The Middletown Township Committee is slated to introduce their 2015 budget tonight with a spending decrease of $959,463. The total budget as introduced will be $69,437,466 compared to 2014 spending of $70,396,929.
Decreased non-tax revenues, including parking permits and court fees, of $2.8 million and increases in snow removal costs of $1.3 million and insurance costs of $600,000, were off set by savings from shared services agreements with other municipalities and the Middletown Board of Education, as well as utility cost savings for $223,000.
The tax levy on Township property owners will increase $428,484 to $46,964,220, not including the Township Library. With the library budget of $3,445,649, the overall tax levy increases by $486,502.
The nominating petitions are due with the Divisions of Elections by Monday, March 30th at 4 p.m. Should no candidates file petitions with 100 valid signatures, the Democratic nominations for Assembly will be up for grabs to write-in candidates in the June 2 primary.
There has been radio silence from Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal’s office and on his blog since the convention on Monday. Even MMM’s spies at the convention have been mum. The silence has lead many Republicans to speculate that Vin has a problem.
Updated:Former Marlboro GOP Chairman Christopher Dean wants the world to know that Councilman Scalea was never a Republican and that he has proof from the Board of Elections. Dean says that MMM is spreading Mayor Hornik’s lies and that facts don’t matter on this site. He said he’s going to spread the word at some meetings he has coming up.
Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik
Desperate to be a player and for a victory of any kind, Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal told a gathering of statewide Democrats in Freehold on Wednesday evening that Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik’s reelection race is his top priority this year, according to report on PolitickerNJ.
Marlboro is a Republican town. Year after year the Township’s voters break for Republicans for Freeholder, County Constitutional offices, State Legislature, Governor, Congress, Senate and President.
Yet Hornik leads a municipal government that on paper is Democratic. The reality is that Hornik’s administration is dominated by former Republicans who left a dysfunctional local GOP at the mayor’s urging.
Hornik, whose father Saul was mayor of the community from 1980-1991, was first elected in 2007 in a race remembered for incumbent Republican Robert Kleinberg distributing flyers implying that he had been endorsed by NJ 101.5’s morning host Jim Gearhart. Gearhart and Gannett columnist Bob Ingle , then media leaders of the GRIP (Get Rid of Incumbent Politicians) movement, went ballistic on Kleinberg. Kleinberg imploded during a live radio interview wherein he explained the flyers were not meant to imply an endorsement, but as a way to show his kids that people were saying nice things about him.
By a vote of 4-1, the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders officially started the process of privatizing the John L. Montgomery and Geraldine L. Thompson Care Centers, the nursing homes that have been run by the county government since the early 1900’s.
Freeholder Director Gary Rich and Deputy Director Serena DiMaso joined Freeholders John Curley and Tom Arnone in voting to move the nursing homes to the private sector. Curley and Arnone have long advocated the privatization, while Rich and DiMaso have sought additional study of the issue. Freeholder Lillian Burry voted no on privatization, steadfastly maintaining her position that county government has an obligation to care for its most vulnerable residents. Burry favored a plan to merge the operations of the two care centers.
Monmouth County property taxpayers have borne deficits of $45 million in the nursing homes since 2007. With cutbacks in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements under ObamaCare, the deficits have grown to almost $7 million per year.
This evening at the Monmouth County Agriculture Building, the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders will listen to a report on the state of the county owned care centers/nursing homes. Following that report, the are very likely vote to move forward in the process of selling or privatizing the facilities.
There have been compelling arguments made on both sides of the issue. There has also been emotion driven demagoguery on both sides of the issue. What may have been missing, so far, is a dispassionate analysis. There are those of both sides of the issue who have been fighting for their intended outcome based on ideological, emotional, and political concerns. Ideology, emotion and politics are all appropriate factors. However, those drivers should be informed by a dispassionate analysis of all the facts and options. Any official who casts a vote on the future of the care centers based solely on ideology, emotion, politics or personal preference is guilty of malpractice.
I respectively ask all five of my friends on the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders to consider the answers to the following questions before making a final decision on the future of the John L. Montgomery and Geraldine Thompson care centers.
In the pursuit of trimming Monmouth County’s bottom line Freeholders Tom Arnone, Gary Rich and John Curley, Curley who faces the voters in November, are about to turn their back on several handicapped and indigent patients living at the John L. Montgomery Care Center in Freehold, despite a viable, fiscally responsible and compassionate alternative being proposed by Freeholders Lillian Burry and Serena DiMaso. The Burry-DiMaso plan both trims the budget and saves the facility, which serves some of the county’s most needy families.
Life is wondrous, beautiful and vital, until it’s not. Many of us have watched a grandparent, so active and so engaged from the earliest moments of our youth, suddenly decline and descend into illness and death. It’s even harder when it’s a parent or a child. My dad recently fell ill. As I write this he lays in intensive care, holding on to his relatively young life via prayers and the constant attention of family and medical professionals. If he survives this dangerous chapter, he may have a lifetime of respiratory, physical and occupational therapy ahead of him. A wondrous beautiful life is all at once fragile and uncertain.
The Monmouth County Democrats will hold a “mini-convention” this evening at the IBEW Local 400 Union Hall in Wall Township to formally nominate their slate of County and Legislative candidates for the June 2 primary.
Jeanne Cullinane is challenging Assembly Members Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon in the 13th legislative district
MMM has learned that Hazlet Board of Education member Tom Herman will be a candidate for Assembly in the 13th legislative district, challenging incumbent Republicans Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon. Joining Herman on the Democratic ticket in the 13th will be Jeanne Cullinane, also of Hazlet, a political newcomer.
Monmouth County Chairman Vin Gopal has previously announced on his blog that Neptune Township Zoning Board Member Carol Rizzo will challenge incumbent Republican Freeholder John Curley. There has been speculation that Rizzo was seperated at birth from Rumson Democratic Chairman and former Democratic candidate for Surrogate, Michael Steinhorn.
Governor Chris Christie has consistently thumbed his nose at New Jersey Republicans
Governor Chris Christie continued the transition of the Executive Branch of New Jersey’s State Government back to the Democratic Party today with his announcement that Charles A. Richman will become Acting Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs on Friday when current Commissioner, Richard Constable, leaves government service after 13 years. Christie’s announcement said that Richman will be formally nominated to succeed Constable in the Commissioner’s post.
Richman, a career New Jersey bureaucrat with 40 years experience, served in the cabinets of Governor Brendan Byrne and Governor Richard Codey, on a acting basis.
Throughout his second term as Governor, Christie has appointed high profile Democrats to fill cabinet level and other important goverment positions when vacancies have occurred.
Sea Bright Democrats Expect A Primary Fight Over Council Nominations
Councilman Marc Leckstein: Gopal with overrule local chairman and award him the party line in the primary
Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long. photo credit:RedBankGreen.com
Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long is poised to lead the tiny coastal borough’s recovery from Superstorm Sandy for another four years.
Long, an Independent, will file her nominating petitions this week, over two months before they are due for Independent candidates. Both the Democratic and Republican municipal chairs have said that they won’t field candidates against Long.
“I am hopeful the voters of Sea Bright will give me the opportunity to see through our rebuilding from Sandy, the recovery of our municipal finances and the economic revitalization of our downtown,” Long said in a prepared statement, “I want to make sure we incorporate lessons learned from Sandy to improve our future resilience, and that we continue to engage and empower Sea Bright residents to be an active part that process.
“Over the last three and half years, we have seen that when we roll up our sleeves and work together, we succeed. If we keep bringing that spirit to the tasks at hand, I know Sea Bright’s potential can finally be realized. I am honored that the Democrat and Republican party organizations are not opposing my re-election bid, and am very very grateful. I look forward to working with them all to keep Sea Bright moving forward.”
Senator Bob Menendez, left, and Congressman Frank Pallone, making like chimpmunks at the 2012 Belmar St. Patrick’s parade. Photo credit Charles Measley
The Wall Street Journal reported this afternoon that Washington, DC based federal prosecutors are expected to file criminal corruption charges against U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) as early as this week.
WSJ’s anonymous sources did not reveal the specific charges, but indicated that a legal battle over how much the Constitution shields federal legislators and their aides has come to a close. The charges, which reportedly will be filed in New Jersey’s federal courts, are believed to involve Menendez’s relationship with Florida eye-doctor, Solomon Melgen.
Earlier this month, CNN reported that outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder signed off on the Menendez prosecution. In a hastily called press conference after the CNN report broke on March 8, the senator defiantly defended the “appropriateness and lawfulness” of his conduct in office, including his dealings with Melgen.