Category Archives: planning

>Heard It In The Hallways….

>Last week when an anonymous poster left a tidbit of information in the comments section for the post “Middletown Tax Assessor To Receive $15K “Bonus” Under New Salary Ordinance”, referring to Middletown Township Administrator Tony Mercantante being offered a job in Trenton by the Christie Administration, I found it hard to believe. I didn’t think it was plausible that the guy would leave a nice cushy position in Middletown making over $125,000 a year, to take a less stable, patronage job that wouldn’t pay him anywhere near what he is currently being paid. But I kept it in the back of my mind and started to ask around. What I was told surprised me, but after it was explained I could understand it.

The person that I talked with did not want their name mentioned, but as a Township employee they can be found very often around Town Hall. This person told me that Tony Mercantante was indeed offered a job down in Trenton, somewhere within the State Planning Office and he will be leaving Middletown for his new gig sometime in May.

When I questioned the person why Mercantante would leave Middletown, they explained it thusly:

The late Judy Stanley, who was often referred to as the Queen of Middletown, was very fond of Mercantante and acted as a mentor to him for many years. She was instrumental in Mercantante’s rise through the system. It was Stanley that brought Mercantante back to Middletown as a planner after a few years absence working out of state and it was her idea to promote him from his Township planning job to his current position as Township Administrator, when Bob Czech left that position in order to become Monmouth County Administrator a few years back.

Once Judy Stanley placed Tony Mercantante into the position as the Township Administrator, it became evident to some that he was in over his head. They thought that he had a problem with telling the truth, as in, being to honest when some one asked a question, while others thought that he was (is) a bungler who causes more problems than what he solves.

Allegedly, 3 out of the 5 currently sitting Township Committee people can’t stand him and have been making it extremely uncomfortable for Mercantante to do his job. As a result, it’s often hard to get a straight answer out of him. And on top of it all, Mercantante has to deal with a Township Attorney who has a Napoleon Complex and who also happens to be the #2 Republican in Middletown, Brian Nelson, on almost every decision, every day (that alone would be enough for me to seek out new employment).

So, as a result of all this, I was told that the powers that be, seeing that things have not been working out to their liking for sometime now, have worked out a face-saving arrangement for Tony Mercantante to leave his position as Township Administrator, for a job with the Christie Administration in Trenton.

If this turns out to be true, and I have no doubt about the person who passed along this information, than I want to wish Tony Mercantante well in his new position down in Trenton. I’ve personally never had a problem with him he has always been personable with me on the few occasions that we have talked. He probably deserves better than what he is getting, I always thought that he was on top of things, but then again since when have I thought anything that meant a damn to those that run Middletown anyway.

Good luck Tony, your going to need it now more than ever.

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Filed under Brian Nelson, Gov. Chris Christie, Judith Stanley Coleman, Middletown NJ, planning, Tony Mercantante, Township Administrator, Trenton NJ

>Byrnes & Mahoney Town Hall Meeting Was a Big Success

>Last nights Sean Byrnes and Mary Mahoney’s Town Hall Meeting at the Middletown Panera Bread location was a big success. It was better than hoped for with over 50 people in attendance, many of then Republicans, who voiced their concerns over the lack of transparency shown by those down at Town Hall and how those in charge have been running the Township over the past several years which has resulted in the largest tax hike in Monmouth County this year (nearly 14%).

Overall, it was a very informative meeting that Sean Byrnes tried his best to make as non-political as possible, which I believe those in attendance appreciated. Many of them were there to be informed about what was happening at Town Hall and what possible solutions they could expect to their problems if Byrnes and his running mate Mary Mahoney were elected. They didn’t want to hear them slam or complain their opponents.

Committeeman Byrnes chose to highlight 3 topics of discussion last night; Planning (or lack there of), the Execution of Government and the Inefficiencies that are associated with the “business as usual” way that Middletown has been run, which has lead to tax increases of over 42% during the last 5 years.
Byrnes’s running mate, Mary Mahoney, introduced herself to the crowd and spoke about how and why she became interested in running for the Township Committee. She told those in attendance that she became involved back in December of last year when the Township decided to install an artificial turf fields complex with concession stands and lighting across the street from her house at the West Front Street Park, with no notification or discussion with the residents of the area that would be affected by such a complex. Mahoney went on to tell those in attendance how she helped form the citizens group SONIC, that defeated the sports complex at West Front Street and how she came to realize that the Mayor (Gerry Scharfenberger) and others were more interested in themselves and getting elected than doing what’s right for all the residents of Middletown.
The floor was then opened for a Question and Answer period, where attendees asked Sean Byrnes questions that ranged from the Governor’s “Tool Kit” and civil service rules, recording and televising Township meetings and what it would mean for residents if the Township Committee reverted back to it’s old make-up of a 5-0 super majority of all Republicans and no Democrats.
I recorded over an hour worth of video last night that will take me a few days to edit down for posting. When I do, readers will be able to see and hear for themselves how well the Town Hall Meeting went and decide whether or not Byrnes and Mahoney deserve your votes.

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Filed under Byrnes and Mahoney, execution of government, inefficiencies, Middletown Township Committee, planning, town hall meeting