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Kearny Water Meter Replacements


JohnPinho
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There was an interesting article in the Observer this week from Celeste Regal about the battle over who should get the contract to replace water meters in Kearny.

Over five years ago, I addressed the Mayor and Council on this issue and brought to their attention the fact that United Water was not complying with their Contract. I recently brought this up again in the Kuehne Chemical topic on this board. http://forums.kearnyontheweb.com/index.php...ost&p=97718

I believe that there is no need to replace the water meters in the majority of the town and awarding a contract of this nature is wasteful and additional burden on taxpayers. Here is my solution to the current problem facing Kearny with respect to water meters.

1. United Water should be required to comply with its original contract and read the meters or return the money they were paid to do so.

2. Town Employees (Finance/Treasurer) should take back the billing operation saving the town money.

3. Residents who want an actual reading could do their own meter read and send in a prepaid post card to the Water Department. Town Water Department employees would then do actual readings at least once a year to keep residents honest. If the resident's "actual read" is way off, the town could do an actual read on a particular home. Since a Water account bill is a lien against the property, the Town is secure in getting its payment even if the house is sold. A final water reading will insure that the bill is eventually paid in full.

4. Town Water Employees could start the process of installing remote readers similar to the ones installed in Harrison and the City of Newark. They are a lot cheaper and proven technology.

5. Town Water Employees would initially concentrate in replacing meters and installing remotes on larger volume customers first. That is where the potential large income for the Water Department exists not in residential water accounts.

Over five years ago, I brought this issue up to Mayor Alberto Santos and Councilwoman Laura Cifelli-Pettigrew (who was the Water Department Chairperson). I am glad they have gotten around to addressing it now. But their approach is too expensive and not thinking out of the box.

My opinion at the time was that United Water was not reading the meter in violation of their contract. Why would you reward them with this contract?

The bottom line: Reject all bids. Read the meters manually. Implement the above. Save Kearny taxpayers some tax dollars.

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Guest Fact Checker
I believe that there is no need to replace the water meters in the majority of the town and awarding a contract of this nature is wasteful and additional burden on taxpayers.

The bottom line: Reject all bids. Read the meters manually. Implement the above. Save Kearny taxpayers some tax dollars.

Verizon no longer supports telephone-read meters. Not a one.

Not replace them?? The number of estimated reads will go through the roof.

Manual reads?? 8,000 meters, 4 times a year and 1,000 meters, 12 times a year = 44,000 manual reads a year. You'll need a small army of about 10 full-time meter readers! Salary and benefits would be $700,000 in the first year and in a couple of years this would be a one million dollar annual cost for Kearny. Every year. Water rates would go through the roof.

Your idea holds no water, not a drop.

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Verizon no longer supports telephone-read meters. Not a one.

Not replace them?? The number of estimated reads will go through the roof.

Manual reads?? 8,000 meters, 4 times a year and 1,000 meters, 12 times a year = 44,000 manual reads a year. You'll need a small army of about 10 full-time meter readers! Salary and benefits would be $700,000 in the first year and in a couple of years this would be a one million dollar annual cost for Kearny. Every year. Water rates would go through the roof.

Your idea holds no water, not a drop.

Over five years ago, Mayor Santos & the Council awarded an initial contract for United Water to physically read the meters. Let me make that clear: United Water was suppose to go into homes and physically read the meters.

Your statement "Verizon no longer supports telephone-read meters. Not a one." is misleading. Reading the meters over the telephone lines didn't work almost from day one. From what I understood, the meter would call out to a phone number and report the current meter consumption number. The phone lines would inevitably be disconnected or not work properly. Kearny paid big bucks to have United Water physically read the meters and they never did. The Mayor and Council are awarding their subsidiary with a new contract to replace meters. Why?

Using your numbers, if there are 8000 meters. You need to physically read the meter periodically maybe once a year. If you take 8000 meters and divide that by 260 days (52 weeks times 5 days), you need to read 30.76 (or 31) meters per day to cover the whole town. That would mean that every resident would have an actual meter read once a year to catch up on any over or underestimated bill. You don't need to hire any new employees to do the above. Being the town's meter read is great job security.

Meters aren't read every month. Your example is again misleading.

My ideas expressed above hold a lot of water. My ideas aren't new.

Tell me why the Mayor doesn't support a cheaper time tested remote read meter that can be installed over a period of years by town employees?

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Over five years ago, Mayor Santos & the Council awarded an initial contract for United Water to physically read the meters. Let me make that clear: United Water was suppose to go into homes and physically read the meters.

Your statement "Verizon no longer supports telephone-read meters. Not a one." is misleading. Reading the meters over the telephone lines didn't work almost from day one. From what I understood, the meter would call out to a phone number and report the current meter consumption number. The phone lines would inevitably be disconnected or not work properly. Kearny paid big bucks to have United Water physically read the meters and they never did. The Mayor and Council are awarding their subsidiary with a new contract to replace meters. Why?

Using your numbers, if there are 8000 meters. You need to physically read the meter periodically maybe once a year. If you take 8000 meters and divide that by 260 days (52 weeks times 5 days), you need to read 30.76 (or 31) meters per day to cover the whole town. That would mean that every resident would have an actual meter read once a year to catch up on any over or underestimated bill. You don't need to hire any new employees to do the above. Being the town's meter read is great job security.

Meters aren't read every month. Your example is again misleading.

My ideas expressed above hold a lot of water. My ideas aren't new.

Tell me why the Mayor doesn't support a cheaper time tested remote read meter that can be installed over a period of years by town employees?

That would be nice if the town would do their water meter reading in house. If they mess up you can actually go there and get it fix hopefully that day instead of call an 800 and praying that they will help you.

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Over five years ago, Mayor Santos & the Council awarded an initial contract for United Water to physically read the meters. Let me make that clear: United Water was suppose to go into homes and physically read the meters.

Wrong. The contract was to read only those meters that could not be read over the phone. Most of the meters could be read over the phone 5 years ago. It was a bid contract for only 2 years. It was rebid for another 2 years. United Water was the low bidder both times.

Your statement "Verizon no longer supports telephone-read meters. Not a one." is misleading. Reading the meters over the telephone lines didn't work almost from day one. From what I understood, the meter would call out to a phone number and report the current meter consumption number. The phone lines would inevitably be disconnected or not work properly.

Wrong. Most of the meters were being read over the phone as recently as last year. Per the Jersey Journal story, only 15% of all meters were long-term estimates. You're right that many of the meters would get disconnected, but United Water physically re-connected many of the nonfunctioning phone readers. That's why only 15% were long-term estimates. But this year Verizon declared that their phone lines could no longer be used for meter reading connections. All water bills are now estimated or based on a manual read.

The Mayor and Council are awarding their subsidiary with a new contract to replace meters. Why?

Because United Water is the lowest bidder and it's a public contract. You as a lawyer should know public bidding requirements.

Using your numbers, if there are 8000 meters. You need to physically read the meter periodically maybe once a year.

Wrong. Bills are mailed to residential homeowners quarterly. You want to send 3 estimates and 1 catch-up bill each year?? That makes estimated bills a permanent, recurring problem!

Meters aren't read every month. Your example is again misleading.

Wrong. You obviously don't know that South Kearny and the Kearny meadows industrial area are part of Kearny and that their industrial meters get monthly water meter reads.

It's 44,000 manual reads a year that would have to get done. That's a fact. My number of 10 full-time workers to do that work is a conservative estimate! Your plan would result in an annual million dollar cost within 2 years and a doubling of water rates within 5 years.

Tell me why the Mayor doesn't support a cheaper time tested remote read meter that can be installed over a period of years by town employees?

Go to a Council meeting and ask the Mayor. But let me restate the obvious: the remote read meters will be installed by United Water under the just awarded contract. The longer you drag this out (you can't be serious about "a period of years"), the longer the estimated bills countinue.

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Guest meter man
Over five years ago, Mayor Santos & the Council awarded an initial contract for United Water to physically read the meters. Let me make that clear: United Water was suppose to go into homes and physically read the meters.

Your statement "Verizon no longer supports telephone-read meters. Not a one." is misleading. Reading the meters over the telephone lines didn't work almost from day one. From what I understood, the meter would call out to a phone number and report the current meter consumption number. The phone lines would inevitably be disconnected or not work properly. Kearny paid big bucks to have United Water physically read the meters and they never did. The Mayor and Council are awarding their subsidiary with a new contract to replace meters. Why?

Using your numbers, if there are 8000 meters. You need to physically read the meter periodically maybe once a year. If you take 8000 meters and divide that by 260 days (52 weeks times 5 days), you need to read 30.76 (or 31) meters per day to cover the whole town. That would mean that every resident would have an actual meter read once a year to catch up on any over or underestimated bill. You don't need to hire any new employees to do the above. Being the town's meter read is great job security.

Meters aren't read every month. Your example is again misleading.

My ideas expressed above hold a lot of water. My ideas aren't new.

Tell me why the Mayor doesn't support a cheaper time tested remote read meter that can be installed over a period of years by town employees?

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Wrong. The contract was to read only those meters that could not be read over the phone. Most of the meters could be read over the phone 5 years ago. It was a bid contract for only 2 years. It was rebid for another 2 years. United Water was the low bidder both times.

I don't believe this is true. If it is true the bid documents did not reveal this fact. We overpaid United Water if this is the case, my understanding was that they were going to do physical reads of the meters.

Wrong. Most of the meters were being read over the phone as recently as last year. Per the Jersey Journal story, only 15% of all meters were long-term estimates. You're right that many of the meters would get disconnected, but United Water physically re-connected many of the nonfunctioning phone readers. That's why only 15% were long-term estimates. But this year Verizon declared that their phone lines could no longer be used for meter reading connections. All water bills are now estimated or based on a manual read.

I know that even after I made public statements against United Water, my meter was never read. I received estimated bills up until I sold my house and a Kearny Water Department employee did a final reading. I believe that the percentage of estimated bills was much higher than 15%. But even if was 15%, United Water didn't do their job. They were paid to read every meter quarterly.

Because United Water is the lowest bidder and it's a public contract. You as a lawyer should know public bidding requirements.

New Jersey Public Bidding law has changed and allows the consideration of other criteria beyond who the lowest bidder is and therefore the Mayor & Council could reject United Water's lowest bid. They can hold a hearing and make a determination based on other facts including prior experience with the bidder. Years ago Contractors would low bid and then put in change orders which ultimately would be more expensive. The second lowest bidder has threatened a lawsuit because United Water's subsidiary is apparently not a qualified bidder.

Wrong. Bills are mailed to residential homeowners quarterly. You want to send 3 estimates and 1 catch-up bill each year?? That makes estimated bills a permanent, recurring problem!

You can still bill quarterly (an estimated bill) and then do an actual read (once a year) which would insure the person got an accurate water meter read at least once a year. The above is acceptable to most residents especially since it will save them money on their tax bill (no need to bond).

Wrong. You obviously don't know that South Kearny and the Kearny meadows industrial area are part of Kearny and that their industrial meters get monthly water meter reads.

My original post (Item #5) contemplated that larger volume users would be treated differently than lower volume (residential) users. The Mayor's meter bonding is not just for South Kearny / Industrial Area meters, it goes townwide. I believe that it is wasteful and a burden to taxpayers.

It's 44,000 manual reads a year that would have to get done. That's a fact. My number of 10 full-time workers to do that work is a conservative estimate! Your plan would result in an annual million dollar cost within 2 years and a doubling of water rates within 5 years.

Your attempting to justify the expenditure by saying we need to hire more town employees. Your numbers are simply wrong. We paid United Water over $300,000 per year to send out estimated bills. The Mayor knew that a large percentage of bills were estimated but did very little to correct the matter. Now he is rewarding United Water (its subsidiary) with a new contract. Why? The Water Department has enough employees to do the job I've outlined. See my prior posts.

Go to a Council meeting and ask the Mayor. But let me restate the obvious: the remote read meters will be installed by United Water under the just awarded contract. The longer you drag this out (you can't be serious about "a period of years"), the longer the estimated bills countinue.

I've been known to go to town meetings. It has been a while. I may take you up on the offer. We can both address the Mayor and Council and give our input. Will the Mayor and Council listen to me? They didn't over five years ago when I pointed out that United Water was estimating a large percentage of bills and not complying with their contract.

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I don't believe this is true. If it is true the bid documents did not reveal this fact. We overpaid United Water if this is the case, my understanding was that they were going to do physical reads of the meters.

You can't make up your own facts. The TERM OF CONTRACT is clearly spelled out in the bid documents. As a lawyer, you should know you couldn't bid a service contract without it!

I know that even after I made public statements against United Water, my meter was never read. I received estimated bills up until I sold my house and a Kearny Water Department employee did a final reading. I believe that the percentage of estimated bills was much higher than 15%. But even if was 15%, United Water didn't do their job. They were paid to read every meter quarterly.

Again, you can't make up your own facts. It's 15%. United Work reads and re-connects meters on a daily basis.

New Jersey Public Bidding law has changed and allows the consideration of other criteria beyond who the lowest bidder is and therefore the Mayor & Council could reject United Water's lowest bid. They can hold a hearing and make a determination based on other facts including prior experience with the bidder. Years ago Contractors would low bid and then put in change orders which ultimately would be more expensive. The second lowest bidder has threatened a lawsuit because United Water's subsidiary is apparently not a qualified bidder.

Government entitites MUST award to the lowest qualified bidder. It is a rare circumstance in which a bidder is found not qualified, short of failure to provide basic things like insurance or criminal wrongdoing or prior litigation. The law has NOT changed in any significant way. Again, you can't make up your own facts, not even legal ones!

You can still bill quarterly (an estimated bill) and then do an actual read (once a year) which would insure the person got an accurate water meter read at least once a year. The above is acceptable to most residents especially since it will save them money on their tax bill (no need to bond).

Ask anyone with a catch up bill or who has had a leak whether they want one estimated bill, much less three a year! I don't know of a single utility in America that bills that way!

My original post (Item #5) contemplated that larger volume users would be treated differently than lower volume (residential) users. The Mayor's meter bonding is not just for South Kearny / Industrial Area meters, it goes townwide. I believe that it is wasteful and a burden to taxpayers.

You said there were no monthly reads. You were wrong. You want to estimate the industrial users, who get monthly reads, 11 times a year?? You can't be serious.

Your attempting to justify the expenditure by saying we need to hire more town employees. Your numbers are simply wrong. We paid United Water over $300,000 per year to send out estimated bills. The Mayor knew that a large percentage of bills were estimated but did very little to correct the matter. Now he is rewarding United Water (its subsidiary) with a new contract. Why? The Water Department has enough employees to do the job I've outlined. See my prior posts.

If the town is going to read the existing meters, then you have to hire meter readers. That's the reality of civil service.

As to United Water, the contract was to read nonfunctioning meters, bill customers and collect water bills. With just 15% long-term estimates notwithstanding the problems with telephone meter technology, sounds like they did a good job.

As to the water department, there are 0 meter readers. There are 2 clerks. Do you think the 2 clerks can bill and collect 8,000 accounts some 44,000 times a year?

I've been known to go to town meetings. It has been a while. I may take you up on the offer. We can both address the Mayor and Council and give our input. Will the Mayor and Council listen to me? They didn't over five years ago when I pointed out that United Water was estimating a large percentage of bills and not complying with their contract.

Yes, you should go to a council meeting. Sounds like they rejected you five years ago because you were wrong, really wrong. Who's got the lowest water rates in the region? Kearny!

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You can't make up your own facts. The TERM OF CONTRACT is clearly spelled out in the bid documents. As a lawyer, you should know you couldn't bid a service contract without it!

Again, you can't make up your own facts. It's 15%. United Work reads and re-connects meters on a daily basis.

Government entitites MUST award to the lowest qualified bidder. It is a rare circumstance in which a bidder is found not qualified, short of failure to provide basic things like insurance or criminal wrongdoing or prior litigation. The law has NOT changed in any significant way. Again, you can't make up your own facts, not even legal ones!

Ask anyone with a catch up bill or who has had a leak whether they want one estimated bill, much less three a year! I don't know of a single utility in America that bills that way!

You said there were no monthly reads. You were wrong. You want to estimate the industrial users, who get monthly reads, 11 times a year?? You can't be serious.

If the town is going to read the existing meters, then you have to hire meter readers. That's the reality of civil service.

As to United Water, the contract was to read nonfunctioning meters, bill customers and collect water bills. With just 15% long-term estimates notwithstanding the problems with telephone meter technology, sounds like they did a good job.

As to the water department, there are 0 meter readers. There are 2 clerks. Do you think the 2 clerks can bill and collect 8,000 accounts some 44,000 times a year?

Yes, you should go to a council meeting. Sounds like they rejected you five years ago because you were wrong, really wrong. Who's got the lowest water rates in the region? Kearny!

John, don't waste your time with these Santos can do no wrong supporters. You are correct United Water did not do their job but the Mayor will continue to support them. United Water is Hudson County's favorite water company. The Mayor is now a Hudson County guy and he can't fire United Water.

I thought that years ago the Mayor and Council bonded to purchase new meters. What happened to that money? Was it diverted to the General Fund in violation of the law. We need Mangin asking the tough questions. Without checks and balances Mayor Santos is out of control. More bonding for meters we already bonded for. Great job Mayor.

John, practice law forget about the non-practicing lawyer we call Mayor Santos.

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John, don't waste your time with these Santos can do no wrong supporters. You are correct United Water did not do their job but the Mayor will continue to support them. United Water is Hudson County's favorite water company. The Mayor is now a Hudson County guy and he can't fire United Water.

I thought that years ago the Mayor and Council bonded to purchase new meters. What happened to that money? Was it diverted to the General Fund in violation of the law. We need Mangin asking the tough questions. Without checks and balances Mayor Santos is out of control. More bonding for meters we already bonded for. Great job Mayor.

John, practice law forget about the non-practicing lawyer we call Mayor Santos.

Looks like Pinho got embarassed by Fact Checker.

The phone meters were the ones previously bonded. Mangin was on the Town Council when that happened. So I guess your check and balance theory doesn't hold water.

Kearny has the lowest water rates in the region. The lowest! Your attacks are not about what's right or wrong -- it sounds like they're personal (and petty) against Santos.

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You can't make up your own facts. The TERM OF CONTRACT is clearly spelled out in the bid documents. As a lawyer, you should know you couldn't bid a service contract without it!

I am not making up my own facts. I am basing my statements on what I recall. When Kearny got back the water department from East Orange Water Commission, the data that was turned over was a mess. The reason for hiring United Water was to correct the data and to provide actual physical reads. It was suppose to be temporary. It became a permanent job. One in my opinion which was not done per the contract they bid on.

Again, you can't make up your own facts. It's 15%. United Work reads and re-connects meters on a daily basis.

Where did you get "United Work (sic) reads and re-connects meters on a daily basis." They never attempted to read or reconnect my meter. If you review council minutes you will see month after month, individuals getting refunds for overestimated bills. This went on for years. United Water was suppose to do physical reads not estimated billing.

Government entitites MUST award to the lowest qualified bidder. It is a rare circumstance in which a bidder is found not qualified, short of failure to provide basic things like insurance or criminal wrongdoing or prior litigation. The law has NOT changed in any significant way. Again, you can't make up your own facts, not even legal ones!

I'm glad that you now recognize that you don't have to accept the lowest bidder. The change in the law was significant and designed to secure qualified bidders and curtail underbidding of jobs.

Ask anyone with a catch up bill or who has had a leak whether they want one estimated bill, much less three a year! I don't know of a single utility in America that bills that way!

I warned Mayor Santos and the Council that United Water was estimating bills. They had five years to review which accounts were being estimated and they failed to make United Water accountable. The catch up bill problem rests squarely on the shoulders of the Mayor and Council. If you have a leak, you don't need an actual bill to tell you. Eventually your house fills up with water.

You said there were no monthly reads. You were wrong. You want to estimate the industrial users, who get monthly reads, 11 times a year?? You can't be serious.

I specifically stated that industrial users would be treated differently because they are a volume user.

If the town is going to read the existing meters, then you have to hire meter readers. That's the reality of civil service.

As to United Water, the contract was to read nonfunctioning meters, bill customers and collect water bills. With just 15% long-term estimates notwithstanding the problems with telephone meter technology, sounds like they did a good job.

As to the water department, there are 0 meter readers. There are 2 clerks. Do you think the 2 clerks can bill and collect 8,000 accounts some 44,000 times a year?

How many employees are in the water department? Saying there is 0 meter readers and 2 clerks doesn't answer the question. United Water was not hired to read "nonfunctioning" meters, they were hired to read the meters, bill customers and collect water bills. They billed customers and collected water bills but failed to read all the meters. My 5 point plan does not require you to hire one single person.

Yes, you should go to a council meeting. Sounds like they rejected you five years ago because you were wrong, really wrong. Who's got the lowest water rates in the region? Kearny!

I'll admit when I'm wrong. I wasn't wrong and for sure I was never "really wrong". I warned the Mayor and Council that United Water was estimating water bills rather than performing actual reads and little was done. Now that catch up bills were generated, residents complained, the Mayor and Council forgave bills and is bonding for new meters. Having the lowest water rates in the region doesn't mean that the town isn't being frugal with its money.

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I am not making up my own facts. I am basing my statements on what I recall. When Kearny got back the water department from East Orange Water Commission, the data that was turned over was a mess. The reason for hiring United Water was to correct the data and to provide actual physical reads. It was suppose to be temporary. It became a permanent job. One in my opinion which was not done per the contract they bid on.

I'd say your recollection is wrong but you keep making up facts repeatedly. That's deliberate to justify your faulty conclusion. You didn't think you'd be challenged on the facts. And you just made up another fact -- that the reason to hire United Water was temporary to correct the data. Why do you keep ignoring that the contract was for billing and collecting and very limited meter reading?

Where did you get "United Work (sic) reads and re-connects meters on a daily basis." They never attempted to read or reconnect my meter. If you review council minutes you will see month after month, individuals getting refunds for overestimated bills. This went on for years. United Water was suppose to do physical reads not estimated billing.

I got that at a council meeting. In fact, I remember that 5 years ago, you actually brought the notice you got from United Water (to read your meter) to a Council meeting. You complained it was handwritten. Now you blatantly change your story and say United Water never attempted to read your meter??

As to billing adjustments, every utility in the world, everyone, does credit and debit adjustments on a daily basis.

I'm glad that you now recognize that you don't have to accept the lowest bidder. The change in the law was significant and designed to secure qualified bidders and curtail underbidding of jobs.

The law has always been lowest qualified bidder! There was no significant change that would apply here! If there was, praytell, Sir Esquire, what were they? (Am I right to think that you no longer represent any public entities?)

I warned Mayor Santos and the Council that United Water was estimating bills. They had five years to review which accounts were being estimated and they failed to make United Water accountable. The catch up bill problem rests squarely on the shoulders of the Mayor and Council. If you have a leak, you don't need an actual bill to tell you. Eventually your house fills up with water.

You yourself acknowledged the phone meters don't work. The problem can't be fixed without replacing the meters. Once again, with just 15% long-term estimated bills, that sounds like United Water did a good job.

As to leaks, you're wrong. To say you'll know it when your house fills with water ignores many leaks that some homeowners don't pick up on, like a leaking toilet. If you don't think a year's worth of a leaking toilet is alot, try letting your toilet run for just one month and then come back and tell us how much more your water bill is.

I specifically stated that industrial users would be treated differently because they are a volume user.

And you didn't know (or thought that I wouldn't know) that their meters are read monthly, not quarterly.

How many employees are in the water department? Saying there is 0 meter readers and 2 clerks doesn't answer the question. United Water was not hired to read "nonfunctioning" meters, they were hired to read the meters, bill customers and collect water bills. They billed customers and collected water bills but failed to read all the meters. My 5 point plan does not require you to hire one single person.

You know how many employees there are in the water department! There are 4 guys (including the superintendent) who get in holes and fix water mains. There are 2 clerks. Zero water meter readers.

Your (hey, [sic] on myself!) delusional on not having to hire anyone under your plan. Your plan would either create a gaping deficit in the water department or literally double water rates within 2 years.

I'll admit when I'm wrong. I wasn't wrong and for sure I was never "really wrong". I warned the Mayor and Council that United Water was estimating water bills rather than performing actual reads and little was done. Now that catch up bills were generated, residents complained, the Mayor and Council forgave bills and is bonding for new meters. Having the lowest water rates in the region doesn't mean that the town isn't being frugal with its money.

I think I should correct myself: I now realize you were really, really wrong. You came to your conclusion and then created untrue and semi-true "facts" to justify your conclusion when challenged. You failed. United Water did a good job and you can't stand being wrong.

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I'd say your recollection is wrong but you keep making up facts repeatedly. That's deliberate to justify your faulty conclusion. You didn't think you'd be challenged on the facts. And you just made up another fact -- that the reason to hire United Water was temporary to correct the data. Why do you keep ignoring that the contract was for billing and collecting and very limited meter reading?

I'm not making up the facts. "The transition from East Orange Water to United Water New Jersey has been much more complicated than could have been expected. Inaccurate and incomplete billing records from East Orange have slowed the process considerably. Presently, the Kearny Water Department does not have the personnel or computer system available to take on this critical task. The Mayor and Council will be carefully evaluating the performance of United Water before the end of the current contract. Billing accuracy, customer serivce and collection effectiveness will all be reviewed. If it appears fiscally prduent to assume the responsibility of customer billing, that route would certainly be considered." -- Mayor Alberto Santos (12/4/2001)

I

got that at a council meeting. In fact, I remember that 5 years ago, you actually brought the notice you got from United Water (to read your meter) to a Council meeting. You complained it was handwritten. Now you blatantly change your story and say United Water never attempted to read your meter??

Here is what the handwritten note on half a sheet of paper with an uneven cut said said

ATTN: Current Resident

Call United Water to

establish acct with

us or Face Shutoff

1800 422 5987

refer to account# [acct number]

It said nothing about wanting to perform an actual read of my meter. Let me make it clear: There was no actual read done on my property until I sold my house.

As to billing adjustments, every utility in the world, everyone, does credit and debit adjustments on a daily basis.

On occasion PSEG does an estimated read but they make a point of getting actual reads. Harrison's water department doesn't do estimated bills as a matter of course, they read the meters with remotes on the sidewalks.

The law has always been lowest qualified bidder! There was no significant change that would apply here! If there was, praytell, Sir Esquire, what were they? (Am I right to think that you no longer represent any public entities?)

The change was significant. It allowed Town's to take back control of the bidding process.

You yourself acknowledged the phone meters don't work. The problem can't be fixed without replacing the meters. Once again, with just 15% long-term estimated bills, that sounds like United Water did a good job.

I disagree with the 15% estimate based on my own personal experience and the history of reimbursements for overbilled water.

As to leaks, you're wrong. To say you'll know it when your house fills with water ignores many leaks that some homeowners don't pick up on, like a leaking toilet. If you don't think a year's worth of a leaking toilet is alot, try letting your toilet run for just one month and then come back and tell us how much more your water bill is.

If my toilet is leaking, I hear it. If my sink is leaking, I see it. If a pipe is leaking in the wall, I will see it shortly when it soaks my wall and busts through the sheetrock.

And you didn't know (or thought that I wouldn't know) that their meters are read monthly, not quarterly.

Once again, from the onset (Item #5 above), I stated that commercial should be treated differently than residential.

You know how many employees there are in the water department! There are 4 guys (including the superintendent) who get in holes and fix water mains. There are 2 clerks. Zero water meter readers.

Do they? Always? Why did we need J.Fletcher Creamer for? What do they do when their are no repairs to be done?

Your (hey, [sic] on myself!) delusional on not having to hire anyone under your plan. Your plan would either create a gaping deficit in the water department or literally double water rates within 2 years.

You say the above because you want to justify the bonding.

I think I should correct myself: I now realize you were really, really wrong. You came to your conclusion and then created untrue and semi-true "facts" to justify your conclusion when challenged. You failed. United Water did a good job and you can't stand being wrong.

I disagree with you. I posed under my own name as a member. You're (no sic) posting unanimously as Fact Checker. Why don't you sign up as a member under your real name.

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Guest Fact Checker
I'm not making up the facts. "The transition from East Orange Water to United Water New Jersey has been much more complicated than could have been expected. Inaccurate and incomplete billing records from East Orange have slowed the process considerably. Presently, the Kearny Water Department does not have the personnel or computer system available to take on this critical task. The Mayor and Council will be carefully evaluating the performance of United Water before the end of the current contract. Billing accuracy, customer serivce and collection effectiveness will all be reviewed. If it appears fiscally prduent to assume the responsibility of customer billing, that route would certainly be considered." -- Mayor Alberto Santos (12/4/2001)

Great quote. I would say getting long-term estimates to 15% of all accounts with the telephone meter technology that you yourself said never worked is a very good job. That's what United Water did, a good job.

Here is what the handwritten note on half a sheet of paper with an uneven cut said said

ATTN: Current Resident

Call United Water to

establish acct with

us or Face Shutoff

1800 422 5987

refer to account# [acct number]

It said nothing about wanting to perform an actual read of my meter. Let me make it clear: There was no actual read done on my property until I sold my house.

Let's see. A United Water representative leaves a notice at your house that they need to get in. Your meter was inside in your house. You were receiving estimated bills. Do you think they wanted to come over for coffee (on "an uneven cut" invitation)? You just showed how United Water was in fact doing the job they were supposed to do! It also means your previous statement that United Water never attempted to read your meter is untrue.

On occasion PSEG does an estimated read but they make a point of getting actual reads. Harrison's water department doesn't do estimated bills as a matter of course, they read the meters with remotes on the sidewalks.

There you go again, making up facts. "On occasion"?? PSE&G estimated bills average about 10% each billing cycle.

Yes, that's great technology Harrison has. It's the same technology Kearny wants to install. Thank you for pointing out an example of why the capital investment in new meters must be made.

The change was significant. It allowed Town's to take back control of the bidding process.

I disagree with the 15% estimate based on my own personal experience and the history of reimbursements for overbilled water.

Again, tell us specifically the changes that make a difference here. Point out the section of the statute. (When you look, you won't find anything that would have made a difference to the Kearny meters).

So, let me get this straight, you think that your personal history of having owned one house supersedes the news story that estimates were 15% of all accounts? So we should believe the water meter world according to you and your made up extrapolation of your personal experience?

If my toilet is leaking, I hear it. If my sink is leaking, I see it. If a pipe is leaking in the wall, I will see it shortly when it soaks my wall and busts through the sheetrock.

Once again, from the onset (Item #5 above), I stated that commercial should be treated differently than residential.

On any given day, there are hundreds of undetected leaks in residential homes. Some of them, like a toilet, will run up a bill quickly.

You still can't acknowledge that you were mistaken about monthly meter reads. Re-read your own post. If industrial accounts are to be read consistently on a monthly basis, you need a meter reading crew just for those. (By the way, the water meter in an industrial facility is not a breezy walk through someone's basement.)

Do they? Always? Why did we need J.Fletcher Creamer for? What do they do when their are no repairs to be done?

You say the above because you want to justify the bonding.

First question, yes.

Second question, yes.

Third question, some water main breaks are extensive, like the Kearny Avenue break two summers ago, that require more than 4 guys and one backhoe to get fixed, that's why. (Kearny Avenue took Fletcher Creamer, one of the state's largest utility contracts, over 6 weeks to get done.)

Fourth question, there are over a 100 miles of water main in Kearny with just 4 guys. If you think there's down time, you're really, really, really mistaken.

I disagree with you. I posed under my own name as a member. You're (no sic) posting unanimously as Fact Checker. Why don't you sign up as a member under your real name.

Yes, I'm posting anonymously (sic you on 'unanimously'). If you decide to consistently post under your own name all the time, and you require that everyone who posts on this board use his or her name, then so will I. Until then, I'm abiding by the rules of this board.

And, by the way, often those who demonstrate smug intellectualism with the use of 'sic' get it wrong themselves. Stop throwing 'sic' at me because 1) you make errors like everyone else and 2) this is not a legal brief.

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Great quote. I would say getting long-term estimates to 15% of all accounts with the telephone meter technology that you yourself said never worked is a very good job. That's what United Water did, a good job.

Thanks. I knew you'd appreciate the quote from Mayor Santos. I'm surprised you did not challenge it as a making up my own facts. I disagree with your opinion that United Water did a good job. You are entitled to your opinion. Whoever reads these posts can decide for themselves.

Let's see. A United Water representative leaves a notice at your house that they need to get in. Your meter was inside in your house. You were receiving estimated bills. Do you think they wanted to come over for coffee (on "an uneven cut" invitation)? You just showed how United Water was in fact doing the job they were supposed to do! It also means your previous statement that United Water never attempted to read your meter is untrue.

United Water never left a notice at my house. They mailed me a handwritten note addressed to Current Resident. They never asked to read the meter, they simply asked to set up an account. The account was already set up. They never made another attempt to physically read my meter. I paid estimated bills until I sold the house.

There you go again, making up facts. "On occasion"?? PSE&G estimated bills average about 10% each billing cycle
.

So "on occasion" is inconsistent with 10%.

Yes, that's great technology Harrison has. It's the same technology Kearny wants to install. Thank you for pointing out an example of why the capital investment in new meters must be made.

My understanding is that Kearny wants to bond for more expensive version of a remote read. What Harrison uses is older technology which should be cheaper. It is also proven technology.

Again, tell us specifically the changes that make a difference here. Point out the section of the statute. (When you look, you won't find anything that would have made a difference to the Kearny meters).

Since the matter is being challenged, we will see if United Water is the lowest qualified bidder.

So, let me get this straight, you think that your personal history of having owned one house supersedes the news story that estimates were 15% of all accounts? So we should believe the water meter world according to you and your made up extrapolation of your personal experience?

Yes. I don't believe everything I read in the local press or what local politicians say.

On any given day, there are hundreds of undetected leaks in residential homes. Some of them, like a toilet, will run up a bill quickly.

Ok, you honestly believe if your sink is leaking you won't detect it. Or if your toilet is leaking you won't know it. Give me a break. Mayor Santos forgave underestimated bills under that theory. Boy, that is stretching it.

You still can't acknowledge that you were mistaken about monthly meter reads. Re-read your own post. If industrial accounts are to be read consistently on a monthly basis, you need a meter reading crew just for those. (By the way, the water meter in an industrial facility is not a breezy walk through someone's basement.)

I disagree with you. My original post specifically mentioned treating high volume users differently than low volume users. The big bucks are with high volume users. The Mayor specifically changed the water rates based on volume to generate more revenue from industrial users. That was a good idea for the town.

First question, yes.

Second question, yes.

Third question, some water main breaks are extensive, like the Kearny Avenue break two summers ago, that require more than 4 guys and one backhoe to get fixed, that's why. (Kearny Avenue took Fletcher Creamer, one of the state's largest utility contracts, over 6 weeks to get done.)

Ok. I was just pointing out that not all the water breaks in town are handled solely by the town's Water Department.

Fourth question, there are over a 100 miles of water main in Kearny with just 4 guys. If you think there's down time, you're really, really, really mistaken.

I don't manage the water department. But I'm sure they are not working everyday on water line breaks.

Yes, I'm posting anonymously (sic you on 'unanimously').  If you decide to consistently post under your own name all the time, and you require that everyone who posts on this board use his or her name, then so will I.  Until then, I'm abiding by the rules of this board.

I guess that means you won't reveal your identity. You are correct this board does allow anonymous posts. You are within your rights.

And, by the way, often those who demonstrate smug intellectualism with the use of 'sic' get it wrong themselves.  Stop throwing 'sic' at me because 1) you make errors like everyone else and 2) this is not a legal brief.

I'm sorry for the sic. It's just my legal writing training seeping through. When you get to know me, you'll realize that I am no where near "smug intellectualism". My parents did not raise me that way.

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Early this year Kearny Water Department hit us with a water bill for a one year totaling $3210.82. Sum of our 10 years worth of water bills equals to $2100. Since February of this year I've been contacting the Kearny Water Department trying to resolve this issue, however I've been unsuccessful. I had my house inspected for leaks, and there are none, therefore I feel the bill is a mistake and I'm not responsible for it. Kearny Water Department has been extremely uncooperative, and since they are not regulated by anyone I feel helpless. Please let me know if anyone out there been in a similar situation. I would appreciate if you could give me any advice. I can't afford paying over $3K for something I did not use! thank you

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