WNY will review policy after employee apparently takes sick days for other jobs
Frank Recanati, a West New York plumbing sub-code official since 1995, apparently called in sick 33 times in 2010 and 2011 to work five other part-time jobs in five other state towns, according to several media reports, including the New York Post.
He performs the same part-time work in Guttenberg, Carlstadt, East Rutherford, Hasbrouck Heights, and Wallington and is Carlstadt’s construction official.
According to town timesheets and payroll records, Recanati collected $5,450 for the sick days, a number calculated based on his annual salary, according to the reports. West New York employees who work a weekly 25 hours or more may receive the benefits of a full-time employee, which includes sick days.
“The town is saving money by having a specialized person on a part time basis,” Mayor Felix Roque said Wednesday afternoon. “The man really works hard”
When asked about the notion that sick days should be used when an employee is sick as they are paid for by taxpayers, Roque referred comment to town spokesman Pablo Fonseca.
“We are reviewing our internal policies to continue to see how we can continue to cut spending,” Fonseca said. “Because of this incident, we feel if someone calls out sick in West New York, the taxpayers should not be paying for them to work in a different town.”
Fonseca added that the town would work to create a new policy within the next 30 days to address the matter.
UC commissioners’ meetings held in different locations
The Union City Board of Commissioners’ meetings will be held in various locations throughout the city to encourage residents to participate in city government. All will begin at 7 p.m.
On Aug. 6, the meeting will be held at the Roosevelt School located at 4507 Hudson Ave.; on Aug. 21, it will be held at Robert Waters Elementary School located at 2800 Summit Ave.; on Sept. 4, it will be held at the William V. Musto Cultural Center located at 420 15th St.; on Sept. 18, it will be held at the Washington School located at 3905 New York Ave.; and on Oct. 2, it will be held at St. Anthony School located at 700 Central Ave.
UC to hold special public safety meetings
As Director of Public Safety, Union City Mayor Brian Stack invites residents to attend one of several public meetings during which the latest public safety developments and initiatives, as well as crime prevention, will be discussed. Each meeting will last one hour and begin at 7 p.m. on the following dates and at the following locations:
- July 30 at 47th Street between New York and Palisades avenues, with a rain location in the EMS Building at 307 47th St.
- July 31 at 40th Street between New York and Bergenline avenues, with a rain location in the Washington School at 3901 New York Ave.
-Aug. 1 at 26th Street between Central Avenue and West Street, with a rain location in the Renaissance Community Room at 2601 Central Ave.
-Aug. 2 at 16th Street between Bergenline Avenue and West Street, with a rain location in Holy Rosary Apartments at 1509 Bergenline Ave.
-Aug. 14 at 8th Street between West Street and Central Avenue, with a rain location at St. Anthony School at 700 Central Ave.
Dept. of Health budgets $50M in funding for federally qualified health centers throughout state
The New Jersey Department of Health's Deputy Commissioner Dr. Arturo Brito stopped by the North Hudson Community Action Corporation (NHCAC) headquarters on Broadway Avenue and 53rd Street Tuesday morning to announce that Gov. Christopher Christie would increase funding for federally qualified health centers from last year's $46.4 million to $50 million. This is a record amount.
The centers provide low-cost services to needy people.
The money will be distributed across the 20 centers and 98 satellite clinics statewide, including NHCAC.
The reasoning behind this, Brito said, is that such an investment in preventative care provided to those with little or no health insurance will save money in the long run and, ultimately, lives as well.
"I understand the barriers that Latinos face when seeking health care," Cuban-born Brito explained. "If you don't get care at centers like this, you end up not getting care until it's too late, and you wind up in emergency rooms. It's more costly to the community and the taxpayers, and it's dangerous for your health."
Brito chose NHCAC to make the announcement because it is the largest in the state.
"When you're a federally qualified health center," NHCAC CEO Christopher Irizarry said, "It is imperative that you have great partners on both the state and federal level to make things work. We provide access to quality health care to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay, regardless of where they're from."
Last year the NHCAC had over 233,000 patient visits to their locations in Hudson, Bergen, and Passaic counties, and numbers are expected to increase.
"It's not about the number, it's about the quality of care," Brito said. "The quality of care that is given here is extraordinary. It's a testament to excellent leadership and the hard work of the staff."
UC’s St. John’s to begin Summer Wellness Program
The Arts at St. John's Summer Wellness Program will offer fitness, yoga, mediation and belly dancing classes Tuesday nights from July 17 through Sept. 4. All classes will be held at 1516 Palisade Ave. in Union City, with its entrance located on 16th Street.
Get healthy and support St. John's at the same time. Class fees go to help keep St. John's doors open. Become an ASJ wellness member by buying a five-class pack where each class is only $15. Walk in visits are $20 per class.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (201) 301-8340.
Dvine Konektion to offer free summer program for girls
The Dvine Konektion Community Development Corporation is partnering with the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey to offer a free summer program called “Summer B.L.A.S.T” - Becoming Leaders and Acquiring Skills Together.
Girls between the ages of 5 and 17 will meet once a week on Thursdays from July 12 through August 16. The girls will explore a different theme during each session through games and other activities. Topics will include financial literacy, health and fitness, community advocacy, arts and culture, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
The curriculum is customized by age level, enabling each child to learn at their own pace. Teenagers in the program will be given the opportunity to learn leadership skills and perform community service. At the end of the six weeks, all of the girls will be given the option to continue their Girl Scout journey during the school year.
Spaces are still available for girls interested in the Summer B.L.A.S.T. program. Sessions will be held at 611 56th St. in West New York from 9 a.m. to noon. For more information, please call the Girl Scouts at (973) 842-4241 or Dvine Konektion at (201) 617-4484.
Child advocate volunteers wanted
Are you interested in helping children in the foster care system? If so, Hudson County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is currently recruiting volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children. CASA works through trained community volunteers to ensure that needed services and assistance are made available to children while helping to move them toward safe and permanent homes.
CASA and its volunteers speak for children in court, serve as fact finders for the judges, and safeguard the interests of the children while they are in the foster care system.
An information session will be held on Tuesday, July 17 from 6 to 7 p.m. in room 400 of the Hudson County Administration Building located at 595 Newark Ave. in Jersey City.
Hudson County has nearly 700 children in foster care; most have been removed from their homes for abuse or neglect. For further information, call (201) 795-9855, email email@example.com or visit www.hudsoncountycasa.org.
Free help at Dvine Konektion’s community fairs
The Dvine Konektion Community Development Corporation will hold a free community fair on the third Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at 5516 Jefferson St. in West New York. Residents of West New York, North Bergen, Union City, Weehawken and Guttenberg are welcome to attend the next event on July 21. Groceries and baby supplies will be distributed, and various medical screenings and other services are offered.