>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

14 responses to “>Heard It In The Hallways….

  1. >Honesty and integrity are not qualities either respected or practiced by the current administration,both elected or hired in the Township of Middletown.Government here is the WORST it has ever been in this municipality and now it will get even WORSE!!!

  2. >I've felt for some time that Mercantante was caught between a rock and a hard place. However, this comes as a surprise. He seemed like a good guy and always treated people with more respect that most of the TC.I believe the town can be managed better, but it doesn't matter who replaces him, since all is decided through Peter Carton.I agree with your comment about Brian Nelson. It's bad enough when your elected officials talk down to the residents in this town, but watching the smirking from Nelson is insulting to all of us. My tax dollars paying for him to sit up there and pass judgment adds insult to injury.With that said I wish Tony good luck.

  3. >Probably the best decision Tony has made. I don't blame him for leaving. No respect from the TC as well as no support. This is how they treat all the employees of Middletown. When the committee members see you in public they tell you your doing a great job then when you walk away they stab you in the back to suit there political needs

  4. >The little tyrant wasn't elected to any position in this township and if the people begin to protest they could get rid of the smirking weasel also. This town belongs to the residents and voters ,not these hypocrites.Six "little" dictators currently hold "court" here.Is everybody happy with what you so blindly elected???Elections have consequences!

  5. >This story is about as credible as the robo calls recorded by Jansen and Michaels.

  6. >Mike, I hope this is accurate. Wouldn't want you to have egg on your face!

  7. >Anon 5:25It wouldn't the first and it wont be the last I'm sure.We'll see what happens when the time comes.

  8. >Having dealt with Mr. Mercantante on several occasions I have always been impressed with his honesty and extensive knowledge of planning and township issues. He was always polite when people had to be told no and he offered logical reasons as to why. I am not surprised to hear the tc does not like him. Tony is an honest person and he has done a lot for Middletown. It will be Middletown's loss if he does leave but will not be the first time honest people have left due to the games the tc plays.

  9. >Isn't scharfenberger's political plum job with the state in planning? Mercantante is far more qualified than scharfy.

  10. >Anon 4:01,The calls are credible and right on the money….in every way. This TC is a total disgrace !Have never seen it so bad in this town….NEVER!!

  11. >I'm curious Mike, Why are people talking to you about Mercantante?Don't they know what you do?Are the township employees feeling disgruntled?Maybe they don't have confidence in the leadership. They would have first hand knowledge. Right?I was just wondering.

  12. >It's a damn shame that Tony Mercantante is considering leaving but better for him to protect his reputation. It's difficult to be exposed to what governs in Middletown today and not be tarnished by it.Good luck,Tony. Your honesty will be missed if it is true you are leaving employment in the township. You have served well for a good many years.

  13. >Hey Fred, I though you wanted to be a Lieutenant.

  14. >Only thing Fred is good at is surveys for Scharfey and his "cheerleader" during political campaigns. Needs some courses in the law before he gets any promotion.

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