Daily Archives: March 19, 2011

>Middletown Tax Assessor To Receive $15K "Bonus" Under New Salary Ordinance

>According to the new Township Salary Ordinance 2011-3027 that will be voted on and possible adopted at Monday night’s Township Committee meeting in Middletown, the Township Tax Assessor Charles Heck, is in for a windfall bonus of $15,000 for doing such a great job preparing for the Township reassessment.

Heck’s base salary is already over $108,000 according to the APP’s Data Universe . And everyone knows what a great job he did preparing the Township’s re-evaluations, he was suspended without pay for withholding information and not turning in reports on time. The work he did was of such quality, it sparked a huge avalanche of tax appeals that the Township is still trying to dig itself out from under.
Now, the Township thinks that Heck was overworked gathering numbers for Reality Appraisal, the company that the Township paid $400,000 to recently and was in charge of the reassessment, so he should be given a $15,000 bonus for all his extra work!
According to former Committeeman Sean Byrnes, the Township Committee tried last year to give Heck his bonus, but when Byrnes complained and disagreed with the idea it was dropped from consideration. Now that Byrnes is no longer on the Committee, those that feel Heck should be compensated for his fantastic extra work on behalf of the Township, have once again introduced it and plan to move forward.
I suppose this bonus money is coming from the funds that have been pilfered from the Library’s $500,000 that they Township has just confiscated.
BTW – The Assistant Tax Assessor will also be receiving a $5,000 bonus according to Ordinance 2011-3027 . Does anyone know who that person is? They must be doing an equally bang up job as Heck has done to justify a bonus when other’s have been subject to a salary freeze.

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Filed under Asbury Park Press, bonuses, Charles Heck, data universe, Middletown NJ, property tax reassessment, property tax revaluation, resolutions and ordinances, tax assessor

>Crime Scene Middletown: MAN ARRESTED FOR ARRGAVATED ARSON AND CRIMINAL MISCHIEF AFTER HE SETS RENTAL PROPERTY ON FIRE

>I can’t believe I missed this one, it happened just around the corner from my house!


PREPARED BY DETECTIVE LIEUTENANT STEPHEN DOLLINGER

On March 16, 2011 at approximately 3:00 PM Patrolman Adam Vendetti and Patrolman Albert Scott responded to a residence on Harmony Road in reference to a report of a subject who had set the residence on fire. Upon arrival the officers found smoke coming from the residence and a fire in a bedroom.

The investigation conducted by the officers along with Detective Peter White of the Middletown Police Department and members of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, the Middletown Fire Marshall’s Office, and the Monmouth County Fire Marshall’s Office determined that the resident, Christopher Bossick, age 31, had purposely set the house on fire in retaliation for being advised that he was about to be evicted by the property owner.

Police advise that Bossick also did considerable damage to the interior of the home utilizing power tools as well as other means prior to starting the fire.

Bossick was arrested and was charged with Aggravated Arson and three counts of Criminal Mischief. He was being held on $50,000.00 bail with no 10% option set by Judge Richard Thompson.


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Filed under arson, Crime Scene Middletown, Criminal Mischief, Harmony Road, rental property

>President Obama’s Weekly Address 3/19/11: American Jobs Through Exports to Latin America

>Even as the President maintains his focus on international crises in Japan and Libya, he discusses his trip to Latin America to open up markets for US products.

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

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Filed under economic recovery, international crises, Japan, Jobs, Latin America, Libya, President Obama, weekly address

>Integrity and Independence Of Middletown Library Is Now And Forevermore Compromised

>By now most everyone who is interested, knows about the outcome of Wednesday night’s Middletown Library Board meeting. After much bantering, chest beating and ideal threats by members of the Township Committee toward those who sit on the Middletown Library Board of Trustees, the members of the board decided that it was better to cave into Township demands than risk their positions as board members. By a 5 to 2 vote members of the Library Board of Trustees decided to handover nearly $500,000 worth of surplus and reserved funds to the Township, even though it may compromise the Library at a later date.

I’ve been asked by a number of people what my thought’s and feelings are about what transpired Wednesday night but I wasn’t in attendance, I worked late and couldn’t make it home in time, but after speaking with a few people that were there and reading the accounts of the meeting online at the Asbury Park Press, Redbankgreen.com and Middletown patch.com, I’ve read and heard enough to form an opinion.

I think that the integrity and independence of the Middletown Library and it’s current Board of Trustees has now and forevermore been compromised due to their majority decision of support, to handover reserved funds to the Township for little more than a veiled promise of not turning the operations of the Library over to Monmouth County and not seeking anymore funds from the Library for the rest of 2011.
Remember this controversy came to light because Library Treasurer and Trustee Sherry Miloscia, sent out an impassioned email back on February 11th to library supporters that went viral, stating that the Township had made threats against the library and it’s Board of Trustees if they refused to hand over $1.2 million from the coffers, even though most of the money in question was restricted and not really surplus.
After that a war of words exploded between Mayor Fiore and Library Director Susan O’Neal, each releasing statements before the February 16th Library Board meeting in which the Township wanted an answer as to how much funds they could extort, I mean expect, from the Library.
That meeting was heavily attended and many of those in attendance made impassioned pleas of their own in support of the library, it seemed that the Board of Trustees were energized and encouraged by the show of support, to stand firm against handing over anymore funds to the Township than was legally required. Unfortunately however, the firmness of the Trustees seemed to wain over the weeks as fewer supporters turned out to voice concerns at subsequent Township Committee and Library Board meetings, ultimately ending with the outcome as reported.
In succumbing to the pressure of the Township Committee, those members of the Board of Trustees that voted to hand over reserved funds over and above the verified surplus, giving all but $66,000 to the Township, broke their vow to individuals that had donated private funds in support of the library, that wished to see their endowments used for the enrichment of the library, not the Township Committee.
I suppose though that’s OK seeing how the Township has promised to fund, through bonding, projects that the Library already had the funds to pay for upfront and will now be required to reimburse the Township for afterwards, like the parking lot expansion and solar panel projects that the Library already started planning for and spent money on.
What incentive does the Library Board of Trustees now have to save and run the library prudently or build surplus funds for capital projects and rainy day items like new computers or furnishing for the comfort and enjoyment of their customers, the Middletown residents? None I would say, because anytime that perceived funds exist that seem to be over and above the legal amount set by the state in which the library can hold in surplus, the Middletown Committee will be looking to confiscate it. And with this being the case, why would any private individual donate funds to the Middletown library every again? A fundraiser for the library you say, well good luck with that. No one in their right mind could ever support such a thing again.
The only two Board Trustees that I can honestly say came out off this situation with their integrity intact are Board President and Vice President Randal Gabrielan and Gregory Milne. They opposed this transfer of funds on the grounds that it was excessive and would compromise the Library down the road.
They didn’t roll over out of fear of losing their board positions, like a few of the people I talked to suggested the other board members had.
Gabrielan and Milne were not impressed and didn’t feel threatened by fellow Board Trustee, Township Committeeman Kevin Settembrino, with his silver and slippery tongue. They understand the consequence that this action represents, which is that forevermore, the library will no longer be seen as an independent entity, free from political preying hands and political whims of those that run the Township.
I wouldn’t be surprised by the fact that when Randal Gabrielan and Gregory Milne’s terms expire as Library Trustees, they will not be re-appointed. Current Township Committee members made that abundantly clear when they expressed displeasure with Trustees on the night of February 16th, when those members made statements to the effect that they had appointed the trustees to the the library board and they were shocked by the trustees behavior.
Time will tell whether or not the Library Board of Trustees made the right decision in selling out to the Township. Everyone knows that the Township Committee is short sighted in many of thing that they do, this money grab is no different, next year and the year after that, and the year after that, Middletown will still be looking at structural problems within its operating budget with nowhere else left to turn.

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Filed under Asbury Park Press, Kevin Settembrino, Library Reserves, Middletown Library, Middletown Patch, RedBankGreen.com, surplus funds, Susan O'Neal, Tony Fiore

>What’s The Worth Of A Teacher; What Do They Make?

>Are you one of those people that think teachers are overpaid, lazy and worthless and are only out to enrich themselves by swilling at the public trough? Be careful the next time you ask a teacher “what do they make?”, you may not get the answer you were expecting!

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Filed under stand-up comedian, Taylor Mali, Teachers, YouTube