Share |

Parking Authority Board Adds New Member, Maintains Status Quo

Anthony Barber, a Former City Cop, Replaces Newly-Elected City Councilman John Anderson
Anthony Barber
Anthony Barber, a former city cop and Planning Board member, joined the NBPA's board of directors last month. Charlie Kratovil

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The New Brunswick Parking Authority's board of commissioners welcomed a new member as they held their annual re-organization meeting on January 23.

Anthony Barber, a former city police officer who also worked for the Trenton Police Department, was appointed by Mayor James Cahill to serve on the authority's five-member board, which will continue to be comprised entirely of white males in 2013.

Barber is a longtime supporter of Cahill and his wife Claribel Azcona-Barber is employed by the Mayor's Office as a secretary.

To accept the volunteer board position, Barber left the city's powerful Planning Board, another mayor-appointed body.  He replaces John Anderson, who left the NBPA board after being elected to the City Council.

Otherwise, the board more or less affirmed the status quo, re-hiring the same firms and keeping the same attorneys and consultants on the payroll.  They also kept the same man in charge of the board for another year.

The board selected Kevin McTernan, an executive with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, to continue as the board's chairman for the twelfth consecutive year.  Robert Wood Johnson is one of the authority's biggest clients.

The board selected accounting firm Withum, Smith & Brown to conduct their annual financial audit.  That firm has done the authority's audit since 2010.

In prior years, the authority's audits were conducted by Newark-based Samuel Klein & Company.  After switching firms, Withum, Smith & Brown's first audit proved challenging due to poor record-keeping at the authority.

"Because of inadequacies in the Authority’s accounting records with respect to cash collection on parking revenue, we were unable to form an opinion regarding the amount of parking revenue in the accompanying statement of revenues, expenses and changes in net assets," read the 2010 audit report of Withum, Smith & Brown.

The authority is hoping to move beyond its troubled past, plagued by a scandal involving theiving employees whose cases are working their way through Superior Court.

The board also re-appointed six enforcement officers, who have the power to write parking summonses: Paul Francois, Shon Grandberry, Michael Hanna, Tina Hillsman, Antoine Johnson, and Mercedes Vazquez.

Last year, the authority had seven enforcement officers.  Missing from this year's list was Kinga Wojtasik, a former employee of the Rahway Parking Authority, who left the NBPA last year after being promoted to Enforcement Administrator.  She made a salary of $29,120 according to the authority's records.

The board also resolved to sell a 2006 Jeep Liberty, and reviewed a plan to install electric car charging stations in their two newest parking garages.

Thanks for Reading

At NewBrunswickToday.com, all of our articles are provided free of charge to improve the level of discourse in our community. If you want to support this type of journalism, please consider making an online donation.