Fiordaliso: Engineers Outraged by Guadagno’s ‘Political Hacks’ Comment in Aron Interview

Joe Fiordaliso, chief executive officer of North Star Strategies, the American Council of Engineering Companies of New Jersey, wants a public apology from Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno. Fiordaliso sent out an email blast over the weekend acknowledging dismay over a comment by Guadagno about engineers on On the Record with Michael Aron. The interview, featured here, includes the LG’s comments at about the 11-minute mark.

“We could go down a long list of the fluff, whether it’s political hacks, who have been hired for whatever reason, or additional unnecessary bureaucracy – put them all in one house,” Guadagno told Aron. “Have one human resources instead of ten, whatever the number is, and then bring all the engineer work in house. Get rid of all the political hacks we hire every year – now I’m probably offending every engineer in New Jersey right now.”

Fiordaliso said they were offended, in fact.
“We’re not quite sure what the basis is for these offensive remarks, especially from someone who has spent seven years proclaiming her commitment to bringing and keeping jobs and businesses in New Jersey,” Fiordaliso said.
“Needless to say, ACECNJ is profoundly disappointed that our own Lieutenant Governor would disparage an entire industry of dedicated professionals who design the roads, bridges, transit systems, water & waste water systems, school buildings, office parks [we could go on…] that make New Jersey’s economic engine run and make our State the great place it is.

“The Lieutenant Governor in the same interview called for all design and engineering services being performed by consultants for public agencies to be performed by in-house staff.  A misguided proposal like this – beyond being completely infeasible – would skyrocket costs and cripple agencies like New Jersey Department of Transportation whose mission it is to keep our transportation infrastructure in a state of good repair,” he added.

ACECNJ wants the LG to explain her statements and has requested a public apology.  
“We also look forward to educating her on the importance of our profession to the health, safety and well-being of 9 million New Jerseyans, as well as the misguided notion that in-house design & engineering services serves our State well,” Fiordaliso added. “ACECNJ is – and remains – the voice of New Jersey’s engineering profession.”

 

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  • David S

    Guadagno’s ignorant on construction project delivery. Most projects can’t be designed in-house: (1) all design liability would be on State engineers, and (2) there simply are not enough licensed in-house professionals to do this work even if you raised public salaries and reversed Christie’s public-employee benefit cuts.

    She does lay some truth about political hacks though. There needs to be more transparency on how design projects are awarded: https://www.insidernj.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/PR_04062017_A.pdf

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