Committee Meeting


of



STATE LEASING AND SPACE UTILIZATION COMMITTEE







LOCATION:

Committee Room 12

State House Annex

Trenton, New Jersey

DATE:

March 20, 2003

10:00 a.m.


 

MEMBERS OF COMMITTEE PRESENT:

 

 

 

Assemblywoman Nellie Pou, Chairwoman

Senator Joseph Suliga

Robert Smartt

(Representing John E. McCormac)

 



ALSO PRESENT: 

 

John A. MacCalus                              

Office of Legislative Services       
Co
mmittee Aide

Andrew Hendry

Assembly Majority

Committee Aide        

 

 

Linda Bilec                                                                                                                            2

Deputy Attorney General

New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety

 

Steven M. Sutkin                                                                                                                   3

Deputy Director

Contract Administration

Division of Property Management and Construction

New Jersey Department of the Treasury

 

Robert LaBate                                                                                                                        7

Manager

Lease Negotiations

Division of Property Management and Construction

New Jersey Departament of the Treasury

 

Ronald S. Tuminski                                                                                                               7

Assistant Commissioner

Management and Budget

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

 

lmb: 1-25

 

 

 

 


                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN NELLIE POU (Chairwoman): Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. We’re now ready to begin our meeting. Thank you for your patience.

                  John, can you please call -- do the roll call?

                  MR. MacCALUS (Committee Aide): The roll call for the State Leasing and Space Utilization Committee meeting of March 20, 2003.

                  Chairwoman Pou.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Here.

                  MR. MacCALUS: Senator Suliga.

                  SENATOR SULIGA: Here.

                  MR. MacCALUS: Deputy Treasurer Smartt.

                  DEPUTY TREASURER SMARTT: Here.

                  MR. MacCALUS: We have a quorum.

                  The notice of this meeting of the State Leasing and Space Utilization Committee was provided to the Secretary of State, The Courier Post, The Star-Ledger, the Trenton Times, and the State House Press on March 17, 2003, in accordance with N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 to 10:4-21, known as the Open Public Meeting Act.

                  We may proceed.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Thank you.

                  Motion to approve the transcript of November 18, 2002. Can I have a motion to approve the transcript from the last meeting, please?

                  DEPUTY TREASURER SMARTT: So moved.

                  SENATOR SULIGA: I’ll second, but I’m not voting.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Motion has been moved and seconded.

                  Roll call?

                  MR. MacCALUS: Roll call.

                  Chairwoman Pou.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Yes.

                  MR. MacCALUS: Senator Suliga.

                  SENATOR SULIGA: Abstain.

                  MR. MacCALUS: Abstain?

                  SENATOR SULIGA: Yes. Only because I wasn’t here for the majority of the meeting.

                  MR. MacCALUS: Okay.

                  And Deputy Treasurer Smartt.

                  DEPUTY TREASURER SMARTT: Yes.

L I N D A B I L E C: Excuse me. It has to be unanimous, otherwise they’re not passed.

                  MR. MacCALUS: I’m sorry.

                  MS. BILEC: Every vote of this Committee has to be unanimous, or it is not passed.

                  SENATOR SULIGA: Okay. So we don’t approve the minutes.

                  I can’t vote for something that I wasn’t here for. I’m very strict on that.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: We understand that.

                  SENATOR SULIGA: That’s fine. So the minutes don’t get approved. It’s not like--

                  MS. BILEC: Okay.

                  SENATOR SULIGA: We have to change those rules. Everything has to be-- Who made those rules? I guess we did. (laughter)

                  MS. BILEC: The Legislature?

                  SENATOR SULIGA: Yes. We’ve got to change that.

                  MS. BILEC: That’s actually statutory. The Legislature made it on every-- It’s global, everything. It has to be unanimous, or it doesn’t pass.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Right. We understand that.

                  Thank you for your comments.

                  I believe that that question was asked by Senator Suliga the last time, and we were given a clarification on that. We understand that, but the Senator strongly feels that because he wasn’t here -- and I understand that -- he can’t vote for it.

                  So we’re just going to move on to the next item on the agenda. And we’ll begin with the agenda-- We’re going to begin with the lease agreement No. 3835, Department of Treasury.

S T E V E N M. S U T K I N: Yes.

                  Thank you, Chairwoman.

                  Unless there’s any questions before, we’ll go right to the agenda, which has eight items that we’re requesting approval on.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Are you requesting approval on all of them as a group, is that what you’re looking to do?

                  MR. SUTKIN: If that’s your preference, I can do that, or we can go through each one.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: No. I’d like to do-- Well, let me think about this. Are there any questions--

                  I have an exception and a question on Item No. 8, so we’re going to remove that--

                  MR. SUTKIN: Okay.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: --from the overall approval of all the agreements -- from agreement that is in our tab book, from one through seven. However, and I’ll name the NPL numbers in a moment. But I do want to give the other members of the Committee an opportunity -- to ask them if they have any questions on any particular item, other than the one that I’ve mentioned.

                  SENATOR SULIGA: Yes.

                  Thank you, Madam Chairwoman.

                  The only one is, the Treasurer had called me on a lease for Edison -- the college.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Right.

                  MR. SUTKIN: Yes.

                  SENATOR SULIGA: And can you explain that to me? Supposedly, when-- I had a very brief conversation with him, and maybe the Deputy Treasurer can let us know. I had a very brief conversation with the Treasurer, and he says that it is a high lease, but it’s necessary. Can you explain that to me?

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: It’s not on today’s agenda.

                  SENATOR SULIGA: Oh, it’s not on today. Okay, fine. If it’s not on today, I’m just-- That’s fine. Okay. Then you don’t have to explain it to me. It’s not on. Okay. It’s easy enough.

                  What’s that?

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Unless you want it, but--

                  SENATOR SULIGA: No. No. It’s not on, it’s fine.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Okay.

                  SENATOR SULIGA: We trust that you guys are doing the right thing out there.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Mr. Smartt, do you have any questions? (no response)

                  Okay. Then in that case, what I’m going to do is, I’m going to ask for a discussion. And we’re going to move on NPL Nos. 3835, 4241, 4370, 2601, 4266, 4298, 4505. We’ll move on those seven items, and we’ll leave the remaining one for further discussion.

                  May I have a motion?

                  SENATOR SULIGA: So moved.

                  DEPUTY TREASURER SMARTT: Second.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Okay. The motion has been moved and seconded.

                  Roll call.

                  MR. MacCALUS: Okay, roll call.

                  To approve, as recommended, let’s see, NPL Nos. 3835, 4241, 4370, 2601, 4266, 4298, and 4505.

                  Chairwoman Pou.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Yes.

                  MR. MacCALUS: Senator Suliga.

                  SENATOR SULIGA: Yes.

                  MR. MacCALUS: And Deputy Treasurer Smartt.

                  DEPUTY TREASURER SMARTT: Yes.

                  MR. MacCALUS: Okay. All approved.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Thank you.

                  Now, if we can have a discussion on agreement NPL No. 4506.

                  Mr. Sutkin.

                  MR. SUTKIN: Yes.

                  Just to provide you with a little bit of background. If you recall at our last meeting, the Committee approved NPL No. 4504, which approved a new facility for DEP -- and that was following a competitive selection process -- and the award and recommendation to an entity that was on Eagle Rock Road. Subsequently, when we were-- After the approval, we were ironing out the details, and the proposed leasor was unable to provide the facility. We went back and forth. Obviously, we weren’t happy. You go through a lot of work to get to that point.

                  We asked the Committee; we used up the Committee’s time to look at the request. And then, at the point where the landlord is not able to provide the space, it causes us problems, everybody problems.

                  We looked into the idea of considering debarring the perspective landlord. We looked over the facts, and there was some issues where it really wasn’t -- they were outside of his control. The debarment is really a death penalty for a vendor. We didn’t pursue that route. So now we pursued an alternative route, because the Department of Environmental Protection wants alternative space for their programs, as is described in your package.

                  We sent out our lease negotiators, and they went out and canvassed appropriate areas to find suitable space that, I believe, is at a cost savings, even from the space that we’re in now, where we’re at a month-to-month lease on the two different locations. We believe we found suitable space, that it’s appropriate for the programmatic needs of the Department of Environmental Protection. I will defer to them to talk about their programmatic needs. I understand there’s going to be some discussion about that. We come to the Committee with our recommendation in that regard. It’s a space that’s suitable. The square footage is suitable, and the rate is more cost-effective than the other ones under consideration.

                  And in addition, it is an interim space. For two years, Bob?

R O B E R T L a B A T E: For two years.

                  MR. SUTKIN: It’s a two-year space.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: I would like to ask your representative from the DEP if he can come forward and just give us some further insight -- information in terms of some of the issues and discussions that has ensued on the location right now, and what are those areas that are being worked upon and are areas of concern that’s been raised.

A S S T. C O M M I S S I O N E R R O N A L D S. T U M I N S K I: Good morning, Madam Chair and members of the Committee.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Good morning.

                  ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER TUMINSKI: My name is Ronald Tuminski. I am the Assistant Commissioner for Management and Budget at the Department of Environmental Protection. I want to thank you for the opportunity to make a few comments on the Department’s necessity, and our recommendation, to request to the Committee to go forward with this space consolidation.

                  I might mention, at the outset, that we have been trying to pursue a satisfactory resolution of this space since June of 1996. There have been a series of events, over that time, that have led us to the position we are still in, with having various staff -- mainly site remediation inspection staff -- housed in two different locations, namely in a West Orange facility and a Parsippany facility.

                  We, currently, in the West Orange facility, have 44 employees. Thirty-five of those employees are in site remediation. They’re in the site field operations that oversee cleanups of brownfields, emergencies, etc., and there’s 10, specifically, that have to do with emergency response. There are, also, nine field inspectors for air that are in the West Orange facility.

                  I do have a-- I think it would be illustrative for the Committee if I could pass out some pictures of the type of space that these employees are currently in. At the same time, we also have, right now, 67 individuals housed in facilities in Parsippany -- 18 of those are air, 13 are hazardous and solid waste, and 36 are in the water program.

                  Our initiative to get these people consolidated into one space is very important. First of all, we’re trying to look for economies and efficiencies in the operations. When we embarked upon trying to consolidate these individuals, we laid out a number of measures and savings that could be accrued operationally by doing so, and that included such things that we’ve already implemented, such as reducing the number of management that oversee these programs, by eliminating positions in air and water that were management positions. We’re looking at the elimination, duplication of facilities and equipment. We’re looking for staff to share certain things such as copiers and fax machines. We’re also looking for the elimination of the substandard conditions, the locations, such as the ones you see in front of you. And we’re also trying to deal with security issues, especially on our Site Remediation Program that has to house not only sampling and special types of monitoring equipment that needs to be more safely stored, but also our vehicles that need to be stored in a secure manner.

                  Back in the beginning of this administration, Commissioner Campbell, on March 8, toured this facility -- these two facilities. And, basically, upon touring those two facilities, wrote to Treasurer McCormac and indicated that he is really abhorred at the conditions and thought that the consolidation of these field offices would not only result in better savings, but certainly he felt that the employees of the department deserve much better space than they’re in.

                  We have been working with the programs, the assistant commissioner for enforcement, as well as the assistant commissioner for site remediation, in planning this move. We, also, are aware of the fact that some of the union representatives raised a number of issues on this move. Some of those issues had to do with the inadequate space for employees. We have talked to the union representatives. We are certainly willing to work with the union representatives, as we always have, on trying to ameliorate any concerns that they may have.

                  When we submitted the lease and the layout of the space, we did do it in the constraints of the standards set by Treasury. So we are not, in a sense, short changing the employees. We’re taking into account that there are professionals that are in the office every day. There are inspectors that are out in the field three days a week, and then come back in and work in the office and input their data and their enforcement reports into our new enforcement system, which is called the Environmental Information System.

                  So that -- we are aware of the union concerns, and we are very willing, and I think we have been able to and will be able to resolve any of their concerns on this particular space, especially when it comes to such items as indoor smoking versus a nonsmoking office environment. We did send to Treasury our concerns that we want the landlord at this particular facility to do the necessary upgrades -- cleaning and checking of the heating and ventilation systems. We are also looking at what will happen to enforcement in these field offices.

                  At the same time, we are very mindful of the need within our own budget to live within the budget constraints that we have. This Commissioner and this administration has made a concerted effort to enhance the enforcement efforts of this department. We did, through the budget process and even into 2004, make a concerted effort that that’s where we were going to backfill positions. And we’ve accommodated those positions in our layout and our floor plan, as well as to give these people not only decent work space, as any State employee certainly is entitled to, but also to take advantage of economies and efficiencies in a consolidated office environment.

                  I think this is a very positive move for the Department, and I respectfully request that the Committee consider approving this request.

                  Thank you.

                  If there are any questions, I’d be glad to answer them.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Senator Suliga.

                  SENATOR SULIGA: Thank you, Madam Chairwoman.

                  I’m looking at these pictures. First of all, there’s a few things. Obviously, the space that exists needs new carpeting, and probably there’s leaks in the ceiling. But it doesn’t seem to be a space issue. I’m looking -- very sloppy workers. I mean, I can’t believe that you would give me these pictures. This is just work space where people aren’t putting papers back and files back. I mean, this is ridiculous. You put a filing cabinet, and you put all this stuff in there. I mean, this--

                  I’m looking at this. This space looks adequate. There’s a lot of room here, it seems, from the pictures, and there’s no doubt the carpeting needs to be replaced. That’s a serious issue. Again, this has nothing to do with space. These are wires that aren’t put right in the office, that anybody takes about a half an hour and organizes the wires properly.

                  Here it’s just a table with a bunch of papers on it. Has nothing to do with a space issue.

                  Here is an office that somebody just threw everything on the desk, that again, a filing cabinet would handle. So the case hasn’t been made to me that you need different space. It’s just that, utilize the space you have more efficiently and put some new carpeting in the place.

                  ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER TUMINSKI: If I might respond to you?

                  SENATOR SULIGA: You may respond.

                  ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER TUMINSKI: Yes. I think part of it stems from the fact that, at the current space, there is not sufficient accommodations for files. We have, in the case of the consolidated office, consolidated all the files into one location. And a lot of these individuals deal with case managers and sites, and they often have to deal with drawings, ongoing cases where the public or companies will call into them. So they have to keep them handy, the files. And so I think it’s a matter of retrieval and a matter of being able to store them in a proper way.

                  The current locations were not built-- Also, when we started to install the new information systems, over the past two years, the current locations were not set up in order for us to have the switches necessary and the wiring installed in the proper manner in order to-- And that’s why you see some wires running above, hanging from ceilings. The consolidated space will allow us to put in one closet with one communications and to have the wiring installed in the proper manner through modular furniture. This modular furniture that’s in these two offices, also, is, basically, just patched together from surplus that we had back in the 1980s. It’s not state-of-the-art modular. The work space itself, in terms of the setup, is drastically different nowadays than it was back in the 1980s when we bought this modular furniture. When the union talks about noise, there literally is no baffling in these work stations.                   So, to some extent, I would agree with you. On the other hand, I think that there are a lot of conditions that contribute to the situation and what you see in those pictures.

                  SENATOR SULIGA: Well, I have to disagree with you there. There’s adequate space here to put filing cabinets, that I see. And again, this is-- When you tell me it’s plans -- these are boxes sitting on the floor. Please, don’t insult my intelligence. These pictures are not plans sitting ready to go. That’s why you have filing cabinets. That’s why you have file drawers in your desk, to work with active files. That’s where they belong, not on the floor, sitting there. There’s adequate space here to put filing cabinets, adequate.

                  You gave the pictures. So you’re trying to make the case. So I’m looking at these pictures and say you can put a row of filing cabinets right there as a natural buffer for work stations. Just because it was 1980 doesn’t mean it’s not adequate for the needs. We don’t have to have the biggest and best all the time, especially now. So, I don’t think you made your case myself, and I won’t be supporting it at this time.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Deputy Treasurer, do you have any--

                  I have a couple of questions, and then I would like to invite any other person who is prepared to make any comments, here today, with regards to this matter before we actually go ahead and cast a vote.

                  I’m sorry, you were discussing with regards to the consolidated space. The consolidated space is intended to merge how many people together from the two different locations? How many are currently there, let me ask that first?

                  ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER TUMINSKI: There’s 44 in the West Orange facility right now, and there’s 67 spots allocated in Parsippany. We’re looking, I believe, at 111 work stations.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Okay. The pictures that you showed us allows for space, currently, for how many people?

                  ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER TUMINSKI: That particular site had 44. I think there’s 44 individuals located at that particular site.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: And this site is where you’re recommending that the new locations be situated at, or is there another site that we’re talking about?

                  ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER TUMINSKI: No. It’s a different consolidated location all together.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Okay. That other site currently accommodates how many people? Are we currently using it?

                  ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER TUMINSKI: No. No.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: No. How many people does it have the capacity for?

                  ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER TUMINSKI: We’re looking to accommodate 111 individuals at this site.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: And does this space allow for 111 people, that’s what I’m asking?

                  ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER TUMINSKI: Yes. Yes, it does.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: And that’s based on your assessment of -- what type of square footage are we talking about per employee space, office space?

                  ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER TUMINSKI: It varies by the type of employee. Inspectors, I believe, have six-by-eight office space. Those are inspectors who are in the field a minimum of three days a week. Supervisors have eight-by-twelve space. And professionals, I believe, that are in the office full time, have eight-by-eight. I believe those are the right numbers.

                  MR. LaBATE: I believe I can answer those questions.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Please.

                  MR. LaBATE: My name is Bob LaBate. I’m with Property Management.

                  On the proposed site at 7 Ridgedale, the average space per employee is 237-square feet. The average space at West Orange right now is 247, and in -- I believe the SPR was approved at an average at 248. So we’re below what the average at the current locations are.

                  I think, overall, we’re dropping about 1,000-square feet and $40,000 in annual costs by relocating them to the two-year interim lease, as opposed to the two locations we’re at.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: I understand, and I’m all for the cost savings. I’m just also trying to look at whether or not -- the change that we’re doing, are we indeed going to provide-- And I imagine you’ve thought about all of this and you’re prepared to speak with regards to the type of space that you’re looking to recommend.

                  My question comes from-- Everything that you’ve described, in terms of what you’re not able to provide here, as per what the photos show, the space areas for -- per employees -- that you’ve indicated in the new location-- Does it entitle you to provide the kind of equipment, space, and office furniture that will allow for each employee to have the adequate space needed for them to perform their job?

                  MR. LaBATE: Yes.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: And that’s based on the proper-- I’m only going on the basis of your presentation and the fact of the photos here-- That will allow for the use of the file cabinets, office desks -- all of the things that you’ve described that, currently, you’re deficient in, that you’re now looking to make available to this new location?

                  ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER TUMINSKI: Yes.

                  MR. LaBATE: There are space standards for each particular type of employee that we use whenever we’re looking for space for any agency. A professional work station is a 64-square-foot work station. A supervisor, maybe 100-square foot. So all the offices, all the cubicles are laid out in this particular floor plan based on those standards that we use for all State employees.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Okay. Was there any reason--

                  MR. LaBATE: Does that answer it, or come closer to--

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Well, you’re in a better position to tell us whether or not-- I mean, I’ve never seen the location, so I really couldn’t give you an opinion one way or the other. We’re accepting the representation that’s being made here today, by each of you, that this location that you’re recommending, is, indeed, supposed to provide with the type of space needed in order for each of the staff to do their work. My concern comes in that we have received information and concerns by some of the employees that the location may have some -- there may be some inadequacies. And one of those inadequacies could be the actual space location for each of -- the office, the way the setup is currently being recommended.

                  And, please, elaborate on that if you wish. But it also, at the same time, brings me to my next question -- and you can do this all at one time, if you can. Why were we not considering remaining in the same location and looking to upgrade that location where one of the two sites may have been the appropriate location that will allow you to retrofit all of the new employees, not new, but the merger, the consolidation that you’re talking about?

                  MR. LaBATE: From our standpoint, we’ve looked at all the options that we had, and this turned out to be the most cost-effective way to bring all the people together in a timely manner, at least on an interim basis, for a two-year basis, and better space than what both units are in at this point. So it’s upgrading the spaces, actually, with the efficiencies and the cost and square footages. And programmatically, I guess, that’s where the agency can speak best. It’s just a matter of bringing them together and having them operate under one roof for the emergency management response teams.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Okay. Is the Ridgedale Avenue site the new location?

                  MR. LaBATE: Yes.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Okay. The Metro site, I believe -- the MFO Metro site?

                  MR. LaBATE: Parsippany, the Route 46.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Okay. Was that space ever considered for permanent use?

                  MR. LaBATE: Yes. Actually, in a previous procurement attempt, we came forward with a recommendation, I’d say, about three or four years ago. In developing the plans for that one, there became some issues about completing the projects, some staging, and phasing plans of that particular project, basically, dislocating the agency during construction, because we would have had to move the people out of the site, while the construction went on in the site, to accommodate the expansion.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: But, I guess, the question would be then, wouldn’t it not have been just as -- I’m speaking cost-effectiveness here -- would it not have been the same cost, or less cost, to relocate half of the employees than it would be to relocate all 111 employees on more than one occasion? So, if you had the ability to move 23 staff members, let’s say, twice, it’s certainly a lot less expensive to do 23 employees than it is to do 111 employees. So I’m trying to understand the rationale of not having considered keeping the Parsippany site, looking for ways of upgrading that, providing that with -- bringing it up to par with the level of what it needed to be, and considering moving all of -- doing your consolidation within that facility there.

                  MR. LaBATE: My recollection of that particular project was that -- and again, I have to look -- I can get the figures and be more accurate. But as I remember it, I think it was, like, a couple of hundred thousand dollars more expensive than what this particular recommendation is at this point. It was like in the $650,000- to $700,000-a-year range, I believe.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: For what? For the operational costs?

                  MR. LaBATE: For putting the whole requirement at the Parsippany site, at the Route 46.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: And that was an ongoing cost, or was that a one-time cost for bringing it up to par to--

                  MR. LaBATE: That would have been the new lease cost. And again--

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Oh, is that-- Okay.

                  Are you saying that it would be $100,000 more each year than the new site?

                  MR. LaBATE: The new lease at the Route 46 site would have been about $150,000 to $200,000 more per year, over a 10-year lease term, than what the current two sites were. That’s why this one-- The real estate market has changed an awful lot in the past few years, which really has given us a lot of opportunities to look for -- especially up in that area, there are a lot of -- there’s a lot of space available and a lot of people willing to deal with us, more than what they were at that particular point.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Sure.

                  Was there any new arrangements or discussion with the current site? I know you mentioned, a couple of years ago, there had been some discussion. Was there any attempt to have recent discussion with the current site that may have, as a result of the changes of the market, may have allowed for new negotiations?

                  MR. LaBATE: Actually, we did receive a proposal from the current site the other day. My quick glance of it, again, before, was that, actually, that is significantly higher than what the Ridgedale Avenue proposal is.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Okay. All right.

                  MR. LaBATE: As it stood at that point, without further negotiations.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: I see. Okay. All right.

                  I appreciate your responses to the question.

                  MR. LaBATE: I hope I answered them somewhat, at least.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Is there anyone else in the audience that wishes to speak before we take a vote? (no response)

                  Okay. Seeing no one, are there any other questions?

                  Roll call, please, John?

                  Oh, I’m sorry. A motion.

                  Can I have a motion to move lease agreement NPL No. 4506?

                  DEPUTY TREASURER SMARTT: So moved.

                  SENATOR SULIGA: Second.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: The motion has been moved and seconded.

                  Roll call?

                  MR. MacCALUS: Let’s see, a motion to approve, as recommended, Lease No. 4506.

                  Chairwoman Pou.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Yes.

                  MR. MacCALUS: Senator Suliga.

                  SENATOR SULIGA: No.

                  MR. MacCALUS: Deputy Treasurer Smartt.

                  DEPUTY TREASURER SMARTT: Yes.

                  MR. MacCALUS: Motion has failed.

                  If I may?

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Yes.

                  MR. MacCALUS: At the last meeting, Senator Suliga had asked for-- Mr. McLaughlin was going to have some analysis done -- a 10-year analysis of what we spent on leases. Has that been prepared yet?

                  MR. SUTKIN: Yes, it has.

                  DEPUTY TREASURER SMARTT: We’ll share it with the Committee, yes.

                  SENATOR SULIGA: Oh, that would be nice.

                  DEPUTY TREASURER SMARTT: Okay.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Did you want a time frame on that?

                  SENATOR SULIGA: They said they have it now, so there’s no time frame needed, if they have it now.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Oh, you have it now? Okay.

                  SENATOR SULIGA: Let me ask you a question. If I made the request, why didn’t it come to me? Why did it go to the Treasurer’s Office?

                  MR. SUTKIN: My apologies for that.

                  SENATOR SULIGA: We are a separate branch of government.

                  MR. SUTKIN: I appreciate that.

                  SENATOR SULIGA: Thank you.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: The analysis that we’ve just been handed, that has just been handed out--

                  Deputy Treasurer, since you’ve responded to Senator Suliga, is this a one-page report that you’re referring to?

                  DEPUTY TREASURER SMARTT: Yes.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Okay.

                  Thank you.

                  MR. MacCALUS: Our next item on your agenda is to discuss the Committee meeting schedule.

                  MR. SUTKIN: If there’s any opinion that the Committee would like us to consider -- about when you feel it appropriate, maybe on a bi-monthly basis, or depending on the agenda-- Is there any opinion before we come forward the next time?

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: What I’d like to recommend is that -- in light of the vote that was just cast with regards to this particular agreement, and since it has failed -- it might be appropriate for the Committee to come back to discuss what other kind of alternative arrangement or further discussion has ensued to allow for this matter to be resolved. Obviously, it’s a pending matter, a matter that needs to be taken care of. So we’re going to need to address that.

                  So that being the case, how much time do you feel it would be necessary for you to come back and address some of the concerns that have been raised here today, and come up with another agreement?

                  MR. SUTKIN: Well, we could come forward, I guess, at the end of next month, at the end of April, if that’s suitable. But what I’d like is, maybe, some guidance, because I’m trying to get an idea of what the concerns are.

                  SENATOR SULIGA: Well, let me sit down-- I’m going to sit down with the Department over the next few weeks and discuss some issues. I have some general issues, not only with the space, but just some general issues I want to discuss. And then we might be able to come back in a couple of weeks.

                  MR. SUTKIN: Okay.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Okay. What I’m going to, then, recommend is that, since the Senator has availed himself to meet with you on addressing his questions and his concerns, we’ll table this for the next two months -- the month of May. Would the month of May give you enough time, or would you need to come back before that?

                  MR. SUTKIN: I imagine, in the interim, we’ll get some information.

                  SENATOR SULIGA: Madam Chairwoman, it’s not so much, I think, with their department. I want to sit down with DEP and discuss some issues, which I’m doing in the future, and see if we can resolve those. And maybe we can resolve this issue. So it’s more a departmental issue than, necessarily, their issue.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Okay.

                  SENATOR SULIGA: I can be available in April. I don’t know if it’s going to be resolved by April, but I’m here for the budgets’ cycles. I’m here almost twice a week for the next two months. So the timing of the meeting isn’t a problem for me. It may be a problem for you, but it’s not a problem for me.

                  DEPUTY TREASURER SMARTT: Madam Chair, could I suggest that we use April as a target, at least, and to give us a deadline to work against so we can resolve it in a timely manner, given the Senator’s discussion with DEP.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Okay. That’s fine with me. I’m just trying to come up with the time, because, obviously, I’m not ignoring the concerns of the Senator. But, saying, in addition to that, this issue needs to be resolved in terms of DEP and that lease agreement. So I’d like to make sure that we address whatever those concerns and areas are so that we can move forward. Whether that includes everything or otherwise, I’d like to make sure that we move forward with this one, and hopefully, those questions and areas of concern will be addressed before then.

                  Because of that, then what we’ll do is, we’ll schedule a meeting for the end of April, sometime towards the end of April, and we’ll have this item back on the agenda.

                  MR. SUTKIN: Okay.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Motion to adjourn?

                  DEPUTY TREASURER SMARTT: So moved.

                  SENATOR SULIGA: Just a comment. Make no mistake that I sit on this Committee, I’m not going to be a rubber stamp at all. Don’t assume the votes are always there. And again, I’ll always exercise my right to vote either yes or no, or there’s no meaning to having the Committee. If it’s always assumed yes, we might as well not meet here.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: I appreciate that comment, Senator. I know you’re not assuming that I’m rubber stamping anything here--

                  SENATOR SULIGA: It was directed at the Chair. It was not directed at the Chair.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: --but that’s fine.

                  I appreciate your comment. I’m sure it’s well-received by all those present here today, and understood.

                  Motion-- Did we do our motion?

                  MR. MacCALUS: We have a motion which has been made by Deputy Treasurer Smartt. We need a second on the motion.

                  SENATOR SULIGA: I’m sorry. What’s the motion?

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: To adjourn.

                  SENATOR SULIGA: To adjourn. Sure, I’ll second that.

                  MR. MacCALUS: Okay. All in favor? (affirmative responses)

                  Okay. Motion carried.

                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN POU: Thank you very much.

 

(MEETING CONCLUDED)