Monthly Archives: February 2012

RESIDENTS’ BUSINESS PLAN TO OPERATE POOL CLUB PROFITABLY

Several members of the Middletown Swim and Tennis Club have been working hard behind the scenes to salvage the municipal pool club and protect our community asset from the Township’s misguided and rash plan to close and auction this valuable taxpayer asset.

At it’s January public meeting, the Middletown Township Committee announced the 2012 Middletown Swim and Tennis Club was in jeopardy of not opening due to their claim the pool club ran a deficit for the last three years of their 15-year ownership. The Township Committee cited a drop in membership for it’s revenue shortfall and said they would listen to any viable solution in order to open the swim club this Summer.

The SOS Committee (Save Our Swim Club) was formed to do just that. This group, comprised mostly of local business people, professionals, teachers and residents, collected financial records and Township documents under the Freedom of Information Act. Their finding showed a slight drop in membership but a sustainable membership base all the same.

The SOS Committee has developed a business plan – not only to operate the complex budget – but also provide a surplus necessary for future upgrades, ADA requirements and possible expansion. The plan includes moderate increases for cabana members with separate fees for membership. The SOS business plan also includes modified fees for the swim team, swim lessons, tennis lessons, day camp and daily day passes. Recommendations by the SOS Committee include ways to generate additional memberships and revenue through concession rentals and controlling daily attendance traffic into the pool club.

However, on February 6, 2012 the Township Committee held a planning meeting with motions to dissolve the pool club utility and set into motion the sale of the pool club property with deed restrictions, over continued pleas to slow the process, allowing more time for all interested parties to present their proposals on managing the pool club. They only sprung the news on the 1100+ members early this January in a press release. Prior to the Jan. 6th Town Hall meeting, there was no mention of the Pool utility dissolution…

The SOS Committee has found a sympathetic ear on the Township Committee noting with just 10 years left on the bond service, the annual payment will reduce by $100,000.00 in just 5 years allowing the Middletown Swim and Tennis Club to run at a surplus of over $150,000.00 per year with an operating season only 80 days long. This is even before proposed cost-saving and added revenue plans that the SOS committee has prepared. It does not make any sense why the Township of Middletown should make such a hasty and abrupt decision without looking for solutions. The Township has mismanaged the club for the past 3-4 years and instead of taking the steps to correct their mistakes, they are now looking to sweep all of the problems under a rug. How can we let this happen to our community? Aren’t our children, seniors and families worth it?

The next and most important meeting regarding the Pool Club will be held at Middletown’s Town Hall onTuesday, February 21st at 8:00pm. All Residents and Pool Club members are highly encouraged to attend.

For more information, e-mail: MiddletownSOS@gmail.com or visit our
Save the Middletown Swim and Tennis Club” page on FaceBook

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Filed under business plan, Middletown Swim and Tennis Club, Middletown Township Committee, pool club members, press release, save our swim club committee

President Obama’s Weekly Address 2/18/12:Continuing to Strengthen American Manufacturing

WASHINGTON, DC— In this week’s address, President Obama spoke to the American people from the Boeing Plant in Everett, Washington about our efforts to strengthen American manufacturing and job creation here in the United States. He described how we can support businesses like Boeing, which is hiring thousands of Americans across the country, through steps like removing tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas and giving them to companies that create jobs at home. The President is committed to continue assisting businesses in selling their products around the world, and the United States is on track to meet President Obama’s goal of doubling exports within five years. The President believes that by boosting American manufacturing and supporting our job creators, we can create an economy that’s built to last.

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

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Filed under corporate tax breaks, economy, Job creation, Manufacturing, President Obama, small businesses, weekly address

Congressman Frank Pallone’s Statement on Payroll Tax Cut, Unemployment Insurance and Medicare Doc Fix

WASHINGTON D.C.—On Friday, February 17, 2012, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives on the extension of the Payroll Tax Cut, Unemployment Insurance and Medicare doctor’s payment fix. The bill will continue vital programs that provide tax cuts averaging $1,000 for more that 160 millions Americans, extend unemployment insurance payments for those who are out of work through no fault of their own and ensure that doctors can continue to treat Medicare patients. While the extensions of the programs are critical, Congressman Pallone expressed his disappointment that the programs have been saved by cutting benefits to federal workers and payments to hospitals and nursing facilities.

The following is the statement Congressman Pallone delivered on the House Floor:

Thank you, M. Speaker. Today’s payroll tax conference agreement will provide $1,000 in the pockets of more than 160 million Americans and ensure that approximately 3.5 million Americans will continue to benefit from much needed unemployment insurance. We have also protected seniors’ ability to see their doctors with an SGR fix through the end of the year.

Despite these critical provisions, this is a difficult vote to take. I am greatly disappointed over how these extensions are offset. First, the unemployment extension is paid for on the backs of middle class Federal workers. These hardworking men and women continue to be targeted in this Congress – but yet they are not the reason for our nation’s deficits. Meanwhile, my Republican colleagues refuse to require the wealthiest few to pay their fair share.

Secondly, the SGR fix is being paid for with critical health care dollars. In fact, the bill slashes one of the most important investments this country has ever made in preventive health. That is extremely short-sighted. We cannot continue down that path or we will never address the real cost concerns of our health care system.

Sadly, the bill also manages to cut from one provider – hospitals and nursing homes – to help pay for another – physicians. We cannot rob Peter to pay Paul and our health care system cannot sustain further provider cuts. Meanwhile, there is still no permanent solution to an ongoing SGR problem that cannot continue to be kicked down the road again.

I will vote in favor of this bill, but I do so with grave reservations. Thank you.

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Filed under Congressman Frank Pallone, House Floor statement, Medicare, payroll tax, tax cuts, unemployment benefits

As A Matter Of Fact…Reality Check: Income Taxes Don’t Impede Economic Growth

by Jon Whiten | Published in NJPP Blog: As a Matter of Fact …

As Gov. Chris Christie prepares to unveil the specifics of his proposed 10-percent income tax cut at next week’s budget address, he’s working under a key tenet of conservative economics: that high tax rates harm economic growth.

There’s just one problem, according to a new national report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP): that tenet doesn’t match up with reality.

These claims are based largely on misleading analyses generated by Arthur Laffer, long-time spokesman of a supply-side economic theory that President George H. W. Bush once called “voodoo economics” because of its bizarre insistence that tax cuts very often lead to higher revenues. Recently, Laffer’s consulting firm has been very successful (with the help of the American Legislative Exchange Council, Americans for Prosperity, and the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page) in spreading the talking point that the nine states without personal income taxes have economies that far outperform those in the nine states with the highest top tax rates.

In reality, however, residents of “high rate” income tax states are actually experiencing economic conditions at least as good, if not better, than those living in states lacking a personal income tax.

The report pits the nine “high rate” states identified by Laffer (a list that includes New Jersey) against the nine states that don’t have a broad-based personal income tax in three categories: growth per capita, median family income and unemployment rate.

From 2001 to 2010, the “high rate” states have seen stronger growth per capita and less erosion of median family income, while the average unemployment rate has been the same as the un-taxed states.

The bottom line, according to ITEP?

“There is no reason for states to expect that reducing or repealing their income taxes will improve the performance of their economies.”

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Filed under As a Matter of Fact, blog, Gov. Chris Christie, income taxes, Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), New Jersey Policy Perspective

Gary Carter, Hall of Fame Catcher and Mets Star, Dies at 57

From the New York Times:
Gary Carter, the slugging catcher known as Kid for the sheer joy he took in playing baseball, who entered the Hall of Fame as a Montreal Expo but who most famously helped propel the Mets to their dramatic 1986 World Series championship, died Thursday. He was 57.

The cause was brain cancer, which had been diagnosed last May.

Read More:
http://www.nytimes.com/?emc=na

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Filed under brain cancer, Gary Carter, NY Mets, NY Times, The Kids

Congressman Pallone Calls for Less Restrictive Flounder Quotas for Commercial and Recreational Fishermen

2012 summer flounder quota is 26 percent lower than 2011

WASHINGTON D.C. — Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) on Wednesday submitted a letter to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) expressing disappointment in the reduced 2012 quota limits for summer flounder stock in the recently released interim specifications. The Congressman requested that NMFS approve a quota that is less restrictive. The proposed 2012 quota represents an approximate 26 percent reduction from 2011, which would significantly impact the recreational and commercial fisherman whose livelihoods depend on a fair flounder quota.

For years, fishermen in New Jersey have sacrificed catch and complied with strict quotas approved by NMFS to rebuild the flounder stock. Recently, NMFS declared the summer flounder stock rebuilt, but fishermen will still face restrictive fish quotas rather than benefitting from years of limited access to fish stocks.

New Jersey fishermen have abided by restrictive quotas long enough, waiting for the full flounder stock to be rebuilt,” said Pallone. “Now that the stock is rebuilt, it is critical to approve a less drastic flounder quota for 2012 so fishermen and related businesses do not suffer economically and can continue to operate.”

In the long term, in order to lift the burden on fishermen, Pallone has introduced the “Flexibility and Access in Rebuilding Americas Fisheries Act,” which will give the Department of Commerce the necessary authority to ensure that the nation’s fisheries are managed in a scientific way that protects fishermen and jobs.

“I hope the National Marine Fisheries Services will support my bill to create flexibility in managing fisheries so that both fishermen and fish are protected for the future,” said Pallone.

The following is the text of Congressman Pallone’s letter to NMFS:

February 16, 2012

NOAA Fisheries Service
1315 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910


Dear Acting Assistant Administrator Rauch:

As you are aware, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) recently released interim specifications for the summer flounder stock for 2012. While I realize these specifications are interim and based on recommendations from the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, I have concerns with the proposed reductions in quota.

The proposed specifications represent an approximately 26 percent reduction over last year’s quota which will have a significant impact on the regions recreational and commercial fishermen and related businesses. Particularly during these difficult economic times with American families struggling, the National Marine Fisheries Service must consider the economic and social impact of such a drastic decision.

As you are aware, NMFS recently declared the summer flounder stock as rebuilt. This is not an accomplishment that has come without pain. Recreational and commercial fishermen have sacrificed catch and complied with strict quotas that were based on an arbitrary rebuilding timeline. Fortunately, in the case of summer flounder, a 3 year extension reduced the annual pain that was inflicted. Still, fishermen were promised that this rigid rebuilding timeline would yield greater fishing opportunities once a stock was rebuilt.

As indicated by this year’s summer flounder quota reductions, it appears that fishermen are not benefiting as promised from these years of restrictive policies. This is in part due to the continued reliance on an overly precautious approach to management which unnecessarily places the burden on fishermen. I have proposed H.R. 3061, the Flexibility and Access in Rebuilding Americas Fisheries Act, which will provide the Department of Commerce with the necessary authority to ensure that our nation’s fisheries are managed in a sound scientific way that also protects fishermen and their contributions to our economic vitality.

I believe that it is critical that NMFS support these efforts to create flexibility in managing fisheries so that both fishermen and fish are protected. I ask that NMFS further evaluate its options for the upcoming summer flounder fishing year and approve final specifications that are not as drastic as those currently proposed.

Thank you for considering this letter.

Sincerely,

FRANK PALLONE, JR.
Member of Congress

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Filed under Congressman Frank Pallone, fisheries, fishermen, flounder qoutas, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)

Randall Gabrielan To Be Honored At The March 21st Meeting Of The Library Board

by Linda Baum

At last night’s Library Board meeting, the Board voted unanimously to present a plaque to former Board president and 25-year trustee Randall Gabrielan for his years of dedicated service and to rename the Library’s New Jersey room in his honor.

The New Jersey room is home to the many fine histories authored by Mr. Gabrielan, Monmouth County Historian, so it is a fitting tribute that the room should bear his name. A duplicate of the plaque will be on display at the Library.

The presentation will be made at the Board’s March 21st meeting at 7:00 p.m. at the Library’s main branch. Please mark your calendars and join me and many others in recognizing a lifetime of service and achievement.

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Filed under Board of Trustees, lifetime achievement, Middletown Library, Randall Gabrielan