Category Archives: Middletown Cultural Arts Center

Heard It In The Hallways….Middletown’s Director of Parks & Rec, Gregg Silva "Forced" Into Retirement, Big Changes coming to Department

As of this moment this is all rumor, but about two hours ago I received a tip concerning the Middletown’s Director of Parks, Recreation & Cultural Affairs, Gregg Silva. I haven’t been able to get official confirmation from anyone but from a few that I have spoken to, it seems legit.
Silva as you all may remember, was placed on administrative leave last month by his bosses at Town Hall for stepping over the line by approving a private memorial for Daniel Piano on the grounds of Croydon Hall without the prior approval from the Township.
I’ve been told that as of January 1st, Gregg Silva has officially retired. Furthermore, I have been told that township officials have been in meetings most of the day reorganizing the now employeeless Department of Parks and Recreation.
The person who passed along this information has stated that Silva’s old duties for Parks and Rec. will be split up, the maintenance side will fall as a subdivision under DPW, while the Croydon Hall Senior Center, the Tonya Keller Bayshore Rec Center and Middletown Cultural Arts Center will be combined and administrated by Janet Adams who currently is in charge of the Tonya Keller Bayshore Center.
Individual Township sponsored recreational events will be planned on an event by event basis. Steve Eisenstein, who was brought in this year to run the Daddy/Daughter Dance and the holiday train ride, worked in the parks department a few years ago and will continue to help plan and coordinate events.
All of this should be in place and in effect by the end of the month I’m told.
I am currently waiting for a return phone call from Middletown Township Administrator Tony Mercantante for confirmation. When I called his office a couple of hours ago, I was told that he was in a meeting and could talk. The secretary that answered my call said that she would have him call me back.
Update – Steve Eisenstein’s name was misspelled as Einstein and Adams is the maiden name of Janet Della, Director of the Tonya Keller Rec. Center

Leave a comment

Filed under administrative leave, Croydon Hall, Gregg Silva, Middletown Cultural Arts Center, Middletown NJ, Middletown Parks and Recreation, Tony Mercantante, Tonya Keller Center

>Breaking News: Special Middletown Township Committee Meetings Scheduled for Thursday and Friday @ 5 PM

>Posted shortly ago on the Middletown Township website, two notices for special Committee meetings to be held on Thursday April 28th & Friday April 29th.

It seems that contract settlements with the Township’s unions, the SOA and PBA are imminent.
No further details are given.
The question is however, did the unions give enough in concessions to the Township to avoid the planned April 29th lay-off of 16 Park & Recreation workers and 10 Middletown Police officers?
If so, than it would be a sure bet that the Middletown Arts Center will, more than likely, remain open and other doomsday service cuts will not be implemented.
Below are the notices:
Thurs, April 28 Special Meeting 5pm

Notice is hereby given that the “Open Public Meeting” of the Township Committee of the Township of Middletown is scheduled for:

DATE: Thursday, April 28, 2011
TIME: 5:00 PM SPECIAL MEETING
PLACE: Middletown Town Hall, Main Meeting Room, One Kings Highway, Middletown, NJ 07748

at which time the following matters of business will be conducted:

KNOWN ACTION ITEMS:

Possible Adoption of Resolution Ratifying Collective Bargaining Agreements (SOA and/or PBA)

EXECUTIVE SESSION TO FOLLOW

and any other matters that may come before the Township Committee.

Heidi R. Brunt, RMC, CMC
Township Clerk

April 26, 2011
The Independent
Asbury Park Press
Two River Times
The Star Ledger

Fri, April 29 Special Meeting 5 p.m.

posted: April 26, 2011
Notice is hereby given that the “Open Public Meeting” of the Township Committee of the Township of Middletown is scheduled for:

DATE: Friday, April 29, 2011
TIME: 5:00 PM SPECIAL MEETING
PLACE: Middletown Town Hall, Main Meeting Room, One Kings Highway, Middletown, NJ 07748

at which time the following matters of business will be conducted:

KNOWN ACTION ITEMS:

Possible Adoption of Resolution Ratifying Collective Bargaining Agreements (SOA and/or PBA)

EXECUTIVE SESSION TO FOLLOW

and any other matters that may come before the Township Committee.

Heidi R. Brunt, RMC, CMC
Township Clerk

April 26, 2011
The Independent
Asbury Park Press
Two River Times
The Star Ledger

4 Comments

Filed under Middletown Cultural Arts Center, Middletown PBA, Middletown Township Committee, Special Meeting, special notice, union contracts

>Heard It In The Hallways….

>This should come as no surprise to anyone after it was announce that 26 Middletown employees will be laid off due to budget woes on April 29th, I just heard that the Middletown Cultural Arts Center will be shutdown!

The “Jewel of Middletown” located next to the Middletown Train Station, will be closed when nearly all of the Middletown Parks and Recreation Department is laid off at the end of this week.
The only thing that will keep the building open and operational, will be if the Township can find enough qualified volunteers to keep the building opened and programs running. If not the building will be shutdown.
The shame of it all is that even though the building will be shutdown it won’t save the township much money in utility charges. The heating and air conditioning will still need to be kept running 24/7 so that the floors in the building don’t buckle due to the humidity issues that plague the building. It’s been reported over the past few years that the utility bill for the Arts Center run upwards of $350K a year.
What a waste!

13 Comments

Filed under heard it in the hallways, Middletown Cultural Arts Center, Middletown NJ, MIddletown train station, utility bills, Volunteers

>Looking At Both Sides

>by guest blogger Sean F. Byrnes, former Middletown Township Committeeman

Last week we saw the Township of Middletown enveloped in a dispute over the Township’s effort to convince the Board of Trustees for the Library to turn over a significant share of its surplus to the Township Committee for budget relief purposes. Unfortunately, the manner in which the township chose to solicit these funds lacked tact. Although the township had previously made less threatening overtures to the Library in an effort to win the Board of Trustees’ support for a funds transfer, when that effort failed, the Township pursued an aggressive campaign to convince the public that a transfer would be in their best interest. Spearheaded by new Committeeman Kevin Settembrino, this effort, whether intended or not, seemed rooted in tactics of intimidation and threats to de-municipalize the library and combine it with the County Library system. This effort also suggested that a failure of the Board of Trustees to abide by the wishes of the Township Committee would result in the loss of ten police officers, the layoff of a significant number of Township employees and, if you heard the comments at the Library Board of Trustees’ meeting, an effort by Township Committee members to replace existing Board of Trustees members.

Based on the comments from Board of Trustees’ members at their meeting on Tuesday, it would appear that the resolve of the Board of Trustees has not wilted in the face of these threats. Led by Randy Gabrielan, the Chairman of the Board, the Library challenged the assumptions, numbers and legal authority for the Township’s demand for a funds transfer. Looking ahead, as a Township resident, I would hope that both sides could retreat from the current level of heated rhetoric and restart their discussions.

I think it would be in the interest of all taxpayers for the Township Committee and Library to continue their discussions. It might make more sense to have the Township Administrator meet with the Director of the Library to discuss how the Library might be able to assist the township in this time of budget crisis. From the Library’s perspective, the Board has worked hard to build a reserve that could be used for future capital projects, and there is an understandable reluctance to use these funds to satisfy operating expenses for the Township. From the Township’s perspective, the Library has a protected stream of revenue that is not subject to the same stresses and demands that the Township must face when health care costs increase, pensions become more expensive and the cost of doing business generally continues to go up. There may be opportunities for these two parties to cooperate in other ways that would provide relief to the Township without exhausting the reserves of the library.

There is no question that the Township finds itself in a perfect storm of budgetary constraints. To be fair, some of these strains are beyond its control. But the Township moved at a glacial pace over the last several years as this financial crisis approached. A quicker response to the approaching financial storm would have made the Library ask a smaller one. Accordingly, before the Library turns over any of its reserves to the Township, it would be nice to see an acknowledgment that a swifter response from the township in 2009 and 2010 would have avoided the seriousness of the budget crisis that the Township currently faces. The Township did lay off approximately 16 employees last year, but did so only mid-year. Other municipalities took action much sooner and in more dramatic fashion. The former Mayor’s claims of 40 layoffs include retirements.

Other cost-saving measures were proposed over the last several years, but were rejected as too extreme. Unfortunately, as a result of the Township’s failure to act, the Township Committee must now contemplate cuts that go far beyond those that were previously considered “extreme.” Until the Township forms a subcommittee whose function is to focus on budget recommendations, track existing and anticipated debt, look for opportunities for consolidation and sharing of services and generally manage the Township’s finances on a more regular basis, the Township will always be reacting to rather than planning for increased demands for Township resources.

Once again, in fairness, the unfortunate timing of the Township’s reevaluation in 2009, just prior to a steep decrease in property values, set the Township up for a tax appeal nightmare in 2010 and 2011. (Of course, the township had mistakenly put off its reevaluation for approximately 14 years – had the township completed the reval when it should have, the steep drop in real estate prices would not have resulted in such a large number of tax appeals.) But regardless of the failure to conduct a timely revaluation, the Township has a legitimate reason to gripe, because when a resident or commercial property owner prevails on their tax appeal, the township must return to the taxpayer not only the municipal share of the taxes received from the taxpayer, but must also reimburse the taxpayer for the funds received by the School District during the year for which the tax appeal was filed. This reality is difficulty for some to believe, but true. And, in light of the fact that approximately two-thirds of the tax dollars go to school district activities, the Township ends up paying back the taxpayer for School District funds that the Township never received in its budget.

Consequently, the steady decrease in real estate value over the last couple of years has produced a field day for those filing tax appeals. The Township is now struggling to repay multi-year tax appeals that are probably worth nearly $4 million. Unfortunately, the Legislature has failed to assist municipalities facing this dilemma. Under the circumstances, given the unique circumstances facing municipalities, including picking up the tab for the Legislature’s bungling of pension contributions for public workers, the Legislature should provide assistance to townships by creating opportunities for public entities to finance the tax appeals or extend their repayment terms. In several years, the Township will be through this unique period where tax appeal refunds are substantial and hopefully return to a more predictable budget cycle. The Township Committee took the first step in this direction in 2010 when it decided to conduct a reassessment. Even thought the reassessment cost $400,000 the savings achieved in 2011 from reduced tax appeal filings will be far greater.

The realities of the tax appeals as set forth above increase the pressure for some agreement with the Library. At the same time, the Library will see its share of funding decrease by more than 10 percent next year, due to the fact that its revenue stream is dependent solely upon property values. With a 1.3 billion drop in the total assessed real estate in the Township of Middletown, the Library’s stream of revenue will be reduced considerably. Given this dynamic, it may make sense for the Township and Library to discuss mutual relief. In other words, the Township needs money now most desperately. The Library in the out years may need assistance as its funding stream declines. Perhaps assistance from the Library during the current year could be received in exchange for promises by the Township to return the favor several years down the road.

It might also make sense for the Library to consider some sort of partnership with the Arts Center. While the Arts Center has its own Board of Directors, this arrangement, as far as I know, is not routed in any legislative scheme. Indeed, the Township has effectively turned over the operation of the Arts Center to a non-profit corporation and the Board supervises these activities. Resident Jim Grenafege was the first person to suggest that the Library Board of Trustees might consider assimilating some of the Arts Center’s operations into its activities. A casual review of the websites for these two entities suggests that there is some degree of overlap between the artistic and cultural offerings from these two bodies. Given that they both have buildings that are relatively new and both are focused on improving the education of the citizens of this Township when it comes to arts, literature and music, there may be some opportunity for the Library to assist in the operation of the Arts Center, including some of its expenses. It is exciting to contemplate what the far larger Library work force might be able to provide to the Arts Center when it comes to running the day to day events and offerings at the Arts Center.

At the end of the day, the current legislation when it comes to Library transfer to municipalities, amended in October of 2010, will likely allow some transfer to take place. From the Township’s perspective, the amount of money to be transferred under the current legislative scheme will fall short of what the Township needs to avoid drastic reductions in personnel and services. However, somewhere within the circumstances discussed above, creative minds on both sides should be able to work out an arrangement that provides some additional relief for the Township, even if it may not be a direct transfer of funds of the magnitude the Township seeks. My hope would be that the time and energy on both sides be spent working toward that goal, rather than on blaming the other.

11 Comments

Filed under 2% cap, budget deficit, budget surplus, Middletown Cultural Arts Center, Middletown Library, Middletown Township Committee, Sean F. Byrnes, tax appeals

>Chicago Blackhawks Coach Mike Haviland Brings Stanley Cup Home to Middletown August 30

>
For all you Hockey fans out there here’s you chance to see the NHL’s Championship trophy the “Stanely Cup” Monday afternoon.

I saw it in person a number of years ago after the Devils won the NHL Championship, it was pretty cool see the Cup in person and looking at the rings for all for the names and dates of all the teams that had won the NHL Championship in the past.

The following announcement is posted on Middletown’s website:

Chicago Blackhawks Assistant Coach and native Mike Haviland is bringing home the Stanley Cup! Haviland and The Cup will be at the on Monday, August 30th from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Stanley Cup will be on display for photographs. Coach Haviland will sign autographs.

Haviland grew up in Leonardo section of town. He attended , and High School South. Havililand played youth ice hockey for the Monmouth Hawks and Essex County Chiefs. He also played roller hockey in the Middletown Youth AA Roller Hockey League.

Coach Haviland is in his second season as an assistant coach for the Chicago Blackhawks after being named to the coaching staff on July 23, 2008. As part of the Blackhawk’s 2010 Stanley Cup Championship, Haviland came to after spending three seasons as head coach of two of the organization’s American Hockey League affiliates. Haviland began his professional coaching career as an assistant for in 1999 after an injury cut his playing career short. Haviland was a first round pick by the NJ Devils in the 1990 NHL supplemental draft. Haviland also played college hockey for and was named to the 1990 “All America Team” and played junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey Association.

Leave a comment

Filed under Chicago Blackhawks, Leonardo NJ, Middletown Cultural Arts Center, Middletown NJ, Mike Haviland, NHL, Stanely Cup

>WHO REALLY CONTROLS MIDDLETOWN? AND WHAT ARE THEY DOING?

>I received today and interesting email from various Middletown friends and residents. Attached to the email was a well thought out article/letter that points out a number of issues that are effecting the Township of Middletown. The article itself was not signed by any individual so its author at this time, remains anonymous. I hope, that at some point the author steps forward because this person is directly on point with their assessment of the cronyism and the political games that take place here and contribute to the ever increasing local tax rate (its not just the schools that are driving the increasing property tax rate) and making it unaffordable for many to live in Middletown:

WHO REALLY CONTROLS MIDDLETOWN? AND WHAT ARE THEY DOING?

For years, the Democrats have maintained that the Township of Middletown was run more for the benefit of the local Republican Party and its supporters than for taxpayers. Questionable decision-making, political appointments and poor management of large-scale projects raised questions about whether important decisions were influenced more by party bosses than by taxpayers. Democratic efforts to open government and increase transparency were opposed, including opposing the televising of Township Committee meetings and passing a resolution that forced video cameras to the last row of the Township Committee Meeting Room. In this article, we examine this history by reviewing the last decade of decision-making by a Township Committee, which has been solidly in the control of the Middletown Republican Party. We emphasize that this critique focuses on the local Republican Party and the issues that concern Middletown taxpayers. We agree with many of the steps taken by Governor Christie, and Committeeman Byrnes has repeatedly stated his support for the Governor’s spending cuts. Indeed, we believe that the fiscally conservative ideals espoused by the Middletown Democratic Party cut across party lines. Although our political leanings are clear, the facts set forth below speak for themselves. If we are to survive this difficult financial crisis and hope for future prosperity, than we must reach across party lines and work together to cut taxes. But to be clear, we don’t think this Mayor and his supporters have what it takes to achieve that goal; and here’s why.

THE TAX MAN DOES NOT COMETH, HE IS HERE

Mayor Scharfenbeger with the support of 3 of his fellow Republican Committee members voted this July to increase the tax levy on the municipal portion of Middletown’s budget by 14% in 2010. This record-setting jump in the tax levy is unprecedented and comes at a time when many taxpayers in Middletown have suffered financial setbacks. Lost jobs, frozen wages, cut backs in hours coupled with increased costs of health care and flood insurance created a perfect storm of financial pressures on families. Despite these pressures, Mayor Scharfenberger, who sharply criticized the Board of Education budget, now proposes a budget that is far worse. Just this year, the Mayor: 1) refused to create a Finance Committee, 2) refused in January to bid out the Township’s Engineering work (instead handing it to the same politically connected firm that has had it since the 1970s), 3) refused to force the Township Attorney to work on a fixed retainer, 4) refused to commence layoffs or furloughs until late in the year, 5) refused to consider making the Arts Center self-sustaining, 6) refused to consider disbanding the overhead-laden Sewerage Authority which pays its Director (a former Republican Mayor) and its Commissioners pay, pension and health benefits worth almost $200,000 per year, and 7) refused to consider televising Township meetings to allow greater transparency in government. Since coming to office he has raised taxes in Middletown over 25%. The financial treasure of this Township — taxpayer dollars — have been used to perpetuate a political machine whose tentacles extend into every corner of government. Until that reality changes, the yearly tax increases will continue.

POLITICS LURKING IN THE SHADOWS OF A LAKE

In 2007, the Democrats had secured one seat on the Township Committee and were running 2 strong candidates. A victory for those 2 candidates would shift control of the Town government to the Democrats for the first time in decades. From the Republican side, something had to be done. In October, Just prior to the election, Mayor Scharfenberger and the Township Committee, in a 4-1 vote (Democrat Patrick Short the lone dissenter) voted to undertake a $4.0 million dollar project to dredge Shadow Lake. As someone who managed projects for a living, Mr. Short voted “no” because he had seen little evidence of a plan for the dredging and had many questions. The majority rushed this vote as part of a desperate effort to solidify Mayor Scharfenberger’s voting base in Shadow Lake Village. It worked well. Mayor Scharfenberger was narrowly re-elected, that well-connected engineering firm started spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars on the project, and the law firm of the Republican Party Chairman would get the bond work. Unfortunately, in their rush to get votes, the Republican Majority failed to plan for the proper staging and removal of the contaminated dredge spoils, resulting in DEP putting the brakes on the Project and cost estimates for the Project doubling. Today, the Project is essentially dead, the taxpayers are out the hundreds of thousands of dollars in engineering and surveying costs and the residents of Shadow Lake have nothing to show for it.

IF YOUR PROPERTY IS CONTAMINATED, SELL IT TO MIDDLETOWN, THEY’LL PAY TO CLEAN IT UP

Ever wonder where all the money goes from the bonds that Middletown approves for real estate purchases? Bond debt in Middletown went from $48 million in 2001 to $75 million in 2009. Well, first, the issuance of bonds, a complicated legal process, is handled by the law firm of Middletown’s Republican Party Chairman (the same law firm that does bond work for the County of Monmouth along with a paid lobbying contract worth around $100,000). After the law firm takes its cut for the bond work, your taxpayer dollars often purchase contaminated real estate. Consider some recent purchases. Middletown Arts Center (10 years to clean up), COE property (contaminated), and the Mariguchi property on Middletown Lincroft Road (contaminated), and the recently purchased property, adjacent to the municipal complex (contaminated). The municipal complex property, although not recently purchased, is (you guessed it) contaminated. In fact, the Department of Environmental Protection has been trying to get the Township to finish remediating this property for years. The beauty of buying contaminated property is that it allows your hand-picked, politically-connected lawyers and engineering professionals to continuously bill for years and years.

A POLITICAL TEMPLE TO THE ARTS

Middletown has a nice Arts Center at the Train Station. But at what cost? This building was the pet project of a former 17-year Republican Committee member, who served on a Middletown Township Committee with no Democrats, and therefore no opposition. (She is now a full-time County employee earning almost $90,000 whose pension calculation will include her 17 years with Middletown) With no one to question the plan, the all-Republican Committee voted to purchase the Banfield Property, which they knew was contaminated. Over the next five years or so, the Township spent, mostly through new bond issues, $581,803 to purchase the property, and $7,179,551 to improve it. That’s almost $8,000,000 just to get the Arts Center constructed. The Township then leased it to a non-profit for $1.00. The Township continues to support the expenses of the Arts Center. Even with the Township paying all the debt service for the bonds, the Arts Center has utilities and personnel costs in excess of $200,000 per year. And while all this was going on, taxpayers continued to pay our politically-connected engineering professionals tens of thousands of dollars to “handle” the effort to remediate the contaminated property. It took 10 years to remediate the property. Why the Township allowed the Seller to transfer this cleanup liability to the Township remains a mystery. But the greater mystery is why the Township would choose to spend precious taxpayer dollars on such an ill-conceived project.

SOMETHING SMELLS AT THE SEWERAGE AUTHORITY

How much do you now about the Township of Middletown Sewerage Authority? They maintain the waste water collection and treatment system for Middletown. You might be asking yourself why is the Sewerage Authority separate from the Township Government? It’s a good question. The Sewerage Authority has 7 Commissioners, who meet once per month for under an hour. Why does the Sewerage have two more members than the Township Committee, despite having a budget a fraction of the size? Another good question. These members are entitled to a small salary, pension and most important, health benefits. Health benefits for a family can be worth over $20,000 per year. Many Township residents have no health benefits or see money removed from every paycheck to pay for these expensive benefits. Patrick Short shamed the Township Committee into discontinuing health benefits for its members several years ago, but not the Sewerage Authority. In 2009, Committeeman Byrnes introduced an ordinance to eliminated salaries and health benefits for the Sewerage Authority. The Republicans initially blocked this effort and then introduced their own ordinance that purported to eliminate these benefits, but actually grandfathered existing Sewerage Authority Commissioners. The 7 Commissioners who received these benefits are active Republicans, including a former Mayor, party Treasurer, party Vice Chair, etc. Taxpayer dollars have been providing these individuals with the aforementioned benefits for years. Moreover, as long as the Sewerage Authority remains a distinct entity, separate from Township Government, it will need its own lawyers, auditors, outside engineers, etc., all at taxpayer expense. Efforts by Committeeman Byrnes to investigate a merger of the Sewerage Authority and Township Government have been opposed by Mayor Scharfenberger.

THE MAYOR’S ALL TALK ON TURF

As the largest municipality in Monmouth County, our recreations fields should be top notch. For anyone with children engaged in athletics, you know that they are not. The Pop Warner football fields need a major overhaul. Only the incredible efforts of volunteers keep these fields playable. And yet, the Township authorized funds to improve these fields in 2006. Once again, bonds were issued and the law firm of the Republican Party Chairman made money. But after that, nothing happened. Years passed, and as taxpayers paid the principal and interest on these bonds, nothing happened. Poor planning and mismanagement created hostility in the neighborhoods where work was planned. Finally, in 2010, the Township approached the Board of Education about installing turf at Thompson Middle School. When the Board of Education sought more detailed information about the scope of the work and usage of the fields, the Township ended its discussions and decided to build a new stadium complex on West Front Street without ever seeking local input. When citizens complained, the Mayor shifted gears and suggested that the current financial crisis made the project unworkable. The problem with that explanation is that the bonds were already issued, the funds have been received and the taxpayers are paying interest on those funds. So, after spending money on well-connected engineering firms for designs, etc., the taxpayers have nothing to show for this expense. Meanwhile, the fields at Croyden Hall and Trezza Field remain in poor condition. How come so many other towns in Monmouth County can build beautiful facilities with ample parking and turf fields? How many fields could have been improved with the $8.0M spent on the Arts Center?

* * *
As this year’s election approaches, you might want to ask yourself whether you want to continue the management approach of the last decade. Ask yourself whether the record of the elected majority warrants your support. If you would like to continue the pattern of purchasing contaminated properties, increasing taxes, poorly maintained fields, an unnecessary, top-heavy Sewerage Authority and ill-conceived, expensive projects that reward party bosses, lawyers and politically-connected engineers, then vote for Mayor Scharfenberger and his hand-picked running mate.

As an end note I thougth that I should point out that in the above letter the author states that taxes have risen 25% since Scharfenberger has been in office which just so happens to be a conservative number, the true figure will be more accurately close to 42%, if the current budget passes as he has proposed.

3 Comments

Filed under artificial turf fields, bond counsel, dredging, Gerry Scharfenberger, Middletown Cultural Arts Center, Middletown Township, property taxes, Sewage Authority, Shadow Lake

Letter: Unheeded Suggestions And Mismanagement Lead To Inefficiencies And Layoffs

Middletown is once again showing its true colors of mismanagement with the layoffs of approximately 40 employees. Layoffs might be required, but the employee making the least amount should not be the first to go.

Recently, Middletown hired a supervisor to oversee crossing guards. Why is this position required when the town has had crossing guards for years? This is just one example of the bloated government that taxpayers are footing the bill for.

There are many other cost saving measures that could take place, which might result in layoffs, but will make the town more efficient. Committeeman Sean Byrnes has presented quite a few suggestions at numerous meetings that consistently go unheeded by the rest of the Committee. Some of these are requiring engineering firms to bid on each capital project the town enters into, consolidate the maintenance operations between DPW and Parks & Recreation, if not with BOE also and consolidating the Sewer Authority into Public Works Dept., thus eliminating duplication of legal and engineering services.

Middletown has a fantastic library system that provides many services that could be provided by the Arts Center. These services are so intertwined in purpose that Byrnes has suggested that the Library and Arts Center be combined. This would offset the high costs of keeping the Arts Center open. Mr. Byrnes even suggested that revenue could be generated by conducting a daycare facility there for commuters.

There are many suggestions that are going unheeded and randomly reducing employees from all departments is certainly not an efficient means of balancing a budget.

Marilyn Tuohy
Pt. Monmouth


5 Comments

Filed under consolidation of services, layoffs, letter to the editor, Middletown Cultural Arts Center, Middletown Library, Middletown Parks and Recreation, public works, Sean F. Byrnes, Sewage Authority