Category Archives: kevin penton

What I Learned; Ted Gets An Assistant, Janet Gets A Raise And Gregg Takes The Money

Kevin Penton of the Asbury Park Press had a small article posted online last night about the future of Middletown’s Department of Parks and Recreation.

The article didn’t contain anything that we didn’t already know about how the department will be restructured. Middletown’s Department of Public Works headed by Ted Maloney, will take over the maintance of the township’s parks and Janet Adams, the director of the Tonya Keller Community Center will oversee how township parks and beaches are used by various groups.

What I did learn from the article is that Middletown will be hiring Ted Maloney an assistant director, Janet Adams will get a nice raise and former Director of Parks and Recreaction Gregg Silva, who retired on January 1st while under an unspecified investigation, will walk away with a big fat lump sum payment from the Township for unused sick and vaction days!

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Filed under Asbury Park Press, Department of Parks and Recreation, Department of Public Works, Gregg Silva, kevin penton, Ted Maloney, Tonya Keller Center

Quote Of The Day #2: “You can say it’s political…”

Our second quote of the day comes from newly reappointed Middletown Mayor Tony Fiore, from statements made to reporter Kevin Penton in todays Asbury Park Press concerning the appointments of members to (or lack thereof) the Middletown Human Rights Commission and its former Chairperson Carolyn Scwhebel.

“You can say it’s political, you can say it’s personal choice,” Fiore said. “She doesn’t work well with the town.”

Mrs. Scwhebel recently sent a letter to the editor, Middletown Human Rights Commission Being Abolished by Attrition, to local publication (this blog included) that expressed her concerns at not being reappointed to the commission.

And when you consider what went on during the last Township Committee meeting of 2011 back on Dec.19th, Fiore’s comments only reinforce what I wrote about in the post Political Affiliations Over Participation Matter More When It Comes To Board Appointments, when discussing an appointment to the Middletown Library Board (listen to the audio).

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Filed under Asbury Park Press, blog, Board of Trustees, Carolyn Schwebel, kevin penton, Middletown Human Rights Commission, Middletown Library, Quote of the day, Tony Fiore

APP: Middletown places Parks and Recreation director on administrative leave

Only a few hours after last night’s Middletown Township Committee meeting was over, Kevin Penton of the Asbury Park Press posted online his story about Middletown’s Park and Recreation Director Gregg Silva being placed on administrative leave.

In my earlier blog post on the subject, Penton was one of the journalist that I eluded in the post, that had tried to contact Township Administrator Tony Mercantante for a comment about Silva last week.
After last night’s Township Committee meeting, I noticed that Kevin Penton had approached Mr. Mercantante and was speaking to him for a prolonged time. When Penton exited Town Hall, I nodded to him and asked if he had heard anything new concerning Gregg Silva. He started to say that he had sent Mercantante an email last Thursday but he hadn’t checked to see if he received a response or not. He was about to say more but a gentleman interrupted him and started asking him about Middletown’s Shadow Lake, so we never finished our conversation.
It is apparent however from the article, Penton spoke to both Mercantante and soon to be ex-mayor Tony Fiore (who refused to comment), about Gregg Silva. Unfortunately, as expected, Mercantante didn’t say much to Penton other than confirm that Silva was placed on administrative leave:

Gregg Silva is still a township employee and is receiving pay while an investigation proceeds, said Township Administrator Anthony Mercantante, who declined to specify the details of the inquiry.

“At this point, he is not in his office,” said Mercantante, referring to Silva. “We’ve agreed for him not to come in until we look at a few issues.”

Mercantante declined to specify when Silva was placed on administrative leave, saying it occurred within the last 30 days. A date for the leave to expire has not been set, he added.

You can read what Kevin Penton wrote …Here, but remember where you read the details about Silva’s administrative leave first.

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Filed under administrative leave, Asbury Park Press, Gregg Silva, kevin penton, Middletown Parks and Recreation, Tony Fiore, Tony Mercantante

>APP: Middletown board hears controversial housing plan

>The Asbury Park Press this morning has a good write up on last night’s Middletown Planning Board meeting with some additional background information that pertains to the Bam Hollow development and how 1200 housing units were originally scheduled to be built there.

The article was written by Kevin Penton and is a pretty accurate description of what went on durning the discussion of the Avaya redevelopment hearing last night.

You can also checkout the raw video from last night’s Middletown Planning Board meeting that I have posted in the previous post.

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Filed under Asbury Park Press, Avaya, Bam Hollow, kevin penton, Lincroft NJ, Middletown NJ, Raw Video

>APP: Middletown deal with police saves jobs; 9 other workers let go

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Below is what the Asbury Park Press is reporting about the deal that was struck between Middletown and it’s Police Unions, it’s pretty much what I had posted last night with a few more detail concerning the PBA agreement and additional information about those who were laid off in Parks & Recreation.

Four police officers won’t have to turn in their badges as a result of a last-minute deal struck Friday between the township and the Superior Officers Association.

However, the township’s savings from a new four-year contract for the 21 members of the association does not help the nine Parks and Recreation Department employees who were laid off Friday, said Anthony Mercantante, township administrator.

Township officials gave the local Policemen’s Benevolent Association until Monday to vote on a separate contract, which could save the jobs of six police officers, Mercantante said.

“This agreement saves jobs,” said Mayor Anthony Fiore, referring to the superior officers’ pact. “This should serve as a model for the Legislature or for other towns that can’t get things done.”

As part of the deal, Superior Officers Association members will get a 1.5 percent raise in the fourth quarter of 2011 and 2 percent raises in each of the contract’s subsequent years, Mercantante said.

Middletown will realize savings by association members either paying a larger percentage of the costs of an existing health plan or choosing to enroll in a new, more restrictive plan that will be cheaper for the township, Mercantante said. Association members who opt for the township’s top health plan will have to pay 25 percent of its cost, as opposed to 1.5 percent of their salaries, Mercantante said. Members can also choose a plan with more restrictions and continue to pay 1.5 percent of their salaries, he said.

The township’s layoff plan had included the demotions of one lieutenant and three sergeants to the patrol division, which would have led to the layoffs of four other officers, said Fred Deickmann, Superior Officers Association president. The agreement means the superior officers will not be demoted, he said.

“This is a fair deal for these trying economic times,” Deickmann said. “We’re glad the collective bargaining system worked.”

Of the 16 non-police employees facing termination, nine were laid off, three retired and four were shifted to different positions, Mercantante said….

read more >>> Here

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Filed under Asbury Park Press, kevin penton, layoffs, Middletown NJ, Middletown Parks and Recreation, Middletown Police

>APP: Middletown’s layoff plan uncertain until today’s deadline

>Kevin Penton of the Asbury Park Press has been all over the Middletown layoff story since word of yesterday and today’s special Middletown Township Committee meetings were announced. Yesterday there were three articles posted online updating the situation.

According to Penton, no deal had been struck between Middletown and it’s Police unions, which was why yestderday’s special meeting was cancelled, however further negotiations seem to be ongoing and the Township is hopeful that it will be able to proceede with today’s special Committee meeting scheduled for 5 pm.

The spectre of layoffs will hang over the township until today’s deadline, as
municipal and police union officials failed to strike a deal on Thursday.

With Middletown’s layoff plan scheduled to take effect on Saturday,
officials from the township, the Policemen’s Benevolent Association and the
Superior Officers Association have been in talks this week on how to reduce
expenditures, Mayor Anthony Fiore said.

To meet the legal notification requirements in case a deal is struck, the Middletown Township Committee scheduled 5 p.m. meetings for Thursday and today.

As of 4 p.m. Thursday, today’s meeting is on, said Cindy Herrschaft, Middletown’s public information officer.

Middletown’s original layoff plan called for the elimination of 26 positions, including 10 police officers and 13 employees in the township’s Parks and Recreation Department.

But with some employees agreeing to retire, the number of positions to be eliminated through layoffs has decreased, Fiore said….


Read more >>> Here

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Filed under Asbury Park Press, kevin penton, labor unions, layoffs, Middletown PBA, Middletown Police

>APP: Middletown assessor to get $15G payment for reassessment work

>So what do you know, I guess someone over at the Asbury Park Press has been reading my blog.

In today’s paper APP report Kevin Penton has written an article about the $15,000 bonus that Tax Assessor Charles Heck will be receiving for doing his job.

Two things that stand out in the article are that no one would make themselves available for comment other that Tony Fiore; not Township Administrator Tony Mercantante or Charles Heck himself, would comment.

Secondly is the arrogance of Fiore himself. Fiore is quote, “Let’s face it, without this money, there would have been no incentive for them to do the work.” referring to Heck and his assistant working extra hours for the bonus, instead of doing what would be expected from someone who earns $108,572 from the tax payers of Middletown.

Lets face it, Heck has a very cozy job, so cozy that he is able hold similar positions in town other towns, which has increased his salary and benefits to over $164,000 according to Data Universe , so let’s not try and kid anyone. Heck should not be getting anthying extra from the Township for doing a job that he is already highly paid to do.

Any money that the Township has realized as savings from Heck’s work should go to saving jobs, not lining Heck’s pockets. For Fiore to justify Heck’s bonus by stating ,”To spend $20,000 to save $50,000, that’s a pretty good spend.” as he did at Monday night’s Township Committee meeting is asinine. The whole $50,000 belongs to taxpayers and should be used towards saving jobs,services or paying off debt. Not for lining a political flunky’s pockets.

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Filed under Asbury Park Press, bonuses, Charles Heck, kevin penton, Middletown NJ, stipend, tax assessor, Tony Fiore, Tony Mercantante