Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dictatorship in Matawan

When one politician decides that they know what is best for you, whether you agree or not, we become a dictatorship, not a Borough. I'm tired of listening to certain politicians in this Borough making decisions, whether ethical, whether questionable or most importantly whether legal. Under the guise of "knowing what is best. " Actions like having a local contractor do the concrete at the Jackson St. Park. Did this contractor actually donate this to the Borough? Or is this going to be another situation under the category of "payment of bills" they cover up the purchase of a $2,000. laptop for the Mayor to access her emails? We have no transparency in this administration and one can't help but wonder what has gone on that we haven't found out yet. Is this administration and Mayor Aufseeser headed down a road we taxpayers will pay for in the end? What do you expect from the politicians in Matawan? What are the real reasons for their actions? Is it to better themselves, relatives, friends financially or is it really for the betterment of Matawan and its residents. Are there actions for the "common good" or motivated by personal gain? How many items are being kept from the citizens of Matawan?
Why isn't a listing of bills being paid available to the public at the Council meetings?

These are just some things to think about now that election time is here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

More news on the Day Laborer Issue

Boro seeks NJT's OK to relocate day laborers Council wants attorney general's opinion on registration proposal BY KAREN E. BOWES Staff Writer

"... I really don't think it's the municipality's job to go out and document people... " - William Malley Councilman MATAWAN - Plans to move day laborers from in front of the 7-Eleven to an unused portion of the train station made headway last week.
On Sept. 18 the Borough Council voted to write to NJ Transit asking if the railroad agency would allow the day laborers to congregate on the northbound side of the tracks. Councilman Paul Buccellato proposed the idea, saying vehicles that stop to pick up the day laborers are causing a traffic problem in the busy intersection of Route 516 and High Street.
Borough Attorney Pasquale Menna will pen the letter to NJ Transit.
"The council voted to direct Mr. Menna to prepare a request to NJ Transit to help with the safety and hazardous conditions that presently exist on the west side of the train tracks," Buccellato said Monday. "This request is to allow the workers to assemble on the east side of the tracks near the old white building."
Buccellato also suggested that the workers be given photo identification cards as part of a voluntary registration program through the police department.

The Matawan Borough Council must get permission from NJ Transit to use a portion of the Aberdeen-Matawan Train Station as an area for day laborers to await potential employers. "The second vote was taken to have Mr. Menna write a letter to the state Attorney General's Office to get a ruling on whether business registration of the workers could be enacted," he said.
While the idea to write to NJ Transit passed unchallenged, Councilmen William Malley and Joseph Mullaney both voted against the idea of asking the attorney general about registration cards. Council members Debra Buragina and Buccellato voted in favor of seeking the attorney general's opinion. With council members Meghan Mullaney and Michael Cannon both absent, Mayor Mary Aufseeser broke a tie by voting favorably.
Malley explained on Monday why he voted no.
"I understand the chief feels it's a quality of-life issue," Malley said on Monday. "I did talk to the borough attorney and the chief about it. The 7- Eleven is private property. I just worry that we'll end up just moving the problem from one place to another. I really don't think it's the municipality's job to go out and document people, you know. I think it's going to end up being another expense the municipality can't afford."
Buccellato responded to Malley's comment.
"Obviously, he misunderstood my proposal," Buccellato said. "It was always my intention to establish a nominal fee to cover the borough's expenses. I don't understand why anyone would not want to make an attempt at addressing an obvious safety issue that is presently existing."
In addition to traffic, Buccellato said there are now health dangers associated with the current location.
"The board of health has been on that site and has issued a notice to clean the rear portion of the property," Buccellato said.
He added this incident occurred last week.
"Hopefully New Jersey Transit will help and assist the borough with this endeavor to eliminate a hazardous condition," Buccellato said.

MA take on this article. Councilman Malley and Councilman Mullaney originally voted no on this issue. Why you ask? Maybe they don't care that the health and well being of Matawan residents are of critical importance, not to mention the safety issue. Maybe they are waiting for some one to be injured or worse yet killed. Maybe they don't care about persons urinating and defecating on land that is parallel to the Lake. Perhaps they blindly object to any solution Councilman Buccellato may have because they didn't think of it. I don't know what they are thinking. Councilman Malley what does "quality of life issue" mean to you? Doesn't that show there is a problem. Perhaps if Councilman Malley and Councilman Mullaney lived closer to the problem they would look for solutions. Perhaps if Councilman Malley didn't shop in C-Town and Councilman Mullaney frequent C-Town, they would go further down Main Street to see a serious health problem. By the way, isn't Councilman Malley a Union member? Strange he would cross a picket line of any kind. Let's work together to improve Matawan. Does it matter who came up with the solution?

As to expenses in Matawan, Councilman Malley what about buying the Mayor a laptop computer for $2,000. (so she could check her emails), what about giving $700. to the Matawan Alliance and what about giving money to the Boy Scouts. I guess the fact that the Supreme Court of the US in a decision handed down, re Boy Scouts determined the Boy Scouts discriminate, didn't effect your thinking on the matter. All this was done prior to the 2007 Budget being adopted. It appears that whatever Councilman Mullaney wants, Councilman Malley does. Councilman Malley try thinking for yourself and the constituents that voted for you.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Update Council Meeting 8-18-07

This is only a partial update on the meeting. However, it is of importance that Matawan is aware that there may be a solution to the day laborer situation.

Robert Heinlein once said: “There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him” Sounds like Councilman “Buddy” Mullaney? “ Buddy” is still dictating what we residents have made it obvious we do not want, C-Town in Matawan.

He was pushing to have the parking lot on the corner of Broad and Little Street seal coated and striped. Good idea, if we had money in the Budget. My question is why now? Is it because it’s election time? Is he trying to help C-Town? You decide?

Relocation of Municipal Court -At the Borough Council meeting of 9-18-07, several Resolutions were tabled again. Poor planning is my take on the Court relocation when the bids came in $60K higher than The Administrator told the public. The $170K construction price does not include floor coverings or furniture. Well its back to the drafting table on this project, as well as others. This seems to be the way for Matawan under the current Administration.

7-11 Issues - On a positive note. The Mayor reported the Health Department visited 7-11 and informed them that they must clean up the area. I guess she realized the election is around the corner and that she better do something about an obvious health condition perpetrated by the Day Laborers. I speculate that Councilman Malley did not mean the entire site of the 7-11 when he stated at the last September 4, 2007 Council meeting that the 7-11 passed a health inspection and is very clean.

Day Laborers - Finally, someone on the Council came up with a possible solution to the dangerous, unsafe conditions caused by employers hiring/picking up day laborers at the 7-11 parking lot and along Main St. In the interest of public safety, Councilman Paul Buccellato spoke about an ordinance in Matawan already on the books requiring businesses in the Borough to register and submit to a background check. Buccellato suggested the following:

Idea #1 -All Day Laborers voluntarily register and submit to a background check on criminal activity. After which they are to given ID cards. Buccellato called for the Council to request Mr. Menna, Borough Attorney, to reach out to the NJS Attorney General’s office to ascertain whether registering Day Laborers was contrary to any Federal or State laws. For some strange reason, Councilmen Mullaney & Malley, first abstained, eventually deciding to oppose the idea... Why you ask…. can you say C-Town, boys and girls? The fact that Councilman Mullaney lives clear on the other side of town and as such one would wonder whether this would effect his property values.

Idea #2 – Request Mr. Menna, Borough Attorney, to reach out to the NJ Transit to request that we use the Train Station (where the white building is located) as a “safe” location for Day Laborers to be hired and picked up for day work.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Borough Council Meeting Tonight 7:30pm

Election time is here and the Administration has decided to move on items they have been leaving dormant till now. What a surprising "political" move! There is a resolution Awarding a Bid for Alterations to Matawan Municipal Community Center-Municipal Court Room. Ironically, there has been no mention of Bids prior to this award. One wonders where the money is coming from and how was the selection made. Another Resolution Authorizing Architect to Prepare Bid Specifications for the Window Replacement-Memorial Wing-Matawan Municipal Community Center. This appears to be a Wing that is unoccupied at present. Unless they intend on moving the Police Department to the Community Center. If that is the case, has the Police Chief been advised or asked for his recommendations? Or is this a case of the Administration dictating the Police requirements? Wouldn't the placement of windows be an important matter when it comes to a Police Station? Who determines whether the Police Department requires windows? Don't you think before hiring an Architect to Prepare a Bid for Window Replacement, someone should find out if windows are necessary? In the alternative, why isn't the Police Department being moved? Our Police Department have been working in unsafe conditions for quite some time now. The building has been cited with many violations and now this administration is finally taking action. Just in time for elections.

Oh just for laughs the Council will be Approving Meeting Minutes of August 15, 2006. That is not a mistake.....August 15, 2006! Don't bother to go to the website to read any of the past meeting minutes...they still aren't published yet. Oh yes, we are hiring a full time Deputy Borough Clerk, where is that money coming you think we will get caught up on the meeting minutes with a Borough Clerk and a Deputy Clerk? Time will tell.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Picketing Continues at C-Town/The American Way

The following is copied from a flyer handed out at the C-Town on Main Street by the Local Union Picketers. Thank you to the person/s who sent this photo. Their confidence will be protected.

Demand More From Store Owners in Your Community
It is very common for businesses to believe that they can open stores in your community and charge higher prices just because of the neighborhood and the store's location. These business owners also believe that they can hire people from your community, not pay them a "living wage" and not offer them basic benefits.

This is your community and you should demand that these workers are given basic benefits that all workers in the United States deserve to have.

Comments from Matawan Advocate

A group of Borough officials/business people/residents shoved C-Town down the throats of the citizens of Matawan. It was not a popular choice although they would have you believe it was for your own good. A number of residents will not step foot in this store either because of their strong Union beliefs, they don't like C-Town in general, can find better prices or C-Town doesn't carry the products they require. Whatever, the reason, this is America and we can shop where we like, patronize the stores we like, and most of all we don't like to be told "where to shop." The irony is there is a rumor that a local Union member, with strong Union ties, has been seen in C-Town shopping. No one is jumping all over him/her with questions of loyalty. A certain element in Matawan feel they have the right to ask residents questions like....Why don't you shop at C-Town? Why don't you go into C-Town and look around? Why don't you support the owner of the C-Town? Simply put, WE, THEY, I DON'T WANT TO! Last time I checked this is AMERICA and it is the American way to have a choice!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Day Laborers at 7-11

From Sametta Thompson,Asbury Park Press Reporter addressed to:

Matawan Residents:

I am interested in writing a story about the large crowd of day workers that gather in front of the 7-11 on Main Street every morning. The story will focus on the traffic issues and touch on how it affects the people that live in that area and their property value. If you know anyone who wants to talk on the record, please email or call me.

The story is not about them being Mexican or if they may be illegal (we don't know that for sure and it could be any type of crowd. For example, students, etc. you see, you can't tell people in this day and age they can't stand some where because of what they look like. But you can say something because of what they are doing there. In this case, loitering. 7-11 needs to do something. I think the workers pay him to stand there. I am sure people have complained to him. It's about the day laborers loitering in front of 7-11 and the fact that that area already looks horrible and the owner is allowing it to go on. The Borough can't do much about it because it's privately owned. I have spoken to a few people and they just think it's an "illegal" issue. I don't think Matawan residents want to see so many people (regardless of who) hanging in one spot like that.

Care to comment on the record, contact me.
P.S. I am also a local resident, so I know what residents are referring to.

Sametta M. Thompson
News Reporter
Asbury Park Press, Keyport Bureau
(732) 888-2619

The Matawan Advocate is pleased to print this as it gives the residents of Matawan a voice which would be far reaching. Matawan along with other areas share this problem. Collectively we could possibly come up with a solution.

Thank you Sametta Thompson and the Asbury Park Press for realizing our plight.

More on the Day Laborers-Not Suitable For Children

The Matawan Aberdeen Observer has a photo of the class (class-less) day laborers at 7-11. Are these the type of people you want working in Matawan, in or near your home and children. I do not! Please note the photo is sensitive and not suitable for young people. I applaud the courage of the MA Observer for taking the photo.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Borough Council Meeting Update

Jackson Street Park - Mayor Aufseeser stated at last night's meeting that a Matawan Contractor, Florin Lupo, donated the labor and materials to pour new concrete at the Park. Mr. Lupo owns properties in Matawan, ie the former Joe Pepe's Restaurant, the old movie theater, a portion of which is occupied by Mullaney & Associates (a blood relative of Councilman Mullaney and Councilwoman Mullaney.) A resolution by the Mayor and Council acknowledging Lupo's generosity should be presented. The downside to this matter is does Mr. Lupo expect anything from the Borough.....perhaps moving one of his application dates up on the agenda at the Planning/Zoning Board. While not illegal, would it be considered an accomodation, a favor.... Hmmmm.... Word is that Lupo did provide the Laborers. However, did not pay for the concrete. The question is who paid for the concrete....if not the Borough...then WHO? If anyone has any information regarding the name of the party or parties who paid for the concrete, please contact the Matawan Advocate. There seems to be some shady dealings going on in Matawan. Although the Mayor said Lupo paid for the work and materials at the Jackson Street Park....people in the Borough have serious doubts.

Redevelopment - Councilman Mike Cannon stated the Redevelopment Committee met with the Planner and we can expect to see some type of Plan for Redevelopment soon. We were promised this months ago and are still waiting. When we get our new property tax bills in January 2008, following revaluation, you will realize redevelopment is necessary if Matawan is to survive.

Illegal aliens - This situation comes up again and again not just in our Borough but throughout the Country. Fact is the Federal Government does nothing about this problem, which is growing in epic proportions. We can only deal with our Borough. Last night's meeting brought up other concerns. Health Department concerns were raised by residents. While the gathering of day laborers at the 7-11 on Main St is permitted by the owner of the 7-11, the question of toilet facilities goes unanswered. Where do the day laborers who could be there for hours and hours go to relieve themselves? Do they use the back of the 7-11 building which is parallel to the Lake? If they use the land behind the building...does their waste eventually end up in the Lake? Are they using vacant land in Matawan as a public toilet? The Mayor and Councilman Malley do not think this is an issue. Residents do not agree. Residents are concerned!

Borough Personnel - In a strange turn of events the Council voted on the hiring of John T. Quinn as Construction Official/Zoning Officer/Building Inspector. Councilwoman Meghan Mullaney and her father, Councilman "Bud" Mullaney, objected to the appointment. Councilwoman Mullaney is the Chairperson of the Personnel, Finance & Education Committee, wasn't it her job to have done her research prior to the meeting? It appears Councilpersons Mullaney have someone else in mind for the position. The question that comes to mind is, Does Mullaney want to control Matawan completely? Perhaps this Borough is becoming Mullaneyville. While applauding the efforts, I question the way things are being done. There are certain procedures that must be followed and it appears some people think it doesn't apply to them.

Another aspect of the illegal situation is property values. Coming into Matawan Borough you are greeted by a rundown Train Station surrounded by boarded up businesses and then the 7-11 filled with day laborers. Oh yeah that makes people want to move to Matawan. Women can't go to the 7-11 without being accosted by day laborers either looking for work or passing remarks. Would you send your daughter to the 7-11 for a quart of milk....I sure as hell wouldn't. As long as the owner of the 7-11 allows laborers to gather on his property this problem will persist. His concern is not for Matawan, but for his wallet. Money talks! Matawan is going green, not in the sense of ecology, but in GREED.


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Matawan Borough Council Meeting Tonight 7:30pm

Matawan Borough Council Meeting tonight at 7:30pm at 201 Broad St. Perhaps we will get answers to the Jackson St Park mystery, perhaps we will find out what happened to the Recreation Dept. grant, which appears to have been lost, perhaps we will hear about some progress being made for the Redevelopment Plan, perhaps we will hear about the progress on the dams, perhaps we will hear nothing but rhetoric and political posturing.
The photo on the left is of a closed business by the Railroad Station. This is what our Borough looks like without Redevelopment.

I'm a believer...perhaps a dreamer....I always hope that at one of these meetings progress will be made by our Borough Council. Only time will tell. See you at the Council Meeting.