Category Archives: Croydon Hall

Heard It In The Hallways….Middletown’s Director of Parks & Rec, Gregg Silva "Forced" Into Retirement, Big Changes coming to Department

As of this moment this is all rumor, but about two hours ago I received a tip concerning the Middletown’s Director of Parks, Recreation & Cultural Affairs, Gregg Silva. I haven’t been able to get official confirmation from anyone but from a few that I have spoken to, it seems legit.
Silva as you all may remember, was placed on administrative leave last month by his bosses at Town Hall for stepping over the line by approving a private memorial for Daniel Piano on the grounds of Croydon Hall without the prior approval from the Township.
I’ve been told that as of January 1st, Gregg Silva has officially retired. Furthermore, I have been told that township officials have been in meetings most of the day reorganizing the now employeeless Department of Parks and Recreation.
The person who passed along this information has stated that Silva’s old duties for Parks and Rec. will be split up, the maintenance side will fall as a subdivision under DPW, while the Croydon Hall Senior Center, the Tonya Keller Bayshore Rec Center and Middletown Cultural Arts Center will be combined and administrated by Janet Adams who currently is in charge of the Tonya Keller Bayshore Center.
Individual Township sponsored recreational events will be planned on an event by event basis. Steve Eisenstein, who was brought in this year to run the Daddy/Daughter Dance and the holiday train ride, worked in the parks department a few years ago and will continue to help plan and coordinate events.
All of this should be in place and in effect by the end of the month I’m told.
I am currently waiting for a return phone call from Middletown Township Administrator Tony Mercantante for confirmation. When I called his office a couple of hours ago, I was told that he was in a meeting and could talk. The secretary that answered my call said that she would have him call me back.
Update – Steve Eisenstein’s name was misspelled as Einstein and Adams is the maiden name of Janet Della, Director of the Tonya Keller Rec. Center

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Filed under administrative leave, Croydon Hall, Gregg Silva, Middletown Cultural Arts Center, Middletown NJ, Middletown Parks and Recreation, Tony Mercantante, Tonya Keller Center

Middletown Director of Parks & Recreation Placed on Administrative Leave By Township

Early last week I received an email from someone that wanted to know if I had heard or knew anything about Middletown’s Director of Parks, Recreation & Cultural Affairs, Gregg Silva, being investigated by the Township of Middletown for some wrong doing and as a result of the investigation has been placed on indefinite administrative leave(fired?) by his bosses at Town Hall.

This person also informed me that as a result of Silva being placed on indefinite leave, rumors were running rampant that Middletown’s former mayor/deputy mayor, the soon to be departing Township Committeewoman Pamela Brightbill, be will replacing Silva as the new Director of Parks, Recreation & Cultural Affairs.

I responded by saying I hadn’t heard anything about Silva’s current troubles or the rumor about Brightbill, but I would make a few inquiries and get to the bottom of it as best I could. So I sent out a few emails and made a couple of phone calls to some people that I know to see if they had heard anything themselves.

It didn’t take long to get a response.

From what I have gathered, it seems that Gregg Silva is most definitely on administrative leave and has been for over two weeks. The leave has been technically without pay (he is being allowed to use accumulated sick time) while he is under investigation by the Township.

What did he do wrong that has caused the Township to place him on leave? If you know anything about Gregg Silva, it could be just about anything, he has a long history of engaging in questionable practices. But what seems to have been the last straw was the building of a private memorial, on Township property, on the grounds of Croydon Hall in Leonardo.

A few months back a Township teenager, who grew up in the Leonardo section of Middletown, passed away as a result of a car accident while traveling down Chapel Hill Rd. The teenager, Daniel Piano, by all accounts was a great kid who had a lot of friends and a very loving family.

As a result of his passing, his friends built a makeshift memorial at the site of the accident but it wasn’t a place that Daniel’s mother wanted to go or thought that others should go to either because of the nature of the road, Chapel Hill Road is very busy and is dangerous for people to stand on the side of. So she had the idea to ask the “Township” for permission to build a memorial for Daniel on the grounds of Croydon Hall, seeing how it was a place that her son spent many happy hours of his life playing and hanging out there.

After receiving permission from Gregg Silva to build the memorial, Mrs. Piano went about the business of arranging for the construction of Daniel’s memorial, the building of which was covered by private donations and volunteer labor.

You can read all about it in an article that was posted online at the Two Rivers Times.

So then, why would Gregg Silva be placed on indefinite leave of absence with his job in jeopardy if he received permission from the Township, to allow the construction of the Daniel Piano Memorial on the grounds of Croydon Hall? Well, evidently he never asked his superiors if it was alright for the memorial to be built. He took it upon himself to OK it without the consultation of others and that is where the trouble now lays.

If Gregg Silva would have first spoken to Township Administrator Tony Mercantante first, I am sure that the memorial would not have been allowed to be built. But now that it has been built the Township has to deal with any potential repercussions that might be a result of the memorial being built, namely others that may want to build similar memorials to loved ones that have passed.

As unlikely as that may seem, by giving the go ahead to the Piano family to built the memorial, Gregg Silva inadvertently set a precedent within Middletown that would allow for these types of memorials to be built in other parks throughout the Township. If the Township denies other the right to privately construct such memorials it could lead to lawsuits that would be costly to Middletown taxpayers.

As for the Brightbill taking over for Silva rumor, at this time from what I have been able to gather, it is still just a rumor but could have legs for a variety of reason, which I will save for another post.
In an effort at full disclosure on my part, everything that I have written here I have heard from others. I just want it to be known that I sent Township Administrator Tony Mercantante an email last week seeking comment but I haven’t heard back from him as of yet. From what I understand, I was not the first to try and contact him last week on this subject. Two real, non-blogging journalist (I don’t consider myself a journalist) have either spoken to Tony directly ( I was told the conversation was short, curt and ended with Mercantante stating that Silva was under investigation and the investigation was being handled in-house) or sent him, like myself, and email. If I hear back from Mr. Mercantante later on this subject, I’ll post an update.

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Filed under administrative leave, Chapel Hill Rd, Croydon Hall, Daniel Piano, Gregg Silva, Leonardo NJ, Memorial, Middletown Parks and Recreation, Pamela Brightbill, Two River Times

Mtown News Flash 10-7-11

Meet the Mayor Nights
Middletown Mayor Anthony P. Fiore will host Meet the Mayor nights at the Middletown Library, 55 New Monmouth Road, from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm October 17th, October 24th and November 7th . Residents are invited to stop by to discuss issues related to Township government. Meet the Mayor nights replace regularly scheduled office hours at Town Hall on these dates. Residents can also reach the Mayor by calling his office at 732-615-2024 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Health Department Moved to Croydon Hall
The Health Department has been temporarily relocated to Croydon Hall, 900 Leonardville Road in Leonardo until further notice. This includes Animal Control, Social Services and Vital Statistics.

Croydon Hall, 900 Leonardville Road, Leonardo, NJ 07737
Phone: 732-615-2095 |Fax: 732-671-8697 | Contact Us
Office Hours – 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Flood Mitigation Assistance Funding Available
As a result of Hurricane Irene, federal funding assistance is available to mitigate flood hazards and reduce future losses. Residents interested in applying for a matching grant to fund flood mitigation projects such as house elevation, should contact Middletown Emergency Management by Thursday, October 13 at 732-615-2129.

Fall Recreation Class Registration
The Middletown Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department is currently accepting registration for youth and adult classes offered this fall. Adult classes include computers, karate and volleyball. Youth classes include Computer Explorers, ceramics, bowling and gymnastics. Registrations are accepted on-line, by mail and at the Parks and Recreation Office, 900 Leonardville Road, Leonardo. Call 732-615-2260 for details. Online Registration

DISASTER RECOVERY CENTERS CLOSED FOR COLUMBUS DAY
Officials at the FEMA/State Joint Field Office announced that the Disaster Recovery Centers in New Jersey will be closed for Columbus Day, Monday, Oct. 10. They will re-open on Tuesday, Oct. 11 and resume normal hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Assistance is available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. by calling the Helpline, 800-621-3362. Anyone affected by the disaster may register for assistance by calling FEMA’s toll-free registration line at 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA). Those with access or functional needs and who use a TTY, call 800-462-7585. Video Relay Service and 711 are also available by calling 800-621-3362. Hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Multilingual operators are available. Register anytime online at www.fema.gov or m.fema.gov. Residents can find the DRC closest to them online at: http://asd.fema.gov/inter/locator/home.htm. The deadline to register is Oct. 31.

TV programming
October programming includes the Middletown Arts Center Talent Showcase and Reaching Out to Prevent Subsistence Abuse. The station is viewable on Comcast Cable Channel 20 and Verizon Fios 26.

In between programs catch on local news and events by viewing Community Bulletin. Don’t have Comcast or Verizon. View the bulletin board online!

Community Bulletin Board

Written Comments on Oceanic Bridge Accepted Through 10/26
If you missed the chance to voice your concerns about the Oceanic Bridge at recent public information meetings held in Rumson and Middletown, you can still do so in writing. The Monmouth County Department of Public Works and Engineering has created and posted a form online that you can download and use to submit your written comments.

The public meetings were held to discuss the replacement alternatives of the Oceanic Bridge over the Navesink River between Rumson and Middletown, in accordance with federal and state regulations. The public is encouraged to voice their opinions on their preferred bridge replacement alternative. All written public comments will be included in the submission to the New Jersey Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration. The forms, as well as the materials presented at the public information meetings, are posted on the Monmouth County website via this link.

Written comments will be accepted through Wednesday, October 26, 2011. Comments may be mailed or faxed to: Monmouth County Engineering, 1 East Main Street, P.O. Box 1255, Freehold, NJ 07728, Attn: Inkyung Englehart, Fax: 732-431-7765

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Filed under Comcast, community Bulletin Board, Croydon Hall, FEMA, Middletown, Middletown Library, News Flash, Oceanic Bridge, Town Hall, Verizon

>More Turf May Come To Basie Field; Too Bad For Middletown

>It never ceases to amaze me how messed up Middletown is at times, with no problems at all it looks like Red Bank will be installing new turf fields by the end of year, paid for mostly through grants!

According to RedbankGreen.com the new fields will be installed at over at the Basie Fields complex.

It’s too bad Middletown screwed up it’s chance to have a a couple of new fields build in town last year with it’s assine idea to build a full fledged sports complex over at West Front St. Park in Lincroft, instead of upgrading Trezza Field in River Plaza and the field at Crydon Hall over in Leonardo.


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Note: This is a re-post from yesterday. Blogger was experiencing technical difficulty after a system upgrade and wiped out all posts after the 5/11

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Filed under artificial turf fields, Basie Field, Croydon Hall, Middletown NJ, Red Bank NJ, RedBankGreen.com, sports complex, Trezza Field

>The Issue of Artificial Turf Fields In Middletown Was Officially Put To Rest With Resolution 10-310

>Last night’s Middletown Township Committee meeting brought the official end to the artificial turf field issue. The committee voted 3-1 to approve Resolution 10-310, which authorized that the unused bonded money that was meant for the installation of two artificial turf fields at West Front Street Park and Croydon Hall, be used instead to pay down existing bond debt.

In the audio clip below Committeewoman Pam Brightbill discusses why she reluctantly voted to approve the resolution, after which you can hear why outgoing Committeeman Sean Byrnes voted against it.

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

The one curious thing about Resolution 10-310 is the fact that it is the only resolution that was discussed last night that has not made it’s way onto the Township’s website, for some reason it is missing. I am wondering if it has anything to due with the potential controversy that may surround it.

The controversy being that the original bond that was issued in 2006 which allocated funding for the turf fields specifically stated that these funds could not be used for any other purpose other than recreation, and with the nature of bond issues those funds cannot be used for the purpose offsetting operational budgets.

Using these bonded funds to pay off debt may not be legal,so until the resolution is made available to the public we’ll just have to wait to see how the Township intends to do this.

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Filed under artificial turf fields, Croydon Hall, Middletown Township Committee, Pamela Brightbill, resolutions and ordinances, Sean F. Byrnes, Turf project, West Front Street

Questions Remain About the Sudden About Face On The Middletown Sports Field Issue

There are still many questions that remain and need to be answered when it comes to the sudden announcement that Gerry Scharfenberger made during Tuesday night’s Neighborhood Meeting at Croydon Hall.
It has become apparent based on an email I received that some are starting to ask those questions and want answers:

I’m sure many of you have heard the news, about the fate of the turf fields, that was announced at last night’s Neighborhood Meeting. There are many questions still unanswered about this decision:

1. The Neighborhood Meetings were billed as an event that “no formal action will take place”. The Mayor decided to take formal action by announcing this decision. I have announcements, below, that explain the purpose of the Neighborhood Meetings.These were taken from the Township website and the alert system that the Township has in place.

Neighborhood Meeting – Senior Center
3/23/2010 – 7:00:00 PM
The Township Committee will hold a Neighborhood Meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 23 At the Middletown Senior Center, 900 Leonardville Road, to give residents an opportunity to speak informally with township officials and staff about life in Middletown. Township Committee members, and representatives from the departments of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs; Planning; Police and Public Works are scheduled to attend. No formal action will be taken.


Location:
Middletown Senior Center
Croydon Hall
900 Leonardville Road

Leonardo, NJ 07737

Source:

http://www.middletownnj.org/html/EventDetails.asp?EventID=2f8b8140-7923-480e-9c2d-e1b80643d843&EventDate=2010-03-23

Neighborhood Meeting 3-22-2010
posted Monday, March 22, 2010 4:08 PM
Dear Resident:The next Middletown Neighborhood Meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 23rd at the Middletown Senior Center, 900 Leonardville Road. Neighborhood meetings are held annually to give residents an opportunity to speak informally with township officials and staff about life in Middletown. Township Committee members, and representatives from the departments of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs; Planning; Police and Public Works are scheduled to attend. No formal action will be taken. The last Neighborhood Meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 30th at the Tonya Keller Bayshore Community Center, 50 Bray Ave.

Source:

https://my.c3alert.us/middletownnj/home/welcome

2. At what public meeting did the Committee decide to return the bond? This is not a decision that can be made by the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, or any other Committee person. It must be decided in a public meeting with a vote by ALL Committee members. I believe that a bond ordinance must be have approval of at least 4/5 of the Committee to become effective. The question is, Can the Mayor legally announce this since no formal action was taken on his decision?

3. According to the by-laws of the Township, the Mayor is a member of the Committee and is appointed by the other members of the Committee. His sole functions are to lead Committee meetings and sign legislation that is passed by the Committee. I don’t believe that he has any other authority than that, besides what the other Committee members have. Any announcements, coming from the Township, should be with the approval of the whole Committee, not just one member of the Committee.

These questions need to be asked as well as:


– How much interest have WE paid over the past 4 years on this bond?
– How much has OUR bond counsel (Middletown GOP Chairman) charged US to sell the bonds and now buy them back?
– What other legal expenses are associated with the whole bond. beginning with the sale to retirement?
– Why isn’t the plan presented, by Mr. Vrabel, acceptable? Who determined this?

The sudden announcement of the cancellation of the turf projects at a neighborhood meeting that wasn’t suppose to be an official meeting where actions would be taken on any subject specific subject is troubling.
What really changed the collective mind of the Township to drop plans for the fields and when and with whom were theses plans discussed with? As the email stated, the Mayor doesn’t have the authority to act alone when making decisions regardless if the Town Administrator or others thought that the plan should be cancelled. This is a decision that would have had to be have been made during a formal meeting with every committee member present and from what I know that did not happen.
Middletown’s “shadow government” has once again crept in from the darkness and reared its ugly head.

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Filed under artificial turf fields, Asbury Park Press, Croydon Hall, Gerry Scharfenberger, Middeltown Township, Pop Warner, shadow government, sports complex, Tony Mercantante, Trezza Field