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Posts Tagged ‘Neptune Committee alienates the citizens’

Committeeman Nicholas Williams gets a zero for the amount of times he said anything on Blogfinger. Blogfinger photograph © 2018 when he was Mayor.

Paul Goldfinger,  Editor@Blogfinger.net

Committeeman Williams just finished a year as the Neptune Mayor. But he once said, a few years ago,  that he would never comment on Blogfinger. Well this may be the only campaign promise that he ever lived up to in Ocean Grove.

Most politicians at state and national levels are looking to engage  with the press as well as with the public in a way that would insure that their views would not be misconstrued.

But not so in Neptune Township where one-party rule seems to permit elected politicians such as Williams to hide under their desks in order to avoid interacting with challenging media such as Blogfinger.  But isn’t he supposed to represent the people?  Isn’t he supposed to represent Ocean Grovers?

And for those few Grovers who attend the Committee meetings, they must sit on their hands for 2-3 hours until the “Public Portion” when they can have 5 minutes to say what’s on their minds, and with little or no response typically emanating from the “Lords and Lady” who sit elevated above them on the dais.

One time we reported on how Jack Bredin went to the microphone and was forced physically to sit down when the Mayor (MB Jahn then) literally called the cops.

Even in the Coaster, Williams hands out press releases which the Coastericans happily post verbatim without any challenges  At BF we do not accept press releases.  The Neptune Republicans asked us to do just that this week.  They sent us a press release which they demanded we post word for word.   We refused.  When that press release does appear in the Coaster this week, we will report on it, but in our own words.

Why are those Neptune Committeemen so secretive?  They routinely engage in practices which we routinely challenge in Blogfinger.  But they won’t interact in our comments section with BF and interested Grovers as well as with the many readers  from here and elsewhere who go to our site on a daily basis.  We often have over 500-1000 hits in a single day.  This represents many more than the 50-60 Grovers who go to Groaners dopey meetings.

This smells of a coverup.  How else can it be explained?  The pols seem to fear interaction with the public.  But why should they interact?  They know that Democrats will continue to win locally without approval in the Grove.

There is a large African American voting block in mid-town who tend to vote according to party.   But what have the elected Dems done for those Midtowners?   At the next Committee election we may hear two sides instead of just one, at least that is what the Repubs in town are saying now.

Unfortunately, ideology is replacing bipartisanship in America, and “all politics is local.”*  If we Grovers can’t rely on our elected officials to represent us, and if our citizen based groups such as the Home Owners Association, do not step in,  then, as Jack Bredin recently said, “We are sunk.”

* Thomas “Tip” O’Neill,  Democrat.

THE MUPPETS:

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“Government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the Earth.”       Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg.Paul Goldfinger  photo in A. Park. ©

Will the people of Ocean Grove rise up against tyranny?  Blogfinger photograph by Moe Demby.

No more Neptune bull. Paul Goldfinger photo.©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor and Jack Bredin Reporter/Researcher  @Blogfinger.net

The Neptune Township Committee has been reinforcing a steady pattern of ignoring the public.  This tendency has been augmented by a unique capacity to shut out and mislead the citizens  through an impenetrable lack of transparency.  Shouldn’t our elected officials and secondarily the small army of un-elected Township bureaucrats have as their top priority, the goal of working on behalf of the Township citizens?

Let’s consider some of the items on the list , and you can add to it via our comments button below:

a.  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.  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 the Citizens Advisory Board and would not publicly explain the details of the situation.

b. A church in Neptune is being taxed for 2017, a time when it was temporarily undergoing renovation. This action outraged many citizens, and the Mayor has not corrected the situation.

c.  Wesley Lake has been renamed on the tax map, being now called a “detention-retention basin.” Citizens are concerned about that change, designed to help developers at the North End.  The Mayor has yet to explain who is responsible for the change and why. The Committee has accepted no responsibility for this.

d.  The name of Lake Avenue has been changed at the North End to Beach Avenue in a seeming effort to declare Lake Avenue as a street, rather than as a walkway which it has been since the founding.  This street issue is something that developers would want to implement for the North End Re-Development Plan.

Kevin Chambers spoke at the meeting to voice his objection to this name change which has not been explained publicly by the Committee.  He said that one Board’s lawyer said it is a street, and another Board’s lawyer said it is not.  Who is lying under oath?

e.  Why hasn’t the Mayor updated us about the Warrington site law suit? This is an important concern relating to protecting zoning laws and the Master Plan.

f. Why won’t the Committee revoke the North End Plan  and explain exactly what is going on behind the scenes?  This is a very important matter which will affect the future of the Grove.

g.  Why hasn’t the Committee defended some of their obtuse zoning decisions such as the one that allowed Mary’s Place to receive approval as a shelter for the “terminally ill”  and zoning changes that allow condoization without parking?

h.  Why did the Committee turn its back on the Home Owners Association who were promoting a permit parking plan to relieve  gridlocked  parking for house-bound residents in the Grove?

i. Why has the Committee favored weakening of the HPC historic guidelines?  Why does the historic district need an outside “expert” to change the rules?  The Committee should be strengthening historic preservation, not destroying it.

j.  Why can’t the public speak for more than 5 minutes at these meetings? Save less time for politicians and more for Grovers and Neptuners.

Some of you might remember Sir John Dalberg, the 19th century British Lord Acton, who said,  “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  ( I think Ted Bell may have actually gone to high school with Sir Dalberg.  They were in the band together, and Ted played the soprano recorder for some of Mozart’s latest hits.)

In Neptune we have single party rule, and it seems likely that this entrenched and alienating  body will remain with absolute power.

What we need in this town is a sort of internal affairs inspector who answers only to the voters and who is empowered to look into these confidence-busting matters. In some towns that might be an elected mayor who answers only to the people.

The Neptune Republicans are looking for two candidates to run in November.*

They have gone on record as saying, “We want to win and change the direction of the Township Committee, in a town that has been called ‘the most corrupt town in New Jersey’ by a trusted source.”

* Sept, 2018:   Two Republican candidates for Committee have been selected.

Michael McGuire from Les Miserables:

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