O’Scanlon: Redflex Indictment Should Surprise No one

 

NJ101.5 photo

NJ101.5 photo

Karen Finley, former CEO of Redflex Traffic Systems Inc, one of two Red Light Camera companies operating in New Jersey, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Chicago last week on bribery charges.

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, New Jersey’s fiercest opponent of Red Light Cameras, says that is not a surprise:
“Well this is a shocking turn of events, said no one! If cameras actually increased safety no one would have to bribe anyone for business – we’d all be lining up!  How any public entity can continue to do business with Redflex in particular, but really any of these companies pitching these ineffective, thieving cameras is beyond me.  Is the lure of fast cash so strong we have decided that morality doesn’t matter?  We now have multiple pieces of evidence of corruption reaching the highest levels of one of the two companies operating these cameras in New Jersey.  Both companies are guilty of blatantly lying about their products and misrepresenting data.”

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Posted: August 19th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 13th Legislative District, Crime, Crime and Punishment, Declan O'Scanlon, Monmouth County, Red Light Cameras | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

O’Scanlon joins Oceanport’s fight against crematorium

declan-oscanlon-budgetAssemblyman Declan O’Scanlon said he supports the Borough of Oceanport’s efforts to prevent a crematorium from being built in a residential neighborhood.

“I am concerned with the process and the minimal amount of communication,” said O’Scanlon.  “The fact that the only public notification of this pending permit was published in the Home News Tribune, which is not even distributed in the Borough, is hardly adequate notice.”

“I have seconded the municipal request for a public hearing so that all the facets of this permit request can be discussed and the residents have an opportunity to voice their concerns,” O’Scanlon explained. “Projects such as this should never be implemented behind closed doors. I plan on remaining involved in this issue to see that all concerns are addressed.”

Oceanport Borough Administrator John Bennett was surprised last week when he was informed by the Department of Environmental Protection that Woodbine Cemetery had applied for an Air Pollution Control permit.  As Acting Governor in 2002, Bennett signed legislation that required crematoriums be approved by the governing bodies of the municipalities where they were proposed.  That legislation was repealed in 2011. The current law gives the New Jersey Cemetery Board the authority to approve crematorium construction permits. The majority of the Cemetery Board is comprised of owners or managers of cemeteries.

Posted: July 31st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, John Bennett, Monmouth County, News, Oceanport | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Middletown Calls On Christie, Legislature To Allow Affordable Housing Funds To Assist Sandy Impacted Homeowners

IMG_3871 (640x427)Citing the shortage of federal and state funds available to assist Superstorm Sandy impacted homeowners in rebuilding their homes, the Middletown Township Committtee this week joined Marlboro Mayor Jonathan Hornik and Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon in calling on the state legislature and Governor Chris Christie to put the more than $100 million in Affordable Housing Funds that are sitting dormant to work.

With a unanimous 5-0 vote, the committee passed a resolution on Monday, April 21, calling for legislation that would reinstate Regional Contribution Agreements (RCAs) “for the limited purpose of getting victims of Superstorm Sandy back in their homes during this time of need.”

RCAs were created in the original 1985 Fair Housing Act whereby towns with funds raised from developer fees or through bonding could transfer up to half of those funds to another community for the purpose of building affordable housing as required by the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Mt. Laurel decision.

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Posted: April 23rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: COAH, Declan O'Scanlon, Hurricane Sandy, Jersey Shore, Marlboro, Middletown, Monmouth County, National Flood Insurance Plan, NJ State Legislature, Tony Fiore | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Jacobson has his eye on Beck’s Senate seat

Dan Jacobson

Dan Jacobson

Former Assemlyman Dan Jacobson, publisher of the triCityNews weekly newspaper and AsburyParkSun hyper-local news website, launched his campaign to return to the legislature last week with his tCN column urging Senate Jennifer Beck to run for governor.

Jacobson served one term in the General Assembly, 1990-1991.  He was swept out of office, along with the Democratic majority in the 1991 election over Governor Florio’s $2 billion tax increase, including sales taxes on toilet paper and food.  In 2011 Jacobson registered as a Republican in order to challenge then Senator Sean Kean for the 11th district Senate nomination in the GOP primary.  But the legislative redistricting commission foiled Jacobson’s plans by moving Kean’s hometown of Wall out of the 11th district into the 30th, and moving Red Bank, Beck’s hometown into the 11th.

Jacobson didn’t want to run against Beck.  They’re friends and agree on most issues. And Beck’s political stardom is one of Jacobson’s major journalistic accomplishments. Just ask him.  Jen Beck never even would have been elected to the Red Bank Borough Council if not for Dan Jacobson pumping her up in the triCityNews.

So Jacobson ran a pax-on-both houses Independent race for Assembly in 2011 to make a point.  2304 voters, 3%, got the point and have long since forgotten it.  Obviously his heart wasn’t in the Assembly race.  He really wants to be in the Senate, but he doesn’t want to run against Beck.

The obvious solution is for Beck to step up and run for governor.  Jacobson rightly argues that the NJ GOP doesn’t have a viable alternative for a post-Christie candidate.   The NJGOP is actually weaker now than it was before Christie was elected in 2009.

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Posted: March 31st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 11th Legislative District, Dan Jacobson, Jennifer Beck | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

O’Scanlon Calls On Towns To File For Arbitration Before April 1

DeclanWith one business day to go prior to the expiration of the Interest Arbitration Award Cap that has saved New Jersey property tax payers millions of dollars over the last 3 years, and with no sign that Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto is going to call the General Assembly back into session to vote on concurring with Governor Chris Chrisite’s conditional veto of legislation to extend the cap, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, the Republican Assembly Budget Officer, is calling on every New Jersey municipality with an expired police or firefighters contract to file for arbitration on Monday so their new contract will fall within the 2% parameter of the existing cap.

“It is quite frankly heart breaking to me that the leadership of my house, all of who are my friends, are leading New Jersey property tax payers off a cliff,” O’Scanlon said, “I fully expected to hear by the end of the day today that we would be brought back to Trenton on Monday to vote to affirm the Governor’s conditional veto of the arbitration award cap legislation which was overwhelmingly passed on a bipartisan measure by the apparently much more responsible New Jersey State Senate.

“Since the clock is counting down to the expiration of the previous law and the Assembly leadership seems to care more about pandering to special interest than the property tax payers of New Jersey I now feel compelled to take action assuming we’ll face the worst case scenario. In order to most comprehensively guard themselves against potential frivolous, but costly none the less, litigation any municipality that has an expired contract, but that has not yet filed for arbitration, should do so immediately – before the April 1 expiration of the previous law.

“It is extremely unfortunate that the Assembly Democrat leadership would act to threaten the welfare of New Jersey property tax payers, but that is apparently the reality.”

 

Pass this post on to your municipal officials.

Posted: March 28th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: NJ State Legislature, Property Tax Tool Kit, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Still Hope For Property Tax Cap

The ball is in the Assembly’s court

Both the State Senate and General Assembly passed the bill that would blow a hole in municipal budgets for the next four years, the “extension” of the 2% Interest Arbitration Cap for police and firefighters base salaries that did not really cap those salaries.  Had the bill become law, there would have been a massive cut in municipal services throughout New Jersey or property taxes would have started rising again at levels we experienced during the Corzine/Codey/McGreevey administrations.

But Governor Chris Christie conditionally vetoed the bill and the Senate quickly concurred with the changes he made to the bill which kept the cap intact through December 2017 by a vote of 33-1.   Christie’s office announced the conditional veto and the Senate’s concurrence in the same press release.

One has to wonder why the Senate went through the exercise of passing the “bad bill” in the first place, by a vote of 28-7, only to abandon the changes it made to the existing Interest Arbitration Cap and, for the most part, extend the existing law for another four years, so quickly.   Without the Senate’s concurrence to Christie’s conditional veto, the cap on arbitration awards would expire on April 1st.  Either the “bad bill” or the expiration of the cap would have been a victory for the Trenton Democrats benefactors in the police and firefighters unions.

The unions may still have their victory.  Before the Assembly could take a vote on concurring with Christie’s conditional veto, Speaker Vincent Prieto abruptly adjourned the session.   No Assembly session has been scheduled, yet, to take up the concurrence prior to April 1.

Below is a video of Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon’s floor speak before the chamber voted on the “bad bill.”   As usual, O’Scanlon makes is case and fights for New Jersey taxpayers very well.

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Posted: March 28th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, NJ State Legislature, Property Tax Tool Kit, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Sweeney Rejects Using COAH Funds For Sandy Rebuilding

Sweeney: RCAs “put poor white folk and poor black folk out of town”

Hornik: “No one in Trenton can honestly say that COAH is working”

IMG_9153 (640x391)Senate President Sweeney rejected out of hand an idea brought forth by Marlboro Mayor Jonathon Hornik this week that could potentially release $184 million in dormant funds for the benefit of Superstrom Sandy victims.

Hornik called for the reinstatement of Regional Contribution Agreements (RCA), in order to unlock $184 million in COAH funds to help residents impacted by Superstorm Sandy rebuild their homes in an OpEd piece published on MMM and PolitickerNJ.

RCAs were a practice that was in place to build affordable housing in New Jersey from 1985 through 2008 under the Fair Housing Act, whereby communities that had raised affordable housing funds through development could transfer those funds, and their obligation to build affordable housing within their own community, to other communities with an immediate need.  The legislature and Governor Corzine outlawed RCAs in 2008.

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon issued a statement commending Hornik  and said,”When the Democrat leadership in Trenton killed the RCA program it was bad, short sighted policy that many of us knew would come back to bite us. Its flaws are now magnified by the plight of Sandy victims as many towns struggle with the economic burdening of rebuilding.”

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Posted: March 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: COAH, Declan O'Scanlon, Jon Hornik, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

O’Scanlon: Pezzullo is best choice of U.S. Senate

Rich Pezzullo and Declan O'Scanlon

Rich Pezzullo and Declan O’Scanlon

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, this morning endorsed Freehold businessman for the GOP nomination to take on Senator Cory Booker this fall.

“Rich Pezzullo has a unique combination of skills that are rare in the Senate,” Assemblyman O’Scanlon said, “He has firsthand knowledge of the effects of over-regulation on different types of businesses,  the confidence and bearing from 20 years as an Army officer and a command of the issues that is desperately needed in Washington. We need to send Rich Pezzullo to the Senate where the fight for fiscal restraint, accountability and much needed regulatory relief for New Jersey calls for his energy, vision and commitment.”

O’Scanlon noted that Pezzullo’s experience as an information technology business owner gave him a unique perspective on the needs of business owners. “Rich Pezzullo doesn’t need a lobbyist to give him his talking points about Federal intrusion into private life.  He works at the front lines of consumer businesses, medical practices and charities and sees firsthand the damage being done to our economy and our society by excess government.”

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Posted: March 20th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 U.S. Senate race | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments »

O’Scanlon: Reinstate Regional Contribution Agreements To Help Sandy Victims

Assemblyman urges Bayshore residents to ask Senate President Sweeney join the bi-partisan effort

declan-oscanlon-budgetAssemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, issued a statement today welcoming Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik’s support of Regional Contribution Agreements (RCA) for use in getting Sandy victims back into their homes, and called upon residents of his Bayshore district to question Senate President Sweeney the use of Affordable Housing Funds when Sweeney visits the district for his Town Hall meeting in Keansburg on Thursday afternoon.

“Recently, Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik suggested that RCAs could be used by towns to help their neighbors continue to rebuild in the devastating wake of Sandy,” O’Scanlon said, “My Republican colleagues and I have been calling for the use of RCAs for years and I am excited to hear that Mayor Hornik is on board. When the Democrat leadership in Trenton killed the RCA program it was bad, short sighted policy that many of us knew would come back to bite us. Its flaws are now magnified by the plight of Sandy victims as many towns struggle with the economic burdening of rebuilding.

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Posted: March 19th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 13th Legislative District, Housing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

O’Scanlon: Time to make Interest Arbitration Law permanent

Task force study on arbitration reform confirms law works – and is essential

declan-oscanlon-budgetFollowing up on his comments last week that allowing the interest arbitration law to expire on April 1st would have disastrous consequences on towns and property taxpayers, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon will introduce legislation on Thursday that would make the law permanent.

From January 2011, when the law took effect, to September 2013, average raises in contracts, whether through arbitration or negotiations, were 1.86 percent — the lowest in at least 20 years. O’Scanlon was a member of the task force charged with studying the effects of the law since its inception and said there is no doubt the cap has been the single most significant tool responsible for the stabilization of municipal budgets.

“The data contained in the task force report is irrefutable that the interest arbitration law works and is an essential element in helping towns control costs,” said O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth. “The cap on arbitration awards was a critical part of our 2010 reforms and was the most important tool ever enacted to bring under control the never-ending, upward pressure on property taxes and the gradual strangling of local government services.  One simply cannot logically argue that we can maintain a cap on property taxes without providing this tool for municipal officials to control their largest expense categories.

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Posted: March 19th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, Press Release, Property Tax Tool Kit, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »