Asbury Park – An overflow crowd of Asbury Park residents attended the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders meeting in the city last evening to rally the county’s governing body to save the north end beachfront property known as Bradley Cove.
iStar Financial, the city’s master developer, owns the development rights to the site and has a proposal to build 15 town homes on the property. The Asbury Park Council passed a resolution earlier this month to apply for Green Acres funding to preserve the property.
The freeholders were sympathetic to the public outcry to prevent the development, but made it clear that the ball is in Asbury Park’s court. Prior Asbury Park administrations sold the development rights to the property and approved a tax abatement to support the development. Community members are now trying to undue that deal, and seem be hoping that Freeholder Board has the power to make that happen.
“Everyone was invited, but attendance was not well coordinated,” Campbell said in on a phone call with MMM, “Susan Henderson (Deputy Mayor) told me she didn’t get her email about the event until after she got she home.”
“All the council members except John Loffredo, who was on vacation as I said, attended the event. When they arrived, I invited each of them to speak. Councilwoman Quinn and Henderson did speak. Councilman Moor did not.”
“We’re a council. Whenever we’re at public events, I will invite each member of the council to speak.”
Asbury Park Mayor Myra Campbell went out of way to embarrass her colleagues on the city’s governing body last evening during the National Night Out celebration.
While introducing Congressman Frank Pallone as a candidate for “State Senator” (Pallone is running for the Democratic nomination to succeed the late United States Senator Frank Lautenberg), Campbell went off script with a spiel about the importance of citizens knowing their governmental representatives.
“I represent you as mayor of Asbury Park and I want you to know your other representatives,” Campbell announced to the crowd of a few hundred, “If you are a member of the council, please step forward.
“Susan Henderson, Deputy Superintendent, uh, Deputy Mayor Susan Henderson. I know John Loffredo is on vacation. Councilman John Moor, are you here. Amy Quinn?
“I guess they’re not here. They are your representatives.”
The council members were not scheduled to join the other dignitaries on stage for the kickoff of the event.
Councilwoman Amy Quinn was seen arriving to the celebration about 10 minutes after the formal remarks concluded.
Quinn told MMM that “unequivocally” Moor and Henderson attended after the formal remarks to kickoff the event.
John Lofreddo, left, Myra Campbell, center and Susan Henderson. AsburyParkSun.com photo
The hope of a new beginning was replaced with anger today in Asbury Park when the new city council was sworn in.
John Moor, the top vote getter in the May 14 non-partisan election, was expected to be appointed mayor by his colleagues, as is the tradition. He had the 3 votes he needed on the 5 person council by virtue of his own election and that of two of his running mates, Amy Quinn and Myra Campbell who ran on the One Asbury ticket in the non-partisan election.
Then sometime over the weekend, Campbell split with her running mates and made a deal with returning council members John Lofreddo and Susan Henderson, who ran for reelection on the Forward Asbury ticket, to get the mayoral title for herself.
The mayor’s office in Asbury Park is largely ceremonial in the city’s form of government. The appointed City Manager, a full time employee appointed by the council, runs the day to day operations of the city. Asbury Park elects their entire council once every four years.
John Loffredo (Forward Asbury Park ticket) and Amy Quinn (One Asbury ticket) are the top guns in the Asbury Park City Council race. That’s not news for me; I’ve known it for years and have let them both know they should be together.
In fact, I thought it was a foregone conclusion that they would run together since it makes so much sense. Had I known they would overlook the obvious I would have lobbied them vigorously over the past 4 years to create a political marriage (or civil union, if that’s your preference).
Just look at the last election. Tickets make it easier for candidates to win, particularly weaker candidates, but Amy Quinn fell just short of being elected while running as an independent. That means she carries a great deal of support on her own, perhaps as much as any individual candidate running this year.
How Loffredo didn’t see the benefits of scooping up Quinn and all her support befuddles me. She was clearly the off-season prize; the league’s most valuable free agent. How Quinn didn’t see the benefits of picking up support from the team who won for the past dozen years amazed me more. It’s like she passed up an opportunity with the Yankees to start her own team. That hasn’t worked out well for the Mets, has it?
Today is Monmouth County Democratic Chairwoman Amy Quinn’s birthday.
As a birthday gift, Amy asked that I become a Democratic blogger for the day.
In preparation, I checked out Middletown Mike’s blog. Mike has the President’s weekly Youtube address and a Saturday morning cartoon posted.
Over at BlueJersey, they have a video of Chris Matthews interviewing Carl Lewis on MSNBC’s Hardball. Matthews mentioned his friendship with the late Republican Jack Kemp and neither man talk about sensations in their legs.