Category Archives: Joe Kyrillos

Middletown Planning Board And AVAYA, What’s Going On?

On the agenda for tonight’s Middletown Planning Board meeting will be the ongoing discussion, with the possible approval, of the Four Pond redevelopment plan for the Avaya complex. Looking at the agenda, it would seem that the only business to be discussed tonight will be the Four Ponds application, all other planning board business has been pushed back to the new year.
Back in October during his reelection campaign, Tony Fiore was telling every Lincroft area resident which he met, that there was a commercial entity interested in occupying the former Avaya industrial site. He also told them not to worry because the township’s planning board would not approve of the proposed Four Ponds housing redevelopment plan that would be comprised of 342 units with various road and infrastructure upgrades for area. He said that the township favored the commercial alternative for the redevelopment of the site over the housing and that the town would do what it could to ensure that the housing project would not be built.
Now that the election is over and Fiore’s seat on the Township Committee has been secured for another 3 years, it seems that the plan has once again changed.
The commercial entity believed to have been interested in the Avaya site was Commvault, a spin off of Lucent Technologies that specializes in data management and recovery. Their current corporate headquarters is located nearby in Oceanport NJ. Commvault it seems, is no longer interested in moving it’s headquarters to Lincroft and prefers instead to move it’s offices over to the now empty, Fort Monmouth in Eatontown.
Why would they choose Eatontown over Lincroft? More than likely it was some sort of tax abatement issue. I had heard previously, before the name of Commvault was known, that the interested commercial entity was looking for a large multi-million dollar, multi-year property tax break in order to move into Middletown. Supposedly the Township reached out to State Senator Joe Kyrillos for help in securing such a deal with the State, but Kyrillos had reservations and nothing was done. This in turn left the door open for Commvault, who more than likely got the deal they were looking from the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority to moving itself over to the now empty Fort Monmouth.
So where does that leave the Four Ponds development? Rumors are circulating that Four Ponds developers have decided to back out of the housing project altogether and will announce their decision to do so tonight at the Planning Board meeting, leaving no one at present to build the 342 unit housing development, if the Planning Board’s decision was to approve Four Ponds’ application.
Four Pond’s rumored decision to drop its application could put the town in a major bind. The Avaya project is part of the Township’s COAH plan. If Four Ponds or some other builder, doesn’t build some kind of affordable housing there, the town will not be compliant with it’s State COAH plan and will have to find another location to build the affordable units. This would then open the door to builders that could seek “builder remedy” law suits against Middletown that would allow them to build just about anything, anywhere in town.
And for those that say that couldn’t happen because Governor Christie abolished COAH earlier this year, you are wrong. Christie abolished the governing body that presided over COAH not the rulings or decisions that had been already established by it. Middletown is just as bound today to their plans for building affordable housing as they were a year ago, nothing has changed.
Tonight’s meeting should be interesting.
So what’s the next step here? As one person so apply stated “Middletown should keep that COAH attorney on retainer.”

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Filed under Avaya, COAH, Commvault, Fort Monmouth, Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority, Four Ponds Housing Development, Gov. Chris Christie, Joe Kyrillos, Middletown Planning Board

APP: Lack Of Compelling Candidates Leads To Incumbent Endorsements In The 13th LD ??

The Asbury Park Press Editorial Board came up with some really scary reasoning as to why it decided to once again back incumbent Republicans as opposed to endorsing any of their opponents in the 13th Legislative District race this year.

In doing so they have attempted to dispel readership criticism of their obvious bias toward incumbent Republicans and the lack to follow through on their own rhetoric towards incumbency.

“…We often bemoan the power of incumbency and the lack of competitive legislative races in this state. A big part of the reason so many races are uncompetitive is that those who run against the incumbents are not compelling candidates….”

Not compelling candidates? Really? That one is a bit hard to believe.

How much more compelling candidates do you need than 2 former mayors of Hazlet and the first Democrat elected to the Middletown Township Committee in over 25 years, who have stressed the importance of maintaining the line on property taxes and getting hard hit middle-class families struck by the recession back on their feet and back to work?
Mayor Christopher Cullen who is running for the Senate against Joe Kyrillos was elected in 2000 to the Hazlet Township Committee. His focused was on preserving open space,preserving a record amount of open space and improved Hazlet’s quality of life. while stabilizing property taxes, and improving youth recreation. He served on the Planning and Zoning Boards and was liason to the Police Department, Office of Emergency Management, Recreation Commission. He is also a committed environmentalist.

Mayor Kevin M. Lavan who along with Patrick Short is running against incumbents Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scalon, served as committeeman, deputy mayor, and then mayor, during which time he increased transparency in local government, improved youth recreation, and delivered the lowest property tax increases in a generation. Prior to beginning his tenure on the Township Committee, Kevin served on the Planning and Zoning Boards as well as the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority.

Committeeman Patrick Short became the first Democrat elected to the Township Committee in nearly two decades. During his tenure, he voted to increase transparency, fought for fair and ethical bidding practices and against municipal tax hikes.

How much more compelling do these guys need to be? They all have a list of accomplishments which have shown that they have the voter’s best interests in mind first over their own or Party’s.
In the dismissal of Cullen and Short’s candidacy, the APP admits that they are credible but dismisses Cullen because they perceived his stance to protect district workers and families and speaks of the frustration faced by local officials who must deal with unfunded mandates and shrinking state aid as being in “lockstep with standard Democratic positions“.
In Short’s case before dismissing his candidacy, they actually say that he is “...a credible, well-spoken candidate who favors reducing property taxes by increasing income taxes and expanding the sales tax to other items.
And for no apparent reason at all Kevin Lavan wasn’t even considered.

Here is what a few readers of the APP had to say about the endorsements of Kyrillos, Handlin and O’Scalon:

watchdoggg
5:42 AM on October 31, 2011

Kyrillos, Handlin and O’Scanlon.

These three stand out alright, as doing the LEAST as representatives.
All three are in lockstep with the Christie administration which has done absolutely NOTHING to curtail property tax increases which continue unabated, contrary to the claims of this self serving Gov.

Kyrillos has been with the Monmouth County “boys” for how many YEARS, and what noteable legislation has HE ever passed ?? Interesting how many officials were arrested by federal officials, and more importantly, HOW MANY WERE NOT (from the republican side). I wonder if Christie made a deal with the then GOP party chairman (Kyrillos).

Handlin. How many years did she sit in with the boys from Club Monmouth, and claim she never knew what was going on.

O’Scanlon. The right hand boy to then state senator John Bennett, whom Christie (then federal prosecutor) vilified as the biggest double dipper in NJ.

These three standout alright, for all the wrong reasons to be reelected.
GRIP,,,.Get Rid Incumbent Politicians.
NOPOLITICALPARTY
6:26 AM on October 31, 2011

Three more incumbents endorsed by the Press. And come the new year the Press will be writing editorials telling us the problems we have are because voters always re-elect incumbents. They will call for new blood later, but for now they are satisfied with the same old-same old. Go figure!

gaborbacchi
10:36 AM on October 31, 2011


Totally irresponsible journalism. Declaring some candidates as “no shot at winning”, “does not warrant serious consideration”, and “a wasted vote” WITHOUT ANY REASONS WHY is hack at its best. Why not list the stance of each and let voters decide. Sure the APP can endorse, but to DENOUNCE without any reason is journalistic treason that is insulting to readers who are not robots that need to be told who to vote for. We are looking for where candidates stand, idiots! Tell us!

bchbum
3:31 PM on October 31, 2011

the LAST thing this district needs is MORE of the same! UNELECT kyrillos, handlin and o’scanlon!

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Filed under 13th Legisaltive District, Amy Handlin, Asbury Park Press, Christopher Cullen, Declan O'Scanlon, endorsement, Joe Kyrillos, Kevin Lavan, Patrick Short

Profiles Of The 13th District Race Online At The APP and NJ Spotlight

The both the Asbury Park Press and NJ Spotlight have race profiles online for the NJ 13th Legislative District races featuring the issues and candidates in those races.

In the 13th race for State Assembly Democrats Kevin Lavan of Hazlet and Patrick Short of Middletown are running against Republicans and current members of the State Assembly Amy Handlin 0f Middletown and Declan O’Scanlon.
This race also features two other candidates running together for the State Assembly William Lawton and Frank Cottone, as members of the Constitution Party.
In the 13th race for State Senate Democrat Christopher Cullen of Hazlet is running against current State Senator Joe Kyrillos of Middletown.

The candidates for Monmouth County Surrogate race have also been posted online at the APP website. In this race Democrat Michael Steinhorn from Rumson is looking to unseat Middletowner Rosemary Peters. The APP headline “Monmouth County surrogate race not drawing attention” is an understatement, which is a shame because Steinhorn is an extremely capable and affable guy, who deserves more attention.

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Filed under 13th Legisaltive District, Amy Handlin, Asbury Park Press, Chris Cullen, Declan O'Scanlon, Joe Kyrillos, Kevin Lavan, Michael Steinhorn, monmouth County Surrogate, NJspotlight, Patrick Short

Is New Jersey Playing Games with Fracking Ban?

The following commentary from Dennis Anderson, Chair of the Jersey Shore (Monmouth) Group of the Sierra Club and Joellen Lundy, President of N.J. Friends of Clearwater appears on the website Newjerseynewsroom.com as well as a few other sites.

I post it here because the subject of hydraulic fracturing(fracking) shale in order to release natural gas deposits that were unattainable before the process was developed, has become a very big issue. The chemicals that are used in the process have polluted ground water and surrounding lands with hazardous and carcinogenic residues, guest blogger Linda Baum posted a column about fracking and it’s dangers here back in April.

Since then a number of articles on the subject, both Pro and Con, have been making there way into the media.
Legislation banning Fracking in NJ, is sitting on Governor Christie’s desk waiting for his signature. Why he hasn’t signed it yet is anyone’s guess.
NJ is the most densely populated state in the nation and our natural resources will be placed at risk if franking is allowed to continue without the proper safety constraints in place to ensure that drinking water, wildlife and the general population are not placed risk:

Opponents of the environmentally damaging practice now sweeping the country of hydrofracking shale deposits for natural gas were delighted last week when the N.J. Legislature voted to ban the practice. The vote, 33 to 1 in the Senate and 51 to 11 in the Assembly, showed such a rare bi-partisan agreement so absent in today’s political discourse that many environmentalists hoped New Jersey’s politicians finally recognized that solving the state’s pollution problems transcends partisan bickering.

We hope this is the case, but we’re not sure. Gov. Christie, who has become increasingly hostile to the state’s environmental problems, has yet to sign the bill. If he does, it will be a watershed event. But will he? Sen. Joseph M. Kyrollis Jr. did not vote on the bill but offered an amendment — rejected by the Senate — to ban hydrofracking for five years. But why would Kyrollis delay hydrofracking?

There is growing public anger over hydrofracking, which requires enormous amounts of water and a number of toxic chemicals that the frackers are not required by law to report. Vice President Dick Cheney accomplished this dodge while in office. These undisclosed chemicals pollute both underground and surface water supplies. This debacle is very hard for politicians to support, so we may be seeing a “pretend” vote where pro-development politicians duck citizens’ ire by voting against hydrofracking, knowing that the governor will use his veto power to avoid an out-right ban and force environmentally responsible politicians to accept Kyrollis’ “compromise” that opens the door in five years.

The state of New Jersey deserves better. Until hydrofracking is absolutely safe, it must be banned. The first step would be to require complete disclosure of the chemicals they plan on indirectly pumping into our water supply.

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Filed under Fracking, Gov. Chris Christie, hydrofracking, Joe Kyrillos, Linda Baum, natural gas drilling, New Jersey Newsroom, NJ Friends of Clearwater, Sierra club

>Mr. Kyrillos Wants to Go to Washington; Christopher Cullen to remain in district to fight for working families

>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 13, 2011

HAZLET – Following today’s Politicker New Jersey report that Republican Joe Kyrillos filed papers with the Federal Election Commission forming an exploratory committee for U.S. Senate, his Democratic challenger Christopher Cullen issued the following statement:

With each passing day it’s clearer and clearer to me that Joe Kyrillos cares more about his next political move than he does the people of the Thirteenth Legislative District. If Joe plans on jumping ship, he should make a public statement to that effect. It’s time we had a voice in Trenton who cares more about the concerns of seniors and working families than he does about his next political move. I will stay right here, fighting to create jobs and protect our environment.


Mayor Cullen served on the Hazlet Township Committee from 2001-2004. During that time, he preserved more open space than any mayor in Hazlet history. He currently works as facilities maintenance manager for the Marine Academy of Science and Technology at Sandy Hook.

The new Thirteenth Legislative District comprises Aberdeen, Atlantic Highlands, Fair Haven, Hazlet, Highlands, Holmdel, Keansburg, Keyport, Little Silver, Marlboro, Middletown, Monmouth Beach, Oceanport, Rumson, Sea Bright, and Union Beach.

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Filed under 13th Legisaltive District, Christopher Cullen, Democratic challenger, exploratory committee, Federal Election Committee, Hazlet NJ, Joe Kyrillos, PolitickerNJ, U.S Senate Seat

>Middletown Still Kicking Around Shadow Lake Political Football

>I was glad to hear after last week’s Middletown Township Workshop meeting that nearly $2.7M maybe freed up soon by the state, for the long talked about Shadow Lake dredging project.

According to what I had been told of the meeting and a subsequent article posted on MiddletownPatch.com it seems that Middletown resident and NJ State Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-13) found a way to partially fund the estimated $4+M dredging project by co-sponsoring legislation that will provide funding through the state’s Environmental Infrastructure Trust (EIT) fund.
The legislation that originally created the Environmental Infrastructure Trust fund was intended to provide special financing, in the form of a low-interest loans to companies and municipalities looking to clean up environmentally contaminated “Brownfields” in order to return them to tax rolls.
Kyrillos’s bill that would provide funding for Middletown under the EIT, still needs to be voted on by the full Senate before moving onto the Assembly for approval and signature of the governor, which is not a given. I wouldn’t exactly call Shadow Lake an environmental “brownfield” that needs to be cleaned up so it can be returned to the tax rolls.
But what disturbs me here is the fact that Middletown Republicans are still playing the equivalent of political football with this issue and sending mixed messages with the intent on blaming state and local Democrats for delaying the dredging of the lake and contributing to it’s skyrocketing cost.

Officials ran into a project roadblock when the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) made it clear that, when removed, any dredge spoils gleaned from the lake would have to be transported to a safe, licensed off-site location, dried out and then taken to a legal dumping ground, Middletown Mayor Tony Fiore said.

Township Attorney Brian Nelson had said that where the township had no luck with the last administration’s state DEP officials, the new DEP principals seem more receptive. The township governing body is all-Republican, as is the Christie-appointed administration.

“We can’t do anything without permits,” he had said a couple of months ago at a Township Committee meeting. “But the DEP is working with us much better than it formerly did. Before it was clear they were not giving us permits.”

Now, knowing that the funds are being secured, Mayor Fiore said that the next step would be to go out to bid for the project.

“Thanks to the efforts of Senator Kyrillos the residents of the communities surrounding Shadow Lake can rest easier knowing that a project more than a decade in the making is nearing reality,” said Fiore. “In addition to the senator’s efforts in helping secure financing for this project, he has assisted the township with the DEP to find a qualified site outside of Middletown for disposal of the dredge spoils.”

It wasn’t Democrats that said this project was going to be an easy slam dunk just before the 2007 election and how it wasn’t going to cost residents a single dime (but proposed bonding for it) because local college students would perform surveys of the lake and other services for the township for free. And that the rest of the cost for the dredging would come from grants or planned to have the arsenic, heavy metal and carcinogenic contaminated spoils buried within Stephenson Park without proper permits from the NJ DEP. It was Gerry Scharfenberger and the rest of the Middletown Republicans who were attempting to secure last minute vote from residents who live around Shadow Lake by proposing such a plan.

Local Democrats want to see Shadow Lake restored but want it done smartly, cost efficiently and with in the law. The last thing Democrats or residents want is to clean up a lake only to create an environmental hazard somewhere else, namely Stephenson Park.
The NJ DEP was right not to issue permits for that and insisting that the dredged spoils be carted to a properly secured landfill.
And the following comment left on the MiddletownPatch article by a Mr. Dave Venture seems to agree:
Coming from someone who is an environmental professional who grew up on Shadow Lake and lived there for 22 years and still fish it weekly, I can tell you this issue has been twisted and misused by various media groups as well as private landowners on the lake . The lake has become naturally shallower in some areas which is normal succession for a man-made lake. The problem of increased vegetation is in large part not due to the depth of the lake. The lake is surrounded by residential development and Shadow Lake Village all of which contribute tremendous amounts of nutrient runoff to the lake in the way of fertilizers etc. The lake also sits in an area that was all farmland until the middle part of the 20th century. The groundwater may still be pumping nutrients from the historic farms into the lake contributing to the eutrophic environment. This is very similar to what is happening on a much larger scale in Barnegat Bay. The issue of depth of the lake and water quality/aquatic vegetation are two separate issues that have been blurred. If the goal is to make the lake deeper than I agree dredging is the only option. If the issue as they have proclaimed is to decrease the aquatic vegetation then dredging is not a cost-effective or ecologically sound solution. Green stormwater infrastructure and practices must be instituted to prevent the runoff that is making the lake an overly enriched ecosystem. State the goals clearly before dumping 4mil into a project.
So it’s about time now for Middletown’s “non- partisan” Township Attorney Brian Nelson and other finger pointers to point the finger at themselves. Too often Nelson acts like he is the 6th member of the Township Committee and gives bad, partisan advice that cost the town tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees because he has a vested interest Republicans maintaining control in town and it’s about time members of the Township Committee stop taking his poor advice.

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Filed under Brian Nelson, dredging, Environmental Infrastructure Trust (EIT) fund, Joe Kyrillos, Middletown Patch, NJ DEP, Shadow Lake, Stephenson Park, Tony Fiore

>Cullen Wins Write-In Campaign in Thirteenth District And Set To Challenge Christie’s Right-Hand-Man

>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 8, 2011

HAZLET — Following a successful write-in campaign in Tuesday’s primary, Democrat Christopher Cullen is set to challenge Republican Joe Kyrillos for the State Senate.

Mr. Cullen, who served previously as Mayor of Hazlet Township, cited the Christie Administration’s inaction on key environmental issues and failure to create jobs as his reason for challenging the longtime lawmaker.

“The people of the Thirteenth Legislative District will have a choice between a voice for working families and the voice for Chris Christie,” said Cullen. “Senator Kyrillos has been in the Legislature for nearly two and half decades. That’s long enough.”

Mayor Cullen is also a committed environmentalist. He said, “As Mayor, I worked with Democrats and Republicans alike to preserve record amounts of open space. As Senator, I’ll go to Trenton to make sure that what remains of our woodlands and beaches don’t give way to shopping centers and traffic jams.”

Mayor Cullen served on the Hazlet Township Committee from 2001-2004. During that time, he preserved more open space than any mayor in Hazlet history. He currently works as facilities maintenance manager for the Marine Academy of Science and Technology at Sandy Hook.

The new Thirteenth Legislative District comprises Aberdeen, Atlantic Highlands, Fair Haven, Hazlet, Highlands, Holmdel, Keansburg, Keyport, Little Silver, Marlboro, Middletown, Monmouth Beach, Oceanport, Rumson, Sea Bright, and Union Beach.

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Filed under 13th Legisaltive District, Christopher Cullen, Democratic Candidate, Gov. Chris Christie, Hazlet Mayor, Joe Kyrillos, NJ State Assembly