Daily Archives: May 19, 2011

>This Is What I was Talking About: ARTHUR Z. KAMIN: Bring out the brooms at Brookdale

>Just the other day I posted, Cantalupo’s Resignation From Brookdale Exposes Shady Ties To Lillian Burry and County. The post was about the ties between former Freeholder Director Lillian Burry and Brookdale Community College lawyer John Cantalupo, who finally resigned from the college’s Board of Trustees last Friday in the weak of the Peter Burnham scandal.

In today’s Asbury Park Press the commentary written by Arthur Z. Kamin states pretty much exactly what I had stated in my earlier post. It’s all there almost verbatim, how Cantalupo was Lillian Burry’s campaign treasurer, how Cantalupo helped negotiate Burnham’s generous employment contract and how Lillian Burry sits on the college board of school estimates which is responsible for approving contracts and budgets for the college.
I’m glad to see that someone else picked up on it and has connected the dots. I think the next one to step down after Jacob S. Elkes, the Vice -chairman of the College Board of Trustees, as Mr. Kamin has called for would be Lillian Burry herself.
Burry should step down from her position as a Monmouth County Freeholder and not seek re-election this November. Too many disturbing and questionable ethical revelations about Burry have been surfacing over the past few months that need closer examination from county residents.
Below is what Arthur Kamin wrote in today’s APP:
It’s been almost one weekly bombshell after another in the aftermath of the Brookdale Community College scandal that forced the school’s president, Peter F. Burnham, to resign in disgrace amid allegations of improper spending habits.

It raised anew serious questions about whether its board of trustees was doing an effective job of oversight or just sleepily rubber-stamping for payment Burnham’s excessive vouchers. The county prosecutor’s office is now investigating how the money was spent. There is no word yet from that office on when the probe will be completed.

So far, under strong pressure to quit, the high-level Brookdale resignation casualties, in separate actions, have been the board of trustees chairman Howard C. Birdsall, a 23-year veteran of the board, and the board’s multi-faceted attorney, John M. Cantalupo, who served for two years. Cantalupo took new heat last week when it was reported in the Asbury Park Press that he had been serving as Republican Freeholder Lillian G. Burry’s campaign treasurer.

But wait. Could that be right? Freeholder Burry’s campaign treasurer, a political position?

Didn’t Cantalupo serve as the attorney representing the Brookdale board of trustees and as general counsel for the college? And didn’t Cantalupo help negotiate the generous contract with Burnham that included lavish pay and perks at the same time the board was weighing an 8.2 percent tuition increase?

And don’t the freeholders, of which Burry is the former board director, appoint most of the Brookdale trustees? Don’t the trustees, in turn, appoint the attorney? Doesn’t Burry sit on the board of school estimate that votes on budgets that include the contracts of the president and the attorney? Wasn’t Burry a strong supporter of Burnham?

Is there anything wrong here? Is this a potential conflict of interest for Burry? Doesn’t it raise ethical concerns for Burry to have the Brookdale attorney as her campaign treasurer, often said to be her spokesman, at political fundraisers?

Cantalupo, in the May 14 issue of the Press, said he resigned as Burry’s campaign treasurer because he didn’t want to serve as a “political distraction for the most outstanding freeholder in Monmouth County.”

Interestingly, I asked Burry before the resignation if Cantalupo was serving as her campaign treasurer. She and her chief administrative assistant never replied to my e-mails. Neither did Cantalupo, who I also queried about the treasurer role and what it entailed. Bill Bucco, who described himself as Burry’s campaign spokesman, asked that any questions relating to her campaign be directed to him. But he did not reply to my questions about the Cantalupo campaign post. So much for transparency.

To their credit, Freeholder Deputy Director John P. Curley, a Republican, and Freeholder Amy A. Mallet, a Democrat, repeatedly called for Cantalupo to resign as Brookdale attorney. Curley said he was “very concerned” that Cantalupo was working for Burry as her campaign treasurer. Mallet questioned whether it was ethical for Burry to sit at the board of school estimate table deciding on the attorney’s fees.

There is no question that the freeholders now will have to grapple with the way Burry handled this matter — especially the fact that she would not disclose the Cantalupo link and kept the other freeholders in the dark on the issue. It was poor judgment on her part.

But now it’s time for another bombshell to drop. This one should come with the resignation of Jacob S. Elkes, the former board vice chairman who is serving as its interim chairman. He is a 16-year veteran of the board.

Elkes, like Birdsall, was part of the institution’s leadership vacuum that permitted the Burnham mess to take place. It’s time for him to go. The rest of this sleepy board should make plans to depart in an orderly fashion.

On his way out, Elkes should take with him the law firm of Wilentz, Goldman and Spitzer that gave Brookdale Cantalupo. It’s time for a complete culture change at the college and a new law firm, without any freeholder connections. There is no shortage of good law firms to choose from in Monmouth County.


Filed under Arthur Z. Kamin, Asbury Park Press, Brookdale College President, Brookdale Community College, Freeholder Lillian Burry, John Cantalupo, Peter Burnham

>GREAT STRIDES Walk for Cystic Fibrosis This Sunday May 22nd


My good friend and childhood buddy Joel MacLean has a daughter who was born with Cystic Fribrosis. This Sunday May 22nd, he will be taking part in the GREAT STRIDES walk for Cystic Fibrosis from 11am to 2pm down in Point Pleasant, corner of Arnold and Baltimore Aves at the Bandshell.

He is looking for sponsor’s and other individuals that could donate or would like to join him in walking to raise money to find a cure for this devastating genetic disease. His personal goal is to raise $1500, with a little bit of help from others he can meet it.

GREAT STRIDES is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s largest and most successful national fundraising event. This year, I’m walking in the GREAT STRIDES walk at the 2011 Point Pleasant – Bandshell, Corner of Arnold and Baltimore Avenues walk on 05/22/2011. Please help me meet my fundraising goal of $1,500.00 by sponsoring me. Your generous gift will be used efficiently and effectively, as nearly 90 cents of every dollar of revenue raised is available for investment in vital CF programs to support research, care and education….

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a devastating genetic disease that affects tens of thousands of children and young adults in the United States. Research and care supported by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is making a huge difference in extending the quality of life for those with CF. However, we continue to lose precious lives to CF every day. That’s why your help is needed now more than ever to ensure that a cure is found sooner – rather than later. To learn more about CF and the CF Foundation, visit www.cff.org.

Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those with CF! Thank you for supporting the mission of the CF Foundation and GREAT STRIDES! – Joel

If you would like to donate, sponsor or join Joel in his walk against Cystic Fibrosis you can do so by clicking >>> Here

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Filed under cystic fibrosis, donation, Great Strides Walk, Point Pleasant NJ

>APP: Pallone gets fed money to start beach projects

>It’s good to see Congressman Frank Pallone working to bring home the bacon for his constituents. The $7.5 million that he has secured for beach replenishment and other much needed projects along the Northern Monmouth bayshore area, as well as other parts of his district, will go a long way towards keeping Jersey shore and the communities that boarder it safe from flooding and economically vibrant for the small businesses that rely on it for their livelihoods.

From today’s Asbury Park Press

Monmouth County beaches got a boost when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers allocated $7.5 million in replenishment funds that was requested by U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., for Monmouth Beach and northern Long Branch.

Pallone made the announcement Wednesday of the allocation of $7.5 million in beach funding, plus the approval of Army Corps funding for Shark River dredging and for two engineering and feasibility studies in the Shore area.

The $7.5 million will go to fund beach replenishment in Monmouth Beach and possibly parts of northern Long Branch. That federal money will be added to about $2.5 million in federal funds on hand and added to state funds to provide a total of $12 million to $14 million that will allow the Army Corps to begin the projects later this year.

“This funding is vitally important for the Shore and I commend the Army Corps of Engineers for responding to my funding request for these projects,” Pallone said in a release.

The funds were approved as part of the fiscal year 2011 continuing resolution approved in April that funded the government through the end of the year.

The Army Corps also approved funding for three additional projects. The South River Flood Control Project received $250,000 to continue with the engineering and design phase. The Corps allocated $496,650 to the Shark River maintenance dredging project to dredge the river’s inlet this year. A $207,000 allocation will allow completion of a feasibility study for the Raritan and Sandy Hook Bay, Highlands project.

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Filed under Army Corps of Engineers, Asbury Park Press, beach replenishment, Congressman Frank Pallone, flood control, Jersey Shore