Category Archives: Shadow Lake Village

>Chatterbox Newsletter: We congratulate all of the winners of the 2010 election; Now the work begins


The following column was written by Carol Stiglin and appears in the monthly newsletter “The Chatterbox”.The Chatterbox is the newsletter put together for the senior residents who reside at Shadow Lake Village in Middletown.
By Carol Stiglin

“We can have a democratic society or we can have the concentration of great wealth in the hands of a few. We cannot have both.”Louis Brandeis

We congratulate all of the winners of the 2010 election: Rush Holt re-elected to the U.S. Congress 12th District, Golden for Sheriff, Clifton and Arnone elected to the Board of Chosen Freeholders and Sharfenberger re-elected and Settembrino newly elected to the Middletown Township Committee.

We thank John D’Amico for three years on the Board of Chosen Freeholders working for fiscal responsibility, transparency and ethics standards. John and his running mate, Janice Venables, as well as Eric Brophy running for Sheriff, were a credit to the democratic process. We thank Sean Byrnes for three years of extraordinary service to Middletown. Sean and his running mate, Mary Mahoney, ran an honest and credible campaign.

Now the work begins.

The people have spoken and they want “change” (as they often do,) but then the question, change from what to what? From bigger government to smaller government, they say. What does that mean, we ask? What government policies and departments do we cut?

Do voters want to eliminate Social Security, and Medicare? Shall we do away with Department of Transportation, and FAA, and not worry about land and air safety. Is the food and Drug Administration necessary? Do we need a Department of Education to plan for the education of the nation’s children? Do we need consumer protection or will manufacturers be honest about their products? Is it OK to cut spending on infrastructure and not be concerned about what happens to our bridges and tunnels? Should we privatize Social Security and let the Wall St. wizards manage our money? Do we need oversight of the financial industry? Should we have a flat tax of 20% so that a person who earns $30,000. annually pays $6000. taxes? Do we need Homeland Security? Should we stop both wars and bring the troops home? Would we choose to not save money and not give all Americans real security with a comprehensive health care plan – a plan that will insure 30 million more people instead of having them use emergency rooms, a plan that prevents an insurance company from dropping your insurance if you get sick, a plan that allows dependents to stay on their parents policies until they are 26, a plan that makes insurers cover preventive services and annual checkups without cost-sharing, a plan that eliminates lifetime limits on how much an insurance company will pay for treatment? Do we not want this plan? What does small government mean to you?

We further have to ask ourselves about extending the Bush tax cuts which are about to expire, and which, if permanently extended, would cost $4 trillion over the next decade. That’s $4 trillion added to the national debt. Some want to temporarily extend the cuts for 98% of the taxpayers – the middle and lower class who would, of necessity, use the money to buy goods and stimulate the economy. Some want to extend the tax cuts for all including the top 2% which alone would cost $700.billion over the next decade and by all economists’ standards would not stimulate the economy. “The richest 1/10 of 1% would get a tax cut of $370,000 according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center and that provides only a modest economic stimulus because the rich are less likely to spend their tax savings” and historically such tax cuts have not produced jobs. Moreover, the honest voter has to ask the question – what services would I eliminate to make up for that $700,000,000,000. in revenue not collected? Is it OK to stop unemployment benefits for the 14.8 million unemployed people before the holiday? “Will we choose to help zillionaires instead of the unemployed?” Nicholas Kristof asks.

On the local level in Middletown, do we continue with the one-party rule and the form of government that has led to a 45% increase in the municipal portion of the taxes in the past six years due to mismanagement and lack of planning?

These are the questions each of us must ask and answer as we go into the next year. Shimon Peres says, “The vision of the future should shape the agenda for the present.” Whatever that future is, we will share it together. Amen.

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Filed under Carol Stiglin, Newsletter, Shadow Lake Village, The Chatterbox

>Tony "The Fibber" Fiore Is At It Again: Letter To Shadow Lake Residents Is Filled With Falsehoods

>Middletown’s acting Deputy Mayor, Tony “the Fibber” Fiore is at it once again. You would have thought that after being caught fabricating portions of his resume that was submitted to the Township (which was presented for consideration for the Township Volunteer Bank) shortly after he moved here from Carteret, he would have learn his lesson. You can’t make false and misleading statements about yourself or others and expect to get away with it.

In this latest case “the Fibber” authored and sent to resident of Shadow Lake Village (on his own dime supposedly) a letter accusing the lone Democrat on the Township Committee, Sean Byrnes, of begin an obstructionist against the rest of the Township Committee’s efforts to dredge Shadow Lake and accused him of “…cutting secret deals to line the pockets of private contractors to pour chemicals into Shadow Lake that will never solve the problem…”.

Fiore actually insinuated that Byrnes was a lair by including in this letter “Sean Byrnes says he wants to bring the Army Corp of Engineers into help the Township with Shadow Lake. There are a few problems with this. First, as State open waters, the NJDEP’s permission is still required for the Army Corp to dredge the lake. Second, the Army Corp only dredges navigable waters-Shadow Lake is not a navigable waterway.”

This letter makes Fiore out to be the buffoon and partisan politician that he is and demonstrates that Fiore and the Middletown Republicans are only out for themselves and not interested hearing from others on how to fix problems. You can see the letter for yourself >>>Here

In response to his colleague on the Township Committee, here is what Sean Byrnes has to say about Fiore’s claims and accusations:
… First, he suggests that I did not vote on dredging for Shadow Lake. That’s correct, because when the ordinance was voted on I was not yet elected to the Township Committee. His letter would lead you to believe I voted against dredging. This is not true. Second, he claims that the Army Corps of Engineers does not have jurisdiction here and cannot take on this project. Here, Mr. Fiore should have checked his facts. While the Corps has traditionally handled the maintenance of navigable waterways, they do now have a responsibility for Ecosystem Restoration. You can check this link on the web for more information:

I don’t think these representatives would ask for a meeting if they did not have a program that might address the problems with the Lake.

Lastly, and most disturbing to me, Mr. Fiore contends that I am “lining the pockets” of a contractor to treat the Lake. For the record, this “contractor” has had a contract with the Township for 15 years. The Township, unbeknownst to me, reduced the scope of this contractor’s contract limiting his treatment of vegetation to the most Western portion of the Lake. This may explain the rapid growth of vegetation of the last few years. My request to him to submit a contract for 2011 designed to attack the vegetation growth was an effort to address this problem while we wait for dredging. While Mr. Fiore appears to oppose this treatment of vegetation, I believe it is necessary and his characterization of it as “pouring chemicals” into the Lake is misleading…

Well then, so much for the final attempt at an “October Surprise” from Fiore and the Middletown GOP, they have shown once again with this letter, that they can not be trusted with telling the truth to residents and are desperate to retain as much power in town as possible.

It seems as though Sean Byrnes is the only one representing the best interests of Middletown, whether it be not voting to support this years budget that included a whopping 13.8% increase to the Municipal tax rate or here in this instance, providing a common sense solution to a problem that has been lingering under Republican rule for 3 years now.


Filed under Army Corps of Engineers, dredging, Middletown, Middletown Township Committee, October Surprise, resume, Sableminded, Sean F. Byrnes, Shadow Lake, Shadow Lake Village, Tony"the fibber"Fiore

>There Will Be NO Televising Meetings While Scharfenberger Is In Office

>Middletown resident Carol Stiglin is a senior resident of Shadow Lake Village who has difficultly getting out at night. She addressed the Middletown Township Committee Monday night Oct.17th and addressed the issue of televising Township meeting so that Middletown residents such as herself could watch proceedings via the local cable access channels.

She presented a petition to the Committee that contained 124 signatures of support on it. Stiglin said that those signatures are in addition to the previous petition that she presented to the Township Committee last year.

At one point during the meeting Monday night(which isn’t captured on this video), mayor Gerry Scharfenberger stated that he didn’t care if the cost of televising meetings cost $102,000 or 102 cents, if it cost the township any money to do so, he wouldn’t support televising meetings!

So much for transparency and keeping citizens informed, I suppose it is better to robo call residents in the middle of the night to inform them of changing to the recycling ordinance than it would be to inform them via television.

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Filed under Carol Stiglin, Comcast, Gerry Scharfenberger, Middletown Township Committee, Robo-calls, Shadow Lake Village, televised meetings, Verizon

The John Curley/Lincroft Sports Complex Conspiracy Theory

I never put much thought into the validity of various conspiracy theories; for the most part these theories are generally not based on facts or have only a loose affiliation with them.

One such theory has recently developed around the controversial Lincroft Sports Complex issue thanks to members of the River Plaza/Lincroft Chargers Pop Warner football organization.

The theory revolves around the fact that Trezza Field, the home of the Chargers for over sixty years is located next to Shadow Lake Village, an age restricted community for those over the age of fifty-five and the fact that Monmouth County Freeholder John Curley moved into the community in 2008 just before his first attempt at running for Freeholder.

It is believed that many of the seniors that live at Shadow Lake are unhappy with the field being located so close to the complex and that the lights and noise from PA system are a nuisance that can no longer be tolerated.

It is believed that Curley used his political influence in some way to pressure the Middletown Committee to give up its plan to refurbish Trezza Field by threaten that the all important senior vote from Shadow Lake would not be there for them come November if the Chargers were not moved from Trezza Field.

Here’s some history that lead to the theory:

The Chargers were promised a number years ago by the Middletown Township Committee that their home, Trezza Field, would be re-surfaced with artificial turf and in 2006 a bond was issued that stated as much, but somehow along the way plans changed.

Instead of re-surfacing Trezza field as promised the Township decided that it would build a multi-sports complex in Lincroft, off of Middletown-Lincroft Rd. The complex was to have light towers, bleachers, snack bar, PA system and ample parking to accommodate hundreds of cars, much like the currently proposed and controversial complex planned for West Front Street.

But the plan met with so much anger and resistance from the residents in the area, that it lead to the town dropping the plan and the election of Patrick Short, the first Democrat elected to a committee seat in Middletown in 20 years.

During the three years that followed the Chargers continued to press the Mayors of Middletown to have their field taken care of because it’s condition continued to worsen. Middletown in the mean time hired a consulting firm to develop a master plan for it Parks and Recreation Department.

When completed, the Master Plan had made a number of recommendations as to how to better utilize the use current parks and sport fields throughout the Township. The plan called for the creation of two multi-use artificial turf fields that could be used for football, soccer and la cross and suggested that the Township enter into mutual use agreements with the Board of Education to build at least one of these fields on BOE property and to share the use of the newly turfed fields at both township high schools. But yet again no real plan for Trezza Field.

Shortly after the plan was adopted Mayor Brightbill met with the Chargers and told them not to worry, that all of the concerns would be addressed and taken care of, the Chargers would have a new field to play on soon.

In May 2009, the Township hastily approach the Board of Ed with a plan to possible build two multi-sports fields on the grounds of Thompson and Thorne Middle Schools. After lengthy negotiations between the BOE and Township talks broke down in October. The BOE felt that the Township was not addressing their concerns over usage and maintenance while the Township felt that the BOE was not negotiating in good faith.

It was at this time that the Township Committee voted unanimously drop the idea of mutual usage of fields with the BOE and announce their intention to build a multi-use sports complex on the corner of West Front St. and Crawford Corner Rd. in Lincroft, on the grounds of West Front Street Park, which has lead to the current controversy.

And now instead of having Trezza Field re-surfaced, the Chargers are being told that they will have to move from their beloved field of over sixty years to the new complex at West Front Street Park due to lack of space and wetlands issues, even though the new complex will not have the amenities that they feel are vital for the continued expansion and success of their organization.

As conspiracy theories go this one is somewhat plausible but highly unlikely. It seems to have come from that fact that members of the Chargers organization are frustrated and angered over how the feel repeatedly lied to and betrayed by the majority that sit on the Township Committee, that have promised field upgrades years ago and have not delivered on those promises.

And when I asked my friends at Shadow Lake if they had heard of any rumors floating around the Lake about opposition to the Trezza Field upgrades they had this to say… “Nobody at the Democratic Club Steering Committee meeting had any issues with the sports field, and no one had heard any rumblings about disaffected residents. In fact, people seemed to agree that a bit of noise during some afternoons in the summer was just kids having a good time and something that came with the neighborhood. So there very well may be some folks who are grousing about the games, heck, somebody is *always* complaining about something around here. But it is surely not some kind of organized protest.”

So it seems that Freeholder John Curley and the residents over at Shadow Lake are not behind some master conspiracy theory to pressure the Middletown Township Committee into not renovating Trezza Field (much to my chagrin).

At this point it seems that the reason for not putting artificial turf over Trezza Field is based entirely on the recommendations of the Township’s Master Plan which recommended the installation of synthetic fields for multi-use complexes that could accommodate many, not just a football field that in the eyes of the Township could not be expanded.

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Filed under conspiracy theories, John Curley, Pop Warner, Shadow Lake Village, sports complex