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Posts Tagged ‘Jack Bredin’

Jack Bredin is covering the home front for Blogfinger these days.  Here he is with a North End bulletin:  a commentary on the Township Comedy Meeting of  December 20, 2018—the last opaque words for this year from this gang that can’t shoot straight.*

“The Approved NERP was for 165 units.  After approval it was put into cold storage for ten years.

“Since then, the Mayor and the Township Committee, the Mayor’s Re-development Committee, the OGCMA, the OGHOA, the former Re-developers, and the new Re-developers, have all said the following :

‘There is a new Re-development Plan that cuts the proposed density 50%, down to 80 units.’

“Early this month the Township Committee reported they were voting on this new plan,  and they did.  And, the Mayor signed off on the plan they voted on.

“At the Dec. 20, 2018 meeting, an OG resident from Heck Ave (not Jack Bredin) said to the Committee:   ‘The Township website is not clear as to what plan was approved at the last meeting.’

So, what plan was approved?’

“The answer from the Township Attorney was,  ‘The 2008 plan was the only plan we were ever considering.’ “

* “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight” is the story of Papa Baccala, a Brooklyn Mafia boss, and Kid Sally Palumbo, a would-be capo who “couldn’t run a gas station at a profit even if he stole the customers’ cars”.

This Broadway tune is the perfect backdrop for the comedy of errors described above by Jack Bredin.  We have Zero Mostel with a ditty from “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.”   It goes to show how local government around here has deteriorated since the days of the Roman Forum when Jack was a prefect in a short skirt.

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Ocean Grove citizens refrain from swimming.  Shouldn’t everyone, including Township officials,  follow the Town’s land use laws? Photograph by Paul Goldfinger © Blogfinger.net

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

Police power comes to the State of New Jersey from the federal government

The State can use its police power to adopt municipal land use law as well as state regulations and procedures for the development of land within the State

When the State grants a municipal charter to a municipality, it also delivers police power to the community along with the charter.

Municipal police power can only be activated at a meeting of the elected governing body when it is called to order with a majority of its members present, and the public and the press have  been invited to attend.

The town can then create a police department and adopt a zoning ordinance that is consistent with NJ State municipal land use law “to protect the health, safety, and general welfare” of the citizens.

Although it is not required, the town also has the option of creating a planning board to act on their behalf in matters of planning,  zoning,  site plan, and subdivision approval.

The planning board must then adopt a “master plan,” and the zoning ordinance must be consistent  with the master plan.

The governing body must also appoint a zoning board of adjustment.

This may all sound confusing, but a lot of work by state land use attorneys, the town attorney, the planning board, and their professional planners goes into this fine-tuned process.

In the end, the master plan is the official guide for the development of the town, and it is to be used by the governing body, the board of adjustment, the residents and developers.  Anyone can get a copy of the master plan at the town clerk’s office.

And anyone, including developers, who come bearing gifts and  would like the town to tailor the master plan and zoning ordinances to fit their development plans should make their proposal in person with their professionals  at a public meeting and not in back of a limo heading towards a cozy steak house.

Sometimes such a scenario results, like magic, in such a proposal being placed on the agenda. Such manipulation creates “the perception of impropriety.”

Also, when a town employee or professional grants a zoning approval (as with Mary’s Place) or changes the tax map without the authority to do so, it raises ethical questions.

The same applies to questionable approvals of all kinds, such as for undersize lots, ignoring code violations that might result in demolition by neglect, subdivisions recorded on the tax map without an actual subdivision approval, and variances granted without an application.

Could all of these phony maneuvers affect “the health, safety and general welfare” even when a building does not burn down?  Of course they can, because when the local government doesn’t protect the citizens’ best interest,  all sorts of public harm could result, as in the worsening pollution of Wesley Lake.

We the people should not have to fight with local government to enforce the law.  Elected officials, according to Gov. John Kasich, former presidential candidate and author of a new book*, have an obligation “to take us to a better place and to build a team with the citizens.”    He says, “Our leaders need a good head and a good heart.”

Are we getting all that in Ocean Grove? Are our elected officials acting in our best interest?   Or do they seem to prefer being invisible while they manipulate the land use laws?

 

JOHN C. REILLY  from the soundtrack of the film “Chicago.”

 

*  John Kasich.  Two Paths: America Divided or United.

 

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Jack Bredin offers his opinion at an OGHOA meeting in June, 2010.© Blogfinger photo.

Jack Bredin offers his opinion at an OGHOA meeting in June, 2010.© Blogfinger photo.

To the Editor:

As a new Ocean Grove Home Owners Association (OGHOA) member who attended my first meeting on Saturday, March 26, I decided to check its website today for the meeting minutes. They were posted and I was surprised to read that neither President Ann Horan nor Vice President Barbara Burns had been there (I’d arrived a few minutes late and hadn’t heard all the names of the people running the meeting). According to the minutes, the President and Vice President were “away on vacation,” so “Secretary Richard Williams opened the meeting…”.

While I was at the website, I decided to read the OGHOA bylaws. I found a couple of things that made me wonder why the March 26 meeting was held at all.

Under Article 3, “Meetings,” the bylaws state:

  1. General membership meetings shall be held on the 4th Saturday of every month except when the 4th Saturday is on a holiday weekend, at which time an alternate date will be scheduled.

March 26 was the day before Easter Sunday, so the fourth Saturday of March 2016 clearly fell on a “holiday weekend.” According to the OGHOA’s own bylaws, a general membership meeting should not have been held that day.

 

I also read under Article 5, “Duties”:

  1. The President shall preside at all meetings.
  1. The Vice-President shall assume all duties of the President in his or her absence and shall assist in every way.

Probably because it was a holiday weekend, neither the President nor the Vice President was there to preside at the meeting. If the President “shall” preside at “all” meetings, and the Vice President “shall assume all duties of the President in his or her absence,” what happens if neither of them is present? Does anyone else have the authority to preside over a general membership meeting of the OGHOA? The bylaws suggest that only the President and Vice President have this authority.

It appears that the March 26 general membership meeting should have been rescheduled, both because the date fell on a holiday weekend and because neither the President nor the Vice President was there to preside.

At the February meeting, Jack Bredin put forth an important motion, proposing that the OGHOA take the position that the State’s Residential Site Improvement Standards (RSIS) be enforced throughout Ocean Grove, with an exemption for single-family homes only.

I’m not certain when it was decided that a vote on Jack’s motion would be held at the March meeting, but in the month between meetings, did no one on the OGHOA Board realize that holding the meeting on a holiday weekend, and when neither the President nor Vice President could be present, would be in violation of the organization’s bylaws?

To see how often both the President and Vice President miss a membership meeting, I reviewed all the minutes posted at the site (they’re posted back to March 2015); March 26, 2016 was the only time this happened. I also checked the meeting dates and the only one held on a holiday weekend was the meeting on March 26.

Is an OGHOA membership vote legitimate and binding when it takes place at a meeting that itself violated OGHOA bylaws?

— FRAN HOPKINS

Ocean Grove, NJ and Cedar Grove, NJ, April 6, 2016

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