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Archive for the ‘Neptune Township Committee’ Category

By Paul Goldfinger, MD.   Blogfinger.net.  October 13, 2020:

There is an open seat on the Neptune Committee. The election is November 3 or by paper ballot.  One candidate is a Republican— Gary Moll, while the other is a Democrat named Keith Cafferty.  When it comes to Ocean Grove, does anyone have a clue as to what they stand for?

I have a dim view of the Neptune Committee, but the worst of it is single party rule. A dissenting voice is needed. Single party rule is bad governance, especially as it pertains to the abuse of Ocean Grove.

The last dissenter was a Democrat MaryBeth Jahn who opposed the North End Plan and wanted single family homes.  She was dismissed for that;  the County Dems dumped her for straying off the reservation.

Now, in a Democratic conspiracy, Kevin McMillan has been replaced by Cafferty.

In 2016 Brantley and Williams were elected to the Committee. This is from a Blogfinger article at that time:

In 2016, the Committee will remain all Democratic. Neptune used to be solidly Republican. Now it is the most Democratic town in Monmouth County. Some say that party politics are not important in local elections, but don’t believe it. If you look at the Facebook page of Brantley and Williams, after winning, they said, “Democratic residents of Neptune. This was a victory for you.”

In my opinion, local governance should not be based on political party, and that is why, typically, campaign signs for local office have not mentioned party affiliation in the past.

But now Cafferty puts “Democrat” on all his signs, signalling what his preference will be on the Committee. He also has put his name on signs that say Biden/Harris.

For a local office such as Committeeman, the main priority should be what’s best for the folks, not what’s best for the party.

Carol Rizzo, when accepting the position of Neptune Mayor in 2019, asserted that her Committee would be “bipartisan,”  but that, by definition, is nonsense. Rizzo, interestingly, almost experienced a “McMillan” when the Dems nearly dumped her in 2019.  Clearly that party in Neptune is unstable and untrustworthy.

Regarding Ocean Grove,  if elected, Cafferty or Moll,  would face many non-political issues:  zoning, land use, parking, safety, police, Wesley Lake, quality of life, condofication, and North End among others.

These issues, other than perhaps taxes,  should have nothing to do with party ideology.

The worst thing for us would be to have Cafferty in office to stand shoulder to shoulder with the rest of that secretive and monolithic crew.

At this point there would be nothing either of the candidates could say regarding the local issues that would be compelling because they are both ignorant of life in the Grove.

That leaves me with one issue: single party rule.   Put a Republican into that seat—at least it would give us a chance to have someone watching over the gruesome foursome.

If we are lucky, we could hope for a whistle blower to keep the faith with the Grove, not to be political, but to be an honest broker of the truth.

This is what I said one year ago about the Neptuners at the Mother Ship—-on Blogfinger, and it still applies:

“What we want to hear at Blogfinger is a promise from the Township Comedy to stop fiddling around and to actually do something  to help those who live in town, who pay taxes, and who endure the horrid congestion which Neptune has allowed to torment us during prime season, and to admit that parking is just part of our situation which includes the condofication of our historic properties, the smothering of life styles in town due to oppressive tourist invasions, the violations of land use laws including zoning fraud, endless approvals of street closures, endless giant mega-events that seem like the New Jersey State Fair has come to town every Saturday in season, and disinterest in the cultural and historic prerogatives which are missing from the fabric of this potentially most unique town.”

DWIGHT YOAKAM.   “Understand Your Man.”  From  Kindred Spirits-A Tribute to the Songs of Johnny Cash..

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Mayor Carol Rizzo at 4th of July parade in 2015. Now she is accused of threatening an OG citizen. Paul Goldfinger photo © Blogfinger.net

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor@Blogfinger.net

February 13, 2019. Ocean Grove, New Jersey.

The source of information for this article is an interview with Jack Bredin, Ocean Grove citizen activist whose credibility has been established for years on Blogfinger and at many meetings of townships across northern New Jersey for over 40 years. 

At the January 28, 2019 Committee meeting, a resolution was being discussed having to do with the hiring of coastal engineers to consult on some unnamed projects in Neptune Township.

Jack Bredin went to the microphone, as is his right, to comment on that resolution. As he began to speak, he barely uttered a few words, when the new Mayor, Carol Rizzo, cut him off sharply and said, “Speak on the resolution only or be removed by the police.”

Jack sat down, but he thought that he was being deprived of his right to “equal standing” in voicing his opinion in public. He saw it as a way to intimidate a citizen from speaking publicly. In all his years of public speaking, no mayor has ever spoken to him like that before.

He planned to speak again on this topic at the next meeting which was on February 11, 2019.

That night,on Feb 11,  at 6 pm, the Committee held a workshop to discuss the same topic. Jack was there, but no citizen may speak at a workshop. So Jack went to the Committee room and sat down among the fairly large crowd that was present for the main meeting. He sat with some officials from the OGHOA who witnessed what happened next.

The Committee sat down at the dais, and then Mayor Rizzo entered the room. But instead of going to her chair, she walked up to Jack Bredin, pointed a finger at him, and in a voice that was heard by all, she said, “You remember that if you speak on a resolution, speak only on that resolution, or I will have you removed by the police.”

Jack knew, from his many years of attending official public meetings of this type, that such a removal would cause him to be arrested and searched at police headquarters.

Once again, he felt that the Mayor was trying to intimidate him to prevent his freedom to speak his mind. He thought that since everyone in the room heard her, that this was also an attempt to suppress speech by the public. He saw it as having a “chilling effect on the public’s right to know.”

Jack thought that her behavior indicated that this new Mayor was going to have a cruel style of governance as her trademark, one that would favor closed doors instead of transparency and open dialogue with the public.

The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs has guidelines for public officials, and the Mayor’s outrageous threat to him seemed like a clear ethics violation. Neptune Township has no board of ethics, so the only recourse for a citizen is to lodge a complaint at DCA in Trenton.

Jack says, “The new Mayor is horrible and she does not know how to run a public meeting.”   But Jack will not be intimidated and he will continue to speak at Committee meetings. As for the Mayor’s shocking actions, he won’t say if he will lodge a complaint.

Editor: Recently another OG citizen complained about the way his wife was treated by the Mayor  when she tried to speak at a meeting regarding 5G risks held in Shark River.  Blogfinger interviewed that citizen, so we know about that development.

THE ISLEY BROTHERS   “Freedom.”

“Say what you want to say….freedom”

 

 

 

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These incumbents have done nothing for Ocean Grove. They should not be re-elected. Blogfinger photo. © This photo was obtained at the North End near the Wesley Detention-Retention Basin. Oct 10,  2019. Thank them for ignoring Wesley Lake, supporting the North End Plan and failing to help the residents with parking.

 

By the Blogfinger Editorial Board:

“Everybody knows that’s how it goes.”   Everybody knows that the current Township Committee has no interest in the problems of those who live in the Grove.   These two candidates have failed us, and we do not have representative local government in OG.

Vote for anybody new who is running and is not affiliated with this crew.  In case you do not know, these two are part of the one-party rule currently running the Township of Neptune.

 

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT:   By Leonard Cohen from the movie soundtrack   I’m Your Man.

 

“Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows”   Leonard Cohen.

 

permit parking

 

 

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Maybe Madam Marie can translate the gobbledygook. Blogfinger photo. ©

Dec 20, 2018,  Neptune Township Committee meeting minutes:  Actual excerpts are in italics and quotes:

“Anabelle Bissett, Ocean Grove spoke at the Public Portion.,

She expressed concern about the North End development. She saw the 2008 Plan in the web site and asked if that was outdated. Mr. Anthony* stated that is the correct and current plan.

” Mr. Gadaleta* added that OGNED* has submitted a concept plan for the North End and the Township is in the process of negotiating a permanent Redevelopment Agreement.*   

“Ms. Bissett stated that a lot of changes have taken place in 10 years. Ocean Grove does not need more condos, and there are already vacant store fronts on Main Avenue. Ocean Grove is unique and should be kept distinct from Asbury Park.”

  “Jack Bredin, Ocean Grove, speaking at the Public Portion,  stated that the “North End Plan cannot be done in phases, it has to be done in one shot because the footings and pilings have to be installed first and they have to support whatever structures are built.

“The parking garage is larger than the North End lot, there has been confusion as to how many units are being built and the resolution is not specific.

“The Engineer will have to decide the weight of the buildings before the piles are installed.”

“The Mayor (Williams)  replied that the Township will be looking at all of that. At a recent meeting of the Redevelopment Committee, a total of 34 different parameters of the North End project were discussed.”

*Editor’s notes:

a. The Revelopment Law calls for a Redevelopers Agreement, not a “Redevelopment Agreement.”  So what is the definition of a “permanent Redevelopment Agreement?” 

b. Mr. Gadaleta say that a “concept plan” has been submitted for the North End. Presumably that ” “concept plan” was presented to the Township.

Why has that “concept plan” not been made public?  And note that a “concept plan” is not a final site plan.  The minutes do not explain what they mean by a “concept plan.”

Congratulations to Ms. Bissett for speaking out at that Dec. 20 meeting.

c . Mr. Vito Gadaleta is the Township manager.  Mr.  Anthony is the Township Attorney.

d.  “OGNED”   This is the group which has been identified as the “redeveloper,”  but that designation is not yet permanent.     OGNED BF Sept. 14, 2018

e. Gobbledygook prevails once again and mostly goes unchallenged.

SANTANA  “Black Magic Woman.”

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Wesley Lake, looking toward the OG North End: a space where light, breezes and ocean views currently prevail. Paul Goldfinger photo © Click to enlarge.

By Jack Bredin, reporter/researcher at Blogfinger.net and Paul Goldfinger, Editor

This is the second of our three-part post about the Mayor’s Negotiating Team which currently has been in secret sessions with the Camp Meeting Association’s “developer”  which, according to Michael Badger, President of the CMA, is the  “Ocean Grove North End Development LLC (OGNED)”

We don’t know where WAVE went.

In this three-part series of posts, Blogfinger is reviewing how the process has evolved, so now we present a time-line to document what has happened over the last 10 years, beginning in 2008, with approval by resolution of the North End Redevelopment Plan (NERP)  by the Neptune Township Committee.

2011:  In June of 2011, three years after the 2008 NERP (“public plan”) was adopted, WAVE and the OGCMA prepare a “private” general development plan to replace the original NERP.

This private  plan is submitted to the Township. It is titled “North End–a Destination Resort,” and it is not a redevelopment plan. 

The Neptune Township Committee fails to share this proposal with the public. They also do not reveal the fact that getting involved with this “private” plan would require pulling the plug on the entire 2008 NERP and then starting over. The Township makes no changes to the NERP.

2012: The OGCMA announces that they are ready to break ground at the North End in early 2013, but for what plan?  And they have no permits–particularly from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).  Then comes Sandy on October 29, of 2012.

2013:   The OGCMA announces after Sandy that “the developers are going back to the drawing board.”  What they fail to announce is that new elevations would be required.

2015:  The public becomes aware of a  “new private plan” when Committeeman Randy Bishop abruptly pops up at a Committee meeting and reports, “After exhausting negotiations, where everyone involved had to give something up, we have agreed to a new plan for the North End.”

But this is nonsense. He is referring basically to the private plan that was prepared four years earlier  (see 2011 above,) and the Township Committee already knew all about it.

And, by the way, what are the new  elevations?   No detailed specifications are made available. And no changes can be made to the original 2008 NERP without going back to square one.

The Ocean Grove Home Owners Association takes credit for negotiating the new private plan with the OGCMA, and maybe they did; the Township Comedy certainly did not. The only comment from the baffled Neptune Township Committee about the Bishop plan is, “This is a mistake.”

Actually, the plan is not the mistake—making it public is.

The new plan is not approved by the Township.  It just floats out of the meeting room and fizzles up into the atmosphere.

2018.   As we reported in Part I, the CMA sends out a press release in April 2018  (link below) claiming another new plan and announcing a new “developer” called OGNED. See our initial comments about that at the link (OGNED) below and then look at Part I where we also linked to it:

OGNED

In Part III, the last part of this series about the Mayor’s Negotiating Team, we will bring you up to date on this subject.

 

NOTE:  According to the Township Clerk, “The Redevelopment Committee” consists of Dr. Michael Brantley, Mayor Nicholas Williams, Land Use Administrator, Township Engineer, Business Administrator, Chief Financial Officer, Township Planner and Redevelopment Attorney.

He also informed us that “the Redevelopment Attorney is Maraziti Falcon, LLP  at 150 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Short Hills, NJ.”

 

KEVIN SPACEY   “That Old Black Magic.”       From the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

 

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Nicholas Williams—Neptune Township Mayor. Paul Goldfinger photograph at the Municipal Building.  2017.

 

BOB HOLIDAY FROM THE BROADWAY SHOW “FIORELLO”

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Randy Bishop, new Director of the Senior Center.

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor and Jack Bredin, Reporter  @Blogfinger.net

Recently the Township created a furor when they dismissed Brian Batch from the position of Senior Center Director.  The firing was, according to the Comedy  (aka Committee,)  based on an investigative report which has never been released publicly.

There was criticism of the process in which the Township brought about the firing, and many seniors are still disgruntled over this issue, considering the procedure to have been problematic.  There was speculation that the Township Committee was trying to open up the job in favor of someone else.

Mr. Batch hired an attorney because he believes that he should be reappointed to the job.

At last night’s Committee meeting, a resolution was passed to offer the position to Randy Bishop who, for years, was a Neptune Committeeman and former mayor.   In 2016, he left the Committee to take a job at the County level.  We don’t know if he still holds that post, making the new Neptune appointment a second job.

Bishop, a Democrat, is the owner of an inn in Ocean Grove  (the Melrose) which is currently for sale.  The inn may be his third job.  None of this was explained last night.  The Coaster reported that the salary is $77,000 per year

Appointing a former colleague to a lucrative Neptune job will raise eyebrows because of many concerns in the past regarding favoritism by Neptune Township’s one party rulers.   Examples of such favoritism include the recent case of the Aurora variance, approvals for developers to build condominiums without parking, and zoning favoritism as occurred with Mary’s Place.

Nevertheless, the Senior Center does currently need a Director who also has duties as Director of Senior Services.  Bishop was once liaison from the Committee to the Senior Center, so he does have some experience.

At last night’s discussion of the resolution to hire Bishop, some seniors went to the mic. during  the public portion to once again ask that Brian Batch be reinstated.   They thought that making a new appointment now was out of order since the Batch matter is not yet resolved.

But the vote for Bishop was unanimous by all 5 Committeemen.

LITTLE RICHARD:

“Good golly Miss Molly, sure like to ball.
Good golly, Miss Molly, sure like to ball.
When you’re rockin’ and a rollin’ can’t hear your momma call.”

 

 

 

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Committeeman Bishop, a Democrat, is seated to the right in this photo of the Neptune Township Committee. Blogfinger file photo. ©

Committeeman Bishop is seated to the right in this undated photo at a Neptune Township Committee meeting.    Blogfinger file photo. ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

Committeeman Randy Bishop recently announced publicly  that he would be leaving his posts on  the Township Committee and on the Planning Board in order to take a position appointed by the State of New Jersey.   But he is still present, and the changeover was supposed to have happened by now.  In fact, replacements were being considered for his Committee seat.

But Bishop has not resigned his post on the Committee after all, and he has not, to our knowledge, publicly explained his plans.

Jack Bredin, OG citizen activist and Blogfinger researcher, attends every Committee meeting and he pays attention to such matters.  We received this comment from him today,

“Paul, Randy Bishop would like to remain on the Committee. He has stayed on past the time he was expected to leave, and I would hope he would stay on because he is the most knowledgeable on the Committee regarding land use procedures.”

MICHAEL BUBLE´  “A Foggy Day.”

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Newly-elected Committeeman Nicholas Williams (L)  poses with re-elected incumbent Committeeman Dr. Michael Brantley. (source: Candidates web site)   Williams lives in Neptune, but he is a member of the Ocean Grove Citizens Patrol, so he knows how to spot trouble. We have high hopes for him.   Perhaps Dr. Brantley will pay more attention to OG issues in 2016.      Internet photo.

 

In a recent Blogfinger poll, 88% of respondents said that they did not trust the Neptune Township Committee to do what is fair and just for Ocean Grove.  310 respondents voted. 85% said No; 9% said Yes; the rest were unsure.

In January there will be a new Neptune Township Committee. Returning are Dr. Michael Brantley (newly re-elected), Kevin McMillan (incumbent and new Mayor)  and Randy Bishop (incumbent.)   Taking the place of Mary Beth Jahn is Nicholas Williams (newly elected.)  We don’t know yet who will take the place of Eric Houghtaling.

Mary Beth Jahn was not nominated to run again  by the Monmouth County Democrats despite the protests of Randy Bishop. Eric Houghtaling will vacate his seat on January 12, as he will move up to the Assembly in Trenton.

Randy Bishop may soon be vacating his seat voluntarily, but there is no official word about that.

In 2016, the Committee will remain all Democratic. Neptune used to be solidly Republican. Now it is the most Democratic town in Monmouth County.   Some say that party politics are not important in local elections, but don’t believe it. If you look at the Facebook page of Brantley and Williams, after winning, they said, “Democratic residents of Neptune. This was a victory for you.”

Hopefully it will be a victory for all of us.

At Blogfinger our New Year wish is that the newly reshuffled Committee, headed by a new Mayor, will take a fresh look at the way Ocean Grove citizens have been treated with regards to our historic designations, fair and equal zoning applications, out-of-control property taxes, parking standards, and protection against being overrun by condo-building developers.

We have been especially worried about how the North End Redevelopment is being handled.  How about zoning all of OG for single family.  And how about cancelling the redevelopment zone at the North End.

Also, many of us believe that the current application for an RISS exemption in Trenton will jeopardize our town’s future. Why not trash that application to the SIAB and start enforcing the State parking law in the Grove.

We want our Committee to represent us in a fair and transparent manner.   Hopefully that poll, when repeated in 2016, will show a better relationship between the Committee and Ocean Grove.

We also want to remind the Committee that the OGHOA does not represent most Grovers, so the Committee needs to do more outreach in the Grove to judge what our citizens prefer.  Don’t wait for the citizens to come to you.   Let’s reach out of the box.

–Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

THE SHIRELLES:

 

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Mayor Mary Beth Jahn  of Neptune Township, New Jersey.

Mayor Mary Beth Jahn of Neptune Township, New Jersey.

We recently reported on an ugly incident at the April 27, 2015 Township Committee meeting where an Ocean Grove resident was forced to sit down during the public session.  We posted the exact verbal exchange between Jack Bredin and the Mayor, but when the minutes of that meeting were published on the Township website, this is what it said:    “Jack Bredin came up to the microphone to talk about the North End but was asked to sit down by the Mayor. He was escorted to his seat by a Patrolman.”

I think this version of the event makes Jack look bad without revealing the Mayor’s untoward behavior.  Those minutes should include everything that is said at those meetings, not a distorted whitewashed version.  This revisionist text makes one wonder what else is distorted when those minutes are typed and does nothing to reassure the public about transparency by the Committee.

The conversation can be heard on the recording that was made at the meeting, and we posted the transcription on Blogfinger  (see link below)

Exact excerpt from the April 27 Committee meeting

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