Daily Archives: February 16, 2010

Middletown’s Mayor Attempts "End Round" In Effort to Pit Pop Warner and Soccer Parents Against Sonic In The Battle Over Sports Complex

In the latest round of the battle of the Sports Complex, it seems as though the Township lead by Mayor Scharfenberger, is attempting an “end round” (to use a football term) to circumvent the opposition to the sports complex by the members of citizens group SONIC (Save Our Neighborhood’s Integrity & Character).

I have recently been sent two emails anonymously with the attached message that seem to support the above.

Have been advised the mayor is trying to pit the sports groups against the opposition from the Sonic group. Not surprising considering this man could not tell the truth if life depended on it. Integrity and ethics has never been a strong point of his as he talks from both sides of his mouth…. ” The project has been put on hold because of the opposition.”,etc. when he was interviewed by the press. Back room,dirty politicians are plentiful in this township.

This may be a good time to begin the campaign to RID Middletown of this man.

The first email was written by (name withheld), I do not know who she is but she was contacted by the President of the Middletown Soccer Club, who stated that on Saturday Mayor Scharfenberger advised two gentleman who seem to support the sports complex to “show up in force of number” at tonight’s meeting to support the Croydon Hall and West Front Street Park locations for turf fields and amenities.

The second email was written by Robert Martino, President of the River Plaza Lincroft Chargers Pop Warner team.

In Martino’s letter to organization members he states that the had been told by the Township that they were being offered the use of the new fields and “…They will be running sewer and electric to a specific location on the property for the “future” addition of restrooms and a snack stand….”

It was also explained to him that “…that they are going to proceed with the fields anyway …”, and that “…they want the board and parents to show that we are in favor this new location or anything else they may come up with.” by also attending tonight’s Township Committee meeting.

Below is the text of the two emails that I received to support what I have written:


(this came from a media contact of mine)

I got a copy of an email from President of Middletown Soccer Club to Mayor Scharfenberger that says the Mayor advised the two people that appeared on Saturday Mike Mascone and Ken Bent, In it the Mayor advised them on a course of action that included “show up in force of number” at tonight’s meeting to support the Croydon Hall and West Front Street Park locations for turf fields and amenitities.

It also said they were “aligned In dissapointment” with the mayor in the BOE’s lack of support and flexibility.

Also, in a recap of the Mayor’s advice, Mascone goes on to say to attend BOE meetings and workshops. Main focus: Be prepared to ask the questions of the BOE about access to OUR facilities since .68 of every tax dollar in Middletown goes to their budget. Does that mean the mayor’s advice is to defeat the budget?

It goes on to say “emphasize the value of our voices at the annual school election on April 20, 2010.

It seems a real breach for an elected Mayor to conspire against the BOE and its elected president.

To All Organization Members,

I am sending this quick email to advise everyone of some recent events concerning the on going new football facility for our organization. It has been explained that our present location cannot be touched. We are being offered the use of new multi use turf fields at the corner of West Front Street and Crawford Corner- Everett Road in Lincroft. They are replacing the existing soccer fields with the turf fields and adding some additional parking with stands and fences where necessary. They will be running sewer and electric to a specific location on the property for the “future” addition of restrooms and a snack stand. The present need of the restrooms and snack stand will be our responsibility, maybe along with some assistance from them. It was also explained that the present situation at our facility with parking and the numbers of participants and safety issues etc., may become a problem if we choose not to take this field offer.

At the last town committee meeting there was about 40 or 50 people opposing this location primarily because of football. Regardless it was explained that they are going to proceed with the fields anyway but want to confirm that we are definitely interested. We explained our concerns for whatever it was worth and explained that we were interested. They explained that the other options maybe through the board of education and their locations if the opposing parties could get them to budge. In any case they want the board and parents to show that we are in favor this new location or anything else they may come up with.

Therefore I would appreciate if you would send an email or if possible attend the next town committee meeting on Tuesday 2/16/10. Also have parents or anyone you know do the same. To send an email go to http://www.middletownnj.org , then go click CONTACT US and click TOWN COMMITEE and type your message.

Thank You
Robert Martino, President, River Plaza Lincroft Chargers

UPDATE : I would like to correct the above, XXXXX was not the author of the above email that I attributed to her, due to confusion pertaining to formatting of the received email her name and contact info was at the bottom of the text. XXXXX had no part in the writting of its content. See above post for further explanation.

UPDATE: So that there would be no further confusion about the authorship of the first email that has been posted in the above blog post, I have decided on my own to delete the person’s name altogether from this blog entry. You can read my apology and retracting >>>here

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Filed under artificial turf fields, Lincroft, Mayor Scharfenberger, Middletown, Pop Warner, Sonic, sports complex

Lincroft Village Green Association Issues Statement Opposing Lincroft Sports Complex

On its website, the Lincroft Village Green Association (LVGA) posted the following statement against the proposed sports complex being planned for the West Front Street Park. They feel that the Township and Board of Education should work together and iron out a shared services agreement that would allow these artifical turf fields to be place on Board of Education property:

The Lincroft Village Green Association recognizes that the money being used for the turf field plus amenities improvements was bonded (not free grant money), which is a loan with interest that Middletown residents must pay back through our taxes. In the interests of all Middletown residents, we ask the Middletown Township Committee to reconsider the timing and use of these funds in the current poor economic climate, and to contemplate repaying the bond off without using it at this time.

We do not support the proposed amenities and features to the West Front Street Park soccer fields, but do support improving these fields for moderate use for soccer, lacrosse, or field hockey.

We believe a public forum should be held without further delay between the Middletown Township Committee and the Board of Education to reexamine shared use of existing school fields, and to consider improving the most appropriate fields for the benefit of the community as a whole (i.e. sharing of the fields by schools and community sports teams—a win-win situation). These two groups must commit to working together for the overall good of the entire Middletown community.

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Filed under artificial turf fields, Lincroft, lincroft village green association, LVGA, Middletown, sports complex


This is the first in the Monday Minute series on the New Jersey state budget. Last week, Governor Christie declared a state of emergency to deal with the state’s “unprecedented financial crisis”. Was that action necessary or simply posturing?

All states (except Vermont) are constitutionally required to balance their budgets. All but four states start their fiscal years on July 1. When we talk about FY 2010 in New Jersey, we are talking about the year that started on July 1, 2009 and will end on June 30, 2010.

To be in balance, the budget must have enough revenue by June 30 to fund the programs included in the budget. If revenues are lower than spending, the resulting deficit must be corrected by year end-either through infusions of revenue, using reserve funds or program cuts.

In January last year, the state was facing a $2 billion operating deficit in its FY 2009 budget. By May it had ballooned to $4.4 billion largely due to an unprecedented 12 percent decline in overall revenues. To close this deficit, federal Medicaid funds were used to offset state funds; budget surpluses were spent down; a tax amnesty program was enacted; and $2.5 billion in program cuts were made.

As that budget year was ending, the administration and legislature were struggling to craft the FY 2010 budget which had an $8 billion structural deficit. The structural deficit is not the same as the operating deficit. Unlike the operating deficit which deals with only the current fiscal year, the structural deficit takes into account all of the state’s financial obligations-like pension payments and the statutory cost of funding a program-and requires the state to account for them. A budget that fails to make pension payments or overrides statutory formulas can be balanced if they rightly or wrongly are not included as full financial obligations in that year.

The FY 2010 structural deficit was resolved by a combination of taxes, federal money and spending cuts. The most significant source of revenue ($1 billion) was from a one year income tax rate increase on taxpayers with $400,000 or more in taxable income. Federal Medicaid and Fiscal Stabilization funding provided $2.3 billion for certain state services. The base budget was cut by $3.3 billion, including the decision to save $1 billion by not making the pension payment, cutbacks in property tax rebates to homeowners and renters, debt restructuring, unpaid furloughs and various other cuts to programs. In addition, nearly $1.2 billion in savings were found by freezing program growth.

These measures allowed Governor Corzine on June 29, 2009 to sign a balanced budget into law that was expected to raise $29.371 billion in revenues and spend $28.99 billion, leaving an end of the year surplus of $381 million.

Not surprisingly everything wasn’t perfect. It is extremely difficult to project revenues and expenditures into the future-made more so by the uncertainties of the national weak economy.

In bad budget years, outgoing and incoming governors point fingers to pass the blame. The Corzine administration claims to have left a budget surplus of $425 million on January 14; the Christie administration claims it was left a $1.3 billion deficit.

To make matters more dramatic, Governor Christie signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency on February 11. It was required, he said, because the state budget would be out of balance on June 30 by $2.2 billion. By his administration’s estimates, the state will collect $1.3 billion less revenue by the end of June and will need to spend an additional $872 million to meet its obligations.

So who is right in this posturing?

Their first disagreement is over the size of the revenue shortfall. Corzine officials claim it is $425 million but say those are actual amounts for the first six months of the fiscal year only. They don’t project what the deficit might be through June 30th.

The Christie administration claims a $1.3 billion deficit through June 30th. They seem to accept the Corzine estimate of $425 million for the first six months but believe revenue will fall off between January and June of this year, making the end of year deficit substantially larger. Whether this will happen is anyone’s guess.

Substantial unknowns exist. These revenue data don’t include a full accounting of sales tax collections from the holiday shopping season. No one can accurately predict what will happen in April when taxpayers settle up their income tax accounts with the state. Some believe the economy is starting to improve which may have a positive impact on tax collections through June 30th. All of these could produce a more positive revenue outlook.

Another disagreement is over the state’s spending needs between now and June 30th. In December, an additional $596 million was needed; those needs have grown to $870 million. Included are higher than anticipated costs for programs such as Medicaid, snow removal and food pantries. Many of these unanticipated costs are driven by the bad economy.

The third disagreement is about the impact of the Corzine administration’s actions prior to the change in administration. On December 22, Governor Corzine announced a plan to close a projected $924 million budget gap in the FY 2010 budget which included $839 million in spending cuts. Included in that $839 million was a $260 million reduction in aid to school districts and the requirement that school districts use their excess surplus balances. A comparison of Governor Corzine’s December 22 spending cuts with those announced by Governor Christie on February 11 suggests some overlap-particularly with respect to what is referred to as school district surpluses.

Whether we have a surplus or a deficit, the tax and spending decisions being made right now are likely to have a long term effect on the quality of life in this state. Change may be needed but let’s make it responsibly with the best information available.

Due to the President’s Day Holiday the Monday Minute is being distributed today.

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Filed under budget deficit, Gov. Chris Christie, Gov. Jon Corzine, Monday Minute, New Jersey, New Jersey Policy Perspective, y

Poll: Bush still blamed for economy

From CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

More Americans blame the Bush administration for the nation’s economic troubles than the Obama administration, according to a new poll.

(CNN) – More than a year after President George W. Bush left office, more Americans continue to blame his administration over any other entity for the nation’s economic woes, according to a new poll.

In a New York Times/CBS News survey out Friday, 31 percent of Americans said the Bush administration is at fault for the current state of the economy while only 7 percent pointed their finger at President Obama and his team.

An additional 23 percent said the fault lies with Wall Street institutions while 13 percent assign the blame to Congress. Nearly 10 percent said the blame lies with all of them.

In a CNN/Opinion Research poll released last November, the public appeared split on who should be blamed if economic conditions don’t approve: 47 percent said Bush and congressional Republicans while 45 percent said Obama and congressional Democrats.

“The public still tends to blame the Republicans for current economic conditions,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “But looking forward is another matter. Americans think the GOP is responsible for getting us into this mess, but they think both parties are responsible for getting us out of it.”

The poll, conducted February 5-10, interviewed 1,084 Americans and carries a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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Filed under CBS News, CNN, opinion poll, President Bush, Republicans, The New York Times