Daily Archives: November 7, 2010

>APP’s Bob Ingle: He didn’t mention that $95,000 Trenton job

>Gerry Scharfenberger’s appointment as Director of the Office for Planning Advocacy by Governor Christie, seems to have caused a big stir around the State, so much so that Senior Political Columnist for Gannett New Jersey Newspapers,Bob Ingle, has written about it on his Politics Patrol blog which appears online today over at the Asbury Park Press website. As an additional FYI for those that aren’t familiar with Bob Ingles’s work, he co-wrote The New York Times’ Best Seller, “The Soprano State: New Jersey’s Culture of Corruption.”

In his blog post today (full text below), Ingle doesn’t buy Gerry’s reasoning as to why he did not disclose his appointment to his new job before the election and seems to be disappointed in Governor Christie for making the appoinment in the first place and suggests that Gerry should step down from his seat on the Middletown Township Committee or resign from his position as Director of Planning Advocacy. He states that if Gerry doesn’t give up his seat then Middletown voters should remember this if he ever seek re-election again in the future.

Ingle’s opinion in this matter just may spark a few more calls to action by those that are begining to talk about a possible recall petition against Scharfenberger if he decides to continue his service on the Township Committee come January.

Republican Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger of Middletown has been in a $95,000 a year state job since August but his Democratic opponents in last week’s election say that’s news to them. Kevin Penton of The Asbury Park Press reports during the campaign Scharfenberger was asked by a reporter about his employment, and he only replied that he was an archaeologist and an member of the Monmouth University adjunct faculty. After the election when asked why he did not mention the $95,000 state job at the time, Scharfenberger said: “I just assumed that everyone knew.” He noted that his name is on the state’s website in connection to the position. That doesn’t hold water. If a reporter asks what you do for work you don’t say you’re a an archaeologist and an member of the Monmouth University adjunct faculty but clean forget about that $95,000 a year post of executive director of the state Office of Planning Advocacy you drive all the
way to Trenton for.

Shawn Crisafulli, spokesman for the Department of State which oversees the office, said the Christie administration “hired him because of his public experience … ” (It certainly wasn’t for his passion for full disclosure.) Scharfenberger said he decided to run for re-election so he could help implement Gov. Christie’s fiscal proposals, such as civil service and binding arbitration reform. By acting as he did he damaged the image of the Christie administration. Friday we had calls to the radio show blaming the governor for this. I’ve gotten email about it as well.

Scharfenberger said he is not accepting his salary as a member of the township committee. Scharfenberger works at least 40 hours a week from Trenton in the position, said Crisafulli, who does not anticipate a conflict between his working as director of a state agency while serving as an elected official.

Scharfenberger should give up one position or the other. If he should he seek office again voters should remember how he handled this. This is the kind of thing Chris Christie was elected to stop. I can believe the Democrats didn’t do a thorough vetting of their opponent. I can believe many people in Middletown knew about this other job.

What I don’t buy is his excuse for not mentioning the $95,000 job in Trenton when a reporter asked him. His response is not believable.


Filed under Asbury Park Press, Bob Ingle, Gerry Scharfenberger, Gov. Chris Christie, Middletown NJ, Office of Planning Advocacy, recall petition

>Is A Scharfenberger Recall Effort Possibly Underway In Middletown?


Ever since the news broke about Gerry Scharfenberger being appointed by Governor Christie to a $95,000 a year job as the new Director of the Office for Planning Advocacy and then keeping it quite by lying to the press when asked by several local news organizations such as the Asbury Park Press,Two River Times, Greater Media’s the Independent and RedBankGreen.com about his current employer during this past election season, I’ve been receiving a ton of emails and comments left on this blog from friends and other Middletown residents that are upset at being deceived once again by the master of deception himself, Gerry Scharfenberger.

These people, some of whom voted for Scharfenberger, are angry and want to know what can be done about overturning the outcome of Tuesday’s election due to the fact that if they had known in advance about Gerry’s new position in Trenton it may have changed their votes.

But what really has them upset is his lame excuses for not making the appointment public knowledge back in August when he accepted the job. Scharfenberger has been quoted as saying “”I just assumed that everyone knew.” by the Asbury Park Press and “I wasn’t go to promote it to help my election, which I thought would be unfair.” by the Atlantic Highlands Herald.

Many of these people think that keeping this information from the public, while not illegal, was unethical and the equivalent to fraud. They are thinking of taking action against Scharfenberger by starting a Recall campaign against him.

When I heard this for the first time, I thought it was an intriguing idea so I looked up the Recall Provision in the NJ State Constitution to see what it would entail.

Article 1, section 2b explains what needs to be done in order to recall a local public official as follows:

The people reserve unto themselves the power to recall, after at least one year of service, any elected official in this State or representing this State in the United States Congress. The Legislature shall enact laws to provide for such recall elections. Any such laws shall include a provision that a recall election shall be held upon petition of at least 25% of the registered voters in the electoral district of the official sought to be recalled. If legislation to implement this constitutional amendment is not enacted within one year of the adoption of the amendment, the Secretary of State shall, by regulation, implement the constitutional amendment, except that regulations adopted by the Secretary of State shall be superseded by any subsequent legislation consistent with this constitutional amendment governing recall elections. The sufficiency of any statement of reasons or grounds procedurally required shall be a political rather than a judicial question.

After reading the provisions it seems that all which is needed is to collect Scharfenberger is the signatures from 25% of all the registered voters in Middletown on a petition, which would be about 12 thousand or so, within 160 days. It seems doable but I doubt that it is plausible, recall efforts very seldom work, many signatures are challenged and thrown out by the powers that be and it is extremely time consuming to gather all those signatures

So we are probably stuck with him until he either resigns on his own from the Township Committee or is eventually thrown out of office by the voters after the next election. With that being said though, if anyone truly wants to start the recall effort, I’d sign my name to it.


Filed under Asbury Park Press, Atlantic Highlands Herald, Gerry Scharfenberger, Governor Christie, Middletown NJ, Middletown Township Committee, recall petition