Over the objections of citizens who urged them not to restrict their 1st Amendment Rights and to avoid expensive litigation, the Marlboro Township Council unanimously passed an ordinance that prohibits the placement of temporary political signs on public property and rights of way, limits the time before and after an election that signs may appear on private property and rights of way adjacent to private property, and regulates the size of signs and the distance they may appear from each other on private property.
At the request of Councilman Frank LaRocca, the ordinance was amended to eliminate the imposition of a 90 day jail sentence for violating the ordinance. Candidates, Committee Chairmen, Campaign Treasurers and private property owners now face fines ranging from $100 to $1250 if signs appear more than 45 days before an election, 7 days after an election or if signs promoting the same candidate are posted within 50 feet of each other on the same property. The total square footage of all political signs on any one tax lot must not exceed 16 square feet.
Matthew Rasmussen, an attorney representing the Marlboro Republican Committee told the council during the public hearing prior to the adoption of the ordinance that it contained numerous “constitutional infirmities, some of them fatal” and urged the governing body to defeat the ordinance in order to avoid expensive litigation that they would certainly lose.
A proposed Marlboro temporary sign ordinance on the agenda for adoption by the Township Council on Thursday evening July 17 has Marlboro Republicans contemplating a federal court challenge should the all Democratic Council enact the measure.
Mayor Jon Hornik, named the best mayor in New Jersey in an unscientific PolitickerNJ poll earlier this month after the Township’s resident email list was used to rally online votes, told MMM that political signs create clutter and traffic safety issues in the Township and that his administration has been working on an solution that protects free speech rights while improving public safety since 2008. “It’s not just local races, but every level…county, state, and federal. Marlboro gets littered with campaign signs every fall,” Hornik said, “It is a safety issue that has gotten worse since the Board of Education elections were moved to November. The council has been working hard to make sure the safety and clutter issues are addressed while at the same time protecting free speech rights. I will support what they come up with.”
The proposed ordinance, which can be found here, would prohibit temporary political signs on Township property and public rights of way, with the exception of rights of way adjacent to private property (that strip of land between sidewalks and curbs), regulate the size of signs to 16 square feet, and allow signs to be placed on private property only 45 days prior to an election or event and seven days after an election. Candidates, Committee Chairmen, Campaign Treasurers and private property owners with signs on rights of way adjacent to their property would be subject to fines ranging from$100 to $1250 and/or 90 days in jail for violations.
STRONG SUPPORT HEADING INTO THE WEEKEND – THANK YOU
Dear County Committee Members:
Many thanks to all the folks who came out to the kick off to the summer event at Bar A Wednesday night! With 250+ supporters in attendance, we had a great time connecting, networking and enjoying each other’s company!
As we approach the final days of this campaign, I want you to know that I appreciate all of your support. All corners of the County, towns large and small, have endorsed my candidacy and more importantly, embraced my vision for the future of our Party. From Wall to Keyport, Howell to Ocean, Spring Lake and Avon to Holmdel and Middletown, Party leaders know that I have the experience, enthusiasm and energy to lead our Party through the challenges we face ahead. The most recent endorsement, from Marlboro municipal chairman Chris Dean, is included below.
My campaign has been focused upon positive ideas and initiatives. My opponent pledged to run a positive campaign, yet he and his supporters continue their false and negative attacks. I will not respond in kind, but it is important for you, the county committee members to know that there is no legal or ethical bar to my serving as Chairman. Our state’s courts have directly addressed the issue and there are numerous precedents of elected officials on the local, county and state level who hold the position of political party chairman. Many outstanding elected officials on both sides of the isle serve or have served as County Chairmen, including Senator Sam Thompson, Senator Kevin O’Toole, Assemblyman Scott Rumana. Even our own Senator Joe Kyrillos served as State Republican Party Chairman while a Senator.
I would be happy to speak with you more about my ideas and vision for our Party at any time. You can reach me at 732-904-2946 or at email@example.com. Please remember to mark your calendars for I-Play America in Freehold, June 10th, doors open at 6pm. I wish you a great weekend with your families and friends.
MARLBORO REPUBLICAN MUNICIPAL CHAIR SUPPORTS GOLDEN FOR COUNTY CHAIR
Municipal Chair, Christopher Dean issues Statement of Support for Shaun Golden for County Chairman
I take nothing away from the work that John Bennett has done as County Chair for the last two years, but I must join with countless Chairs and elected officials across Monmouth County in pledging my support for Shaun Golden. Read the rest of this entry »
“The Marlboro Republican Party was saddened but not surprised to learn that Carol Mazzola has chosen to switch parties to run for re-election. It had become increasingly obvious that Carol had turned her back on her supporters and supported an administration which has given Marlboro residents skyrocketing property taxes and irresponsible spending. If Carol supports an administration which has increased Marlboro’s debt to an all time high, pays legal fees in excess of $1 million per year (more than double what large towns like Middletown are paying), and has essentially looted our water authority by spending its surplus and loading it with $8 million in debt, then she does not represent the values of Republicans in Marlboro or anywhere.
The Marlboro Republican Party intends to field a competitive slate of council candidates this November who share Governor Christie’s fiscally conservative, reform agenda. We will spend the next 10 months pointing out in detail the destructive policies and decisions the Hornik administration has pursued ( and Carol Mazzola has agreed with). The choice will be stark and we believe Marlboro voters are ready to elect representatives who answer to the taxpayer, not political bosses, and who do what’s best for our town, not for themselves.”
Controversial Marlboro resident Paul Schlalfin is being considered for a seat on the Marlboro Zoning Board, a position he resigned in 2010 after the Township’s Ethics Board recommended his removal. The State’s Local Finance Board later overruled the Ethics Board’s findings.
Schlaflin’s “ethical offense” was emailing admittedly “vile rumors” to an anonymous website that was injecting itself into the 2009 political campaign in Marboro. Despite the site’s assurances that submissions would be kept anonymous, copies of the email were forwarded to Schlaflin’s political adversaries who read them into the record of the Township’s Zoning Board and Council during public comments.
Council President Frank LaRocca told MMM that he asked for and received Schlaflin’s resignation following the Ethics Board’s ruling in 2010, with the promise that he would be reconsidered if the ruling was overturned. Now that there is a vacancy on the Zoning Board, LaRocca said the Council “is considering” his appointment. “Some council members favor the appointment, some don’t,” said LaRocca, “it’s a tough one and I don’t know how it will go.”
His 2009 “vile” email was not Schlafin’s first controversial utterance.
On September 11, 2001 he painted the words “Death to the Sand Niggers” on his truck and parked it at a Marlboro bar. He was arrested and charged with bias harrassment. He was found not guilty on 1st amendment grounds and later sued the Township and the police officers involved in his arrest in federal court. Both the District Court and the Appeals Court found that Schlaflin’s rights were not violated by the arrest.
Marlboro GOP Chairman Christopher Dean filed an ethics complaint against Mayor Jon Hornik, Councilman Frank LaRocca and Councilwoman Randi Marder last October. To date, no action has been taken by the Marlboro Ethics Board.
The complaint involves the Township doing business with a company owned by Marder and her husband on a “no-bid” basis.
Dean was a candidate for Township Council, running against LaRocca and Marder, when the complaint was filed. He and one of his running mates, Craig Marshall who ran for Mayor against Hornik, are continuing their fight for ethical government in Marlboro, despite their loss at the polls.
Members of municipal ethics boards are appointed and approved by the Mayors and Councils of their respective communities. Of the 566 municipalities in New Jersey, only 37 have their own Ethics Boards. Of New Jersey’s 21 counties, 7 have Ethics Boards.
In a January 26 letter to the Marlboro Ethics Board, Dean asked that his complaint be referred to the State Local Fiance Board rather been heard by the local board which is comprised of personal friends of the Mayor and Council members who are subject of the inquiry.
Marshall questions the objectivity of the board’s new attorney. In a Letter to the Editor published in the Marlboro Patch, the former mayoral candidate notes that the attorney, Ken Biedzynski, earned $221,146 last year as a Marlboro special council for affordable housing, an appointment he received with the approval of the subjects of the pending ethics complaint.
All government officials should recuse themselves when faced with a conflict or the very appearance of a conflict. This is especially so for an Ethics Board and its attorney. In this case, there is enough of an appearance of conflicts or potential conflicts to warrant recusals.
Even if the Marlboro Ethics Board were to hear the case, which they could have done in the last four months, and found that there was no ethical violation, Dean and Marshall are going to appeal to the Local Fiance Board anyway.
The fact that this issue is still dragging on after four months with multiple attorneys raises questions about the impartiality of the board.
The Marlboro Ethics Board would be wise to refer the matter to the Local Finance Board when they meet on March 14. Hornick, LaRocca and Marder would be wise to publicly call for such a referral.
Let both sides make their cases to the Local Finance Board and put the matter in the rear view mirror. That’s going to happen eventually anyway. The delaying tactics only raise more questions.
The ethics complaint filed last October by former Marlboro council candidate Christopher Dean will not get a hearing until next month at the earliest, according to a report in the NewsTranscript.
Dean, who is also the GOP municipal chairman in Marlboro, filed a complaint with the Township’s Ethic Board a week before the election because the Mayor and Council approved no-bid purchases of promotional items from Inkwell Global Marketing. Inwell is owned by Councilwoman Randi Marder’s husband. Marder, who works at the company, voted to approve the purchases, according to Dean’s complaint.
At the February 8 meeting of the Ethic Board, Dean said his complaint included Mayor Jon Hornick and Council Frank LaRocca. Board Chairman Michael Cali said Dean should file new complaints against Hornick and LaRocca.
LaRocca is a candidate for Monmouth County Democratic Chairman.
The board has not yet held a hearing on the complaint because they are unsure if they should do so in public or in executive session, out of concern for Marder’s privacy. Their new attorney, Kenneth Biedzynski, said he would advise the board on the proper venue for a hearing at the March meeting.
Dean requested that the board refer the complaint to the Local Finance Board.
What you will find there is the Marlboro forum on NJ.com where Paul J. Schlaflin of Marlboro, a supporter of the incumbent Democrats running for reelection in Marlboro, is telling readers not to come to this web site. Thanks for the traffic Paul. So far today I’ve picked up at least 80 new readers.
Schlaflin also declares that I am a Republican operative that the Marlboro Republicans have bought because Strong New Jersey has an ad on this site supporting the Marlboro Republican team.
All of that is pretty funny. Especially considering that the Marlboro Democrats have a banner ad on the NJ.com forum that Schalfin is unwittingly using to send MMM traffic.
But there is other Schlaflin material on that site that is not funny. It is disgusting and disgraceful.
Schlaflin is waging an ugly and unsubstainitated smear campaign against Marlboro Republican Council Candidate Christopher Dean. He has used the comments on this site and at NJ.com to do so. He has alleged that Dean is a racist and anti-Semite.
Schlaflin also said that I am tolerant of and complicit towards racism.
This from a man who resigned from the Marlboro Planning Board, an appointment he received from Mayor Hornick, in disgrace over an Ethics Board finding, later overturned on a legal technicality, about similar vile behavior on the Internet during another Marlboro campaign.
I don’t know Christopher Dean well. However, people I do know well and trust, Whites, Blacks and Jews, tell me that there is no way that Dean is a racist or an anti-Semite. Schlaflin has a vile track record. I believe my friends. You should too.
Mayor Hornick should immediately condemn Schlaflin’s behavior. Hornick should go on NJ.com and come to this site and reputiate Schlafin. He should pledge never to appoint Schlaflin to another municipal position and to ban him from his campaign.
I deplore the type of politics in which Schlaflin is engaging. For now, I’m giving Hornick the benefit of the doubt that Schlaflin is a rogue. Yet Hornick needs to deal with the rogue. Immediately.
Over the years since I started this blog there have been several occassions where someone has offered damaging personal dirt on an elected official or a candidate. Every time my response has been, “Bring me proof.” Proof was never forth coming.
A few months back, someone suggested that I OPRA police reports in Marlboro and Freehold involving Jon Hornick. My response to the person was, “Do your own dirty work. I don’t have an axe to grind with Hornick.”
As I told Mary Pat Angelini on the Real Jersey Guys Radio Show this afternoon, I was an “anti-bullying specialist” in my youth. If anyone I liked, loved or cared about was bullied, I handled it.
Schlaflin involved me personally and my site in his bullying. He did so on behalf on Jon Hornick, Frank LaRocca and Randi Marder.
Suddenly I am motivated. That is why Schlaflin’s actions are really stupid. If Schlaflin is an off the ranch rogue, Hornick, LaRocca and Marder need to say so in the strongest possible terms. That would make me a lot less motivated to grind my axe.
Maybe there is nothing in those police reports and the tipster was attempting to spin my wheels. I’d rather not know.
Its four weeks before election day, yet it hardly looks like campaign season throughout much of Monmouth County. Lawn signs are scarce in the parts of the county where I’ve traveled. I’ve only received one mailer.
The Asbury Park Press is doing their usual interviews of legislative and county candidates, but you’d have to go looking to find the write ups.
Governor Chris Christie’s presidential consideration has commanded much of the political attention and dominated the news. The legislative races are uncompetitive. Campaign money is scarce due to stifling pay to play laws and the poor economy.
Voter turnout is historically very low in years when the legislature is the top race. 2007 was the last such year. In Monmouth County 128,169 people voted in 2007. The following year, when Obama was elected, 292,037 people voted. 200,199 voted in the gubernatorial election of 2009 and 179,133 voted in the congressional elections last year. There are 379,431 registered voters in Monmouth County, according to Labels and Lists.
Marlboro is the exception. The Democratic incumbents, Mayor Jon Hornick running with Council members Frank LaRocca and Randi Marder are running hard to retain their offices. On paper, the municipal race in Marlboro should be a sleeper like the rest of the races in the county. Democrats have a 2619 voter registration edge in the township. The Republican organization is fractured and much of its best talent is supporting the Democrats. The underfunded Republican upstart candidates are relative newbies to the political process.
Yet legacy Mayor Jon Hornick and his team are running as if their lives, or livelihoods, depend upon it. They been advertising on NJ.com, they have billboards, lawn signs and mailers. They raised a lot of money and they are spending it.
With little organizational support, the scrappy underfunded team of Craig Marshall for Mayor running with Christopher Dean and Marianne Duffy-Longobardi for Council appear to be making a race of it.
The legislative races are snoozers. The county races are comatose, as are most municipal races. Marlboro is the only game around so MMM will focus on it over the next few weeks.
Republican Candidates Craig Marshall, Christopher Dean, and Marianne Longobardi respond to contest set forth by the Democrat incumbents
With just over a month to go until the election, Democrat incumbents Jon Hornik, Frank LaRocca, and Randi Marder have shown that they will do anything it takes to get elected; even if it means to buy a vote.
In the recent article published on Patch.com, Jon Hornik and the rest of his team are now trying to earn votes by offering a $250 reward for this so called “game” they have initiated. “I find it distasteful and certainly not what an election decision should be about.” Craig Marshall, candidate for Mayor, said “it is interesting that instead of talking about the issues that matter most to the citizens of Marlboro like taxes, jobs, spending, Mayor Hornik along with his running mates are trying to divert attention from their out of control spending and actions.”
Craig Marshall is referring to the sky rocket legal and engineering fees the town has endured over the last four years, as well as, Randi Marder’s husband doing business with the town while she is serving as a member of the council.
“The use of the car as a campaign gimmick only illustrates their failure to grasp the concerns of the taxpayers” said Marianne Longobardi, candidate for Town Council, “Instead of a one time $250 contest, the taxpayers of Marlboro would be better suited by leadership that will reduce their property taxes.”
Marshall, Dean, & Longobardi have pledged that if elected they will put to an end to the reckless spending and always put taxpayers first!