Category Archives: Middletown NJ

Vin Gopal Announces Candidacy for Monmouth County Democratic Party Chairman

Receives overwhelming support across Monmouth County from more than 100 Democratic Leaders and the unanimous endorsement of the Monmouth-Ocean AFL-CIO Central Labor Council

February 14th, 2012

Contact: 732-299-5625

LONG BRANCH – Democratic activist and local businessman Vin Gopal formally announced his candidacy for Monmouth County Democratic Party Chairman with the support of more than 100 Democratic Party municipal chairs, mayors, elected officials and local leaders.

After serving as the Monmouth County Democratic Party Chairman for 24 years, Victor V. Scudiery recently announced that he would not seek another term as the County Chair.

“Victor has led our party with courage and integrity, growing this county’s Democratic organization and helping to elect dozens of Democrats throughout the county” said Gopal. “I know that he will continue to support Democrats after June as he focuses on his other business and charitable endeavors.”

In an impressive show of support, elected Democrats throughout Monmouth County signed a letter touting Gopal’s record of fundraising and organizing. These Democratic party leaders are encouraging fellow Democrats to support Gopal, citing his recent bid for the New Jersey State Assembly, where he received the most votes of any Democratic legislative candidate in Monmouth County. Gopal was also the only Monmouth County Democratic Legislative Candidate who received an endorsement from the Asbury Park Press and his team was able to raise over $200,000 for his campaign.

Gopal has spent the last six years organizing and fundraising for Democratic campaigns throughout Monmouth County. Gopal has hosted over thirty fundraisers, which helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Democratic candidates for municipal and county races. Gopal’s aggressive fundraising efforts have helped the Democrats win elections in key municipalities and his grass roots organizing has led to the formation of new Democratic Clubs in Colts Neck, Neptune City, Little Silver, West Long Branch and other municipalities.

Joe Caliendo, Chairman of the Middletown Democratic Party, which has 92 County Committee seats and would be crucial to any candidate’s effort to become the County Chairman, has endorsed Gopal, stating: “I am supporting Vin Gopal because he brings energy and experience, a combination we need for the Monmouth County Democrats. I will let our delegation know why I am supporting Vin this June as Victor Scudiery’s successor.”

Gopal currently owns and operates several businesses, including a chain of community publications supported by over 200 advertisers that reach over 35,000 homes and businesses each month. He also owns and operates a retail embroidery and sign store in Hazlet that serves more than 1,000 customers per year. Gopal serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Northern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Trustees of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monmouth County and is President of the Hazlet Business Owners Association. Gopal also volunteered for many years as an EMT for rescue squads in Freehold and Colts Neck.

A graduate of Penn State University, Vin Gopal is a former legislative aide to New Jersey Assemblyman Herb Conaway and former fundraiser for Newark City Councilman Ron Rice, Jr. He resides in Long Branch, NJ.

Please see below for full text of endorsement.

Dear County Committee Member:

“With news that Monmouth County Democratic Party Chairman Victor Scudiery will retire in June, we fully endorse Vin Gopal as the next county chairman.

We believe that Vin, as County Chairman, will best carry on the work that Vic Scudiery started and will help lead our party toward Democratic victories across the county. While Vic’s generosity and commitment can never be replaced, we know that the Monmouth County Democratic Party under Vin will emphasize a new vigor, fresh perspective and a bright future for all Democrats.

We are confident that Vin will provide the leadership we need because he has a proven record of fundraising, organizing, and party-building. Vin has hosted over thirty fundraisers for municipal and county candidates, helping to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars. Vin has also been the driving force in the formation of many new Democratic Clubs such as West Long Branch, Colts Neck, and Neptune City. Additionally, Vin has built alliances statewide that will move Monmouth County forward.

As a candidate for State Assembly this past year, Vin was the only Democratic legislative candidate from Monmouth County to win the endorsement of The Asbury Park Press. He was also the highest vote-getter of any Democratic legislative candidate in Monmouth County this year. Vin has been there for every one of us and we are confident he will be an outstanding party chairman who will unite Democrats across this county.

Based on all of these reasons and many others, we are proud to stand with Vin Gopal today and we will stand with him in June at our convention. We all look forward to urging our respective county committee members to support Vin because he is the best person to lead our party.”

Signed below.

DEMOCRATIC MUNICIPAL CHAIRS

Bill Shenton, Aberdeen

Amy Quinn, Asbury Park & County Dems Vice-Chair

Luis Pulido, Belmar

Ed Cicchi, Bradley Beach

Rick Ambrosia, Colts Neck

Matt Cohen, Fair Haven

J.J. Mistretta, Freehold Township

Rebecca Kane, Highlands

Andy Bace, Hazlet

Tony Orsini, Holmdel

Steve Morlino, Howell

Robert Napoli, Interlaken

John McCarthy, Keansburg
Bob Bergen, Keyport

Daniel J. O’Hern, Little Silver

Mike Ryan, Lake Como

Gerry Ward, Manalapan
Florlee Wan, Matawan

Joe Caliendo, Middletown

Jackie Dollive, Neptune City

Jim Mowczan, Neptune

Janice Robbins, Ocean Township

Ed Zipprich, Red Bank

Ann Baker, Roosevelt

Dina Long, Sea Bright

Norma Rosenbloom, Shrewsbury Borough

Ed Nolan, Shrewsbury Township

Michael Lee, Tinton Falls

Ken Connors, Union Beach

Eric Brophy, Wall Township

Larry Shapiro, West Long Branch

ELECTED OFFICIALS

Aberdeen Mayor Fred Tagliarini

Asbury Park Mayor Ed Johnson

Belmar Mayor Matthew Doherty

Bradley Beach Mayor Julie Schreck

Neptune Mayor Randy Bishop

Lake Como Mayor Mike Ryan

Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long

Roosevelt Mayor Beth Battel

Shrewsbury Mayor Ed Nolan

Spring Lake Mayor Jennifer Naughton

Aberdeen Deputy Mayor Margaret Montone
Asbury Park Deputy Mayor John Loffredo

Neptune Deputy Mayor Eric Houghtaling

Aberdeen Councilman Greg Cannon

Atlantic Highlands Councilman Roy Dellosso

Freehold Borough Council President George Schnurr

Hazlet Committeeman Joe Belasco

Highlands Councilman Chris Francy

Highlands Councilwoman Rebecca Kane

Highlands Councilman Kevin Redmond

Holmdel Committeeman Larry Fink

Interlaken Councilman Robert Napoli
Keyport Council President Christian Bolte

Keyport Councilman Kenneth McPeek

Keyport Councilman Joe Sheridan

Keyport Councilwoman Joy-Michele Tomczak
Lake Como Councilwoman Marni McFadden-Lee
Lake Como Councilwoman Patricia Tzibrouk
Little Silver Councilman Daniel J. O’Hern
Neptune Committeeman Kevin McMillan
Neptune Committeewoman Mary Beth Jahn
Red Bank Council President Art Murphy

Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich

Red Bank Councilwoman Kathy Horgan

Red Bank Councilwoman Juanita Lewis

Red Bank Councilwoman Sharon Lee

Spring Lake Councilwoman Janice Venables

Spring Lake Councilwoman Priscilla Reilly

Spring Lake Councilman Bob Drasheff

Mike Beson, Democratic Leader

FORMER FREEHOLDERS

Former Monmouth County Freeholder Amy Mallet

Former Monmouth County Freeholder John D’Amico

Former Monmouth County Freeholder John Villapiano

LABOR LEADERS

Monmouth Ocean AFL-CIO CLC – Official Unanimous Endorsement
Wyatt Earp
Mike Ryan

Pete Geronimo

Chuddy Whalen

Joe Caliendo

ADDITIONAL ENDORSEMENTS

“As Democratic leaders in Red Bank, we proudly support Vin Gopal as the next county Democratic Chairman. Vin has supported Democrats in Red Bank for years, helping us raise money and helping us organize our campaigns. He would make an outstanding chairman and we plan to inform the Red Bank delegation about our support.”

Red Bank Democratic Party Municipal Chairman & Councilman Ed Zipprich

Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna
Red Bank Council President Art Murphy

Red Bank Councilwoman Kathy Horgan
Red Bank Councilwoman Juanita Lewis
Red Bank Councilwoman Sharon Lee

Red Bank Democrats Vice Chairwoman Lauren Niccosia
Red Bank Democratic Club President Barbara Boas

Red Bank Democratic Club Secretary Deborah Marks

“As Democratic leaders in Middletown, Monmouth County’s largest municipality, we proudly support Vin Gopal as the next county Democratic Chairman. Vin has supported Middletown for years, helping to raise money for our municipal candidates and helping the party any way he can. We will urge the 92 member Middletown delegation to support Vin Gopal this June for county chairman.”

Joe Caliendo, Middletown Democratic Party Municipal Chairman

Sean F. Byrnes, Former Middletown Township Committeeman (2008-2011)
Marilyn Tuohy, Middletown Democratic Party Vice-Chairwoman

Marilyn Maguire, State Committeewoman
Don Watson, Middletown Democratic Club President

John Amberg, Middletown Democratic Party

Marilyn Michaels, Middletown Democratic Party
Linda Baum, Middletown Democratic Party

James Grenafege, Democratic Nominee for Middletown Township (2011)

Mary Mahoney, Democratic Nominee for Middletown Township (2010)

Mike Morris, Middletown Democratic Party

“The Manalapan Democrats join Chairman Gerry Ward in fully endorsing Vin Gopal for County Democratic Chairman. As 3 former Democratic Mayors, we give Vin our 100% support and we know he will work hard to help Democrats win across Western Monmouth.”

Former Manalapan Mayor Michelle Roth

Former Manalapan Mayor Beth Ward
Former Manalapan Mayor Drew Shapiro

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Filed under AFL-CIO, candidacy announcement., Chairmanship, Democratic Party, endorsement, Hazlet Business Owners Association, Middletown NJ, Monmouth County NJ, Victor Scudiery, Vin Gopal

TOMSA Board’s 2012 re-organization meeting rumpled by nasty battle for the Chairmanship. Just kidding. It was all butterfly kisses.

by guest blogger Linda Baum

On February 9th, the Middletown Sewerage Authority Board held its 2012 reorganization meeting and introduced its newest member, Board alternate and first time appointee Anthony DeMarco.

The Board elected its officers at this meeting, heaping praise on each other as they went through the motions. In a sugary process that took under two minutes, last year’s officers slid smoothly into their same spots for the coming year.

Then, in quick installments, the Board re-appointed the existing auditor, engineer, and attorney. I guess it would have been awkward not to since two of them were sitting right there at the table and the third was on the way.

Showing uncommon humility for a newcomer these days, Mr. DeMarco didn’t seek the Chairmanship. No one bothered to nominate him for anything. (And believe me, I was tempted.) He seemed content to sit and watch. “It’s a learning experience,” veteran Board member and former mayor Joan Smith said to him earlier. Executive Director Pat Parkinson called it “a learning phase” and said, “There’s no such thing as a dumb question.” So basically everyone, including Mr. DeMarco, agreed he wasn’t ready to steer the ship.

Since this was the annual reorganization meeting, all the Board members were present – the 5 regular members plus the 2 alternates. All were there in person except Thomas Stokes, who participated via conference call for the third month in a row and appeared to be sleeping in between votes and sometimes during them. At least he called in on time – in December he dialed in 15 minutes after the meeting started and asked to be marked as a “yes” for a vote he missed. That was pooh-poohed, of course.

Actually, to be fair to Mr. Stokes, he’s not the only Board member who had nothing to say. Votes were taken, one right after the next, without any discussion. Any Board member comments were tantamount to cheerleading. Lots of praises were sung, and maybe that was for my benefit.

Now I have to set the record straight about something. I’ve said in the past that there are no name plates at TOMSA Board meetings, but in fact there are. There is a name plate for each Board member, but none for the professionals who regularly sit at the table. The name plates are the old style dark wooden blocks with tiny lettering that is hard to see from a distance. The blocks blend in with the table, so are easily missed.

As it so happens, I have a name plate just like that. I’ll be sure to mention it on my Citizen Leadership application.

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Filed under Linda Baum, Middletown NJ, Middletown Sewerage Authority, Patrick Parkinson, reorganization, Tom Stokes, TOMSA

Mtown News Flash 1-19-12

Free Rabies Clinic for Dogs
Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Middletown Health Department will hold a free rabies clinic for dogs on Saturday, January 21st at the Belford Engine Fire Company located at 739 Main St., Belford, NJ 07718. The clinic will run from 9:00 am to 11:30 am. All dog licenses must be renewed by January 31, 2012 as late fees start as of February 1st. Residents can obtain a license during the clinic if they have not done so yet. For more information, please contact Animal Control at 732-615-2097.
A Reminder from Middletown Emergency Management
Be Prepared. Stay Informed.

It may be warm, windy and rainy, but you should make time to get ready for any storms or emergencies that may occur this cold weather season. No matter what the storm event, there are several steps residents can take to prepare themselves:
Prepare – Assemble a Kit of Emergency Supplies – Batteries, flashlight, radio, first-aid kit, medications, food and water to last three or more days, can opener, cooking tools, toiletries.
Plan – Create an Emergency Plan – Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan a way to contact one another, such as enlisting the help of a third party in another state as a contact, and review what you will do in different situations. Also, in the event that you are separated from family members, plan a meeting place outside of your neighborhood or town.
Stay Informed Listen to local radio and television for the latest information on storms and other emergencies.
Visit Middletown Emergency Management on the web and www.ready.gov for more information.
Seasonal Job Expo Coming Feb 4
Middletown’s 2012 Seasonal Job Expo will be held on Saturday, Feb 4th from 10 a.m. to noon at the Senior Center, 900 Leonardville Road, Leonardo, NJ 07737. The township is seeking summer recreation supervisors, counselors and leaders, lifeguards, camp counselors, sports camp instructors and park maintenance workers. Seasonal employees must be 16 years old for recreation programs and 18 years old for Public Works and Park Maintenance positions. Employment runs from May through September and varies depending on the seasonal program. The salary range is $7.25 to $15 per hour depending on the position and experience. Call 732-615-2260 for more information.
Middletown Fire Academy Offers, Boating Safety, CPR & AED Classes
The Middletown Fire Department Training Academy is offering classes to civilians on CPR, automatic electronic defibrillators and boating safety. A course on CPR and use of Automatic Electronic Defibrillators (AEDs) will be held on Sunday, March 4 at 9 a.m. Registrants must be 16 years old or older. Tuition is $25. Course Number is 12-1601-28.
New Jersey Boating Safety courses will be offered Sunday, February 19 and Sunday, May 6 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. All persons who wish to operate a power vessel must possess a Boating Safety Certificate. Successful completion of this 1-day course will result in a Boating Safety Certificate issued by the New Jersey State Police. Tuition is $50 per session. Feb session course number is 12-1701-05. May session course number is 12-1701-20
For more information visit www.middletownfireacademy.com, send e-mail to info@middletownfireacademy.com or call 732-615-3280, fax: 732-957-9369.

Winter Recreation
Poricy Park January & February Camps and Programs
www.poricypark.org
Middletown Arts Center Winter Classes and Programs
www.middletownarts.org
Middletown Senior Center
Special Events

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Filed under CPR classes, Emergency Management, job expo, Middletown NJ, newsflash, rabies clinic

Pinewood Derby Winner

Tonight was Middletown Boy Scout Pack 242’s annual Pinewood Derby, guess who’s car came in 1st place! That’s right, it was my son’s car.

My son Ryan’s car came in 1st place for the Weeblo #2 den. His car will now represent thePack 242 and the Weeblos at the Monmouth County regional finals later this year.

This is the first car that either of my sons have made, in the 12 years or so that they had been involved in scouting that has come out of the Derby as the winner of their group. The average heat time of this car was 2.46851 seconds, which was very impressive.

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Filed under Boy Scouts of America, Middletown NJ, Monmouth County NJ, Pack 242, Pinewood Derby

Swim Club Won’t Be Operated By Township In 2012

Rumors have been circulating for a number of weeks now concerning the future of the Middletown Swim Club.

Some have said that the Swim Club was in the process of being sold to a developer who would be building townhouse on site and another said that the Swim Club was to be leased to a third party that would install an olympic sized swimming pool and an ice rink. No rumor that I am aware of mentioned that the facility would be closed completely for 2012.

Notice however, the small glimmer of hope offered by Township Aministrator Tony Mercantante, who stated in the press release that, “We are, however, looking at options that would allow the club to re-open with a different operator…”, which seem to confirm the one of the rumors listed above.

Below is the announcement posted on the Middletown Township website concerning the closing of the Middletown Swim Club:

The Middletown Swim and Tennis Club will not be operated by the Township in 2012 as program fees have not covered its operating budget in recent years. Accordingly, Township Administrator Anthony Mercantante is recommending that the facility remain closed for the 2012 season, unless another entity can soon be identified to operate the club.

“Unfortunately, rising costs, declining membership, declining revenues, an aging facility, and staff reductions mean that it is no longer economically viable for the Township to continue to operate the facility,” Mercantante said. “The Township has been obligated to cover revenue shortfalls from its regular operating budget,” Mercantante explained, “and it cannot afford to do so any longer.”

“It is unrealistic to expect the Township Committee to ask taxpayers to help support a membership-driven facility, hoping that it will become self-sustaining again,” Mayor Tony Fiore continued.

The Township purchased the 10-acre aquatic facility from a private owner in 1997 for $1.225 million. The facility, located at the corner of Harmony and Old Country Road, has 4 swimming pools, 55 cabanas, 330 bathhouses, five tennis courts, a playground, snack bar and basketball, shuffleboard, bocce and handball courts.

The club, which is funded through membership and program fees, is managed through a utility that allows the facility to operate outside of the municipal budget. Revenues were to cover the purchase, operating costs and improvements. In the early years, the club largely paid for itself as anticipated. Since the national recession began in 2008, membership has declined and revenues are not covering operating and debt costs.

“No decision has been reached as to what to do with the facility in the long-term,” Mercantante said.

He added that the facility’s age is another factor in its fate. The club, which is more than 50 years old, will continue to need repairs and capital upgrades in the years to come. There are not sufficient revenues to support major improvement projects, Mercantante said.

“We realize that if the club does not open it will be a sad day for many families in the Township. We also realize it will be disruptive to some people’s summer plans, but the Township cannot afford to run the club in the red for another season,” Mercantante said. “We are, however, looking at options that would allow the club to re-open with a different operator and we are also looking at options to allow the main pool to be opened so that the award-winning swim team can stay together for another season,” he said.

“During these tough economic times everything must always be on the table. The decision not operate the swim club is one that we take very seriously. However, our obligation to provide core and essential governmental services cannot be compromised,” Mayor Fiore said.

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Filed under Middletown NJ, Middletown Township Committee, press release, Swim Club, Tony Fiore, Tony Mercantante

Mtown News Flash 1-13-12

Municipal Offices Closed Mon, January 16
Municipal offices are closed on Monday, January 16 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Traffic Advisory – Middletown Lincroft Road Closure Jan 18-19
Middletown-Lincroft Rd will be closed between Sunnyside Rd. and West Front St. on Wednesday, January 18 and Thursday, January 19 between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Follow posted detour or plan alternate route.
Free Rabies Clinic for Dogs
Saturday, January 21

The Middletown Health Department will hold a free rabies clinic for dogs on Saturday, January 21st at the Belford Engine Fire Company located at 739 Main St., Belford, NJ 07718. The clinic will run from 9:00 am to 11:30 am. All dog licenses must be renewed by January 31, 2012 as late fees start as of February 1st. Residents can obtain a license during the clinic if they have not done so yet. For more information, please contact Animal Control at 732-615-2097.
Police Report Armed Robbery at Quick Stop Convenience Store
On January 12, 2012 at approximately 10:00pm police responded to an armed robbery at the Quick Stop Convenience Store located at #58 Leonard Avenue in the Leonardo section of Middletown. Police say a male subject approximately 6’00 tall, 175 pounds, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans, a black mask and blue surgical gloves entered the store and approached the cashier. The suspect pulled a knife out of his clothing and demanded money. The suspect then fled the store and was last seen running towards Kunkel Park and the Henry Hudson Trail. Police request anyone with information contact the Middletown Police Department at (732) 615-2100 or Detective Laurence Schachtel at (732) 615-2062.
Christmas Tree Collection Continues
Residents with private garbage collection: Click here for schedule.
Residents within the garbage district: Put trees curbside the second day of any collection week.
Residents can also bring trees to the Recycling Center, 52 Kanes Lane, free of charge. Call Recycling at 732-615-2008 for more information.
Seasonal Job Expo Coming Feb 4
Middletown’s 2012 Seasonal Job Expo will be held on Saturday, Feb 4th from 10 a.m. to noon at the Senior Center, 900 Leonardville Road, Leonardo, NJ 07737. The township is seeking summer recreation supervisors, counselors and leaders, lifeguards, camp counselors, sports camp instructors and park maintenance workers. Seasonal employees must be 16 years old for recreation programs and 18 years old for Public Works and Park Maintenance positions. Employment runs from May through September and varies depending on the seasonal program. The salary range is $7.25 to $15 per hour depending on the position and experience. Call 732-615-2260 for more information. Download application
Winter Recreation
Poricy Park January & February Camps and Programs
www.poricypark.org
Middletown Arts Center Winter Classes and Programs
www.middletownarts.org
Middletown Senior Center
Special Events

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Filed under holiday closing, Martin Luther King Jr., Middletown NJ, newsflash, rabies clinic, recycling and garbage

Congressman Pallone To Stands With Middletown Officials to Announce Fire Grant Tomorrow

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 12, 2012

Middletown, N.J. – On Friday, January 13, 2012, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. will visit Middletown Fire Department’s Navesink Hook & Ladder Fire Company station to announce a grant for nearly half a million dollars that will help ensure the safety of the Middletown community. The $465,320 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) will be used to purchase new radios to replace equipment made obsolete by new Federal Communications Commission standards.

During his visit the Congressman will tour the fire station and discuss the importance of public safety with Middletown officials including Mayor Anthony Fiore, Fire Chief Andrew Spears and other local leaders.

“When dealing with public safety issues, having modernized communications equipment can mean the difference between life and death,” said Pallone. “This funding will make a difference locally by making it safer for firefighters and first responders to do their jobs and save lives.”

In 2011, over one million dollars in grant money was awarded to fire departments in the sixth Congressional district to improve community emergency services. Pallone recently announced a $175,468 grant to the Ocean Township Fire District 1 for a new breathing apparatus, which will replace 36 units that are at the end of their useful life as well as $617,500 to acquire equipment like pump trucks, rescue vehicles, ambulances and fireboats.

“At a time when other funding is being cut for critical services such as public safety, health and education, it’s more important than ever that the federal government step in with critical support to protect our communities.”

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Filed under Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG), Congressman Frank Pallone, Middletown NJ, Navesink Hook -N- Ladder Fire Company, press release