Posts Tagged ‘Senior Citizens Neptune’

Neptune Senior Center and Services. Internet photo.

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

Well, let’s first clear up the headline.  We are recalling the famous front page of the NY Daily News after President  Ford in 1975 refused aid for New York City.   Ford denied ever using that expression, but journalists said it was OK because it encapsulated the essence of his views.

And so it is in reporting on the heated clash between Neptune Seniors and the Neptuner elected officials  at last night’s  April 9, 2018  Township Committee meeting.

A large crowd of seniors stirred up a hornets’ nest at the Mother Ship—it was an uprising on Neptune Boulevard creating an atmosphere of passions and shouts–ie  great theater—-more fun than “Dancing With the Stars” according to our reporter on the scene.

To backtrack a bit, you may recall our first report  of  (Part I)   Seniorgate when,  on March 28, Blogfinger reported on a contentious issue developing between the Senior Citizens, their Advisory  Board, and the Township Committee.

BF article of March 28, 2018 referencing the Senior cititzen complaint

BF  said,  “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—Brian Butch.    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 their Citizens Advisory Board and would not publicly explain the details of the situation on the grounds that there was “litigation.”

Which brings us to Part II of Seniorgate, April 9,  when a packed house filled with Seniors crowded  the meeting room. It seemed that there were more people than the Fire Marshall would allow, but, unlike the permit parking meeting, this one was permitted to proceed despite the fire risks.

The matter was not on the agenda, but the Committee met in executive secret session at 6 pm to discuss the situation with their “labor lawyer.”  When the public portion of the meeting occurred, the Seniors, standing shoulder to shoulder, took 5 minute timed  turns at the microphone to express their outrage over the dismissal of their Senior Center Director.  They all demanded that the dismissal be explained and that the Director must be brought back to his job;  but the Township refused to give out any information due to “litigation.”

So, despite the pleas, the Seniors were left dancing  in the dark.

The “labor lawyer” spoke and agreed that litigation prevented the release of information, and he would answer no questions.

Another lawyer in the room was outraged as he said, “You should tell the truth—there is no litigation in this matter.”

We believe that attorney represented the dismissed Senior Director.

Then the labor lawyer answered “Yes, there is no litigation now, but there could be.”

The dismissed director also spoke and asked for his job back.  One of the seniors threatened the Committee by reminding it that 1/3 of Neptune voters are Seniors.   Then the Mayor adjourned the meeting.

The issue has become inflamed now due to the resistance and lack of transparency  of the Township Committee.  The Mayor needs to step up regarding this matter and tell the truth about the dismissal.

Was it done “for cause” or is this a crude attempt to turn over a good city job to someone who has contacts and influence?  Favoritism at Neptune Township is nothing new.

This public display of disrespect  towards the Seniors by the Committee is yet another example of the opaque secret society, one party rule, which runs the town as a fiefdom rather than a democracy.  They are now facing a revolt and soon they may be facing banners that say “Senior Lives Matter.”

This issue  “has legs,” and we have not heard the last of it. Part III is waiting in the wings, and the show will go on.

TONY BENNETT:  “Dancing in the Dark”

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