Monthly Archives: December 2010

>New Feature – Crime Scene, Middletown

>As of today I will be adding a new feature to the MiddletownMike blog that I will call “Crime Scene, Middletown”.

After hearing many complain about the lack of information available to residents about crime being committed in the neighborhoods of Middletown, I went down to Police Headquarters and asked to be placed on the email list for press releases issued by the department.
Today, I received my first two press releases from Detective Lieutenant Stephen F. Dollinger, who oversees the Township’s Detective Bureau.
The first release announces the arrest of suspect Dustin Jeardon, Atlantic Street, Keyport for burglary and theft to a home located on Wilson Avenue in Port Monmouth.

The second press release details the motor vehicle stop of Rachel Goldberg, age 19, from Riverside Avenue in Red Bank. Goldberg attempted to flee the scene after being stopped. Her vehicle was pursued until it was stopped in the parking lot of the Visiting Nurse Association in Red Bank. Goldberg was placed under arrest for eluding. A search of the vehicle revealed a small purse which contained marijuana and a pipe used for smoking marijuana. After begin processed and released on her own recognizance.

You can read each of the press releases below:

Burglary Suspect in Custody

Middletown – A Keyport man is incarcerated in Union County jail for burglaries committed in Union County and Middletown Township.

Middletown Det Laurence Schachtel developed Dustin Jeandron, age 27, Atlantic Street, Keyport, as a suspect in a burglary and theft which occurred on October 29, 2010 to a home located on Wilson Avenue in Port Monmouth. Det. Schachtel signed complaints against Jeandron and Middletown Police have been actively seeking Jeadron.

Jeandron was arrested December 22, 2010 by Cranford and Clark Police Detectives during the course of committing a burglary in Union County. He is currently being held in Union County jail on a total of $90,000 bail.

Police are continuing their investigation to determine whether Jeandron may be responsible for other burglaries committed in the Middletown area.

Woman Arrested After Fleeing Scene

– On December 26, 2010 at approximately 1:10am Sgt. Sean Sweeney was on patrol on Highway 35 when he stopped a vehicle, driven by Rachel Goldberg, age 19, from Riverside Avenue in Red Bank, for motor vehicle violations.

After obtaining Goldberg’s driving credentials Sgt. Sweeney was in the process of issuing summonses when Goldberg began to flee the scene in her vehicle. Sgt. Sweeney pursued the vehicle until it was stopped in the parking lot of the Visiting Nurse Association in Red Bank. At this point Goldberg was placed under arrest for eluding.

A search of Goldberg by Officer Heather Pusylski of the Red Bank Police Department, who had arrived as back up, revealed a small purse which contained a green vegetation which Sgt. Sweeney recognized as marijuana and a glass pipe used for smoking marijuana.

Goldberg was transported to police headquarters where she was charged with eluding, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was also issued motor vehicle summonses for a provisional license violation, careless driving, improper passing, failing to change address on license and possession of a controlled dangerous substance in a vehicle.

Goldberg was processed and released on her own recognizance.


Filed under burglary, crime reports, Crime Scene Middletown, Middletown NJ, Port Monmouth, press release, Red Bank NJ, theft, traffic violation

>FYI – Tuesday’s Middletown Tax Lien Sale Went On Despite Snow Emergency

>For those that my be interested in knowing (as I was), Tuesday’s tax lien sale in Middletown happened as planned despite the snow emergency that was declared by our Mayor.

So while residents were busy trying to get out of their driveways and streets in order to get to work on time or make it out for bread and milk, Town Hall was plowed clean and was accessible to those that braved the elements to participate in the sale.
I was told that the sale went well but didn’t finish until after 5 pm due to the conditions outside. Evidently the sale started a little late but went on without a hitch afterwards. I didn’t ask how much was collected but the woman I spoke to said that they were happy with the outcome.
So the moral to the story as they say is “The show must go on”.
It doesn’t matter whether or not streets are plowed or basic services are provided for the safety of area residents. What matters is as long as the Town gets it’s share of the pie, nothing else matters.
Maybe the tax sale could have been postponed for a day or so and those resources used to clear out Town Hall, could have been better utilized digging the Town out from under all the snow.


Filed under blizzard, Middletown, snow plowing, snow storm, tax liens, tax sale, Town Hall

>It’s Official As Far As I’m Concerned; I’m Done Shoveling!

>It’s only taken 4 days, but as far as I’m concerned, I am done with shoveling. The last bit of snow that need to be shoveled was covering the sidewalks in front of my house.

It took about two hours to shovel close to 3oo hundred feet of sidewalk, but it is now over and done with until the next storm, which I hope wont be anytime soon.
Status report on the condition of the streets through out my neighborhood is that the streets are doing better. It now seems that the town snow plows have gone through the streets of the development at least once. I am hoping that they can make it back for a second pass soon, there is still an awful lot of snow that needs to be pushed off to the side in order to widen roads for safer passage.

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Filed under blizzard, local roads, sidewalks, snow plowing

>APP Letter: Who’s running show in Middletown?

>It’s just not me complaining about the “Snow Job” that we have received courtesy of our town, others are complaining as well. The following letter to the editor appears in today’s online edition of the Asbury Park Press:

The Middletown Department of Public Works knew well in advance of the snowstorm that hit on Sunday. Yet, it’s Monday night at 9:15 p.m., and my street, Melrose Terrace, has yet to see one plow. I spoke to friends who work for the Department of Public Works, and they say that they are all home and all plowing is contracted out.

Who is in charge? I’ve been trying to call all day and just get voice mail.

As a worker for a power company, I have to get to work or my job is in jeopardy — no excuses.

I also have a daughter with autism and if we had an emergency it would take hours for EMTs to get here, if not days.

Where’s the mayor? I’ll bet his street is plowed. Neither he nor anyone on his staff is answering the phone. I’ve lived in Middletown for 48 years and I never thought I would say this but I think it’s time to move out of this state.

Patrick McGuire


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Filed under Asbury Park Press, blizzard, letter to the editor, Middletown, snow plowing

>Just Curious – What Gave Mayor Gerry The Authority To Declare A Local Emergency?

>I have been thinking about this all night and I’m really curious, who or what gave Mayor Gerry the authority to declare a local emergency in Middletown yesterday and what type of “Power” did this give him?

What penalties could residents have expected if they were found to be in violation of Gerry’s “State of Emergency”?

I understand that this was just another grandstanding incident by Gerry Scharfenberger attempting to make it seem that he was in charge. But I am serious, what could have happened under this circumstance? Is there anything in the Town Charter that allows the acting mayor to declare a local state of emergency and if so what powers are provided at the time of declaration?

Further more, was it really nessasary to declare a local state of emergency when an actual State of Emergency was already declared by acting Governor Stephen Sweeney?
Obviously, Gerry’s declaration was nothing more than grandstanding and purely symbolic and had no real teeth, otherwise many of those driving around town Monday and Tuesday would have been stopped by the police and either issued summonses or had their vehicles confiscated

If someone has time to find out answers to the above, I would be interested in hearing them.


Filed under Gerry Scharfenberger, Middletown, New Jersey, snow storm, state of emergency, Stephen Sweeney

>FYI – I Just Got Home From Work And My Streets Have Not Been Plowed Yet.

>I just pulled into the driveway a short while ago after working all night, why is it that I am not surprised to see that none of the streets in my neighborhood have been touched by a snow plow?

I thought that Gerry Scharfenberger issued a statement saying that by midnight of last night the goal was to have at least all the streets in town plowed at least once?
So far the only street that looks like it had been touched overnight was Main St., which is a thoroughfare and should have been plowed and salted to being with for safety purposes.
Like most of what Gerry declares, his statement was nothing more than a blast hot air, but unfortunately for residents, that hot air can’t be used to plow or melt all the snow in the streets.


Filed under blizzard, Gerry Scharfenberger, snow plowing, snow plows, snow storm

>Middletown Snow Plowing Update: State of Emergency Declared by the Governor; Local Emergency Declared by the Mayor

>I was just forwarded the following press release from Middletown Township, from what I have been told, it hasn’t been added to the Township website just yet but will be there shortly.

After reading it though, it just seems like an attempt at damage control. I haven’t been out in the car driving on the main streets, but from what neighbors have told me, many of the main streets are awful and almost impassable, Harmony Road and Rt 35 leading to Shoprite being one of them.

This release also seem to contradict what a neighbor also told me about the township workers begin sent home during clean- up efforts because the Township doesn’t want to spend anymore more on overtime:

Middletown Township Road Crews are continuing to battle one of the most severe snow storms in recent memory. Crews have been on the road working round the clock since 10:00 AM Sunday. Township crews, consisting of 40 plows and 6 front end loaders, supplemented by an additional 20-25 plows and 4 front end loaders belonging to private contractors will continue working all day through the night in hopes of reaching all streets by late Tuesday.

Road crews will generally prioritize main and arterial roads first, before getting into local residential streets and cul-de-sacs. Township plows must give top priority to clearing the way for first aid and fire emergencies during storms. So far there have been 269 fire and first aid emergency incidents in the last 36 hours and over 1200 emergency calls. Normal for this time period would be about 80 incidents.

Anyone who does not absolutely need to be on the road should remain at home as long as possible. The fewer cars on the road, the faster plow operators can complete their work. The sheer volume of the snow generated by this storm is far greater than we have seen in many years and therefore plowing is taking longer than usual. We do ask your patience in completing the plowing; we will get to all streets eventually.

Due to a tremendous call volume some calls will not go through. Emergency 911 calls should be limited to true medical and health emergencies.

Calls simply asking when your street will plowed will be difficult to answer, due to the magnitude of the situation we are facing, but again our goal is to reach all street’s at least one by midnight tonight.


Filed under blizzard, clean-up efforts, Middletown, press release, snow plowing, winter storm

>Tuesday 12/28/10 @ 12:10 PM – Still No Snow Plows!

>Well, it’s Tuesday afternoon and there still has been no snowplows that have come down my local streets.

I took a few pictures of what some of the streets look like, it isn’t pretty and could be considered a safety hazard if anyone happened to become sick or disabled or if there were a some other kind of emergency like a fire.
As I was walking taking pictures, I stopped to talk to a couple of neighbors, each of whom expressed concerns over the condition of the roads, not just in the neighborhood, but all around town. One neighbor even mentioned that a friend of his that works for the Township, told him that the DPW sent people home last night ~ 3:00am because they didn’t want to pay anymore overtime to the people plowing the streets. If that is true, than the person who made that decision needs to get over here himself and start plowing these streets.

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Filed under Middletown, New Jersey, snow plows, snow storm

>I Find It Hard To Believe, Where Are All The Snowplows?

>That this last blizzard of 2010 took anyone one by surprise. It had been the talk of all the local weatherman for days leading up to Christmas, they all said that it was going to be a big one, at least 12 inches or more.

So after spending a better part of the day shoveling out my cars (yes I said shoveling, because the fuel line ruptured on the snow thrower), I took one of the cars around the corner just to see how things were. I was astonished to find that not one of the streets in my neighborhood had been plowed! Where are the snowplows!
Many cars look as if they were stuck after neighbors pulled them out of the driveways, in order to clear them and were then unable to get them back in. I myself almost got stuck around the corner from my house before I was able to make it back safely to my driveway.
And if you think the streets and peoples driveways are a problem, then you might as well forget about sidewalks getting cleared anytime soon. If the clean up after this storm is like the last blizzard that hit back in February, once trucks make it out, they will be running so fast down each street that the snow flying off their plows will be thrown-up onto the sidewalks, making it almost impossible for residents to clear.
I understand that Middletown got hit pretty hard with this storm, by all accounts nearly 21 inches of snow fell around town, but unlike other storms that hit earlier this year plow trucks were on the road most of the night and day clearing streets. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen it like this.
Was there no money left in this years budget to cover snow removal expenses after making such big deal about how $900K had to be added to the 2010 budget for winter storms that hit January and February? After all, whatever the cost of the clean-up of this storm winds up being, it will be rolled into the 2011 budget anyway, so why not get all available crews out there plowing and clearing streets like was done earlier in the year. It couldn’t have been a lack of contractors available because I witnessed over a dozen of them driving up and down Main Street looking for work.
The next time I see one of them I think I will have them stop.
(The picture above was taken from an upstairs window earlier this morning, but it doesn’t do justice to what it actually looks like on the ground)


Filed under blizzard, Middletown, snow blowers., snow plows

>The Last "It’s Your Town" Newsletter For 2010 Is Available For Reading

>The last issue of the year of It’s Your Town newsletter has be published and is ready for downloading. The issue of the newsletter covers the last Middletown Township Committee meeting that took place on Monday, December 20th.

It was a very quick meeting, lasting only 1 hour. But even though it was short, a few major things took place.

Committeeman Sean Byrnes was recognized by the Township for his 3 years of service on the Committee and a resolution that Byrnes introduced to televise the meetings was tabled for further discussion by Deputy Mayor Tony Fiore and the Committee (which means that it will never be discussed again unless residents continue to push for it).

The Committee also agreed to retire a dozen or so different bond ordinances that still have funds associated with them. The funds will be used to pay off the bond debt that these and other bonds have generated over the years.

I hope that everyone that has downloaded or have received copies of the newsletter via email over this past year, have enjoyed reading it, an awful lot of work goes into producing it. The newsletter is the closest representation of what actually happens at Township Committee meetings that residents have available to them without actually being there.

The author, Don Watson, does an outstanding job at maintaining a non-partisan and unbiased approach to writing the newsletters and should be commended for his efforts at informing the public on what is happening down at Town Hall.

It is, after all, your town!
If you would like to be put on to an email list to have the It’s Your Town newsletter sent to your inbox send a request to:

You can download the newsletter >>> Here

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Filed under bond debt, Its Your Town, Middletown, New Jersey, Newsletter, refinance bond debt, Sean F. Byrnes