Daily Archives: November 19, 2010

>TRT Chimes In on Monday Night’s Middletown Township Meeting

>In today’s edition of the Diane Gooch owned Two River Times, appears an article written by Ryan Fennell that does a good job at reporting what actually went on durning the Township Committee meeting in Middletown this past Monday night, November 15th.

After being duped by Scharfenberger into believing that he gave up his yearly $4000 stipen as a committee member in January and is now serving as a “volunteer” Mayor after questions arose, when it came to light that Scharfenberger had been appointed to a lucrative position in the Christie administration his last article.
Here Fennell reports, “…The initial controversy developed when a politically conservative local blog revealed shortly after the election that Scharfenberger had been appointed as the director of the Office for Planning Advocacy within the New Jersey Department of State. The office was formerly known as the Office of Smart Growth and fell within the jurisdiction of the Department of Community Affairs.

Scharfenberger was appointed to the position on August 16, and while Scharfenberger claims that his appointment was not kept secret from his constituents or campaign opponents, he also said he did not want to use the news of his appointment to the state position as an advantage for him in the campaign.

“It was made public,” Scharfenberger told The Two River Times™ last week. “It’s just that they (his campaign opponents) didn’t know about it. I’ve been out in front of various groups. It was on the (state) web site.”

No formal announcement was made, Scharfenberger said, because “I didn’t want it to appear as if I was using this position to help my re-election.”

During the Township Committee meeting Monday, Nov. 15, the committee members were asked if they knew about Scharfenberger’s appointment and all but one said that they knew about it….

This is classic Scharfenberger bullshit! If 4 out of the 5 members of theTownship Committee knew about the appointment, why the effort to keep it from the 5th member? It’s obvious that the only functions that Scharfenberger attended and made such an announcement were those that were attended by GOP party loyalists and insiders, otherwise the information of his new job would have become common knowledge around town.
After the meeting was over Fennell questioned Scharfenberger about his statement at the Lincroft Village Green Association’s Candidates Night, where Scharfenberger stated that he had given up his stipend for the year and was acting as a volunteer. It was Middletown resident Don Watson, who initially questioned Scharfenberger over this during public comments, Scharfenberger reaction was to deny he said such a thing and to immediately instruct the Clerk to note for the record that Mr. Watson’s comment was incorrect.
Unfortunately for Mr. Scharfenberger an audio recording of his statement from Candidates Night says otherwise.
When Fennel asked Scharfenberger for and explanation, Fennell reported “…Scharfenberger told The Two River Times™ that he stopped receiving his paychecks in July “more out of concern for the budget.”
More Scharfenberger Bullshit! Did he really think that $153 a week would make a that much of a difference in a budget that was already $5.5M in the hole, can he really say with a straight face that $2,000 would make a difference in a 14% municipal tax increase? I very much doubt it, he gave up his stipend because he knew that he was taking the job within the Christie administration and that the Governor had already reversed his opinion of whether elected official could hold dual offices. According to Christie it is now OK to hold dual offices with in the state as long as those who were elected served to so voluntarily. That is why Scharfenberger gave up his remaining $2000, not out of any concerns over the financial well being of the Township or worries over the budget.
The article goes on to address much of what was brought up that night, much of which is on video and posted here previously on the blog. I recommend reading the article for yourselves this way you can determine if my earlier reporting was inaccurate or biased in anyway.
Scharfenberger is the one that brought this onto himself, all he needed to do was to be honest and show a little integrity when questioned earlier by reporters when asked before the election what his current job position was. Instead he failed/refused to reveal his new position as the Director of Planning Advocacy.


Filed under candidates night, Gerry Scharfenberger, honesty and integrity, LVGA, Office of Planning Advocacy, Ryan Fennell, Two River Times

>Letter: 5 Years Later It’s Still Politics As Usual

>In the fall of 2005 I wrote an opinion letter that today I discovered had been printed by “The Suburban” of Old Bridge-Sayreville,as well as by newspapers locally. I noted also that my observations then are still true today, five years later. Politics doesn’t change much as politics and politicians are just as bad now or perhaps worse – if that is possible.

Election day is over and the “silly season” has also ended…at least until June when it’s primary time. Did you ever ask what motivates a politician ? It is not always explained by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs or the desire to serve.We have learned greed,power and ,corruption can be the most powerful of motivators,overriding any virtue or conscience an individual may have. Then there are times when some politicians have more nerve than brains.

Solutions for some of politics ills are term limits. Term limits are necessary to correct the evils of politics. Don’t kid yourselves ….. some aspects of politics are corrupting. Just read the newspapers in the aftermath of the recent elections. Too much concentration of power in one party or one politician is unhealthy for the masses. This is why we have more than a single party system. Our forefathers were not naive.

There are different schools of thought and different approaches to governing and solving problems. That does not make one proposal wrong because it is proposed by one party and opposed by another.

Negotiation and consensus minus the corruption, greed, power struggles and egotism might really make headway in solving some of this country’s and this state’s critical issues as well as many issues in local communities. Unfortunately I don’t have any delusions about New Jersey, or the communities or politics. i just hope for a better world…. someday !

Currently, as was true five years ago, this state can hold itself up as the epitome of all that’s wrong with politics in this country. It’s time for the residents of New Jersey to really pay attention to current events,educate themselves,and exercise their franchise to vote. Make politicians prove their integrity and worthiness of the public trust. Don’t be fooled by the rhetoric,much of it is hyperbole or worse !

Regardless of your political persuasion, understand we can no longer afford the follies of the fools. Character flaws are character flaws. We do not need politicians whose sole purpose is to serve themselves or their political parties. They are elected to serve all of us regardless of party affiliation. We, the residents and taxpayers,the citizens of this country,this state or our communities are the losers if we allow this.

Remember always the old adages “to the victor goes the spoils”.”if you don’t vote, don’t complain”,and if you are a politician reading this ” there is no honor among thieves” and “if the shoe fits wear it” !

And last but not least…. the sun will come up tomorrow and “silly season” will come again. You can bet on it !

Barbara R. Thorpe

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Filed under letters to the Editor, Middletown, Politics