Support Grows For Controversial Property Tax Assessment Program As Shrewsbury Opts Back In

Declan1A bi-partisan effort to explain the controversial pilot program for assessing Monmouth County properties, the Assessment Demonstration Program, is generating support for the program as one of the eight municipalities that opted out of the program has reenlisted and other towns are choosing to stay with the program that is reducing the amount of property tax appeals filed.

The biggest problem the program has faced is confusion between the alleged improprieties and conflicts of interests in the implementation of the program exposed by an Asbury Park Press series which instigated an investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the benefits and weaknesses of the program itself.

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Posted: May 4th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Taxation, Monmouth County News, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Blasting the myths and making the case for reasonable speed limits

By Declan O’Scanlon

Declan1The Asbury Park Press editorial board recently took a position AGAINST setting speed limits based on engineering criteria and FOR setting limits based on the hunches of unqualified elected officials and bureaucrats.  The position is so fundamentally flawed, so based on decades-old defunct myths, so devoid of any basis in actual fact, that it’s hard to decide where to begin.

My speed limit initiative is a simple one – set speed limits based on sound engineering criteria.  I would remove uninformed or profit-motivated elected officials and bureaucrats from the process. Traffic laws shouldn’t be based on the random hunches of any of us. Setting any law by hunch only diminishes the public’s confidence in ALL laws. That’s not a way to enhance safety anywhere. Why should the public take a 25 mph school speed limit seriously when we randomly post such speed limits all over – including stretches of roadway that should be posted at 40?  Don’t even get me started on the damage random limits have on the image of our police – who become the face of these arbitrary laws.

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Posted: April 28th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, Monmouth County News, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

O’Scanlon Calls Shenanigans On Dems’ “War on Women”

“Women’s Healthcare Options Open, Available and Accessible”

Photo Credit: Dave Lewis, LewisArtandPhoto.com

Photo Credit: Dave Lewis, LewisArtandPhoto.com

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) called out his colleague, Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin (D- Newark) for continuing to perpetrate the myth that New Jersey short changes funding for women’s healthcare.

“I count at least seven line items where we put money to women’s healthcare, including $135 million for family health services to provide prenatal and perinatal care for expectant mothers and their children,” said O’Scanlon. “The results of the Republican investment in women’s healthcare speak for themselves. New Jersey is in the top five States with the lowest STD rates in the country. Other states look to New Jersey as a model for STD prevention.” O’Scanlon also pointed out that the Democrats have failed to provide any additional funding for Family Planning Services in the Fiscal Year 2016 budget they passed last June.”

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Posted: April 20th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: 13th Legislative District, Declan O'Scanlon, Health Care, Monmouth County News, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on O’Scanlon Calls Shenanigans On Dems’ “War on Women”

O’Scanlon: Princeton Professor Succeeds in Cheapening Future Legitimate Charges of Racism & Highlighting Deterioration of Society’s Opinion of Police

Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon

By Declan O’Scanlon

One tragic thing occurred and one tragic fact was laid bare as a result of the the Princeton professor’s arrest and subsequent saga that ended yesterday with her quietly paying her fines.  She both succeeded in cheapening future legitimate charges of racism, and highlighting the deterioration of societies opinion of our cops. Specifically she attempted to ameliorate her humiliation not through accountability but by blatantly fabricating mistreatment by police officers – while invoking the charge of racial motivation. Both the dishonest act itself, and the ease with which the charge might have been accepted as legitimate – had there not been incontrovertible evidence proving otherwise – are tragic.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: March 9th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

O’Scanlon and Tax Board Announce Assessment Reforms

Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon and the members of the Monmouth County Tax Boards announced reforms to the controversial Assessment Demonstration Program yesterday. The changes are designed to address the volatility in property valuations that taxpayers have been experiencing during the early years of the pilot program’s implementation.

In addition to making appropriate adjustments to the program, O’Scanlon told MMM that he his hopeful that municipal officials will focus on the program itself, and not the controversy over the allegations of conflicts of interests among assessors, Tax Administrator Matthew Clark, and the vendors working the program, when deciding whether to continue their participation participation in 2017.  The Tax Board announced last month that towns can opt out of the program for 2017 by April 29, 2016.

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Posted: December 17th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County Board of Taxation, Monmouth County News, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

O’Scanlon celebrates 1st anniversary of the demise of Red Light Cameras in New Jersey

Even with his grimace, O'Scanlon is celebrating

Even with his grimace, O’Scanlon is celebrating

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon is reminding New Jersey residents that the end of the Red Light Camera program, which occurred last December 16th, is one of the many things to celebrate this time of year.

“December 16 marks the one year anniversary of the termination of New Jersey’s failed experiment with for-profit traffic enforcement.  It is a blessed day for New Jersey drivers who no longer have to fear having their pockets picked by the predatory, corrupt and dishonest companies who operated the systems.

We proved in New Jersey – where the systems showed no safety benefit but cost drivers tens of millions of dollars – that red light cameras are merely a way for camera operators to legally steal from drivers.  If yellow lights are timed fairly there aren’t enough violators to even cover the systems’ costs – never mind generate profits for the municipal officials complicit in the scheme. Properly set yellow lights and properly engineered intersections also lead to genuine safety benefits – unlike completely ineffective red light and speed cameras.

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Posted: December 15th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, Monmouth County News, New Jersey, Red Light Cameras | Tags: , , , , | 8 Comments »

O’Scanlon: Addiction is akin to slow motion suicide

“It is tragic that the best advice one might give an addict begging for treatment is to get arrested.”

By Declan O’Scanlon

Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon

There are many issues and challenges we face as a society that are ripe for spirited political debate.  Addiction isn’t one of them. Governor Christie’s position that we must treat addiction as something other than a crime is exactly correct.  Addiction – whether you buy the disease designation or not – is for some people a virtually irresistible, destructive force that compels the addict’s cooperation in his own destruction.  That concept can be a difficult one to reconcile for those who have had the good fortune not to have battled addiction – their own or a family member’s. Unfortunately, that pool of lucky people is dwindling as the heroin epidemic continues to voraciously march through our streets and schools.  Alcohol, while not the substance of the moment, continues its incessant march.

There is room for debate about exactly what addiction is.  Cancer is unquestionably a disease – seeming to have a mind of its own and an unrelenting mission no matter the intentions or actions of its victims.  Addiction, in many ways, is much more complicated.  It is a condition whose progression depends on the direct, intentional participation of the afflicted.  The fact that the addicted are complicit in their own destruction is both frustrating and confusing for all involved. It is easy for caregivers and loved ones to be sympathetic to cancer victims.  Addiction is as likely to elicit anger, blame and scorn as sympathy.

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Posted: September 12th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, Monmouth County News, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

O’Scanlon: Not all Republicans see eye to eye on issues of homosexuality and addiction

By Declan O’Scanlon

Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon

Last year, the New Jersey legislature voted on a measure that prohibited the infliction of “sexual orientation reparative therapy” on young individuals of our state. This is the frequently torturous “treatment” designed to turn the gay straight. Although I abstained on the vote because of a potential technical issue, I vocally supported the initiative. Recently, the debate on this issue has re-emerged as several high-profile national and local Republicans have discussed both this issue and homosexuality. Their words demand comment.

Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry, taking issue with policies prohibiting this “treatment,” justified his position last year by suggesting that homosexuality was simply a destructive lifestyle choice, which he went on to say was just like alcoholism. Perry managed to insult and infuriate the entire gay community along with every member of every family who has ever dealt with addiction issues – all at once. Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon also vying for the Republican presidential nomination, suggested that being gay was a choice – as evidenced by supposed prison conversions. The most recent commentary came from Congressman Scott Garrett (R-5th District), who expressed a refusal to support gay candidates and said the Republican Party shouldn’t either.

These men each have a long list of substantial accomplishments and I bet I agree with them on most policy issues. But on the issues of homosexuality and addiction each of them has demonstrated a stunning level of closed-minded ignorance that – notwithstanding their apparent inability to genuinely embrace reality – most people of average intelligence would instinctively know to try to conceal.

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Posted: July 31st, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

O’Scanlon: We MUST move forward on pension and budget reform

By Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon

Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon

Now that the 2016 budget debate is over, we must get back to the most pressing state issue of our time.  The suggestion of some in the public worker sector that those of us who voted against the budget are in favor of our abandoning our commitment to ensuring their pensions is completely false.  For any responsible elected official, and decent human being, it is imperative that we meet our commitments in a way that protects our pubic workers – and the NJ economy at the same time.

The reason we couldn’t make a payment larger than the $1.3 billion one included in the Governor’s budget has nothing to do with a lack of will or integrity.  It’s about devoting as much $ as possible without inflicting massive, economy-killing, tax increases on an economy just now showing signs of real growth.  Without economic growth there will be no chance we will be able to meet our commitments to the system in the many years to come – so ensuring growth is as important to public workers as anyone else.  We don’t simply have a $1.8 billion deficit this year. We have a $6 to $7 billion hole over the next few years. Taxing the life out of our economy this year, with no plan going forward – and leaving us in a $2 billion hole next year as the Democrat’s proposed budget would – is bad policy, for all New Jerseyans.

But it is true as well that we can’t foster growth to the exclusion of our obligation to our dedicated public workers.  And I can’t state that point vehemently enough.  Our teachers and other public workers are decent, devoted, professional people.  Generalizations to the contrary are without merit.

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Posted: July 11th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: 2015 Legislative Races, Declan O'Scanlon, Economy, Monmouth County, Monmouth County News, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, NJ State Legislature, Opinion | Tags: , , , , | 13 Comments »

Self Service or Full Service, You’ll have to get out of your car before getting gas starting in 2017

Some Independent Gasoline Retailers Are At Odds With Their Lobbyist Who Is Pushing Self Service

O’Scanlon: Self Service bill will give consumers and retailers a choice.  Will decriminalize a harmless convenience

Starting in October of 2017 New Jersey drivers will have to get out of their cars, swipe their own credit or debit card and enter a PIN before an attendant can can pump gas into their car, according to a report at NorthJersey.com.

Consumers will no longer be allowed to hand their cards gas station employees due to new credit card security requirements, The Record quotes Sal Risalvato, executive director of the New Jersey Gasoline C-Store Automotive Association (NJGCA), an independent gas station owners group, as saying.

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Posted: May 18th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, New Jersey, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »