Daily Archives: July 27, 2011

13th Legislative District Candidate Kevin Lavan Supports Unions and the Middle Class

I support unions. While the consequences of the recent pension deal between Governor Christie and Trenton lawmakers remains to be seen, now is the time for New Jerseyans to consider how best to protect the middle class in an era of high unemployment and declining pay. Unlike my opponents, Assemblywoman Amy Handlin and Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, I recognize that union membership translates into higher wages and better workplace conditions for Garden State workers. Handlin and O’Scanlon not only want to reform public employee benefits — an idea that has merits — they want to restrict the rights of private sector workers to negotiate with management.

O’Scanlon is the sponsor of a bill that repeals the New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act and the Public Works Contractor Registration Act, a move that essentially ends prevailing wage standards. That’s an assault not only on union members, but on non-union construction workers and others in the building trades who rely on fair wage protections as a guarantee that they will be paid at a rate commensurate with their work.
Just this month, O’Scanlon and Handlin introduced a bill that makes New Jersey a “Right to Work” state. Although the legislation was pronounced dead on arrival, I am disappointed that my opponents are pursuing such a radical agenda. Right to work really means right to be fired. Passage of Handlin and O’Scanlon’s legislation will result in lower wages and have a negative impact on workers safety and health.
My opponents are not only on the wrong side of working families, but quite literally, they are writing the laws that will set back the clock one hundred years and remove the protections that helped build our middle class.
It is important that New Jerseyans, especially those residing in the Thirteenth Legislative District, understand that the current debate extends far beyond public employee pensions. Elected officials should do everything in their power to protect taxpayers. While in office, I did just that. However, Garden State workers — both union and non-union — deserve to know that Handlin and O’Scanlon seek to undermine the very provisions that have allowed countless families to enter the middle class. I want no part in that, and if I am fortunate enough to be elected to the Assembly, I will be a champion of working families.
Kevin M. Lavan
Democratic Candidate
13th Legislative District

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Filed under 13th Legisaltive District, Amy Handlin, Declan O'Scanlon, Democratic Candidate, fair wages, Hazlet Mayor, Kevin Lavan, Middle Class, right to work, union members, working families

Perfect Timing As Latest Robo-Call Counters RedBankGreen Fluff Piece On Bamm Hollow Development

Earlier today I was surfing my favorite website and found a fluff piece on RedBankGreen.com concerning some old news about the redevelopment of the Bamm Hollow Country Club in Lincroft. I was going to post about it but I got dragged away until now, which as circumstances will have it was a good thing, because an hour or so later after reading how Township “OFFICIALS TOUT BAMM HOLLOW OPEN SPACE“, the telephone rang.

On the other end of the phone was another robo-call issued by the group calling themselves “Concerned Citizens of Middletown”. It stated how the addition of 500 homes in and around Lincroft is will be eroding the quality of life of residents in Middletown.

I copied the message off of my answering machine and have it posted below, along with a transcript for anyone interested in hearing it.

It must have been a slow news day for Dustin Racioppi and the RedBankGreen, as I said the story is old and is reporting on what was said in May when the court case was settled.

Middletown, as Township Attorney Brian Nelson (how come Township Administrator Tony Mercantante or Assistant Administrator James Van Nest didn’t talk to RBG about this?) would like everyone to believe, did not win big.
Bam Hollow was originally zoned for 50 homes. The original proposal was to increase it to 200 homes. The Plannig Board said no and Bamm Hollow sued for 1,200. The Township setteld for 190. So who actually won big time here?
Brian Nelson and friends were not going to win the lawsuit, which is why they settled. They spent hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting it, so it is apparent who won big time. The lawyers hired by the Township to fight a losing battle. the open space would have been there
regardless.

(Concerned Citizens Robo-Call #6: Eroding the Quality Of Life)
http://www.archive.org/flow/flowplayer.commercial-3.2.1.swf

Have you heard the quality of life in Middletown, according to Money Magazine, has dropped 39% during the past four years?

Poor planning and dense re-zoning by Middletown politicians led to approval for over 500 new homes in Lincroft and Bamm Hollow.

Increased density will further erode our declining quality of life, and compete with homeowner’s unable to sell their homes in this dismal economy.

It’s time to clean house and throw-out incumbent politicians.

(Paid for by Concerned Citizens of Middletown)

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Filed under Bamm Hollow Country Club, Brian Nelson, Concerned Citizens of Middletown, Dustin Racioppi, open space, RedBankGreen.com, Redevelopment Lincroft, Robo-calls, Tony Mercantante

Letters To The Independent Expressing Outrage Over The Demotion Of Dr. Shallop Have BOE Members Defending Reassignment of Principal

According to the this weeks edition of the Independent (already posted online), many residents had sent letters to the publisher this past week, expressing outrage over the action taken by the members of the Middletown Board of Education that lead to the demotion of the very popular Principal of Middletown High School South, Dr. Anthony Shallop.

So many letters in fact that the Independent felt compelled to follow-up on these letters of support by contacting BOE members for a response, all of whom defended their decision to reassign Dr Shallop to his previously tenured position as a teacher at High School South via email.
…Board Member Vincent Brand said in an email that his decision was based on the facts relevant to the issue, which by law cannot be discussed in public because the issue remains personal and confidential.

“It would have been easy to vote the popular vote last night, but that would have been, for me, unethical to do so.”

According to Brand and board Vice President Christopher Aveta, the board gave Shallop a chance to address the issues prior to the vote.

“I fought hard for Dr. Shallop to get into executive session so that he would have every opportunity to impact the vote and so that he could hear directly from the board the specific issues at hand,” Brand said.

“He was given that chance and could not positively affect the outcome.”

Board member Michael Donlon was the only board member to vote against the reassignment.

“I had not been totally convinced the decision was correct, therefore I could not go along with it,” he said in an email.

“Granting tenure to someone is not a decision that is taken lightly,” board President Joan Minnuies said in an email.

Minnuies said that the decision was three months in the making and involved discussions with the district’s central office and Shallop.

“I feel that the information provided to the board by both the central office and Dr. Shallop himself has convinced the board that the decision we ended up making was the correct one,” she said….

This vague reasoning by BOE members is a little hard to swallow based on some of their comments. It seem as if the decision to reassign Shallop was made long in advance and no matter what he would have said to the Board in Executive session, his words would not have been convincing enough to change their minds and will remain a mystery until someone decides to break the silence and explain what really went on between Dr. Shallop and the BOE that lead to his reassignment.
Comments left on my previous post on this subject are full of speculation, name calling and innuendo as to the real reason why Anthony Shallop was stripped of his duties as Principal of High School South and reassigned back to his original teaching position that he had held before becoming principal a couple of years prior.
Some of the comments seem to have merit while others are a little farfetched, you can read them and decided for yourself which ones seem legitimate and which ones are bogus. The bottom line however, is that when the truth comes out someone will have egg on their face and will have some explaining to do.
The Independent posted online two letters that were sent them supporting Dr. Shallop in his fight to retain his position. The letter sent by Patricia Wood,Resident heartbroken over Board of Ed. action, was referred to in the article posted by the Independent, while the other written by Judy Krivitzky, Parent urges Mid’twn BOE to reconsider principal’s removal (An open letter to the Middletown Board of Education and Interim Superintendent Patrick Houston), collaborates and supports much of what is contained in Patricia Wood’s letter.
They are both worth reading, as is the article about the BOE defending Shallop’s reassignment. Somewhere in between the three, the truth lies.

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Filed under Dr. Anthony Shallop, Joan Minnuies, Middletown Board of Education, Middletown South High School, reader comments, reassignment of duties, school principal, the Independent, Vinnie Brand