Sea Bright homes being elevated last June. Officials estimate 80 percent of the town’s homes are still vacant. Below, Chris Wood, flanked by Pete Forlenza and Zack Rosenburg, addresses a gathering in Rumson Tuesday night. (Click to enlarge) By JOHN…
The Robert D. Wilson Memorial Community Center and the Snug Harbor Park will be having repairs to damage from Hurricane Sandy thanks to
NY/NJ Snowflake Youth Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Highlands, NJ (January 30) – Long after this year’s Super Bowl Most Valuable Player is named, the game will continue to have an impact on youngsters throughout the State of New Jersey. The NY/NJ Snowflake Youth Foundation (SYF), the charitable arm of the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee, is refurbishing run-down or damaged youth-serving organizations throughout the Garden State. Today, the Borough of Highlands announced that it is one of at least 23 sites benefiting from a $1.5 million grant for repairs and renovations from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to SYF through the Community Foundation of New Jersey.
Although some of these sites were in need of repairs and upgrades long before Hurricane Sandy came along, the superstorm had a huge impact. Many facilities were forced to shut their doors entirely, and more than a year after Sandy made landfall, the repair work continues. The funds provided will assist with the Community Center main room flooring replacement, installation of a new playground and renovations to the basketball and tennis courts that were undermined during the storm.admin | Filed under: Highlands, Press Release, Super Bowl | Tags: Community Foundation of New Jersey, Highlands, NY/NJ Snowflake Youth Foundation, Press Release, Robert Wook Johson Foundation, Timothy Hill | No Comments »
Monmouth County mayors and other municipal officials are reacting to Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s allegations that her city is not receiving Sandy Relief funds because she hasn’t pushed through a redevelopment approval coveted by Governor Chris Christie with a high degree of skepticism, because their storm ravaged communities have yet to see significant money yet either.
One elected official who asked not to be quoted said, “If Hoboken had approved that Rockefeller project, Zimmer would still be standing on her head at a Hoboken street corner looking for her Sandy money. The money hasn’t started to flow yet.”
“Is it believable that Guadagno (Lt. Governor Kim Guadango) or Constable (DCA Commissioner Richard Constable) encouraged Zimmer to expedite an project? Yes. As a quid pro quo for Sandy dollars? No way,” another official said.
Zimmer alleged on MSNBC’s Up with Steve Kornacki this morning that Guadagno pulled her aside at a Hoboken ribbon cutting and warned that Sandy Relief money to Hoboken was contingent on a development application by the Rockefeller Group being approved by the city. Zimmer said that Constable told her at a Monmouth University symposium on Sandy recovery that relief dollars would flow if the Rockefeller application was approved.
After talking to local and state officials today, MMM understands that the federal money for Sandy Relief is
flowing dripping through four sources; FEMA, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) which administers relief for homeowners, the New Jersey Economic Development Agency(EDA) and County Governments which are administering Hazard Mitigation Grants. The Hazard Mitigation Grants are funded by FEMA and distributed to the counties by the State Office of Emergency Management.
The Highlands Borough Council passed a resolution last night, in a 3-2 vote, to appoint Patrick DeBlasio to be the borough’s Chief Financial Officer effective May 1, 2014. DeBlasio is the CFO of Carteret, North Plainfield, and Keansburg. He is the treasurer of the Carteret Board of Education and the tax collector in Highlands.
The 40,000 salary that comes with the appointment will bring his total compensation from his six jobs to $284,606. All of DeBlasio’s jobs provide a pension. The borough plans to hire him an assistant for an undetermined salary.
Governor Chris Christie earns $175,000, as do U.S. Senators and Members of Congress. State Cabinet Officers earn $141,000. Superior Court Judges earn $165,000
The borough did not advertise the position or explore a shared services agreement with another town, as Mayor Frank Nolan and Councilman Chris Francy advocated. Rather, they voted to hire DeBlasio on the recommendation of retiring CFO Stephen Pfeffer, according to Council President Rebecca Kane and Councilwoman Tara Ryan’s remarks explaining the hire when they moved and seconded the resolution. Pfeffer earns $69,580 as CFO in Highlands and $157,738 as the CFO of Tinton Falls.
During the public portion of the council meeting, Kane said she would reevaluate the decision after one year. However Borough Attorney Bruce Padula said that the appointment is for a four year term. DeBlasio would be tenured after the initial four years. Kane’s term on the council expires in June, due to a referendum passed by Highlands voters in November making the borough’s election non-partisan. She is expected to run for another term.
In his remarks opposing DeBlasio’s appointment, Nolan said, “We are often the laughing stock of Monmouth County. This is one of the reasons why.”Posted: December 19th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Chris Francy, Frank Nolan, Highlands | Tags: Bruce Padula, CFO, Chris Francy, Frank Nolan, Highlands, Patrick Deblasio, Rebecca Kane, Tara Ryan | 10 Comments »
Highlands Mayor Nolan Calls For Sharing Municipal Accounting Services, Criticizes Proposal To Give CFO Candidate A 6th Government Job
If one person can do six government jobs for $300,000, why can’t those governmental entities get together and hire one person to do that work for half the amount or less?
In his column on facebook and Atlantic Highlands Herald, Highlands Mayor Frank Nolan said there is currently a contract being negotiated for a new Chief Financial Officer in the borough. The candidate, who Nolan did not name, currently has five government jobs, including another job in Highlands, and earns $244,606. If hired as Highlands’ new CFO, the candidate would have to work 160 hours per week, theoretically, to justify the combined full time and part time salaries which would exceed $300,000.
As of this writing, there is a contract being written for someone to fill that position that already has 5 municipal jobs across the state. If this individual was to be given this 6th municipal job at our council meeting on December 18th they would be one of the top paid public employees in the state and would hold 2 jobs in the Borough of Highlands. His current salary listed on the state website is $244,606 for his 5 current positions. If we add another $65,000 to the total and highlands would be putting him over the $300,000 per year mark.
By definition most part time jobs are about 20 hours per week. The average fulltime job is 40 hours. If you have 4 part time jobs, that means you are working, in theory, 80 hours per week on those jobs. Plus you have 2 full time jobs. That’s another 80 hours. The person who is potentially being given a 6th municipal job at the Wed, December 18th council meeting that will be held at Highlands Elementary School at 8:00pm for the public. This person will be working 160 hours per week. There are 168 total hours in a 7 day week. How can someone work 6 jobs and be effective? The answer is: they can’t.
MMM believes the accountant is Highlands Tax Collector Patrick DeBlasio, who, according to APP’s Data Universe, has two jobs in Carteret, and one job each in Keansburg, North Plainfield, in addition to his tenured position in Highlands, all of which will pay a pension.Art Gallagher | Filed under: Government Waste, Highlands | Tags: Chris Francy, Frank Nolan, Highlands, Kevin Redmond, Patrick Deblasio, Rebecca Kane, Tara Ryan | No Comments »
The reaction to Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal’s declaration of victory has been hilarious…and has overloaded MMM stat counter!
Two Tinton Falls officials called first thing this morning unable to contain their laughter at Gopal’s delusional claim of credit for Jerry Turning’s election as mayor.
“I’m the most conservative Democrat you’ll ever meet,” Mayor-elect Turning said when we got him on the phone. “I registered as a Democrat over 40 years ago when I was 18 and Jerry Brown was running for President. I don’t consider myself a partisan. I vote for the best candidates.” Turning said he voted for Mitt Romney for President last year, Chris Christie for Governor on Tuesday and Steve Lonegan for U.S. Senate last month.
“Neither the Democrats or Republicans in Tinton Falls were involved in my campaign. We spent no money. I’m proud of that. I’ve never run for office before and don’t consider myself a politician,” said Turning, “I have good relationships with John Bennett (the Monmouth GOP Chairman) and Gopal and I want to keep it that way. But I am not a partisan person and Tinton Falls is not a partisan town. The residents like it that way,”
A Manalapan resident said via facebook, ”Gopal’s letter is actually very funny. He states, ‘In MANALAPAN, Ryan Urgo, Dr. Ayesha Chaudhary and David Goldstein ran a strong campaign for township committee but lost due to an onslaught of negative attacks from the Republicans.’ Manalapan Democrats: In fact, the Republicans never mentioned the Democrats, not wanting to give them publicity since they were all unknowns. The Democrats, on the other hand, spent their entire campaign attacking Andrew Lucas and the farmland preservation, rather than running against the Republican candidates.”
Asbury Park Councilman John Moor said, “Funny that he claims the Asbury Park referendum a victory, I thought it was going to be non partisan.”Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2013 Election, Monmouth County, Monmouth Democrats, Vin Gopal | Tags: Andrew Lucas, Asbury Park, Doug Card, Frank Nolan, Highlands, Jerry Turning, John Moor, Manalapan, Monmouth Democrats, Rebecca Kane, Tinton Falls, Vin Gopal | 1 Comment »
In an email sent to his party faithful this evening, Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal spun the Republican Romp in Monmouth County on Tuesday as a victorious holding of ground and claimed a net pick up of 1 municipal seat.
While we haven’t carefully fact checked Gopal’s claims, some of them appear to be laughable. He’s counting a Board of Education seat in Wall Township as a pick up and Mayor-elect Jerry Turning’s uncontested election in Tinton Falls, a non-partisan municipality, as pick up. The Tinton Falls GOP support Turning taking over as mayor of the borough where he has been administrator, after retiring as Police Chief.
Gopal is also not counting Highlands Council President Rebecca Kane’s loss to Republican Mayor Frank Nolan as a defeat, because there are 120 uncounted provisional ballots, even though Kane conceded the race on Tuesday night. Kane would have to get 77% of the provisional votes, assuming they are all ruled valid, in order to gain the 92 votes needed to over take Nolan’s lead.
The text of Gopal’s email is below the fold, for entertainment purposes. Feel free to check his facts and comment accordingly.Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2013 Predictions, Monmouth Democrats, Vin Gopal | Tags: Fact Check, Frank Nolan, Highlands, Jerry Turning, Monmouth Democrats, Rebecca Kane, Tinton Falls, Vin Gopal, Wall Township Board of Education | 14 Comments »
Nolan, a Republican earned 46% % of the vote in the Superstorm Sandy ravaged community over his Democratic opponent, Council President Rebecca Kane who earned 39%. 15% of Highlands voters wrote in their chose. Douglas Card waged a write-in campaign. There were 1290 votes cast in the borough today. These results to not include mail-in ballots.Posted: November 5th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2013 Election, Highlands | Tags: Douglas Card, Frank Nolan, Highlands, Rebecca Kane | 3 Comments »
Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal is hoping to be the Gene Michael of politics. Michael, the New York Yankees General Manger in the early 1990′s, rebuilt the mediocre team back to dominant glory by focusing on new talent in the farm system. As a player, Michael was a master of the hidden ball trick. In baseball the hidden ball trick is when a position player fakes throwing the ball back to the pitcher after a play, only to tag out the base runner when he take a lead off the base.
Like Michael, Gopal is trying to build his farm team in Monmouth County municipal races, knowing he can’t win the big show in the short term, with an eye on future dominance of Monmouth County government and the State of New Jersey. Also like Michael, Gopal always has a trick up his sleeve behind his youthful smile and pleasant demeanor.
Gopal hasn’t even fielded a team in 23 races in 16 Monmouth County towns. Yet he has the press and New Jersey’s Democratic leadership convinced he’s building a future empire from the bottom up.
But if he doesn’t deliver the goods tonight, Gopal could end up as a Hardy Peterson, the Yankees General Manager who only lasted in the job for one year, 1990, instead of Michael, and find himself challenged for the county chairmanship when his first term ends in June.
The towns to watch tonight are Red Bank, Aberdeen, Eatontown, Highlands, Hazlet and Marlboro.Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2013 Election, Monmouth County, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP | Tags: "LaHornicca", Aberdeen, Cliff Moore, Cory Booker, Declan O'Scanlon, Eatontown, Frank LaRocca, Frank Nolan, Hazlet, Highlands, Jennifer Beck, Marlboro, Mary Tyler Moore, Monmouth County Dems, Rebecca Kane, Red Bank, Vin Gopal | 3 Comments »