Category Archives: press release

RESIDENTS’ BUSINESS PLAN TO OPERATE POOL CLUB PROFITABLY

Several members of the Middletown Swim and Tennis Club have been working hard behind the scenes to salvage the municipal pool club and protect our community asset from the Township’s misguided and rash plan to close and auction this valuable taxpayer asset.

At it’s January public meeting, the Middletown Township Committee announced the 2012 Middletown Swim and Tennis Club was in jeopardy of not opening due to their claim the pool club ran a deficit for the last three years of their 15-year ownership. The Township Committee cited a drop in membership for it’s revenue shortfall and said they would listen to any viable solution in order to open the swim club this Summer.

The SOS Committee (Save Our Swim Club) was formed to do just that. This group, comprised mostly of local business people, professionals, teachers and residents, collected financial records and Township documents under the Freedom of Information Act. Their finding showed a slight drop in membership but a sustainable membership base all the same.

The SOS Committee has developed a business plan – not only to operate the complex budget – but also provide a surplus necessary for future upgrades, ADA requirements and possible expansion. The plan includes moderate increases for cabana members with separate fees for membership. The SOS business plan also includes modified fees for the swim team, swim lessons, tennis lessons, day camp and daily day passes. Recommendations by the SOS Committee include ways to generate additional memberships and revenue through concession rentals and controlling daily attendance traffic into the pool club.

However, on February 6, 2012 the Township Committee held a planning meeting with motions to dissolve the pool club utility and set into motion the sale of the pool club property with deed restrictions, over continued pleas to slow the process, allowing more time for all interested parties to present their proposals on managing the pool club. They only sprung the news on the 1100+ members early this January in a press release. Prior to the Jan. 6th Town Hall meeting, there was no mention of the Pool utility dissolution…

The SOS Committee has found a sympathetic ear on the Township Committee noting with just 10 years left on the bond service, the annual payment will reduce by $100,000.00 in just 5 years allowing the Middletown Swim and Tennis Club to run at a surplus of over $150,000.00 per year with an operating season only 80 days long. This is even before proposed cost-saving and added revenue plans that the SOS committee has prepared. It does not make any sense why the Township of Middletown should make such a hasty and abrupt decision without looking for solutions. The Township has mismanaged the club for the past 3-4 years and instead of taking the steps to correct their mistakes, they are now looking to sweep all of the problems under a rug. How can we let this happen to our community? Aren’t our children, seniors and families worth it?

The next and most important meeting regarding the Pool Club will be held at Middletown’s Town Hall onTuesday, February 21st at 8:00pm. All Residents and Pool Club members are highly encouraged to attend.

For more information, e-mail: MiddletownSOS@gmail.com or visit our
Save the Middletown Swim and Tennis Club” page on FaceBook

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Filed under business plan, Middletown Swim and Tennis Club, Middletown Township Committee, pool club members, press release, save our swim club committee

NJ WATCHDOG INVESTIGATION: Senator Triple-Dipper

For Immediate Release:

NJ Lawmaker Has a Big Pension…Plus Two Public Paychecks!

MEET THE BIGGEST ‘TRIPLE-DIPPER’ IN THE NEW JERSEY STATEHOUSE: SEN. FRED MADDEN POCKETS $241,000 A YEAR IN PAY & PENSION

For New Jersey state Sen. Frederick Madden Jr., the path of public service also has been a road to personal wealth.
Madden collects more than $241,000 a year in public salaries plus retirement pay. He gets $49,000 as a legislator, a $106,983 as a police academy dean and an $85,272 annual pension as a State Police retiree.
Among the 15 legislators who draw state pensions and salaries, no one pockets more than the senator from the state’s 4th Legislative District, which includes parts of Gloucester and Camden counties.

Since he “retired” at age 48 nearly a decade ago, Madden has cashed $770,156 in New Jersey retirement checks. He will get more than $2.5 million, if he lives until age 80 — his statistical average life expectancy.

“I’ve earned that…” said Madden. “You can make it sound like I’m getting something I don’t deserve, and that’s wrong.”
For the complete New Jersey Watchdog investigative report and a list of double-dipping state lawmakers, click here – or visit www.njwatchdog.org.

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Filed under double dipping, Mark Lagerkvist, nj watchdog, press release, state pension system, triple dipping

Middletown Issues iPads To "The governing body and township managers"

Last week Middletown Township issued a press release extolling the virtues of issuing Apple iPads to members of “The governing body and township managers have been using Apple IPads to review meeting documents prepared by the Office of the Township Clerk since November 2011”.

Since this press release has been posted on the Township website many readers have left comments posted here questioning the need to purchase these iPads and distribute they to township personnel. Middletown is in dire financial shape and is robbing Peter to pay Paul. Services, both essential and non-essential, are being cut back are being eliminated to try and balance the budget. So why spend thousands of dollars purchasing iPads?

The press release states that the iPads are justified because the Township is now saving over $5,000 a year in paper costs because monthly meeting “packets” are now being electronically processed and made available to governing body.

Tony Fiore is quoted as saying, “The switch to IPads for meeting documents is a win-win. We’re saving money and reducing Middletown’s carbon footprint since we’re using less paper and energy. This is a great example of how township staff is thinking outside the box to find innovative ways to make everyday tasks and processes more efficient and effective.”


But is it really? The average bottom line price of an iPad is $499 if purchased through it’s maker Apple. You can buy iPads elsewhere but if you’ve ever shopped for an Apple product you know that prices are not significantly discounted, generally only a few dollars.
If all the packet documents are now available electronically to those that run the township, what is the need to purchase iPads, can’t this documents be sent to the governing members through normal emails? Don’t these people have access to their own PC’s, laptops, netbooks or other type of smart devices to view these documents at home or during township meetings?
Yesterday I emailed a list of questions to the powers that be to see if I could get a few answers.

I would like to know:

  1. How many iPads have been purchased by the township and who specifically has been issued them?
  2. What was the purchase price of these iPads?
  3. Was the purchase price for these iPads discounted in anyway, if so by how much?
  4. Who were these iPads purchased from; Did they come directly from Apple Inc. or an authorized Apple vendor (please name)?
  5. Are these iPads considered township property ?
  6. Can they to be used by individuals for personal use (take and store photos, download music or games, ect…)?
  7. What happens to these iPads if Township Committee members step down from office or not relected or if a town manager leaves the employment of the township?
  8. Did the Township purchase any kind of internet access plan over and above the purchase price of the iPads that would enable idividuals to access the internet if WiFi access is not availible to the users?
  9. Is Town Hall wired for WiFi? If so, does the public have access to the WiFi network at Town Hall if they bring their own laptops, iPads or other type of smart device to a meeting at Town Hall?

I was emailed by back by Assistant Township Administrator Jim VanNest who stated that he would forward my questions to others that could better answer them for me and that I should have a response within a reasonable amount of time.

I assume that means a few day, which is fine, I can wait. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if on some of the questions I asked, I am stonewalled and told that I would need to fill out an OPRA request before receiving answers.
I hope that is not the case, as a citizen of Middletown, I think I and others have a right to know about this. I think the questions are straight forward and residents shouldn’t having to jump through hopes to get this information.
Stay tuned…

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Filed under Apple Inc., iPad, Middletown Township, Middletown Township Committee, OPRA requests, press release

BUONO RESPONDS TO GOVERNOR’S DERIDING COLLEGE SAVINGS, HIGHER EDUCATION BILLS AS "PILE OF CRAP"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 2, 2012

Senator Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex) released the following statement in response to Governor Chris Christie’s latest “YouTube” town hall moment during which he called bills passed at the end of the legislative session a “pile of crap”:

“Governor Christie talks about the need for a competitive business environment and job creation in New Jersey, but included in the so-called ‘pile of crap’ passed by the Legislature, the Governor vetoed my bill that would have facilitated partnerships between businesses and institutions of higher education. We need to better prepare our students for jobs in emerging markets instead of ridiculing efforts to do so. We should be creating opportunities for jobs that are actually in demand, instead of dismissing credible initiatives in the interest of scoring political points. While crass put downs may make for viral YouTube moments, in the end they reveal a callous disregard for the economic plight facing New Jersey families.

“For families struggling to save for their children’s college education, the Legislature passed my bill that would establish a tax-deductible savings plan, another initiative our Governor has deemed worthless. That says a lot about what he thinks of the future of New Jersey.

“It’s easy to act like a tough guy down in Trenton and put on a show when the spotlight’s on, but when the curtain closes, the middle class is still struggling to make ends meet.”

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Filed under college savings, education costs, Gov. Chris Christie, Middle Class, press release, savings plans, Senator Barbara Buono, Towns Hall, YouTube

Demand Progress and its million-plus members declare victory — encourage Americans to "Vote for the Net"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: David Moon, (202) 427-7966 and Moon@DemandProgress.org


WASHINGTON – Today, progressive Internet advocacy group Demand Progress declared victory over the Internet Blacklist Bills (aka PIPA & SOPA). After a year-long battle with civil liberties, human rights, and Internet freedom advocacy organizations and their members, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid cancelled a planned January 24th procedural vote on the bill. During the conflict, Demand Progress grew its membership list from zero to over one million members, and generated more than 3 million contacts to Congress.

Demand Progress encouraged Internet users to visit its new site, VoteForTheNet.com, where voters can pledge to oppose censorship supporters, and can donate to the four senators who’ve long promised to filibuster PIPA and SOPA. The site is a joint partnership with the right-leaning organization, DontCensorTheNet — More than 70,000 Americans have signed the pledge in the last 72 hours.

Demand Progress Executive Director David Segal stated, “Today Internet users around the world have reason to celebrate. The battle over PIPA and SOPA will go down in history as a turning point in the battle to keep the Internet free from undue corporate and government control. But mark my words — this is just the beginning. We can never allow dangerous legislation like PIPA and SOPA to move forward in any form: After the year of back-room deals that led to the drafting and near-passage of these bills, nothing less than complete transparency throughout any legislative process — with the input of Internet users — will be acceptable.”

Segal pointed to MPAA Chairman Chris Dodd’s comments in today’s New York Times: “No Washington player can safely assume that a … heavily financed legislative program is safe from a sudden burst of Web-driven populism” http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/20/technology/dodd-calls-for-hollywood-and-silicon-valley-to-meet.html?_r=2&ref=business

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Filed under Demand Progress, Internet censorship, internet piracy, NY Times, PIPA, press release, SOPA, Stop Online Piracy Act(SOPA)

WITH DEADLINE LOOMING, BUONO PUSHES RESOLUTION TO PREVENT GUTTING OF ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 18, 2012
Contact: Christina Zuk (732) 205-1372

Senator Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex) has reintroduced her resolution (SCR59) which would prevent the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) from gutting more than 100 environmental regulations with its proposed “Waiver of Departmental Rules.” Buono’s resolution would declare the waiver inconsistent with legislative intent and would mark a critical first step in preventing it from being adopted.

“This dangerous waiver essentially provides the DEP Commissioner, a political appointee, with carte blanche authority to exempt certain companies from adhering to New Jersey’s environmental safeguards,” said Buono. “It is an irresponsible policy shrouded in vagueness, and it is dangerous to the health and safety of New Jersey families.”

The deadline for the waiver’s adoption is March of this year. Buono has been vocal in her opposition to the waiver and has garnered the support of nearly 12,000 New Jerseyans who signed a petition supporting her resolution.

“This is an issue that matters to the people of New Jersey,” said Buono. “Our children, families, and workers deserve to live in an environment where their land, air, and water are protected, not subject to the whim of the Commissioner. We cannot simply sit idle while this detrimental policy is adopted. We must act, and we must act now.”

Buono sponsored an identical resolution in the previous legislative session and will continue to advocate for its passage in the new legislative session.

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Filed under Department of Environmental Protection, health and safety, New Jersey families, press release, protect the environment, safeguards, Senator Barbara Buono

Top Internet Sites Join Largest Online Protest Ever in Opposition to Pending Internet Censorship Legislation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT
Tiffiniy Cheng, Holmes Wilson
press@fightforthefuture.org
Phone: (508) 474-5248

The internet is currently engaged in the largest ever online protest in opposition to internet censorship legislation moving in Congress, PIPA and SOPA.

Three top-ten sites in the U.S. — Google.com, Craigslist.org, and en.wikipedia.org — have blacked out all or part of their sites in protest of the bill.

As of 10 a.m. ET, eleven top 100 U.S. sites are participating in the strike (site rankings are from Alexa.com). WordPress alone powers 16 percent of the top 1 million sites globally, and all of those sites are being blacked out.

More than 62,000 sites have signed up to join at sopastrike.com. The exact number of sites that are participating is unknown at this point, but we believe 10,000 to be a conservative estimate.

The protest is in response to legislation (S.968) scheduled for a vote in the Senate on Jan. 24th that would give the government and corporations new powers to block access to entire websites because of a single link in violation of copyright law. The website takedowns would effectively censor hosts of legal, constitutionally-protected speech, and the bill is considered to be in violation of the First Amendment by several prominent constitutional scholars.

Ultimately, the fight against these bills is about more than web censorship. It is a fundamental struggle about who has power in modern society — the people with the means to communicate freely or the governments and corporations that want to lock down control. Today’s action, and the corresponding drop-off in congressional support for these bills, is a raw display of power for the people at large.

About Fight for the Future

Fight for the Future is a new non-profit organization that works to defend online rights and personal freedoms. Fight for the Future organized American Censorship Day on November 16, 2011, the largest online protest in the past 5 years, with more than 4 million people contacting Congress and companies like Tumblr and Mozilla taking unprecedented steps to drive users to contact Congress.

fightforthefuture.org
americancensorship.org
sopastrike.com

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Filed under Google, online censorship, online protest, PIPA, press release, SOPA