Sunday, November 30, 2008

Planning and Zoning Board Meeting 12/1/08 7:30


Planning & Zoning Board meeting on Monday, December1, 2008, 7:30pm at 201 Broad St. Matawan Borough Community Center. One of the topics to be discussed is to be the Big Blue House on Main Street. It seems there are many residents who oppose changing the zoning on this property in order to allow commercial use. The present owner would like to create office space in this beautiful Matawan treasure.

Comment: We oppose the change in zoning. We think with the surrounding residential homes it would affect the quality of life. Without a clear plan to keep the integrity of the home, it seems ludicrous to allow the zoning change. We would like to see a family purchase this home and restore it to its original beauty. It is a one of a kind treasure that should be saved for future generations. Sadly the previous owners stripped the home of its marble mantles, Tiffany doors,
even the wall scones were taken or sold, but restoration would not be impossible.
The Borough website has NOT been updated pertaining to the Planning & Zoning Board Agendas/Minutes. Therefore, the Agenda is still unknown and the Meeting Minutes from previous meeting have not been published. Optimistically, this will change soon.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Matawan Police Hold Toy & Food Drive

Taken from the Independent,11-20-08, written by Erin Stattel, Reporter.

Matawan Borough Police Department PBA Local 179 is holding its annual Toy and Food Drive. The drive will support Matawan area families in need during the holiday season. Toys should be new, in the box and unwrapped. The department is accepting toys for all ages. Donated food should only be nonperishables such as canned goods or boxed food items.

Collection boxes for donated goods are set up at several area businesses.

In Matawan, boxes are located at the police department headquarters at 150 Main St. and at Quick Chek, 60 Main St.

In Aberdeen, items can be deposited at Panther Press, 37 Lower Main St., ShopRite supermarket, Route 34, and at Stop & Shop, Route 34.

Residents who know of a family in need in the Matawan area and/or would like to donate to the toy and food drive should contact Matawan Borough Police Department Patrolman Andrew Marsala at 732-290-2020, ext 318.
Thanks to the Matawan Police Department for not only protecting and serving Matawan, but for caring so much for its residents.

We urge everyone to contribute to help those in need. Afterall, isn't that what Christmas is all about.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Folow Up Borough Council Mtg 11-18-08

Fred Carr, Matawan Borough Administrator resigned. The vote to accept his resignation was as follows: Bunyon, Cannon, Clifton, Mullaney voted yes. Councilman Malley abstained and Councilman Mendes was not present. Contrary to other Blogger's reports, Councilman Malley abstained as Mr. Carr has a family member who works for Malley. We wish Mr. Carr the best in his future endeavors. Under the current financial constraints it would be a good idea to go back to hiring a part time Borough Administrator.

Finances - Resolution 08-11-35 - Emergency Temporary Appropriation - Allows the moving of funds from unused line items, i.e. Historic Sites etc., to pay down some of the health care debt. We do not believe this will eliminate the current deficit, but it will hopefully reduce it.

Invoices presented for August and September 2008 and approved for payment from Ansell, Zaro, Grimm, & Aaron, Borough Attorney totalled $16,049.38.

Dog & Cat licensing - Ordinance 08-25 - Chapter XII - Animal Control - This will make licensing for dogs & cats set at a rate of $10.00 per animal. The introduction of licensing cats will be required in 2009.

Leaf Collection - Councilman Mullaney reported that leaf collection workers are removing leaves every day, weather permitting. Any questions regarding leaf pick up should be directed to Councilman Mullaney.

Privilege of the Floor - Several residents spoke. Residents from Lakeside Drive who were advised to take attend the Planning & Zoning Board meetings to discuss their issues. A resident along with her Contractor stated the Building Dept. has been very helpful, however, due to Inspectors work load cannot get to their inspections for 3 months.

All in all the meeting went quickly. Two more to go prior to the new Council being sworn in. We hope the transition goes smoothly.

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

Monday, November 10, 2008

Veterans Day-Thank a Veteran

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 is Veterans Day.

A day to remember all those who have served and those who continue to serve our great Country.

Recently we have taken the opportunity to thank a Veteran every opportunity we see. It will never make up for the Viet Nam Veterans who were treated injudiciously. It is our way of letting all our Veterans know how much we realize and appreciate the sacrifices made and continue to make on our behalf.

Let's remember tomorrow and every chance we get THANK A VET!

God Bless and keep all of them safe.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Freeholder Robert D. Clifton

Among those inducted into St John Vianney High School Hall of Honor and Athletic Hall of Fame was Matawan's own, Robert D. Clifton. Mr. Clifton was inducted into its Hall of Honor for Distinguished Alumni Service. An Awards Dinner was held November 8th, 2008, at the Reception Center in Matawan. The following page is taken from the Program.
Graduated 1987
Distinguished Alumni Service Award

Rob Clifton was born and raised in Matawan, where he attended local elementary schools and graduated from St. John Vianney High School in 1987. He earned a bachelor's degree in political science at Rider University, Lawrenceville, NJ, and a master's degree in political science at the University of Richmond, VA.

Rob was the Mayor of Matawan Borough from 1996 until 2005. In addition, he served on the borough's unified Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment, the Board of Health, and the Monmouth County Board of Drug & Alcohol Abuse Services. He also served as chairman of the Bayshore Conference of Mayors.

He has been employed by Comcast Cable Corp. as Director of Government and Community Affairs since 2001. Prior to that, he was Director of Industry Relations for the New Jersey Pavement and Asphalt Association, where he acted as liaison between the trade association and municipalities throughout the state regarding road improvement issues. He also served as Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and a legislative aide to former Assemblyman Michael P. Arnone.

Mr. Clifton was elected to the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders in 2004. In his first term as a Freeholder, Rob oversaw the Department of Human Services, Health and Transportation, and as such served as liaison to the following county departments and agencies: County Board of Health, Tuberculosis Control Unit, County Adjuster, Health Care Facilities, County Historical Commission, Human Relations Commission, Department of Human Services, which includes the Division of Transportation and Senior Citizen and Disabled Transportation Advisory Committee, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services, Social Services, Mental Health Board, Employment and Training, Workforce Investment Board, Office on Disabilities, Office on Aging, Human Services Advisory Council, Office of Veterans Interment Services, and Youth Services Commission.

Freeholder Clifton is serving his second three-year term on the Board of Chosen Freeholders, having been re-elected on November 6, 2007. Currently, Freeholder Clifton, is Deputy Director of the Board, oversees the Department of Finance and Administration. In this role he oversees a $475 million budget. He also sits on the Board of the United Way of Monmouth County.
Rob Clifton and his wife, Tracy, reside in Matawan with their two sons, R.J. and Jack.

Congratulations Rob for a notable achievement. Keep up the good work. You have made Matawan proud.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Follow Up Borough Council Mtg 11-6-08

Well people if you thought the pre-election Council Meeting was short, the post-election Council Meeting was long and filled with more politicking than any resident could bear. But bear it we did!

On the upside, a Troop of Boy Scouts were present earning themselves Badges for their attendance. The Mayor asked them to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Privilege of the Floor-Several residents spoke their concerns regarding the deficit, purchasing signs for the Parks by the Recreation Commission, the hopes that the Councilmen-elect will "hit the ground running," the lack of the Matawan Parks not being handicapped accessible and a Volunteer Fireman who was fired and felt he was treated unjustly. It was interesting to note the Recreation Commission unanimously voted no to utilizing the monies from their events to make the Parks accessible to the handicapped. If one handicapped child/adult is denied access to our Parks someone must speak up for them. What good are pretty signs denoting a Park if one child/adult is denied access to it because of their handicap? Maybe the signs should also read, NOT HANDICAPPED ACCESSIBLE.

The Volunteer Fireman spoke at length about the injustice he has suffered. It seems he may have done himself a disservice. Mr. Aaron, Borough Attorney explained he was not sure if the Fireman jeopardized his request for an impartial review by the Council by reading his statement. Accordingly, the Fireman was instructed to continue to follow the proper procedures as outlined by the rules and regulations. We found this whole matter to be disconcerting as this was not the first time this Fireman has had issues with the Borough Volunteer Fire Department. We will continue to follow this matter to its conclusion, if possible.

The Agenda items were eventually voted on with no surprises. Penalties for the Parks was established and can now be enforced by Matawan Police Dept.

2008 Budget - There seemed to be some discrepancies regarding the 2008 Budget deficit and the dollar amount that was transferred. Councilman Cannon originally stated he thought the deficit would be reduced to zero. Mayor Buccellato stated he thought we had borrowed from the 2009 Budget to the tune of $100,000. to accomplish this reduction. Councilman Cannon then amended his statement. We believe the deficit was lowered but to what extent we are not sure. We are not sure what the deficit will be by December 31st. It would be great if everyone talked straight so we, the residents, could decipher what they are saying. We will follow up on the Budget and keep you posted.

Matawan Police Dept. - The Resolution for the Police Chief to Undertake Preliminary Interviews for Class I Officers was passed. Councilman Mendes stated the Police Chief cut the Police Dept. Budget by $40,000. which constitutes a give back to the Budget. Kudos to the Chief.

Hiring of Attorney for and on Behalf of the Board of Fire Officers for the Borough of Matawan. This relates to the Fireman previously mentioned. The amount authorized was limited to $2,000. The Attorney will only be utilized if needed.

THINK about this.......there was more discussion and debate on the amount authorized of $2,000. for the attorney than there was over awarding a no bid contract to Maser Consulting of $300,000+. This is an example of why we needed a Council who would prioritize appropriately. A little late to "pinch pennies."

Let's see less politicking and more action on the part of the Council. Keep in mind you are working for the residents of Matawan.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Matawan Borough Council Mtg 11/6/08 @ 7:30pm

Borough Council meeting tonight at 7:30pm. A rather lengthy Agenda this evening.
Some, not all of the Resolutions for the Council are:

Old Business:
Resolution 08-09-42: Approving Funds for Emergency Gravelly Brook Park.

New Business:
Resolution 08-11-10: Borough of Matawan Office Hours
Resolution 08-11-13: Authorizing the Refund of Vendor Fees for the Matawan Day Celebration
Resolution 08-11-14: Resolution Authorizing the Chief Financial Officer to pay $4,750. to Signs by J.K. for the fabrication and installation of Signs for Terhune Park, Freneau Park, Clinton Street Park, Gravelly Brook Park, and Ravine Drive Park. Pursuant to the Terms and Conditions of Proposal #317, dated August 28, 2008.

Comment: As the Budget permits want to see Matawan Parks accessible to the handicapped.
Perhaps Matawan could seek out Grants.

Resolution 08-11-16: Authorizing Police Chief to Undertake Preliminary Interviews for Staffing of Police Department.
Resolution 08-11-17: Authorizing the Borough of Matawan to Enter into a Professional Services Contract with Maser Consulting, P.A. for the Mill Road Sanitary Sewer Extension.
Resolution 08-11-18: Authorizing Borough Engineer to Advertise to Accept Bids - Mill Road Sanitary Sewer Installation.
Resolution 08-11-20: Authorizing the Retention of Joseph D. Yussouf, Esq. as Counsel for and on Behalf of the Board of Fire Officers for the Borough of Matawan.

Ordinance 08-17:
An Ordinance to Fix and Determine the Salaries and Wages of Officers, Management, Supervisory Personnel and General Employees not Represented by an Organized Bargaining Unit and Employed by the Borough of Matawan, Monmouth County, New Jersey.

Consent Agenda
: New businesses seeking Approval of Business Licenses in Matawan are:
Invitations A La Carte, Jackson Hewitt, Philippine Island.
Hope to see you there.......

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

And the winners are Tom Fitzsimmons & Joe Urbano

Congratulations Tom Fitzsimmons & Joe Urbano,Matawan's Councilmen elect. The Borough Council has a tough road ahead.

It's time to put politics aside and work together to make Matawan the jewel of New Jersey.

Election Day Polls Open 6am - 8pm

Do not forget to VOTE! Every day we are thankful to be an American. On Election Day we are proud to exercise our right to vote. One of the things we are proud of is we have instill the importance of voting to our children. Oh, we have heard the naysayers, who claim their vote doesn't count. As you all may recall, we in Matawan had a Special Election because EVERY VOTE DOES COUNT!

Don't be complacent, get out and vote!

We would not endorse any Presidential candidate as we want to keep this blog strictly for Matawan. Based on our observations at Matawan Borough Council meetings, we support TOM FITZSIMMONS AND JOE URBANO for Matawan Borough Council. We need people who will cut the Budget and eliminate unnecessary spending. We don't believe it will be easy, but we need a strong Council who can make the tough decisions and will bring Matawan forward. Adding these two men to the Council will help get Matawan back on track and out of the red.
Hope to see you at the polls.....we will be the one waving the flag..................................................

God Bless America!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Matawan Planning & Zoning Board Meeting @ 7:30pm

There is a Planning & Zoning Board meeting tonight at 7:30pm at the Matawan Borough Community Center, 201 Broad St. Although there is no information regarding the Agenda for this meeting we believe it pertains to the Big Blue House on Main Street.

The current owner wants to change the zoning so he can redesign it into offices. Nearby residents are opposed to rezoning for quality of life issues. The Historical Society is opposed to rezoning as the home is of historical significance. It is a beautiful home which has been neglected and it would be an asset to Matawan if kept residential. If someone, and we are sure they are out there, who loves to restore old homes had the opportunity it could be brought back to its former glory.

Some residents wanted to see the Train Station torn down. Well look at it now. A new coat of paint brings it back. Once the interior is renovated we are confident it can be put to good use as a historical treasure.

If keeping this Matawan treasure residential is important to you, please attend this meeting. Let your voices be heard!

Making Matawan Parks Friendly to Handicapped

Matawan Recreation Commission is holding its Annual Turkey Trot & Fitness Walk on Saturday, November 29, 2008. Registration : 8am, Race time: 10am. Where: Matawan Community Center 201 Broad Street.
Proceeds to benefit Matawan Parks.

The last request to utilize funds by the Recreation Commission was for signage for the parks. While this is a wonderful idea to beautify Matawan, a thought comes to mind. Matawan Parks are NOT handicap friendly. When financially possible (aware of Matawan's Budget deficit) don't you think people would be better served by making our parks accessible to the handicapped? While signs are pretty, parks are for people, all the people. Something to think about as the Recreation Commission wants the proceeds from this event earmarked for Matawan Parks only.
As the head of this event and Recreation Committee is the prominent Physical Therapist, Michael Mullaney, we are sure he would agree with us.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Letter from Jim Carney, Matawan Aberdeen Softball League

The following letter has been circulating via email. It contains information we believe should be shared.

Dear Matawan Aberdeen softball parents,

I normally do not get involved in local politics, yet a recent flyer sent out by the two incumbent Matawan Councilmen seeking re-election has forced me to.

As you may remember, late in 2007 and early 2008 representatives from the league appeared before the Matawan Borough Council to request that a small portion of Hourihan Field, located adjacent to Borough Hall, be dedicated to use by the our league solely for girls softball. To make a long story short, the council majority threw up every roadblack they possibly could to keep this from happeneing and ultimately forced us to pay half the cost of the field, depleting almost every dollar we had in our savings account.

You can imagine my surprise when I received a flyer for the two incumbent councilmen which included among heir successes building a girls softball field and negotiating a 50% reduction in costs for the project. For these two gentlemen to take credit for something which they tried to stop from happening, and take pride in the fact that they forced us to pay almost every dollar we had to get this field done for our girls is disgusting. When you take into consideration that the council is almost 500,000 over budget this year, its even more insulting. Apparently they found lots of important things to spend money on, but a softball field for 7 and 8 year old girls wasnt one of them.

Tom Fitzsimmons and Joe Urbano are running for Borough Council this year and I urge you to vote for them and send a message to the people who played politics with a softball field for our kids. Again, I'm sorry for getting political, but this just made me so mad, I had to say something.

Jim Carney

Note: This is exactly how it appears in the email.