Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Matawan Borough Council "Big Brother Complex"

Is Matawan getting what it bargained for when looking at our Borough Council? Having several issues with the Council, couldn't help but wonder what the people who voted for them think? Do they feel that their elected officials are voting in the residents best interests? Do you think they know how to correct the deficit facing the Borough. Is Matawan headed for bankruptcy? Do you believe an inexperienced Councilman (with good intentions) is heading up the Redevelopment Committee. Several Councilmen have some kind of conflict of interest. Councilman Mullaney sits on the Board of a local hospital with Vic Scudiery (who owns property at the Redevelopment Site), Councilman Mendes works for a family owned business also located at the Site. Sounds like some of the Council will have to abstain from any vote on the Transit Village. Should Matawan have more professional/educated people on Council in order to produce a balanced budget and make decisions that are prudent? Or do we just need people who don't have their own agendas, political or otherwise? Please don't be redundant and blame the previous administration for all Matawan's woes. At this point, let's hear some solutions, let's work together to bring Matawan to a better place.

We don't claim to be know-it-alls, but we do criticize the Council members when they act, in our opinion, in a manner that is not to Matawan's advantage. We do research and give our opinions based on that research.

Observations at Council Meetings show a total disregard of residents and their questions or opinions. Sometimes Council members are actually rude to one another, interrupting and making caustic remarks to each other. One Council Member in particular becomes rude and disrespectful when questioned. Can you imagine that! An elected official actually forgot that he was elected and can be voted out of office just as quickly. There is always the thought/rumor that he will not run again for office and thus doesn't really "give a damn" what residents have to say. Sound like "Big Brother," you bet! The attitude that they are all knowing and the residents know nothing is just absurd.

It is time that the Council treated residents and each other with respect and decorum.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Council Meeting Update 7-15-08

The Borough Council meetings are becoming more political posturing and less dealing with the Budget issues facing the Borough. It appears that a certain Councilman is busy running for office at each meeting. Apparently, he is the spokesperson for the party at meetings and is being fed his script by another Councilman. Ironically no one has criticized his actions which are apparent to all. Even with a short agenda, this is one reason for the meetings to run late.

Budget Deficit- In an effort to close the barn door after the horse got out, the Council voted for a 4-day work week to be reviewed in September. The entire matter caused much posturing by the Council.

Councilman Malley suggested the Borough employees contribute to their health benefits. While an interesting idea, how do you get employees to give up what they already have in paid benefits? As Councilman Malley is a member of a Union, this sounds funny coming from him. It didn't work with the School Teachers, did it? To the best of our knowledge the Personnel Committee still has two unsigned employee contracts. Perhaps they should concentrate on concluding the contract negotiations before taking away benefits from other workers. Councilman Malley, Councilman Mullaney and Councilman Cannon are the Personnel Committee.

Councilman Mullaney suggested looking into solar power as a way to cut down expenses. Good long term idea. Can we afford to consider this idea at this time?

Matawan needs budget cuts NOW. We also need a plan for the Budget 2009 so as not to repeat the mistake of last years ineffective Budget.

There was no mention of renovating the Police Department Building at 150 Main Street. With no money in the budget, it is no surprise. Although there was mention of a mandatory alarm system, the Mayor asked the Council to take some action and the Council decided to do nothing at this time.

Transit Village - It's a go! Providing Silver Oaks doesn't take the decision to the NJ Supreme Court in 20 days. According to the Borough Attorney, Silver Oaks has 20 days to appeal. Only 5% of case appeals get to the Supreme Court. We can't help but wonder about those people who spread rumors about local council members ethics and how stupid those rumor mongers look now. Not one Court, but two decisions were reached in Matawan's favor.

Councilman Bunyon gave a brief description of the Silver Oaks v. Matawan case. He also mentioned the success of the July 4th fireworks. Bunyon also stated that as he went around the site people were telling him how it was the best fireworks in years. Kudos to Elizabeth Aguilar, Recreation Director, and her staff for a wonderful event.

Financial Aid - Trenton finally got the message from Sen. Joe Kyrillos, Assemblyman Sam Thompson, Assemblywoman Amy Handlin, Mayor Paul Buccellato and all the residents who wrote letters to Gov. Corzine. Matawan was given $200,000 in discretionary aid.

Sharkfest - On Saturday, August 16, 2008 from 5pm to 10pm, there will be a Sharkfest. Hope you all enjoy it, as your tax dollars are subsidizing the Matawan Alliance. The Council decided to go against the Special Events Committee's recommendation that the cost for Sharkfest be borne by the Matawan Alliance. Ironically, the Matawan Alliance claimed they would pay all expenses incurred by the Borough .This is where it gets good......BUT, Councilman Malley and Councilman Mullaney decided the taxpayers should pay the expenses. Of course, Councilman Mullaney and his wife are members of the Matawan Alliance. Mrs. Mullaney, on behalf of the Matawan Alliance, actually got up and thanked Councilman Malley and the Council for paying the expenses. Now this sounded like a well orchestrated move. First, Ms. Renata Bonelli, of the Matawan Alliance comes and makes an appeal to the Council, claiming they would pay all fees, then the two Council members decide it should be at taxpayers expense, then the wife of a Council member thanks the Council. Need we mention that no one outside of the Matawan Alliance has been shown their books. Once again the taxpayers have been hoodwinked. If the majority of taxpayers don't mind footing the bill for Sharkfest, then so be it, if not remember which of the Council members voted to spend your tax dollars at election time. That is what a democracy is all about.

As a side note: The Matawan Alliance is a New Jersey non-profit Corporation. It is not recognized as an IRS non profit corporation. Before contributing, please be guided accordingly.

Public Forum - A local Contractor, who does not live in Matawan, but does own buildings and works in Matawan spoke about the difficulties he has encountered in the Borough. Stating he improves the buildings in the Downtown area and works hard. It was mentioned by Councilman Mullaney that this Contractor donated concrete work for the Jackson St. Park in the amount of $12,000. which we believe is an exaggerated amount. No fault of Councilman Mullaney, as he is not a Contractor. Councilman Mullaney applauded the generousity of the Contractor. Members of the public also applauded his donation.

Several residents spoke at the meeting. However, one resident was treated rudely and was disrespected by one of the Councilmen. This wasn't the first time residents have been treated poorly simply for asking questions or disagreeing with the Council. Has this Councilman/President of the Council no ethics? What a poor example for Matawan's junior Council members. If the Council would have answered the question the first time it was asked, this whole matter would not have transpired. Or more than likely it would have. It is the right of every resident to question, without ridicule, the elected officials. In the words of former President Harry S. Truman, "If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen."

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

Thursday, July 17, 2008

New Business Hours for Matawan Borough

In an effort to conserve energy and lower costs the Borough Council has voted to conduct business Monday thru Thursday, closing on Friday. This will continue until September 2008 at which time the matter will be reviewed by the Council.

Effective July 21, 2008 the new business hours at The Matawan Borough Community Center at 201 Broad Street will be 7:30am till 5pm, Monday thru Thursday.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Charity Softball Game on Sat. 7/26 11am

Thanks to an article appearing in the Independent, written by Erin Stattel, we became aware of the Annual Softball Game and Barbecue picnic held by the Schoffel family in memory of Linda Schoeffel. It will be held at Gravelly Brook Park on July 26th at 11am. Raindate Aug. 2. Proceeds of this event will go to the American Lung Association.

This was not reported by Councilman Kevin Mendes, Chairman of the Police, Fire & Safety Committee, at last night's meeting. We think it is important to note the Matawan Police Dept. and Fire Departments play an important role in this charity event. As in many cases the Police & Fire Departments do not get enough recognition for the good things they do for the community. Kudos to them and to the Schoeffel Family.

The softball game will be played by the Matawan Police Dept. vs. Friends & Family of Linda Schoeffel. The Fire Dept. will be manning the Barbecue. Guess it's a fire thing. Needless to say having attended a few of the Fire Dept. cookouts, it should be something to look forward to enjoying. Other events will be face painting for the children, caricatures and music by local bands. Some really great items will be raffled off.

The American Lung Association will have a table with info on smoking cessation. Cornell Medical Center will be doing lung screenings at a discount price.

A suggested donation of $30 per person is requested. Further information can be obtained by calling MATTHEW SCHOFFEL AT 732 566 3335. Any donation will be going to a worthwhile cause. What a wonderful way of remembering Linda Schoeffel!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Borough Council/Workshop Mtg Starting @ 7:30pm

Matawan Borough Council Workshop will meet at 7:30pm. Following the Workshop meeting and beginning at 8:15pm, the Borough Council meeting will begin.

Agenda items for Workshop - a. Six month Budget Review
b. Humane Society Agreement for
extended Payment
c. Gas pricing
d. 150 Main Street Alarm
e. Tax Relief

Agenda for Council Meeting - We are sure their will be an announcement regarding the $200,000. in discretionary aid Matawan will be receiving from Trenton. Equally important is the appellate court's decision in Matawan's favor in the Silver Oaks v. Matawan Borough (which includes Council members). Let's hope this is the beginning of progress in Matawan and some much needed tax relief for its residents. Barring Silver Oaks dragging this on to the NJ Supreme Court, Matawan can move forward.

Under new business

Resolution 08-07-25 - Authorizing the Sharkfest.
Comment: We are happy to see the Sharkfest is back this year. If it doesn't cost the Borough's taxpayers any tax dollars we look forward to an enlightening event. From what we have heard from the Special Events Committee, their recommendation to the Council is this event is to cost the Borough nothing and all costs will be paid by the Matawan Alliance. Should the Council try to give the Matawan Alliance FREE services, i.e. Borough employee costs associated with the opening of the Community Center, Police & Safety, etc., this will beg the question: If the Matawan Alliance is using taxpayer dollars, why are their books not avaialble to the public. If it is good enough for the Girls Softball League and the Babe Ruth League, why is it that the Matawan Alliance has not to date made their books open to the public?

Other items are appointing Assistant Summer Program Recreation Director 2008, several contract awards for the Water & Sewer Department along with necessary business.

Hope to see you there............

Monday, July 14, 2008

Matawan Transit Village Wins AGAIN

At long last Matawan won in the appellate court today. The appellate division ruled that Matawan and its Council members did not act improperly. Silver Oaks lost another battle in Court today. that makes it Matawan 2, Silver Oaks 0. Let's hope Silver Oaks will not take this matter to the NJ Supreme Court and allow Matawan and its residents to move forward. Any other action on the part of Silver Oaks will be seen as another attempt to economically devastate Matawan and its residents.

We will be anxious to hear what the Mayor and Council have in mind to get this project going.

Matawan Borough Gets Financial Aid from Trenton

Kudos to Senator Kyrillos, Assemblyman Sam Thompson,Assemblywoman Amy Handlin, Mayor Paul Buccellato and the residents of Matawan for their tireless efforts to get Matawan the financial aid we needed from Trenton. Mayor Buccellato published a letter to Gov. Corzine to be sent by residents to emphasize Matawan's need for Trenton's financial aid. Well, the collective efforts of all got the Governor's attention. Matawan will receive $200,000. in discretionary aid. What that means to us is the Budget cannot be changed.

It is remarkable that we have such dedicated elected officials who were willing to fight the Trenton machine to help Matawan. Thanks to you all.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Fireworks at Lake Lefferts Tonight at 9pm


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Send in the Clowns

The Borough Council meetings are getting more like a circus than a productive meeting. Mr. Aaron, Borough Attorney must explain to council members over and over again the legal ramifications of their proposed actions. The Council members are so busy politicking, they don't listen. Gentlemen the election is not until November! Do you think you could work on the problems at hand and save the politicking for outside the meeting?

Sharkfest - Guess what? Ms. Bonelli of the Matawan Alliance made an appearance at last night's meeting. She was requesting immediate action on the part of the Council to allow the Matawan Alliance to hold Sharkfest. While there have been many inquiries about Sharkfest, the Council cannot act immediately. There is an Ordinance in Matawan established by former Mayor Aufseeser and passed by the Council that formed a Special Events Committee. All outside groups must apply and be reviewed by this Committee who in turn make their recommendation to the Council. Councilman Mullaney kept trying to circumvent the ordinance and Ms. Bonelli kept insisting that she needed an immediate response. Finally the Mayor told Ms Bonelli and the Council that he would not allow a vote as it would violate the law in the Borough! While he was previously quick to interrupt a resident by claiming we had a lengthy agenda, he encouraged Ms. Bonelli to continue to make her point, time was no problem then. Amusingly enough, when it comes to an issue the Councilman is supporting he has all the time in the world. Well we saw right through it! This was a well planned, orchestrated move. Could it be the entire event has been planned, commitments have been made, and it would embarrass the Matawan Alliance if they didn't get approval for the Sharkfest? Why else did Ms. Bonelli show up demanding approval for Sharkfest? Why else would Councilman Mullaney cut short a resident speaking? Was it so Ms. Bonelli could make her demands and then leave? Why else did Councilmen Malley and Mullaney try to push for a vote? Do they really think the people of Matawan are stupid and can't see what they are doing? In the words of Judge Judy, "Don't pee on my leg and tell me its raining."

For the record the Matawan Alliance sponsored events are well received in Matawan. We support any event that brings people to our Community and encourages business. We do hope the Borough can afford this event and the Special Events Committee can work quickly to reach a decision on their recommendation. More to follow...

Ghost Sighting - Did anyone else notice former Mayor Aufseeser slither in and out of last night's ceremony? She was sighted speaking with the Borough Attorney. Needless to say she didn't stay for the meeting. Wow, two ghosts in one night. The Matawan Alliance and Mary Aufseeser....

Street Sweeper - Councilman Mullaney reported the new street sweeper is expected to arrive in mid-August. We regret the Council didn't have the foresight to come up with an alternative plan until the new sweeper arrives. Residents have reported grass, small trees, dirt and debris on the streets. It has been reported residents are shoveling and sweeping the dirt into piles. Keep in mind you can't throw the street debris in trash bins for collection. Poor planning.

Sale of Former Health Dept., Broad Street - This sale has been postponed. There was only one bidder and there are legal issues regarding easements that must be investigated.

Dog Licenses - Councilman Cannon reported that the deadline for obtaining Dog Licenses is August 1, 2008. If you have a dog, please stop by the Matawan Borough Community Center at 201 Broad St and fill out a license application. You must have proof of rabies shots.

The way we see it the Council is getting distracted by non-urgent issues, i.e. Sharkfest and not concentrating on important matters. Borough employees who are working without a signed contract for 2 years, an alternative plan for keeping the Streets of Matawan clean, the water treatment plant, the feasibility of the 2008 Road Program to name just a few. The Budget is still pending...waiting to hear if we will receive financial aid from Trenton.

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

Changing of the Guard in Matawan

The Community, families, Matawan & local area Police, Fire & Safety Departments came together last night to celebrate the promotions in our Police Department. Mayor Buccellato prefaced the swearing in ceremony by giving a biography of each officer highlighting their careers and families. The Mayor also gave a brief history of the Matawan Police Department. It was impressive to learn the disintinguised and decorated history of the Police Officers currently serving Matawan. The Mayor thanked retired Chief Robert McGowan for his years of service to the people of Matawan. We all join the Mayor in wishing Chief McGowan good luck in his retirement.

Upon the completion of the Giving of the Oath to all officers, Chief James Alston, Matawan's 8th Police Chief, thanked the community, his officers, and families for their support.

May God watch over all of our Public Safety people and bless their families for the sacrifices they make.

It was a wonderful night in Matawan.