Posts Tagged ‘Funny business in Ocean Grove’

This is Tilly, the poster boy for fun in Asbury Park. But who will be responsible for funny business on the OG side??

This is Tilly, the poster boy for funny business in Asbury Park. But who will be responsible for funny business on the OG side of the divide ??

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

On October 14, 2012, Committeewoman Mary Beth Jahn commented on Blogfinger regarding a question raised by a Grover about the North End Redevelopment Plan. That Grover asked, “Who are the principals in the WAVE developers organization besides Mr. Gannon?”  WAVE is the co-redeveloper for NERP along with the OG Camp Meeting Association.

Mary Beth Jahn responded on Blogfinger  with this answer: “This is not the answer you want, but there is no legal requirement for the principals of the LLC to be disclosed. It is up to the owner and developer to decide whether to disclose this information as an act of good faith toward the community. The principals of the LLC are not listed in the organization papers in Trenton.

“The Township Committee could require this information to be disclosed to us as a condition of the agreement if we feel it is relevant, particularly if we feel it relates to ensuring whether the developer has the financial means to construct and complete the project on time and on budget, but they also have the right to request that the list of principals be kept confidential.”

Ms. Jahn also had plenty more to say about NERP and she promised to stop that project. More about her later, because she currently is the Mayor—the most powerful (theoretically) among the five person Neptune Twp. Committee.

And, you should recall, that Ms. Jahn was named to be one of the two Committee members on the NERP negotiating team, along with Mayor (at that time) Randy Bishop. Technically she still is a member of that team, but she did not attend a recent important meeting involving the Township and WAVE.

So, with that background, let’s consider what happened two days ago at the Committee meeting of June 22, 2015.   An Ocean Grover, Jack Bredin, waited patiently for the three hour discussion about Shark River dredging sludge to conclude.   Then he went to the microphone for his 5 minute opportunity to speak to the Committee. You might recall that the last time he went to the microphone, he was forcibly ejected by the Mayor for exercising his free speech rights.

This time he asked Mayor Jahn, “Are you still a member of the negotiating committee for NERP?”

She said “Yes.”

Then he asked, “Who are the members of WAVE?”

The Mayor did not answer him, but someone from the OGHOA said, (out of order) “We know because we put in an OPRA request.”   But the OGHOA member did not divulge that information, nor did the Mayor.

Then Jack asked, “Do we have an official map of the town?” He asked that because an official map would be essential to make changes to the NERP, and the Township tax map would not do.  A Committee member then turned to Gene Anthony, the Twp. Attorney, and asked him to look into the map question.

In the end, Jack had to sit down without having two of his three questions answered by the Mayor.

The reason that the Mayor should tell the public about the WAVE principles is that NERP is a public project under the watch of the Committee. Shouldn’t the Committee know whom they are doing business with?   Shouldn’t the public know that? Are there any conflicts of interest going on? Did WAVE post the 10% good faith deposit required in deals like this and did WAVE disclose its finances to prove that it could handle the NERP?

And there are more questions about WAVE: We know that WAVE was chosen by the Camp Meeting Association, but did the Township Committee vette WAVE back in 2007 after the Planning Board approved the “Area in need of re-development” designation?  The Committee should have done so.   Has WAVE ever developed anything?

In addition, you should know that the Planning Board approved this special designation on the grounds that the CMA was incapable of improving the property itself.   And then, a mere two years later, the CMA was named as co-redeveloper for NERP. How did they get so capable so fast? And if they are now capable, why doesn’t the Committee rescind the special designation and toss the ball back to the CMA along with all those questionable zoning changes?

So we ask: Is there any funny business going on? Are there shenanigans? Is there sufficient transparency?  Why won’t the Mayor answer questions put to her by a citizen? Will she attend NERP meetings in the future?

Why is there only one Committeeman attending the NERP discussions?   And where is the Redevelopers Agreement that was promised 7 years ago and then recently by Randy Bishop?

Some more loose ends:

There is a rumor that the NERP, which was recently changed to the NEW NERP, might be changed again to a NEW NEW NERP,  eliminating the hotel and putting in more condo’s. We believe these recent changes to be illegal.

More Duck News: Is the Mayor ducking her responsibility to protect Ocean Grove from questionable development at the North End? After all, the Mayor is supposed to be looking out for the folks.  What happened to her opposition to the NERP  expressed strongly in 2012?  And, as a wise old duck once said, “If it quacks like  a duck, it is a duck!”

Does the Committee want to do the right thing? If so, they should go back and correct all the mistakes that have been made in the process of creating the NERP.

Why has the OG Home Groaners Association failed to share information that they have about WAVE with the public?  Why are they covering up important information?  Why didn’t they share that information with Jack Bredin at the meeting ?

The OGHOA web site reports on their North End Committee’s work.  The most recent minutes say, regarding their  committee chairwoman:” For the CMA to be released as developer, and for WAVE to become the primary developer (with Neptune Township as the new co-developer), WAVE must release both its financial statement and identify its principals. At the most recent May 21st township meeting she asked if WAVE had provided that necessary information and she was told they had not, and no one had knowledge of when such information would be provided.”

These OGHOA minutes do not mention the WAVE information claimed above.

Do you believe that the Township  Committee does not know who WAVE is? They act like they don’t, but is it possible, after all these years, that they still don’t know?  And, if they do know, then why don’t they share the information with the public?

ZERO MOSTEL:  From “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”

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