Category Archives: Tom Hall

Middletown Democratic Chairman Fires Back at Former GOP Mayor


MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP – Middletown Democratic Chairman Joe Caliendo said that a recent letter to the editor by ex-Middletown Mayor Tom Hall is out of line.

“In his letter, Mr. Hall questioned the patriotism of Middletown Committeeman Patrick Short because he did not say the words to the Pledge of Allegiance at Committee meetings,” Caliendo said.

Caliendo characterized Hall’s remarks as “outlandish,” given the fact that Short is a West Point graduate who retired from the U.S. Army as a Lieutenant Colonel after serving more than 20 years on Active Duty in his nation’s uniform.

“Patriotism isn’t something that is measured by how loud you say a pledge, or making sure that you put a bumper sticker on your car. Patriotism is about service, and I would stack Mr. Short’s commitment and service to his nation, in the service and out, against Mr. Hall’s any day. Of course, I am unsure if Mr. Hall ever served his country in the Armed Services. While I do not think that should be held against anyone, if someone does not, I certainly do think that serving in the Army for a whole career makes a statement too. He is a patriot, and that is that,” Caliendo said.

Caliendo said that he believes Hall’s attack was based on the fact that Mr. Short is a Democrat. “I spoke to a Republican once and asked him, ‘Why does your party insist on character assassination and lies as a way to campaign?’ He responded that it is done because it works.”

Caliendo said that holding someone accountable to their official actions and problems with public service is expected. “But, there has to be a better way to go than outright lies,” Caliendo concluded.

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Filed under Middletown Democrats, Middletown GOP, Patrick Short, Pledge of Allegiance, Tom Hall, U.S. Army, West Point graduate

Former Middletown Mayor Attacks Committeeman’s Patriotism

In response to Middletown’s former Mayor Tom Hall, someone who couldn’t stand to answer questions he didn’t like or take the heat when people demanded answers and finally stepped down from the township governing body because of it, just can’t get over his strange and personally vindictive obsession with Middletown’s Democratic Committeeman Patrick Short.

This obscene obsession seems to resemble a jilted lover’s scorn at being left at the alter or in Hall’s case, at being rejected by Short when Hall offered to take him under his wing soon after being elected to the township committee.

In every letter that Tom Hall seems to write, he wants an apology from Short for something that, in his mind may or may not have happened months or years ago! In his latest letter to the Atlantic Highlands Herald that was published on 9/22/09 however has gone too far and demands a rebuttal.

How on earth does Tom G. Hall, former Mayor of Middletown, get off questioning a West Point graduate and a retired Army Lt. Colonel’s patriotism? How dare he try to insinuate that a man who served his country proudly, so that all who didn’t serve could live free, is anything less than noble in order to score some trivial political points against a man who is seeking re-election, by carelessly writing that Patrick Short will not recite the Pledge of Allegiance before meetings!

I have stood next to Patrick when the pledge is taking place. His hand is on his heart and he looks at our flag; in my opinion, silent prayers are more powerful than those that are spoken – so are pledges. It is his business alone where his heart, mind and soul are, or are not. It definitely is none of my business. His mouth not moving does not mean anything more than his mouth is not moving, nothing more, and nothing less. To judge ones patriotism or love of country on silence during a pledge is a judgment of a petty and shallow person.

A good part of what our country stands for and is deeply rooted in is freedom of expression. Everyone has the right to express their freedom in words, song or silence. Patrick’s military service to our country has more substance and expresses more allegiance than a pledge spoken or said in silence.

When one bows ones head in silence in remembrance of others at the begining of Township Committee meetings, or other events, is that any less powerful or meaningful or reverent than speaking in remembrance? I find silence powerful and reverently fulfilling when remembering what our country stands for, especially when in remembrance of others.

Tom Hall is entitled to be a moron; unfortunately he invests a lot of time practicing at being one. This is a childish attempt at a “Got-Cha ” moment by a small, frightened member of the opposition, who thinks he is helping… little does he know.


Filed under Atlantic Highlands Herald, Lt. Colonel, Middletown NJ, Patrick Short, patriotism, Pledge of Allegiance, Tom Hall, U.S. Army, West Point graduate

Barbara Thorpe: The Lying Liars of Middletown

As many reader’s of this blog know, Barbara Thorpe is a Lincroft resident and a friend of this blog. She is a registered Republican and over the years has worked tirelessly to better the quality of life for those who live in the Lincroft area.

Over the past few years she has become disillusioned with the local republicans in office and has started to speak her mind, for doing so she has been ridiculed and threatened with retribution by the powers that be.
Mrs. Thorpe sent me the following email that she wished me to publish on the MiddletownMike blog, to further highlight that the local republicans have no ideas of their own and wish to capitalize on the efforts of others in order to “enhance their resumes” :
Hi Mike,

To add to your points against Scharfenberger and Brightbill ,I’d like to give you some of my own where these two do nothing individuals use other people efforts to enhance “their resumes” .

In 1992,when Joe Leo was township administrator.I began my crusade to get the speed limit reduced on Swimming River Road. It took over 10 years to accomplish that feat. I was helped by the LVGA Board of Directors members,especially Mary Ellen Hintz and Walter Horan who dedicated themselves to getting this done. In about 2003,Rosemarie Peters,then mayor,agreed to a resolution to the County to get the reduction. The township police chief at the time was no help….he threatened it could be increased. Good riddance to that one !1 It was finally temporarily reduced in January 2004 while I was in Minnesota when my daughter-in-law was tragically killed in an accident with a speeding truck on an icy county road there… Bill & I suffered the kind of loss we always fought against here.Our grandchildren,who were in the vehicle with their mother, were miraculously spared,thank god.

Then in later years Bil & I,with the help of the LVGA,Tinton Falls Council President Jerome Donlan,and then Middletown Mayor Tom Hall ( he helped with many endeavors ) and many citizens from the area who signed petitions, and the Monmouth County Freeholder Board, stopped the expansion of the Marpal Recycling facility on Wayside Road.

Also the LVGA, Tom Hall and Bill & I put in tireless effort to stop the Home Depot in Tinton Falls on Wayside Road. One day I knocked on doors in Tinton Falls to alert the residents there to what their own officials were not telling them. We (Bill & I and Mary Ellen Hintz and Walter Horan ) were in Tinton Falls with Tom Hall the night referred to by the recent assault on my character by one of the Middletown Republican “lap dogs”. Tinton Falls would not even let Tom Hall speak except as a concerned citizen. I wrote letters to the press about Tinton Fall’s Planning Director Joel Davis’s demeaning behavior towards Tom Hall. That night I succeeded in presenting a Monmouth County Board of Health noise study I had requested that Mr Davis repeatedly tried to avoid accepting in the hearings for the proposed Home Depot Plan for Wayside Road. which were attended by the afore mentioned individuals from Lincroft. The then mayor of Middletown ( Gerard Scharfenberger),WAS ABSENT as always when needed. He and his cohort, Pam Brightbill, never did anymore than cast a vote. No time ,no effort expended..

The same holds true for the current garbage contract in Middletown.perhaps these two voted in favor,nothing more that I am aware of. The only official that put time and effort into this endeavor was Tom Hall. I can’t say enough positive about my encounters with this man as he never let the citizens of Lincroft down in the problems those of us in this corridor experienced. I’m not sure the whole truth exists publicly regarding the proposed “sports complex”. Some of that was half truths and hysteria….it never came to pass and it cost one Lincroft resident his life. I might add that Pat Short also helped the people of Lincroft in that instance and he was only a candidate at the time.I never saw Scharfenberger or Brightbill put in an appearance.Seems they are all talk and no action most of the time. In regard to both of them,my observation is they sure know how to ride someone else’s coattails !! I resent both of them for trying to take credit for the hard work the LVGA and Bill & I and former mayors Hall and Peters put into these accomplishments. Today my advice to Scharfenberger and Brightbill would be “put your money where your mouths are”. I’m sick to death of the deception,the lies and the acts of intimidation and threats and other psychological and emotional tactics they use to try and control the citizens of this township.Give it up because they don’t fool this resident and they don’t fool a lot of other residents either.

The other people who live on Swimming River Road with this resident were penalized during the installation of the gas and water pipes because those two do not like my current political choices!! An illegally conducted survey and it’s consequences violated every citizen’s right to equal protection under the law. I long for the day when both of these committee persons no longer serve. I don’t believe they serve the people’s interests….they serve themselves and the Republican party faithful. In my opinion neither are suited for public service..

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Filed under Barbara Thorpe, Gerry Scharfenberger, Lincroft, Middletown Republicans, Pamela Brightbill, Tinton Falls, Tom Hall

Middletown GOP Candidate Massell Proposed Tax on Homeowners Who Cut Down Trees

Middletown Planning Board member and GOP Candidate for Township Committee, Steve Massell, recently proposed to the township committee that homeowners should be taxed for cutting down trees on their properties.

During the public comments portion of the May 18th Middletown Township Committee Meeting, Massell read from a front page article of the Asbury Park Press, the first paragraph of a story entitled “Justices OK tree-clearing fee in Jackson”.  
The paragraph stated that the “The state Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of Jackson’s tree-removal ordinance, which requires property owners to replace any healthy tree taken down or pay into a fund dedicated to planting trees and shrubs on public property.”
Massell said that he was upset at seeing sections of town “clear-cut” by developers in order to build housing developments like Harmony Glen, which is off of Harmony road, behind the Shoprite. He felt that by charging homeowners upwards of $800 per tree (to be put in a general fund for tree and shrub replacement like the Jackson tree-removal ordinance calls for), would be a good way to dissuade developers from building in town. He never thought of the cost to the average homeowner that would like to build a single family home on a private lot or the homeowners that would like to expand their existing homes. Deputy Mayor Scharfenberger pointed out to Mr. Massell that as a member of the planning board, he should be aware that the township already has ordinances in place to force developers into replanting a certain number of trees that had been clear-cut once a new development has been completed.
Steve Massell then left the podium, mumbling to himself something about how he still thought it would be a good idea if the township committee considered the Jackson ordinance, which surprises me. One would have thought that Massell would have first talked about this with his fellow GOPers before presenting his idea in front of the committee, after all Pam Brightbill and Tony Fiore sit on the planning board with Massell.
I have a couple of things I would like to point out to Steve Massell:
First, as a Planning Board member, you have a say in how builders develop property in town. When a builder brings prints to the planning board for approval why don’t you insist that a property could not be clear-cut? Have builders submit plans that leave some trees and shrubbery in place, I am sure that an architects could handle planning such a development.
Second, in the winter 2005 edition of Middletown Matters, then Mayor Tom Hall address the issue in the Mayor’s Message titled “Keeping the trees was not an option for the Crestview Drive & Route 35 site”.

He stated, “…can’t help but notice a new landscape. The stretch of woods located next to the revamped shopping center has been replaced with a barren, unattractive construction site.” “…I share the sentiments conveyed by many in phone calls, letters and conversations: I’d rather keep the trees. However, that’s simply not an option.” 

So Steve, before you propose a tax on residents make sure that you do your homework first and check with the other members of your party before presenting such an idea, particularly since as a Planning Board member, you can already take steps against clear-cutting

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Filed under clear-cutting, developments and builders, Gerry Scharfenberger, Harmony Glen, Middletown Matters, Pamela Brightbill, Steve Massell, Tom Hall, Tony"the fibber"Fiore