Monmouth County Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry
Amidst a summer awash in bad news, there is a very good news story I’m pleased to share regarding the redevelopment of Fort Monmouth; a topic I am asked about frequently. Since the fort was closed by the U.S. Army in 2005, I have been a member of both public-private agencies, led by the state, that first planned, and is now executing plans to transform the fort into a hub of recreation, commerce, technology, innovation, education, residential and retail use. Tangible results emerged last year and continue to increase this year. More are on the near horizon, bringing jobs, ratables and opportunities for the public to enjoy new open spaces and recreational options within the borders of Eatontown, Oceanport and Tinton Falls.
As the county’s representative, first on the Fort Monmouth Economic Redevelopment Planning Authority (FMERPA) and currently on the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA), I identified certain facilities and spaces for county use early on. Last year, the Monmouth County Department of Public Works and Engineering took over, refurbished and is now utilizing the fort’s former motor pool, bringing critical services including snow and storm damage removal closer to that region. The county Park System now runs the former teen center and pool, a beautiful facility. Programs initiated there last year have been well-attended and growing. This year, we opened the pool for classes. The reception and attendance have been outstanding. We hope to increase programs at the pool next summer. That’s just the beginning…
Senator Cory Booker is lending his star power and fund raising prowess to the Democratic Freeholder candidates who are looking to unseat Freeholder Director Lillian Burry and Deputy Director Gary Rich in November.
Booker is headlining a July 25 fundraiser for Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo at the Wall Township home of Gary and Linda Faraci.
Eatontown Councilman Richard “Duke” Robinson, the Eatontown GOP Chairman, Sheriff Shaun Golden and Councilman Kevin Gonzalez. Photo via EatontownGOP.com
Monmouth GOP Chairman John Bennett was apparently too enthusiastic in his use of language in the endorsement released yesterday from Republican leaders from Rumson, Shrewsbury Township, Eatontown, Oceanport, Red Bank and Tinton Falls. In addition to the endorsement letter released to MMM, Bennett posted comments on his facebook page and in a email to County Committee Members to the effect that he had picked up the support of “7 towns in the 2 Rivers area…. “
Monmouth County roads will be a little safer for the next seven months.
Former Red Bank Mayor Ed McKenna, a Democrat, was convicted of driving while intoxicated last week in Tinton Falls Municipal Court. He received a seven month suspension to his drivers license and a $764 fine.
McKenna was arrested by a New Jersey State Trooper on May 13, 2013 after being involved in a one car accident at mile marker 108 of the Garden State Parkway. He scored nearly three times the legal limit in a breathalyzer test.
Monmouth County Republican Chairman John Bennett didnot issue a statement accusing all Democrats of being drunks who are unfit for office. Bennett’s restraint stands in stark contrast to that of his Democratic counterpart, young Vin Gopal. Gopal, 28, accused “local and County Republican politicians” of being corrupt last week after former Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas was indicted for allegedly fraudulent acts to secure the purchase of a farm.
Two Tinton Falls officials called first thing this morning unable to contain their laughter at Gopal’s delusional claim of credit for Gerry Turning’s election as mayor.
Tinton Falls Mayor-elect Gerry Turning
“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.”
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.
A motocross facility with three tracks, two buildings, parking for 475 cars and 100 foot stadium style lights is being proposed for a 21 acre site off Shafto Road in Tinton Falls.
The application by Jersey Shore Motocross for use and bulk variances as well as site plan approval is scheduled for a public hearing before the Tinton Falls Zoning Board tomorrow, October 3, at 7:30 pm at the municipal building, 565 Tinton Ave. The site is currently zoned for light industrial use.
Mayor Michael Skudera alerted thousands of Tinton Falls residents to the hearing in an email yesterday. Skudera presented a summary of the proposal and did not take a position, pro or con, on the application.
Jersey Shore Motocross has been using social media to rally public support for their project. The company’s facebook page had its first entry on September 15. The page has 1,775 “likes”. The company is encouraging its supporters to arrive one hour early to the hearing as they anticipate a large crowd.
Tinton Falls Mayor Michael Skudera last evening announced that he will not seek a second term.
Elected to the borough council in 2005 and mayor in 2009, Skudera told supporters via email that after almost a decade of service he looks forward to what life brings next.
Skudera wrote of his team’s accomplishments and endorsed Jerry Turning to be his successor.
“When I took office as Mayor four years ago, the Borough was experiencing sharp tax increases of over 10% per year and its surplus was depleted. Now, despite a difficult economic climate, taxes have been contained to about 2% per year and match the rate of inflation. Spending has been significantly reduced; in fact this year’s budget is lower than last year’s budget.
We have improved the Borough’s aging infrastructure that was neglected for decades. We have repaved and reconstructed miles of roadway, installed new sidewalks, and improved long neglected storm and waste-water facilities. We improved the Borough’s credit rating, significantly reduced borrowing costs, and paid of debt before its maturity date to save taxpayers money.
In the past, economic growth was just assumed, now it’s actively pursued, encouraged and taking place. In the last four years, we have brought one of the Northeast’s largest solar farms to Tinton Falls while also quickly advancing the redevelopment of Fort Monmouth, bringing not only millions in capital investments to Tinton Falls, but also high paying jobs. We have utilized technology more than ever before to improve efficiencies, productivity, and to better communicate with the public.
While doing all of this, we have managed to preserve more open space than ever before to enhance our quality of life. We did this by spending less per acre, which allowed us to reduce the Borough’s open space tax.
Finally, Tinton Falls needs a leader who will continue the work we have all begun. That is why Jerry Turning will be running for Mayor. Jerry has served our community as the head of my administration and we have worked very closely together over the years. My record of accomplishments is also Jerry’s record of accomplishments. Running with Jerry in the November election is veteran Councilman Scott Larkin and Zoning Board of Adjustment member John Roche, who I know will continue to serve the Borough well.”
Tinton Falls holds non-partisan elections in November.