“America is too great for small dreams.” Ronald Wilson Reagan
Freeholder Tom Arone
2014 is coming to a close and I find myself reflecting upon my year as Freeholder of the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders. I am very conscious of the tremendous support Monmouth County receives from each of the municipalities and residents. I receive phone calls and emails daily from members of local governing bodies as well as from informed conscientious residents. Through this open door policy which is how I choose to run my office, it is apparent that just like me we all share a common interest; and that is to continue to create new ways to maintain Monmouth County as one of the most wonderful places to live. Your unending support has helped me and the rest of The Freeholder Board accomplish many great things, and I would personally like to thank all of our local governing bodies along with our residents for the part each played in making 2014 a great year. Being mindful of the exemplary leadership of not only my fellow Freeholders but of each and every municipal governing body, I consider myself blessed to be working amongst so many hard working individuals whose main goal is always what is in the best interest of the residents.
Monmouth County is made up of an array of dedicated, accountable and knowledgeable people comprised of all those working in the offices and schools to those maintaining the roads in and around the county and everything in between. Each and every one of them takes on the responsibility of getting a job done and doing it right. For that I recognize and am thankful for all county departments for keeping Monmouth County as beautiful and safe as it is, and for making it the most desirable county to live- in the State of New Jersey.
SAYREVILLE — U.S. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) today blasted President Obama’s decision to begin re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba and easing economic restrictions imposed on the communist country. “I think it stinks,” Menendez, the son of Cuban immigrants and the outgoing Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, said at a press conference on new financial help for Hurricane… Read the rest of this entry »
MEDHAM TOWNSHIP — Gov. Chris Christie said Wednesday he will discuss a potential presidential bid with his family over the holidays and make his intentions known in the “first part of next year.” Christie responded to a question from a student at Mendham Township Middle School, where he was Wednesday morning to honor the school for… Read the rest of this entry »
TRENTON — New Jersey has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees to a Wall Street investment firm in the three years since Gov. Chris Christie said he was terminating all investments with the company, International Business Times reported today. That same firm, Angelo, Gordon & Co., hired Christie’s wife, Mary Pat Christie, as a… Read the rest of this entry »
President Obama said recently that the American people are going to want that “new car smell” in 2016 – and two new polls show that might apply to members of his own party. A new McClatchy-Marist poll says that 38 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents think it’s more important to have a Democratic nominee for… Read the rest of this entry »
FREEHOLD – Brookdale Community College police officers who were seen in an online video arresting and pepper-spraying a student at the school’s campus did not violate criminal law or use of force guidelines, according to a letter from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office. The letter, sent by the prosecutor’s office Professional Responsibility Unit, was released Tuesday… Read the rest of this entry »
TRENTON — The Federal Emergency Management Agency should stop demanding that Hurricane Sandy victims pay back money they mistakenly received from the government, members of the New Jersey congressional delegation said in a letter released today. Both U.S. senators and 10 of the state’s 12 U.S. representatives signed a letter to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate asking… Read the rest of this entry »
TRENTON — Former Republican National Committee finance chairman Mel Sembler says he’s “admirer” of Gov. Chris Christie. But Sembler is lining up behind former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in the 2016 Republican presidential race. Had Bush ruled out a run, “I absolutely would have looked at Christie. I’m an admirer,” Sembler said in a telephone interview.… Read the rest of this entry »
“Red Bank Doesn’t Need Lobbyist Money Swaying Elections”
Senate President Steve Sweeney. file photo by Art Gallagher
Referring to Senate President Steve Sweeney as a conflicted Trenton lobbyist, and Red Bank Councilmen Michael Dupont and Art Murphy as influence peddling shady dealers, Red Bank Republican Chairman Sean DiSomma, launched a no holds barred attack on New Jersey’s highest ranking Democratic elected official, a presumed contender for the 2017 gubernatorial nomination, and the two councilmen he seeks to unseat next November in a statement to the press this afternoon.
DiSomma’s statement includes a warning that he will treat all lobbyists and politicians who support Red Bank Democrats to similar welcomes.
Sweeney is headlining a fundraiser for Dupont and Murphy tomorrow evening at Buona Sera. The Monmouth GOP is also holding a fund raiser in the venue at the same time.
DiSomma’s statement can be read in its entirety below the fold.
New Jersey’s State Government and 23 of its municipal governments will recover a morsel of integrity at midnight tonight when state sanctioned theft in the form of red light cameras cease to operate at 73 intersections. New Jersey’s Red Light Camera Program, authorized as a five year pilot during the lame duck session of the 2006-2008 legislature and signed into law by Governor Jon Corzine, expires tonight.
The fact that the Red Light Camera Program has not been renewed is due in large measure to the efforts of Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon and his staff. Their efforts have been heroic.
O’Scanlon and Co. have been relentless in monitoring the Red Light Camera Program and telling the truth about it. They have hired independent experts to investigate complaints and document fraud within the program. They have sorted through data that has regularly been obfuscated by the red light camera companies (and bureaucrats friendly to them) to reflect improved safety conditions at RCL intersections where in fact conditions had often worsened. They have worked hard in getting the word out about the program’s failure and corruption. They have countered expensive advertising campaigns by the red light camera companies and countered expensive lobbyists working the halls of the Statehouse, without the benefit of the profits the red light camera companies stole from the motoring public to fund their efforts.
In thwarting the Red Light Camera Program’s renewal, O’Scanlon has proved himself to be “the real deal”….a leader who fights for the right thing because it is the right thing. He is an example of what a “public servant” should be.
What happened to Al Lovey of Wharton might be the poster child for what critics say went wrong with the state red-light camera program. Lovey said he was making a left turn at a green light at the camera-monitored intersection at Market Street and Route 21 in Newark when he stopped in mid-turn to let a… Read the rest of this entry »
Motorist should expect delays between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Detours will be posted
photo via visitmonmouth.com
MIDDLETOWN, NJ – Beginning today, there will be intermittent lane closures between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Hubbard Avenue and other roads on the Middletown side of the West Front Street Bridge.
The work being is done by the County in preparation of the Jan. 2 closure of the West Front Street Bridge.
“This work needs to be done in advance of the closure so that the local roads can adequately handle the detours that will be put into place during the prolonged closure,” said Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone, liaison to the Department of Public Works and Engineering.
On Jan. 2, work will begin to connect the new bridge to the Middletown and Red Bank shorelines. This work will take approximately four months to complete.
PHILADELPHIA — Well this isn’t going to help Gov. Chris Christie win any votes in the Garden State. Christie was seen sitting with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones during the Eagles’ game on Sunday night, a move will not go over well with Eagles fans. Here is the photo of Christie taking in the game with… Read the rest of this entry »
NEW YORK (AP) — When Superstorm Sandy left Denise Erickson’s home with a collapsed foundation, a loan from the Small Business Administration looked like the best deal in town. She got more than $150,000 from the SBA to help fix her family’s Bellmore home, but the loan has left her with a $651 monthly payment and… Read the rest of this entry »
This time, the Obamacare deadlines actually mean something. New and returning enrollees have until late Monday to sign up for health insurance on the federal online exchange and be covered by Jan. 1 – a hard deadline and stark turnaround from last year, when glitches on HealthCare.gov blurred pre-Christmas deadlines. Instead of fretting over a website,… Read the rest of this entry »
U.S. Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah, walks to the Senate floor during a long series of votes, many on procedural matters or to confirm members of the Obama administration, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington Dec. 13, 2014.Reuters/Jonathan Ernst
UPDATE 10:10 p.m. EST: The U.S. Senate Saturday voted 56-40 to approve a $1.1 trillion “cromnibus” spending bill that funds the federal government through September. The measure now goes to President Obama for his signature. The vote came after Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, tried to force a procedural vote on the president’s executive order on immigration… Read the rest of this entry »
Crazy Christmas Light Show 2013 Portions of the over-the-top annual Christmas Light Show that attracts thousands of visitors to a quiet Wall Township neighborhood each year. WALL TOWNSHIP – An over-the-top holiday tradition, complete with rocking music, strobe lighting and 20-foot-high flames, is scheduled to begin its 2014 show schedule this weekend. The annual Christmas Light… Read the rest of this entry »
LAKEHURST — When President Obama visits Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst on Monday to thank American service members, U.S. Rep. Chris Smith wants the Commander in Chief to use the time to also reconsider plans phase out certain refueling aircraft. In a letter sent Friday to Obama, Smith (R-4th Dist.) said the “misguided proposal” of phasing out KC-10… Read the rest of this entry »
Superstorm Sandy ripped houses from their foundations, reshaped the Jersey Shore and shuttered countless businesses in October 2012, but now researchers at Rutgers University tell of another devastating consequence: It increased the rate of heart attacks and stroke among people grappling with the disaster, leading to many additional deaths. In one of the first studies of… Read the rest of this entry »
TRENTON — President Obama is scheduled to visit New Jersey Monday with an appearance at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst to thank military service members and Department of Defense civilians for their service, the White House confirmed today. The base in amalgam of the United States Air Force’s McGuire Air Force Base, the United States Army’s Fort Dix… Read the rest of this entry »
State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff testifies before Assembly Budget Committee on Governor Christie’s announcement yesterday to grab $2.43 billion meant for the pension system to balance the state budget. Trenton, NJ 5/21/14 (Tony Kurdzuk/The Star-Ledger)
TRENTON — New Jersey’s revenue, which last month was on track to meet Gov. Chris Christie’s forecasts, has fallen behind the 5.2 percent growth rate built into this year’s budget, according to a new report released today. After November tax collections fell behind the governor’s expectations in a number of areas, the growth rate through the… Read the rest of this entry »
The oil slick in Sandy Hook Bay that was reported to be two miles long by 900 feet wide on Thursday afternoon was observed to be one mile long by 150 wide at 10AM this morning, according to Coast Guard Petty Officer Frank Iannazzo-Simmons during a phone interview with MMM.
Iannazzo-Simmons said a unified command consisting of personnel from the Coast Guard, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, NOAA and the National Park Service were still working to identify the both the source and product of the sheen. The color of the sheen changed from a rainbow to a “silverish” metallic color. Last evening it was reported that authorities believed the product to be diesel fuel. Today, they are taking samples to determine what it is.
20 feet of boom was installed at Horseshoe Cove yesterday as a precaution to protect the environmentally sensitive area. Today 70 feet of “hard boom” was installed to shore up the precautionary protection. Horseshoe Cove was deemed to be the only environmentally sensitive area that could be impacted by the sheen.
The sheen remains located at the northern end of Sandy Hook on the bay side.
NEPTUNE – A newly-minted Keyport police officer proposed to his girlfriend at the police academy graduation Thursday as 58 other cadets looked on, authorities said. After dating for more than six years, Keyport Police Officer Christopher Degroat proposed to Melissa Fleming, of Hazlet. Days before the graduation ceremony, Fleming said Degroat pretended one of the other… Read the rest of this entry »
Expect overnight delays next week between Monday night and Thursday morning
Newman Springs Road (County Road 520) between Harvey Ave and Jumping Brook Road, which is west of Garden State Parkway Exit 109 in Lincroft, is closed today until 4pm today due to construction by a private company installing a sanitary sewer system for a housing development.
The project will continue on Monday, December 15 at night between the hours of 9pm and 5am. It is scheduled to be completed by 5am on Thursday December 18. Only the eastbound lane of the road will be closed at that time, according to a statement from the Monmouth County Department of Public Information and Tourism.
“The County understands the inconvenience of this closure and has instructed the contractor that they cannot completely close this County road, after today, during business hours,” said Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone, liaison to the Department of Public Works and Engineering. “For the safety of those working on the project and the motoring public, the road must be closed today, but it will be open by 4 p.m. This change will provide some relief to the traveling public and the local business community.”
TRENTON — New Jersey lawmakers today took the first step toward regulating new and growing “ridesharing” services like Uber and Lyft that have drawn the ire of traditional taxi and limo companies as well as the auto insurance industry. The Assembly Transportation Committee wrapped seven bills that have been introduced over the last six months —… Read the rest of this entry »
“Water Infrastructure Protection Act”, sponsored by Senator Joe Kyrillos and Assemblyman Sean Kean, would allow municipalities or their utility authorities to sell or lease water and sewer systems to private entities without a referendum in cases of defined emergencies.
Assemblywoman Linder Stender (D-Union). A bill that would allow distressed water-supply facilities and wastewater treatment plants owned by municipalities to be more rapidly sold or leased to private entities narrowly passed a legislative committee yesterday. The legislation (A-3628) sparked heated discussion yesterday before the Assembly State and Local Government Committee, with proponents saying it would allow… Read the rest of this entry »
A two mile long by 400 foot wide oil slick is washing up on the bay side of Sandy Hook, according to a report by WNBC 4-NY.
The slick was first witnessed by security personnel at the Earle Naval Weapons Station, according to the the report. The U.S. Coast Guard and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection are investigating.
WOODBRIDGE — Gov. Chris Christie declined today to take a position on whether it was appropriate for the U.S. government to engage in brutal interrogation techniques recently made public. The governor, speaking briefly to reporters on Ellis Island, had little to say when asked to respond to news of harsh CIA interrogations. The tactics, used against… Read the rest of this entry »
TRENTON — David Samson, the former chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, filed a federal lawsuit Monday seeking to head off a state ethics probe of his work at the bi-state agency. Samson and his law firm sued the New Jersey State Ethics Commission in U.S. District Court, claiming it does… Read the rest of this entry »
Voters in the Freehold Borough, Ocean Township and West Long Branch School Districts went to the polls yesterday to decide the fate of school construction bonding proposals.
In Freehold, 611 voters, 11% of those registered rejected borrowing $33 million for school construction by 241 to 370. An identical referendum was defeated by Borough voters on September 30 by 273 to 374. There are 1644 students residing in the district. The average property tax bill in Freehold Borough would have increased by $278 per year had the measure passed.
If there was any doubt that Asbury Park has the strongest local music scene in New Jersey, just look at the nominees in the 40 – that’s right, 40 – categories for the 2014 Asbury Music Awards. There are at least eight nominees in all categories, and more… Read the rest of this entry »
Ever the optimist and desperate for relevancy, Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal is floating his name as a candidate for Assembly in 11th District.
The district’s Assembly seats are currently held by Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande. Gopal and Red Bank Councilwoman Kathy Horgan lost to Angelini and Casagrande by over 3000 votes (out of 37,093 cast) in 2011. Former Democratic Assemblyman Dan Jacobson, publisher of the triCityNews and AsburyParkSun earned 2358 votes as an Independent candidate that year.
MoreMonmouthMusings hereby endorses Gopal for one of the Democratic Assembly nominations in the 11th.
We were worried that 2015 would be a boring year politically in Monmouth County and that we’d have to start covering restaurant openings to keep our traffic up next year. With Gopal on the ballot, MMM’s political focus would be assured for another year.
Another reason we like Gopal as a candidate for Assembly is that it takes an issue of the table for Sheriff Shaun Golden’s reelection in 2016.
TRENTON — The key state Senate committee today approved a bill requiring Gov. Chris Christie’s administration to restore information about property taxes that it had removed from a state website earlier this year. The bill ( S2056), which cleared the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, would require that the administration post the town-by-town average residential property… Read the rest of this entry »
Months of pressure from storm survivors and lawmakers in New Jersey and New York culminated Friday with the Federal Emergency Management Agency committing to reform key parts of the National Flood Insurance Program. The program covers more than five-and-a-half million policyholders across the country, and it’s been an important part of the Sandy recovery, paying out… Read the rest of this entry »
With the holidays upon us, please keep in mind The Made in Monmouth Holiday Shopping Guide is ready. It is available on the county’s website by going to www.visitmonmouth.com. The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders encourages people to shop local for their holiday gifts. Additionally, as liaison to the Department of Economic Development, I am very proud to announce that Made in Monmouth is expanding. There will be two mini-Made in Monmouth events for the holiday season. The first one is scheduled for December 13th at the Manalapan Community Center on Route 33. This event is being hosted by the Board of Chosen Freeholders, Manalapan Township mayor and committee and the Manalapan Economic Development Committee. The second mini-Made in Monmouth is being hosted by the Freeholders and Cream Ridge Winery. It will be held December 20th at the winery in Cream Ridge. Both of these events give our small businesses the opportunity to expand their customer base and give more shoppers the opportunity to support local business.
A MMM reader asked Art to publish an article on ways to volunteer during the holidays. Art asked Greg to make a list and check it twice, with a Monmouth County focus, and to include charities and non-profits that need volunteers and financial support.
The following 100+ charitable/volunteer organizations based in Monmouth County go the extra mile every day to help those less fortunate or for causes that really matter to humanity. You can help them to help others this holiday season.
WASHINGTON – Jeb Bush may not yet have announced formally a White House run, but with a single Facebook message saying he’s “decided to actively explore the possibility” of running, the former Florida governor did more to build a presidential campaign in a few minutes than other candidates have been able to build in years. But… Read the rest of this entry »