Category Archives: Governor Christie

>I Wonder If This Affects Anyone Currently Sitting On Middletown’s Board of Education or Applicants?

>Seeing how there is a vacant seat currently on the Middletown Board of Education and that the Board is currently accepting application to fill that seat, I wonder how many applicants or current board members know about a bill recently signed into law by Governor Christie, creating tighter restrictions on eligibility requirements of those that serve on New Jersey school boards.

Journalist Mark Spivey recently wrote about this in a column that appeared on various news outlets around the area titled Member might lose BOE seat; Faces disqualification from ’68 drug charge”

…The bill “permanently disqualifies from employment or service” on those boards anyone who has been convicted of a wide range of crimes, including all first- and second-degree offenses (among them many drug-related offenses) but also more minor charges including criminal mischief, reckless endangerment or resisting arrest….

According to the bill, each of the nearly 5,000 members of New Jersey’s hundreds of boards of education is required to undergo a comprehensive criminal history and background check within 30 days. Board members are responsible for covering the cost of the background checks out of their own pockets.

Locally based Assemblyman Jerry Green, D-Union, explained that the bill mirrors existing state restrictions on public schools’ hiring practices.

“If we prohibit someone from teaching in a classroom because of past convictions, then they definitely should be prohibited from presiding over the education of an entire school district,” Green said. “It’s a commonsense change that is long overdue.”

I wonder how many current, past or future candidates for the BOE have long buried skeletons in their closets from their youthful indiscretions; Potentially there are many, but should it really preclude them from serving on the board now or in the future after so many years have past? After all, the same standard isn’t applied to those seeking public office.

I’d like to see what happens if it is found that any current or past members of the Middletown Board of Education is affected by this new law. How will it be handle, will the public know about the real reason why a for current member’s was removed or stepped down or why a past member seeking reappointment was past over or barred from running again?
Now don’t jump to conclusions here on me, I am not making insinuations about anyone currently presiding on the BOE or who has stepped down recently. I am just pointing out the potential ramifications this new law will have on those that wish to serve on a local school boards, whether it is Middletown’s or some other town.

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Filed under board members, Governor Christie, Midddletown Board of Education, qualification of candidates, skeletons in the closet

>Let The Spin Begin: Press Release In Advance Of Budget Introduction Issued By Middletown Committee

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In advance of tonights budget introduction by the Middletown Township Committee, the follwoing press release was issued a short while ago, all I can say is let the spinning begin. It seems that only in Middletown can the municipal budget be cut by nearly $4 million but the amount need to be raise through taxation increases by $1.58million. I guess I should be glad though, could you imagine what the tax increase could have been if the Township Committee didn’t adhere to the Governor’s mandate to stay under the 2% cap?…

MIDDLETOWN – The Middletown Township Committee anticipates introducing its 2011 municipal budget that is $3.87 million (5.9%) less than the Township’s 2010 budget.

“Middletown’s proposed municipal budget is very austere and in full conformance with the new 2% cap levy law despite the Legislature’s continued failure to enact the Governor’s tool kit reforms that would empower the Township to make further cuts,” said Middletown Mayor Tony Fiore.

“We are hopeful to continue to rein in spending through ongoing negotiations with the Township’s collective bargaining units with a focus on decreasing the Township’s health care costs.” “Cuts in the proposed budget include the layoffs of 26 employees, including 10 police officers, and the third consecutive year of salary freezes for the Township’s managerial employees,” continued Fiore.

“Middletown will continue to focus on core governmental functions while seeking other ways to continue to reduce costs though interlocal agreements and the Township’s solar initiative that is currently under way.”

Proposed Budget Data and Facts

  • The proposed 2011 municipal budget is $61,114,285 compared to the adopted 2010 budget that was $64,979,576.
  • The proposed budget represents an actual decrease in spending of $3,865,291 (5.9%) from the 2010 budget.
  • The largest cost drivers offsetting the Township’s $3.87 million in budget cuts are tax appeal refunds, State-mandated pension contribution increases of 22%, and costs associated with deferred charges due to numerous retirements last year.
  • The proposed 2011 budget anticipates an increase in the total tax levy of $1,357,855 which complies with the new 2% cap levy law and will cost the average Middletown homeowner approximately $5 per month.
  • The municipal budget makes up only approximately 22% of the average property tax bill, the remaining portion relates to the school and county tax levies.

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Filed under 2% cap, budget introduction, Governor Christie, Middletown Township Committee, press release, Spin, Tony Fiore

>Is A Scharfenberger Recall Effort Possibly Underway In Middletown?

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Ever since the news broke about Gerry Scharfenberger being appointed by Governor Christie to a $95,000 a year job as the new Director of the Office for Planning Advocacy and then keeping it quite by lying to the press when asked by several local news organizations such as the Asbury Park Press,Two River Times, Greater Media’s the Independent and RedBankGreen.com about his current employer during this past election season, I’ve been receiving a ton of emails and comments left on this blog from friends and other Middletown residents that are upset at being deceived once again by the master of deception himself, Gerry Scharfenberger.

These people, some of whom voted for Scharfenberger, are angry and want to know what can be done about overturning the outcome of Tuesday’s election due to the fact that if they had known in advance about Gerry’s new position in Trenton it may have changed their votes.

But what really has them upset is his lame excuses for not making the appointment public knowledge back in August when he accepted the job. Scharfenberger has been quoted as saying “”I just assumed that everyone knew.” by the Asbury Park Press and “I wasn’t go to promote it to help my election, which I thought would be unfair.” by the Atlantic Highlands Herald.

Many of these people think that keeping this information from the public, while not illegal, was unethical and the equivalent to fraud. They are thinking of taking action against Scharfenberger by starting a Recall campaign against him.

When I heard this for the first time, I thought it was an intriguing idea so I looked up the Recall Provision in the NJ State Constitution to see what it would entail.

Article 1, section 2b explains what needs to be done in order to recall a local public official as follows:

The people reserve unto themselves the power to recall, after at least one year of service, any elected official in this State or representing this State in the United States Congress. The Legislature shall enact laws to provide for such recall elections. Any such laws shall include a provision that a recall election shall be held upon petition of at least 25% of the registered voters in the electoral district of the official sought to be recalled. If legislation to implement this constitutional amendment is not enacted within one year of the adoption of the amendment, the Secretary of State shall, by regulation, implement the constitutional amendment, except that regulations adopted by the Secretary of State shall be superseded by any subsequent legislation consistent with this constitutional amendment governing recall elections. The sufficiency of any statement of reasons or grounds procedurally required shall be a political rather than a judicial question.


After reading the provisions it seems that all which is needed is to collect Scharfenberger is the signatures from 25% of all the registered voters in Middletown on a petition, which would be about 12 thousand or so, within 160 days. It seems doable but I doubt that it is plausible, recall efforts very seldom work, many signatures are challenged and thrown out by the powers that be and it is extremely time consuming to gather all those signatures

So we are probably stuck with him until he either resigns on his own from the Township Committee or is eventually thrown out of office by the voters after the next election. With that being said though, if anyone truly wants to start the recall effort, I’d sign my name to it.

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Filed under Asbury Park Press, Atlantic Highlands Herald, Gerry Scharfenberger, Governor Christie, Middletown NJ, Middletown Township Committee, recall petition