Other complaints claim that even though SID Executive Director Michael Minitelli is paid to focus his efforts on promoting the center and work with business owners, few see him except when he is working on an advertising campaign that they have to pay for themselves.
Others admitted that when they tried to voice these complaints to Minitelli
ignored their concerns.
In an interview with Minitelli
in November, the SID
director said he
felt SID dollars were being put to good use, citing that while he
agreed there were not as many promotional events, he
was working on the Festival on the Green promotional event scheduled for the fall of 2011.
also mentioned that he
spent considerable time planning a Bridal Expo last spring that a good number of business owners participated in, even though the event was forced inside to tight quarters because of bad weather.
Business owners did not dispute that the Bridal Expo was a great concept, but they had a major problem with it being held outside.
"When you are spending our tax dollars, you have to consider these things, because if its raining, people are not going to attend," said one longtime property owner in the center.
was not able to recall exactly how much it cost to put on the Bridal Expo, but he
offered to supply those numbers later.
Other business property owners brought up that Minitelli
dealt exclusively with the Suburban News and The Star-Ledger
, owned by Penn Jersey Advance Newspapers, rather than splitting this advertising with other local newspapers.
Specifically, their complaints centered on the fact that if they had to pay for their own ads then they should have a say in where these ads run.
In late November, Minitelli
explained that he
tax dollars to business owners ads by paying for banner ads or color to highlight special sections in which their ads ran during the year.
also said business owners participating in these ad campaigns received sizable discounts for the ads they took with the Suburban News
Invoices and bills obtained through OPRA from the township clerk for 2005 through 2010 indicated that Minitelli
paid a total of $106,844 during that time period to the Suburban News
and Star Ledger for special event or banner ads for special events.
It should be noted that all ads placed in The Star-Ledger
were for special events in the center and not in conjunction with special sections in which business owners participated.