Category Archives: Gerry Scharfenberger

>APP Letter: Scharfenberger lied about his resume

>Just when you thought that the election of 2010 was behind us an interesting letter appeared in yesterdays Asbury Park Press.

The letter was written by Leonard Glickman of Middletown. In it he questions Gerry Scharfenberger’s reason for trying to keep his new State job (that Governor Christie handed to him on a sliver platter), quiet again.
This is an issue that seems as if it wont die, people are still talking about it more than a month after it became common public knowledge and what makes this even more interesting is that after doing a little research, it seems that Mr. Glickman is a registered Republican with no know Democratic affiliation, so people like Gerry and others who are affiliated with the Middletown GOP, can’t say Democrats in town are bringing up this issue, keeping it alive or are crying over the November election results. This is a Republican in town who is questioning this, no one else.
Here’s what he had to say:

The issue regarding Middletown Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger’s failing to mention his newly appointed job as director of New Jersey’s Office of Planning Advocacy when asked a direct question about his employment by a reporter during his re-election campaign is simple: He lied about his resume.

This is a significant offense. When anyone gets caught lying about his resume, severe repercussions almost always follow.

Why he lied, albeit through omission, is difficult to understand. After all, being appointed by the governor to such a position would seem to be a campaign plus.

By knowingly omitting this information, Scharfenberger exercised poor judgment. He must have been thinking only of himself, perhaps wrongly thinking he would be attacked for holding this job and therefore jeopardizing his re-election.

He certainly wasn’t doing Gov. Chris Christie any favors by not being entirely honest.

He has now become a liability for Christie. This kind of story doesn’t just fade away.

The Asbury Park Press may be right that Scharfenberger should resign from either the state job or as mayor.

Christie has demonstrated that he is on top of his administration, so it would not be surprising to read that he is discussing this with the mayor.

It is up to Middletown’s Township Committee to consider what it means for the township to be led by someone who put himself above all others (and then simply dismissed the issue as the story developed).

Leonard Glickman

MIDDLETOWN


If Mr. Glickman is thinking along these lines I wonder how many more are?

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Filed under Asbury Park Press, Gerry Scharfenberger, Gov. Chris Christie, letter to the editor

>Transparency Once Again Turns Opaque in Middletown; APP: Middletown missed loan deadline for dredging of lake

>Very interesting article that was online at the Asbury Park Press the other day which I have been meaning to post about. One of the big issues of this past years election was the issue of Shadow Lake and whether or not the lake was going to be dredged any time soon, according reporter Kevin Penton it now doesn’t seem likely to happen before 2012.

It seems as though, the low cost loan that Middletown had planned to apply for that would cover some of the costs of dredging was never applied for. The loan application needed to be handed in by Oct. 4th to meet the deadline for possible funding and it was never sent.
What I find most disturbing about this, is how Gerry Scharfenberger and other Middletown GOP members (remember Tony Fiore’s letter) mislead many residents that live by and around Shadow Lake into believing that dredging was eminent if only they could get approval from the DEP to bury the contaminated spoils in near by Stevenson Park.
Scharfenberger attended a number of meeting with residents of Shadow Lake Village while campaigning in October and never once mentioned that funding for the dredging of the lake was a problem. He lead all to believe that as soon as the DEP agreed to Middletown’s demand of using Stevenson Park as a dumping ground for the spoils the project would begin.
With this latest revelation about the dredging of Shadow Lake, it is sad to say once again that transparency of those in charge in Middletown is sorely lacking and is turning, as resident Jim Grenafege has said at many Township meetings this year, opaque.
It just goes to show that Republicans in Middletown will do and/or say anything in order to retain their position of power in town even if it means that they have to deceive others to get it.
My thanks go out to Kevin Penton for following up on Shadow Lake and bringing this information to light, it shows residents that those elected in Middletown like to play fast and loose with certain information that they deem a possible threat to them.
Eventually residents will wise up and show the likes of Gerry Scharfenberger and the others the view form the other side of the doors at Town Hall, the view looking in from the outside.

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Filed under Asbury Park Press, dredging, Gerry Scharfenberger, kevin penton, NJDEP, Shadow Lake

>TRT Chimes In on Monday Night’s Middletown Township Meeting

>In today’s edition of the Diane Gooch owned Two River Times, appears an article written by Ryan Fennell that does a good job at reporting what actually went on durning the Township Committee meeting in Middletown this past Monday night, November 15th.

After being duped by Scharfenberger into believing that he gave up his yearly $4000 stipen as a committee member in January and is now serving as a “volunteer” Mayor after questions arose, when it came to light that Scharfenberger had been appointed to a lucrative position in the Christie administration his last article.
Here Fennell reports, “…The initial controversy developed when a politically conservative local blog revealed shortly after the election that Scharfenberger had been appointed as the director of the Office for Planning Advocacy within the New Jersey Department of State. The office was formerly known as the Office of Smart Growth and fell within the jurisdiction of the Department of Community Affairs.

Scharfenberger was appointed to the position on August 16, and while Scharfenberger claims that his appointment was not kept secret from his constituents or campaign opponents, he also said he did not want to use the news of his appointment to the state position as an advantage for him in the campaign.

“It was made public,” Scharfenberger told The Two River Times™ last week. “It’s just that they (his campaign opponents) didn’t know about it. I’ve been out in front of various groups. It was on the (state) web site.”

No formal announcement was made, Scharfenberger said, because “I didn’t want it to appear as if I was using this position to help my re-election.”

During the Township Committee meeting Monday, Nov. 15, the committee members were asked if they knew about Scharfenberger’s appointment and all but one said that they knew about it….

This is classic Scharfenberger bullshit! If 4 out of the 5 members of theTownship Committee knew about the appointment, why the effort to keep it from the 5th member? It’s obvious that the only functions that Scharfenberger attended and made such an announcement were those that were attended by GOP party loyalists and insiders, otherwise the information of his new job would have become common knowledge around town.
After the meeting was over Fennell questioned Scharfenberger about his statement at the Lincroft Village Green Association’s Candidates Night, where Scharfenberger stated that he had given up his stipend for the year and was acting as a volunteer. It was Middletown resident Don Watson, who initially questioned Scharfenberger over this during public comments, Scharfenberger reaction was to deny he said such a thing and to immediately instruct the Clerk to note for the record that Mr. Watson’s comment was incorrect.
Unfortunately for Mr. Scharfenberger an audio recording of his statement from Candidates Night says otherwise.
When Fennel asked Scharfenberger for and explanation, Fennell reported “…Scharfenberger told The Two River Times™ that he stopped receiving his paychecks in July “more out of concern for the budget.”
More Scharfenberger Bullshit! Did he really think that $153 a week would make a that much of a difference in a budget that was already $5.5M in the hole, can he really say with a straight face that $2,000 would make a difference in a 14% municipal tax increase? I very much doubt it, he gave up his stipend because he knew that he was taking the job within the Christie administration and that the Governor had already reversed his opinion of whether elected official could hold dual offices. According to Christie it is now OK to hold dual offices with in the state as long as those who were elected served to so voluntarily. That is why Scharfenberger gave up his remaining $2000, not out of any concerns over the financial well being of the Township or worries over the budget.
The article goes on to address much of what was brought up that night, much of which is on video and posted here previously on the blog. I recommend reading the article for yourselves this way you can determine if my earlier reporting was inaccurate or biased in anyway.
Scharfenberger is the one that brought this onto himself, all he needed to do was to be honest and show a little integrity when questioned earlier by reporters when asked before the election what his current job position was. Instead he failed/refused to reveal his new position as the Director of Planning Advocacy.

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Filed under candidates night, Gerry Scharfenberger, honesty and integrity, LVGA, Office of Planning Advocacy, Ryan Fennell, Two River Times

>Monday Night: Scharfenberger Is Tongue Tied

>As promised, this is the last video clip from the November 15th, 2010 Middletown Township Committee meeting. Resident Paul Jansen read into the record, the Asbury Park Press editorial “Tongue tied for a reason” which lambasted Middletown”s mayor, Gerry Scharfenberger for not disclosing his new job as Director for the Office of Planning Advocacy until after the November 2, 2010 election.

Again, throughout Jansen’s address, just like the others, Scharfenberger’s body language tells a story. He is clearly agitated with the proceeding during the night, which he should have been and keeps his head down seemingly writing (doodling) on some type of paper until Mr. Jansen is finished.

I only point this out because this type of body language displayed by Scharfenberger is at many meetings where residents have a difference of opinion from him. When he has had enough, he interrupts to interject the 5 minute rule (times up,sit down) as seen in other videos, or he tries his other method at silencing those at the podium, offer to speak with them after the meeting, which seldom happens due to the late hour in which the meetings generally finish, often after 11pm.

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Filed under Asbury Park Press, editorial, Gerry Scharfenberger, Middletown Township Committee, Paul Jansen, Tongue tied for a reason

>And Here’s Another Clip From Monday Night’s Township Committee Meeting: Grenafege to Scharfenberger; It’s about Honesty, Integrity and Character

>I have one more clip to post after this one from Monday night’s Middletown Township Committee meeting. If these meetings were televised over Middletown’s public access channels I wouldn’t have any need to post them here, but that is an ongoing issue that one day will be resolved (I hope).

In this clip, resident JIm Grenafege admonishes those on the committee, particularly Gerry Scharfenberger, about the importance of Honesty, Integrity and Character of those that are elected to serve.

His comments were driven by the apparent deceitful and hairsplitting answers given by Scharfenberger during his re-election campaign and during the current proceedings of the evening.

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Filed under candidates night, deceit, Gerry Scharfenberger, honesty and integrity, Jim Grenafege, Middletown Township Committee, New Jersey

>Slippery Scharfenberger Avoids Answering Shadow Lake Question On Technicality

>During the public comments segment of the Middletown Township Committee meeting this past Monday night, resident Marilyn Michaels asked Gerry Scharfenberger if he had attended a meeting with Cindy Randazzo of the NJDEP and others on Oct. 21, 2010 in Trenton, which she thought may have been a conflict of interest between his duties as an elected official and his new job as Director of the Office of Planning Advocacy (she also brought up a number of valid concerns that I will deal with later).

This exchange between Ms. Michaels and Gerry Scharfenberger is a classic example how slippery Scharfenberger can be when he answers questions from residents or reporters. His responses are classic examples of deception through omission, that many seasoned career politicians engage in.
I posted on Nov.9th that representatives from T&M Engineering, State Senator Joe Kyrillos, the new Director for the Office of Planning and Advocacy (Mayor) Gerry Scharfenberger and several Middletown Township representatives met with Randazzo and other reps from the DEP on October 21,2010 in Trenton to discuss dredging concerns as related to Shadow Lake. This post was based on information that was forwarded to me by a third party that wished to remain anonymous.
Most of what was posted was factual, what wasn’t as it turned out was the location of the meeting. My third party source had mentioned that Randazzo expressed concerns about coming to Middletown for this meeting and wanted it held in Trenton. My source then added that the meeting took place in State Senator Joe Kyrillos’s office. It was then assumed by myself and the informant that the meeting took place in Trenton, when in fact it took place at Kyrillos’s office here in Middletown.
Why Scharfenberger had to make an ass out of himself over this is anyone guess, I suppose by squabbling with Ms. Michaels over this small point, he thought that it would discredit her in someway. What it did do was to further discredit him in the eyes of reporters there covering the nights event.
When asked about the Shadow Lake meeting afterwards, he admitted to reports that the meeting did take place on Oct. 21st but it never happened in Trenton, He confirmed the fact that it happened in Middletown.

The other valid concern Ms. Michaels brought up during her comments in front of the Committee was, if during his re-election bid, did he know if anyone may have contributed to his campaign, knowing that he was going to be or had recently been appointed as the head of the Office of Planning Advocacy Governor Christie.

She felt (as do I) that if someone was to have contributed to his campaign this year or in future years, that they may expect some special treatment if ever they may need special consideration for the state office that he now represents.

That assumption on Michaels part is, as I said, a valid concern. It goes to the heart of the issue of whether or not Scharfenberger acted ethically or not by not divulging information about his appointed during the campaign. It should be explored now and watched for in the future.

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Filed under Cindy Randanzzo, dredging, Gerry Scharfenberger, Joe Kyrillos, Middletown NJ, Middletown Township Committee, NJDEP, Office of Planning Advocacy, Shadow Lake

>Scharfenberger Answered Questions About Conflicts of Interest with Little Elaboration

>Here is another video from Monday night’s Township Committee meeting in Middletown. In this video resident Jeff Blumengold asks humbly, with no malice or preconceived agenda, Mayor Scharfenberger if his new position with the State of NJ as the Director of Planning Advocacy, is in conflict with his duties as an elected official of Middletown.

Mr. Blumengold, who is an opponent of the states affordable housing plan known as COAH, asked Scharfenberger if he could still weigh in on COAH and other zoning or land use issues that Middletown. He wanted to know if Scharfenberger sought out the advice of his superiors or possibly the NJ State Attorney General about what type of issues he would need to refrain from speaking about or voting on as an elected official so as there would be no conflict of interests between his duties as Director of Planning Advocacy and those as a Township Committeeman.

Gerry Scharfenberger answered “There will be no conflict” with no further elaboration(I think he may be wrong about that).

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Filed under Gerry Scharfenberger, Jeff Blumengold, Middletown, Middletown Township Committee, New Jersey, Office of Planning Advocacy

>ReBankGreen.Com: SCHARFENBERGER BLASTED FOR PAY CLAIM

> Nice job on the column posted at RedBankGreen.com detailing the events that went on last night at the Middletown Township Committee Meeting. Dustin Racioppi told it like it happend, with little sugar coating of the details.

What stood out to me the most about the column was the after interview that Scharfenberger gave to Racioppi, it was a further attempt on Gerry’s part at a little revisionist history.

Racioppi states that, “…he (Scharfenberger) didn’t make an announcement about the state job for two reasons: the state, he said, was in the middle of restructuring the planning agency, and he thought it would put out some sort of press release announcing his hiring; and he didn’t want to appear he was using the job to show his support of the Christie administration in an election year…”

This comes after he was qouted last week in the Two River Times and the Independent that he thought “everyone knew” because everyone around him knew about it and because it was posted on the State’s website .

Scharfenberger, then went on to add that those that have bashed him have a personal vendetta against him.

After reading this type of crap comming out of Scharfy, is there any doubt why so many question his integrity and issues with disclosing the truth, it’s not a personnal vendetta against him, it’s a vendetta for truth and transparency from those that are elected to represent Middletown’s residents.

Scharfenberger, an archaeologist and adjunct professor at Monmouth University, told redbankgreen that he didn’t make an announcement about the state job for two reasons: the state, he said, was in the middle of restructuring the planning agency, and he thought it would put out some sort of press release announcing his hiring; and he didn’t want to appear he was using the job to show his support of the Christie administration in an election year.

You can read the full article >>> Here

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Filed under Dustin Racioppi, Gerry Scharfenberger, honesty and integrity, RedBankGreen.com, transparency, Uncategorized

>Gerry Admits To Not Being a Volunteer At Last Night’s Township Committee Meeting In Middletown

>I am glad that someone took up my suggestion from my last post and asked Gerry Scharfenberger whether or not he has taken a salary this year as a member of the Middletown Township Committee.

Scharfenberger has been misleading everyone about this issue since he first spoke about it at the Lincroft Village Green Association’s Candidates Night, where he stated that gave up his stipend for the year and has been acting as a volunteer member of the Township Committee.

He even told reporters that after it was revealed after the election, that he was appointed by Governor Christie to a $95,000 a year job.

In this video clip from last nights meeting Gerry seems to be taken by surprise when Middletown resident Don Watson asked him if he had taken a paycheck from the Township this year. Scharfenberger became agitated and belligerent and he refused to answer the question, even going as far as asking the Township Clerk to note for the record that Mr. Watson’s allegations were not true, that he never said that he gave up his salary for the year. Thanks to the magic of audio we know what Scharfenberger said and it is easy to hear the intention of what he was trying to state. You can listen again for yourself after watching the video.

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

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Filed under Gerry Scharfenberger, Gov. Chris Christie, Middletown, Middletown Township Committee, Office of Planning Advocacy, video and audio, volunteer

>How Close To The Line of Fact and Fiction Does Scharfenberger Get When He Calls Himself a Volunteer?

>How close does Gerry Scharfenberger get to crossing to the line between honesty and deception when he discusses his new position as Executive Director of the Office of Planning Advocacy and how it effects his status serving as an elected official in Middletown?

Since it became common knowledge 10 days ago that Scharfenberger was appointed by Governor Christie to a $95,000 a year job, the uproar over his silence (not appointment), doesn’t seem to be going away. If anything it raises more questions after articles in both the Independent and Two River Times did little to silence his critics.

Both articles state that he is a “Volunteer” and doesn’t take a salary from the town. The Two River Times quotes him as saying, “I’m not taking a salary as Mayor. It’s a volunteer position much (like) the Landmark Commission and the Drug and Alcohol Alliance”.
Really, how is that possible? As member of the Township Committee each elected member is entitled to a $4,000 a year stipend (which Scharfenberger announced during the Lincroft Village Green Association sponsored Candidates Night, to our surprise, that he was not taking this salary). Each member of the Township Committee receives this stipend regardless if they are appointed as Mayor or not. There is no extra pay associated with the Mayor’s position and never has been, essentially every person who has served as Mayor in Middletown for the past 5 decades has done it “voluntarily” upon being chosen by others on the Committee to act as such.
To consider any elected official, whether it is as Mayor or Committee member, as a volunteer is a stretch of the word, volunteers are generally appointed and receive no compensation or they serve as a means of helping others with no expectations of reward for their humble service. Those that seek office campaign and are elected to office by voters, many go on to seek higher office or seek special favors from those in higher positions to advance their ambitions or line their pockets, much like Scharfenberger has done. To call them volunteers is a gross exaggeration of the word.
Gerry seems to be playing word games here that come very close to crossing the line between honesty and deceit. Another example of his word games is his pension status, he says he isn’t enrolled in the State pension system known as PERS but contributes to a deferred compensation 401K plan.
This I found out is true, not because he dropped out of the PERS system voluntarily, but because of the fact that as of 2008, all part time elected officials were dropped from the system and given the chance to participate in a state sponsored 401K plan to save costs.
Back in 2007, when Democrat Patrick Short proposed that elected and part-time officials in Middletown give up health and pension benefits, Scharfenberger is on record stating that he was in the township pension system and adamant that he could not get out of it as hard as he tried, he stated at the time, “Once you’re in you are in and can’t get out of it … and I tried”.
Again very close to the line between honesty and deceit, but I think I may have stumbled upon something that just may show that Scharfenberger did in fact cross that line.
In the audio clip below from the Oct. 28, 2010 LVGA Candidates Night, Scharfenberger was asked about the salaries for Township Committee people. At the time I didn’t give it much thought, I just assumed that the questioner was curious about whether or not Committee members were once again collecting stipends in 2010 after giving them up in 2009. When answering Scharfenberger went into his volunteer speech and talked about how he wasn’t taking a salary. He came across as a hero of sorts, looking out for the town with this symbolic gesture of kindness during tough economic times. He didn’t seem to care that by doing so he trashed his fellow Committee members.
In hindsight however, I’ve come to believe that this simple question was nothing more than plant from a supporter that knew Scharfenberger was appointed by Governor Christie to head up the Office of Planning Advocacy. Gerry wanted to go on record that he was in compliance with Christie’s rule that, No elected official could serve dual rolls within the State unless the position that they were elected to would be carried out voluntarily, hence the announcement that he hadn’t taken a salary all year.
In light of the two previously mentioned articles that didn’t delve into the story of Scharfenberger’s appointment like the Asbury Park Press had (the reporters chose not to question Scharfenberger over his volunteer status), I’ve spent the past few days looking over the Township Bill List and from what I’ve determined, this time Gerry just may have crossed the line into outright deception.
Here’s what I have determined:

Committee members took no salaries for most of 2009.

  1. For 2010, each Committee member earns $153.84 per week gross.
  2. The March 2010 Bills List shows $2526.66 as the salary line item. However, at that time, they were including the Mayor’s secretary in that line item. Later in the year, she is broken out separately, and her bi-weekly salary is $1,757.46.
  3. If you go back to the March payment of bills and subtract her salary ($1,757.46) from that line item ($2526.66), you get $769.20.
  4. Drum roll please . . . if you divide $769.20 by Committee members gross weekly pay ($153.84), guess what number you get . . . 5 (How many Township Committee people do we have?).
  5. Conclusion = Gerry was still taking a salary in March.
So, then we go to August. On the 10-206 payment of bills documents there is still a line item for Township Committee salaries of $2526.66, so Gerry was still taking his stipend as of Payroll for 8/6/10. However, the next bill list 10-234 for the 8/20/10 payroll, the line item goes down to $2372.82.
When broken down, remembering there is $1757.46 for the Mayor’s secretary, and you subtract her salary from the new total salary line item ($2372.82), you get $615.36 (which also happens to be the new salary line item on the November bill list where the Township Committee is now listed separately). When you divide $615.36 by that bi-weekly salary of $153.84, you get 4.
Conclusion = Gerry stopped taking his salary after the 8/6/10 payroll,which corresponds with his knowledge of his appointment by Christie to his new State job, NOT in January, as he lead those at the LVGA Candidates night and the reporters from the Independent and the Two River Times to believe and report.
Over the past few years there has been many such instances of Scharfenberger walking the tightrope between honesty and deceit, always choosing his words very carefully to maintain that balancing act. This time however, he may have gone to far by not figuring that someone other than the a reporter, who’s job it is to investigate before reporting, would take the time to do some homework and find that Gerry once again wasn’t being completely honest and crossed the line into deceitfulness.
I wonder if anyone will ask him to explain himself tonight at the Township Committee meeting?

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Filed under Asbury Park Press, bill list, candidates night, deceit, Gerry Scharfenberger, Gov. Chris Christie, honesty and integrity, LVGA, Office of Planning Advocacy, the Independent, Two River Times