>No matter how Gerry Scharfenberger and Tony Mercantante tray and spin the fiasco of last weeks ill advised, late night “Robo calls” to residents, they just need to admit those calls should not have been made in the first place. It doesn’t matter if the calls were supposed to be place at 6:45 pm or not. The message was not important enough to use the reverse 911 system when other means of communicating with residents about the new “Recycle to Save” program had already been done.
Evidently the Asbury Park Press seems to agree, below is their editorial that ran this past Saturday condemning them for using taxpayer-funded Robo calls to inform residents of this program:
Late-night phone calls are hardly ever good news. Nobody calls you then to tell you you’ve just won a million bucks.
A ringing phone after bedtime can be nerve-wracking. On Wednesday, the nerves of thousands of Middletown residents were wracked by an automated phone call between 10 and 11 p.m. with a recording of Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger reminding them of the importance of recycling.
Some residents who didn’t pick up the first time — perhaps because they were asleep — were called repeatedly until they answered the phone. We suspect most people were less than appreciative of the message.
The late calls were the result of a glitch in the taxpayer-funded service — one that should be reserved for emergencies and urgent notifications.
Township Administrator Anthony Mercantante said the calls were scheduled to go out at 6:45 p.m. So, dinner hour would have been a better time to waste the taxpayers’ time and money?
Glitches happen. They’re excusable. What isn’t are robocalls — late at night, at dinnertime or any other time of day — whose message could easily be communicated in other non-obtrusive ways.
Is that what that was! Now I’m really angry! I heard it was some kind of BS recording and hung up. Nice job, Mayor. Way to earn good will. BTW, ANY politician that sends me a robo call at anytime goes way down on my list of who to vote for. 10/16/2010 7:27:16 AM
Obama Park Press, we agree, rarelt but thanks. Don’t stop there, turn Penton loose to investigate further. Get my old friend Lisa Kruse and the spirit of Randy Brahmier to help if necessary. They worked when the Press actually was part of political accountability. Was it the reverse 911 system? Is that legal? Who authorized it? If there is a third party company involved who are they? What are they paid? What action is being taken and to correct this from happening again? What punitive action is being taken…if any? And what exactly was the “glitch”? Were not talking about a few dozen calls but thousands. Get us some answers. While you’re at it what’s up with those millions the town borrowed years ago for the football field that never was? Like I said my Dad didn’t get a call apologizing his taxes went up 13%. Obama Park Press, Judy’s gone their fair game, time to follow through!!! 10/16/2010 7:53:06 AM
I support anything that will get people to vote against scharfenberger, it’s a rare talent to be an abomination to both left and right.
10/16/2010 8:01:27 AM
Schools are doing the same thing with “robo-calls”. The idea of notifying parents of a scheduling change due to a storm is one thing – pestering them about upcoming “events” such as football games and fund raises is another.
If there are 3 people I absolutely HATE in this world they are (1) the jerk that came up with voicemail, (2) the jerk that came up with automated “phone trees” (“Press 1 for billing… Press 2 to report a leak…”), and (3) the jerk who came up with the bright idea to use an automated “emergency notification system” for HORSEPUCKY. 10/16/2010 9:55:13 AM