Dr. Dale Whilden, President of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Assoc, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Sen Jennifer Beck, Gov Chris Christie, Congressman Chris Smith and Neptune Mayor Dr. Michael Brantley cut the ribbon of Ocean Grove’s rebuilt boardwalk
After being twice denied funding from FEMA before finally getting $2.4 million on their second appeal, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association re-opened their boardwalk to the public today with a ceremonial ribbon cutting lead by Governor Chris Christie, Congressman Chris Smith, Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Neptune Township Mayor Dr. Michael Brantley and Dr. Dale C. Whilden, President of the OGCMA.
“Today is truly a great day for Ocean Grove, Neptune Township, Monmouth County, and the Jersey Shore, and a critical step forward in our recovery from Sandy,” said Smith.”This boardwalk is an integral part of Ocean Grove the neighboring Jersey Shore community, a fact we reinforced during our efforts to reverse FEMA’s original decision at the local level—and yet another at the regional level—to deny critical funding.”
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Posted: July 3rd, 2014 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Chris Christie, Chris Smith, FEMA, Hurricane Sandy, Jennifer Beck, Neptune, Neptune Township, News | Tags: Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Chris Christie, Congressman Chris Smith, Dr. Dale C. Whilden, Dr. Michael Brantley, FEMA, Hurricane Sandy, Ocean Grove, Ocean Grove boardwalk, Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, Senator Jennifer Beck, Superstorm Sandy | Comments Off
By Art Gallagher
Photo credit: Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association
Neptune Township’s beachfront and boardwalk in the Ocean Grove section of the Township might not get the estimated $3 million in FEMA funding needed to rebuild because the property is owned by the private non-profit and religious Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (OGCMA), according to an article by freelance journalist Caren Chesler published at NJSpotLight.
Neptune Township Committee Member and Ocean Grove business owner Randy Bishop, as well as Michael Bascom, the Township’s CFO are working with OGCMA to pursuade FEMA to pay for the repairs on the stretch of beach that connects the regional shoreline from Asbury Park south to Spring Lake.
In a press release posted on OGCMA’s website, President Dr. Dale C. Whilden said, “The Camp Meeting is fully committed to restoring Ocean Grove’s beautiful beachfront, a keystone of our community as well as a protection from ocean storms, and we’re on track to implement a comprehensive beach and boardwalk restoration plan. With God’s blessing and the assistance of our local, state and federal officials, as well as support from individuals and organizations, our beach will open on Memorial Day weekend.”
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Posted: January 14th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Art Gallagher, FEMA, Garden State Equality, Gay Marriage, Gender Equality, Hurricane Sandy, Marriage Equality, Marriage Equality and Religious Exemptions Act, Neptune, Neptune Township | Tags: beach rebuilding, boardwalk rebuilding, Caren Chesler, FEMA, Fema funding, Marriage Equality and Religous Exceptions Act, Michael Bascom, Neptune, Neptune Township, NJSpotlight, Ocean Grove, Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, OGCMA, Randy Bishop, Religious Freedom, Sandy, Superstorm Sandy Hurricane Sandy | 2 Comments »
Nothing, says Neptune Government 4 All. It is our core belief that having a vote in who your elected officials are, is basic to democracy. Right now, the mayor is a one year (virtually) rotating post! That’s not democracy at its best! And, that’s why NG4A, a non-partisan group, decided to get together and initiate this effort to put a change of government question on the ballot this November.
Right now, the executive and legislative functions are combined and secretive. Who is watching the store? The politicians are in on the deal and the taxpayers are left out. As it stands now, the Mayor is selected behind closed doors. Direct voter election of the Mayor should be the right of the people.
Yet recently, NG4A has seen some disturbing, albeit expected, push back from those same elected officials via comments in the media, in an attempt to keep their system of patronage in place. These elected officials are suggesting this grass roots movement is nothing more than politics,
It’s simply about a change to a better system,” said NG4A’s Luke Tirell. “We’re working to get the question on the ballot and give the voters the right to choose their mayor. We’re already seeing that when Neptune voters learn about the benefits of this change, they overwhelmingly support it.”.
NG4A is also hearing from residents that they would like to have their own neighborhood council members. They would be better able to address the important issues all across Neptune: crime in Midtown, parking in Ocean Grove, speeding in Shark River Hills, as well as development along the Route 66 corridor in West Neptune. To have only five minutes in front of a podium twice a month at a council meeting does not allow residents the opportunity to fully address those needs. Instead, having a Council person from their own neighborhood and accountable to those voters allows for more effective attention to local issues, in addition to the big picture issues.
“Is Neptune Township not right for the same style of government that Old Bridge, Piscataway Township, and many other municipalities use?” asked NG4A’s Charlie Demaria, “Neptune, much like Piscataway, is a very diverse community made up of a number of very different neighborhoods, each with its own unique needs.”
On the NG4A website, www.ng4a.net there is a list of nearly all of those municipalities, both small and large, that use the Mayor-Council form of government.
DeMaria continued, “Neighborhood representation in our local government and direct voter election of the Mayor will result in a more accountable and cost effective government for Neptune taxpayers. Change like this will benefit the taxpayers. It’s not about politics, it’s about empowerment.”
The suggestion that the people’s right to vote for a mayor is outweighed by some small financial cost to place it on the ballot is not right. There actually is no great cost in placing this on the ballot.
Most importantly, over the next few weeks, Neptune Government 4 All will be talking about the benefits of this plan, especially how it will benefit the taxpayers. All you have to do is go to our website, www.ng4a.net to find the fact sheets.
No sound bites, just facts.
Visit www.ng4a.net for more information and let us know that you want to sign the petition. Send a message that you support full democracy and the voter’s right to choose on the November ballot.
This Neptune citizens’ plan for a change to neighborhood representation will put taxpayers first. We can’t afford not to change.
If you are interested in helping this grass roots, non-partisan, initiative, email us at: email@example.com. You’ll see how non partisan we are!
Posted: July 11th, 2011 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Neptune Township | Tags: Neptune Township, Press Release | 7 Comments »
We’ll find out tonight during the Neptune High School graduation ceremony at the Ocean Grove Great Auditorium.
In case you missed it, the ACLU threaten to sue the Neptune Board of Education seeking to compel the end of the 70 year old tradition of holding the high school graduation at the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association’s glorious historical 3000 seat venue that hosts religious services and well as secular events.
Granny Breslow felt uncomfortable by the religious imagery, the convocation and hymns at her grand daughter’s graduation last year and contacted the ACLU to put a stop to it. Rather than litigate, the Neptune Board of Education negotiated a comprise that required no convocation, that religious banners in the auditorium would be covered and that the cross on the auditorium will not be lit before or during the ceremony.
The tradition was spared but many in the community were outraged that one out of town malcontent could bully the Board of Ed in to altering the ceremony at all. Many felt the Board should not have complied with any of the ACLU’s demands.
In the facebook group that was created to rally public support to keep the graduation at the Great Auditorium, much of the chatter since the deal was made with the ACLU has focused on bringing religious expression into the graduation ceremony. There has been talk of community members wearing necklaces with lit crosses and breaking out in prayer before, during and after the ceremony.
MMM supports the community members in making authentic religious expressions. They should avoid the temptation to hijack the graduation by turning it into an angry protest. Keep the focus on celebrating the accomplishments and the futures of the graduating high school seniors.
Posted: June 17th, 2011 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: ACLU, Neptune Township | Tags: ACLU, Breslow, Neptune High School Graduation | 1 Comment »
Neptune Board Of Ed and ACLU Reach Compromise
By Art Gallagher
The Neptune Board of Education has agreed to cover religious signs and symbols in and outside of the Ocean Grove Great Auditorium, with the exception of the prominent cross on the building, and the ACLU has agreed not to take legal action to prevent the Neptune High School Class of 2011 graduation to take place at the auditorium, according to reports at Neptune Matters and Blog Finger.
The board agreed that this graduation and future ceremonies would be free of religious content, i.e., prayers and hymns.
The agreement clears the way for the 70 year Neptune tradition to continue.
The identity of the ACLU’s client has not been revealed. The complainant has been identified only as the grandmother of a student who graduated last year. MMM has narrowed the identity down to one of two women with the same last name, initial “B.” One an Eatontown resident, the other an Ocean Township resident. So long as this agreement sticks, MMM will cease efforts to confirm the identity of the complainant.
Posted: May 25th, 2011 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Neptune, Neptune Township | Tags: Breslow, Neptune High School Graduation, Ocean Grove Great Auditorium | 2 Comments »
By Art Gallagher
Remember the hullabaloo last summer over News Corp, parent of FoxNews, giving $1 million dollars to the Republican Governors Association? The lefty media made a big deal about it. The Asbury Park Pres, aka Neptune Nudniks, even wrote an editorial condemning the contribution wherein they made a laughable assertion about how “real journalists” work hard to maintain their objectivity.
Turns out Fox gave to Frank Pallone before they gave to the RGA. They also gave to Andrew Wiener, James Clyburn, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. The Nudniks probably didn’t know that…..because they probably didn’t check.
Posted: January 16th, 2011 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Asbury Park Press, Neptune Township | Tags: Asbury Park Press, FoxNews PAC, Neptune Nudniks, Pallone | 3 Comments »
Just like the famous movie, the “Wizard Of Oz,” one has to look past the curtain in order to see the real story. I had that in mind the other day when I spoke to a voter regarding my opponents website and campaign literature.
I first thought that they were “wizards” trying to hide behind the curtain until the election is over. I said this because their website and literature are devoid of any issues or platform. It’s as if they were trying to “hide behind the curtain” until Election Day is over because of their liberal “tax & spend” positions, which aren’t selling across America.
But I came to find out who the REAL “wizard behind the curtain” really is. You see, NJ Election Funding Reports became available the other day, and that’s where you will find out who is behind the curtain trying to pull all of the levers. Facts are powerful messengers.
The NJ Election Report records show that one of my opponents, Eric Houghtaling is receiving large amounts of Labor Union cash for his campaign war chest. At least 80% of his campaign funding, currently $5,500, is from Labor Union donations to his campaign. And there’s still 20+ days left in the campaign. That’s a large “purchase” of a candidate my friends, but I wonder, are there more barrels of cash to come?
Now, here’s the bigger problem about Eric’s union ties. According to the IBEW400 website Eric is the Political Director of his electrical workers union, so this is sounding like Neptune’s own version of the Louisiana Purchase and Cornhusker Kickback; with the union trying to influence what goes on in Neptune. I have no problem with labor unions as an organization; my problem lies with Union’s attempting to sway political election outcomes.
Are Unions the “Great & Powerful Oz?”
Or, is this for “street money” to help re-elect Frank Pallone? We’ve seen what unions do to help turn out the vote for the Democrats. We don’t know though, because even at this late date, Eric shows no expenses for his campaign. Now that’s strange, what else is Eric hiding behind the curtain?
What we DO know is that we’ve seen what the Unions did in the 2008 election in order to help elect Obama. We also saw the unions out in great force at the Town Hall meeting across America, trying to drown out our voices. We also know that the Service Employees International and other unions held great sway over the formation of the disaster called Health Care Reform. Taxpayers suffered because of their over reaching influence.
The implications of a Union “purchase” of a Township Committee seat here in Neptune becomes even scarier because, like the Health Care bill, we won’t know what’s in Eric’s “bills” until and if he wins a seat, because he won’t say what he’s for..
Think, Is this what WE want in Neptune?
Elections have consequences and we’ve seen the consequences of the 2008 election. The lack of a platform & the barrels full of union cash must concern you, the voter.
We should be electing people with platforms and plans, not people to put what they are for on paper or can be bought by large donations. My campaign website, www.neptune2010.com does just that, where I actually talk about positions and issues.
You can do something about this. I have established a special election fund in order to defeat the Union Influence in Neptune. You can go to our website and make an online donation to tell the Unions that we don’t want them influencing Neptune from the Township Committee dias. If everyone reading this article donates just $25 to fight the Big Unions, it will send a powerful message. Actually, no donation is too small.
Even if you aren’t from Neptune, a donation will help defeat Frank Pallone by helping my campaign turn out more voters for our column. I’m not hiding behind a curtain. I can’t be bought off by large donations because most of mine are small donations from families like yours. Tell the Unions to “go home.”
Warren Lapp, Candidate
Neptune Township Committee
Posted: October 9th, 2010 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Neptune Township, Uncategorized, Warren Lapp | Tags: Neptune Township, Warren Lapp | Comments Off
By Warren Lapp, Candidate for Neptune Township Committee
Here we are, just about one month out from the Election. While I continue to door knock & greet Neptune’s voters, I’m going to try as much as possible to share my views on issues via the press. If you don’t find them here, you can always find them on my website. Most importantly, you will find a sharp contrast between me & the Democrat candidates.
The first sharp distinction I’ll draw is with regards to my civic activity compared to my opponent Eric Hougtaling. Only recently has Eric been on the scene at a couple of township committee meetings, only since he became a candidate. I’ve been to more than 100 committee meetings over the years and I served 2+ years on the planning board. I’ve been an active member of the Shark River Hills Property Owner’s Association for years as well. Though I do recognize Eric’s long ago involvement in Little League, where has he been lately? You deserve better, someone up on current events and issues.
Another difference is how I want to deal with YOUR money. You see, the Neptune Democrats continue to act as if it’s THEIR money. We’ve seen that with recent tax and fee increases. We’ve seen that with the interest in parking meters and now a hotel tax, which hurts Ocean Grove the most. Yes, I am all for finding new sources of revenues, but not on the backs of residents and businesses who know better how to spend their own money, especially in difficult economic times.
That’s why I propose putting the brakes on a hotel tax while we look at a substantial revenue producing ideas such as red light cameras, which have proven very successful in other towns. Make the bad guys pay, not the good guys. As one voter commented to me recently, “just for the agita they gave us, the Democrats deserve ousting. They think of Ocean Grove as a cash cow.”
Our township employees have given a lot in cutbacks, yet feel that the Neptune Democrats aren’t listening to them. After all, they are a 5 & 0 Majority. Why bother listening? Instead of just taking away compensatory time for certain administrators, the Committee gave them a pay increase. Rank and file township employees have experienced the belt-tightening. Perhaps it’s time for more from our administrators.
I’ll listen. Why?
This campaign is about YOU, the voter, not what some politician is going to do for you. We’ve seen from Washington on down, that our elected officials are not listening to the voters. I have a survey up on my campaign website soliciting ideas, and already; we’ve gotten some pretty good ones. Have the Neptune Democrats ever really asked for your opinion? Rather, they would serve to press their ideas on you.
Neptune Residents, visit the website, take the survey & look at my positions on the issues. I’m sure you’ll find a pleasant surprise when compared to my opponents. On November 2nd, make just one vote for township committee. Vote for Warren Lapp to send a message that others in Neptune deserve a voice. I will be that voice.
Posted: September 24th, 2010 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Neptune Township | Tags: Neptune Township, Warren Lapp | 6 Comments »
Democrats Push it Aside In Favor Of A Tax On The Good Guys
By Jim Granelli
At the September 13th Township Committee meeting, when presented with an idea that could bring a large revenue stream to Neptune Township, the 5 & 0 Democrat Monopoly seemed dismissive of a potentially good idea to bring in revenue for Neptune, while rushing head long into a Hotel Tax that would only hurt tourism.
Taking part in a pilot program by the N.J. State Police in order to increase traffic safety, the Boro of Glassboro, N.J.; along with other towns initiated the use of a traffic cameras to ticket vehicles running red lights or not stopping on red when making a right turn.
Glassboro realized a gross revenue of $35,000 in the first month, increasing to $110,000 in the most recently reported month of August with the first four months brought a net revenue $230,000 to Glassboro’s coffers. Extrapolating that on a year round basis, that could mean close to a million dollars in new revenue for Neptune Township.
According to Charles Callari, New Jersey regional business development director at American Traffic Solutions, “there’s no out-of-pocket expenses for the municipality or no up-front costs.”
When compared to the Neptune Democrat’s vague estimates of only $200,000 to $500,000 in revenue from a hotel tax that would impact tourism & Township business owners, Neptune’s Republicans feel that the brakes should be put on a hotel tax while this other potential revenue stream is investigated and possibly initiated in Neptune.
Warren Lapp, the Neptune Township Republican Township Committee Candidate commented, that “while the idea needs to be fully explored and questions answered; before we rush headlong into a Hotel Tax, maybe we should be checking out a revenue producer like this. Routes 33, 35 & 66 pass thru Neptune Township, along with thousands of vehicles. Instead of taxing those good people who want to spend money, maybe we should raise money from those that break our laws.
After all, it’s both a safety and revenue issue. We’ve also found out that many more towns in N.J. that are considering the use of red light cameras.
So, since the Democrats always seem to be in favor of what other towns have, like when Mayor Jahn talks about 280 or so towns having a hotel tax, here’s something other towns have, something that doesn’t punish tourists for spending money and hurt businesses that need increased income during a recession. Quite honestly, I don’t know why Randy Bishop & Eric Hougtaling, the Democrat Candidates don’t see this.
Why do we always have to tax our way out of a problem?” Lapp commented.
Posted: September 20th, 2010 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Hotel Tax, Jim Granelli, Neptune Township, Traffic Cams | 7 Comments »