By the end of 2015, Lyndhurst PAID 3x as much per year as North Arlington paid for their web services.
Could it be because Lyndhurst’s webmaster AlpaDog Solutions is owned by Belleville Mayor Michael Melham, a strong political and personal friend of former Lyndhurst Commissioner Brian Haggerty (a former running mate and close ally of Mayor Bobby Giangeruso)?
AlpaDog Solutions, among other things, runs our local municipal website: lyndhurstnj.org
As of 2015, Melham was charging more than any other webmaster billing any local municipal government in South Bergen. To date, Melham has been paid over $660,000 for the PR, community outreach, web and newsletter services that he says he provided to the Giangeruso Administration, all so Mayor Bobby’s Administration can communicate with you, the taxpayers.
It is very expensive having a Lyndhurst Mayor who can’t communicate for himself…and doesn’t know what’s going on around him, especially how the government operates, besides it operating to hire Giangeruso’s relatives and friends.
Check out the South Bergenite article reproduced below:
DO YOU GET GOOD SERVICE?
SOME MUNICIPAL WEB SITES ARE LAGGING BEHIND
by Meghan Grant, MANAGING EDITOR
Published: November 5, 2015
Municipal Web sites are tools for bridging the gap between local governments and their citizens, allowing residents to learn what recreational programs their towns offer, get in touch with elected officials, find out when their recycling will be picked up, read up on the town’s budget, and many other uses. Most municipal Web sites in South Bergen provide access to the forms, schedules and contact information that residents find most useful, however, a few could use improvement in certain areas.
Partnered with Nixle, all five South Bergen towns have a place where residents can sign up for emergency and other municipal alerts, which are sent to a citizen’s email and/or cell phone. Links to the town’s official public safety departments’ social media accounts are also provided. Every town also provides a link to the New Jersey Courts Web site, where residents can pay their parking or traffic tickets online.
In the past, North Arlington had its municipal Web site hosted on a web development firm’s server, which cost close to $1,000 a month ($12,000 per year), Councilman Rich Hughes explained. The borough had advertised for a webmaster. However, the Web site was hosted on the previous firm’s server, meaning if a new webmaster was hired, he or she would have been working on that server, he said.
We needed to bring it back in house, and that took a few months to straighten out,” Hughes said. Contracted with the borough to handle its computer network and finance department duties, First Byte now serves as North Arlington’s Web firm.
Basically we can put things on the Web site, like agendas and upcoming events, for free. It’s only if we have any changes to the Web site, like if we want to do a survey or the ability to pay bills online, something along those lines, then we bring in First Byte and pay them an hourly rate.
Hughes said he isn’t sure what the borough intends to do about its Web site next year.
North Arlington was not able to provide how much the hourly figure was by press time.
In July 2014, the Carlstadt mayor and council approved the payment of $4,400 to the borough’s director of economic development for the rebuilding of Carlstadt’s Web site. By last autumn, Carlstadt launched its revamped Web site, promising to be a new resource for borough news and information, including the ability to apply for permits.
However, most of the news items and information on the site has not been updated since last December. The borough calendar of public meeting dates for such entities as the Planning and Zoning boards is up to date, but there are no agendas with the exception of the council meetings from November 2014. The borough’s collection schedules are also for 2014.
East Rutherford also just recently launched a revised borough Web site. The borough paid Paramus-based Virtual Town Pages $5,999 to redesign the site and provide site maintenance for $199 a month.
AlphaDog Solutions Inc. (the company owned by Belleville Mayor Michael Melham) maintains the Lyndhurst municipal Web site, having been rehired for a period of March 2015 through February 2016 at a cost of $36,000. The township had gone out for RFQs for the service earlier in December.
Rutherford went out for a request for proposals for a Web site administrator and other services late last year. The mayor and council signed an agreement with Creative Consulting & Design in April 2014 at a rate of $75 per hour for consulting services.
Late last year, the borough solicited for request for proposals for a Web site firm and appointed council members Ray Tetro and Stephanie McGowan council members to review the submitted proposals. McGowan said Mayor Joe DeSalvo opted not to entertain a recommendation for changing the company, commenting that he was satisfied with the job Creative Consulting was doing.