Category Archives: artificial turf fields

Lincroft Sports Complex Is Dead; Plans For Artificial Turf Fields For Croydon Hall and Lincroft Are Dropped.

At last night’s Middletown Neighborhood Meeting at the Middletown Senior Center at Croydon Hall a very interesting turn of events was announced by Gerry Scharfenberger, the plans for the installation of artificial turf fields in Lincroft and at Croydon Hall are being dropped.

There will be no sports complex built or field upgrades at West Front Street Park that met so much opposition from the residents group SONIC (Save Our Neighborhood’s Integrity and Character) and the Pop Warner Lincroft Chargers organization, and no upgrade for the field at Croydon Hall which is used by the Middletown Eagles Pop Warner team.

According to the Asbury Park Press article posted online late last night, Scharfenberger use the current economic conditions affecting the Township as the reason for why the turf field projects were being dropped. Scharfenberger is quoted as saying:

“…In a difficult budget year in which the township’s state aid has been cut by $1.3 million, 14 retiring employees will receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in parting costs, and snow removal expenses were at least $500,000 above normal, it makes no sense to also take on a fields project…I see no way to go forward with this… In terms of what had to go, this became something of a no-brainer.”

The article went on to state that Township Administrator Tony Mercantante said the $2.4 million bond that was originally issued for the project in 2006 will be returned to the lender.

So why the sudden change, why did the Scharfenberger and Mercantante drop the plans for the turf installations? You can’t tell me it was because of the sudden realization that the Township is facing a budget deficit of over $5 million and this was a prudent decision on the part of the Township Committee. The Township has known for weeks that it would not be receiving the same level of state aid as in years past and Scharfenberger, Mercantante and crew said that the $2.4 million that was bonded for the turf projects was already in the bank, waiting to be used and would have absolutely no effect on the current budget process.

I feel that the real reason why they decided to cancel plans for the turf fields was the embarrassment that they felt when confronted at last week’s March 15th Township Committee meeting by members of the Chargers organization and SONIC when they present a plan to the Township that clearly showed that a multi-sport field could indeed be placed at Trezza Field, the home of the Chargers for over 40 years as originally called for in bond ordinance, with no impact to wetlands that the Township based its decision on as a reason for not going ahead with the field upgrade.

If Tony Mercantante accepted the Chargers’ plan, he would have had to admit that the advice from the town’s engineers and other professionals was wrong. He would have had to essentially throw them under the bus, which would have lead to questions of competence and may have raised doubts about other projects around town that residents question.

I know that this announcement will upset some people, particularly the Middletown Soccer League and the Pop Warner Eagles; Middletown Soccer aligned themselves with the Township in pushing for the field upgrades at West Front Street and the Eagles who became the victims of the collateral damage inflicted on members of the Township Committee by SONIC and the Chargers in the fight against the sports complex at West Front Street.

It was never in dispute, the playing field of the Pop Warner Eagles at Croydon Hall was going to be upgraded as a multi-sports playing field as part of the Township’s turf project but Parks and Recreations Director Greg Silva made it clear during at meeting with the Chargers, that if they succeeded in their efforts to derail the West Front Street field upgrade then the upgrade at Croydon Hall would also be canceled as a result. So I guess he wasn’t lying.

While this is a clear victory for SONIC and those who questioned whether or not it was prudent for the Township to move forward with this turf project because of current economic conditions, the victory for the Chargers is somewhat less and not much of a victory at all.

With the bad blood and hurt feeling inflicted on the Township Committee by the Chargers, Trezza Field may never get the field upgrades that are so badly needed for the continued and future success of their program.

The Independent has a related story that should also be read.

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Filed under artificial turf fields, Chargers, Lincroft, Mayor Scharfenberger, Middletown Township Committee, Pop Warner, Sonic, sports complex, Tony Mercantante

Cody Vs. Brightbill; What Did Pam Have to Say About Trezza Field While Defending Herself ?


Here is the last audio clip that I have from March 15th Township Committee meeting that deals with the Pop Warner Chargers, Sonic and Trezza Field.

In this audio Clip you can hear Lincroft resident and Chargers supporter Jim Cody confront Committeewoman Pam Brightbill about what she had told those in attendance of a Pop Warner fundraiser in 2008 about upgrades that would be made to Trezza Field, the home of the Chargers.

Committeewoman Brightbill in trying to defend herself against accusations of improprieties and false statements becomes frustrated, at one point she threatens to have someone removed from the courtroom while her voice raises to a shrill.

The exchange between Cody and Brightbill was an act of classic showmanship on Cody’s part. It showed that when the heat is on, most of those on the Committee can’t take it.

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Filed under artificial turf fields, Chargers, Middletown Township Committee, Pamela Brightbill, Pop Warner, Trezza Field

Middletown’s Committee Meeting Was Loud, Raucous and Uncomfortable At Times: Have Plans For Turf Fields Now Changed?N

I’ve been to plenty of Middletown Township Committee meeting over the past six years, most are sparely attended with little to no dissension among those in attendance or between those that sit on the Dias, last night was different. I haven’t seen it like that since the Township was rocked by the arrest of former Mayor Ray O’Grady, who was caught up in Operation Bid-Rig a number of years ago.

The courtroom was packed and people flowed out into the lobby, to say people were upset would be an understatement.

I am still getting my thoughts together on what transpired last night and will have more to say about it later. I saw this morning that the Asbury Park Press has an account of what happened last night online today. The article was written by reporter Kevin Penton and is somewhat accurate.

I say somewhat because you really had to be there to witness what happened yourself, it was loud, raucous and at times uncomfortable to watch.

I am posting Penton’s article below with a few pictures that I took placed in between:


MIDDLETOWN — Mayor Gerard P. Scharfenberger said Middletown needs to further question the firm, CMX Inc. of Manalapan, which told the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development on Friday that it intends to layoff all of its 196 employees by May 11.

Before the postponement, the committee was expected to vote on finalizing the engineering plans, and seeking permits and bids for the planned installations at Croydon Hall and West Front Street Park.

The West Front Street Park installation would not include lights or a concession stand, Scharfenberger told a standing-room-only crowd of more than 200 residents.

Many of the Lincroft residents — who have attended the public meetings at which the fields were discussed for several weeks — have said they believe those amenities would add traffic, parking congestion and noise to their neighborhood.

Committeeman Anthony P. Fiore, who participated in the meeting via a telephone connection from Orlando, Fla., said CMX’s departure only represents a “little speed bump in the road.”

“We weren’t completely blindsided,” Fiore said, referring to CMX’s notification last week.

Middletown officials had asked the company about its situation, he said.

“We were told things were status quo,” Fiore said.


A somewhat dramatic moment came when resident Allen Vrabel, standing at the podium during the public comments portion of the meeting, waved his hand towards the back of the jammed meeting room.

Before long, two people walked towards the front of the room and placed two large sets of plans on easels. Simultaneously, others handed out copies of the same plans to people sitting in the audience.

The plans show 221 parking spaces, a 200-foot-by-360-foot, multi-purpose field; a baseball field with 90-foot base paths and 225-foot foul lines; and a baseball field with 60-foot base paths and 200-foot foul lines at the current site of Trezza Field, where the Pop Warner Chargers currently play.


Township Administrator Anthony Mercantante has repeatedly said that Trezza field could not be part of the turf fields project because of wetlands concerns.

But Vrabel said that engineers hired by Lincroft residents and members of the Chargers organization, using a 2007 wetlands study by T&M Associates, were able to make the plan work at Trezza Field.

“These plans didn’t cost me $194,000, I can tell you that,” said Vrabel, who declined to say the firm that prepared the plans.

Township officials said they would study the plan.

“We are going to look at this very seriously,” Scharfenberger said. “We are going to see if this is viable.”

As I said, I’ll have more to say about what happened last night later, it was a lot to take in. But I think the Mayor and his fellow suporter may have had a change of heart last night after have their heads beaten in by Vrabel and others.

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Filed under artificial turf fields, Asbury Park Press, Lincroft, Middletown, Middletown Township Committee, Pop Warner, Sonic, sports complex

Letter: The Republican Majority In Middletown Is Financially Irresponsible

The following letter was sent to me by Lincroft resident Barbara Thorpe who wishes to express her opinion on how irresponsible the Republican majority is when it comes to managing the Townships finances:

The Republican majority of Middletown’s Township Committee is financially irresponsible.. big time. They exhibit insensitivity to current economic conditions as they relentlessly pursue the installation of turf fields within the township which already has turf on each of it’s high school fields. Are the taxpayers now being obligated to providing turf in townships parks at the public expense during the most financially challenged times since the Great Depression ?

Middletown Township has more parks than Monmouth County and fails miserably in adequately maintaining any of them. Just what is done with the appropriations for Parks and Recreation? More than half goes to salaries and why is the town not realizing better service from the employees in that department. Is it attributable to poor management ? Please tell us,Greg Silva or Gerard Scharfenberger . Seems there are many questions that demand answers in this scenario. Also bond issues are indebtedness that must be repaid with interest over time so it’s not free money as the committee would like the public to believe.

This resident understands one consideration of the republicans..this is a re-election year for the current mayor and he desperately needs an issue to run on. Try financial responsibility. That’s an issue every resident can understand and wants. It has been lacking in this township for several years. I am referring to the Township finances,not the BOE finances for education.

The BOE in Middletown does one of the best jobs in this state with the tax dollars they are entrusted to manage. They achieve one of the lowest per student expense and one of the best quality of education ratings.

Barbara R.Thorpe
Lincroft

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Filed under artificial turf fields, Barbara Thorpe, letters to the Editor, Lincroft, Middletown Parks and Recreation, Middletown Republicans, sports complex

Further Evidence of Collusion Between Mayor Scharfenberger and Middletown Soccer Club Against Opponents of Lincroft Sports Complex and The BOE

Here is further proof of the collusion that is taking place down at Middletown’s Town Hall between Mayor Scharfenberger and the Middletown Soccer club/River Plaza Lincroft Chargers against opponents of the propsed Lincroft sports complex and the township’s Board of Education.

The following email was again forwarded to me by someone who wishes to remain anonymous.

The email is to Mayor Scharfenberger from Mike Mascone. Mascone and another man represented the interests of the Middletown Soccer club at the Mayor’s office this past Saturday after the Mayor meet with the members of the citizens group, SONIC, who have expressed their displeasure with the design and scale of the proposed sports complex.

The email is a recap of the meeting between the two men and the Mayor:

To: gscharfen@middletownnj.org

Subject: Middletown Soccer club

Mayor Scharfenberger,

On behalf of (name withheld) and myself we wanted to thank you for taking the time to see this morning. We appreciate the discussion and advice around the pursuit of the improvements in facilities for the people of Middletown as identifie din the Recreation Master Plan. We are aligned in disappointment with the support and flexibilty displayed by the Board of Education as a willing participant in sharing the taxpayers provided amenities. This disappointment is in two areas. Primarily in their seemingly disinterested approach to work with the public interest of Middletown. This has been manifested through a need to provide a better home for Pop Warner programs outside of the Board of Education tax payer financed facilities currently available. Secondly in their propensity to use schools to advance their positions, and agendas without regard to a desire to share services and better use the funding provided by the residents of the municipality they are entrusted to serve.

All that being said we recognize the position of the Town Council, you are charged with providing the best for the people with the capacities provided. The Recreation Master Plan calls for the improvements and we as a collection of families are willing to support that cause. I wanted recap your advice so I can pass the direction along correctly.

Middletown Municiple Government Action:
Support the Improvements via the $2mil bond to Croydon Hall and West Front Street Park:

1-At the Town Meeting on Tuesday Feb 16, show up in force of number, be respectful, vocal, and ardent in the support of the town to improve both parks to the fullest of the ability. The purpose is to place synthetic fields at both locations, lights, public address systems and concession stands where possible.

2-Continue this momentum by vocal support in the interests of the people in the club, working with the elected officials of the town and the school board on a regular basis. Invite representatives of the council and the school board at regular intervals to come speak to the club at our meetings as a means to engaging in a continious dialogue.

Middletown Board of Education Action:
Public interest and involvement in better shared service/use of tax payer owned faiclities provided to the Board of Education

Attend Schoolboard meetings which are regularly scheduled. Next Round are 2/17 which is a public workshop followed by 2/24 which is the general meeting.

All Workshop Meetings will be held on the third Wednesday of each month at the Middletown High School North Library, 63 Tindall Road, Middletown, NJ at 7:30 p.m. (unless otherwise indicated).

Regular Voting Meetings will be held on the fourth Wednesday of each month at the Middletown High School North Library, 63 Tindall Road, Middletown, NJ at 7:30 p.m. (unless otherwise indicated).

Main focus: be prepared to ask the questions of the school board and the board of education about the access to OUR facilities since .68 or every tax dollar in Middletown goes to their budget.

Emphasize the value of our voices: Annual School Election – April 20, 2010, Tuesday (TBA)

Sincerely,
Mike Mascone


What I feel is the most disturbing about the above email is the fact that the Mayor is openly disparaging the Board of Education and encouraging/electioneering against the members and positions of the BOE.
The mayor loves to tell people how Middletown was listed as 1 of the top 100 places to live in America by Forbes Magazine a few years back. He likes to take his share of credit for that but what he fails to see is that one of the main reasons Middletown was chosen was because of the quality of it’s school system. Middletown Schools are ranked amongst the highest in the state for quality of education, yet he constantly pits the residents against the BOE to deflect attention away from the short comings of the republicans who have governed over Middletown for 25 years and who are responsible for raising the municipal tax rate by over 25% during the past 4 years.
The mayor seems to feel that because of the school system is responsible for the majority of the residents tax bill each year, they are to be blamed for the majority of the tax increases the past few years, which is total nonsense! The school tax rate has increased slower over the past several years than the municpal.
And to blame the Board of Education as the ones responsible for the placment of this sports complex in Lincroft is nothing short of dishonest. The BOE made every attempt to appease the township from May through September but the township would not answer honestly and faithfully their concerns over usage, maintance, liability.
You can read the BOE’s statment>>> Here

All Mayor Scharfenberger is doing here is using Lincroft as a pawn in his wacked-out, head scratching battle against the school board and angering the residents of Lincroft in the process, in order to score a few brownie points with the special interests of the local sports leagues Pop Warner and Middletown Soccer, when the purpose of these artifical turf fields at Croyden Hall and West Front Street Park were never intended to be their private playground.

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Filed under artificial turf fields, Lincroft, Mayor Scharfenberger, Middletown Board of Education, Middletown Soccer, Pop Warner, Sonic, sports complex

Middletown’s Mayor Attempts "End Round" In Effort to Pit Pop Warner and Soccer Parents Against Sonic In The Battle Over Sports Complex

In the latest round of the battle of the Sports Complex, it seems as though the Township lead by Mayor Scharfenberger, is attempting an “end round” (to use a football term) to circumvent the opposition to the sports complex by the members of citizens group SONIC (Save Our Neighborhood’s Integrity & Character).

I have recently been sent two emails anonymously with the attached message that seem to support the above.

Have been advised the mayor is trying to pit the sports groups against the opposition from the Sonic group. Not surprising considering this man could not tell the truth if life depended on it. Integrity and ethics has never been a strong point of his as he talks from both sides of his mouth…. ” The project has been put on hold because of the opposition.”,etc. when he was interviewed by the press. Back room,dirty politicians are plentiful in this township.

This may be a good time to begin the campaign to RID Middletown of this man.

The first email was written by (name withheld), I do not know who she is but she was contacted by the President of the Middletown Soccer Club, who stated that on Saturday Mayor Scharfenberger advised two gentleman who seem to support the sports complex to “show up in force of number” at tonight’s meeting to support the Croydon Hall and West Front Street Park locations for turf fields and amenities.

The second email was written by Robert Martino, President of the River Plaza Lincroft Chargers Pop Warner team.

In Martino’s letter to organization members he states that the had been told by the Township that they were being offered the use of the new fields and “…They will be running sewer and electric to a specific location on the property for the “future” addition of restrooms and a snack stand….”

It was also explained to him that “…that they are going to proceed with the fields anyway …”, and that “…they want the board and parents to show that we are in favor this new location or anything else they may come up with.” by also attending tonight’s Township Committee meeting.

Below is the text of the two emails that I received to support what I have written:

fyi

(this came from a media contact of mine)

I got a copy of an email from President of Middletown Soccer Club to Mayor Scharfenberger that says the Mayor advised the two people that appeared on Saturday Mike Mascone and Ken Bent, In it the Mayor advised them on a course of action that included “show up in force of number” at tonight’s meeting to support the Croydon Hall and West Front Street Park locations for turf fields and amenitities.


It also said they were “aligned In dissapointment” with the mayor in the BOE’s lack of support and flexibility.

Also, in a recap of the Mayor’s advice, Mascone goes on to say to attend BOE meetings and workshops. Main focus: Be prepared to ask the questions of the BOE about access to OUR facilities since .68 of every tax dollar in Middletown goes to their budget. Does that mean the mayor’s advice is to defeat the budget?

It goes on to say “emphasize the value of our voices at the annual school election on April 20, 2010.

It seems a real breach for an elected Mayor to conspire against the BOE and its elected president.


To All Organization Members,

I am sending this quick email to advise everyone of some recent events concerning the on going new football facility for our organization. It has been explained that our present location cannot be touched. We are being offered the use of new multi use turf fields at the corner of West Front Street and Crawford Corner- Everett Road in Lincroft. They are replacing the existing soccer fields with the turf fields and adding some additional parking with stands and fences where necessary. They will be running sewer and electric to a specific location on the property for the “future” addition of restrooms and a snack stand. The present need of the restrooms and snack stand will be our responsibility, maybe along with some assistance from them. It was also explained that the present situation at our facility with parking and the numbers of participants and safety issues etc., may become a problem if we choose not to take this field offer.

At the last town committee meeting there was about 40 or 50 people opposing this location primarily because of football. Regardless it was explained that they are going to proceed with the fields anyway but want to confirm that we are definitely interested. We explained our concerns for whatever it was worth and explained that we were interested. They explained that the other options maybe through the board of education and their locations if the opposing parties could get them to budge. In any case they want the board and parents to show that we are in favor this new location or anything else they may come up with.

Therefore I would appreciate if you would send an email or if possible attend the next town committee meeting on Tuesday 2/16/10. Also have parents or anyone you know do the same. To send an email go to http://www.middletownnj.org , then go click CONTACT US and click TOWN COMMITEE and type your message.

Thank You
Robert Martino, President, River Plaza Lincroft Chargers




UPDATE : I would like to correct the above, XXXXX was not the author of the above email that I attributed to her, due to confusion pertaining to formatting of the received email her name and contact info was at the bottom of the text. XXXXX had no part in the writting of its content. See above post for further explanation.

UPDATE: So that there would be no further confusion about the authorship of the first email that has been posted in the above blog post, I have decided on my own to delete the person’s name altogether from this blog entry. You can read my apology and retracting >>>here

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Filed under artificial turf fields, Lincroft, Mayor Scharfenberger, Middletown, Pop Warner, Sonic, sports complex

Lincroft Village Green Association Issues Statement Opposing Lincroft Sports Complex

On its website, the Lincroft Village Green Association (LVGA) posted the following statement against the proposed sports complex being planned for the West Front Street Park. They feel that the Township and Board of Education should work together and iron out a shared services agreement that would allow these artifical turf fields to be place on Board of Education property:

The Lincroft Village Green Association recognizes that the money being used for the turf field plus amenities improvements was bonded (not free grant money), which is a loan with interest that Middletown residents must pay back through our taxes. In the interests of all Middletown residents, we ask the Middletown Township Committee to reconsider the timing and use of these funds in the current poor economic climate, and to contemplate repaying the bond off without using it at this time.

We do not support the proposed amenities and features to the West Front Street Park soccer fields, but do support improving these fields for moderate use for soccer, lacrosse, or field hockey.

We believe a public forum should be held without further delay between the Middletown Township Committee and the Board of Education to reexamine shared use of existing school fields, and to consider improving the most appropriate fields for the benefit of the community as a whole (i.e. sharing of the fields by schools and community sports teams—a win-win situation). These two groups must commit to working together for the overall good of the entire Middletown community.


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Filed under artificial turf fields, Lincroft, lincroft village green association, LVGA, Middletown, sports complex

SONIC Goup Meets The Mayor

Saturday morning members of SONIC (Save Our Neighborhood’s Integrity & Character) met with Mayor Scharfenberger in his office at Town Hall to talk about the turf fields slated to be built at West Front Street Park.

I was not there so I will just report what I was told about it.

SONIC was trying to get some answers regarding the installation of the sports complex facility at the site, which all of the group’s members are against and were never directly informed of . They came away from the meeting with a sense that the project is being “re-evaluated” because of their objections.

SONIC made it clear to the Mayor that group has no objection to installing turf fields, but do not want lights, a PA system or stadium style seating. They explained that this would only bring an abundance of cars to the area, for which there is no adequate parking for.

They were also told by the mayor that the construction firm, CMX, is conducting a study of the wetlands at the park, for the EPA and at the moment because of their concerns the project has been placed on hold.

I was told that the group, as well as representatives of the Lincroft Village Green Association (LVGA) will be at tomorrow evenings Township Committee meeting to read the letter that I posted last week.

Tomorrow’s meeting is shaping up to be very interesting, for those that are interested in this topic you shouldn’t miss it.

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Filed under artificial turf fields, lincroft village green association, LVGA, Middletown, Sonic, sports complex, West Front Street

Middletown Board of Ed Issues Statement Regarding Lincroft Sports Complex

The war of words over who is responsible for the placement of the proposed Lincroft Sports Complex at West Front Street Park has just gone nuclear.

This past week, the Middletown Board of Education came under attack and has been made to look like the “bad guy” for its reluctance to allow the installation of two artificial turf fields on Board of Ed property.

Last week at the February 1st Township Workshop meeting, Lincroft residents packed the meeting room to voice their displeasure at the Township Committee for not notifying them of the proposed Sports Complex that would drastically impact their quality of life.

Mayor Scharfenberger immediately pointed the finger of blame towards the BOE for not allowing the township to construct this sports complex on the grounds of Thompson Middle School and another field at Thorne Middle School. By doing so, Scharfenberger deflected the residents anger away from himself and others on the Township Committee and turned it unjustly onto the BOE.

This has outraged the BOE because Scharfenberger falsely accused the BOE of not negotiating in good faith with the Township.
Due to the misrepresentation of the facts, the Board of Education tonight released the following statement:
MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP BOARD OF EDUCATION

59 Tindall Road, Middletown, New Jersey 07748

TEL(732)671-3850 FAX(732)957-1846


Laura Agin, President – Dawn Diorio, Vice-President

February 8, 2010

To Whom It May Concern:

Recently members of the Middletown Board of Education and I have been asked to clarify our position regarding discussions which took place between the Township and the BOE regarding the proposed construction of artificial turf fields on school property. It has been suggested that the BOE was not willing to work with the Township on this shared project, and I can assure you that this is not the case.

In the spring of 2009 the Township met with district administration regarding construction of artificial turf fields at the Thompson and Thorne Middle Schools. Given the district's experience and the BOE's involvement with turf field construction in the past, administration requested that a presentation be given to the Board directly at a public BOE meeting. Following a preliminary meeting with representatives from the Township, the district administration and BOE officers, the township finally agreed to present at a public forum. Shortly after this presentation, the Board met and directed our lawyer to write to the Township expressing our interest in pursuing this project and asking for information the Board felt they required to make an informed decision. Items requested included Rights of Usage, Insurance and Liability, Timing Issues, Cost Over-Runs Infrastructure Construction, Drainage and Wetlands Issues, Lighting, Maintenance, etc. At the same time, the BOE requested a feasibility study to determine the viability of placement of these fields at these locations as well as whether this project could be completed with available funds.

In late August having received only minimal information from the Township clarifying these important issues, the BOE Facilities Committee met with the Township to try and get enough information to make an informed decision regarding this project. This meeting was held on September 10 with representatives of the Board and the Township. The Township reiterated that it was their intent to build three artificial turf fields: a Croydon Hall upgrade, "turf and a fence" at Thorne Middle School, and a full sports complex, similar to Croydon Hall, at Thompson Middle School. It must be noted that this was the first time the Board was advised of the anticipated scope of the Thompson project and its primary use for Pop Warner football.

At the September 16 BOE Workshop Meeting, the Board discussed the viability of moving forward with these projects. It was determined that Thorne was not a viable location as a result of wetland concerns and security issues relative to its proximity to Harmony Elementary School. The Board also concluded that the Thompson location was not a desirable location for a full stadium complex we believe there is not enough space available for a field, track, bleachers, snack stands parking, etc. to accommodate the types of activities the Township intended for this location Additionally, usage is a major concern, as Thompson students utilize this field for soccer, field hockey and cross country (practices and games) during the fall season, the very season Pop Warner football would be seeking both practice and game time.

After careful consideration, the Board suggested the Nut Swamp field as an alternative for a sports complex This property is owned by the BOE but currently used primarily for Township recreation activities. We believe there is ample space at this location for its intended use, and its proximity to Normandy Park would be a complement to Township recreational facilities. This was communicated via email to the Township on September 16, adding that any further discussion of this location would include community input from affected neighborhoods. We were advised by the Township on September 28 that they were not interested in pursuing the Nut Swamp location and, if only two fields were going to be constructed, it would make sense to have them both on Township property since two locations were available. This concluded discussions between the Township and the BOE regarding turf field construction.

Lastly members of the community have asked if the BOE would be willing to allow Pop Warner to use high school fields, particularly MHSS. Neither the Township nor the Pop Warner organization have ever formally approached the district regarding field usage for that purpose. Our concerns with that type of use include field maintenance and security and costs associated with such usage Additionally during Pop Warner football season, the BOE fields are used consistently for football, soccer, field hockey and the band, both for practice and games. Our limited use snack bars are dedicated to our parent organizations for their fundraising efforts.

I hope this clarifies the Middletown BOE's position and answers the many questions and concerns that have risen over this important issue. The BOE works collaboratively with our administration and board attorney to ensure that the interests of the school district, the students and the taxpayers are considered and protected. I genuinely hope that whatever further steps the Township takes regarding the construction of turf fields includes input from the community at large.

I have included a timeline as well as pertinent documentation for your review.

Laura Agin, President
Middletown Board of Education
If you click onto the above hyperlink you will be able to read the complete document that the Middletown Board of Education sent out. The document includes a timeline with supporting email correspondences between the Board of Ed and Township representatives.

Note: Sorry for the formatting issue, it happens sometime check out the full statement >>> Here

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Filed under artificial turf fields, Lincroft, Middletown Board of Education, Middletown Township Committee, sports complex

A Few Comments On The Proposed Lincroft Sports Complex

A few anonymous readers left comments on yesterday’s blog post about the proposed sports complex in Lincroft. I thought that they were interesting and worth posting so that others would see what a few people are thinking about this.

I also would like to point out a little fact to readers about the letter that was at the end of the post. After reading it several times over I should have edited it slightly by taking out the call to vote out member of the Board of Education when the next school board election takes place in April.

There is blame on both sides of this issue, but to be fair to members of the school board, who rightly or wrongly get demonized by a handful of residents who have an agenda against a few members is wrong. I believe that whether or not you agree with the decisions made by the Middletown Board of Education over the years, they are truly only interested in looking out for the students and have their best interests in mind when forming policy.

Before I post the comments left by readers, I feel it necessary to point out that the resident who wrote the letter which was posted yesterday, is a neighbour of Mayor Scharfenberger, who lives nowhere near Lincroft and wouldn’t be effected in the least by the building of the complex.

This little fact has lead me to believe that something is up. Is she just a concerned citizen or is there more to it?

Why just go after the BOE in the letter and not mention the members of the Township Committee that pushed this idea forward after talks with the BOE faultered last year unless you were trying to score a few points with the residents of Lincroft by demonizing the Board of Education?

Here are the comments left by readers:

Anonymous#1 said…

Nut Swamp would be a GREAT site. The area of the field right next to Normany Park is not used now.
(1) The field is big enough that it could house a turf field and keep their existing grass fields.
(2) Where they could put it is right next to Normandy … and build a staircase or access to the Normandy parking lot.
(3) It is far enough away from the school to not disturb them during school hours

Anonymous#2 said…

The mayor and the republican majoroty are hiding much of the truth from the residents. Nothing new from this deceitful bunch. The BOE has an obligation to protect the taxpayers and the properties owned by the school board from the politics of the township committee …and make no mistake about it….POLITICS is playing a major part in this scene. It did on Midd- Lincroft Road and it’s more of the same again.Backroom deals and sneaky politicans doing exactly as they please until the public finally protests this crap when they are lucky enough to learn of it.

The people in Middletown should pack that courtroom at the regular monthly meeting.All the people of Middletown from all the villages that comprise this township should voice protests against a project for which the expense is not appropriate for the times,not appropriate for the location and is against the will of most of the people in this township.

Send the mayor and his comrades a message that can’t be misunderstood. What is so difficult to understand about the simole word NO ??

Anonymous#3 said…

My husband & I were at monday night’s meeting and I can assure you the mayor of Middletown has a talent for distorting the truth. This is not the first time either, I don’t believe he is capable of the truth or fair play. Playing the BOE as the bad guy in this is a play for drama to try and cram this down the throats of the BOE.

These creeps in the administration fool no one and the scene of the BOE as bad guy is unfair and untrue. Talk to Laura Akin,president of the BOE.

This proposal is for a location on two county roads and I don’t believe anything like this project can progress without a great deal of input from the County. I live in the area and from knowing how things work around here, that would be what I believe may save this area on Everett & West Front Street from this expansion. It will require traffic studies etc,probably by the County and the many public safety issues will play into any decision. Scarfy&Co. are not without fault by any means.they never are as they try to pull off their crap in the back rooms at town hall.

The residents should pack the courtroom at the regular meeting in February and sent a message these uncouth politicians can’t misunderstand once and for all.

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