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Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove North End Redevelopment Plan’ Category

You can’t always get what you want. Paul Goldfinger photograph ©

Just because this agreement is signed by the Mayor and the Redeveloper OGNED  doesn’t mean that the project will ever be completed.  The Redevelopers Agreement for the North End Redevelopment Plan should be subtitled  “Promises, Promises” because it is filled with nothing but those. See Jack Bredin’s report below.

Jack Bredin, Blogfinger reporter/researcher, was present at the September 9, 2019 Committee Meeting when this long delayed document was approved by resolution.

THE 3 ACRE TRAVESTY AT THE NORTH END OF OCEAN GROVE IS A DONE DEAL……BUT IS IT?

By Jack Bredin, Blogfinger reporter/researcher, September 10, 2019. Ocean Grove, NJ.

At the September 9, 2019 meeting of the Township Committee, a 100+ page report, with attachments and exhibits (Resolution 19-316,) was passed with no dissenters.

It had been written by the Township’s Redevelopment Attorney.  The report attempted to list all of the items that were NOT accomplished over the past 11 years, items that are necessary to start construction at the North End, and a recommendation for the Mayor to sign a “Redevelopment Agreement” with OGNED LLC.

It would have been easier to just say, “Nothing has been accomplished in 11 years.”  This 100 page report is an attempt to “pull the wool over our eyes.”

The only thing that was new in the report was that Mayor Rizzo’s Redevelopment Committee recommended that the Township Committee drop its requirement that the Redeveloper file “financial guarantees” with the Clerk assuring that the project would be completed and on time.

At the 7:00 p.m. Regular Meeting after the 6:00 p.m. Workshop, about 40 residents were present, but OGNED did not attend.  The Camp Meeting Association did attend.  They are the landowner of the 3 acre site and they took notes.   About 6 residents spoke against the resolution, and no one spoke for it.

The OG Home Owners Association is already on the record from day one, 2008, supporting the North End Redevelopment project.

All residents with questions were told, “You can ask that question at a Planning Board meeting.”

Because Mayor Rizzo is the Class 1 member of the Planning Board, she should be able to answer all questions regarding the North End Redevelopment, but she appointed Dr. Michael Brantley as the Class 1 member of the Planning Board in her place, and he voted in 2008 that the redeveloper “shall” be required to post “financial guarantees.” And last night he voted, “The redeveloper ‘may’ post financial  guarantees, to assure the successful completion of the project.”

This change of one word from “shall” to “may” is a financial benefit to the Redeveloper that other developers do not get, and could be detrimental to OG residents if OGNED LLC goes bankrupt or cannot build an underground parking garage as approved by the Township, and they all voted for it.

Editor’s Note.  Paul Goldfinger @Blogfinger.net.

Why should OGNED have been at the meeting?   That Redeveloper has no interest in what the public thinks. You may recall when OGNED visited the HOA and refused to answer certain questions from the audience.

All these documents will be signed in private, out of the public’s view.

The Agreement raises all sorts of questions that currently are not answered.  The Redeveloper thinks he can complete all the approvals and documents within 14 months, but it likely will take longer than that.  And the actual construction project will probably take at least 5 years.  During that time, there will be major hardships on those who live near the project, and the document promises that those concerns will be assuaged.

Most of us wonder about the underground garage which will be huge.  It will have to be flood-proofed and it will need massive pilings to hold its weight as well as the weight on top of it. None of that information is yet available, and the garage is barely mentioned in the document.

And we also wonder where all the equipment and supplies will be kept during construction.

Here is a partial list of what is promised in this Redevelopers Agreement:

a.  “Any and all required goverment approvals” will be obtained including DEP (Federal and State.)

b. A final site plan with all needed engineering approvals to go to the Planning Board.

c. A  “traffic impact study.”

d. A “project schedule.”

e. “Financials” which “may” be supplied.

f. A “minimization impacts” statement.

g.  A long-term lease agreement between the Camp Meeting Association and the Township/OGNED.  We don’t know if all this has been thoroughly worked out. But in the end, all condo unit owners (51)  will have their own individual ground rent arrangements with the CMA. Other components are also condo units such as the hotel and the retail entities.

h. And much more…..You can read the entire Agreement.  The HOA sent it around a few days ago. Email them. The Neptune web site has not posted it.

So, after years of Blogfinger ‘s wrestling with this damn topic, we find that democracy has lost out to apathy….a failure of the people to participate in the process.  So we at Blogfinger finally agree, “You can’t always get what you want.”  But maybe the citizens of Ocean Grove will eventually get what they need.

ITUANA:  From the soundtrack of “Big Little Lies.”

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Ocean Grove. 2011 © Paul Goldfinger photograph.  Yellow warning flag is flying.  Re-post from January, 2019.

“Something familiar,

Something peculiar,

Something for everyone:

A comedy tonight!

 

 

“New complications,

Nothing portentous or polite;

Tragedy tomorrow,

Comedy tonight!”

*Stephen Sondheim:  A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

 

 

Raise the curtain at the Neptune Theater of the Absurd.  The stage is set for a tragedy:

Jack Bredin attended the Township Comedy’s meeting last night, and his conclusion is, “Ocean Grove is being sold down the river.”

After hearing OG’s  Carol Rizzo, the 2019  Neptune Township Mayor, effusively praise the “new” North End Plan, Jack sank down in his chair—He says that all hope seems to be lost as this show unfolds with its final acts waiting in the wings.

This drama about the historic town of Ocean Grove is now positioned to move forward in a direction that will be accepted by all the power players, leaving the residents of the Grove hung out to dry.  Once the contractors trucks begin to stir up the dust and clog our respiratory tracts, while creating a nightmare of congestion,  and a cacophony of noise, we will wind up with a large scale version of the Greek Temple on Main Avenue—a variation on a theme as the promise of historic small town OG will forever be lost.

And, along with it will be the hopes for a pristine Wesley Lake, now known by  all concerned  as a “retention/detention basin.”

Let’s consider the players in this Greek tragedy known as “The North End Revelopment Plan.”  We have the main actors at Neptune Township along with the Chorus consisting of  the Home Groaners, the Camp Meeting, the Chamber of Commercials, the Historic Preservation Commission, the Planning Board, and The Wesley Lake Commission.

 

And, providing the backdrop and script for this scandalous performance, there is the main villain of the piece—secretive local developers lurking off stage while pulling on the puppets’ strings.  Here is the cast of characters:

a. The Neptune Township Committee: Mayor Rizzo of Ocean Grove, who has swallowed the Kool Aid,  will lead those Neptuner sheep to unanimously approve the new plan.  She has appointed Committeeman Michael Brantley to take her place as the “Class one” member of the Planning Board.  She has abdicated her key role as the protector of the people at the PB. Brantley is a Neptuner through and through, and he will order the PB to approve the new plan unanimously.

Once upon a time there was a Committeewoman who favored single family zoning at the North End.  Mary Beth Jahn stuck her neck out for the best interests of the people and the town, and she was beheaded by the Monmouth County  and Neptune Democratic Party.

The Neptune Committee is indifferent to the people of Ocean Grove, and one party rule prevents any chance of changing the ending of this tragedy.

b.  The Rule of Law:  Normal procedures regarding land use law have been routinely violated in Neptune, but that crowd, along with their OG allies, does whatever it pleases.  And they are aided and abetted by favoritism offered by key unelected bureaucrats at Town Hall.

c. OG Home Owners Ass.  We don’t know their motives, but this group of turncoats continues to back the developers and Neptuners regarding the North End.  Ken Buckley who is on the HOA Board and the HPC told Jack that they are “backing the Plan.”

d.  Developers: (OGNED)    Most of these people are connected to OG, but despite that, they conspire, whenever possible, to exploit the people of OG for profit.   They are favored at the Mother Ship with zoning manipulations including those that increase congestion and ugliness in town:  Condos, Greek Temple, Mary’s Place, parking  torture, etc.

e. Camp Meeting Association.  They have removed themselves as Redevelopers,but that is just cosmetic.  The President of the the CMA told us publicly that his organization has been involved in negotiations to move the NERP forward. They have control as the land owners, so they are focused on making money.  They seem to have little interest in the OG residents community or the historical designation of the town.

f. Chamber of Commerce:  In many US towns the CC is community minded.  But this crew only cares about two things: profits and tourists.  They never get involved with community issues such as the North End. For them, the commercialized North End Plan will increase their membership as they continue to close Main Avenue for mindless tourist events and crowds.

g.  Historic Preservation Commission:  When they are not hiding under their beds, they are busy being hypocrites and they have stood by while the Neptuners seek to take over their guidelines on behalf of developers and contractors.

h.  Wesley Lake Commission, representing both sides, has stopped trying to clean the Lake and instead they support the Retention/Detention re-naming  in order to allow the Lake to be used to receive  increasing amounts of filthy ground water, thus saving the developers a huge amount of money to fix the ecology of the former “Wesley Lake”

i. The Residents of OG-–Those who envision our historic town as a lovely place with its Victorian architecture, parks, clean Lakes, parking for those who live here, reduction in tourist glut, solving the Asburian invasion, keeping our streets open, nurturing of the community with its kids, families, retirees, diversification, etc. will be the big losers in the North End project.

“Representative government” has failed here, and apathy reigns.   Only a major law suit in Superior Court  or an investigation by the NJ Attorney General could close this show down.

Once the curtain closes on all this, the corruption in OG/Neptune will continue.  Blogfinger will keep reporting the news, but we don’t see an alternative ending to this drama.   Jack says, “Ocean Grove is a door mat;  we’re sunk.”

By Jack Bredin and Paul Goldfinger:  Blogfinger.net.  January 15, 2019.  Ocean Grove, New Jersey.

 

ZERO MOSTEL  from the original Broadway cast album of Stephen Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

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heading north - Version 2 2014

Leaving Ocean Grove to explore A. Park. c. 2014.   Will the 2019 OG  North End become as  welcoming as it is in this photograph?  Or will it become Asbury Park South?    Paul Goldfinger photograph. ©  Click to enlarge.         Note, the White Whale  (pink in this photo)  burned down on April 13, 2019.  As for Bridgegate, this is an alternate route after midnight without any locks . A. Park owns the Casino building.

And as for girls in their summer clothes, since 2014 the bottoms got higher and the tops got tighter…it’s all good and now rated PG–at least in A. Park;  maybe PG 13 in the Grove.

 

AMY WINEHOUSE

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HOA meeting 6/22/19. Full house, but some questions were banned. Paul Goldfinger photo. Democracy takes a hit.

 

Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger.net

June 22, 2019.  Ocean Grove, NJ

 

Barbara Burns, President of the Home Owners Assoc., had invited two members of OGNED, the OG North End Redevelopers, to discuss the latest Plan at today’s meeting, but before letting anyone speak, she set the ground rules:

No questions may be asked if they relate to the past history of the NERP.  She said that she didn’t want to “re-litigate” old news.  Her guests, “Conditional Redevelopers”  William Gannon III and Joel Brenner agreed that they would not answer such questions. They just wanted to talk about the plan as it is today.

But such questions comprise the very foundations of how this controversial plan developed over time, with considerable difficulty, much skepticism,  and no results, so it made no sense to limit  questioning to the latest point on the timeline.  She may think that there is only old news looking back, but that is outrageous. The whole NERP history, 11 years in duration, is flammable and ignitable.

Evidently Burns and Gannon had conspired to keep the subject matter confined only to what he wanted to talk about.

It seems that Mr. Gannon wanted to control the parameters of the meeting—perhaps he didn’t want to be embarrassed by certain questions having their roots in the past.  And President Burns went along with that—-she should not have invited him if he were going to disrespect skeptical  homeowners in the audience, such as myself and others.

Her demand that only she decide on which questions would be appropriate was arrogant, dumb, overbearing and undemocratic.

In fact, Gannon admitted that his attorneys did not want him to speak at this meeting, but he refused to take their advice, evidently because Burns assured him that there would be no embarrassing questions.

The sorts of questions that she disallowed might  have included those having to do with land use procedures in Neptune Township, redevelopment rules and practices, zoning, easements, bidding, RSIS standards, transparency, secrecy, specialist lawyers, and finally, which plan is this one?  Only one, from 2008, was ever formally approved.

There is a long list of topics related to the NERP which she inappropriately declared off-limits.

It is idiotic to cut the subject off at the knees when everything that Gannon presented today had its beginnings back in 2008 when the NERP was approved by the Township and the Planning Board.  OGNED would not be existing today if it weren’t for the approval of that plan, so all questions dating that far back should have been fair game.

Since that time a great deal has occurred including continuous behind-the-scenes negotiations that went on for years, with no public disclosure, even though a redevelopment plan is a public plan run by the Township, ideally with the utmost in transparency.

Mr. Gannon,a founder of WAVE,  tried to tap dance around the fact that the NERP became a public plan in 2008 when WAVE  and the CMA  succeeded in convincing Neptune to approve the North End as an “area in need of redevelopment.”   Neptune Township was to be in charge.

Now, all of a sudden, today, Gannon says that it is a “private redevelopment project,” but he didn’t explain where that term came from nor did he offer to give up the zoning that came with the public “re-development” designation.  He should have offered to return the zoning to 25 single family houses  if “private” is what it is.   And how did he manage to fire Neptune Township as the entity in charge?

My question at the censored meeting was going to be:  “In 2008, when the North End was designated as ‘an area in need of redevelopment’ under the supervision of Neptune Township, what was the legal rationale that permitted that designation?”

The CMA back then was capable of building 25 new homes and creating a beautiful new neighborhood. The “redevelopment”  designation was not necessary.  Then the property lay fallow for 11 years.  So now we are getting retail, condos, underground garage, 10 private homes, and a hotel—ie Asbury Park South.

At the meeting, Jack Bredin tried to ask the OGNED duo about the considerable paring down in project density that occurred between 2008 and now, but no straight answer was forthcoming.

Gannon said that the developers originally wanted 224 condos, but now they are down to 78, with 10 single family homes and 40 hotel rooms.  So what happened? Why did they willingly give up all that money?  Jack  and the rest of us want to know.

Homeowners do not seem to be Burns’  top priority—instead developers are.

The biggest news of the morning was that OGNED and the Township have still not signed off on a Redevelopment Agreement, and that is needed before the package goes to the Planning Board.  It seems that there still is a tangle of issues to be settled, and OGNED was evasive in explaining all that, hiding behind the “we can’t talk about it” excuse.

Gannon promised that there would be plenty of parking, but no smiley face and jokes will disguise the fact that parking will be trouble.

He said that the White Whale is not part of his group, and he doesn’t know what that owner will do, but maybe there will be a Phase 2 in the future to create further congestion over there.

Also, it seems that OGNED will buy the land currently owned by the CMA.

Gannon  also said that plans are being made to treat ground water coming off the site. Details are not available. The DEP is still looking at the plan.

Many permits are still not obtained as OGNED and the Township deal with agencies looking at the situation.

This song is dedicated to Barbara Burns and the Home Groaners:

JUDY CAPLAN GINSBURGH:

 

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North End Area in Need of Redevelopment Blogfinger photo ©

 

By Jack Bredin, Ocean Grove resident.

June 17, 2019.

 

In 2018, the Township Committee:

a. Withdrew the 2008 (10 year old) public North End Redevelopment Plan (NERP) prepared by the Neptune Planning Board for the Township Committee.

b. Withdrew the title of “Co-Redevelopers” from both the OGCMA and WAVE.

c. Approved a 2011 private plan prepared by Shore Point Architecture for WAVE that the HOA took credit for negotiating with the CMA.  However, the Township is processing it as if it were a public plan.

That plan is now the OGNED plan that includes the Pavilion building in one section of resolution 18-395, but does not include the Pavilion in another section of the same resolution (Attachment A, dated 11-26-2018.)

d.  OGNED is now designated as the exclusive Conditional Redeveloper.  But it will become the Redeveloper when a Redevelopers Agreement is signed with the Township.

In 2019: The Township Business Administrator reported, “All issues regarding the OGNED plan have been worked out,” and a Redevelopers Agreement is ready to be signed.

It is clear that the Township Committee has already approved the private development plan prepared by WAVE for OGNED.

The next step is off to the Planning Board, and they will decide if the new OGNED plan is the same plan they prepared with Planning Consultants T&M Associates for the Township Committee in 2008.

Of course, it is not the same plan, but they will say “it is,” or they will be replaced

What is the Ocean Grove Homeowners Association’s role in all of this?

With a favorable response at the June 22 meeting of the HOA, the Township Committee can say, “The Home Owners of Ocean Grove support the high density WAVE/OGNED plan.”  After all, they supported the first 2008 plan and took credit for negotiating the new plan.

But to make the record clear on this matter, the Homeowners Association at their upcoming meeting should entertain a Motion of the Membership that they approve or do not approve the OGNED plan for the North End.

As to the HPC, they only make a recommendation, but the HOA represents the “conscience of the community of Ocean Grove” as well as the “will” of the people.

Is there any hope for Ocean Grove?

 

Editor’s note: HOA members—be sure to demand a vote as to whether the group wants to support the plan presented to them by Mr. Gannon.

That vote should only take place after all audience questions are answered and discussed.

And make sure that the individual who is presenting the plan is giving you confidence that he can be trusted to do the right thing  for the residential and historic town of Ocean Grove.

Paul Goldfinger,  Editor  Blogfinger.net.

BAN THE PLAN!

 

THE PLATTERS.   Perhaps the HOA leadership will say they’re sorry for supporting the Township on this:

 

 

 

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In the future, when visitors stroll through the Casino and emerge on the sunny OG side, what will they find?   Paul Goldfinger photo ©. Undated

 

Jack Bredin and Paul Goldfinger, Blogfinger.net.    May 30, 2019.  Ocean Grove, NJ.

If you read the Blogfinger North End Update below, you will see that Administrator Vito Gadaleta painted a portrait of deceptive simplicity when he described the procedure for getting the latest  North End plan off the ground.

He said that all the “issues” have been resolved, so a signed Redevelopers Agreement, which has been missing in action since 2008, is now on the launching pad.

His statement made it seem so easy: just take it to the Neptune Planning Board and then on to the Historic Preservation Commission: a piece of cake.

But not so fast Mr. Gadaleta!  You seem to have left out some important issues which, according to New Jersey Land Use Law, require your attention.

This huge commercial, mixed-use-development at the North End  is on the verge of being approved,  along with  the consequent big money that will ensue, and the citizens need to take a close look.

So here are the issues which worry us, even though Mr. Gadaleta and the Fabulous Five failed to mention them in their announcement at the last Workshop meeting.

a.  Are they going to persist in calling Lake Avenue a “roadway?”  Are they planning to turn the north end boardwalk into a roadway?    Or are they planning a new road parallel to the boardwalk?

b. What plans do they have for processing dirty street water runoff ?

c. Have they applied for  a CAFRA/DEP permit to protect our coastal waters?

d. Where is the site plan that will show pilings and elevations according to post-Sandy construction regulations?

e. Have they obtained a security bond that will guarantee that the redevelopment project will be built as promised in the Redevelopment Agreement, soon to be signed as promised by Gadaleta?  Where is the letter of credit from a financial institution?

f. If they are proposing something different than the original (2008) North End Redevelopment Plan (NERP) then will they be scheduling public meetings for the input of citizens/residents ?

g.  What environmental studies have been done?  And what about engineering studies regarding the underground garage?

h.  If they plan to rebuild the Pavilion property, site of the recent fire, then will they get permission from the CMA  to provide access for trucks and other vehicles?  Will they provide parking as required by RSIS?  That property, east of the boardwalk, would not get parking access to the new garage.

I  If OGNED is the contract purchaser of the North End land, then will OGNED pay all the back taxes on the property?  And if the CMA sells the land to OGNED, then will the CMA be able to charge ground rents to those residents?

J. And for the part of the NERP west of the boardwalk, will there be enough parking to satisfy a traffic/parking study and will there be a way to get trucks and other vehicles  as well as utility access to those properties that face Wesley Lake?

K. Will the Planning Board be able to approve the new NERP  (which no one has seen yet) if some or all of the questions above remain unanswered?

So Blogfinger doesn’t know how many of these issues will apply, but it sure doesn’t sound as simple as portrayed by Vito  Gadaleta, spokesperson for Neptune Township.

 

TEDDY THOMPSON AND KELLY JONES  “Wondering.”

 

“Wondering
Yes, I’m wondering
Wondering if you might be wondering too
Lately, I’ve been wondering about this brand new rhythm in my heart
Lately, I’ve been been wondering why these thoughts won’t stop tearing me apart..”

 

 

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The Great Auditorium, Ocean Grove, NJ.  Does this look like a town that needed an Area in Need of Redevelopment?     Paul Goldfinger ©.. Undated.

 

Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

“Redevelopment is a tool which may be used by municipalities to turnaround stagnating, deteriorating, underutilized, or “undeveloped” properties which are not being properly maintained or invested in through the instrumentality of private capital.”  (From the NJ Redevelopment Law)

 

In 2007, the CMA and WAVE persuaded Neptune Township to declare the North End of Ocean Grove as an “Area In Need of Redevelopment.” The Planning Board agreed, and the deed was done, giving developers the green light to dump the existing single family home zoning  recommended by the Master Plan in favor of a mixed use that would allow the commercialized NERP which we have all heard about.

But that designation was inappropriate for the North End of Ocean Grove where there was no shortage of investors to develop that property.  This was a decision that appeared to be illegal and was done to enrich investors at the expense of our historic town and its citizens.

Now the latest group of developers plan to implement that same designation when the best interests of the community would be better served by the Township’s cancelling that 12 year old plan and reverting to the original single family zoning.

 

BILL CHARLAP   “Dream.”

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Video by Jean Bredin.  Blogfinger.net staff.  Feb. 4, 2019.

 

Jean Bredin. Casino, Asbury Park. Feb.. 4, 2019. ©

Jean says, “A lot of musicians take advantage of the acoustics in the Casino building.” “Dantana” (his nickname) is the guitarist in the video.   Jean tells us that “Dantana” has a running feud with the carousel music man Paul Eichlin. Evidently these two musicians are not compatible in that Casino echo chamber. Is this the start of the “casino wars?”

The building has been hallowed out by A. Park developers with plans to remodel it at some time in the distant future. But, despite that, Grovers love to walk through our North End with its expansive views of the Ocean and then enter the Casino to hear the echoes of laughter, chatter, bikes riding by, children running around, and live music in the air. Fanciful art is painted on the walls.

Here is a view of the Casino from the outside:

Casino borders the North End of Ocean Grove. Paul Goldfinger©

 

DON AZPIAZU and the Havana Casino Orchestra

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South end of Fletcher Lake as seen from the Bradley Beach side. WE can still have an open vista at the North End if we fight the voracious NERP. Blogfinger photo 5/16/16 ©

Southeast end of Fletcher Lake as seen from the Bradley Beach side. We can still have an open vista at the North End if we fight the voracious NERP. Blogfinger photo 5/16/16 ©

Thomas Mato Blanchot feat. WAWA:  “Isn’t She Lovely”

Editor’s Note:  This Stevie Wonder song is about his newborn daughter, but in a larger sense he is writing about the beauty of God’s gifts.

Shouldn’t we try to preserve one of the few remaining open vistas at the Jersey Shore for all to enjoy, not just a select few?      Go take a walk at the North End of OG and look around, especially at the open views of the ocean.   Why not start by sending letters to the Township Committee. They have the power to cancel that zoning disaster in favor of a gift to the people.

In Morris County, they pay farmers to keep the land forever as farms. Why don’t our elected officials campaign in Trenton and Washington to do the same sort of thing here by turning the North End into a wonderful seaside park  (perhaps with a vast underground parking garage to soften the financial loss for the Camp Meeting Association.)

A reasonable Plan B would be to return to single family zoning for that project.

Link to the 1986 rejection of a South End project   (posted in 2016):

1986 OG project rejection of South End condominiums

—Paul Goldfinger, Editor at Blogfinger

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Gobbledygook

 

 

By Jack Bredin and Paul Goldfinger.   Blogfinger.net

A resolution, 19-85, was presented at the Committee meeting of January 28, 2019.

The stated reason for the resolution is that the Township Engineer, Leann Hoffmann, is incapable of handling a matter that needs a “coastal engineer.”  The funny thing is that the specific reason for needing such a “specialist” is not stated in the resolution.

The resolution says that the Township “desires to appoint a pool of consulting engineers for services on specific Township projects.”

The wording in the “Be It Resolved” portion is that these engineers, already chosen, will be  “solicited for proposals on larger and/or specialized coastal engineering projects beyond the scope of the Township Engineer and in-house staff for the year 2019.”

The resolution indicates that the Township will be “appointing” CME Associates and Andrew Rella of ECOncrete Inc.as consultants.”

Well, golly…do you suppose that this is about the oft-mentioned underground parking garage which is part of the North End Redevelopment Plan near the Ocean and the Lake?

Some members of the citizen audience asked if this had to do with the North End, and Vito Gadaleta, Business Administrator for Neptune, somehow got the job of responding.  You would think that the elected Committee mavens could answer the question. 

However Mr. Gadaleta caused some eyebrows to go up when he asserted that the North End Redevelopment project was “not a public project.”   Therefore he seemed to be saying that it is not a public concern. And does he really believe what he just said?  

Does he not know that an “Area in Need of  Redevelopment” is, by definition, a public project?

Already the meeting sank into a dark hole of subterfuge.

Then he went on to explain that the coastal engineers just appointed would not be looking at the North End project. Instead they would be used for some other un-named coastal issues. 

So why were they  appointed just now?  He said, “We are looking to create living shore lines.”

Wow…where did that come from?  

In brief, according to the National Center for Coastal Ocean Science, “Living shorelines are a green infrastructure technique using native vegetation alone or in combination with offshore sills to stabilize the shoreline. Living shorelines provide a natural alternative to ‘hard’ shoreline stabilization methods like stone sills or bulkheads, and provide numerous benefits including nutrient pollution remediation, essential fish habitat provision, and buffering of shoreline from waves and storms.”

Well, if you believe that, we will sell you an underground parking garage.   And don’t forget, there already is a darn good bulkhead at the North End boardwalk, one that was highly touted by the CMA after Sandy.

Let’s consider a couple of basic facts.  If the Township wants an underground garage for the North End, it would have to obtain DEP approval.  But the DEP doesn’t have its own engineers.  Instead, for any particular project involving the shore, the developers must hire engineers who are approved by the DEP.  Maybe that’s what’s going on here.

As usual, we get opaque gobbledygook at these meetings, instead of clear information.  We are forced to speculate.

Interestingly, the Ocean Grove Home Groaners Ass. departed from its usual position at these meetings, which is semi-comatose, where it throws softballs at the dais, to an unusual sight where two of them actually went to the mic and challenged Gadaleta to explain the hiring of those engineers.  

But then, after hearing his nonsensical replies, instead of forcefully leaning on him, they offered him an invitation to one of their dopey meetings where he can come, have coffee and cookies,  and play patty cakes with Barbara Burns and her merry band of soft shoe dancers.

 

ABBA:   

 

 

 

 

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