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Posts Tagged ‘OceanGrove North End Redevelopment Project’

2013 Google photo of the OG North End. Thanks to the citizen reporter who shared this with our readers.

2013 Google photo of the OG North End. Thanks to the citizen reporter who shared this with our readers. The street on the right is Spray Avenue—a future two way highway.

A Grover sent us this view of the North End.   He says that one could superimpose the North End Redevelopment Plan on top of this to realize how bad that plan really is.   He doesn’t wish to be quoted, but he suggests that someone bring this photo to the upcoming parking meeting at Town Hall to illustrate that more than 500 cars could be parked there.

Putting the money issues aside, a giant parking lot could make Ocean Grove lifestyles a lot better and would also be good for the CMA to offer parking to the thousands who attend their events each season.

SMASHING PUMPKINS

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A statue of George Washington in Albany. Two of the most powerful men in the capital, Assemblyman Sheldon Silver and Senator Dean G. Skelos, go on trial this month. Credit Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times

A statue of George Washington in Albany. Two of the most powerful men in the capital, Assemblyman Sheldon Silver and Senator Dean G. Skelos, go on trial this month. Photo: Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor  @Blogfinger

Recently we discussed how Neptune officials, engaging in irregularities and improprieties  regarding  the Ocean Grove North End Project might “get away with” such activities.  We said that public apathy and a useless Home Owners Association could provide the opportunity for officials to successfully skirt or manipulate the law to achieve objectives which are not in the public’s best interest.

New Jersey has an infamous history of successful prosecution of elected officials who break the law, including cases in Neptune Township* and Asbury Park.

But with instances when there is just a suspicion of wrongdoing,  the suspicion alone can result in loss of trust on the part of the electorate, and that loss of trust can produce a corrosive effect on our normal democratic processes which are supposed to result in  justice and the public good.

In Ocean Grove, where Blogfinger and some citizens are suspicious of  procedures being followed for the North End Redevelopment Plan and other issues, the situation has reached the point where there is mistrust of the Neptune Township  Committee.  We elected them to represent us and we loaned them the power to make decisions on our behalf.  But their lack of transparency and possibly illegal behavior create a justified lack of confidence in them as our representatives. There already is one law suit in play naming the Neptune Township Committee.

It’s one thing to disagree with your Committeemen about policy, which is a normal part of our system, but it’s quite another if you don’t trust them.  And it is not only a problem experienced at the local level of government.

Consider Meet the Press this past Sunday when the new Speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, said,  regarding working with the President, “I don’t trust the President on immigration.”  Regardless of the merits, that charge has serious implications, and it illustrates how loss of trust may negatively affect our democratic processes even at that level of governance.

Let’s consider a shocking situation in NY State where loss of trust actually turned into indictments. In Albany two respected and powerful men, long distrusted by many,  are now on trial for corruption. Consider what the NY Times** says about the “culture of corruption” in that state:

“In separate federal courthouses in Lower Manhattan this month, two of the most powerful men in New York are about to go on trial, an extraordinary spectacle centering on allegations of corruption, bribery and nepotism in the state’s highest chambers of political power.”

“The alleged acts are typical of a culture, according to the watchdog groups, that has made Albany practically synonymous with corruption and stubbornly resistant to reform, keeping citizens — and even most lawmakers — in the dark about much of the legislative work and spending done in their names.”

Because of these New York State cases, the electorate in that state has to wonder if the entire governance  process in Albany cannot be trusted. This is the extent of the destructive effect on our democratic institutions  when loss of trust evolves into criminal investigations.

The Times says, “This focus on Albany has already had a chilling effect in the Capitol and contributed to what was an anemic legislative session this year. Some lawmakers said this occurred, in part, because of their concern that investigators may view the normal, transactional nature of politics in Albany as crimes of corruption. And some lawmakers complain privately that the federal scrutiny has tainted the state’s many honest public servants.”

Locally, we have not gone on record to accuse anyone of a crime, but some of us are suspicious of what’s going on in the Municipal Building in Neptune, and we have every right to say so and to demand a transparent explanation of whatever is questioned and to insist on an outside investigation of the public processes.

Is there a “culture” at Neptune Town Hall which causes failure of trust?  So it seems.

  • In 2005, the FBI indicted  the Neptune Township Deputy Mayor for corruption.  He served jail time.  There also was another Neptune functionary, the Director of Code Enforcement, who got caught up in the same investigation which brought down numerous Monmouth County officials.

** NY Times link for November 1, 2015

www.nytimes.com/2015/11/02/nyregion/in-two-corruption-cases-the-culture-of-albany-will-go-on-trial.html?_r=0

NEW BROADWAY CAST OF STEPHEN SONDHEIM’S “FOLLIES”      “The Road You Didn’t Take”

Neptune Township Committee:  It’s not too late to go down the better road; restore trust by pulling the plug on that North End Redevelopment Plan—-start over and earn back the trust.

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