Daily Archives: March 5, 2011

>Can Someone From Middletown Call Someone From Brick To find Out How A Special Budget Referendum Is Supposed To Work?

>During the February 16th Library Board meeting, someone asked about the possibility of Middletown exceeding the new State mandated 2% cap on budgets and the possibility of placing a budget referendum question on the ballot that would allow voters to authorize exceeding the cap if they thought it was necessary to retain services.

The question was answered by Township Administrator Tony Mercantante and the goon that acts as Township Attorney Brian Neslon. They answered that Middletown had no intention whatsoever in exceed the 2% cap and even if they did there was no mechanism in place that they knew of, that would guide them towards how a special budget referendum would be putting place or carried out.

Mercantante stated something to the fact that, like most of what the law makers in Trenton do, they passed a provision with no guidance on how to carry it out or how to finance it. Mercantante and Nelson were both adamant that Middletown was not going to spend one dime to carry out a special election just so that voters can approve or disapprove a proposed budget, without funding from the State.

Fast forward now to Wednesday when it was reported in the Asbury Park Press that Township of Brick is planning to hold a special budget referendum to exceed the State mandated 2% cap. At stake are the jobs 172 employees that would include 29 police officers and 117 members o the public works department.

Now the article didn’t mention when or how the special budget question was going to happen, but it is a good bet that the question will be posted on the ballot of the next set of elections coming up, which would be the school board election in April.
Contrary to popular beliefs in Middletown, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this stuff out. I believe this is why Governor Christie and those in the State Legislature have told municipal leaders that their budgets need to be submitted to the State by mid March, so if there is a need for a special referendum it could be without the need for a special election or any extra costs associated with it.
It would just be nice to get a straight answer out of people that represent Middletown for a change, without it being turned into a big political name calling game.
So can someone from Mercantante’s office call down to Brick and ask someone in the Mayor’s office down there, the details on how a special election would work to exceed the budget cap if ever needed?

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Filed under 2% cap, Brian Nelson, Brick NJ, budget referendum, Middletown, special election, Tony Mercantante

>Glenn Beck Exposes FreedomWorks Fisting

>Actor and voice over artist D.C. Douglas narrates Glenn Beck’s most astonishing discovery to date: FreedomWorks and their Socialist fisting ways.

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Filed under AFL-CIO, Fox News, FreedomWorks, Uncategorized

>Catching Up On The Past Few Days; Watson, Brookdale, Rally in Trenton and Jobs

>A lot has been happening over the past few days that I’ve been meaning to comment on but I have been a little under the weather and haven’t been feeling up to blogging. So now is my chance to get slightly caught up, in no particular order.

Congressman Rush Holt (who does by the way, happen to be a Rocket Scientist) who on Monday of this past week, beat IBM’s Watson Computer System in a simulated Jeopardy exhibition. But the match wasn’t just a battle of networks versus neurons, as Holt put it in his newsletter to constituents:

… ” To me and my colleagues, this was an important opportunity to raise awareness of serious issues concerning U.S. global competitiveness, the positive impact of technology on society, and the need for greater investments in math and science education.

Watson represents a major step forward for computer science. With its combination of sheer data processing power, natural language recognition and machine learning, the system demonstrates that technology has the potential to help humans improve the performance of many endeavors – everything from medicine to education to traffic safety to environmental protection. There is no limit, save for our imagination, to the impact on our society of innovations like Watson.”….

There were two major car accidents this past week that claimed the lives of a couple Middletown youths, the first last Sunday and the second just last night and still under investigation.

Yesterday, Brookdale Community College’s Board of Trustees suspended College President Peter Burnham without pay because they found some irregularities in his expense reports while auditing his books. The suspension came as a total surprise to Burnham, who felt “Bowled over” by the accusations and wouldn’t comment further. And now today, we find out that the Board of Trustees have contacted the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office to look into the matter for possible criminal charges.
As news of this latest info has started to make it’s way out to the public Freeholder Amy Mallet has called on Brookdale’s Board Chairman Howard Birdsall to resign and suggests that term limits be put on those that serve as trustees for the college.
I find this all very interesting, in a “how the mighty have fallen” sort of way. If Peter Burnham would have kept quite and not tried to blame the Monmouth County Freeholder for an 8% tuition hike a few weeks ago, none of this would have transpired. Freeholder John Curley, who acts as the liaison between the Freeholders and Brookdale, would have went about his business as usual and would not have said a word. But because he was angered and perhaps embarrassed by Burnham, Curley decided to make public Burnham’s contract and exploit it for all it’s worth, which has lead to all this “dirty laundry” being exposed and possible criminal charges being filed against Burnham.
Curley is being portrayed as some great white knight for exposing the excesses in Burnham’s contract, which is not the case. He acted out of anger and revenge for being called out by Burnham. If Curley and other Freeholders before him, that have acted as the liaison between the school and County governing body had done their oversight properly over the years, Peter Burnham’s excessive contract would have been taken care of years ago instead of now. There wouldn’t have been this dramatic call for change on the Board of Trustees and criminal charges against Burnham would not be pending, which is how the Trustees have chosen to cover themselves from allegations pointed at them.
It’s a real shame and embarrassment if you ask me.
There was a big rally in Trenton on Thursday attended 15,000 members of the Police, Firefighters and other first responders protesting Governor Christie’s efforts at health, pension and collective bargaining reform. Did it do any good or send the big guy a message? Probably not.
Finally, yesterday came good new for the economy. There was a big jump in the number of private sector jobs last month, a 192,00 jobs were added in February on top of the 63,000 that were added in January. The jobs report shows that even though the economy is still a little shaky and could be set back by the troubles in Libya and other mideast countries, it is growing and heading in the right direction. Unemployment is now down to 8.9% nationwide, falling below 9 percent for the first time in nearly two years.

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Filed under Brookdale Community College, Congressman Rush Holt, Freeholder Amy Mallet, IBM's Watson, Jeopardy., John Curley, Peter Burnham, Trenton Rally, unemployment

>President Obama’s Weekly Address 3/5/11: Cutting Waste, Investing in the Future

>WASHINGTON – In his weekly address, President Obama called for Democrats and Republicans to come together on a budget that cuts wasteful spending without sacrificing job-creating investments in education, innovation, and infrastructure. Noting that his administration has already proposed specific cuts that meet congressional Republicans halfway, he said that he is prepared to do more and that the job can only be finished by working out the differences and finding common ground.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/all/modules/swftools/shared/flash_media_player/player5x2.swf

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Filed under affordable education, Congressional Democrats, Congressional Republicans, cutting waste, federal budget, infrastructure, Innovation, Job creation, President Obama, weekly address