Opinion: CommVault's Move from Oceanport Relocates Jobs, Doesn't Create Them

Oceanport councilman says the borough got "the short end of the stick" in the recent deal to move CommVault to Fort Monmouth property in Tinton Falls.

I’d like to take a few moments to talk about recent matters involving the re-development of Fort Monmouth. In particular the move of CommVault from Oceanport to Tinton Falls 

While there are many out there praising CommVault's move, I have no praise for this move at all.  Simply speaking, taking jobs from Oceanport and relocating them to Tinton Falls leaves Oceanport short 550 jobs.  It also leaves our second largest taxpayer with an empty building to fill and, it takes the consumer dollars of 550 employees from our local economy. Relocating the 550 workers who currently work at CommVault in Oceanport is just that – RELOCATION of jobs, not job creation. 

According to press releases by local politicians and FMERA, representations have been made that up to 2,500 new jobs could be created in Tinton Falls by virtue of CommVault’s move.  The definitive word here is “could.”  Simply speaking, if it could lead to 2,500 jobs, there is also the possibility that it could lead to no jobs at all.

As we suspected, the devil is in the details.  Since the move was announced, we have learned that the New Jersey Economic Development Authority awarded CommVault two financial incentives to facilitate this move.  According to NJEDA board memos, $7.2 million was awarded under the Business Employment Incentive Program to create 250 jobs.  They were also granted $1.35 million for Business Retention and Relocation Assistance to keep 300 employees in Fort Monmouth Municipalities.  In total, there are 550  jobs that will be affected by NJEDA funds.  Currently, there are 550 CommVault employees working in Oceanport.  Not only is Oceanport losing 550 jobs but the net job gain to the Fort Monmouth area: NONE.

There are still many unknowns about this move.  How much is CommVault paying for the property?  How much of our tax dollars are being used to fund this move in the form of additional federal and state grants, tax abatements, tax credits etc?  What it the time frame for job creation?  And, what are the consequences for not creating jobs as promised?

While NJEDA is shelling out no less than $8.55 million, none of this money will go toward new job creation.  There is no mention of 2,500 jobs that FMERA and our politicians have been fawning over.  As a matter of fact, CommVault only has 1,600 employees WORLDWIDE today.  Talking about creating up to 2,500 jobs is not only disingenuous but when facts are presented, unrealistic.

Some have said that the move is the result of a CommVaults's need to expand its operations.  While there may not be 55 acres upon which CommVault can expand at their current location, there certainly is 55 acres available on Oceanport's portion of Fort Monmouth.  Once again, Oceanport gets the short end of the stick. 

The Borough of Oceanport supports the re-development endeavors of the Fort Monmouth Economic Redevelopment Authority 100 percent -- just not at our own expense.  

Can't shut me up May 19, 2012 at 04:38 AM
Oceanport needs to live with it, the decision has been made. The move is going to take place. All the whinning in the world is not going to stop this. All the negativity I've read via Oceanport, they should be removed from FERMA before they ruin what may be a good thing for the region.
Enrico Palazzo May 19, 2012 at 10:53 AM
@smartzonemary: Oceanport is living with it and our officials are well aware that the decision has been made. Our elected officials are not "whinning", whatever that is, they are just asking to be told the truth. You think that the State's development of the Fort is going to be a good thing for the region? I defy you to show me one instance where the State of New Jersey has been truthful and successful in connection with a business venture. The redevelopment of Fort Monmouth is nothing more than a money grab and a political hype machine. I am sure that the people who are in the day to day trenches at FMERA are quality people who are sincere about getting theirs jobs done, but the systemic lack of accountability and the overwhelming combination of politics and money will ultimately rule the day. By the way, Mary, insofar as Oceanport only has one vote on a nine vote board, there is really no need to remove Oceanport from FMERA. Oceanport's ability to do ANYTHING in connection with the Fort's redevelopment was taken away a long time ago. I'm OK with being removed from FMERA, so long as they remove Oceanport from any financial obligation associated with the Fort's redevelopment, too. Ultimately, the three affected municipalities will have to bear the burden of whatever social and economic decisions FMERA makes. If Oceanport can be carved out of that obligation, I have no problem with Us being removed from FMERA. By the way, when did asking questions become "negativity"?
Can't shut me up May 20, 2012 at 10:03 AM
Can't shut me up May 21, 2012 at 08:58 PM


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