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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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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.

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

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

 

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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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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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THE CANADIAN BRASS:  “Christmas Time is Here” with  brass quintet and percussion.

 

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All municipal offices, including the Senior Center, are CLOSED on Friday, November 25th.

The Library and Township Recycling Yard are OPEN
on Friday.
Wishing you blessings of health and happiness on Thanksgiving.

FATS WALLER:

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Neptune Twp. leaf sucking machine makes its rounds in OG. Last week they sucked up a medium sized dog which wound up in Asbury Par, but it was fine. Blogfinger photo. Nov. 4, 2016

Neptune Twp. leaf sucking machine makes its rounds in OG. Last week they sucked up a medium sized dog which wound up in Asbury Park, but it was fine. Blogfinger photo. Nov. 4, 2016

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

Is it possible that every once in a while, life can actually get less complicated?  My neighbor Melinda was out the other day raking leaves into the street.  I asked her if she knew whether we are supposed to bag them or what?  She said, “I don’t know,  but I’m thinking of calling.”  I shrugged and shuffled through the pile of leaves around my car.

This morning, the giant vacuum truck showed up at Delaware and Mt. Hermon Way. My old friend Darby from the Neptune DPW had one hand on a rake and one hand pointing at the huge sucker hose.  He wore a mask, which he lowered to answer my questions about leaf collection in the Grove this season.  He smiled as if to say, “This is really simple!”

It turns out that you can forget about bagging the leaves.  Simply rake them into a pile in the curb.  The curb part is true, while the pile part seems to be optional.  Then, as the sucking machine makes its rounds through town, it will eventually get to your leaf collections.

Once they end their route, they start all over again.  So, for those of you who sometimes feel nostalgic for the autumn aroma of burning leaves,  the Neptune  DPW presents us with a November gift of leaf cleanup and clean air in the fall.

JOHNNY MERCER       “Autumn Leaves.”  From his  album My Huckleberry Friend

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6/28/16. Garbage bag sliced open for inspection. Blogfinger photo

6/28/16. Garbage bag sliced open for inspection. Blogfinger photo

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

This morning we put out one small bag of yard waste.  The bag was tied.  The trashmen sliced it open and left it as a stark, rude message to not mess with their yard waste rules.  They also left a copy of the yard waste pickup schedule, but it seemed to us that if you go out and pick a few weeds, that you should not have to jump through hoops for that. What if we just had a bag half that size; or just a small bundle of branches?    What if we had mixed our weeds in with the regular garbage?  Would we have been rejected for that?   Where do they draw the line?

Why don’t they open everybody’s garbage bags, all of them,  to look for contraband, toxic waste, weapons, explosives, electronics, recyclables and other items that should not be in the regular garbage?  Maybe they will find a handful of grass or some leaves amongst the coffee grinds, the orange peels, and the dead flowers from your Mother’s Day bouquet.

Why was my garbage bag singled out?  It was tied shut.  Did they use plant sniffing dogs?  Did they squeeze my black bag and guess what was in it before they cut it open?

No one opened my white kitchen bags which were out this morning for pickup. Maybe there were some dead roses in there.   Unless the snoop police open everybody’s garbage, they are guilty of unequal justice under the law and of discrimination.

This is an invasion of privacy  and it is an abuse of power.  I find it offensive.

What we have here is a slippery slope. Neptune Township has been breaking State RSIS laws for years, but put out some weeds, and they will consider it an actionable offense.

Abuse of power  always begins with minor actions that may seem trivial at first,  and when no one objects,  things will get worse.   Just read history to verify that point.

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