Additional statement on flooding from Occhipinti for Council

Occhipinti for Council announces:

What makes 4th Ward residents angry is that while everyone in New Jersey knew that a major storm was on the way, our mayor and Councilman Lenz spent the day yesterday preparing for a political event with an out-of-town politician. In New York, Mayor Bloomberg sent crews out across the city in advance of the storm to clear catch basins and make sure that they were able to function. Meanwhile, Councilman Michael Lenz was making menu selections!
We need to make sure the city is properly maintaining catch basins in our streets. We shouldn’t see them so full of junk and trash that weeds can grow out of them. It’s time they step up and put together a more aggressive action and public education plan to keep our drains clear.
I support  the “Invisible structures” concept. It’s in use under the Pentagon and under major stadium structures. These catch water and distribute it slowly so that the existing systems can handle it. What’s wrong with requiring this of developers?
Pumps alone will not fix the problem. That’s true, but what I don’t support – which Councilman Lenz and the administration did – was to spend $160,000 of taxpayer money to put “sensors” in the ground to monitor flood levels. We don’t need sensors to tell us: high tide + heavy rains = FLOODING. You can get this information for free from or from any mom in the 4th Ward. Had this technology been worth the paper it’s printed on then the North Hudson Sewage Authority would be funding it and endorsing it but they are not.
This technology, which the mayor and Councilman Lenz still stubbornly support, has been discredited by a number of studies, including one from Steven’s Institute, which found that it would “be of no value.”  We are under sea level and this technology simply won’t work to alleviate the problem.
The company called EmNet, which got a no bid contract to “provide proprietary
provisions and professional services to initiate and maintain a real time flood
monitoring system,” got paid $160,000 (no bid), $50,000 of which was for travel and living expenses since the company is located – in INDIANA!
In the end, if Michael Lenz had any fresh ideas, he would be presenting them. “The pumps are coming!” is simply not enough, but he won’t be an independent voice for the 4th Ward because he’s so inextricably tied into the mayor’s failed action plan.

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