>Was The New Director Of The Office of Planning Advocacy "On The Clock" When He Was Acting As Middletown Mayor During Meeting With NJDEP Officials?

>Back on October 21st a meeting took place at the office of Cindy Randazzo, the Director of NJDEP office of Local Government Assistance, in Trenton for the purpose of discussing options for dredging Middletown’s Shadow Lake.

In attendance at this meeting were various DEP personnel that had concerns with the dredging plans presented by the Township, representatives from T&M Engineering, State Senator Joe Kyrillos, the new Director for the Office of Planning and Advocacy (Mayor) Gerry Scharfenberger and several Middletown Township representatives.
From what I understand the meeting wasn’t very productive, the two sides (Middletown verses the NJDEP) couldn’t come to an agreement concerning the scope of the project or what to do with the spoils. The NJDEP made it clear that burying contaminated spoils from the bottom of Shadow Lake in neighboring Stevenson Park was out of the question and recommended that the project be downsized to fall within budget constraints while the Township, lead by the new Director for the office of Planning Advocacy (Gerry Scharfenberger) and Joe Kyrillos insisted that dredging the whole lake and burying the spoils near by was the only way of dealing with the lake. As you can imagine, no resolution to this issue was forth coming and another meeting was planned on for a future date.
After learning this yesterday I began to wonder about Scharfy’s role during this meeting. As the Director for Planning Advocacy, Gerry’s duties are “asking questions about policy, overseeing planners and GIS specialists. To help spur economic growth and revitalize the economy by, for example, reusing commercial properties” he has stated and the purpose of the Office for Planning Advocacy is to stimulate new growth and business opportunities for those wishing to do business in the State. His position is a full time job, 40+ hours a week, that pays him $95K a year.
What was he doing on “company” time, at a meeting with Joe Kyrillos, the NJDEP, Engineers from T&M and other from Middletown discussing Shadow Lake in the middle of a work week?
He certainly wasn’t there to promote smart growth or new business opportunities I can tell you that as require by his job title, he was present representing Middletown as it’s Mayor.
It’s nice to know that in his new position as Director of Planning Advocacy, his boss the Governor, allows him time to pursue other interests that are contrary to what he is suppose to be doing as Director.
I am sure that the 1,200 State employees will be happy to learn of this as well. Here they are losing their jobs while Gerry is running around the city of Trenton wasting tax payer dollars, acting as Middletown’s mayor when he should be in his office somewhere, asking questions about policy, overseeing planners and GIS specialists to help spur economic growth and revitalize the State economy.
Do you think he left early that day or did he stay late to make up for the time he was conducting Township business on State time?


Filed under dredging, Gerry Scharfenberger, Gov. Chris Christie, Joe Kyrillos, NJDEP, Office of Planning Advocacy, Shadow Lake, Trenton

7 responses to “>Was The New Director Of The Office of Planning Advocacy "On The Clock" When He Was Acting As Middletown Mayor During Meeting With NJDEP Officials?

  1. >Again, an example of trying to make something out of nothing.In fact, this is an attempt to make something bad out of something that is an advantage for Middletown.Our Mayor is a state level Director. Don't you think that would give Middletown more clout with the DEP? I do. So that's a positive outcome of the Mayor's new job, right?Of course, you seem to want the Town to have to pay the additional $Millions the DEP is trying to add to the dredging project, even though that would add significantly to taxes, which you seem to be against…Could it be that in trying so hard to oppose anything the Township Committee wants to do you end up tying yourself up in knots?

  2. >First of all Gerry's current position has nothing to do with dredging. It certainly has nothing to do with smart growth or building business opportunities with in the State.If he was there acting on the behalf of the Township while he was on State time, was unethical if he did not first have permission to do so or make up the time spent on Township busniess later.The problem with the cost for Shadow Lake is the fact that they refuse to consider alternatives to the problem. Gerry and the boys want their cake and to eat it too. Remember, this project wasn't suppose to cost Middletown 1 penny. The cost was going to come from grants, that was not the case. The Township bonded $3.8M for the project without a plan just to secure votes in 2007 and the project still isn't done.

  3. >The unethical behavior of this man and his character flaws is what this is all about.He is a sad @$$ed example of integrity and it's the very reason this whole thing is an issue.Honesty and integrity and common decency are certainly missing in the facade they call government in this township today!Anonymous 8:28 is again the ranting of the defenders of this unethical behavior….the mayor's cheerleaders… Got your current issue of Money yet?

  4. >Mike -Don't you think that you're making a pretty big assumption when you attack the Mayor for "unethical behavior," when it is quite likely that he simply took time off from work to attend the meeting?And, as far as Shadow Lake goes, you still seem to want to add to the taxpayer's costs for the project at the same time that you call into question the work done by the Planner, Director of DPW and the Administrator on the project.As I have said before, there are legitimate issues that can be raised. Why do you insist on holding on to the non-issues?

  5. >Anon 6:59Until he can prove that he had permission to attend to official Middletown business on state time, the question will remain. Gerry is arrogant and egotistical, being appointed to this position by Christie just enforces those character flaws.The problem with Shadow Lake is that not all options were looked into. No real planning was done for the event that that the spoils could not be buried in Stevenson Park. The Township thought that it was a NO BRAINER, unfortunately for the lake and the township it was not.The NJDEP has suggested scaling back the project so that the dredged material could be trucked to a suitable landfill. Who on earth would want to go to Stevenson Park knowing that arsenic and other carcinogenic materials were inappropriately disposed of there just because it was the most cost effective way of handling the situation and gaining a few votes from the residents that live around the lake?If the Township had done proper planning and research before bonding $3.8M for the project the Township wouldn't be in this situation.There are other viable alternatives that should be looked into as mentioned by Sean Byrnes, the Army Corp of Engineers is one of them.

  6. >Looks like the Mayor is already trying to defend himself.

  7. >It is amazing that the people of Plainfield are smarter then the dopes that live in Middletown !!The people of Plainfield know nuts when they see them.The Republicans in Middletown think those same nuts are for consumption !

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