Category Archives: Audio clips

It’s Your Town – Newsletter Volume 4, Issue 2-1/17/12

Here is another edition of the It’s Your Town newsletter, it covers the January 17th, 2012 Middletown Township Committee meeting. As readers of the blog know from listening to audio clips posted last week, this meeting was very eventful.

A a late notice stating that the Township will not open the Swim & Tennis Club this year was posted to the Township’s website on Friday 13th, heading into the long Martin Luther King 3-day holiday weekend and apparently, from the sentiment of the members present at the meeting, they weren’t informed previously of the dire financial situation of the Swim Club, over two dozen people voiced their concerns to the Township Committee.

There were a few Swim Club members who questioned the expenses incurred by the Township on behalf of the Middletown Arts Center (MAC) in relation to those incurred to operate the Swim Club. They were told by Mayor Fiore and Township Attorney Brian Nelson, that the MAC was on the way towards profitability and that the utility expenses were down dramatically to only $30 to $40K per year! Attached to the newsletter are the actual figures for the past five years so you can determine for yourself what is accurate.

Regardless, when the Club closes, all Middletown residents will be responsible for repaying the original bond used to purchase the Club instead of the member fees stated in the Pool Club ordinance.

Read this edition of the newsletter ….Here


And if you would like to listen to the companion audio clips from the meeting, I have them below

Committee comments #1
http://www.archive.org/embed/SwimClubMembersAddressTownshipCommittee
Committee comments #2
http://www.archive.org/embed/SwimClubMembersAddressTownshipCommittee-2
What about the kids?
http://www.archive.org/embed/SwimClubMembersAddressTownshipCommittee4WhatAboutTheKids
Tom Wilkens comments
http://www.archive.org/embed/SwimClubMembersAddressTownshipCommittee5TomWilkensComments

As always, if you wish to subscribe to the newsletter and receive in your inbox send a request to itsourtown@yahoo.com

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Filed under Audio clips, Brian Nelson, Its Your Town, Martin Luther King Jr., Middletown Arts Center, Middletown Township Committee, Newsletter, Swim Club, Tony Fiore

More Audio From Tuesday Night’s Township Committee Meeting; Swim Club Members Want Answers

Here is some more audio from Tuesday night’s public comments portion of the Middletown Township Committee meeting where members of the Middletown Swim and Tennis Club spoke in front of the Township Committee and wanted answers as to why they were never informed by the Township that the Club was losing money and that it will be closed this year.

Notice once again Township Attorney Brian Nelson answering questions for the Township Committee at ~6:30 into the clip and again towards the end of this 13 minute sound bite. Why does the Township Attorney need to answer financial questions about the Swim Club and not the Township Administrator, Township CFO or the elected officials that sit on the dais? Listen towards the end where he repeatedly states “we…,we…, we…”. It’s infuriating.

http://www.archive.org/embed/SwimClubMembersAddressTownshipCommittee-2

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Filed under Audio clips, Brian Nelson, Middletown Swim and Tennis Club, Middletown Township Committee, Swim Club

>New Robo Call From Concerned Citizens Of Middletown Received Over The Weekend

>A new robo call was issued over the weekend by the group calling themselves Concerned Citizens of Middletown. I received the call Friday when I check my messages on the answering machine.

This latest call talks about whether or not you fell stressed because you can’t make ends meet and have to live within a budget, something that the Middletown Township Committee has a hard time doing. The Township is currently $73 million in debt according to the message and will have to borrow more money to pay for tax appeals.

Listen to it and please comment, I am interested in seeing what readers think of this latest call that went out to residents. If you have a hard time hearing the audio (I tapped it off the answering machine), I transcribed the message below.

http://www.archive.org/flow/flowplayer.commercial-3.2.1.swf

Hello, I am a middletown resident, stressed like you, and needing to cut my budget.

Have you heard the Township Committee cannot live within its budget?

They raise taxes, then borrow more money to cover poor planning.

Our debt level, currently at 73 million will have at least an additional 6 million to cover the tax appeals from the last re-evaluation.

Can your budget survive this kind of borrowing? Mine can’t.

Paid for by Concerned Citizens of Middletown.

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Filed under Audio clips, bonding debt, borrowing, budgeting, Concerned Citizens of Middletown, poor planning, Robo-calls, stressed out

>"SoundBites" From Middletown’s Recent Township Committee Meeting

>This past Monday night’s Middletown Township Committee meeting once again did not disappoint those that were in attendance when it came time for comments by Committee members.

I walked into the meeting late and didn’t have the opportunity to witness or hear for myself the introduction of Resolution 10-210, which calls for supporting property tax relief through State assumption of per pupil educational costs that our mayor, Gerry Scharfenberger has been touting recently by suggesting that a “percentage” increase to the State’s sales tax would be the key to lowering property taxes in Middletown.

(Scharfenberger introduces tax resolution)
http://www.archive.org/flow/flowplayer.commercial-3.2.1.swf
Many feel that this resolution is nothing more than an attempt by Sharfenberger and those in the majority, to play a political “shell game” that would divert Middletown resident’s attention away from the proposed 14% increase in the municipal tax rate that is called for in the as yet adopted 2010 Township budget.
After the resolution was passed by a 3-1 vote (Committeeman Sean Byrnes being the lone decenter and Committeeman Steve Massell not present to vote), it was time for committee comments.
In the audio that can be heard below Byrnes explains why he voted against the mayor’s resolution. He stated that it was designed to take the focus off of the Township’s proposed budget that includes a 14% tax increase and clearly shows the lack of planning on the Township’s part on budget issues and finance. After his comments many of those in attendance shows their appreciation for Byrnes’s level-headed and sensible explanation as to why this resolution would do nothing to alleviate taxes in Middletown and why it was nothing more that a distraction a way from the Township’s budget.
(Byrnes’s Comments)
Deputy(dog)-mayor Tony Fiore took offense to much of what Byrnes had to say, stating that terms like consolidation, planning and committees were nothing more that “soundbites” and that indeed the Committee(those in the majority) had a plan to control costs through the use of lay-offs and the reduction of insurance costs once employee contracts were up at the end of the year.
After the Committee comments portion of the meeting was finished and the floor was open to members of the public a handful of those in attendance who had just received their tax bills came up to the podium to question the Committee about the large increases that they saw in them. These people were assured that by the 4th quarter of the billing cycle all would be well and not assume that based on the 3rd quarter bills have any bearing on what their new yearly tax bills were going to be.
A few weren’t feeling very assured and questioned the mayor and deputy-mayor about what their plan actually was because they had been hearing most of the night that a plan was in place to control costs and limit tax increases, but when pushed and prodded they had no answers.
Dustin Racioppi of Redbankgreen.com has an account of what went down Monday night. When reading his column make sure to read the ending comments left by readers, they are fascinating and real eye-openers.
Residents are not as foolish as Scharfenberger and Fiore think they are. They know when they are being made out to be fools and are intelligent enough to tell the difference between being deceived and told the truth.

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Filed under Audio clips, budget resolution, committee meeting, Gerry Scharfenberger, green, Middletown Township Committee, RedBankGreen.com, Sean F. Byrnes, tax bills, tax increase, Tony"the fibber"Fiore

Half Truths and Sugar Coating Doesn’t Change The Fact Middletown Has a $5M Budget Deficit And Strong Leadership Is Needed

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Filed under Audio clips, budget resolution, Gerry Scharfenberger, Middeltown Township, Nick Trasente, RedBankGreen.com