Monmouth County retains rare AAA credit rating, saves taxpayers millions

Monmouth County retains rare AAA credit rating, saves taxpayers millions (via NJ.com)

FREEHOLD BOROUGH – Monmouth County’s fiscal strength means more than flat tax levies and trim budgets – it also directly translates into big savings for taxpayers and municipalities. The county received the highest possible credit rating for 2014…

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Posted: March 29th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Meanwhile at the Monmouth Democratic Convention….

….there were no surprises out of the IBEW Local 400 Union Hall in Wall this morning.

Senator Cory Booker was endorsed for the nomination to seek his first full term in the U.S. Senate.

Congressman Frank Pallone was nominated for his 14th term in the House of Representatives.

In the 4th congressional district, criminal defense attorney Ruben Scolavino has agreed to take another one for the Democratic team.  Scolavino lost to Sheriff Shaun Golden, 64%-36% last year.  He will likely face a worse fate against Congressman Chris Smith who running for his 18th term.  Scolavino is probably angling for a Judgeship.

For Monmouth County Freeholder, Larry Luttrell, a Holmdel attorney who came in last against Freeholders Tom Arnone and Serena DiMaso in 2013, hopes to do better this year against Freeholder Director Lillian Burry and Deputy Director Gary Rich who were renominated by the Monmouth GOP this morning.  Joining Luttrell on the County Democratic ticket for freeholder is Joe Grillo of Asbury Park.  Grillo is making his first run at elected office.  He is the municipal chairman of the Asbury Park Democrats, the former executive director of the Monmouth Dems, and works for his family’s tile business.

CD-4 Candidate Ruben Scolavino, Larry Luttrell, Senator Cory Booker, Joe Grillo, Congressman Frank Pallone, NJ Democratic Chairman John Currie and Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal.

CD-4 Candidate Ruben Scolavino, Larry Luttrell, Senator Cory Booker, Joe Grillo, Congressman Frank Pallone, NJ Democratic Chairman John Currie and Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal. Photo via Pallone’s facebook page.

 

Posted: March 22nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races, 2014 Elections, 2014 U.S. Senate race, Monmouth County, Monmouth Democrats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Burry and Rich Are Renominated by Monmouth GOP

IMG_9217Freeholder Director Lillian Burry and Deputy Director Gary Rich took a first ballot victory over Howell Councilman Bob Walsh at the Monmouth GOP Convention this morning.

The unofficial results are:

Gary Rich 294

Lillian Burry 227

Bob Walsh 199

IMG_9214In the race for the U.S. Senate nomination, there was no first ballot winner. Murray Sabrin and Rich Pezzullo qualified for a second ballot which is now being taken.

The first ballot Senate numbers were are follows:

Rich Pezzullo  164

Murray Sabrin 105

Brian Goldberg 72

Robert Tukevage 44

 

Posted: March 22nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Monmouth Freeholders Introduce Budget With No Tax Increase For 4th Consecutive Year

Spending is reduced to 2008 Level

Freeholder Gary Rich, Liaison to the County Finance Department

Freeholder Gary Rich, Liaison to the County Finance Department

The all Republican Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders introduced their budget for the coming year on Thursday evening at the Eastern Branch of the County Library system in Shrewsbury.  The $480.9 million budget is $100,000 lower than the current year’s spending and, for the fourth consecutive year includes no tax increase on Monmouth County property owners.

Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal did not issue a statement congratulating the freeholders. When last we heard from Gopal, he was threatening legal action against the owner and publisher of this site for ridiculing his false statements about Republicans.

The budget plan reflects a continuing effort by the freeholder board to reduce County spending while dealing with increased costs and reduced revenue.

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Posted: March 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County Budget | Tags: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Burry and Curley tangle at Freeholders’ meeting

curlyandburry

Freeholders John Curley and Lillian Burry

The ongoing feud between Freeholder Director Lillian Burry and Freeholder John Curley , both Republicans, became public again Thursday afternoon at the beginning of the board’s work session meeting at the Hall of Records in Freeholder.

Click here to listen to Curley’s remarks and the ensuing exchange between him and Burry.  Curley’s remarks start at the 1:27 mark of the audio.  The exchange concludes at the 5:24 mark.

Curley announced that he had proposed a resolution that would have called on the State Legislature to prohibit elected or appointed officials, on any level, from participating  in New Jersey’s Farm Land Preservation Program.   He likened such participation to Wall Street insider trading.  Curley said that Freeholder Tom Arnone, a Republican,  was his second for the resolution and that Assemblywoman Amy Handlin, a Republican, was going to sponsor such legislation.  Curley said he was disappointed that “the freeholders” pulled his resolution from the work session agenda.

Burry said that Curley’s remarks were inappropriate in that that he did not go through “the chair” or follow proper procedures.  She said the resolution was going to be discussed in Executive Session and had been put off because it needed to be tweaked and properly vetted.

Listen to the exchange.    It’s much more colorful than summarized above.

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Posted: March 15th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: John Curley, Lillian Burry, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , | 18 Comments »

Vin Gopal Threatens Legal Action Against MoreMonmouthMusings

Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal, not Devender Singh

Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal, not Devender Singh

Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal has threatened the owner of this website, Gallco Media, LLC, with “all legal remedies under law” unless the post, Feds Charge Indian National With Abusive Sexual Contact, is removed from the site.  Gopal’s attorney, D. Sam Han, Esq. of Sobel Han, LLP of Englewood Cliffs, further demands that an apology and retraction be posted that clearly denotes the improper usage of Gopal’s picture on this site.  The photo in question is posted to the left.  Han’s letter can be viewed here.

On behalf of Gallco Media, I consulted with two attorneys to find out what these “legal remedies under law” might be. Both said there aren’t any and that Gopal does not have an actionable claim.  Bring it on, Han. Play it again, Sam. You’re not gonna win, Vin.

We really must have gotten under Gopal’s skin.  He didn’t threaten legal action against the campaign of Assemblywomen Caroline Casagrande and Mary Pat Angelini in the the 2011 legislative race when they sent the now infamous Joe Vas mailer out against Gopal who was running against them at the time.  The mailer was widely criticized in the media and even by many Republicans at the time.  MMM didn’t write about the mailer in 2011 because I was in jail on ginned up charges when the controversy broke. I’m particularly sensitive to the consequences of exaggerated allegations made in the media.

Gopal’s gotten a small taste of his own medicine.  We hope he’ll alter his conduct, and lead members of party to do the same.  It’s not looking too good, so far, but that is what we’re after in our “Monmouth County Republican Chairman John Bennett did not issue a statement…” posts and our posts calling Gopal on his duplicity.

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Posted: March 10th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth Democrats, Vin Gopal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Monmouth Democrats Are Off And Running

Monmouth GOP has its pants on the ground

Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo. Photo via facebook

Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo. Photo via facebook

Their nominating convention is not until March 22 at the IBEW Local 400 union hall in Wall Township, but Monmouth County Democratic freeholder candidates Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo are off and running full speed ahead.

Luttrell, the Holmdel attorney who came in last against Freeholders Tom Arnone and Serena DiMaso, as well as his running mate Brian Froelich, after being endorsed by the Asbury Park Press last year, announced he was running again almost immediately after his sad showing.

Grillo is the former Executive Director of the Monmouth Democrats and the municipal chairman of the Asbury Park Democrats. Like Luttrell, he has never held elected office. Grillo was briefly a candidate for the Asbury Park City Council last year, withdrawing from the race prior to the filing deadline. Since leaving his position as ED of the Monmouth Dems, Grillo has worked for his family’s tile company in Howell.

Grillo stepped up his game over the weekend with a fundraising email blast that announced his candidacy.  He raised $6,200 online through Sunday. A Democrat who does not want to be known for talking to a Republican leaning site told MMM that Grillo has raised over $20,000 for his campaign including checks collected offline. His stated goal is to raise $50,000 by the June 3rd primary.

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Posted: March 10th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Elections, Monmouth County, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Bob Walsh: “The Monmouth GOP’s Brand Is Tarnished”

Howell Councilman Bob Walsh, second from left, and Freeholder Gary Rich, right, are set to compete for a 2014 GOP nomination.  Andrew Lucas, left, then a Manalapan Committeeman and Wall Township Committeeman George Newberry, between Walsh and Rich. Photo from 2011 Freeholder nomination race.

Howell Councilman Bob Walsh, second from left, and Freeholder Gary Rich, right, are set to compete for a 2014 GOP nomination. Andrew Lucas, left, then a Manalapan Committeeman and Wall Township Committeeman George Newberry, between Walsh and Rich. Photo from 2011 Freeholder nomination race.

Howell Councilman Bob Walsh, a candidate for one of two available nominations for freeholder at the Monmouth Republican Convention on March 22, said that the Monmouth Republican Party’s brand has been tarnished by the Burke Farm deal with Andrew Lucas and by the Brookdale Community College scandal that resulted in former Brookdale President’s Peter Burnham’s conviction for official misconduct and theft.

Incumbent freeholders, Director Lillian Burry and Deputy Director Gary Rich are seeking to be nominated for reelection at the convention.

Speaking on the record, Walsh said that many “neutral people, people who know nothing” that he encounters think that the Lucas farm deal and the Brookdale scandal are examples of Republican corruption.  Walsh said that he talks to these people and tries to correct their perception, “but it is out there and a lot of people think that way, it’s a common thread.”

Walsh was very careful not to speak negatively about Burry and Rich specifically while discussing his own candidacy.  ”I don’t consider that I am challenging them,” he said, “I am seeking an office according to the rules.  No one is elected forever.  People complain and complain about government, yet keep electing the same people.  That’s what’s wrong with this country.”

“People say that government should be run as a business.  I have a very good record in business, as a licensed banker,  and a very good record as mayor of Howell that I am proud of.  I think I am an asset and will be an asset to the freeholder board. I have energy, passion and the flexibility to do the job.”

While not specifically accusing anyone of complacency, Walsh said that his candidacy and his service, if elected, would be a battle against complacency in county government.

“Complacency has no place if public service,” he said, “I am very pleased with some of the things I see happening since I started running.” He declined to elaborate.

Walsh said he expected that this November’s election will be more contentious that usual.

Posted: February 26th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , | 52 Comments »

A Teachable Moment

By Lillian G. Burry, Monmouth County Freeholder Director

Photo by Vinnie Amessé © www.amessephoto.com

Photo by Vinnie Amessé © www.amessephoto.com

When Vin Gopal launched his latest attack, I heard from friends with two different types of advice.  Some said I should fight back immediately because silence would suggest I had no defense.  Others said I should do nothing because to respond to bullying would make me just look defensive.  I thanked them all for their kind thoughts but told them all the same thing.  I see this as a teachable moment to be shared with everyone who may be thinking of someday entering public life.

You may see public office as I do – a way of giving back to society and being thankful for the success you’ve had in your professional life.  In an ideal democracy opponents would challenge you by putting forth a competing vision of the future they would work for and offer up their record of accomplishments so people could judge whether or not they had as good a record as yours when it comes to getting things done.  Unfortunately, that’s not how our democracy has evolved.

Instead of thoughtful, accomplished candidates we are too often faced with political attack dogs whose sole purpose is to try to destroy the reputation of people in the opposing party.  Lies, distortions and bullying are their stock in trade.  If anyone you have ever dealt with in your public life is ever accused of wrong doing in their private affairs, rest assured that the partisan hounds will come barking after you even though you are in no way involved.  That’s just the way it’s done on every level be it federal, state, county or local.  So what are you to do?  The answer is simple.  Whether you are a little league coach or a first responder, whether you feed the hungry, lead a troop of girl scouts or serve on a school board you have a record on which you can stand.  Every person you have helped, every dollar you have saved or raised, every public asset you have fought to preserve, everything you have done in your public life speaks for you.  We are all entitled to be judged by our true record.  All the barking of all the hounds cannot drown out the truth.  At the end of the day the weight of solid accomplishments will balance well against empty accusations from a poisoned pen.

Stand strong with high standards.  Keep firm in your commitments.  Speak dearly of the brighter future you are working to create.  Do this all resolutely and leave those attack dogs to do their howling at the moon.

Posted: February 19th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Elections, Lillian Burry, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Vin Gopal | Tags: , , , , | 13 Comments »

Bayshore Tea Party Group Boasts of 1000 Members, Staunch Backers of Anna Little

gonzalez sign blocking

Bayshore Tea Party Group member Frank Gonzalez, husband of the group’s co-founder, Barbara, installs homemade lawn signs on Rt 35 in Middletown during the 2013 Monmouth County Republican primary campaign

Bayshore Tea Party Group co-founder Barbara Gonzalez told HuffPost that her group has nearly 1000 members and that they are staunch supporters of former Highlands Mayor Anna Little’s quest to unseat Congressman Frank Pallone, in an article posted last evening.

“If you don’t get someone in who is totally willing to fight the establishment, it will never change,” Gonzalez told HuffPost.

Little lost to Pallone in 2010 and 2012 with BTPG’s support, but Gonzalez thinks it will be different this year.

Gonzalez said her membership roll has grown by “a couple of dozen new members” since earlier this month when the Bridgegate controversy broke.

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Posted: January 30th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Anna Little, Barbara Gonzalez, Bayshore Tea Party Group, Monmouth County, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »