Monday, April 23, 2007

Update to Borough Council Meeting 4-19-07

Correction: Ordinance 07-06 Amendment for the "Wireless Telecommunications Towers & Facilities." This ordinance was not about the placement of a cell phone tower on top of the water tank in Matawan. It was merely to place an ordinance regarding cell phone towers on the books. However, we believe one of the locations being discussed is on top of the water tower in Matawan. That location is within feet of the ball park and homes.

With that out of the way, here is what was going on at this meeting:

Budget 2007 - The Borough Budget, Primary Components of Tax Increase and Budget Status were made available at the meeting for attendees to review and question. Matawan's CFO was present to answer questions, note there was not enough time to review the documents. Following opening/closing the floor to questions, the CFO left the meeting.

Problems with this procedure:
1. To review the Budget documents prior to the meeting, a resident must go to Borough Municipal Center to request a copy, pay $1.00 per page under the Freedom of Information Act, and in all likelihood fill out an OPRA form.

2. Distributing the Budget documents at the same meeting, followed by opening the floor to questions is absurd! The Chief Financial Officer of Matawan, nor Mayor Aufseeser, nor Councilwoman Mullaney, Chairperson of the Finance, Education & Personnel Committee, explained any part of the Budget to attendees. We, as taxpayers are entitled to a line by line accounting of the Budget. A meeting for discussion of the Budget should be held apart from the Matawan Borough Council Meetings. With an increase to the budget by over $1,000,000., we are entitled to a detailed explanation.

The approximate increase to Budget will be 11.3 cents, BUT and that's a big BUT, if we receive extraordinary aid from NJ State which we have received for the last 3 years of $300,000. then it would be a decrease of 6.94 cents. Now we would be talking about 4.36 cents increase to the Budget. Notice how when discussing the Budget in dollars it is over $1,000,000. increase, BUT when explaining the increase to taxpayers it is in cents. Hmmmmmmmm

We have not heard of an actual plan to share services, cutbacks or any other way to trim the budget. Oh wait, least we forget, one trim was made by the Mayor, the Recreation Director position was deleted from the payroll. However, the Mayor claims that salary was used to pay the salary for one new patrolman in Matawan. So that really doesn't count, does it? Personally, I would rather know that my elected officials are working diligently on the Budget, then let us say, picking up garbage in the Parks? Priorities, please.

The Word for the Day ---- ACCOUNTABILITY! When is the present administration going to be accountable to the taxpayers?

At the Meeting Sheila Flamm read a statement of her opinion pertaining to the local School Board elections to the Matawan Borough Council. The postage on a recent mailing from her opponent, and subsequent winner in the election, Larry O'Connell, was paid for by a permit issued to the Democratic Party in Matawan. Ms. Flamm had the mailer in her hand and displayed it as she spoke. Flamm was concerned that politics have been added to a non-partisan election and that it was not in the best interests of the children of the Borough. The Democratic Council Members were conspicuously the "silent majority."

In an unethical move, Councilman Mullaney was reported to be behind closed doors with the Borough Clerk, Jean Monfort as she was processing the ballots for the School Board election. When is it appropriate for an elected official who clearly supported a School Board Candidate to
be present during ballot counting? Councilman Mullaney, check yourself! The name of the Borough is MATAWAN, not Mullaneyville!

November 2007 elections in Matawan will be interesting to say the least. Debates on the issues facing Matawan by all candidates should be on the agenda. Let's hear what the vision for Matawan is from each candidate.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Matawan Boro Council Mtg Tonight at 7:30pm

Borough Council Meeting at 201 Broad Street tonight. Agenda for this meeting will include the swearing in of Patrolman Ryba and two resolutions authorizing the hiring of Jeffrey Bodner and Bryan Murphy as Academy Step Patrolmen. Congratulations to Matawan's Finest. May the Lord keep you all in the palm of his hand as you embark on this worthy journey. Matawan Cops are Tops! In case you haven't noticed I'm a staunch supporter of our Police force. They do a difficult job under dangerous circumstances and manage to do it well. Least we forget there is also a Resolution approving the Retirement for Police Service Dog, Wolf. Best of luck to Wolf in his retirement.

Now for another very important item on the agenda---Amending and supplementing Chapter 304, Zoning Section 77.1 entitle "Wireless Telecommunications Towers and Facilities." This pertains to placing a cell phone tower on top of a water tower in Matawan. The current ordinance reads, a cell phone tower must have a clearing of 150' in circumference. To prevent any danger to the public and property. If this ordinance is amended it will abolish the 150' rule and not be in the interests of public safety. There are homes and a ball park that would be impacted by this amended ordinance. To put it plainly children playing in the ball park and residences of that area would be in danger. Not to mention the liabilities involved. Find another location where public safety is not an issue.

We urge you to attend at least one of these meetings a month. There are important issues that impact of us.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Matawan-Aberdeen School Board Budget Defeated

Latest news from the Asbury Park Press, the School Budget was defeated. Apparently, voters in Matawan-Aberdeen are disgusted with the increasing Budget and the poor performance of our school system. This sends a message to the School Board that lackluster performance will not be rewarded by more and more money! Learn how to manage your money accordingly. We do not have deep pockets to keep dipping into when you can't budget properly.

Larry O'Connell won the Matawan seat on the School Board. Considering all the efforts on his behalf including his recorded phone calls today to ask for your vote and mailings paid for by the Matawan Democratic Party this came as no surprise. It makes you wonder what is it about the School Board that made the Matawan Democratic Party get involved. Shame on them for making the School Board elections political at the expense of our children. We trust this does not set the tone for future School Board elections.

Sheila Flamm who ran a much less expensive campaign, without the financial assistance of any political party machine did receive a respectable amount of votes.

Let's all support the School Board in its efforts to provide a quality education for our children. Let us demand the best for our children, they deserve it!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

School Board Budget & Elections Today

Today is the day to get out and vote for the School Budget and School Board. Voting is from 1pm to 9pm. We are all aware of the poor past performance of the School Board. Scores below NJ State average. Please consider casting your vote for change in the machine that allows substandard test scores to be acceptable in our schools. Why increase a school budget that has not provided the best for our children? Let us send a message to the Board of Education that we expect accountability from our School Board and the money they spend!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Remarkable Obituary

Remarkable Obituary

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend,
Mr. Common Sense. Mr. Sense had been with us for many years.
No one knows for sure how old He was since his birth records were long ago
Lost in bureaucratic red tape.
He will be remembered as having cultivated
Such value lessons as knowing When to come in out of the rain,
Why the early bird gets the worm and That life isn't always fair.
Common Sense lived by simple,
Sound financial policies
(don't spend more than you earn)
And reliable Parenting strategies
(adults, not kids, are in charge). His health began to rapidly deteriorate
When well intentioned but Overbearing regulations were set in place.
Reports of a six-year-old Boy charged with sexual harassment
For kissing a classmate;
Teens suspended from school for using
Mouthwash after lunch;
And a teacher fired for reprimanding an
Unruly student,
Only worsened his condition. Mr. Sense declined even further when
Schools were required to get parental consent
To administer aspirin to a student;
But, could not inform the parents when a student
Became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion. Finally, Common Sense lost the will to live
As the Ten Commandments became contraband;
Churches became businesses;
And criminals received better treatment
Than their victims. Common Sense finally gave up the ghost
After a woman failed to realize that a
Steaming cup of coffee was hot,
She spilled a bit in her lap, And was awarded a huge financial settlement. Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents,

Truth and Trust,
His wife, Discretion;
His daughter, Responsibility;
And his son, Reason. He is survived by two stepbrothers;
My Rights and Ima Whiner. Not many attended his funeral because
So few realized he was gone.If you still remember him,
Pass this on;
If not, join the majority and do nothing.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Update to "Who Let the Dogs out"

The School Board Association, the governing body over local School Boards has not answered phone calls and several messages have been left.

Conversations with NJ Voters and NJ Election Law Enforcement in Trenton, have produced the following:

There are no restrictions on any political party to endorse a candidate for the School Board elections. Mr. O'Connell didn't break any laws by using the Democratic mail permit.

One would questions his ethics. Are we now resorting to politics regarding the children of Matawan? Will this open the door for future School Board elections? Why is it so important to Mr. O'Connell to win? One of his children remains in the gifted program. By the next election she will graduate and it has been reported that he will not run again.

What are his accomplishments while in office? Test scores for all Matawan public schools are below the State average. That is a fact! This wouldn't be a problem for his child but what about yours? What has he done to improve test scores for the average children? We don't know, do you?

Jim Purcell of the Courier stated, it is the long standing policy of his publication not to seek out candidates but rather candidates have to contact the Courier. On that premise the only candidates that contacted The Courier were Mr. O'Connell and Mr. Gambino. Now we all know the policy of the Courier. It is unfortunate the other candidates were not aware of the Courier's policy. The Asbury Park Press, The Independent, The Star Ledger newspapers contact candidates and request an interview. So folks keep this in mind for the next election.

If all this intrigue is going on for the School Board election, hold on to your hats for the Matawan Borough Council elections. What will become of our little Borough when all the "fat cats" make their financial gains and move on? Will our Matawan be listed in the "urban plight" category?

Who Let the Dogs Out!

A flyer from Larry O'Connell for School Board, arrived at Matawan residents homes this week. The disturbing part is that the permit to pay for it is registered to the Democratic Party! Another incident is that the Courier newspaper has copies of this weeks publication with O'Connell & Gambino's photos on the front page in the lobby of the Matawan Community Center. The article names only these two candidates espousing their credentials and merely mentions that there are actually five people running who remain nameless. Did everyone forget the School Board Elections are non-partisan? Has Jim Purcell of the Courier, who claims to be a journalist gone too far? Or is he pushing the limits of biased journalism to the max!

Is the Chairperson of the Democratic Party in Matawan, Mrs. Malley (Councilman Will Malley's wife) aware that the permit was used? If so, will she also pay for mailings for all the candidates?

Has someone found petroleum under the Historic Train Station? Because it is for damn sure our little Borough is becoming a "hot spot" for controversy. Someone is financing all these campaigns and we are questioning their motives. It certainly is not in the best interests of our children nor our Borough. Who would benefit most financially? That is the question we should all be asking.

Sheila Flamm is the only candidate challenging O'Connell for the seat on the School Board in Matawan. She is running a fair campaign dealing directly with the issues. Sheila Flamm has not tainted her campaign with cheap tricks. She is running her campaign with dignity and respect for herself as well as the other candidates. Larry O'Connell should take a page from her book!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Democratic Slate for Matawan

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Under the present administration this is how our Historic Train Station looks.
The petitions are in and Matawan Borough will soon be embroiled in a pivotal election. Here are the candidates:

Democratic Party
Mary Aufseeser for Mayor
Robert Bunyon for Councilman
Kevin Mendes for Councilman

Based on the following information, how will you vote?

Mary Aufseeser, presently the Mayor under whose administration we have seen an increase in the municipal budget of $1,319,682., from 2006 to 2007. Mayor Aufseeser in a letter to residents of Union Street stated, “My goal has been to stabilize taxes to the greatest extent possible.” Doesn’t sound like a stabilization program to me! Therefore, Mayor Aufseeser has failed in her efforts to stabilize taxes. Overall a lackluster performance record.

Mayor Aufseeser is unresponsive to Matawan residents. We could cite many examples, however, due to limited space, just come to a Borough Council Meeting and see for yourself. Actually, see is what you will observe, as the Mayor does not respond to questions very often, the Borough Attorney speaks in her place. We long for the days when our elected officials responded to our questions. Ah yes, those were the days of Mayor Rob Clifton!

Robert Bunyon, now there is a name that conjures up memories of the “ghost candidate.”
Now we ask, Mr. Bunyon, are you really, really sure, you want to run. On the other hand, will this be another ploy to get an ineligible candidate to slide on to the ballot? It is difficult to trust someone who cannot make up his or her mind.

Kevin Mendes, we will need to reserve opinions on Mr. Mendes until we have all the facts. He lives in Matawan. He serves on the Planning & Zoning Board. Mr. Mendes also works for Key Auto Body. Does this mean Re-development is dead at the Train Station?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Check out this website, It rates schools and provides information pertaining to schools ratings statewide. There is also a comment section for parents to enter their positive/negative suggestions or experiences. A great tool for parents moving into an area looking to research the schools. It will also keep you current on the progress or lack of progress in your school district. Suggest you check it our for yourself prior to voting on April 17, 2007 for the School Budget and for School Board members.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Matawan Boro Council Mtg Tonight at 7:30pm

Issues with the Borough Council

Non-responsive Council Members - Time and time again residents ask questions or request information from our Council Members. No answers are given. The responses are, we'll get back to you or at the next meeting we will have an answer.....BUT answers, information never come. Ask for documents and you are met with delay after delay. The hope is you will go away or have a lapse of memory. Remember who refuses to communicate at election time. If you can't respond to the needs of the community, you don't belong on the Borough Council! It's not like we are asking to recite Einsteins theory of relativity or for them to solve world peace. We leave the tough questions to the Beauty Pageants.

Redevelopment - Why isn't the Council sharing its vision with the public? Aware of the litigation (Silver Oaks v. Matawan appeal) plans could be in place so that in nine (9) months we will be in a position to move forward. Council cannot discuss the litigation. They can plan ahead. This matter has been pending for many years. You might want to ask who is funding the litigation for Silver Oaks? Developers are in it for the profit, not litigation. Who has and will benefit from this delay. Well it sure as hell isn't Matawan. Whoever is backing this fiasco is no friend to Matawan. As for Aberdeen, they are progressing with or without the Transit Village. Their Mayor announced no budget increase for 2007. While Matawan is dormant, Aberdeen had new stores added along with continuing growth of their commercial tax base. Shop Rite, Stop n Shop, Bed Bath & Beyond, Sleepys, Shoe Stores compared to Matawan's C-Town. Which would you rather see a Shop Rite or a C-Town? Yes, restaurants have opened, only to replace others that closed. We wish all businesses in Matawan good luck and encourage everyone to patronize them.

Multi-family units are to be built on the old Sloane Products site Route 79. Councilman Malley and Mayor Aufseeser have expressed their concern with the increase of traffic the Transit Village will bring to our streets coupled with overburdening our schools. Their voices have been absent when it comes to what this multi-family project will do to Route 79? Wouldn't this project be better delayed? Do you really think these residents will shop in Matawan? Or will they shop at Stop N Shop, Shop Rite in Aberdeen?

Executive Session - Per a recent article in the a local newspaper, executive sessions seem to be misused. In Matawan alone it appears there is an executive session prior to each meeting, at times following meetings. Makes you wonder what is the closed door sessions all about.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Welcome to Matawan

What a disgrace! This is the vision you see when arriving in Matawan. Our historic train station is in shambles and condemned. Is this what you want visitors or for that matter is this what you want to see when in Matawan? Well, this is what you will be seeing without Redevelopment. It appears our present Borough Council doesn't see the urgency in moving forward. Whoever is funding the delay in our progress (Silver Oaks v. Matawan) is no friend to Matawan. If we look into this further as previously stated in our posts; what does Silver Oaks have to gain by appealing the decision of the Courts? Someone is obviously putting up the money for this developer to continue with this lawsuit, even though it has no merit. Developers are into making money, not litigation! It is astonishing that some people would take the time to stop Matawan from progressing.

Signs of the Times in Matawan