Category Archives: Middeltown Township

Available Part Time Position in the Township Clerk’s Office- Middletown Township; Say What??

After threatening massive police layoffs if the members of the Middletown Police Department did not agree to substance health benefit contributions during contract negotiations, while also placing blame for those potential layoffs on the Middletown Library in order to vilify and extort nearly $500k worth of funds from it’s treasury to balance the Township budget this year, then laying off nearly the entire staff of the Middletown Parks and Recreation Department, leaving just it’s Director Gregg Silva siting behind his desk, canceling the Fall Brush Pick-up (only to pick up the brush in record time anyway due to the after effects of Hurricane Irene), sighting the need to sell the Middletown Swimm Club and canceling Middletown Day; how does the Township has the nerve to announce that it is looking to hire a part-time Clerk????

With everything that has transpired this year in Middletown and the mayor telling everyone that Middletown is broke and needs to cut back on expenses how can the Middletown justify spending money by creating a part-time position to help the full-time Township Clerk Heidi Brunt? What’s the matter can’t she handle the job herself, why does she get extra help at the expense of so many others?
It doesn’t make sense. But then again when does anything in Middletown make sense? Below is the posting for the position that was posted on the Middletown Township website Tuesday.

Clerk/Typist- Responsibilities include office filing, scanning records, records destruction, processing license applications and permits. This is a fast paced office with various different procedures and services. The Township Clerks Office administers the Elections for the Township and required presence to work for each election mandatory. Knowledge of MS Word, Excel, and Outlook a must; ability to create mail merges and spreadsheets with formulas is also required. Knowledge of AR/AP would be helpful as well as knowledge of the Imaging/scanning of records. Lifting filing boxes and climbing stairs is also part of the job duties. Resume may be e-mailed to or mailed to Township of Middletown, One Kings Highway, Middletown, NJ 07748 by October 12, 2011.

This sounds like a great opportunity for the right person, you better apply now!

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Filed under Clerks Office, Heidi Brunt, job opening, layoffs, Middeltown Township, Middletown Day. Middletown Police, part-time work, Township Clerk

Half Truths and Sugar Coating Doesn’t Change The Fact Middletown Has a $5M Budget Deficit And Strong Leadership Is Needed

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Filed under Audio clips, budget resolution, Gerry Scharfenberger, Middeltown Township, Nick Trasente,

Middletown Cancels Budget Introduction For Wednesday Night

Well that didn’t take long, I guess the Middletown Municipal Budget wasn’t ready for introduction after all! Or was it because I let the potential budget increase out of the bag? Or was it a simple scheduling conflict that would not enable most of the Township Committee members themselves from being at tomorrow’s meeting? I doubt we’ll find out for sure.
But posted late this afternoon, just before the close of business, on Middletown’s website is this simple note concerning the cancellation of tomorrow nights special budget introduction meeting:
The special meeting that was sheduled for June 2nd has been cancelled.

One has to wonder why this meeting was called for then cancelled so suddenly? If the reason for the cancellation was that it wasn’t possible to have a quorum present in the first place then why make the initial announcement? Didn’t the Township Administrator, Tony Mercantenate, find out if committee members could be present before making the plans for the meeting public?
Or, maybe the meeting was cancelled because of the potential 15% tax increase which seems to be needed in order to close the $5 million budget gap that the leaders of Middletown have done absolutely nothing thus far to close with only 6 months left in the year in which to do it? And just maybe the mayor is upset with Mercantante for scheduling this meeting six day before the June 8th Primary, when he will be challenged for his party’s nomination by Lincroft resident Tony Avallone. Why would the acting mayor want to announce any kind of budget that could potentially include a massive tax increase just before an election anyway?
If this special budget meeting is rescheduled, look for it to be happen sometime within the next two weeks due to the deadline that Trenton has imposed on municipalities to have their budgets ready by. It wouldn’t be surprising at all if this meeting doesn’t happen however because of the fact that this month’s regularly scheduled meetings happen on the 7th and 21st. The introduction of the budget resolution could be done at either of those meetings.
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what tricks Gerry and the boys have up their sleeves later this month and hope that CFO Nick Trasente can pull a couple of million dollars out of the Township’s hat.

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Filed under budget deficit, budget meeting, Gerry Scharfenberger, Middeltown Township, Nick Trasente, tax increase, Tony Mercantante, township budget

Comment of the Week

The following comment was posted yesterday by an anonymous person to the post titled “Middletown school board to vote on final spending plan”. I thought that it was good enough to be considered comment of the week thus far and shared here on the main page.

The county superintendent has said that any further administrative cuts will jeopardize the district’s ability to provide an adequate education and may put the safety of the students at risk. Karen has said the same thing. Who has more knowledge about educating our children, the mayor or the educators?

When Vinnie Brand heard the email from the county superintendent read at the meeting the other night he said that he disagreed with the county superintendent and that he didn’t care what other towns are doing that we should do it better.

This guy is a pretty fast study. Wednesday was the second BOE meeting he has attended in his entire life and he already knows more than our superintendent and the county superintendent about acceptable student to administrator ratios. He said that we should cut 3 administrators as the TC suggested, even though the TC numbers had no basis in reality due to their total lack of understanding regarding the way the district operates.

Middletown has gotten what it wished for. We now have 3 new members on the board who apparently are so concerned about doing the bidding of the Township Committee that they are willing to compromise the safety of the students in order to save the taxpayers a few dollars.

Because the TC did not realize that the tenured administrators will have to be employed somewhere in the district, they grossly overstated the savings to the taxpayers. Instead of the $390,000 that they claimed would be saved by eliminating 3 administrators, the actual savings would be more like $50,000. In other words, for less than $1 per person a year for every person living in Middletown, Vinnie and his friends are willing to ignore the warnings of professional educators and compromise the safety of our students.

We now have inexperienced, uninformed and misguided people deciding the future of the districts educational process. They are ignoring the code of ethics for BOE members which states that they are to make their decisions based on what is best for the children. They appear to be making decisions based on political affiliations and aspirations.

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Filed under budget cuts, Comment of the Week, Middeltown Board of Education, Middeltown Township, Superintendent Karen Bilbao, Vinnie Brand

Questions Remain About the Sudden About Face On The Middletown Sports Field Issue

There are still many questions that remain and need to be answered when it comes to the sudden announcement that Gerry Scharfenberger made during Tuesday night’s Neighborhood Meeting at Croydon Hall.
It has become apparent based on an email I received that some are starting to ask those questions and want answers:

I’m sure many of you have heard the news, about the fate of the turf fields, that was announced at last night’s Neighborhood Meeting. There are many questions still unanswered about this decision:

1. The Neighborhood Meetings were billed as an event that “no formal action will take place”. The Mayor decided to take formal action by announcing this decision. I have announcements, below, that explain the purpose of the Neighborhood Meetings.These were taken from the Township website and the alert system that the Township has in place.

Neighborhood Meeting – Senior Center
3/23/2010 – 7:00:00 PM
The Township Committee will hold a Neighborhood Meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 23 At the Middletown Senior Center, 900 Leonardville Road, to give residents an opportunity to speak informally with township officials and staff about life in Middletown. Township Committee members, and representatives from the departments of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs; Planning; Police and Public Works are scheduled to attend. No formal action will be taken.

Middletown Senior Center
Croydon Hall
900 Leonardville Road

Leonardo, NJ 07737


Neighborhood Meeting 3-22-2010
posted Monday, March 22, 2010 4:08 PM
Dear Resident:The next Middletown Neighborhood Meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 23rd at the Middletown Senior Center, 900 Leonardville Road. Neighborhood meetings are held annually to give residents an opportunity to speak informally with township officials and staff about life in Middletown. Township Committee members, and representatives from the departments of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs; Planning; Police and Public Works are scheduled to attend. No formal action will be taken. The last Neighborhood Meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 30th at the Tonya Keller Bayshore Community Center, 50 Bray Ave.


2. At what public meeting did the Committee decide to return the bond? This is not a decision that can be made by the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, or any other Committee person. It must be decided in a public meeting with a vote by ALL Committee members. I believe that a bond ordinance must be have approval of at least 4/5 of the Committee to become effective. The question is, Can the Mayor legally announce this since no formal action was taken on his decision?

3. According to the by-laws of the Township, the Mayor is a member of the Committee and is appointed by the other members of the Committee. His sole functions are to lead Committee meetings and sign legislation that is passed by the Committee. I don’t believe that he has any other authority than that, besides what the other Committee members have. Any announcements, coming from the Township, should be with the approval of the whole Committee, not just one member of the Committee.

These questions need to be asked as well as:

– How much interest have WE paid over the past 4 years on this bond?
– How much has OUR bond counsel (Middletown GOP Chairman) charged US to sell the bonds and now buy them back?
– What other legal expenses are associated with the whole bond. beginning with the sale to retirement?
– Why isn’t the plan presented, by Mr. Vrabel, acceptable? Who determined this?

The sudden announcement of the cancellation of the turf projects at a neighborhood meeting that wasn’t suppose to be an official meeting where actions would be taken on any subject specific subject is troubling.
What really changed the collective mind of the Township to drop plans for the fields and when and with whom were theses plans discussed with? As the email stated, the Mayor doesn’t have the authority to act alone when making decisions regardless if the Town Administrator or others thought that the plan should be cancelled. This is a decision that would have had to be have been made during a formal meeting with every committee member present and from what I know that did not happen.
Middletown’s “shadow government” has once again crept in from the darkness and reared its ugly head.


Filed under artificial turf fields, Asbury Park Press, Croydon Hall, Gerry Scharfenberger, Middeltown Township, Pop Warner, shadow government, sports complex, Tony Mercantante, Trezza Field

The Ides of March Are Upon Us, Should Middletown’s Mayor Be Worried?

Who is it in the press that calls on me?
I hear a tongue shriller than all the music
Cry “Caesar!” Speak, Caesar is turn’d to hear.

Beware the ides of March.

What man is that?

A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.
Julius Caesar Act 1, scene 2

The Ides of March are upon us and I ask the question, should Mayor Scharfenberger or anyone else on the Middletown Township Committee be the slightest bit worried? Well that depends on who turns out for tonight’s Township Committee meeting at Town Hall and whether or not things get ugly, as that just might be the case.

As part of on tonight’s agenda it is expected that the Township Committee will vote on resolution 10-121, which directs CMX Engineering to finalize engineered plans, seek permits and bids for the construction of synthetic turf fields as directed by the Township Committee.

Expected at tonight’s meeting are members of the citizens group SONIC (Save Our Neighborhood’s Integrity & Character), representatives from Pop Warner Football and representatives from Middletown Soccer, all of whom are expected to bring numerous members of their groups to Town Hall in order to voice their opposition or support for the planned Lincroft Sports Complex at West Front Street Park and this resolution.

Representatives from both Sonic and the Pop Warner Chargers are extremely angered by the fact that they have been lied to over the past few months by Mayor Scharfenberger and other GOP members of the Township Committee. In Sonic’s case they had been told that the plans for the field project at West Front Street Park was to be placed on hold until their differences could be properly reviewed by the Committee, while the Chargers had been told for close to 4 years now that their home field, Trezza Field, would be resurfaced with artificial turf only to find out within the past year that this is no longer the case due to wetlands and parking concerns and now they would have to move from their home field of over 40 years, to play games at a field that would not meet their needs.
Both have pledged not to back down from their fight and have vowed to join forces if their concerns are not taken seriously by the Township Committee. Both groups have plans to protest by waving signs and placards that would state amongst other things “We will remember in November”
The Middletown Soccer people it seems, just wants to have a nice field to play on and are aligning themselves with the Mayor to push through the sports complex at West Front Street.
So does the Mayor or any of his fellow members who are pushing through the sports complex over the objections of others have anything to worry about? Time will tell, for the day has not ended.


The ides of March are come.
Ay, Caesar, but not gone.
Julius Caesar Act 3, scene 1

For those that are interested in attending tonight’s meeting it starts at 8pm

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Filed under Ides of March, Julius Caesar, Middeltown Township, Middletown Township Committee, Pop Warner, Sonic, Town Hall

Speaking Of Budgets, Middletown’s Is Done Through Osmosis

Back on Reorganization day in January, one of the many things that Gerry Scharfenberger addressed during is speech after being re-appointed as Mayor of Middeltown, was the upcoming budget process.
He told the crowd in attendance that the Township was facing a huge budget shortfall of nearly $7 million but not to worry because there was a plan on how to deal with it.
He state that even though …“no one here is a super expert on finances by profession but if you sorta do it by osmosis…”
Which I suppose means, that if you sit around long enough thinking about it, to let it sink in you become a expert in how to deal with a $7 million deficit without a Chief Financial Officer to help in the process! Unfortunately however the process of osomsis isn’t good enough now that budgets need to be submitted to Trenton by the end of the month.
Where’s a Finance Committee when you need it? Oh that’s right, Middeltown doesn’t need one because Gerry and the boys can handle the budget process on their own.

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Filed under Budget Shortfall, Chief Financial Officer, Finance Committee, Mayor Scharfenberger, Middeltown Township, osmosis

Deadline For Municipal Budgets To Be Introduced To Trenton Is March 31st

It has come to my attention that on Thursday, March 4, 2010 a meeting took place between representatives of the League of Municipalities, the Department of Community Affairs, the Division of Local Government Services and various Business Administrators and CFOs of local governments at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel.

The primary speakers were Marc Pfieffer, Department of Community Affairs, Tina Zapichi, Division of Local Government Services.

To wrap everything up in a nutshell, the word was budgets would have to be “introduced” to Trenton by March 31 and that the date Trenton has set for municipalities to adopt their budgets is May 11, 2010.

They were told that no state aid was forthcoming and not to expect any extraordinary aid for snow removal but for those cities could expect extraordinary aid, they would have to get their budgets in on time. Those in attendance were also told that there would be a 4% cap on the tax levies and a 3 1/2% cap on appropriations.

This is actually pretty heavy stuff especially for a town like Middeltown, in a good year Middeltown has never had it’s budget ready for introduction before April. Middeltown and other towns always procrastinated and dragged out the process until they heard how much aid was expected from Trenton. Well now I guess they found out and they have less than 30 days to put together a budget.

And to think, Middetown doesn’t even have a CFO. How does Mayor Scharfenberger and the Township Administrator Tony Mercantante, plan to submit a budget by March 31st without the expertise of a CFO?

I guess though that residents in Middletown shouldn’t worry to much about this, After all the Mayor has been telling everyone that he has a plan for dealing with the expected $7 million shortfall in the Township’s budget since the January re-organization day, the only problem is he hasn’t shown it to anyone yet!

Why is Mayor Scharfenebrger’s new best buddy Gov. Christie, pushing municipalities to present budgets to him before April? My only guess is that the Governor wants to get a handle on how bad things really are before presenting his doomsday budget to the state house in June.

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Filed under budget cuts, budget deficit, Gov. Chris Christie, League of Municipalities, Middeltown Township, Trenton

H1N1 Clinic At Middletown High School South

The Middletown Twp Health Dept will be holding an H1N1 Influenza Clinic on Thursday, November 12 from 5: 00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Middletown High School South, 900 Nut Swamp Rd.

Please note that we have limited vaccine and the clinic is subject to closure prior to 8pm if supplies of vaccine are depleted.

Flu Mist only will be offered to persons ages 2 years through 49 years of age with no chronic or acute illness, no exceptions. Injectable vaccine will only be available for pregnant women and those that have medical conditions, illness or weakened immune systems.

The following groups are invited:

Pregnant women

Primary caregivers of children under 6 months of age

EMS/Health Care workers with direct patient care

children/young adults ages 6 months through 24 years old

adults with chronic illness or weakened immune systems ages 25- 64 years of age.
There are no seasonal influenza clinics scheduled at this time.
To download a consent form or to learn more about measures you can take to protect yourself from germs and prevent the spread of germs click >>>Here.

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Filed under H1N1 Virus, Middeltown Township, Swine Flu

Middletown Budget Meeting Tonight: 9.2% Tax Increase To Be Voted On

Tonight there will be a public hearing on the 2009 Township Budget. This meeting will be held down at Town Hall, in the Court room and will start at 8:00 pm . 

The Committee will vote on a 9.2% tax increase in the budget. I encourage everyone to attend this meeting and see how your government works.

There are better ways to preparing a budget for a town the size of Middletown besides the method currently being used. The majority feels that they, themselves, are the most qualified even though they do not have the credentials to qualify as a budget committee. 

The GOP rely on department heads and appointees to provide them with a dollar amount that they will need to operate, instead of providing a figure for them to work with. The majority does not insist on the department heads to justify their requests. 

Democrat Sean Byrnes, has proposed several times to form a finance committee over the course of the past year. This has been met with much resistance, to say the least, all you have to do is listen to the audio from Monday night’s committee meeting to hear for yourself.

The town has already appropriated or spent 50% of this year’s budget that will be voted on tonight, how will it be possible to close the $2.4 million shortfall that exists inin this budget without such a large tax increase?

This is evident of the total lack of planning and mismanagement that can not continue if Middletown is to get its’ fiscal matters in check. 

This meeting should not last more than an hour, there are no excuses for not attending  to make you voices heard.

This is Your Money

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Filed under budget deficit, budget meeting, court room, Middeltown Township, Middletown GOP, Sean F. Byrnes, tax increase, Town Hall