Category Archives: Tony”the fibber”Fiore

>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.

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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

>"SoundBites" From Middletown’s Recent Township Committee Meeting

>This past Monday night’s Middletown Township Committee meeting once again did not disappoint those that were in attendance when it came time for comments by Committee members.

I walked into the meeting late and didn’t have the opportunity to witness or hear for myself the introduction of Resolution 10-210, which calls for supporting property tax relief through State assumption of per pupil educational costs that our mayor, Gerry Scharfenberger has been touting recently by suggesting that a “percentage” increase to the State’s sales tax would be the key to lowering property taxes in Middletown.

(Scharfenberger introduces tax resolution)
http://www.archive.org/flow/flowplayer.commercial-3.2.1.swf
Many feel that this resolution is nothing more than an attempt by Sharfenberger and those in the majority, to play a political “shell game” that would divert Middletown resident’s attention away from the proposed 14% increase in the municipal tax rate that is called for in the as yet adopted 2010 Township budget.
After the resolution was passed by a 3-1 vote (Committeeman Sean Byrnes being the lone decenter and Committeeman Steve Massell not present to vote), it was time for committee comments.
In the audio that can be heard below Byrnes explains why he voted against the mayor’s resolution. He stated that it was designed to take the focus off of the Township’s proposed budget that includes a 14% tax increase and clearly shows the lack of planning on the Township’s part on budget issues and finance. After his comments many of those in attendance shows their appreciation for Byrnes’s level-headed and sensible explanation as to why this resolution would do nothing to alleviate taxes in Middletown and why it was nothing more that a distraction a way from the Township’s budget.
(Byrnes’s Comments)
Deputy(dog)-mayor Tony Fiore took offense to much of what Byrnes had to say, stating that terms like consolidation, planning and committees were nothing more that “soundbites” and that indeed the Committee(those in the majority) had a plan to control costs through the use of lay-offs and the reduction of insurance costs once employee contracts were up at the end of the year.
After the Committee comments portion of the meeting was finished and the floor was open to members of the public a handful of those in attendance who had just received their tax bills came up to the podium to question the Committee about the large increases that they saw in them. These people were assured that by the 4th quarter of the billing cycle all would be well and not assume that based on the 3rd quarter bills have any bearing on what their new yearly tax bills were going to be.
A few weren’t feeling very assured and questioned the mayor and deputy-mayor about what their plan actually was because they had been hearing most of the night that a plan was in place to control costs and limit tax increases, but when pushed and prodded they had no answers.
Dustin Racioppi of Redbankgreen.com has an account of what went down Monday night. When reading his column make sure to read the ending comments left by readers, they are fascinating and real eye-openers.
Residents are not as foolish as Scharfenberger and Fiore think they are. They know when they are being made out to be fools and are intelligent enough to tell the difference between being deceived and told the truth.

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Filed under Audio clips, budget resolution, committee meeting, Gerry Scharfenberger, green, Middletown Township Committee, RedBankGreen.com, Sean F. Byrnes, tax bills, tax increase, Tony"the fibber"Fiore

Middletown Board of Education Blindsided By Additional Cuts

In yet another example of how arrogance and political posturing has overtaken sound judgment and honesty, Mayor Scharfenberger and his crew blindsided the Middletown Board of Education last night with Resolution NO. 10-151, which details the further budget cuts that the Township Committee expects the Board of Education to make to its 2010/2011 school year budget.

I say blindsided because until I posted details of Resolution NO. 10-151 on this blog, members of the Board of Education had not been given the courtesy a head of time of knowing that most of the cuts outlined were going to be included.

From what I have been told, the members of the Board of Education that sat down with Gerry Scharfenberger and Pam Brightbill for their two meeting on May 3rd and May 6th presented ~ $1.5 million worth of cuts on their own to the Township representatives that were in attendance. They had thought that there was agreement between them and that no additional cuts would be needed. These cuts came from savings in the employee health insurance plan ($803,878), the refinancing of a bond ($465,829), modifications to the nursing services contract ($150,000) and a change to the summer guidance program ($70,000).

Boy, were they wrong!

Stating that the Committee relied on the hundreds of suggestions that they had received through the Township website, the mayor said that he felt obligated to seek out more on his own. So without further correspondences with the BoE and little knowledge as to how further cuts would affect the school system, he stated last night that he feverishly scoured the budget over the last days to find additional cuts. What he came up with was another ~ $600K, all of which seemed politically motivated and consisted of the elimination of Classroom supplies ($58,000),1 Night Foreman position ($50,117),1 Public Relations position ($16,000),1 Assistant Business Administrator ($91,000),1 Assistant Principal HS South ($130,000),1 Assistant Principal HS North ($130,000) and1 Director Position ($126,000).

What’s funny about this is that after mayor Scharfenberger’s open and public sparing match with the MTEA, which contributed nothing to the process other than to further alienate anger and poison resident’s opinion of the teachers union, he seemed to have given up on that fight. Instead the focused turned to comments left on the website over the past few days, sparing the teachers from additional cuts.

The question remains though, were these addition cuts really necessary? According to those with knowledge of the school budget the answer is No. They said that these additional cuts will have devastating effects on the school system regardless of the spin that Gerry Scharfenberger or his deputy mayor, Tony Fiore place on them. Fiore made the following comment after the resolution was introduced “My hope is that this is a meaningful cut… these cuts, they do not cut one teacher, they do not cut one program.”

While that may be the intent, the reality is something far different. I was informed that members of the school board told Scharfenberger just that during their meetings. Cutting more administrators from the school budget would have crippling effects on the quality of education that children receive in the classroom he was told.

The Assistant Principals at the high schools main functions are supervisory; they oversee the curriculum, evaluate teacher performance and act as disciplinarians to maintain order in schools that have close to 2000 students each. After already eliminating seven positions district wide previously in the failed budget, equalivent to 14% of the administrative staff, the loss of two more cannot be tolerated without having a direct, long term effect in the classroom.

And what about the $58K further reduction in the budget for classroom supplies? I was told that that line item was already trimmed previously by 10%, did more really need to be cut? I guess so if you don’t expect to need new text books or expect parents to purchase more supplies for their kids than they already do now.

Even though the school board is now bound and obligated to reduce the school budget by an additional $2.09M by the Township Committee, I would be surprised if they implemented their recommendations fully.

In my opinion, I think that the district will be looking into the possible layoff of a handful of more teachers, the possible elimination of non varsity sports programs or a sports program that will be based on a pay-to-play fee system and the possible closure of a district school, which I was told could not be fully implemented this year but could happen next year.

I also would not be surprised if the Board of Education appealed this budget to the Monmouth County schools superintendent in the hope to overturn the addition $600K worth of cuts that the Township Committee imposed on them without their previous knowledge or input.

If that happened then there would be little need for further layoffs of any kind, the possible elimination of any extracurricular programs or the possible closure of a school. Let’s hope that the County Superintendent agrees.

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Filed under budget cuts, Gerry Scharfenberger, Middletown Board of Education, Middletown Township Committee, school budgets, School cuts, Tony"the fibber"Fiore

Middletown School Board Candidates’ Forums: Meet The Candidates for the Upcoming April 20th BOE Election

For interested residents who wish to make an informed decision about who to vote for in the upcoming school board elections the Middletown Board of Education will be holding a series of Candidate Forums starting tonight. These forums will be sponsored by various township organizations and are a good opportunity to meet and hear from the candidates that will be seeking election onto the Middletown Board of Education.

Those seeking election on to the School Board are:

Dawn Diorio
Leonora Caminiti
Gerald Wexelberg

Patricia Walsh

Michael Mascone
Chris Aveta
Vincent Brand

And will be sponsored by and take place at:

Organization: Lincroft PTA
Place: Lincroft Elementary School – All Purpose Room
Date: Wednesday, April 7
Time: 7:30 p.m

Organization: Middletown Republican Club
Place: Lincroft Inn
Date: Wednesday, April 14
Time: 7:00 p.m.

Organization: Middletown Mornings
Place: To be determined
Date: Friday, April 16
Time: 9:30 a.m.

An FYI for those that think partisen party politics should have no place in the education of our children should note that the ticket of Mascone, Aveta and Brand seems to have been put together by Mayor Scharfenberger and Deputy Mayor Fiore in an apparent effort to have more control over the school board.

All three candidates have ties to the Middeltown Soccer League and Deputy Mayor Fiore. The Middletown Soccer League supported the Mayor and Deputy Mayor’s efforts to have a sports complex built at West Front Street Park in Lincroft and now tht the plans for new turf fields in town have fallen through, all three have a vested interest in seeing that the artifical turf fields at both Middeltown High Schools are opened for the personal use of Middletown Soccer.

Deputy Mayor Fiore’s signature can be seen on both the Brand and Aveta petitions


Do Mascone, Aveta and Brand have the best interests of the students in Middletown at heart or are they more interested in partisen politics and seeing their best interests are taken care of first? That is a question that should be asked of them during these Candidate Forums.

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Filed under artificial turf fields, Candidate Forum, Chris Aveta, Middletown Board of Education, Middletown Soccer, Tony"the fibber"Fiore, Vinnie Brand

Have You Heard The One About The Joker Who Wants To Be On The Middeltown Board Of Education?

There is a real Joker in town who wants to be elected to the Middletown Board Of Education, the guy is Vinnie Brand and he is a comedian and owner of the Stress Factory Comedy Club in New Brunswick.

From what I understand he is running on the slate with his buddies Mike Mascone and Chris Aveta, all three are involved with Middletown Soccer and have ties to Middletown Deputy Mayor Tony Fiore, who seems to have put the three together in order to take control over the school board.

Fiore put together this “soccer dream team” and signed the school board petition for both Brand and Aveta. Most likely with the idea that if elected to the Board of Education, Brand, Mascone and Aveta will be more inclined to open up the synthetic turf fields at both high schools to kids that play soccer in Middletown being that plans for the turf fields at West Front Street Park and Croydon Hall have been cancelled.

(Mascone Petition)

(Brand Petition)

(Aveta Petition)

(click on the images to see who signed their petitions)

Being a comedian and owner of a comedy club I found some interesting information on Mr. Vinnie Brand that I thought I should share so that voters could make an informed choice when going to the polls on April 20th to vote for members of the school board and school budget. This information is from his own website at vinniebrand.com, his My Space page and on Twitter. So these are his own words not something I wrote about him.

On his website he lists this as his bio:

“Vinnie grew up in Middletown NJ, the third of four children born to a plumber and a overly optimistic mother. He attended Rutgers College and immediately met the woman of his nightmares. Promptly, they had three children and bills. Vinnie ran his own construction company and flower shop while performing at open mic nights, juggling his time raising his children, working like a dog and performing.

After becoming a headline comic, He sold the flower shop, closed the construction company and gave his wife the divorce she was begging for. With three kids, no money and no car, he opened The Stress Factory Comedy Club while living in a boarding house for fathers that lost it all in bad divorces.

In 1995 Vinnie met the woman of his dreams, Vicki, while borrowing her car. He married her in 1998 and got full custody of his three children in 1999. Then, to round things out, they added two more children.”

“ Today Vinnie spends his time on stage all over New York City talking about the things he knows best, kids, marriage, bills and family. His unique approach lets him weave a story that captivates audiences of all ages while pissing off his ex wife. Overall, it has all worked out.”

I have to wonder how much thought this guy gave to running for the school board or did he just let the party use him for publicity? How about his availability for doing the job of school board member? Just check out this schedule comedy club appearances:

July 28th, Tuesday: COMIC STRIP LIVE ,
August 3rd, Monday @ 9.35PM: COMIC STRIP LIVE
August 5th, Wednesday @ 9.20PM: COMIC STRIP LIVE
August 6th, Thursday @ 9.20PM: COMIC STRIP LIVE
August 20th, Thursday: with JIM BREUER AT THEATRE IN MORRISTOWN
August 28th, Thursday @ 11.10PM: COMIC STRIP LIVE
August 29th, Saturday: BORGATA HOTEL WITH JIM BREUER
August 31st, Monday @ 10.05PM: COMIC STRIP LIVE
September 26th, Saturday: with JIM BREUER at Capital One Theatre

You really have to ask yourself why is guy running for a public office? He uses his kids for material in his comedy routine (as evident in the youtube video at the bottom of this post), which make you wonder if he will us the kids from the district as material in his act as well if he gets on the school board?

School board members should be an example to our children. What kind of example is it to put this on His My Space:

From Vinny Brand on My Space/Blog Posting Wednesday, September 27, 2006

spinach, you bastard. Current mood: annoyed

No, it can’t be, but it is. Spinach is killing people. That’s it, I quit! I could deal with all the bullshit this world throws at you, terrorism, rising interest rates, dysfunctional TIVO and Iran enriching uranium because I always had the good shit to fall back on. Spinach was one of them. I could kill off a box of HOHOs’ knowing that I could wash it all away with a helping of spinach. Fucking spinach was my rock, it was in my terror attack survival kit, right next to the duct tape, plastic and batteries. Now I’m screwed. It’s like finding out that you could choke to death on a vitamin.

I’m done folks. I’m going to drown myself in Pop Tarts, Red Bull and cookies. Damn the torpedos, let Iran have a nuke and screw my tivoed episode of Greys Anatomy that pixilates because Comcast sucks, none of it matters now. Spinach, you bastard!

What kind of example is that? I can only imagine what Brand will use from his board experience in his comedy routine. Maybe that is why he is running, for more comedy material. I can tell you this, I would not want him having ANY confidential information about my kid!

His lack of good judgement in the video below is an example. He calls the police to arrest his son for smoking pot in his bedroom only to find out that in the end that it cost him over $5 grand in lawyer and court fees while his son is left with a criminal record.

I think it best we leave Mr. Brand and his slate to the jobs they seem to enjoy more and put more qualified candidates on our board of education. Or the joke will be on us!

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Filed under Candidates, Middletown, Middletown Board of Education, my space, Stress Factory Comedy Club, Tony"the fibber"Fiore, Twitter, Vinnie Brand

Tony "the Fibber" Fiore Suggests That The Only Place Left In Budget To Cut Is Police For Savings

Last week Middletown special financial consultant Bob Roth re-introduced the FY 2009 budget to the Township Committee. The budget, which seems as though it was put together by the use of smoke and a mirror will be voted on and approved tonight.

The budget relays on 1 shot gimmicks such as reducing the surplus reserve for uncollected taxes and deferring a portion of the townships pension obligation, so instead of a 9.2% tax increase that was proposed back in April the new tax increase to the municipal rate will be 5.8%, and we have the State to thank for it.

After months of telling the public how hard and how tirelessly they were working on the budget, meeting department heads over and over again to ensure that their budgets fell in line with township priorities, the Republicans on the Township Committee lead by Mayor Brightbill and Deputy Mayor Scharfenberger left the decision making to the state because they could not find any budget cuts or savings themselves!

The junior Committeeman, Republican Tony ”the Fibber” Fiore went as far as saying that the only area in the budget left open to the Committee in which to cut costs, was emergency services and to lay-off or furlough police officers and staff.

What a stupid thing to say!!

How could you possible say that the only place left in the budget in which to cut costs would be to trim the police department? Fiore’s statement from the dais last week was not only a head shaker, but also an outrageously gross attempt to place blame on others for the Republican’s failures to produce a budget that was inline with the realities of the day.

There were and are numerous areas and line items throughout the FY 2009 budget that could have been cut or trimmed in order to lessen the financial impact on residents if the Republicans truly wished.

Fiore, for all of his efforts and work that he put into the budget could not even implement any of his infamous ideas from the 8-point plan that he introduced back on February 2nd. Other than the suspension of the township committee’s yearly stipend, none of his ideas listed below were worthy enough for consideration:

1. Suspend the entire Township Committee’s salaries.
2. Freeze all non-essential hiring not required by law.
3. Freeze all union and non-union salaries.
4. Evaluate all non-essential, non-revenue generating programs for elimination.
5. Seek out additional shared service arrangements.
6. Sell surplus township property and assets.
7. Eliminate all non-essential Township subscriptions and dues payments.
8. Eliminate all conference and travel expenses unless required by law for continuing education requirements.

Now, how can someone have the nerve to sit in front of others and say with a straight face that the only remaining area in the budget in which to cut or reduce would be police manpower? Were the other 7 out of 8 recommendations that Tony Fiore proposed deemed to essential by his fellow Republicans and therefore taken off the table?

I have a several budget savings ideas, in no particular order, that I would like to recommend to Tony Fiore and his Republican colleagues to consider before the next time they infer that the only option left open to the Township Committee is to cut the budget by reducing the size of Middletown’s police force:

1. Privatize the Cultural Arts Center or change its mission to allow for-profit organizations to rent and utilize the building.
2. Reduce the number of township supplied employee cars.
3. Reduce the operating hours for the Kanes lane recycling facility.
4. Privatize a portion of public works.
5. Fund Middletown Matters by sell advertisments instead of by tax payer dollars.
6. Consolidating purchases, printing and advertising.

Based on the horrible outcome of this year’s budget process to the residents of Middletown, it is essential that the Township Committee establish a Budget/Finance Committee that would interact with township personnel well before the end of the calendar year and make specific recommendations to the Township Committee on budget matters. To leave important budget issues up to the State, like was done with this years budget, is irresponsible.

And to suggest that the only option left to the Committee to reduce spending is to lay-off township police officers, is just plain stupid.

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Filed under Bob Roth, Budget, Finance Committee, Gerry Scharfenberger, Lay offs, Middletown, Pamela Brightbill, staff reductions, tax increase, Tony"the fibber"Fiore

A Quick Synopsis Of The Middletown Budget Mess

Last night Middletown re-introduced the FY 2009 budget and to summed up in very plain and simple language, it is a MESS !!


The budget has been put together by the use of smoke and mirrors – no cost reductions or spending cuts of any kind to speak of.

Here is a quick synopsis of last nights meeting, I’ll have more to say and discuss over the next few days once i have sufficient time to review my audio recordings of the meeting:


Contrary to previous reports Bob Roth really did not find any hidden monies, when he presented the budget to the local finance board in Trenton, the state told Middletown that they could reduce the amount of reserve for unpaid taxes to the state mandated minimum which saved the township $1.2M.

Next week there will be another ordinance to be voted on by the township committee that will take another reserve fund, that has been laying around since 2006, and put it into the budget for another $399k 1 shot revenue gimmick .

The “tireless ” hunting for savings that the Majority search for resulted in a few minor reductions and few increases in line items throughout.

I have to hand it to Bob Roth, after over 20 years of being CFO, he really knows his stuff. the man had explanations for everything that was brought up, but overall there were no real cost savings in this budget, just the 1 shot use of surpluses that were moved into the budget.

Now that Middletown has used these 1 shot gimmicks, there will be no substantial reserves to work with next year. It will be interesting to see how that will work.

The bottom line is this, even after the use of the surpluses it did not save the township from a significant
tax increase of 5.8%. And by deferring payment of half of Middletown’s pension obligations of $600K, which was a requirement by the state to qualify for the cap wavier, it will cost Middletown an additional 4% interest over the next 12 years on that deferral.
Where is the saving there? If Middletown did a better job at managing it’s finances and did not need to seek a cap waiver, Middletown would not have to defer payments it’s pension obligations.
This is just another case of mismanagement of the towns finances by the majority of the Committee and really gives credence to Sean Byrnes request to establish and head a Finance committee.
Tony Fiore came out to say that real cuts to the budget would have meant reducing police staff and other essential services that he would have been unwilling to make, which is utter nonsense! There are other areas in which to cut like travel, magazines,office supplies, utility costs at the Arts Center, Parks and Rec, Middletown Matters, the possibilities are endless if he and the majority were willing end the cronyism and patronage that they practice.
What this budget shows me is a total lack of leadership by the Republican majority who were and are, unwilling to make hard and necessary choices.
What this budget really does is it pushes harder decisions off until next year, it creates a huge hole in next years budget due to the fact that there is no surpluses left to raid.
How much will it cost us then ?

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Filed under Bob Roth, Budget, cap wavier, Finance Committee, Middletown, Middletown Republicans, Sean F. Byrnes, tax increase, Tony"the fibber"Fiore