Monthly Archives: March 2009

Middletown Committeeman Sean Byrnes Confirms Monmouth County Freeholder Bid

After hearing the news earlier today that Middletown’s Sean Byrnes was going to seek the Monmouth County Democratic line for Freeholder in order to fill the vacancy left on the ticket by the sudden decision of Freeholder Director Barbara McMorrow not to seek re-election, I was stunned. I never expected it, I had never heard from Sean Byrnes or anyone else for that matter, that he ever considered or was even interested in higher office.

As one of two Democratic Committeeman currently serving on Middletown’s Township Committee (the other being Patrick Short), Sean Byrnes has made a true difference in bringing transparency and openness to Town Hall. It will be Middletown’s lose if Byrnes wins the open Freeholder seat in November.
I reached out to Committeeman Byrnes to ask if he had any comments about his intentions to seek the Democratic party line for the open Freeholder seat up for grabs.
Here is his reply:
“It is all happening a little too quickly. I wasn’t looking to be a candidate, but I was asked. I have mixed feelings. I am just starting to make change in Middletown and make progress. Part of me would like to continue on that path. On the other hand, sometime opportunities come suddenly and you have to be willing to take the plunge. It is far from certain I will get the nod at the convention, so we’ll see.”

“… I guess I would say that I have mixed feelings. I do have specific things I would like to accomplish in Middletown. I have just started the Strategic Planning Committee and the Recreation Committee to implement the Master Plan. I am looking forward to the working on those committees. I feel like I have been able to shift the focus and agenda of the Township Committee in the right direction, especially from a budget perspective, so I am reluctant to leave before completing that work. However, the County Government needs reform after so many years of one party control. While last year brought the winds of change to County Government, I don’t want to see us lose the opportunity to continue the changes that Barbara McMorrow and the Democratic Freeholders have started. If control slips back into Republican hands, then I believe we will have missed a significant opportunity for change for the better.”

Sean Byrnes will make a great Freeholder candidate, he is smart and always thinks first before answering a question. The man does his homework and believes that the “devil is in the details”. I can not think of another person in Monmouth County that would be a better candidate. I think that the Republican challenger, John Curley will have a very difficult road ahead of him if Byrnes is in fact chosen to lead the Monmouth County ticket on Saturday.
I wish him well in his efforts.


Filed under Barbara McMorrow, Freeholder Candidate, John Curley, Middletown, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Democrats, Patrick Short, recreation committee, Sean F. Byrnes, strategic planning committee

Middletown’s Sean Byrnes to Seek Freeholder Position in Monmouth County

I have a stunning announcement to make, one quite frankly that has taken me by surprise but am very glad to hear.

Middletown Democratic Committeeman, Sean Byrnes, will be seeking the Democratic Party line to run for Monmouth County Freeholder at the party’s convention on Saturday.  
Sean Byrnes will be seeking to fill the seat left open by Freeholder Director Barbara McMorrow,when she announced that she would not be seeking re-election this year due to health concerns. 
From what I have been told, the other notable in the race is former 11th District Assembly
candidate Mike Beeson, Ocean Township.
Whomever wins the support of the Monmouth County Democrats on Saturday, wether it is Sean Byrnes, Mike Beeson or some other as yet unnamed person, they will be facing off against last years  Republican challanger John Curley, who lost narrowly to Freeholder Amy Mallet.

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Filed under Amy Mallet, Barbara McMorrow, Freeholder Canidates, John Curley, Middletown, Mike Beeson, Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Sean F. Byrnes

Yet Another Example for Middletown to Follow In order to Reduce the Tax rate

Colts Neck has finialized it’s budget according to an article in the Asbury Park Press.

The budget, which will is to be adopted on April 29th calls for just a 1 cent increase to the municipal tax rate. 
Colts Neck Mayor Ben Forester blamed the increase on the decline in state aid :
“In general, the challenges faced by the Township Committee in preparing this year’s budget were much more on the revenue side, rather than appropriations,” Forester explained. “The continued erosion of state aid, less available surplus, lower interest rates and a slightly lower tax collection rate were mitigated by reductions in most budgets, less capital spending and the use of additional surplus to offset the tax increase.”
This just goes to show you that if you are willing to reduce spending  by looking for places in the budget that could be cut , as opposed to increasing or maintaining services such as Middletown, the need for huge tax increases to balance the budget would not be needed.
With a $7+million hole in this years budget, the Middletown GOP majority has to stop blaming others for the current mess the budget is in.  It’s time to cut  spending. if that means that residents may not be able to enjoy Park and Recreation events, or have to get to the tax office before well before closing, then so be it. If not, then residents will be looking at a double digit increase to the tax rate in Middletown.
Good job Colts Neck, now lets see if Middletown can follow your lead.


Filed under Budget, Budget Shortfall, Colts Neck, Middletown, Middletown GOP

Stopping The Presses For Good

Yesterday  on CBS’s Sunday Morning news program, Jeff Greenfield reported on the precarious position that the newspaper industry finds itself in with the advent of Internet.

Many people are aware the that printed word is dying.  Newspapers all across the country are stopping their presses and  turning off the lights as more and more readers get their news almost instantly from online news aggregator, blogs and electronic copies of their favorite newspapers. 
It was an interesting look at an industry that is slowly dying, but trying desperately to reinvent itself and remain relevant. It’s weel worth a watch if you missed it. 

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Filed under CBS News, demise of newspapers, Jeff Greenfield, stopping the presses, Sunday Morning

President Obama’s Weekly Address: 3/28/09

The President addresses the people of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota as they face down disastrous flooding. He speaks of what the government is doing, but also stresses that times of crisis like this are reminders of the need and opportunity Americans have to keep their dedication to service.

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Filed under FEMA, Mid-West flooding, President Obama, weekly address

Corzine on Morning Joe & HardBall

If you missed Governor Corzine on Morning Joe or on HardBall earlier today, here are the videos. It’s worth a look, he talks about the banks, interest rates, Obama’s budget plan and the economy and a few other topics.

Corzine On Morning Joe

Corzine on HardBall

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Filed under Central New Jersey, Chuck Todd, Gov. Jon Corzine, HardBall with Chris Matthews, Morning Joe


Press Release

Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12) today announced that Monmouth County and the townships of Manalapan, Marlboro, and Middletown will receive energy grants through the economic recovery bill that Congress passed and President Obama signed last month. The funding comes from Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, which supports efforts to reduce energy use and fossil fuel emissions and to improvement energy efficiency. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides governments throughout the state with $75.4 million for the program, including $14.4 million for the State of New Jersey.

Contingent on completing an application to the Department of Energy, Monmouth County will receive $4.2 million, Manalapan will receive $155,300, Marlboro will receive $162,300, and Middletown will receive $610,300.

“The recovery bill is designed not only to create jobs the short term, but also to support efforts to sustain economic growth into the future. Clearly, our economy benefits if we become more energy efficient,” Holt said. “I’m pleased this money is being made available to local communities so quickly.”

According to the Department of Energy, among the initiatives supported by grant funding are:
• Financial Incentive Programs and Mechanisms for energy efficiency improvements such as energy savings performance contracting, on-bill financing, and revolving loan funds.
• Grants to nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies for the purpose of performing Energy Efficiency Retrofits.
• Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programs for Buildings and Facilities.
• Development and Implementation of Transportation Programs to conserve energy.
• Energy Distribution Technologies that significantly increase energy efficiency, including distributed resources, combined heat and power, and district heating and cooling systems.
• Material Conservation Programs including source reduction, recycling, and recycled content procurement programs that lead to increases in energy efficiency.
• Energy efficient Traffic Signals and Street Lighting.
• Renewable Energy Technologies on Government Buildings.

In other economic recovery news, the Department of Health and Human Services announced today that the Monmouth Family Health Center in Long Branch will receive $100,000 to expand its services to the community.

For a related post, see Pat Walsh’s  MiddletownMusings

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Filed under energey grants, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, Middletown, Monmouth County, President Obama, Rush Holt

Will Short Seek Re-Election In Middletown?

Will Democrat Patrick Short seek re-election this year to the Middletown Township Committee?That seems to be the question to over at MoreMonmouthMusings.
Evidently Art Gallagher ran into Mr. Short at last nights Northern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce’s Meet the Mayors event last night and asked him if he had intentions to seek re-election.
According to Art, Short left open the possibility of not running for re-election.
In his post, Art gave some very nice background to his readers about Short’s previous victory and some useful suggestions for Short to consider before seeking re-election, which was surprising considering how anti- Middletown Dems Art Gallagher is.    
If you ask me however, I think that Short was just messing a bit with Gallagher. Short knows Gallagher’s history  so why enlighten him on his intentions?
I have never heard Patrick Short directly say anywhere that he was not going to seek re-election. By keeping people guessing as to his intention, it has lead to wide scale speculations from his Middletown GOP adversaries.
I happen to think that Short will be running again.
With that in mind, like Art Gallagher, I am attaching a poll to my blog to see what others feel about whether or not Patrick Short will seek re-election.   

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Filed under Art Gallaher, Middletown Democrats, MoreMonmouthMusings, Patrick Short, re-election bid

Hey Middletown, Look What Long Branch Has Done With Their Budget

Hey Middletown, look what Long Branch has done with it’s budget! 
According to the Asbury Park Press, Long Branch was looking at a 6.3% increase to it’s municipal tax rate. That increase to the municipal budget, during these hard financial times, was unacceptable to the City Council.
After searching throughout the budget for additional savings and deferring some of their annual pension obligations, the tax rate increase has been cut from a projected 6.3% to a 2.2% tax hike, which would reflect a 4.1% savings from previous drafts of the budget.
Am I saying that I am happy that the people of Long Branch, with just a 2.2% increase, will have to pay more taxes this year? No, I’m not. In a perfect world there would be no need to increase the tax rate, but there is no such thing as a perfect world.  At least the City Council has found ways to keep from having such a large increase as earlier projected.
To me, that’s a job well done.  Middletown on the other hand, has a $7+ million budget deficit to fill, how are they going to manage that?
I suspect by having a huge tax increase. 
The republican controlled Township Committee thinks that it is more important to maintain services that people have become accustomed to and hold concerts in the park, then making tough choices that may risk their hold on the township committee.
With 40% of this years budget already spent they better figure it out.

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Filed under Asbury Park Press, budget cuts, budget deficit, Long Branch NJ, Middletown, municipal tax rates

Middletown Holding Second Neighborhood Meeting Tonight

Sean Brynes and other members of the Township Committee will be attending tonights neighborhood meeting at Bayshore Middle School. The meeting scheduled to start at 7 pm. The purpose of this meeting is to give residents an opportunity to speak informally with township officials and staff about life in Middletown. Representatives from the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, Police, Public Works and Planning Departments are also scheduled to attend.

If you have any issues or concerns to present or addressed to township representatives, be advised that no formal action will be taken at the neighborhood meeting.

The third and last neighborhood meeting is scheduled for April 2 at Thorne Middle School.

Bayshore Middle School
All Purpose Room
834 Leonardville Rd.

Leonardo, NJ 07737

Update 3/25- 10:35 am : I’ve just been informed that Democratic Committeeman Partrick Short will also be in attendence at tonights neighborhood meeting to answer any question that you may have.

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Filed under Bayshore Middle School, Middletown Township, Middletown Township Committee, Neighborhood meetings, Sean F. Byrnes