Category Archives: Facebook

Attention All Swim Club Members

Press Release:

This is an urgent call to all members of the
Middletown Swim and Tennis Club, Middletown Residents and Taxpayers.

On the agenda for the Township Committee Workshop Meeting is:
Item l: Swim Club Utility Dissolution/Property Sale

We are requesting all Middletown Swim Club members attend the Township Committee Workshop Meeting to be held on Monday, February 6, 2012 at Town Hall at 8:00 with their children, friends, posters and/or signs. Car pooling is an option.

With the pool club operating with business as usual in 2012 – our Township Committee says there may be an $81,000 shortfall that taxpayers will have to make up for.

Take note: This would be the first time since the club was purchased in 1997 that the town would have to supplement any loss to the club.

Here’s how we see it:

If the pool club does not operate at all this year, a $225,000 bond payment still must be paid by Middletown taxpayers.

Solution: The SOS Committee is working on a solid business plan to have our MSTC operate at NO COST to taxpayers. To accomplish this, it HAS TO OPEN THIS SUMMER. Members and Non-members, it is your duty to show your support this Monday night! If it opens all 67,000 of us win!

Our swim club offers an affordable summer comfort for seniors, families, teens and tots and has done so since the 1960s!

What is at stake?

· Summer camps where children can play games, create crafts and swim.

· Availability of swim and tennis lessons for members.

· Organized activities: dive and splash contests, water polo, sharks and minnows, basketball games, Frisbee baseball, candy hunts, bowling trips and water aerobics to name a few.

· Our championship swim team who have brought opportunity to young athletes and pride to our town. Senior citizens enjoying a dip during adult swim or a game of cards with their friends.

· Special events: Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Senior Day and Family Fun Nights with music and fun activities for the whole family.

Middletown Swim and Tennis Club is a safe, fun-filled haven for families to connect, relax and make friends. It has produced an Olympic medalist and elite Navy Seal. It is an asset to our community and important center of summer activities for families in Middletown Township.

Please plan to attend to support our town summer center for fun!

Your presence at Monday’s meeting is critical!!

Save Our Swim Club Committee
For more information see our Facebook Page

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Filed under agendas, Facebook, Middletown Swim and Tennis Club, Middletown Township Committee, property sale, save our swim club committee, workshop meeting

Monmouth Freeholders adopt weak State pay-to-play rules, abandon stronger County rules in place since 2008

Fortunately, former Monmouth County Freeholder Amy Mallet is still on the job as a outspoken member of the public. The Middletown Patch reported on 1/31/12 that this year’s all-GOP Freeholder Board voted unanimously last week to loosen the County’s pay-to-play rules, and Amy was there to call them on it!

In a vote on Jan. 26th, the Board chose to abandon the tougher County pay-to-play rules for the lax State ones. The reason given by the Board is that contractors were confused by the County rules. However, many other municipalities and counties have the stronger pay-to-play rules in place, so contractors doing business in other towns would already be familiar with them.

The Board’s decision opens the door to rewarding politically connected persons and businesses with County contracts. The move weakens competition and may have the direct effect of increasing property taxes in line with higher contract costs. It’s hard to imagine why any ethical publicly-minded governmental body would do such a thing, unless for personal benefit. It appears the Board members have chosen to grant themselves the latitude to direct contracts at will to ensure their pockets will be lined at election time.

State Comptroller Matthew Boxer said himself that the State pay-to-play law does nothing to prevent the practice by local governments. In September 2011, he released a 20-page report “blasting the law for being toothless” as NJ.com put it.

The effectiveness of Christie’s Tool Kit at holding down property taxes would be vastly improved if it closed the loopholes in the State’s pay-to-play law. But until that happens, it is incumbent upon local governments to do what’s right by having strong pay-to-play rules of their own.

Public advocacy group The Citizens Campaign is calling for the public to attend the Monmouth County Freeholder meeting on Feb. 9th, when the Board will be asked to reinstate the stronger pay-to-play policy. For details, check out their facebook page and if you can, make plans to attend.

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Filed under Amy Mallet, Facebook, Middletown Patch, Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, NJ.com, pay-to-play, property taxes, the Citizens Campaign

MoreMonmouthMusings Blog Taken Down

It would appear that sometime this morning that Art Gallagher’s blog MoreMonmouthMusings.net has been taken down and is, at this time not operational.

The last posting to the blog made by a mysterious administrator was at 11:16 last night and was an awkward attempt to discuss a few local issues in 12th LD as reported by Eatontown Patch.
The post also attacks local republican Jim Sage, who has made it his mission in life to see that State Senator Jennifer Beck who is now seeking reelection in the newly created 11th LD, does not return to Trenton. Sage has a facebook page titled Dump State Senator Jennifer Beck that is a thorn in the side to Beck and disdained by many Republicans in Monmouth County.
No word on why the blog was shut down or when, if ever, it will return.

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Filed under arrested, Art Gallagher, Facebook, forgery, fraud, Jennifer Beck, Jim Sage, MoreMonmouthMusings, theft

Facebook to form its own PAC to back political candidates

According to TheHill.com people at Facebook has have filed paper work to form their own political action committee (PAC), possible calling their PAC either FBPAC.org or FBPAC.us.

In doing so, Facebook wishes to avoid the problems that other tech firms like Google and Microsoft have had in the past lobbying lawmakers.

Facebook confirmed it filed paperwork on Monday to start its own political action committee.

“FB PAC will give our employees a way to make their voice heard in the political process by supporting candidates who share our goals of promoting the value of innovation to our economy while giving people the power to share and make the world more open and connected,” said a spokesman via email.

The firm acknowledged the formation of the PAC after reports emerged of Facebook registering the domain names FBPAC.org and FBPAC.us. Creating a PAC is just the latest step in Facebook’s continued expansion of its presence in Washington, but this is the first time the firm will back candidates.

Facebook is likely looking to avoid the type of Washington scrutiny that has affected other firms like Microsoft and Google, which is currently under a Federal Trade Commission antitrust probe. The perception Google was previously sympathetic towards Democrats hasn’t helped with the GOP in charge of the House.

Facebook’s lobbying spending has totalled $550,000 for fiscal 2011, a significant boost over he $350,000 spent in 2010 and $200,000 in 2009.

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Filed under Facebook, Google, microsoft, political action committee, The Hill

>Letting The "Sunshine" In Monmouth

>By Monmouth County Freeholder Amy Mallet

Common sense tells us that government is more responsive and ethical when its actions are open to public scrutiny. As Supreme Court Justice Brandeis famously said, “Sunlight is the best of disinfectants.” Woodrow Wilson, who appointed Brandeis to the Supreme Court, wrote about the need to shed light on the government. He said, “Light is the only thing that can sweeten our political atmosphere.”

As far back as the 1890s several states were already experimenting with disclosure rules to combat corruption in campaign finance. This is not a new conversation. Modern times change the delivery, but history provides us with perspective, and sometimes even inspiration.

The digital age allows more opportunities to let the sun in than ever before. We are living in unique times where technology creates new, exciting opportunities to widen access between the public and government. New tools such as imaging, scanning, the Internet, mass storage capacity and millions of hand-held devices have the potential to give people better insight into governmental decision-making, budgeting and spending.

This progress allows for two-way communication. For example, through the county Web site, individuals can send an e-mail with concerns or comments on a particular issue. The success of our political system requires that citizens be involved.

Human nature is such that elected officials who see no public interest in their activities are more likely to stray from the core interests of their constituents. At its worst, circumstances where elected officials face an apathetic public provide a breeding ground for corruption and abuse. Citizens need to care about how we govern, understand how government works and be aware of the issues we are addressing. They also need the tools to hold elected officials accountable for their actions.

Since taking office, I have advocated for certain changes geared toward a more transparent, accessible government:

In 2009, the Board of Chosen Freeholders supplemented online meeting agendas with the resolutions that were up for consideration by the board. This allowed the public to see more than just titles of these items.

Also in 2009, Monmouth County embraced social media and developed Facebook and Twitter sites.

In 2010, Monmouth County also began posting its proposed budget online. In the past it was posted only after it had been adopted.

Also in 2010, at my request and at little expense to the taxpayers, our Clerk of the Board moved from an antiquated tape system of recording minutes to digital recording technology. I would like to say this brought us into the 21st century, but it is more accurate to say it brought us out of the 1980s. This simple improvement has now allowed staff to more accurately transcribe the minutes, freed up space that had previously been used to store cassette tapes and gave the freeholders and staff immediate access to the important discussions that take place.
I am proud that as a result of moving to digital recordings of freeholder meetings, full audio of regular and workshop meetings are now available on the county Web site,http://www.visitmonmouth.comThis allows residents who are unable to attend meetings to hear the discussions that took place and stay more engaged in issues that are relevant to their lives.

The benefits of this technology go beyond convenience. We find ourselves in troubled times where citizens and the governments that serve them confront dire financial challenges. Municipal, county and state governments must be held to the highest standards of efficiency and productivity. The best means of reaching that goal is to pull back the curtain. In addition to posting meeting minutes and the budget we should post expenditures and employment and other contracts.

Despite these technological advances, I recommend that residents attend the meetings. They are generally held at the Hall of Records, 1 East Main St. in Freehold, with workshops at 2 p.m. and regular meetings at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. There are exceptions when the board takes the meetings on the road. A full and detailed schedule of meetings, as well as a wealth of other information, can be found on the county Web site.

Moving forward in this fashion would be a marked departure from the way many of our local public bodies have approached accessibility. But as technology advances excuses for failing to make this type of information available will evaporate.

Public officials need to be imaginative and efficient in organizing and making these documents available to the public. They should be encouraged in the knowledge that their efforts to promote government transparency fulfill the intent of those who founded our great country and ensures that the power entrusted to elected officials will not be abused.

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Filed under Facebook, Freeholder Amy Mallet, Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, New Jersey, sunshine laws, transparency, Twitter

>District 11 Assembly Candidate Schlossbach NY Times Profile; "From a Waitress to the Owner of a Mini-Empire"

>Back on June 8th of last year, the New York Times printed a profile piece on Marilyn Schlossbach, the chef/restaurateur from Asbury Park that will be seeking the a seat in the NJ State Assembly this fall as a Democrat in the new 11th legislative district. The piece profiled Schlossbauch’s rise as a waitress in her brother’s Avon resturant, to her becoming the chef owner of several resturants along the Jersey shore. It’s a good read for those that are not familar with Schlossberg and want to get to know her a little:

MARILYN SCHLOSSBACH may run a mini-empire of restaurants on the Jersey Shore now, but her career did not begin brilliantly. Not at all.

Back in 1985, on her first weekend as floor manager of a restaurant in Avon owned by her brother, Richard Schlossbach, the chef quit.

Ms. Schlossbach, 45, had never cooked anything, she recalled recently. She had been a waitress before her promotion at the restaurant, named Oshin and since closed.

“I was in the kitchen on this huge portable phone with my brother,” she said. “I’m going, ‘What’s the tuna supposed to look like? When are you supposed to turn it over?’I knew how it was supposed to look on the plate, but I didn’t know how to get it there.

” Somehow, she got it there. Now Ms. Schlossbach is executive chef at the five restaurants she co-owns; she and her husband, Scott Szegeski, 35, plan to open two more by the end of the year.

Their restaurants have 200 employees, and last year they rang up more than $3 million in business. Within their domain are Trinity and the Pope, with a Creole and Cajun theme, which opened in Asbury Park last month; Langosta Lounge, which opened in 2008 and serves what Ms. Schlossbach calls “vacation food — a mix of Mexican, Caribbean and Asian,” including sushi; two seasonal casual Mexican spots called Pop’s Garage, one in Normandy Beach that opened in 2008 and one in Asbury Park that came a year later (a third, which will be open year round, is planned for Shrewsbury this fall); and Labrador Lounge, in Normandy Beach, which opened in 2005 and has a menu similar to Langosta’s. (Richard Schlossbach is a third co-owner of Trinity and the Pope and Langosta Lounge.) ….

For those that wish to learn more about Schlossbach, she has a facebook page that can be access. Based on what I have heard so far about Marilyn Schlossbach thus far, I think she will be a credible candidate that will have considerable resources at her disposal to help run, organize and fund her campaign. I think her Republican opponents in the district need to be worried!

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Filed under 11th Assembly District, blogging, Democratic Candidate, Facebook, Jersey Shore, Marilyn Schlossbach, NY Times, restaurateur

>M’Town HSS Teacher Suspended For Inappropriate Facebook Post On Student’s Wall

>Yesterday morning I received an email from, I assume, a parent whose child attends Middletown High School South. In this email, the parent (name being withheld) informed me of an English teacher, Rachel Singer, who was recently suspended from her position at High School South for making an inappropriate comment on a student’s Facebook wall.

The parent was very upset and wanted to know “Why is it that if a teacher is suspended in Middletown we hear nothing about it? I think it should be public knowledge because others could have input to just how inappropriate the teacher is and rather than suspend the teacher, she would be fired…”

Do to the hour in which I opened this email yesterday, I wasn’t able to call over to High School South or the Board of Education office for confirmation or comments on this, so I reached out to the only person I know that has a child of theirs attending Middletown High School South. When I contacted this person, she had not heard of the incident but said that she would ask around and get back to me.

When my contact got back to me a short while later, she started off by saying that her son had this teacher last year and that he didn’t care for her, he called her a “lousy” teacher but in her defense added that she is friendly with the student’s family and was joking around. Someone who didn’t care for her “ratted” her out.

My contact also talked to a friend of hers’ that is a member of MHSS Parent Faculty Association (similar to PTA or PTO), who stated to her that recently Middletown High School South Principal, Dr. Anthony Shallop, addressed the PFA about this teacher and told those in attendance that she (Singer) was suspended due to posting an inappropriate message on a former student’s wall. The PFA member thinks but wasn’t sure, that Singer has been suspended for the rest of the school year.

I can understand the anger and frustration from the person who sent me this email, in situations like this parents have a right to know exactly what happened and any results from an investigation should be made public. It doesn’t really matter if she is a good teacher or a lousy one. Transparency through full disclosure and trust in knowing that the interests of the children are first and foremost in the minds of administrators is really what’s important here.

In defense of Ms. Singer, her student rating on the website RateMyTeachers.com is respectable with an overall grade from students of 26 out 30 possible points (she scores lower in her student popularity grade with a 23) and it seems that she has been teaching at the school for more than a few years.

So without actually knowing what Singer posted and the context in which it was posted, parents shouldn’t jump to drastic conclusions about her, if indeed, she is a family friend of the former student. If this was a current student or if it can be shown that Ms. Singer has a history of interacting inappropriately with other students this way, than I would have cause for concern but the key here is the word former.

Often when dealing with friends, people let their guards down and sometime forget what they are saying, or in this case posting on Facebook. This is a frequent mistake that far to many people are making these days, they forget that there is no privacy on the internet, whatever is posted can come back to haunt you for the rest of your life.

In this case it just may cost a teacher her job.

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Filed under bad teachers, Facebook, good teachers, inappropriate post, Middletown High School South, Parent Faculty Association, PTA, PTO, teacher suspension