Category Archives: NJ Monthly Magazine

Mtown News Flash 12-30-11

Main Train Station Lot Has Available Parking
The Township Parking Lot on Church Street next to the train station no longer has a wait list! We are at the half year mark and Parking Permits for the Main Lot are now on sale for $200 resident rate and $225 nonresident rate and are good through June 30, 2012. Please take advantage of this special offer and ride the NJ Transit train instead of fighting the traffic! Contact the Office of the Township Clerk 732-615-2015 9:00am – 5:00pm Monday through Friday for more information on how to obtain a Parking Permit.

Organization Day Set for Jan 1, 2012 at noon
The Township Committee will hold Middletown’s annual Organization Day meeting at noon on Sunday, January 1, 2012 at Town Hall, 1 Kings Highway. On the agenda will be the swearing in of the 2012 Mayor and Deputy Mayor. Under the township’s form of government, the Township Committee designates two members to serve as mayor and deputy mayor for a one-year term. Committeeman Anthony P. Fiore will accept the oath of office to serve his second consecutive term. Committeewoman Elect Stephanie C. Murray will be sworn in as the newest member of the Township Committee. The term for each Committee member is three years. Scores of volunteers traditionally attend to accept oaths of office to serve on more than a dozen township boards, committees and commissions. Each group focuses on different aspects of the community and works to enhance Middletown’s quality of life. Residents are appointed to these positions by the Township Committee. For more information call the Township Clerk at (732) 615-2014.

New Year’s Municipal Facility Schedules

  • Municipal offices will be closed Monday, January 2, 2012.
  • Main Library – Saturday, Dec 31st – closing at 12:30pm
  • Main Library – Jan 1, 2 – closed
  • Middletown Arts Center – closed Dec 30 – Jan 2.

New Year’s Garbage and Recycling Collection Schedule
There will be no garbage collection on Monday January 2, 2012. The next collection for residences with a Monday garbage collection will be Thursday January 5, 2012. There will be no recycling collection on Monday January 2, 2012. Recycling will be scheduled to be collected on the following day.

Recycling Center Open Jan 3,4
The Kanes Lane Recycling Center will be OPEN on Tuesday & Wednesday January 3, 4 to accommodate residents who need to recycle cardboard, mixed paper and other items after the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. The Recycling Center is closed New Year’s Day. Regular operation hours will resume after January 4th. Hours are Thursday through Monday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Christmas Tree Collection 2012
Christmas Tree Collection begins January 5, 2012. Click here for schedule. Trees can also be brought to the Kanes Lane Recycling Center, 52, Kanes Lane by Middletown residents only free of charge.

Leaf Collection
Leaf collection is underway. Get status reports at

Vote for the MAC in the 2012 NJ Monthly Best of NJ Poll
Please vote for the Middletown Arts Center under the category of “Recreation & Attractions: Live Theater / Arts Venue”. This is the link to cast your vote: Deadline for voting is January 15, 2012. By winning the poll, the Middletown Arts Center would continue to spread the word statewide about its talented instructors, affordable classes, and free events and programs. It’s a true pleasure to represent an organization that educates and entertains thousands of families year-round.

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Filed under leaf collection, Middletown NJ, MIddletown train station, newsflash, NJ Monthly Magazine, recycling and garbage, reorganization

Middletown ranked in the “Top 100 places to live in United States, but what does it mean?

Money Magazine recently came out with its annual list of the “Top 100 places to live in United States” for 2010; kudos goes to Middletown for once again making the list at #89 and being the fourth town from New Jersey to make the list this year. With this honor, Middletown has now found itself on this prestigious list for the third time in the last five years; previously Middletown made the list in 2006(#50) and 2008(#86).

In determining Middletown’s spot on the list, MONEY Magazine sighted a strong sense of community, its low crime rate, great school system and the abundance of cultural and leisure activities available to residents, which makes Middletown a really wonderful place to raise a family and for that reason, I consider myself truly blessed to call Middletown home.

In a press release announcing Middletown’s third appearance on MONEY’s Top 100 List, Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger is quoted as saying “The designation speaks volumes about our success in maintaining the highest quality of life possible”.

But does it?

What does this ranking really mean? Does it really merit the praise when NJ Monthly Magazine ranked Middletown as only the 134th (down 20 places from its 2008 survey) best place to live in New Jersey and only the 10th best place to live in Monmouth County back in February?

Both magazines used crime rate, school performance and proximity to services as leading indicators for their rankings. MONEY seems to have placed more emphasis on the superficial like “air quality” and leisurely activities, whereas NJ Monthly used more tangible criteria such as population growth, home values, property taxes, land development and unemployment rates to determine its ranking, which I believe leads to a more honest assessment of Middletown. It’s no wonder then, that there was no press release in February praising NJ Monthly for its brutally honest appraisal of Middletown’s standing.

Like good politicians do, Scharfenberger wasted little time attempting to take credit for the news from MONEY Magazine even though he had little to with its findings, unless of course if you consider Middletown’s decline in the survey.

Since Scharfenberger has been in office, Middletown’s ranking in MONEY Magazine “Top 100 Best Places To Live” went from #50 to #86 to #89 — a 39 point decline. During his first term we saw a 36-point decline.

It seems that Mayor Scharfenberger and the Republican majority are eroding the quality of life in Middletown. If he and his friends were doing a good job we should have been ranked #31 by now. The Township is trending out of the Top 100.

Seeing that the quality of the school system was a leading indicator in the survey and that the mayor’s much publicized battle with the teacher’s union and the Middletown Board of Education over the school budget this past May, may have had an effect on the Township’s place on the list, let me put it another way. Scharfenberger’s municipal ‘Best Places’ report card shows a grade point average declining over three marking periods with 11 other cities having a lower GPA and 88 with a higher GPA. He has essentially moved Middletown to the bottom half of the last quarter, of the best places to live.

Since Gerry Scharfenberger and his Republican majority have been in office, our municipal taxes are up over 25% and moving upwards, to over 30% if the currently proposed budget is adopted on July 19th.

Here’s a question that should be asked of the people at MONEY Magazine: What does it cost in individual tax dollars to be ranked 89; do the better ranked cities get more bang for the taxpayer buck than lesser ranked cities? It seems that the Middletown residents as a whole were paying less in taxes when we were ranked at 50 than we do now; what happened?

Whatever happened to the dedicated and disciplined pursuit of excellence? I guess it wasn’t part of the survey.


Filed under Gerry Scharfenberger, GPA, Middletown, Middletown Board of Education, Money Magazine, NJ Monthly Magazine, Taxes, top 100 places to live