Monday, February 16, 2009

Matawan Borough Council Meeting Feb. 17 @ 7:30

Review of the Agenda for the Borough Council meeting was pleased to read Matawan is moving forward with the cell tower, a Commodity Resale Agreement with the County of Monmouth, Municipal Assistance/Share Services Agreement with the County of Monmouth, Loan Application to NJ Dept of Environmental Infrastructure Trust for the Water Treatment Improvements Project to name just a few. There is much to do but this is a good start.

In these difficult economic times it is good to see the teamwork on the current Council. So much more is being accomplished. With the above items moving forward Matawan will see much needed income from the Cell Phone tower and the possibility of selling water from the Water Treatment Plan, once improvements are made.

The Borough Council Workshop meeting on February 3, 2009 did not get to all items on the Agenda. JCP&L was in attendance to address the concerns of residents regarding the removal of trees behind their properties. JCP&L removed trees down to the base thus causing unsightly views and lowering property values. JCP&L will be returning to the Borough Council with further explanations and possible solutions. Many residents are rightfully upset as they were never notified the trees/shrubs would be removed. Discussion on the Cell Phone towers, which will bring income to the Borough was another item for consideration.

Discussion on Towing Ordinance Revision, Ordinance Prohibiting Elected Officials from Municipal Work are two items which were not addressed. To our disappointment these topics will not be discussed or voted on until the next Workshop Meeting/Council Meeting.

The problem, as we see it, is that same night the Council voted to pay invoices from Key Auto Body, (Councilman Kevin Mendes) family owned business. Councilman Mendes was absent from the meeting. WHY is a Councilman's family business, where he is employed, still doing work for the Borough? Previously, Councilman Bud Mullaney, owner of Mullaney Tires, stated his firm would no longer perform work for the Borough. At first blush sounded like the ethical approach to avoid any possibility of conflict of interest. Needless to say, Mullaney dropped the ball and never presented the Council with a draft of a Pay to Play Ordinance. A Matawan First Aid ambulance was seen in the Mullaney Tires parking lot months later. Hmmmm! During his tenure on the Police, Fire, First Aid Commission, Councilman Mendes' family owned business, Key Auto Body, did work for the Police Dept. in addition to providing towing services for the Borough, then voted to pay the invoices. "THE GOD'S MUST BE CRAZY!"

The current Council is attempting to protect the Borough (that is you) against any possibility of a conflict of interest. Current elected officials have to make a decision, do they work for the people of Matawan or their own self interests? That is the harsh reality! We trust the Mayor and Council will not drop the ball and do the necessary.

Note: The Feb. 17th Bill List does not contain any invoices from any Council members family owned businesses.

Hope to see you at the meeting......


Anonymous said...

It amazing how you get to review the agenda of the council meetings,'BEFORE' the general public. Who is your inside contact, anytime I go to a meeting I must wait until I get there to get the agenda!!!To much favoritism in politics in Matawan,thats why things never get done here!!! 40 years of negelect and here we go on the same route again!!!!!

Anonymous said...

FYI, Matawan First Aid is not part of the Borough like the Fire Dept.
It receives a flat yearly stipend from the Boro, but their bills are paid from their own accounts, not Matawan's. So, when Mullaney Tires presented a bill to the First Aid, it was paid by the First Aid and was not on the Borough's bill list.

matawan advocate said...

My dear sir or madam, For your information the Agenda for the Workshops,Council meetings and Bill List are published on the Borough website prior to meetings. No favoritism there.

Perhaps you should take all that anger and channel it to something useful, i.e. charity work.

As the kids say, DON'T HATE, APPRECIATE!

matawan advocate said...

FYI, We agree First Aid receives money from the Borough. The Borough is using taxpayer dollars to give First Aid the stipend. Anytime taxpayer money is utilized there must be accountability.

Question is what other Matawan businesses are solicited to repair First Aid vehicles? Or do you think because Mullaney is a Councilman he should always get the work?

In essence you answered your own question when you stated First Aid receives money from the Borough. We all are the Borough.

Thanks for your comments.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the info on the agenda being posted on the web site early. I thought you were an right arm to the Repuplican party !

Anonymous said...

Why do other towns continue to work and improve themselves and matawan doesn't show any progress? Red Bank, which already has a very nice downtown, is meeting to discuss their transit village and downtown. With Matawan, all you hear is talk, but we never see any action.

Anonymous said...

If you are wondering about bills being paid, I ask, why is the CFO of Matawan NEVER at a meeting.. Not important to Her?? Ask the Mayor to answer that question, not mandatory ,BUT?? Pretty nice job with a very good pay, but can't attend the meetings!!!!

matawan advocate said...

Anonymous 3, We reiterate. we obtain the Agenda from the Borough's website. We believe in endorsing the candidate, not the Party. Don't think following party lines is the best way to go. We endorsed Paul Buccellato for Mayor and believe he was the right choice for Matawan. Enough said!

matawan advocate said...

To the Commenter who wrote about Mullaney's business. We do not print maligning remarks which might have a negative impact on someone in the private sector's business.

Our position is that elected officials and employees of the Borough should have the best interest of the Borough, first and foremost. The interests of elected officials and employees should be secondary. Once elected, all work for the Borough should cease. This would avoid any appearance of inpropriority and/or put the Borough in jeopardy of a lawsuit.

We disagree with Councilman Mullaney on many issues, i.e., the girl's softball field, awarding no bid contracts of $300,000+, giving additional benefits to retiring Borough employees (outside their contracts), etc. There is no hatred there, simply a difference of what is best for the Borough.

We welcome your comments. However, please refrain from slanderous remarks.

Anonymous said...

Question: It's been around , a resident of Claire Court,said in the council meeting Tuesday night. Since Jersey Central cut down trees near her home. The resident now has to keep her window blinds pulled down to keep from looking at the 'slum neighbor hood' of MATAWAN!!! Is this true? , and a matter of PUBLIC Record since it was said in a COUNCIL MEETING??

matawan advocate said...

In reference to the Claire Court comment, we have no knowledge of that remark. If anyone has more information, please write in to the M.A.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

The Clair Court resident never called Matawan a Slum Neighborhood. The resident was there to confront the reps from JCP&L regarding JCP&L's removal of all the trees & shrubs behind her property. The trees and shrubs were the buffer between the Clair Court homes and the Stewart's Parking Lot. Apparently what this resident was talking about is not being able to open her back blinds because the view behind her house is now of a garbage strewn area along the trail. She said looking out of the back of the house makes her feel like she is living in a slum. The residents fight is not with Matawan. It is with JCP&L who decided to rip out all of the trees instead of just pruning them. The residents had absolutley no notice that this was about to happen until the crew showed up and started taking everything down. Matawan's Mayor and Council are trying to get JCP&L to work towards a resolution i.e. replanting, but JCP&L has refused to cooperate. At the meetings they simply read from prepared statements indicating they did what they did to meet state guidelines and can't undo what they did. They are also trying to claim that notice was given and the residents are adamant that no notice was given. Apparently, the property in question is owned by the county. The residents also feel JCP&L went far above the state's requirements by removing everything. These people's properties have been greatly devalued by this and they need help to get this corrected!

matawan advocate said...

Thank you for clearing this matter up. That is the problem with rumors...a small amount of truth and alot of speculation, causing misunderstanding!

We understand and support the residents. JCP&L has no concern with the environmental impact they have made on Matawan and its residents.

Anonymous said...

Its seems to me all the residents want is Property devaluation. Jesey Central said it doesn't own the property so the CAN"T replant. Ok ,so I guess the residents will have to go after the County Park system and railroad who owns the property.. Good Luck.

matawan advocate said...

You don't get it. The quality of their lives changed when JCP&L cut down trees and shrubs to the ground. JCP&L did not say they wouldn't plant trees because it isn't their property. They simply don't have to according to the guidelines. There is an easement. The Hudson Trail is County property.

Just another situation where big business screws the little guy. Pardon the language but in this economic climate it aggravating to see what big business is doing to everyone.

Like many monopolies, JCP&L can pretty much do what they want. They have a legal staff who do nothing but wait for someone to sue them. The property owners on Claire Court were entitled to be notified. Notification would have given them the opportunity to act. Although they say different, JCP&L did not comply with their notification guidelines. None of the homeowners received any notification.

There is no question that the actions of JCP&L have devalued all those homeowners property. It would appear the only recourse they have is to plant large trees or shrubs on their property lines at their own expense.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree here, the loss of trees is horrible. I jog along the Henry hudson trail on a daily basis, what was once a nice shday trail is now a big open mess with visible garbage. My heart goes out to the homeowners in the area. I am going to sit down and write some letters to our freeholders and JCP&L at the very least it will make me feel better

matawan advocate said...

Thank you for the residents of Matawan. We are all affected by the tree and shrub removal. It certainly has changed the look of Matawan and the Henry Hudson Trail in a negative way.

Your idea of writing letters to JCP&L and the Freeholders is a good one. All residents of Matawan should write letters,attend meetings of JCP&L and the Freeholders to let all know of the impact THEIR actions have caused to our Community.

JCP&L should be fined for not adhering to the notification guidelines. The fine should be awarded to the homeowners who were affected to purchase trees and shrubs for their properties. In a small way this will help offset the devaluation of their properties caused by JCP&L.

Thanks for your comments & suggestions.