Category Archives: Midddletown Board of Education

>The Man Behind the Walsh Recall Petition

>I wonder how many people out there realize that James Cody, the man behind the Walsh recall petition, is the same guy that installed the artifical turf at High School South and lost money on the project because he under bid the project, and who then felt that he shouldn’t have had to bid to install the field at High School North.

When he got around to making his initial opening bid to install the field at High School North, it was one of the highest bids recieved, so the B.O.E was obligated to accept the lower bid from Mondo/USA.

When Mondo/USA defalted on it’s contract, Cody again bid to high for the job but was reward the contract because the winning bidder had a problem with the paper work that was submitted.

Also, this is the same James Cody that ran for a seat on the Middletown Board of Ed. and LOST to Patricia Walsh.

It seems like a case of rotten eggs to me. I think some one should be looking at Mr. Cody a little closer. 

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Filed under James Cody, Midddletown Board of Education, Middletown High School North, Middletown South High School, Patricia Walsh, recall petition, Turf project

Grenafege and Walsh Answer The Questions During Press Conference Held on 10/6/08

On Oct. 6th Jim Grenafege and Patricia Walsh, Democratic candidates for Middletown Township(NJ) Committee for held a press conference outside of Middletown Town Hall. In the clip below Jim Grenafege is asked to explain his view on legal fees that the township incurs and how he would try and control them such as placing a cap the fees.

Patricia Walsh then adds her comments about how the Middletown Board of Education has been able to maintain a grip on it’s legal fees by place caps on expenses.

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Filed under inhouse counsel., Jim Grenafege, Legal bills, Midddletown Board of Education, Middletown Democrats, Patricia Walsh

Grenafege and Walsh Answer The Questions During Press Conference Held on 10/6/08

On Oct. 6th Jim Grenafege and Patricia Walsh, Democratic candidates for Middletown Township(NJ) Committee for held a press conference outside of Middletown Town Hall. In the clip below Jim Grenafege is asked to explain his view on legal fees that the township incurs and how he would try and control them such as placing a cap the fees.

Patricia Walsh then adds her comments about how the Middletown Board of Education has been able to maintain a grip on it’s legal fees by place caps on expenses.

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Filed under inhouse counsel., Jim Grenafege, Legal bills, Midddletown Board of Education, Middletown Democrats, Patricia Walsh

Walsh Fights Back Against Petition Recall

PRESS RELEASE
Recall petition: partisanship wrapped around mistruths
MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP (MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ): According to Middletown Democrat for Township Committee Patricia Walsh, she left Middletown Republican Chairman Peter Carton’s Republican party because of  “personal attacks, the likes of which he is launching against me right now.”

A petition drive, sponsored by Republicans James Cody, Kathleen Bjelka and Anthony Testa,
was begun Oct. 8. The petition erroneously claims that Walsh “accepted a $30,000 gift.” In addition, the petition singled out Walsh as having raised  “taxes more than any official in Middletown history.” In fact, the petition distored Walsh’s record, the candidate said, and is a typical “dirty trick” to distract the good people of Middletown from the real issues, such as taxes and affordability.

“I have in my possession sworn statements in depositions that show the personal loan
made to me by Cathy Sullivan has been repaid in full,” Walsh said.

The personal loan referred to by the petition was made when Republican Committeeman Tom
Stokes sued Walsh unsuccessfully for eight years in an attempt to “own what Pat Walsh owns.” Stokes used a Republican law firm, which represented him on a contingency basis, to conduct the failed lawsuit. Subsequently, Stokes was awarded a job on the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, a well-known breeding ground for cronyism, and a seat on the Middletown Sewerage Authority, which is given by the all-Republican Middletown Committee.

Where it involves her voting record on the school board, Walsh said she has “dutifully participated as a member of that body for 11 years and is proud that she has worked for consensus to improve the education of township children ” as a volunteer. Consequently,
Walsh said she is proud of the quality of education for Middletown’s children. “As a group, Middletown’s children are some of the best-educated in the country, as testified to by where these kids go to college afterward,” Walsh said.

“The real reason for this petition is not because I participated on the school board, or because I won a lawsuit against Tom Stokes,” Walsh said. “The reason this petition is going on is because it is likely that, come Election Day, myself and my running mate, Jim Grenafege, are going to join committeemen Patrick Short and Sean Byrnes on the governing body.”

Walsh said the Republican-controlled Middletown Committee has “raped the township’s
coffers with partisan appointments and cronyism for more than a quarter-century.”

Walsh said that Middletown is witnessing the “death rattle” of 27 years of corruption, sponsored principally by Middletown Republican Chairman Peter Carton.

“To put it simply, the way of life for a handful of corrupt local Republican officials is about ready to come to a screeching halt in January, and Mr. Carton and his cronies are fighting it in every way they can—this petition included,” Walsh said.

However, despite the scurrilous Republican attacks, Walsh said she will not be deterred in reforming Middletown’s government, changing her hometown’s approach to spending, or cleaning up the evident corruption that has taken hold of Monmouth’s largest municipality.

“It has always been a case where Middletown will get “fixed some other day,” “ Walsh said. “Well, I have news for Mr. Carton and his flunkies: It’s some other day”

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Filed under Midddletown Board of Education, Middletown Democrats, Middletown Republicans, Middletown Township Committee, MiddletownMike, recall petition

Walsh Fights Back Against Petition Recall

PRESS RELEASE
Recall petition: partisanship wrapped around mistruths
MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP (MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ): According to Middletown Democrat for Township Committee Patricia Walsh, she left Middletown Republican Chairman Peter Carton’s Republican party because of  “personal attacks, the likes of which he is launching against me right now.”

A petition drive, sponsored by Republicans James Cody, Kathleen Bjelka and Anthony Testa,
was begun Oct. 8. The petition erroneously claims that Walsh “accepted a $30,000 gift.” In addition, the petition singled out Walsh as having raised  “taxes more than any official in Middletown history.” In fact, the petition distored Walsh’s record, the candidate said, and is a typical “dirty trick” to distract the good people of Middletown from the real issues, such as taxes and affordability.

“I have in my possession sworn statements in depositions that show the personal loan
made to me by Cathy Sullivan has been repaid in full,” Walsh said.

The personal loan referred to by the petition was made when Republican Committeeman Tom
Stokes sued Walsh unsuccessfully for eight years in an attempt to “own what Pat Walsh owns.” Stokes used a Republican law firm, which represented him on a contingency basis, to conduct the failed lawsuit. Subsequently, Stokes was awarded a job on the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, a well-known breeding ground for cronyism, and a seat on the Middletown Sewerage Authority, which is given by the all-Republican Middletown Committee.

Where it involves her voting record on the school board, Walsh said she has “dutifully participated as a member of that body for 11 years and is proud that she has worked for consensus to improve the education of township children ” as a volunteer. Consequently,
Walsh said she is proud of the quality of education for Middletown’s children. “As a group, Middletown’s children are some of the best-educated in the country, as testified to by where these kids go to college afterward,” Walsh said.

“The real reason for this petition is not because I participated on the school board, or because I won a lawsuit against Tom Stokes,” Walsh said. “The reason this petition is going on is because it is likely that, come Election Day, myself and my running mate, Jim Grenafege, are going to join committeemen Patrick Short and Sean Byrnes on the governing body.”

Walsh said the Republican-controlled Middletown Committee has “raped the township’s
coffers with partisan appointments and cronyism for more than a quarter-century.”

Walsh said that Middletown is witnessing the “death rattle” of 27 years of corruption, sponsored principally by Middletown Republican Chairman Peter Carton.

“To put it simply, the way of life for a handful of corrupt local Republican officials is about ready to come to a screeching halt in January, and Mr. Carton and his cronies are fighting it in every way they can—this petition included,” Walsh said.

However, despite the scurrilous Republican attacks, Walsh said she will not be deterred in reforming Middletown’s government, changing her hometown’s approach to spending, or cleaning up the evident corruption that has taken hold of Monmouth’s largest municipality.

“It has always been a case where Middletown will get “fixed some other day,” “ Walsh said. “Well, I have news for Mr. Carton and his flunkies: It’s some other day”

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Filed under Midddletown Board of Education, Middletown Democrats, Middletown Republicans, Middletown Township Committee, MiddletownMike, recall petition

Recall Effort Against Walsh is Absurd and Meritless

     The Middletown Republicans have certainly scrapped the bottom of the barrel this time. In their desperate attempts to maintain control of the township committee and the millions of dollars they use to enrich their supporters as well as their own pockets, they have slandered their chief rival, Democrat for Township Committee Pat Walsh.
     3 Middletown GOP tools –  James Cody, Anthony Testa, and Kathleen Bjelka have filed an absurd and 100% meritless recall petition against Pat Walsh with the Middletown Board of Education.
     What has Pat Walsh done that is so terrible and wrong that these people have decided to start a recall petition? According to Cody, Testa, and Bjelka, Pat Walsh is single handily responsible for:

     Raising spending and taxes more than any official in Middletown history. For making a motion  and affirmative vote on the High School North cell tower project and  “Pat Walsh 90 percent of the time recommends these motions to the board for vote, as she did with the cell tower, botched turf field and adding the additional assistant superintendents and principals that were not budgeted for,” Cody said .
You gotta be kidding me!  This is just laughable.
     The real reason why this petition was filed in an attempt to discredit Walsh is simple,“MONEY”, plain and simple.
     A recent poll that was taking in Middletown has Pat Walsh and Deputy Mayor Brightbill running neck to neck with the voters while her running mate Jim Grenafege is not far behind.
If the Middletown republicans lose this election by giving up a seat on the committee, the democrats will have control in Middletown for the first time in over 20 years and that scares them to death.
     Middletown is a $65+ million business to the GOP majority, party boss Peter Carton and his law firm has made millions of dollars off of the town through bonding and have put Middletown in debt by some $85 million. 
     T&M Associates, the firm that does the township engineering, has been a big time financial contributor to the GOP over the years and have reaped the rewards by receiving millions of dollars worth contracts over the years (can anyone say Pay-to-Play?). And lets not forget Township Attorney Bernie Reilly, who has also contributed heavily to the Middletown Republicans through the years in order to keep his job.   
     Do Cody, Testa, and Bjelka really think that they can get the necessary 11,150 signatures that would be needed to succeed in their efforts and have them certified? I doubt it, this is pure and simply just an effort to distract the voters of Middletown from  the real issues that are affecting them, namely the poor economy, runaway local GOP spending (16% tax increase over the last 3 years) and an arrogant and non responsive leadership that believes it’s their way or the highway.
 
 

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Filed under Jim Grenafege, Midddletown Board of Education, Middletown Democrats, Middletown GOP, Patricia Walsh, Peter Carton, recall

Recall Effort Against Walsh is Absurd and Meritless

     The Middletown Republicans have certainly scrapped the bottom of the barrel this time. In their desperate attempts to maintain control of the township committee and the millions of dollars they use to enrich their supporters as well as their own pockets, they have slandered their chief rival, Democrat for Township Committee Pat Walsh.
     3 Middletown GOP tools –  James Cody, Anthony Testa, and Kathleen Bjelka have filed an absurd and 100% meritless recall petition against Pat Walsh with the Middletown Board of Education.
     What has Pat Walsh done that is so terrible and wrong that these people have decided to start a recall petition? According to Cody, Testa, and Bjelka, Pat Walsh is single handily responsible for:

     Raising spending and taxes more than any official in Middletown history. For making a motion  and affirmative vote on the High School North cell tower project and  “Pat Walsh 90 percent of the time recommends these motions to the board for vote, as she did with the cell tower, botched turf field and adding the additional assistant superintendents and principals that were not budgeted for,” Cody said .
You gotta be kidding me!  This is just laughable.
     The real reason why this petition was filed in an attempt to discredit Walsh is simple,“MONEY”, plain and simple.
     A recent poll that was taking in Middletown has Pat Walsh and Deputy Mayor Brightbill running neck to neck with the voters while her running mate Jim Grenafege is not far behind.
If the Middletown republicans lose this election by giving up a seat on the committee, the democrats will have control in Middletown for the first time in over 20 years and that scares them to death.
     Middletown is a $65+ million business to the GOP majority, party boss Peter Carton and his law firm has made millions of dollars off of the town through bonding and have put Middletown in debt by some $85 million. 
     T&M Associates, the firm that does the township engineering, has been a big time financial contributor to the GOP over the years and have reaped the rewards by receiving millions of dollars worth contracts over the years (can anyone say Pay-to-Play?). And lets not forget Township Attorney Bernie Reilly, who has also contributed heavily to the Middletown Republicans through the years in order to keep his job.   
     Do Cody, Testa, and Bjelka really think that they can get the necessary 11,150 signatures that would be needed to succeed in their efforts and have them certified? I doubt it, this is pure and simply just an effort to distract the voters of Middletown from  the real issues that are affecting them, namely the poor economy, runaway local GOP spending (16% tax increase over the last 3 years) and an arrogant and non responsive leadership that believes it’s their way or the highway.
 
 

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Filed under Jim Grenafege, Midddletown Board of Education, Middletown Democrats, Middletown GOP, Patricia Walsh, Peter Carton, recall

>Middletown School Board President Denounces Recall Petition

>Middletown Board of Education president Laura Agin, denounced the recall petition efforts of Middletown GOP cronies James Cody, Anthony Testa, and Kathleen Bjelka, to have fellow board member and current Democratic Candidate for Township committee Patrica Walsh removed from the BOE by stating:

“The Middletown Township Board of Education is in receipt of the recall petition for Pat Walsh, and on behalf of the board, I believe this petition is completely without merit,”…

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Filed under Laura Agin, Midddletown Board of Education, Patricia Walsh, recall

Middletown School Board President Denounces Recall Petition

Middletown Board of Education president Laura Agin, denounced the recall petition efforts of Middletown GOP cronies James Cody, Anthony Testa, and Kathleen Bjelka, to have fellow board member and current Democratic Candidate for Township committee Patrica Walsh removed from the BOE by stating:

“The Middletown Township Board of Education is in receipt of the recall petition for Pat Walsh, and on behalf of the board, I believe this petition is completely without merit,”…

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Filed under Laura Agin, Midddletown Board of Education, Patricia Walsh, recall

Interview with Pat Walsh


I have found attack letters from local republicans in the papers recently with many false and misrepresented statements regarding Middletown Democratic Candidate Patricia Walsh. Many of which,stretched the truth so I thought I would check out the latest statements to see if they had any merit. I reached out to the Mrs. Walsh to ask for her to answer my questions based on statements in these letters.

Here are her responses.

Question: Are you responsible for taking 60% of property taxes to operate the schools in Middletown?

Answer: No. Speaking personally, I have to say that the statement is inaccurate for several reasons. First of all, the school budget is presented to voters for their approval every year unlike the township budget. For the last five years suburban school districts like Middletown were flat funded by the state forcing more of a burden on local taxpayers.
The funding formula for school districts in New Jersey was recently revised and voted on the legislature. There are many inequities built into the school funding formula and I have been advocating for changes to it that would benefit the taxpayers of Middletown for the last four years.
I believe the quality of our schools is one of the reasons we are in the Money Magazine’s top one hundred places to live and why many people choose to live in Middletown.

Question: Are you responsible for taking $1.5 billion of our tax dollars and raising taxes 100% during you tenure on the board?

Answer: No. Speaking for myself, I have to say that the school district cannot receive any taxes that are not approved by the voters. In addition, I am one member of a nine person Board of Education and have only one vote. Only with a majority vote of a board, is the budget adopted and then put on the ballot.
I have been re-elected to the Middletown Board of Education four times by the voters of Middletown, and just as the price of gas has increased dramatically in the last 12 years, so has the cost of providing an education to the children of Middletown.
What is interesting with the township budget, is their use of Deferred School Taxes to reduce the town budget, something they have done for approximately 20 years. Most towns shy away from the use of Deferred School Tax. Every year the Township Committee collects taxes at the higher rate for six months in advance and uses those funds as additional revenue, making it appear the Township’s tax rate is lower. At this point the amount of Deferred School Taxes in Middletown is 56 million.

Question: Did you pay two superintendents, six figure salaries for nearly two years?

Answer: The New Jersey State law sets strict requirements with regards to bringing tenure charges against any school employee that must be adhered to. As a board member I am required to abide by the law. The law requires a board of education to pay tenured employee’s salary after 180 days after the filling of tenure charges. The former superintendent was found guilty of those tenure charges.
But I ask you, if you found an employee misappropriating funds, what would you do; ignore it or hold that person accountable?

Question: Did you lobby for the contractor who has defaulted on the High School North Field?

Answer: No. School boards are required by law to approve contracts on the basis of the lowest responsible bidder. A school board can only act on the recommendation of the superintendent that are placed on an agenda of a voting meeting. At no time did I have any contact with or lobby for any contractor. It is prohibited by law and I adhered to the law.

Question: Did you fight to rehire a bus company whose driver supplied drugs to a Middletown student?

Answer: NO. As a board member, I voted to take action against the bus company because of this horrifying incident. I was pleased that an administrative law judge has disqualified this company from bidding on any bus routes for the school district.

Question: Did you make a motion to sign a contract for a cell tower on High School South property against the wishes of parents and the surrounding community?

Answer: Yes, I made the motion as a parliamentary procedure to put that agenda item on the table for discussion and voting. There were no members of the public that argued against the cell tower at that voting meeting.

I want to thank Mrs.Walsh for taking her time to answer my questions honestly and truthfully.
I hope that this will help in set her record straight as it pertains to her many years as a member of the Middletown Board of Education.

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Filed under attack letters, Midddletown Board of Education, Middletown Democrats, Middletown GOP, Patricia Walsh