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 Follow-up re: Concerns/thoughts in 10/7/07 article

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Join date : 2007-08-24

PostSubject: Follow-up re: Concerns/thoughts in 10/7/07 article   Mon Oct 08, 2007 8:54 pm

There were a number of things that came to mind in reading yesterday's article in the Courier-Post:

1. Meetings - According to this article, CH Estates had TWO (2) meetings with Brookfield only having one. In addition, these meetings were held at the CH Library for the CH Estates residents yet Brookfield was required to go to NJ Mentor offices;

2. I believe that it was said that all of the political figures were invited to attend (Platt, Lampitt, Greenwald, etc.) but no one showed/was present at the Brookfield meeting. (1) Did they attend the two CH Estates meetings?; (2) Dan Keashan of Mayor Platt's office stated for the Courier-Post that "They were attended by high-level administrators from New Jersey MENTOR and the DCF's division of child behavioral health services. Cherry Hill officials were not invited to attend, said township spokesman Dan Keashen." -- Who's telling the truth?????

3. For those who were at the Brookfield meeting w/Mentor, you will recall that I brought up the cartoon so wrongfully displayed and portrayed in the Courier-Post, how horribly it portrays(ed) everyone (both Brookfield & CH Estate) and that it basically held the residents out to dry as if they were evil, non-caring people. To that end, if NJ Mentor even attempted to put themselves out there in good faith to these proposed neighborhoods and the residents it most deeply touches, why didn't do an op-ed or a letter to the editor -- even an article disclaiming the disgusting portrayal of two groups of people who just care and are concerned about their homes, neighborhood and fellow residents -- mostly for safety reasons. While Jim Reynolds of NJ Mentor and the blond woman from the state agreed in a sidebar discussion I had with them at the conclusion of the meeting, Lisa Coscia of NJ Mentor immediately was not in agreement/"they shouldn't have to put themselves out there", etc.

Yesterday's such article was the possible "olive branch" that NJ Mentor and/or DCF could have used to their benefit as well as the benefit of a true attempt to "build a bridge" with the community(ies);

(4) Lastly, Rich Brown of CH Estates said it so well: "I think people feel powerless," said Rich Brown, a Cherry Hill Estates resident. "People just don't trust the government in any way, shape or form."

* * * * * * * * *
Outside of Cherry Hill this is a concern for all citizens of NJ. Our tax dollars are being spent to give a for profit company the ability to "help" our children. Whether these homes go in Cherry Hill or not, I have a problem with my tax dollars leasing 2 homes at a cost of over 1/2 a million dollars for 10 kids who may or may not wreck the neighborhood. Also I've seen how well for profits "spend" the texpayers money.

Now this company may treat the kids like gold but if you divide 1.5 million by 45 kids, thats about 33,000 a kid. Assuming a profit margin of 5% thats 31,000 a kid. Assuming 24 hour staffing plus leasing and other expenses, they're not going to offer much more than $7-10/hour. What kind of quality help are they going to get?

All in all the problem is primarilly our tax dollars going to keep a company in business. I feel sorry for residents in these towns.

Posted by: sejldc on Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:00 pm
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PostSubject: Estates meetings etc.   Tue Oct 09, 2007 12:49 am

The (1) "Estates" meeting at the Library was NOT attended by any Cherry Hill officials or by Greenwald/Lampitt. Elected officials were not invited, to my recollection. My Summary/Letter, posted here in this forum stated that DCF(State) and Mentor representatives attended. The other, (#2?) meeting at a nearby synagogue was not attended by the Cherry Hill Estates Civic Association. As far as I know, Ruth Bogutz found out about that meeting, after it happened. She too is not pleased about it. I found out about that meeting afterward. I do not know if any elected officials attended that synagogue meeting.
The thing that I emphacized to Ms. Gryzbowski when she spoke with me last week was that no one from any level of government has followed up on my requests for the RFP and the Contract between DCF and Mentor. Somewhere in this forum, I read that a Brookfield member was denied the contract because it had not been signed. Ms. Gryzbowski's most recent column states that a contract exists.

Did Brookfied have the "surrender" meeting with Mentor AND a meeting at NJ Mentor's office in MT. Laurel? (2 meetings?)

Has anyone from Brookfield seen the RFP?
Has anyone seen the Contract with Mentor?
Please, tell me

Even though I attended and spoke at the last Cherry Hill Township Council meeting, 2 weeks ago, and was assured that I would receive a reply from the Mayor's Office when the Minutes of the metting were transcribed, I still have not been contacted by anyone from the offices of the Mayor or the Councils members.
You should know that the Mayor's Office and the Council are one and the same, by their own representations at that meeting. For better or worse, council members stated that the Mayor's Office represents their "one voice".
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PostSubject: Re: Follow-up re: Concerns/thoughts in 10/7/07 article   Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:13 am

The "surrender" meeting as it was referred to was actually just a meeting solely between Brookfield residents on a Sunday late afternoon/early evening -- nothing more. That was actually in preparation for the possibility of "the meeting" which developed later after correspondence came from State based Carole Dortch-Wright.

The only meeting with NJ Mentor and Brookfield occurred as indicated.

To the best of my knowledge:

Has anyone from Brookfield seen the RFP? - NO - but this was asked for again at the NJ Mentor/Brookfield meeting.

Has anyone seen the Contract with Mentor? - NO - actually, they said their Contracts are not typically finalized until it gets closer to the placement of children.

It looks like the "rats in the wood pile" (to use a phrase of my Dad's) here are our CH officials and NJ Mentor most specifically with a dash of DCF who are probably the closest to trying to adhere to all of the "acronyms" they ongoingly utilize in any and all conversations about these homes. Oh, let's not forget the sensationalized news coverage the Courier-Post has provided..........(perhaps Ms. Grzyboski isn't being given the whole story either........)

SUGGESTION/THOUGHT????? --- one unified meeting with Brookfield, CH Estates, CHERRY HILL "authorities", Assemblypeople and DCF/State -- similar ground rules which existed for the two real meetings that did occur (CH Estates @ library; Brookfield @ NJ Mentor/Mt. Laurel).......

BETTER YET -- put it all in writing and certified mail to all residents of Brookfield and CH Estates -- not two separate letters either but one collective, all encompassing letter to state EXACTLY what is going on and where things are........

You would think if they really wanted to make this work toward the benefit of the children they are trying to care for, they would put this olive branch to those most affected and show an act of good faith......
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PostSubject: Follow-up   Tue Oct 09, 2007 5:05 am

We need to schedule a neighborhood meeting to accomplish several things.
1) We need to as a group put together the letter to the AG's office. I believe this is the only way to stop the prevarifications coming out of the CH Mayors office.

2) Establish the next steps

3) Get a group understanding with Cherry Hill Estates to go forward as a joined group, instead of 2 individuals.

I actually fed more info to our friend at the Courier Post, however she edited me considerably.

Lets all get together asap.
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