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Posts Tagged ‘OGHOA meeting’

Red flag in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. Paul Goldfinger photograph. August 31, 2018.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

 

Thank goodness for the Qoaster.  They go to a meeting and copy everything that is said.  They are repeaters, not reporters.*  But to their credit, they provide the public with detailed notes.  At the meeting, there were elected officials at State, County and Township levels.  And, what might we expect from such an array of public servants?  The answer is hot-air and nonsense. Let’s use those Quoaster Quotes to demonstrate why the Ocean Grove infrastructure that is essential for a community to thrive is rotting as we speak.

Freeholder Lillian Burry who has been on the job for 13 years was present for the free breakfast.     She said, “A town like Ocean Grove is very important to Monmouth County—the community is conscious of its roots. You know where you’ve been.”  Does she get paid for this?   She also “cited the ongoing Ocean Grove parking situation as one that needs to have some solutions with out-of-the-box thinking.”  Why didn’t we think of that?

Our old friend Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling, ordinarily a fine fellow and an excellent official, tripped over his historical reference when he praised the late Kathy Arlt for “bringing the issue of derelict housing to the forefront in Ocean Grove.”  However, with all due respect to her, the person who gave birth to this issue in the Grove  was a Blogfinger editor, Charles Layton.  His superb writing on the subject produced results before anyone else, including the HOA, got involved.

Eventually, after leaving Blogfinger,  he took on the new project, for them,  at the HOA, and Ms. Arlt took over only after Charles moved away.  Charles is now living in Philadelphia and he needs to get some credit.

Neptune  Mayor Nicholas Williams “spoke of redevelopment and that Neptune has put together a team ‘second to none’ to accomplish this goal.”

Way to go Mayor.  Your dream team has spent 10 years with the North End redevelopment and has come up empty.

And how about those secret negotiations that you have been involved with regarding the NERP?  Funny but you didn’t mention those suspicious non-transparent activities.  Are you representing the public’s interest at those sessions?   You say that you are not getting what you want.  Tell us what you want.  Don’t you want to defend the charge of “perception of impropriety?”

None of this was challenged by the Groaners who, it seems, were more interested in breakfast.

And, when Williams was asked about parking, he said, “The issue has been put on hold temporarily.”

And even more interesting is when Williams was asked about parking meters in town.  He said that “the Township was stuck in the middle.”  He is referring to the fact that the CMA owns the land in the Grove thus, according to him, nullifying the ability of the Township to do something substantial for the residents. Really Mayor?–you are “stuck” and unable to help your constituents and pursue a solution?

So when Neptune and the CMA were fighting for FEMA money after Sandy, they had no trouble saying that the CMA-owned Boardwalk was a public thoroughfare, but when it comes to helping residents with parking issues, they turn their back on the  Groverian public.

But the Mayor does help the public in Neptune proper, and don’t we all pay the same tax rates?   Does the Mayor say “no” to the Neptuners?   Are we the public or are we not, and weren’t you elected to work for the public?   What a feeble excuse—-“stuck” because of the Camp Meeting Association.

And, along the same lines, no special police were hired for security on the Boardwalk this summer because the CMA couldn’t afford it, and the Township said that it couldn’t help because “the CMA owns the boardwalk.”  So when the public needs something in the Grove, like police protection, the Township can walk away because the CMA owns the land, but when the Township wants money, they don’t ask the CMA for it—they take it from the public.

The critical mystery questions of how the Township, the CMA and the public interact in areas such as taxes and the public good must be unraveled in the courts—Where are the Groaners and their legal fund?  These issues have been ignored for too long while special interests such as the CMA, the Township Committee and boards, and developers make their own rules.

Williams praised the new Senior Center Director who will bring in “new ideas.”  Where will that old hand–Bishop–find new ideas?  Where were those ideas when he was the Mayor?

Finally, in a rare moment of OGHOA sanity, the Vice President Richard Williams said “he believes Ocean Grove is viewed as merely a ‘cash cow’ for Neptune by elected officials. The 25% raise in property taxes this year was noted.”

So was the air hotter than the coffee at this ridiculous Groaner meeting?   Who stood up and raised hell on behalf of the citizens?  No one did. This Groaner breakfast served no useful purpose.

The infrastructure to help the residents of Ocean Grove is practically nonexistent.   We have a collection of self interested factions in town such as the Chamber of Commerce, OGU, HPC, HOA, developers, Neptune politicians, non-elected officials, realtors, and the CMA . They all will continue pursuing their own goals, and the future of the town will remain unclear. It will continue to be a popular place but the vision of something much better seems to be losing ground after a period of hope for the future.

 

*Wise saying by Jack Bredin who knows the difference between a real newspaper and a $.50 per copy copy machine.

 

DOROTHY DANDRIDGE:

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