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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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Miss Pegi’s purple barn, perhaps the only one in America (red is the usual choice.) Paul Goldfinger photographs. October, 2019. © Click to enlarge.

 

Farmer Pegi Costantino by the chicken coop, with one of her unusual egg layers.  Click to enlarge.  Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

Many of you know Pegi Costantino. She is a Grover who wears many hats and loves many colors. Some of you know her as the President (Chief Woman) at the OG Woman’s Club but also as an expert on horticulture who has a long running radio show.

If you click on our “about” page above, scroll down to Pegi’s biographical information and see a  photo of her showing a painting of an elephant, by an elephant, at their Woman’s Club home.  (No, she does not have a real elephant painting in her living room)

Pegi is a farmer at heart, and recently she and her number one farm hand Tom Costantino, purchased a small farm in the real historic district of Neptune Township along Old Corlies Road, an area that has been farmed for many years back in time.

The one acre site contains an old farmhouse and a barn that has been empty for over 10 years. It used to be a horse farm, so Pegi found some petrified horse manure inside. Since then she has been fixing up the barn, attaching a chicken coop on the right side, and making repairs to the aging structure.

One of three roosters for those of you who have never seen one. They can be nasty.

Tom does most of the digging and hauling, and Pegi’s plan is to have a barn cat.  She also will be planting flowering specimens, following  her woodland design, behind her property. And she will start astilbe from seed in her greenhouse in order to have a “‘field” of that flowering species next year in the woods.

We decided to photograph at “The Happy Acre Farm”  when she told us that the barn would be painted purple.  Pegi  loves to do the unexpected, especially where colors are concerned.  After all, she once painted her OG house bright orange, over the objections of the local boring historic officials.  Why did she do that?  “I just liked the color,” she said.

Miss Pegi and Massa Tom moved in recently and she has been a whirlwind renovating the house and designing and implementing the farm plan.  Currently she has chickens and three  roosters, three dogs, and various plantings including a vegetable garden and a blueberry patch.

Recently she completed a greenhouse attached to the home, using some old windows which she discovered at a drop-dead sale of items from a casino that was going out of business in Atlantic City.

While she showed us around, a rooster attacked Eileen, but Becky, Chief Dog, chased the cock-a-doodle away.

Across the street is a historic cemetary, but Pegi doesn’t let that bother her. She says that they are “good neighbors,”  and it’s just one more of  the jigsaw pieces that Pegi will assemble as part of her farm neighborhood.

Miss Pegi with Becky (a chocolate lab) and Kousa Dogwood (Dogwood is a fitting last name for the little white man) and a chicken.  Pegi has a chicken in every pot and eggs out the wazoo.   Paul Goldfinger photo.  ©

 

 

TIM McGRAW   “Down on the Farm”

 

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The October meeting of the Ocean Grove Home Owners Association will be held on Saturday, October 26 at the

Community Room, adjacent to the Pathway Market, at 10:00 a.m.
  All candidates for election to the Neptune Township Committee and the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders have been invited to participate.
The candidates for Neptune Township Committee are:
Kendra Hogan(R)                Robert Lane (D)*
Gary Moll (R)                      Carol Rizzo (D)*
The candidates for Monmouth County Board of Freeholders are:
Thomas Arnone (R)*            Dominick DiRocco (R)
Moira Nelson (D)                  Michael Penna (D)
*Incumbent

COLE PORTER      Show the Committee that anything doesn’t go:

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Next stop is the Jumping Brook Country Club in Neptune. May 22, 2015. Blogfinger photo by Paul Goldfinger. ©

Next stop is the Jumping Brook Country Club in Neptune. May 22, 2015. Blogfinger photo on Main Avenue in Ocean Grove  by Paul Goldfinger. ©  Click to enlarge.      Repost

Five friends posing for pictures in Firemen’s Park, Ocean Grove.  How beautiful can you look?  How wonderful the day? Thus we are re-posting this fine memory for these friends.

We found this happy crew standing for photographs in front of the bell, but get outta here! What about that gorgeous chariot at the curb, waiting to take them to the Neptune High School Prom?  Let’s take the picture over there.

These five Scarlet Fliers are a group of friends—they said so.  How lucky can you get? Let’s get close together and how about a big smile?

So who do we have here?   We have, left to right,  Nicholas Severson, Rebecca Sokol, Victoria Alaniz, Sasha Murphy, and Max Schmidt.

The red “limo” is a 1940 Ford owned by Michael Yencarelli.  The car has been in his family for 30 years.

Since we have a car from the 1940’s, let’s go retro for music from that same era.

Ladies and gentleman, from the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, it’s Frank Sinatra with Count Basie and his Orchestra:

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An Ocean Grove resident was handed this today by Code Enforcement. March 4, 2014.

An Ocean Grove resident was handed this  by Code Enforcement. March 4, 2014.  Re-post 3/3/19. See comments from 2018.  You can add more now.

hoa-one

Ken Buckley–crusader for fines if you don’t clear a path.

OH GEE, OH GOSH, IT’S THE BUCKLEY LAW:    THE KODOKS:

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

 

BOB HOLIDAY FROM THE BROADWAY SHOW “FIORELLO”

[/audio

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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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Neptune Senior Center and Services. Internet photo.

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

Well, let’s first clear up the headline.  We are recalling the famous front page of the NY Daily News after President  Ford in 1975 refused aid for New York City.   Ford denied ever using that expression, but journalists said it was OK because it encapsulated the essence of his views.

And so it is in reporting on the heated clash between Neptune Seniors and the Neptuner elected officials  at last night’s  April 9, 2018  Township Committee meeting.

A large crowd of seniors stirred up a hornets’ nest at the Mother Ship—it was an uprising on Neptune Boulevard creating an atmosphere of passions and shouts–ie  great theater—-more fun than “Dancing With the Stars” according to our reporter on the scene.

To backtrack a bit, you may recall our first report  of  (Part I)   Seniorgate when,  on March 28, Blogfinger reported on a contentious issue developing between the Senior Citizens, their Advisory  Board, and the Township Committee.

BF article of March 28, 2018 referencing the Senior cititzen complaint

BF  said,  “At the  last Committee meeting on March 26, the Mayor ignored the pleas of a large number of Senior Citizens  who came in person to protest the “firing” of a beloved director of the Senior Center—Brian Butch.    Vito Gadaleta, the Business Administrator, said that the director was on a “paid leave of absence,” allowing Gadaleta to hire an “acting director” at a salary of $65,000  per year.

The Township ignored the issues raised by the Seniors and their Citizens Advisory Board and would not publicly explain the details of the situation on the grounds that there was “litigation.”

Which brings us to Part II of Seniorgate, April 9,  when a packed house filled with Seniors crowded  the meeting room. It seemed that there were more people than the Fire Marshall would allow, but, unlike the permit parking meeting, this one was permitted to proceed despite the fire risks.

The matter was not on the agenda, but the Committee met in executive secret session at 6 pm to discuss the situation with their “labor lawyer.”  When the public portion of the meeting occurred, the Seniors, standing shoulder to shoulder, took 5 minute timed  turns at the microphone to express their outrage over the dismissal of their Senior Center Director.  They all demanded that the dismissal be explained and that the Director must be brought back to his job;  but the Township refused to give out any information due to “litigation.”

So, despite the pleas, the Seniors were left dancing  in the dark.

The “labor lawyer” spoke and agreed that litigation prevented the release of information, and he would answer no questions.

Another lawyer in the room was outraged as he said, “You should tell the truth—there is no litigation in this matter.”

We believe that attorney represented the dismissed Senior Director.

Then the labor lawyer answered “Yes, there is no litigation now, but there could be.”

The dismissed director also spoke and asked for his job back.  One of the seniors threatened the Committee by reminding it that 1/3 of Neptune voters are Seniors.   Then the Mayor adjourned the meeting.

The issue has become inflamed now due to the resistance and lack of transparency  of the Township Committee.  The Mayor needs to step up regarding this matter and tell the truth about the dismissal.

Was it done “for cause” or is this a crude attempt to turn over a good city job to someone who has contacts and influence?  Favoritism at Neptune Township is nothing new.

This public display of disrespect  towards the Seniors by the Committee is yet another example of the opaque secret society, one party rule, which runs the town as a fiefdom rather than a democracy.  They are now facing a revolt and soon they may be facing banners that say “Senior Lives Matter.”

This issue  “has legs,” and we have not heard the last of it. Part III is waiting in the wings, and the show will go on.

TONY BENNETT:  “Dancing in the Dark”

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What can be done to stop the spending excesses of the Neptune School System? Blogfinger photo. ©

TO THE EDITOR:

Due to the extremely high property taxes levied on Ocean Grove, some desperate residents have turned to renting out their homes and some are planning to move out of town and even out of state.

The school tax plays a big part in Ocean Grove’s dilemma, being the majority of the tax bill. But the paradox is that an extremely small percentage of residents sent their children to Neptune Township Schools and many residents  do not even reside in Ocean Grove during the winter months.

The school tax should be based on the number of students from Ocean Grove and not grouped in with the numberof students from Neptune Township.  We have the power to stop this!

From:   FAIR IS FAIR, OCEAN GROVE, August 10, 2017

The writer is a resident of OG, but we do not know his/her name.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  During a radio interview on July 28, Gov Christie said that “NJ residents deserve blame on property taxes, too.”

Regarding school taxes:     “All we want to do is complain about it,” Christie said of school taxes, the largest segment of property tax bills, “but if I go to somebody’s town and say, hell, your property taxes are like this because look at how much your school taxes are … we are going to take the steps that are necessary to do that.”

Christie said the response at that point is typically, ” ‘No, no, no! Not in my town!’ ‘

www.app.com/story/news/local/new-jersey/2017/07/28/chris-christie-says-nj-residents-deserve-blame-property-taxes-too/519600001/

“The Money Song” from the off-Broadway show Avenue Q    (We couldn’t find a song called “Charity Begins at Home.”)

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