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 Post subject: Re: NJ Museum of Transportation Woes and Possible Eviction
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:55 am 

Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 10:59 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Matawan, NJ
Connie4800 expressed concern for the Mack at NJMTand it's place in the collection as a standard gauge piece. I replied her similar comment on Ahead of the Torch and re-present it here . . .

The Mack is not at all an oddball as it fits the museum collection policy. An unfortunate misconception about NJMT is that the track gauge of the demonstration railway is the principal determinant of the organization's purpose. I don't count how many people tell me that the museum isn't worth their time because they're "not interested in narrow gauge".

The reality is that the museum has specifically focused on collecting examples of industrial railway technology. It also maintains a working collection for visitors that generates the program service revenue to support the whole enterprise. Where feasible, the collection also includes specific examples of equipment used in New Jersey. I believe that it has been quite successful in that effort.

Among most "railfans", industrial locomotives, "Critters", are at the bottom of the scale and not worthy of attention. The Pine Creek Railroad was started with a steam version of a critter, an 0-4-0 tank engine from a Middlesex County sand mining company so the critter genes have been in the organizational DNA from the start. Since then, NJMT has built a collection of critters ranging from a pre-Plymouth 1917 J.D.Fate gas-powered, friction drive locomotive (unrestored) used by a Cliffwood Beach brickworks to a 1950 GE 25 tonner with a universal body that can accommodate a customer designated gauge from 2 feet to standard gauge. Builders represented in the collection include Brookville, Davenport, Fate-Root-Heath (1919 Early Plymouth), GE, J.D. Fate (1917 pre-Plymouth), Mack, Plymouth and Whitcomb. A number of these were used in New Jersey industrial service and one, the Mack, was built in New Jersey at the Mack Plainfield plant. Plus it was used on Staten Island which has always been closer to New Jersey than New York.

The museum was able to do this because it was clear in what it did. We would periodically get a call from a business or an organization saying "We have this, are you interested" and we could quickly give an answer one way or the other.

The Pouch Terminal Mack at NJMT, built in 1936 at the Plainfield, NJ plant, is a thirty ton model (actual weight about 32 tons. It had to be weighed before the Port Authority would let it pass over the Outerbridge Crossing to New Jersey). There is a second Mack switcher in New Jersey, a 15 ton model that is (was, I haven't looked in a long time) at the Black River and Western in Ringoes.

John.

John P. Lyle, II
Matawan, NJ.

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 Post subject: Re: NJ Museum of Transportation Woes and Possible Eviction
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:43 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 566
Location: Wall, NJ
In truth, the by-laws have always been an issue going back to the 1960s where they did limit the membership’s ability to vote a trustee in or out of the board. Tweaks over the years probably did not help this situation, but then few people really tried to make a change via the vote process. In the 1990s, we did have some close votes, but the incumbent held their seat.

The current regime has been in control now since 18 July 2015.

The By-laws of 2011 effectively removed the vote from any one not on the property on a regular basis, or the 75 hour rule. Sounds like a good idea and one what was considered years before, but there are some issues with it:

1) Your hours only count if they are on approved projects. Who approves those projects? The board.
2) Who tallies the hours? The board.
3) In theory your vote will be based on the status of the organization which a voter would see via board meeting minutes, newsletters, etc. Little of this information is ever provided to the active membership and when others do provide this information it tends to come as a surprise.

Again, even going back to the 1970s, some element of term limits might have been a useful tool in avoiding where the place is today.

The purpose of this RyPN topic, is to let know people that there is a problem. The package that was posted 3 June 2019 provides the best picture in a single pdf file. If you read all the emails included, you get a feel for the issue. Contact information is provided, the issue is covered, its up to those with an interest to do something, or not.

Key facts:
1) The State is saying the current hold over lease will end on 31 December 2019. So, either have a license covering the RR moving forward by then or its over. A "red line" copy of the proposed license is due back to the State by 1 July 2019.
2) The state has an issue with the property being used simply as storage of railroad equipment that may never be restored. So, even if a new agreement is reached by 31 December 2019, look for a "thinning of the herd" as I tend to call it. The state has asked numerous times for a plan in this regard which has yet to be provided. In truth, I'd like to see people like John Lyle working on this plan. Keep in mind, some scrapping is under way.

There are some new people volunteering these days, a couple of good guys, so there is some hope here, but they need to be fully aware of the situation. And those who can help, need to know also.

I tried to attach the by-laws, old and new, here for all to have, but the pdf is too large. If interested, send me an email and I will send them to you. I will look at downsizing them.

I have attached a letter from the NJ DEP to NJMT going back almost 4 years which I attach really as a reminder that this has been going on for years and seems to be coming to a head. Another one dealing with the collection is attached as well.

J.R.


Attachments:
DEP Letter August 2015.pdf [797.15 KiB]
Downloaded 23 times
27 June 2017 - Master Plan Issues.pdf [290.46 KiB]
Downloaded 33 times
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 Post subject: Re: NJ Museum of Transportation Woes and Possible Eviction
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:47 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 566
Location: Wall, NJ
As far as the Mack, John points out that it does indeed fit the mission of NJMT. Back in the 2000 range, we did modify the Car Barn Bay 4 over head door to accommodate the Mack and laid standard gauge track down to the passing siding in front of the station so that some day it could be run back and forth in the yard. Moving it from the shop track to the Bay 4 car barn track was going to be done by crane, but was never pulled off.


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 Post subject: Re: NJ Museum of Transportation Woes and Possible Eviction
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:28 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5660
Location: southeastern USA
There's a real structural issue with having the management of the organization essentially a popularity contest among only those who like to get their hands dirty and may be in fact excellent craftsmen - but are interested only in the things that interest themselves, like funding for their pet projects. That's coming home to roost if an agreement regarding the use of the site isn't reached. Free consultation: replace the management committee with people who look in from the outside and have no interest in how to drive rivets, set valves, refinish woodwork etc. Nice if they like trains but not a requirement provided they are committed to the overall museums mission statement - which should also be all about what the museum does for the community and not for itself.

Critters are way cool and industrial railroading - like logging and mining railroading - is very colorful and approachable and lends itself to partnerships / support from the industries represented.

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Corollary: "He who does is doomed to watch those who don't repeat it anyway."


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 Post subject: Re: NJ Museum of Transportation Woes and Possible Eviction
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:40 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 566
Location: Wall, NJ
Was able to down size the pdf files of the 1996 by laws and the 2011 by laws if anyone wants to have a look and do a comparison on their own.


Attachments:
NJMT Bylaws 2-2011 sm.pdf [1.38 MiB]
Downloaded 21 times
NJMT Bylaws 1-1996 sm.pdf [756.84 KiB]
Downloaded 15 times
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 Post subject: Re: NJ Museum of Transportation Woes and Possible Eviction
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:27 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 2267
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Interesting this has detoured into a discussion of whether NJMT's management system is "correct" or not. It is a distraction to avoid responding to the origin of this thread.

The "official" response has been to ignore the basic question: is NJMT at risk right now?

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Danmarks Tekniske Universitet
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 Post subject: Re: NJ Museum of Transportation Woes and Possible Eviction
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:38 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:43 am
Posts: 604
*snip**

wrong thread


Last edited by Pegasuspinto on Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: NJ Museum of Transportation Woes and Possible Eviction
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:41 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 566
Location: Wall, NJ
> The "official" response has been to ignore the basic question: is NJMT at risk right now?

Not sure what you are looking for. Several files have been posted dealing with the issues at hand, these being legitimate files from the State of NJ to include emails, not something generated by those not directly involved. Contact information is provided as well. There is indeed concern by those closest to the physical property, but the documents and contact information are provided so that people can make their own determination and decide if they want to help or not.

If you want to wait until something "official" hits the street that says all equipment has to be out in a month, then it's too late to do anything and people will post all day long as to why didn’t we have any warning. No matter what, the collection will need to be thinned out. That is a given. If things really go south, then it all needs a new home.

As to "right now" there is a move to clean stuff out and that is happening as we read these posts.

So, look at this RyPN topic as the warning that everyone is always clamoring for. Read the whole thing and ALL the attachments.

J.R.


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 Post subject: Re: NJ Museum of Transportation Woes and Possible Eviction
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:07 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5660
Location: southeastern USA
I think what's unclear is whether the cleanout under way is actually part 1 of a good and accepted plan to comply with the landlords requirements, and if any interested responsible party could acquire an item being cleaned out, and if so how. This would require a list, application advice and documentary evidence from the landlord that a plan is under way which is acceptable from their POV. How do you measure the seriousness of both the landlord's threats and the organization in wiling and able response?

It's a very noisy situation more static than signal....... from having read it.

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Corollary: "He who does is doomed to watch those who don't repeat it anyway."


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 Post subject: Re: NJ Museum of Transportation Woes and Possible Eviction
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:55 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:34 pm
Posts: 126
Dave wrote:
How do you measure the seriousness of both the landlord's threats and the organization in willing and able response?


I have no idea if the organization understands the position it's in.

However, living and working here, I certainly know the state of New Jersey. You have a government agency that tried to work with someone who has repeatedly ignored the rules and deadlines. You have now poked the bear in the eye - don't be surprised when it wakes up and mauls you!


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 Post subject: Re: NJ Museum of Transportation Woes and Possible Eviction
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:35 am 

Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 10:59 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Matawan, NJ
I'm in big trouble. This topic was rattling around my head during the Consecration at Sunday Mass. Gotta get to confession this Saturday.

John.

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 Post subject: Re: NJ Museum of Transportation Woes and Possible Eviction
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:55 pm 

Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 10:59 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Matawan, NJ
(Repeat . . . RYPN Interchange forums are non-judgemental, micro-aggression free safe zones . . .)

I've lurked here for a number of years but I have, until now, kept my mouth shut lest I prove that I'm a fool. I apologize if I give any offense here.

If I were a reporter, the headline of my story would be " 'Fire' Shouted in Crowded Preservation Theater. Panic Ensues. Many Emotionally Trampled. No Fire Found."

I visited NJMT yesterday. My first impression on driving up was
that, except for the space where the Q&TL snowplow had sat, nothing else had changed since my last visit on New Years Day this year. What's up with that? I spoke with several knowledgeable members individually or small group, asking questions about issues raised in this thread. Answers were in my opinion freely given, with no bobbing, weaving, spinning or evidence of brainwashing.

Is the Museum in imminent danger of eviction from Allaire? No.

Is the Museum in any forseeable danger of eviction from Allaire? No.

Is the collection at risk of scrapping or sell-off? No.

Are there plans for wholesale scrapping or sell-off? No.

Retail? No.

Why did the museum continually ignore or refuse to cooperate with the state on a new agreement? It didn't do either.

Why was a lease extension given through the end of 2019? Because museum representatives with legal counsel had a face-to-face meeting in Trenton with Parks Division officials to review and clarify unresolved issues with the formation of the new agreement. More work is needed to produce a sensible, functional document.

Why didn't the museum file a financial report with state by the end of February? Because someone unnamed in Trenton made that date up. The museum always files an annual financial report with the state as well as a Form 990 with the IRS, typically in the middle of the year following the year being reported, after an audit by a qualified CPA.

Where did all the snowplow parts go? Deteriorated, unusable metal has been scrapped. Trucks, flanger and mechanism, brake parts, etc. have been stored on the property indoors. There are no plans for disposal at this time.

Is this ITM in narrow-gauge? No.

Does NJMT need to be "Saved"? Only in the eyes of God.

Should I call Chidley and NJMT members as suggested in one comment? No, not if you're going to harrass and bully someone. If you want to visit, all are welcome.

Why does this stuff happen? Because NJMT is an oddity in the state park system . . . and because sometimes someone runs off the rails into a ditch and makes a mess. Cleanup on aisle 5.

If it should turn out that I've been played on this, I sincerely apologize. I will then gladly kiss whatever body part Melvin demands and humbly light the torches and hand out the pitchforks to all who want to storm the battlement.

Thanks,
John.

John P. Lyle, II
Matawan, NJ

Thanks,
John.

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 Post subject: Re: NJ Museum of Transportation Woes and Possible Eviction
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:06 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 11:16 am
Posts: 148
Location: Southwest Virginia
The loss the the Q&TL plow doesn’t seem to matter to a lot of folks here. How quickly we have forgotten the Pemberton affair.

Mike Stillwell
Buena Vista, VA.


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 Post subject: Re: NJ Museum of Transportation Woes and Possible Eviction
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:12 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 566
Location: Wall, NJ
John:
As usual, you are no help.

Perhaps you might want to talk to the NJ DEP yourself. They are quite open to talking to interested parties. They are frustrated with the current management. I believe I have suggested in the past that you do that. We have years worth of documents documenting the situation. You may want to look at that if you truly cared. Have you looked at any of the documents that have been posted?????

Keep in mind that the membership really is not privy to the inner workings here. Some of the stories provided to the members is down right comical. If you would like to get together I will happily provide this to you. The one about the DEP having no say over the lease is a good one and that only the NJ DOT can manage the situation. BS like that.

Again, you only have half the story, thus your input here is of no help. Chris Lynch is so right about you. For me, its just disappointment in someone who put so much into the place and even served as Chairman. Why not be part of the solution rather than just toss knives here????

Again, try looking at facts, John. But then why let facts interfere with a good posting.

J.R.


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 Post subject: Re: NJ Museum of Transportation Woes and Possible Eviction
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:26 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 566
Location: Wall, NJ
> How quickly we have forgotten the Pemberton affair.

Yes, even the DEP brings up Pemberton when referring to NJMT. Let that sink in.

J.R.


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