Monthly Archives: December 2011

Middletown Human Rights Commission Being Abolished by Attrition

In a response to my earlier post “Political Affiliations Over Participation Matter More When It Comes To Board Appointments“, Mrs. Carolyn Schwebel sent out a letter to numerous friends and supporters that concurs with much of what I posted. It seems that because Mrs. Schewebel has been an outspoken member of the Middletown Human Rights Commission, who has held the Township of Middletown accountable for its lack of attentiveness to the various issues concerning people with disabilities, the Human Rights Commission is dying a slow death and it seems that she will not be reappointed to the commission.
Here is what she wrote:

At the last Middletown Township committee meeting, a frequently outspoken resident commented that she had applied to be on the Library Board, the mayor told her that she had as much chance of being appointed as he had in getting her vote in the last election. His comment sounds like a quid pro quo to me, and reflects the political connection requirement for appointments to Middletown’s boards and commissions. A Library Board member has just been removed for presenting a minority view.

The Middletown Human Rights Commission (MHRC) had only six members of the required eleven seats. and unanimously asked the Township Committee to appoint new members in January 2012. No answer was received. Another member and I, whose terms ended in 2011, received no “thank you letter,” although the other members did, and no mention of being reappointed.

The resolutions for Middletown’s January 1, 2012 reorganization meeting show appointments to all boards and commissions except the Bayshore Village Senior Citizen Housing Corporation , which has no vacancies, and the Middletown Human Rights Commission. Neither I nor the other commissioner has been reappointed, although I have been the chair, with perfect attendance for many years.

It is of note that both MHRC members who were not reappointed have spoken out to advise the Township Committee. Both also have disabilities and use wheelchairs. Less than three years ago, Middletown settled a civil rights case of disability discrimination. An Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility suit has existed since 2004, with consent orders in 2006 and 2007 being unfulfilled by Middletown.

A Chinese aphorism recently in the New York Times stated that, “You cannot wrap a fire with paper: the truth will come out.”

It’s too bad that this type of stuff goes on, it just adds credence to what many already know which is, if you’re not one of the chosen elite in Middletown you need not apply.
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under advisory boards and commissions, Carolyn Schwebel, Middletown Human Rights Commission, Middletown NJ

Happy New Year to One and All


As 2011 comes to a close, I know that it hasn’t been a good year to many out there, but as we enter 2012 things are beginning to look up; The stock market is up, unemployment is on the way down, the housing and real estate markets have started to turn in the positive direction and the long war in Iraq has come to an end. It seems that we are on the right track for a great new year (that is of course if the world doesn’t on before the 2012 is over).

For all of those that have touched my life this year and in years past; family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances and readers of this blog, I want you to know that I am extremely fortunate to have been touched by each of you.
Remember, it’s the people that we know and love that make a difference in the fabric of our lives, not the material itself.
Have a happy, safe and prosperous New Year everyone!

Leave a comment

Filed under family and friends, Happy New Year, Iraq War, stock markets, unemployment

President Obama’s Weekly Address 12/31/11 : Working Together in the New Year

WASHINGTON—In his weekly address, President Obama told the American people that although there will be tough debates to come in the new year, by joining together, we can continue to help grow the economy and create jobs across the country. President Obama will keep working to ensure that everyone has a fair shot and does their fair share, and as we enter into 2012, all Americans should remind Washington of what is at stake for the middle class. By adding their voices to the debate, Americans have already proven that they can make a difference, and in the new year, we can continue to work together to put the country first and help every American find the opportunities they deserve.

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

Leave a comment

Filed under doing the right thing, economic recovery, fair share, Happy New Year, Job creation, Middle Class, New Year, President Obama, unemployment insurance, weekly address

A Few Words About Middletown’s Reorganization

Just a quick word about Sunday’s Middletown Reorganization meeting being held at Town Hall @ noon.

Seeing how the Middletown Republicans have already “leaked” their intentions to reappoint Tony Fiore as Mayor and Steve Massell as Deputy Mayor, I have to wonder why?

Steve Massell is up for reelection this year and historically (thought not always the case recently) , the person on the Township Committee seeking reelection is appointed mayor, but I guess, seeing how Massell hasn’t made more than a handful of public comments during his 2+ years of tenure on the Township Committee and often seems as if he doesn’t want to be up there on the dais, and if you take into consideration the rumor that has been circulating for the past few months about how Massell doesn’t intend to seek reelection anyway after his current term expires at the end of 2012, the Republicans couldn’t appoint him mayor.

Why reappoint Tony Fiore as mayor than?

I suppose it must have more to due with Fiore’s abrasive, arrogant and cocksure personality than the actual job he did representing the Township as the committee’s mouthpiece.
Beside, who else could it be?
Gerry Scharfenberger? No, I don’t think so. He is too much of a polarizing figure and is a lighting rod that has attracted too much controversy over the years. Governor Christie wouldn’t want his favorite employee in the spotlight taking away any of the attention from himself while making a run to be either Mitt Romney’s Vice -Presidential or possible his candidate for U.S. Attorney General.
Kevin Settembrino? After his snake-in-the-grass performance doing the Township Committee’s dirty work of threatening the Middletown Library Board of Trustees to turn over nearly $500K of surplus and reserved funds or else the Middletown Library system would be over to the County and all the while pitting the Library Board against the Middletown Police, saying that if the funds weren’t turned over the Middletown Library would be solely responsible for Police layoffs. Settembrino didn’t make many friends in his first year on the Committee to say the least, but next year will be his year to shine as mayor.
And of course there is just no way Stephanie Murray could have been placed in either position in her very first year.
So Tony gets to be mayor again by default.
Also, I would like to thank all of those who will be appointed and reappointed to the various board and commission sponsored by the Township, most are volunteers and give of themselves freely to help out others and regardless of how partisan the process of their appointments are they deserve to be thanked.

Leave a comment

Filed under Gerry Scharfenberger, Kevin Settembrino, Middletown Library, reorganization, Stephanie Murray, Steve Massell, surplus funds, Tony Fiore

Mtown News Flash 12-30-11

Main Train Station Lot Has Available Parking
The Township Parking Lot on Church Street next to the train station no longer has a wait list! We are at the half year mark and Parking Permits for the Main Lot are now on sale for $200 resident rate and $225 nonresident rate and are good through June 30, 2012. Please take advantage of this special offer and ride the NJ Transit train instead of fighting the traffic! Contact the Office of the Township Clerk 732-615-2015 9:00am – 5:00pm Monday through Friday for more information on how to obtain a Parking Permit.

Organization Day Set for Jan 1, 2012 at noon
The Township Committee will hold Middletown’s annual Organization Day meeting at noon on Sunday, January 1, 2012 at Town Hall, 1 Kings Highway. On the agenda will be the swearing in of the 2012 Mayor and Deputy Mayor. Under the township’s form of government, the Township Committee designates two members to serve as mayor and deputy mayor for a one-year term. Committeeman Anthony P. Fiore will accept the oath of office to serve his second consecutive term. Committeewoman Elect Stephanie C. Murray will be sworn in as the newest member of the Township Committee. The term for each Committee member is three years. Scores of volunteers traditionally attend to accept oaths of office to serve on more than a dozen township boards, committees and commissions. Each group focuses on different aspects of the community and works to enhance Middletown’s quality of life. Residents are appointed to these positions by the Township Committee. For more information call the Township Clerk at (732) 615-2014.

New Year’s Municipal Facility Schedules

  • Municipal offices will be closed Monday, January 2, 2012.
  • Main Library – Saturday, Dec 31st – closing at 12:30pm
  • Main Library – Jan 1, 2 – closed
  • Middletown Arts Center – closed Dec 30 – Jan 2.

New Year’s Garbage and Recycling Collection Schedule
There will be no garbage collection on Monday January 2, 2012. The next collection for residences with a Monday garbage collection will be Thursday January 5, 2012. There will be no recycling collection on Monday January 2, 2012. Recycling will be scheduled to be collected on the following day.

Recycling Center Open Jan 3,4
The Kanes Lane Recycling Center will be OPEN on Tuesday & Wednesday January 3, 4 to accommodate residents who need to recycle cardboard, mixed paper and other items after the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. The Recycling Center is closed New Year’s Day. Regular operation hours will resume after January 4th. Hours are Thursday through Monday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Christmas Tree Collection 2012
Christmas Tree Collection begins January 5, 2012. Click here for schedule. Trees can also be brought to the Kanes Lane Recycling Center, 52, Kanes Lane by Middletown residents only free of charge.

Leaf Collection
Leaf collection is underway. Get status reports at www.middletownnj.org/collection

Vote for the MAC in the 2012 NJ Monthly Best of NJ Poll
Please vote for the Middletown Arts Center under the category of “Recreation & Attractions: Live Theater / Arts Venue”. This is the link to cast your vote: http://njmonthly.com/articles/best-of-Jersey/2012-jersey-choice-the-best-of-new-jersey.html. Deadline for voting is January 15, 2012. By winning the poll, the Middletown Arts Center would continue to spread the word statewide about its talented instructors, affordable classes, and free events and programs. It’s a true pleasure to represent an organization that educates and entertains thousands of families year-round.

Leave a comment

Filed under leaf collection, Middletown NJ, MIddletown train station, newsflash, NJ Monthly Magazine, recycling and garbage, reorganization

Secret Public Hearing at Middletown Sewerage Authority

The following letter appears online at the Atlantic Highlands Herald:

At its 12/7/2011 Board meeting, The Middletown Sewerage Authority (TOMSA) held a public hearing on its 2012 budget, but didn’t bother to tell the public.

I attended that meeting and was caught by surprise when, at the start of the meeting, TOMSA Executive Director Pat Parkinson asked awkwardly if there were any public comments on the budget. He never bothered to announce that it was a public hearing. Such an announcement is protocol at hearings and typically includes mention of when notice was provided to the public in line with statutory requirement.

Not realizing it was a hearing and not prepared for it, I said nothing, and the Board quickly moved to adopt the budget by unanimous vote while I was still scratching my head.

After the meeting, I did an online search of public notices and found none about the budget hearing. Because the public wasn’t notified of the hearing, TOMSA’s 2012 budget is subject to legal challenge. It seems appropriate, then, that a new hearing be scheduled. The public deserves a real opportunity, and has a legal right, to review the numbers and ask questions.

Linda Baum
Middletown, NJ

Leave a comment

Filed under Atlantic Highlands Herald, letter to the editor, Patrick Parkinson, public hearing, TOMSA

Week 17- Giants v. Cowboys for Princess

Last week’s game between the NY Giants and the NY Jets was a must win for both teams in order to keep their playoff hopes alive (more so for the Giants). In all reality, the game was sloppily played by both but should have been won by the Jets if they would have stuck by their game plan to run the ball more and not pass it over 60 times. In the end however, a win is a win and Princess the Camel picked the winner when the Giants shutdown the Jets last Saturday and silencing the mouth of Head Coach Rex Ryan.

“…Jets coach Ryan said he didn’t come to New York to be anybody’s little brother and he was going to prove that last Saturday. I guess that didn’t work out for him!…” commented Princess

This week it all comes down to the last game of the season for both the Giants and the Dallas Cowboys, the winner of this game takes the NFC East Division crown and marches(more likes limps) into the playoffs, while the loser goes home and watches the playoffs from their easy chairs.

From her sanctuary at Popcorn Park Zoo, in Lacy Township NJ, Princess the Camel has made her final NFL game prediction of the regular season and has chosen the Giants to beat the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night at MetLife Stadium.

“…The Giants and Cowboys, you never know with both of them, good one week bad another, with the Giants it’s bad one quarter and good the next…if the Giants can play a whole game of defense like they did in the 2nd half last week they should be okay.”, Princess said about the game.

I happen to agree but it won’t be easy. It’s tough to beat an NFL team twice in one season, especially a division rival that you played only a couple of weeks earlier.
Like any other game, this one will come down to who makes the fewest mistakes and which QB, Manning or Romo, rallies their team more successfully.

Leave a comment

Filed under Dallas Cowboys, NFC East, NFL picks, NY Giants, NY Jets, Popcorn Park Zoo, Princess the Camel