Daily Archives: March 29, 2011

>New Robo Call From Concerned Citizens Of Middletown on Bonding Debt

>Shortly after 12:00PM this afternoon my phone rang, on the other end of the phone was another robo-call from the group calling themselves “Concerned Citizens Of Middletown”. This time the robo- call’s message was geared toward “bonding” and the amount of debt that the Township has incurred over the years.

According to the call, Middletown is currently $73 million dollars in debt and nearly 20% of very tax dollar collected by the Township is must be allocated to pay it off, which seems about right to me, give or take a little either way.

People have been asking me if I have any information on this group, unfortunately I don’t but would like to find out. My suspicions are that they are a Tea Party group or a few disgruntled township employees who want to get information out about the shell games the Township Committee has been playing over the past couple of years.

If any one has any other information on this “Concerned Citizens of Middletown” group, please send it along.

Below is the message that went out today, I recorded off my answering machine so that I could post it here.

http://www.archive.org/flow/flowplayer.commercial-3.2.1.swf

4 Comments

Filed under bonding, Concerned Citizens of Middletown, debt service, loan payments, Middletown Township Committee, Robo-calls, Tea Party

>Heard It In The Hallways….

>Last week when an anonymous poster left a tidbit of information in the comments section for the post “Middletown Tax Assessor To Receive $15K “Bonus” Under New Salary Ordinance”, referring to Middletown Township Administrator Tony Mercantante being offered a job in Trenton by the Christie Administration, I found it hard to believe. I didn’t think it was plausible that the guy would leave a nice cushy position in Middletown making over $125,000 a year, to take a less stable, patronage job that wouldn’t pay him anywhere near what he is currently being paid. But I kept it in the back of my mind and started to ask around. What I was told surprised me, but after it was explained I could understand it.

The person that I talked with did not want their name mentioned, but as a Township employee they can be found very often around Town Hall. This person told me that Tony Mercantante was indeed offered a job down in Trenton, somewhere within the State Planning Office and he will be leaving Middletown for his new gig sometime in May.

When I questioned the person why Mercantante would leave Middletown, they explained it thusly:

The late Judy Stanley, who was often referred to as the Queen of Middletown, was very fond of Mercantante and acted as a mentor to him for many years. She was instrumental in Mercantante’s rise through the system. It was Stanley that brought Mercantante back to Middletown as a planner after a few years absence working out of state and it was her idea to promote him from his Township planning job to his current position as Township Administrator, when Bob Czech left that position in order to become Monmouth County Administrator a few years back.

Once Judy Stanley placed Tony Mercantante into the position as the Township Administrator, it became evident to some that he was in over his head. They thought that he had a problem with telling the truth, as in, being to honest when some one asked a question, while others thought that he was (is) a bungler who causes more problems than what he solves.

Allegedly, 3 out of the 5 currently sitting Township Committee people can’t stand him and have been making it extremely uncomfortable for Mercantante to do his job. As a result, it’s often hard to get a straight answer out of him. And on top of it all, Mercantante has to deal with a Township Attorney who has a Napoleon Complex and who also happens to be the #2 Republican in Middletown, Brian Nelson, on almost every decision, every day (that alone would be enough for me to seek out new employment).

So, as a result of all this, I was told that the powers that be, seeing that things have not been working out to their liking for sometime now, have worked out a face-saving arrangement for Tony Mercantante to leave his position as Township Administrator, for a job with the Christie Administration in Trenton.

If this turns out to be true, and I have no doubt about the person who passed along this information, than I want to wish Tony Mercantante well in his new position down in Trenton. I’ve personally never had a problem with him he has always been personable with me on the few occasions that we have talked. He probably deserves better than what he is getting, I always thought that he was on top of things, but then again since when have I thought anything that meant a damn to those that run Middletown anyway.

Good luck Tony, your going to need it now more than ever.

14 Comments

Filed under Brian Nelson, Gov. Chris Christie, Judith Stanley Coleman, Middletown NJ, planning, Tony Mercantante, Township Administrator, Trenton NJ

>Red Bank’s Ed Zipprich and Juanita Lewis announce their plans to run for reelection

>Posted from Redbank-Shrewsbury Patch.com

Red Bank Council Members Ed Zipprich and Juanita Lewis announced their candidacies for reelection to the borough council at a recent celebration of Red Bank’s 103rd birthday.

The reception, held Sunday at the Red Bank home of Zipprich and his longtime partner JP Niccolaides, drew more than 100 supporters from across Monmouth County, including the borough’s other council members, Mayor Pasquale Menna, and other county officials.

County Freeholder Amy Mallet championed the accomplishments of both Zipprich and Lewis, lauding them for presenting balanced budgets in consecutive years for the borough. She encouraged them to remain focuses on their record of fiscal responsibility and commitment to Red Bank’s community and future prosperity.

Lewis said she looked forward to continuing the commitment she and Zipprich made to the people in Red Bank when they were elected in 2008.

“We will continue to work on issues that affect our town’s families and stand by our pledge for greater transparency and accountability in our town’s government.”

Zipprich said that the borough’s council doesn’t always see eye to eye, but that’s a positive quality in local government. And, as the only African American and openly gay candidates running for borough council this year, “Juanita and I love this town and proudly represent the diversity here.”

1 Comment

Filed under city council, Ed Zipprich, Freeholder Amy Mallet, Jaunita Lewis, re-election bid, Red Bank NJ, Redbank-Shrewbury Patch

>As A Matter Of Fact…..Budget hearings on the economy and State revenue collections

>

This week, the legislature will begin to consider Governor Christie’s proposed FY 2012 budget. This is traditionally the time when the State Treasurer and the Legislative Budget and Finance Officer (LBFO) present their assessment of the state’s economy and what that means in terms of revenue collections for this year and the next. Today, State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff and LBFO David Rosen addressed the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee; tomorrow, they will address the Assembly Budget Committee. Both of these full-day budget sessions traditionally are broadcast online.

The seven taxes in the table below account for eighty percent or more of the revenue collected by the state. It compares actual revenues collected in FY 2008 and FY 2010 to the amounts Governor Christie is using as a basis for his FY 2012 proposed budget. In an earlier blog, Taking the Long View, we outlined why it is appropriate to consider state collections and spending over a longer period of time than the year-to-year manner of the Governor’s annual budget. Suffice it to say, these are unprecedented times and we need a clear understanding of the situation.

In FY 2008, the state collected and spent more money than in any other year. Then the recession hit and revenues dropped precipitously. The FY 2008 and FY 2010 tax rates and structures are roughly comparable in those two years, i.e. no major increases or decreases were enacted in FY 2008 or FY 2010. Governor Christie is proposing a budget that also includes no significant rate changes.

The one rate change impact would be from the calendar year 2009 income rate increases on taxpayers earning more than $400,000. This likely had a residual effect on income tax collections in FY 2010. This is because higher income taxpayers tend to settle their tax bills in April and in 2009 their tax bills would have been higher (so additional calendar year 2009 taxes that are due would have been paid in FY 2010).

To understand more about state revenues and what these numbers mean, tune in to the hearings and look for Treasurer Sidamon-Eristoff and LBFO David Rosen’s testimony.

Note: NJJP’s “As a Matter of Fact” blog has taken the place of NJJP’s Monday Minute and will be posted here from time to time.

Leave a comment

Filed under As a Matter of Fact, blogs, Budget, budget hearing, Gov. Chris Christie, New Jersey Policy Perspective, Newsletter, tax collections