Brick May Explore Hiring In-House Engineer

Mayor in favor of proposal

Some Brick officials are pushing for an in-house engineer that would replace annual contracts with an engineering firm.

For decades, Brick has utilized the services of Birdsall Engineering for its engineering services, but in the post-Sandy world, some believe hiring an in-house engineer dedicated only to Brick Township would lead to both better services as well as a better deal for taxpayers.

Councilman Joseph Sangiovanni suggested the idea at the Jan. 22 council meeting.

Under the present situation, Elissa Cummins, a Birdsall employee, acts as the primary engineer for the township. Several residents praised Cummins at the Jan. 22 meeting, saying she has been accessible to residents and has proven herself as one who is extremely knowledgable in disaster recovery since the storm hit.

If the township does, indeed, decide to move to an in-house engineer, Councilman Dan Toth suggested exploring a shared services agreement with another town - specifically, Toms River.

"We have an extremely large shared services agreement with them currently, and speaking with officials there, they are up to the challenge to join us with that," said Toth. "I would say that should be the first option."

Sangiovanni disagreed, however.

"Any engineering department ... that was affected by Sandy is going to have their hands full," said Sangiovanni. "I don't think that going outside what we have in-house is a good move. Your thought process under normal cirucmstances would probably work, but under these circumstances it may not."

Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis - who, under Brick's form of government, is tasked with appointing an engineer - said he would support the move.

Acropolis also said since an engineer would be focused primarily on storm recovery projects, FEMA could pay for a portion of that person's salary.

WMS826 January 25, 2013 at 09:46 PM
This starts out god but finishes with political croynies milking the system and needing "assistants" and so fourth. Lets outsource this to India I say. Let's save money like big business does, if it is good for multi million dollar companies to do, they why not us. So what do we do with a dud employee...what do we do when the next group wants to remove a good one to give some newly graduated grandson a job.
Susan January 26, 2013 at 01:46 PM
Should hire the guy that designed the house at the base of the Mantoloking bridge that was the only one left standing after Sandy. He designed it to withstand a hurricane and it worked!
Missing Brick January 26, 2013 at 08:58 PM
J.JONES January 28, 2013 at 12:17 AM
nan February 15, 2013 at 06:55 PM
How much will the Engineer's salary be? What will be the entire cost of the benefits package be? Will the engineer be a member of a union? I greatly approve of the Ellissa Cummin the current engineer. Unfortunately, the horns of the dilemma is that I believe we need smaller government. That means not taking on in-house personnel because the money we spend goes on for a lifetime when you consider pension. I am against lifetime contracts with service providers which is what we effectively have with Birdsall. I am against unions engaging in collective bargaining. Not having Birdsall means no Ellissa. That is unless she works on a consulting basis where we do not pay benefits.


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