Senator Jennifer Beck today called for Monmouth County Tax Board Administrator Matthew Clark to step down or being suspended, pending the outcome of a reported Monmouth County Prosecutor’s investigation to his relationships with vendors of the the controversial Assessment Demonstration Program that creates new assessments of Monmouth County properties for property tax purposes annually.
“In light of the fact the Prosecutor has an active and ongoing investigation into the Tax Administrator, steps must be taken to suspend him from his day-to-day duties until the Prosecutor’s investigation is complete,” Beck said in a statement issued to the media. “At present, our taxpayers have lost confidence in the Administrator and until he is either vindicated or indicted, Matthew Clark should step aside.”
The Asbury Park Pressreported last week that grand jury subpoenas were served on at least three county towns as well as the Monmouth County government in connection with a criminal investigation to the program.
The New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Office of Maritime Resources has awarded the bid to complete the long awaited Shark River and Shark River Spur Dredging Project to the low bidder, Mobile Pumping & Dredging Co., of Chester, PA. MPD’s bid of $7,649,817.50 was $1.8 million lower than the next closest bidder.
The State of New Jersey will contribute over $5 million to the project. Monmouth County will contribute $1.1 million and Neptune Township has committed $450,000. Belmar, Neptune City and Wall Township are expected to share the remaining costs of the project, according to a statement isssued by Senator Jennifer Beck, Freeholder Tom Arnone and Neptune Township Committeeman Randy Bishop. Beck said the project will start this year, “if all the stars align,” and will be completed by the end of 2016.
“After over two decades, there has finally been a bid awarded to dredge Shark River. Notably, The National Marine Fisheries only allows dredging work from July 1st to December 31st, so I’m happy to see this monumental step taken forward, which, if all the stars align, will allow dredging to begin this year. None of this could have been possible without the work of Freeholder Tom Arnone and Committeeman Randy Bishop, working together in a bipartisan fashion with every state, county, and local stakeholder to make this project happen. While the State is investing more than $5 million, the project couldn’t have moved forward without the assistance of Monmouth County, which is accepting the material at its landfill and helping to fund the trucking. In addition, a number of surrounding municipalities have preliminary agreed to share in the cost of the project” said Beck.
The legislators representing Monmouth County from the 11th and 13th Districts want the New Jersey Department of Human Services to stop housing asymptomatic Ebola patients at Fort Monmouth at then end of this month when the current agreement to do so expires and they are calling on the members of the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority to reject DHS’s request to extend the arrangement.
Senators Joe Kyrillos and Jennifer Beck joined with Assembly Members Amy Handlin, Declan O’Scanlon, Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande in issuing the following statement:
The legislators of the 11th and 13th districts have jointly written the Acting Commissioner of the NJ Department of Human Services requesting that the facilities designated to quarantine travelers from Western Africa arriving at Newark-Liberty Airport for 21 days to ensure that they have not contracted the Ebola virus be closed when the agency’s current agreement with the Fort Monmouth Redevelopment Authority expires on June 30th.
The letter, dated March 1 and signed by Senators Joe Kyrillos (R-13) and Jennifer Beck (R-11) as well as Assembly members Declan O’Scanlon (R-13), Amy Handlin (R-11), Caroline Casagrande (R-11) and Mary Pat Angelini (R-11) reiterates the law makers’ concerns expressed in a Februay 3 letter to Commissioner Jennifer Velez, Esq. regarding the lack of notice to the public and elected officials regarding the designation of the facility and the negative impact the facility could have on the marketing of Fort Monmouth properties.
Monmouth County Clerk M. Clair French address the Monmouth GOP convention. Chairman Shaun Golden in background. photo by Art Gallagher
An impressive crowd of over 400 Monmouth Republican County Committee members gathered on Saturday morning to nominate their candidates for State Assembly, County Clerk and Freeholder. The size of the crowd was impressive not only because of the weather but because the results of the convention were a foregone conclusion as there were no challengers to the incumbent Assembly Members, Freeholder or Governor Chris Christie’s nominee for County Clerk.
Free of any competitive tensions, the mood at Colts Neck High School was upbeat, friendly and proud among the grassroots leaders who came out for Chairman Shaun Golden first nominating convention. Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso noted both the size and enthusiasm of the crowd. “This crowd is almost as large as last year’s convention when we had a competition for the freeholder nominations,” DiMaso said, “We’re in really great shape and that is a testament to Shaun’s leadership.”
Ever the optimist and desperate for relevancy, Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal is floating his name as a candidate for Assembly in 11th District.
The district’s Assembly seats are currently held by Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande. Gopal and Red Bank Councilwoman Kathy Horgan lost to Angelini and Casagrande by over 3000 votes (out of 37,093 cast) in 2011. Former Democratic Assemblyman Dan Jacobson, publisher of the triCityNews and AsburyParkSun earned 2358 votes as an Independent candidate that year.
MoreMonmouthMusings hereby endorses Gopal for one of the Democratic Assembly nominations in the 11th.
We were worried that 2015 would be a boring year politically in Monmouth County and that we’d have to start covering restaurant openings to keep our traffic up next year. With Gopal on the ballot, MMM’s political focus would be assured for another year.
Another reason we like Gopal as a candidate for Assembly is that it takes an issue of the table for Sheriff Shaun Golden’s reelection in 2016.
On April 29 of last year, six months to the day after Sandy made landfall, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stood with U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan in a seafood restaurant in Highlands, NJ. Surrounded by cameras, Donovan…
Six state Senators representing Monmouth and Oceans Counties have written to New Jersey’s U.S. Senators and Members of Congress asking for help in correcting inequities and inefficiencies in the federal government’s response to Superstorm Sanday.
In a letter dated March 31, Senators Jennifer Beck and Joe Kyrillos of Monmouth County, Robert Singer, Christopher Connors and James Holzapfel of Ocean County and Sam Thompson of Middlesex raised six issues concerning Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the Small Business Administration (SBA), FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and the Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, Elevation and Mitigation(RREM) grant program.
With all those agencies and initials, how could anything be going wrong?
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.
We’re hearing plenty about Bridgegate and Governor Christie’s response to it from cable news pundits and late night comedians. MMM thought it would be interesting to hear what our Monmouth County leaders, from both parties, have to say about the controversy and Christie’s response to it at his press conference last Thursday.
Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long, said “No, and I’m angry that some are tossing by name around as if I’m waffling about my endorsement,” when we asked her if she regretted endorsing Christie in light of the Bridgegate scandal. “Bridgegate is terrible, but it does not undue the Sandy recovery. My endorsement was based on the Sandy recovery. Let’s wait and see what happens when all the facts come out. Right now it’s a feeding frenzy.”
Senator Jennifer Becksaid, “The governor has always straight forward me with, and he was forthcoming in his press conference on Thursday. I believe him.”
Monmouth County Republican Chairman John Bennett said, “Governor Christie was open and sincere in his press conference. He said that he will now talk to everyone on his staff himself to get to the bottom of what happened. This issue may have gotten away from him because he departed from his usual practice of doing it all himself.
“Unfettered and overzealous politicos on Christie’s staff went way over the mark. The lane closures were a bad, bad idea that never should have happened.”
Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal hasn’t returned our calls since we debunked his malicious and inaccurate attempted character assassination of a Red Bank Republican Council Candidate last October, so we asked his predecessor, Victor Scudiery, and the man who opposed him in the chairman’s race in 2011, Frank LaRocca to comment.
Former Monmouth Democratic Chairman Victor Scudiery said, “I take Chris Christie’s word for it. We’ll have to play it out and see what happens. Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, it’s frightening, but we have to wait and see.”