Archive for the ‘Neptune Township Committee’ Category

Wesley Lake, lookng toward the OG North End.  A space where light, breezes and ocean views prevail.  Paul Goldfinger ©

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

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

At last week’s Neptune Township Committee meeting, April 27, Committeeman Randy Bishop reported that WAVE requested the Committee to amend the North End Redevelopment Plan (NERP. ) However, the Committee took no formal action to amend the plan.   As such, the 2008 plan (permitting 165 units) is still in effect.

The Coaster reports on the Grove, but they are not from the Grove. Their reporter goes to the Committee meetings, shuffles through the packet of press releases given to him by the Township, and then rolls it out in their next edition, as they did last week,  sticking to the Committee’s narrative.

The Coaster doesn’t offer any editorial opinions on these matters because they get lots of money from the Township for ads that you can see at the back of every issue; not that there’s anything wrong with that, but The Coaster is  busy covering a bunch of towns in this area, so it may not get all the facts straight in Ocean Grove.   We, on the other hand, are OG specialists.

It’s a good thing Blogfinger is hovering nearby to keep the record accurate.    In The Coaster front page story on April 30, 2015, about the New NERP, we found some things that need clarification. All quotes are from that Coaster article:

——–“Redevelopment of the North End section in historic Ocean Grove will proceed under a revised developer’s agreement.” Wrong! How can an agreement be revised when it has never existed in the first place? That agreement should have happened back in 2008 when the redevelopers were identified, but it never did.

——–“…but an exact timeline for the project has not yet been announced.”   No kidding! Such a timeline would be a necessary part of a redevelopers agreement which doesn’t exist, so why would anyone expect a timeline to be announced now?

——–“Committeeman Randy Bishop, who was mayor during the initial hearing to adopt the 2008 plan, said at Monday’s workshop that recent meetings were held with the main principals of the redevelopment project.”

Really?  Meetings?   We only know of one such meeting that was announced as occurring in April, and that meeting was attended not by our Mayor (definitely a “principle”) or by the Camp Meeting Association (definitely a “principle.”)   Instead that meeting was attended by the Township Engineer, WAVE, Bishop, and the Township lawyer. That meeting was supposed to be about negotiating a redevelopers agreement, but instead it was for WAVE to offer a new plan.    If there were “meetings,” then why don’t the citizens know about all of them?

——–  “It was very hard and there were very frank discussions. Everyone at the table gave up things to make the plan better.” per Bishop. But who exactly gave things up? Only Bishop and Wave were there. Where was the CMA to say what it would give up?

——-Coaster, “The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association…..will still own the land, like it does in all of Ocean Grove.” But, excuse us, the CMA does not own the beach or Wesley Lake, and those places are involved in the New NERP.

——-“Bishop said all of WAVE’s principles and financials will have to be given before it is declared the sole redeveloper and that a timeline for the project will probably be announced once this happens”

Sorry, but the timeline must be included in the Redeveloper’s Agreement before it is signed.   And  let’s be frank here: those WAVE “principles” have been concealed from the public for the last 8 years. Why weren’t they identified before? They will have to come out of the shadows now if they own over 10% interest in the project.

——-And Coaster what about the site plan which must be designed after the surveys are complete, and no surveys have evidently been done so far. Those site plans are needed to get all necessary approvals such as DEP, Army Corps of Engineers, etc.

——-And Coaster  how about the Gateway Design feature* which has now been eliminated? Why did that happen and why did you forget to tell us about the construction plans which must be obtained before this New NERP goes forward?

It seems that you only want to mention what they tell you to mention. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

* Gateway design feature: A statue or other structure on the boardwalk at the place where Asbury Park meets Ocean Grove.

BIG BIRD:   What the heck avenue do those NEW NERP words mean?

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By Paul Goldfinger, Editor  @Blogfinger

At the end of each Neptune Township Committee meeting, a citizen is allowed to come up to the microphone and speak for 5 minutes. The citizen may ask questions or make a statement. No Township official has to respond, although they are free to do so.

We have received a report from Mr. Jack Bredin on Heck Avenue that he  went to the podium last night to express some concerns about the North End Plan. He was in the middle of his time when he asked why the Mayor was not present at the April 15 meeting which was, according to the Township Clerk, supposed to be about negotiations for a Redeveloper Agreement. Mary Beth Jahn is one of the two Committee people who were chosen to participate in those negotiations.

However, Mayor Jahn reacted angrily to Mr. Bredin’s question by slamming her gavel down several times—a signal to have a policeman come in and remove the citizen.

The officer assigned to attend Committee Meetings approached Mr.Bredin, at the podium, to indicate that he should return to his seat.

As this was occurring, Mayor Jahn allegedly said into the microphone that she could have him thrown out because “I am a bitch!”

None of the representatives of the Homeowners Association and none of the other elected officials rose in Mr. Bredin’s defense.

We have requested an audio recording of the meeting, and we will post a precise transcription of the exchange when the Clerk’s office makes it available to us  in one week.

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By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

It’s very interesting to read the minutes of the Neptune Township Committee.  Unfortunately, the minutes are not typed and made available in a timely way.  For example, on April 25, 2015, two days before the next meeting, the latest minutes posted on the Township web site are from March 9, 2015.  You can get your hands on the actual recording of the meeting by going to the Clerk’s Office where, for a nominal charge, they will give you an audio recording on a disc.

Anyone can read the typed minutes by going to Neptunetownship.org.  then click on Agendas and Minutes.  This is an important service.

One part that is always of interest is the Public Comments section at the end where anyone can go to the mic and say what they wish.  They are allowed 5 minutes, and it doesn’t elicit any discussion, but you can find out some interesting information anyhow.

For example, at the March 9 meeting, Ken Buckley of Ocean Grove said a number of things, but these two stood out:

1.  “He also discussed the parking problem in Asbury Park and stated their problems could become our problems. He felt the parking problems in Ocean Grove needed to be looked at and solved.”

2.  “He stated as far as the North End he had an idea to add a street down the middle of the North End and construct single family homes on either side of the street.”

Jack Bredin of Ocean Grove must have raised some eyebrows when he “stated that the Ocean Grove beach is not owned by the Camp Meeting Association. They have riparian rights.”

Jack also asserted that there are problems with the Township’s land use regarding the north end pavilion and #4 Boardwalk.  He said that some of it might be illegal and he asked the Township to get an opinion from the State.  Details of his comment can be found in the minutes.

Since very few OG citizens attend those Committee meetings, the minutes and recordings provide a way to know what transpired. You can also read Blogfinger to see our succinct selections.

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