“There are two aspects to the administration’s actions. The first is that they are taking their time to sign the legislation, and the second is that they are standing in the way of Monmouth Park opening while taking that time,” said O’Scanlon said in a press release this afternoon. “The Governor claims he needs to review this legislation before signing it, but there is no practical reason why Monmouth Park cannot start accepting wagers while that’s happening–the sky won’t fall, lions won’t roam the streets, locusts won’t ravage our fields. There is absolutely zero likelihood of any negative impact of Monmouth Park opening today. That being the case, one has to wonder about the motivation here. It’s disturbing.”
“The legislature came together in a bipartisan manner to get this done correctly and quickly. All of that bipartisan effort has been brought to a screeching and frankly irrational halt by the actions of the administration.”
Freeholder Director Tom Arnone today announced his opposition to the public question that would amend the New Jersey Constitution to allow casino gambling in Northern New Jersey.
“My first responsibility as a Freeholder is to make sure Monmouth County’s interests are my top priority,” Arnone said in an announcement released by ‘Trenton’s Bad Bet,’ the group that has been campaigning against the constitutional amendment, “Unfortunately, the ballot question on casino expansion is misguided, shortchanges our horse racing industry, and favors a small group of out-of-state, special interests.”
“In no way does this legislation help Monmouth County,” Arnone concluded.
Presumed Oceanport Mayor-elect Jay Coffey, center,addresses supporters as Culllin Wible , left, and Councilman Joe Irace,right look on. photo via facebook
In the Oceanport mayoral race, “Write-In” has defeated incumbent Mayor Michael Mahon by a margin of 988 to 721.
Monmouth County Clerk told MoreMonmouthMusings this morning that each of the Write-In votes will be reviewed today in order to determine the winner of the race, subject to the counting of provisional ballots and certification of the election.
A bi-partisan coalition of Oceanport leaders supported Attorney Jay Coffey, a registered Democrat, in his campaign unseat the Republican mayor who was unopposed on the ballot. Coffey is widely expected to be the winner of the campaign. He declared victory last evening.
Oceanport’s all Republican municipal government has been in turmoil for the better part of the year as Mahon stopped communicating with members of the Council, particularly regarding redevelopment issues at Fort Monmouth, and a growing distrust of Borough Administrator John Bennett festered throughout the governing body and members of the public.
For the past eight years, it has been my privilege to serve the people of Oceanport. At all times, I have done what I felt was best for our borough because I, like you, truly love our collective home. As you know, I have been very outspoken on behalf of Oceanport. I have used my position as Councilman to keep Oceanport residents informed of important issues pertaining to Oceanport, oftentimes to my own personal detriment within the very Council on which I serve.
It has been my honor to help the people of this borough, but nowI am asking for your help in return on a matter of critical importance:
THIS TUESDAY, Nov. 3rd, is ELECTION DAY. I am asking all of you to vote for write-in Candidates John F. Coffey II (for mayor) and Cullin Wible (for Councilman, full term). I believe Partisan Politics are irrelevant when it comes to doing what’s best for our town. We need strong leaders who personify the honesty, integrity and inclusiveness that Oceanport Residents deserve.
I fully endorse John F. Coffey II (for mayor) and Cullin Wible (for Councilman, full term). They are committed to getting Oceanport back on track. They have vowed toserve only the best interests of the people of our borough. I have confidence in their abilities to do so.
OCEANPORT — An exchange between two borough officials at a special council meeting last week nearly turned violent, with the borough’s mayor having to step in to keep the two apart. During the public comment portion of the Aug. 6 meeting, resident and Board of Education member Jay Coffey was addressing the council about personnel and… Read the rest of this entry »
Oceanport officials are burning over the prospects of the Woodbine Cemetery installing a crematorium with a smoke stack in a residential neighborhood of the borough.
In a statement released by Councilman Joe Irace yesterday and posted on the Oceanport website , the borough complains that the only public notification that Woodbine Cemetery was seeking to build a crematorium was in a public notice published in the Home News, an Asbury Park Press affiliated publication that is distributed in Middlesex and Somerset counties.
The borough became aware of the situation via a letter from the Department of Environmental Protection informing them that Woodbine was seeking an Air Pollution Control Permit.
Transcript from statement read at the Dec. 5, 2012 Oceanport Borough Council meeting by Councilman Joseph Irace:
Oceanport Councilman Joe Irace
Tonight we are being “asked” under court order, to approve an affordable housing plan for the Borough of Oceanport for COAH Round 2. The entire debate on Affordable Housing is one that I have trouble understanding intellectually, socially and fiscally. While we all embrace the idea of lower priced homes, where newly married couples and our aging population can remain in our town for now and years to come, I have a hard time accepting the fact that the Courts, and not our legislature, have the ability to mandate how many homes and the type of homes that a municipality must provide. This is especially troublesome to me because the rest of the town bears the tax burden of this unfunded judicial mandate.
This COAH legislation and the resulting judicial decisions have been a social planning experiment gone awry from the very beginning. The confusing and often contradictory laws and court rulings arising from Rounds 1 and 2 of COAH have led to the Borough being sued for lack of compliance and have cost our residents hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees. The entire system is broken and needs to be fixed.
Ramapo Supervisor & Oceanport Council President Express Outrage
Suffern, N.Y. – Town of Ramapo Supervisor Christopher P. St. Lawrence (Democrat) and Joseph Irace, Council President – Borough of Oceanport, N.J. (Republican), have issued a joint statement expressing their outrage at the House of Representatives’ failure to pass the $60.4 Billion Aid Package to provide immediate help for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
“While House Speaker Boehner fiddles, thousands of New York and New Jersey residents’ anger burns, and their suffering continues as they feel abandoned by their elected officials said Supervisor St. Lawrence. The House of Representatives, the so-called people’s house, has turned its back on the American people” he added.
“As a Republican elected official in New Jersey, I cannot fathom the insensitivity of the House of Representatives by not taking action on the Sandy Aid Package. Disaster relief is not a political issue. We have residents still displaced from their homes and in need of help and yesterday’s actions by The House of Representatives are inexcusable and unconscionable. I, along with Ramapo Supervisor St. Lawrence, am asking the House to act on this desperately needed aid package immediately” stated Council President Irace.
Chairman Ramos, and members of the Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee, thank you for inviting me to speak before you today on this
important topic. I am Oceanport Councilman Joseph Irace.
When the State of New Jersey voted to allow casino gambling in Atlantic City in 1976, it marked the dawn of an era wherein, for close to a decade and a half, New Jersey had a de facto monopoly on casino gambling on the East Coast. That era ended in 1992 with the advent of Foxwoods Resort Casino. In the years since then, we have seen a steady encroachment upon Atlantic City’s position as the premier East Coast destination for casino type gambling. New York, Connecticut, Delaware, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland now offer substantial gaming options to the general public. Indeed, as of April of 2012, Pennsylvania’s gaming industry was second only to that of Las Vegas. Quite clearly, the landscape has changed immeasurably since 1976 and New Jersey’s stranglehold on the East Coast gaming industry is no more. This isn’t an Atlantic City gaming industry problem, it is a New Jersey business development and retention problem.
Similarly, three decades ago, the State of New Jersey was a pre-eminent player in the horseracing industry. The Meadowlands, Freehold Raceway, Monmouth Park, Atlantic City Race Course and Garden State Park — the latter three called the “Golden Triangle” of New Jersey racing — all offered top notch, stakes level horse racing at quality venues. As we are all aware, the New Jersey horseracing industry has suffered setbacks over the past few decades and the root of these setbacks can be traced to the same source as that which has negatively impacted on Atlantic City. New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia have all committed to the Racino business model and this has placed the State of New Jersey’s horseracing industry at a decided disadvantage. Again, this isn’t a horseracing industry problem, it is a New Jersey business development and retention problem.
For far too long now, New Jersey’s gaming industry and New Jersey’s horse racing industry circled each other warily as opponents. It is high time that they stop viewing each other as competitors and start viewing themselves as comrades at arms with a singular purpose: melding both industries in such a fashion that New Jersey once again becomes the East Coast’s premier gaming AND horse racing destination. Based on the revenues generated by Racinos in the surrounding states and across the nation, the question of whether or not these two industries can co-exist, and indeed THRIVE, is no longer arguable. Quite simply, if New Jersey’s gaming and horse-racing industries fail to embrace this new business model, both will perish and the State of New Jersey will be lesser for it.
Our elected officials and both industries need to stop thinking parochially and start thinking globally. The infrastructure, manpower and talent are already in place. We just need the desire and commitment to get this done, and get it done sooner rather than later. The State of New Jersey has waited long enough to get its act together. The states that have already embraced the Racino business model have demonstrated that what is good for the horseracing industry is good for the gaming industry and vice versa. More importantly, what’s good for those industries is also good for all of New Jersey.
I implore our legislators to make every effort to convince these two parties that it is imperative that they stop competing with each other and start complementing each other in order to re-capture the hearts, minds and loyalty of their consumers. If the gaming and horse racing industries fail to adapt to the new paradigm, neither will survive. And that won’t be a gaming or horse racing problem — that will be a tragedy for the State of New Jersey.
William and Joe discuss Monmouth Park racetrack, Fort Monmouth, the challenges Oceanport has faced in recent years with uncertainty for both institutions, and what looks like a promising comeback for Monmouth Park.