Monmouth County Freeholders Adopt Budget With Zero Tax Increase

Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry Photo by Vinnie Amessé © www.amessephoto.com

Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry

For the fourth straight year, the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders adopted a county budget with no tax increase.

At their meeting April 10 meeting the Freeholder Board, comprised of 5 Republicans, adopted $480.9 million budget, a $100,000 spending reduction from last year’s budget.  The amount raised through property taxes is $302,475,000, the same amount raised every year since 2010.

“It is a challenge every year to try to cut spending without impacting the level of services our taxpayers have come to expect,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry. “This process is not something that is done in haste. This budget reflects the months of work that has gotten us to a flat tax rate for the fourth year in a row.”

“This year, an internal budget subcommittee met with each department to look for duplicative services and identify areas for consolidation and savings,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Gary J. Rich, Sr., liaison to the Finance Department. “This process has yielded savings in the areas of information technology, finance, human resources, building maintenance and legal services.”

Monmouth County relies less on taxes than most other New Jersey counties. As a percentage of the overall budget, Monmouth County’s taxes comprise 62 percent of the total budget, historically behind Union, Hudson and Essex counties.

“The department heads deserve a lot of credit for their hard work in paring down the budget,” said Rich. “This is the fifth year in which we asked for concessions from the departments and, as a result, this is the fourth year in which the tax levy has remained the same.”

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Posted: April 14th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Red Bank GOP Won’t Challenge Menna For Mayor

Red Bank Mayor Pat Menna

Red Bank Mayor Pat Menna

Barring an Independent candidate entering the fray in June, Red Bank Mayor Pasquale “Pat” Menna will be reelected to a third term leading the borough in November unopposed. The Red Bank Republicans have not nominated a candidate to oppose Menna.

But that doesn’t mean the Red Bank GOP has given up on the strides they made last fall when Cindy Burham broke the Democratic grip on the governing body of 6 council members and the mayor and Sean DiSomma came within 1o2 votes of winning a second seat for the GOP.

DiSomma was subject to a malicious smear campaign, over a traffic ticket, by Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal in the final week of the 2013 campaign.

DiSomma is running again this year.  He is joined on the ticket by Brian Hanlon, a former member of the borough’s park and recreation commission.

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Posted: March 31st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Red Bank | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Middletown Democratic TC Candidate Lives in Rumson?

One of the Middltetown Democrats candidates for Township Committee says he lives in Rumson.

Criminal defense attorney George Mardinly’s facebook page lists his home as Rumson.

More interesting that Mardinly’s address exaggeration (he actually lives in the graceful Locust section of Middletown, on the north side of the Navesink) is his history of political giving.  Mardinly contributed $2700 to Republican Senator Jennifer Beck’s 2013 reelection campaign and $2000 to Senator Joe Kyrillos’s 2012 U.S. Senate race against Democratic U.S.Senator Bob Menendez.

Maybe Mardinly is angling to be a Judge. Kyrillos and Beck are both members of the New Jersey Senate Judiciary committee and have senatorial courtesy in the

Patrick Short knows he lives in Middletown

Patrick Short knows he lives in Middletown

appointment of Superior Court Judges in Monmouth County.  Or maybe he just likes Republican legislators.

Neither Middletown Democratic Chairman Don Watson or Monmouth Democratic County Vin Gopal were available to comment of Mardinly’s political giving.

Former Township Committeeman Patrick Short is the Democrats other candidate. Short was elected in 2006 in the wake of Operation Bid rig, and was defeated by Steve Massell in 2009 in the first Christie landslide.  Short ran for Assembly in 2011, losing to Declan O’Scanlon and Amy Handlin.

Short and Mardinly will face off against Republican incumbents Mayor Stephanie Murray and Committeeman Tony Fiore in November.

Posted: March 31st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Middletown, Middletown Democrats | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Cory Booker Advises Vin Gopal to shave his head…

….and other interesting rhetoric at the Monmouth County Democratic Convention

Posted: March 29th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 U.S. Senate race, Cory Booker, Monmouth Democrats | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

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 »

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 »

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 »

More Duplicity From Vin Gopal

Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal just can’t help himself from practicing the “politics of yesterday,” as Governor Chris Christie said of him last year.

Friday evening on the Political Roundtable segment of the NJTV News with Mike Schneider, Gopal reacted to the news that the federal government had cleared Christie Administration of any errors or wrong doing with the AshBrit contract for cleaning up much of New Jersey after Superstorm Sandy by sticking to the Democratic/Star Ledger talking points. “The bigger issue is,” Gopal said, “why was so much money wasted in the process?”   “Costs were higher,” he said, without saying higher than what. Certainly they were not higher than what the Army Corp of Engineers charged New York for their clean up.

What Gopal didn’t say is that he was busy helping AshBrit get business in the aftermath of Superstrom Sandy.

Click here to read an email Gopal sent me three weeks after Sandy hit asking for my help in introducing AshBrit’s agent, Laura Matos of M Public Affairs, a veteran of the Corzine administration, to Highlands Mayor Frank Nolan.

GOP political consultant Chris Russell joked on the segment that he was waiting for apologies from all the Democrats who criticized Christie over the AshBrit contract. Gopal should have apologized on the spot, especially since he was an active participant in recruiting municipalities to sign with the clean up company.

I don’t know if Gopal got paid for helping AshBrit get business but it is a safe bet that Matos and her fellow Corzine administration veterans at M Public Affairs did.  Vin should ask Matos why the AshBrit contract cost so much.

I didn’t get paid.  Nolan had Highlands almost entirely cleaned up without AshBrit before Vin reached out to me.

 

Posted: March 7th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Christie Administration, Frank Nolan, Superstorm Sandy, Vin Gopal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Feds Charge Indian National With Abusive Sexual Contact

Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal, not Devender Singh

Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal, not Devender Singh

Devender Singh, 61, an Indian national who resides in Baton Rouge, LA was arrested by federal authorities at Newark-Liberty airport yesterday as he departed his United Airlines flight from Houston, TX.

Singh is alleged to have kissed and fondled the female passenger sitting next to him while she was sleeping.  The woman told the FBI that when she awoke, Singh’s hand was in her shirt, he was kissing her face and cheek, and that he was stroking his exposed penis with his other hand.

The married jeweler appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo this afternoon.  He remains detained in federal custody with the option to request a bail hearing. Should he be convicted of abusive sexual contact, Singh faces a possible two years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Monmouth County GOP Chairman John Bennett did not issue a statement accusing his Democratic counterpart, Vin Gopal, of being a sexual predator because he is of Indian descent.

Last month Gopal accused Monmouth County Republicans of being corrupt because former Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas was indicted on fraud charges for actions connected to the acquisition of a farm that he later sold the development rights to for farmland preservation.  Last October, Gopal falsely accused a Red Bank Republican candidate of being a fugitive.

Posted: March 3rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Sex Crimes, U.S. Attorney, Vin Gopal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »