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Archive for the ‘Neptune Township controversies’ 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Now, in a Democratic conspiracy, Kevin McMillan has been replaced by Cafferty.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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Missing is the Mayor who is out in the audience berating a citizen.

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor@Blogfinger.

 

In a bizarre example of what passes for journalism at the Quoaster, the paper filled 3/4 of a page on an assessment of 4 candidates for 2 seats on the Neptune Committee in November.

It is bizarre because the report does not explain how the information was obtained.  It is written as if all the candidates were together for a forum/ debate  interview session with the Quoaster.  But is that how it was done, or did the reporter conduct interviews with the 4 individually, by phone or in person, or maybe 2 at a time by party, by phone or in person.?

Or were the quotes obtained by sending each candidate a list of questions and then receiving the answers by email and then writing the report as if it were a sort of conversation.

I expect it was the latter, because the “reporter” did not report on any questions which he asked the candidates and then had a conversation with followup questions. At no time were the answers challenged  by the reporter. This is not journalism.

Regardless of how the information was gathered, there is one bottom line which should interest us:  at no time was Ocean Grove or its issues mentioned.

What were mentioned were: taxes, bond ratings, safety, quality of life, attracting new businesses, fighting crime, police resources, crime stats, empty storefronts, Midtown development, and candidates credentials.

If you want to read the report, pick up the Coaster.  Note that the candidates  barely mentioned political party in this report.  Maybe they all want to pretend that political affiliation has no bearing locally, but these days it does, and having 5 Dems run the town does not allow for bipartisan thinking, representation, and philosophy.

Qoaster quote:   ” Rizzo said she thinks the committee operates  in a bipartisan manner when it comes to important issues.”     Really?

The two Democratic incumbents are Robert Lane and Carol Rizzo , and two Republican challengers are Kendra Hogan and Gary Moll.

All 4 candidates will appear together at the Ocean Grove HOA meeting on Saturday, October 26.   Who knows if there will be sanity at that meeting after the last session where OGNED was allowed to skirt relevant questions from the audience.

Hopefully citizens will ask  pointed questions about OG issues including permit parking, DEP permission for the recent Lake Avenue easement, North End Redevelopment Plan which snatched the proper zoning away from the people, and lack of transparency by the current crew which has shown little concern for the people of Ocean Grove.

I have little hope that the challengers  will know anything about OG’s problems, unless they surprise us later, but this report doesn’t raise any hope.

However,  the challengers should be elected just to have some opposing voices on the Committee.  But their chances seem slim. However, a strong OG vote for them would send a message if not provoke a wake up call for the Neptune Committee.

 

DEAN MARTIN:

 

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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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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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