the simple ability to preserve evidence. But...
The item that really jumped out at me was the defective electrical wiring which has caused at least one fire and (possibly) the lack of heat.
Because at GA's house last Saturday night, there was a mini-explosion due to bad wiring which knocked out my heat and half the circuits in my electrical panel. True story.
Bad wiring, no heat... it was pretty uncomfortable in the GA residence.
Thank goodness Mike Russo wasn't answering the phone at my house, because here's what he would have told my electician:
I am SO glad Mike Russo doesn't answer the phone at my house.Russo: (to electrician) No thanks, we're not going to pay for repairs today. That's putting a band-aid on a problem. This panel is old, and you've fixed it before in the last decade. We're going to build a whole new house instead. It'll have new doors, new windows, a fancy microwave- a GE Profile! GA's new house will be bigger and better than this dump.
GA: But... I'm FREEZING my ASS off! My antiquated wiring can't power this whole house safely! My thermostats don't work! My phone doesn't work! And even if it did, my answering machine has no power!
Russo: (grinning) Glad I don't live here. But why keep fixing things piecemeal when you can build yourself a brand new house?
GA: Because it'll take months, maybe years to do that. I can't wait that long. Can't you smell the burnt wires? It's not safe to live here.
Russo: If the Hoboken police can do it, so can you. It's not safe there either!
GA: WHAT? They've got no heat? AND bad wiring?
Russo: Yup! For years! (grinning)
GA: So why don't you bond for the money to fix it?
Russo: Because it's TOO expensive! 3 million bucks! Better to build them a NEW headquarters in a couple of years for 50 million! Imagine all those contracts... (wipes drool from chin)
GA: But.. but... the police have no HEAT and the bad wiring could cause another FIRE. You want them to WAIT a "couple of years"?
Russo: Why not? I don't have to work there.
GA: Can I fix my electricity now?
So GA wonders... why the symbolic 'NO' vote (middle finger') to the HPD last night?
There's a reason for everything. Remember what Russo said to informant Dwek on the F.B.I. surveillance video, "YOu do for me, I do for you"
What DIDN'T Chief Falco DO for the Russo clan?
That's the question.