Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Message From Pam Brightbill, Gerry Scharfenberger And Tony Fiore

Dear Middletown Residents,

The upcoming election for governor has engaged the citizens of New Jersey as few have in our state’s history. As important as the race for governor is to New Jersey’s future, we want to remind you of the importance of our local election to Middletown.

On November 3rd, there is one seat open for the Township Committee. We are proudly supporting Planning Board member Steve Massell for that seat. Steve brings a solid history of public service, first as a county committeeman and most recently, as a member of the planning board. His record of protecting the town from overdevelopment and protecting open space is unmatched. Steve’s vast knowledge of real estate will be invaluable in expanding the commercial tax base and ensuring fairness to all residential property owners.

His opponent, on the other hand, brings a disappointing record of unethical behavior and poor judgment, support for high density development through low-income housing and support for the destructive policies of Governor Corzine and the Democrat majority in Trenton. This troubling record includes:

- Voting against abolishing COAH, the $18 billion, taxpayer subsidized, low-income housing program.

- Voting to support Governor Corzine’s budget, even though it had a severe negative impact on Middletown.

- Refusing to meet with department heads during the budget process.

- Voting against open space in Middletown.

- Responding to an offer of assistance from the township committee with an obscene e-mail that was even copied to the female member of the committee.

- Attempting to increase his salary after only two months on the committee.

While we have repeatedly reached out to work as a team, these overtures have been unequivocally rebuffed in favor of divisive, partisan, and obstructionist behavior.

During our time in office, it has been a pleasure to have gotten to meet and know thousands of the residents in our town. We know what you expect from your elected officials and we know the direction that you want for our town. You have told us that you want honesty, efficiency and a 110% effort in working together to look out for the interests of Middletown, even in the face of immense pressure from outside special interests. Steve Massell is the embodiment of those qualities and knows what it takes to lower taxes, protect our open space and most important, relentlessly fight the destructive policies of Trenton and keep Middletown one of the top 100 places to live in the country.

We ask you to talk to your friends and neighbors and impress on them the importance of good government in Middletown and to achieve that goal, to elect Steve Massell to the Township Committee in November.

Please feel free to forward this to other Middletown residents.

Mayor Pam Brightbill
Deputy Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger
Committeeman Tony Fiore


Anonymous said...

Isn't it a violation of the Sunshine Act for two or more members of the Middletown Township Committee to discuss such public matters without making proper public notice? This is a low and disgraceful letter and perhaps illegal as well.

Art Gallagher said...

No it is not. Your ignorance is what is disgraceful.

Anonymous said...

Have you read the Sunshine Act? The authors of this letter used their official titles in signing this letter and refer to township discussions and decisions related to COAH, the township budget, meetings with staff, intracommittee correspondence, voting records -- which are all "public matters" that were obviously discussed in the creation of this letter.

Art Gallagher said...

Yes I have. If you had, you would know that political caucus meetings are exempt.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm - I wonder if "Anonymous said" has even read the law. Perhaps he/she should read the state ethics laws that Sean Byrnes hasn't been able to comprehend (and he is supposed to be an attorney).

And what does Anonymous feel about Sean Byrnes' pension padding from a part time political appointment?

Or Pat Short's "minor" problem with falsifying his petitions?

Or Short's lying about Byrnes' pension padding?

Why do I get the feeling the "Amend" family wrote this "Anonymous" posting?

Anonymous said...

Wow Art, the Dems are as desperate as ever! Funny how they can't dispute anything in the letter. The only public matter I see discussed is a candidate who has an aversion to the truth and has been an embarrassment in office. As the last poster stated, I wonder how they feel about Short's falsifying petitions? Or his lie that the township committee doubled their salary? Or his recent lie that he and Byrnes hired a guy that was already working for the township when they got into office? Come to think of it, it would be good for this poster to file a complaint so this letter would get even more attention. I will be forwarding this to as many people as I can find. Thanks for another great post - you are doing a public service.

ambrosiajr said...

Hey one point you were asking where someone is doing better than a republican controlled oounty. Also, there wer bloggers who posted about how our rating would go down the tubes once the Dems were in power....what do you have to say to the cost saving measures introduced by the Dems for the past year...and what can you say about the AAA rating that Monmouth County has achieved in this difficult economic climate.

Didn't Guadagno fight for the union and wouldn't agree to a wage freeze to help keep some her employees? Do you think she was out of step with what needed to be done?

Bond rating agencies give Monmouth County highest mark
By BOB JORDAN • FREEHOLD BUREAU • October 25, 2009

Three major bond rating agencies have given top marks to Monmouth County, with analysts giddy over the government's move to slow spending earlier this year with layoffs and wage freezes.

Freeholder Director Barbara J. McMorrow said Thursday that the ratings "don't mean we're flush with money," but rather show that the county "is managing its resources and planning for the future."

The bond rating agencies — Fitch, Moody's and Standard & Poor's — announced that the county will retain its AAA status. County officials said Monmouth is the only county in New Jersey to receive the highest scores from all three agencies and is one of 22 counties in the nation with the scores.

"The fact that we are able to retain AAA status during this recent global financial crisis is nothing short of remarkable," McMorrow said.

Moody's analysts singled out the salary freezes, layoffs and the maintenance of fund balance as strong financial initiatives.

There were 105 layoffs as part of close to $7 million savings in payroll for this year, county officials said.

Also, how come there was no mention of our stellar bond rating on your blog? I mean, you used to be fair about it.

Art Gallagher said...


It would take D'Amico more than one year to tear down what Republicans built over 2 decades. Fortunately, he won't have the opportunity, as John Curley will be sworn in as a Freeholder come January.

Youth Detention Center and Glenn Mason. I could go on, but the decisions to keep the Youth Detention Center Open and to hire Glenn Mason pretty much sum up the "accomplishments" of the Dems short tenure in control of Monmouth County.

As far as Kim's actions regarding fighting layoffs in her department, I believe she had cost savings in mind. D'Amico's statements to the contrary, with only one quarter worth of data was pure politics. It will take a full year to know who was correct in that debate.

As far as why I haven't written about the bond rating...I found it suspect that all three rating agencies would make their announcements on the same day. I haven't had time to go to the sources...each rating agency's web site to see if there are statements there. I suspect that the ratings announcement was not really "news" but rather a politically timed press release. By the time I finish my research, Curley will have been elected and the matter will be mute.

If you would like to do the research for me, be my guest. Send me each rating agency's statement. If they all happened the same day, or within the same 2-3 days..last week, I'll write about it.

stopthesocialists said...

Ha - hey Art - this is what it has come to. Comrade ambrosiar is grasping at straws - even to the point that he will try and assign the results of Republican leadership to the Dems. Someone should remind a-ar that the AAA bond rating was the result of the brilliant management of Mark Acker, you know, the 25-year CFO who was canned when the great thinker Amy Mallet gave them the majority. And I'd put Kim Guadagno's judgment up against the collective judgment of the hapless Dems anyday. Hey ambrosiar, why are you wasting time posting here - shouldn't you be driving the ACORN reps. around Asbury Park to register voters for the election?

Art Gallagher said...

Rick is always welcome to post here. We don't often see eye to eye but he usually contributes to the debate.

Barbara Thorpe said...

This is not a a conference of consorting characters all conspiring to cheat the voters out of the truth!!! It is a one sided display of a clear inability to see or discern fact and to distort for personal advantage those facts!!!

stopthesocialists said...

Agreed, but I'd love to hear ambrosiar's take on Pat Short and his many missteps, false statements and unethical behavior. Just go down the list, and address each point of the letter and the follow up posts. I'm certainly open to a rational explanation - if there is one out there.

Anonymous said...

Do we really need to defend smears of Short or attack overclaims of Massel's accomplishments? How uninspiring. Republicans have increased taxes for the past few years and that is a fact in spite of your question of tell me which town......

But Middletown Township committee persons possibly colluding in the context of this letter is the reason the Sunshine Act needs to be considered.

Private discussions of public matters by 2 or more Township Committee members is a violation. It would be helpful if you would please point out where the exception is made for a politcal caucus is explicitedly stated in the law. Please refer specifically to the clause in the law.

ambrosiajr said...

Thank you Art...I appreciate your kind words.

It was people like STS that lamented the dem control with wringing of hands and clutching of sleeves. You say it will take more than a year to destroy Monmouth, yet all the republicans lambast President Obama for the economy he inherited after 8 years of disaster. What is the difference? I think the board deserves a lot of credit in this economy.

I checked on the press releases from the three companies...Fitch and Moody's put out their rating on Oct. 20th and Standard and Poor's came out on Oct. 16th. The article was published on Oct. 25th, but probably written before that date. I don't think the timing is political. I wouldn't think that all three agencies would get in the mix in Monmouth.

Art Gallagher said...

10:4-7. Legislative findings and declaration

The Legislature finds and declares that the right of the public to be present at all meetings of public bodies, and to witness in full detail all phases of the deliberation, policy formulation, and decision making of public bodies, is vital to the enhancement and proper functioning of the democratic process; that secrecy in public affairs undermines the faith of the public in government and the public's effectiveness in fulfilling its role in a democratic society, and hereby declares it to be the public policy of this State to insure the right of its citizens to have adequate advance notice of and the right to attend all meetings of public bodies at which any business affecting the public is discussed or acted upon in any way except only in those circumstances where otherwise the public interest would be clearly endangered or the personal privacy or guaranteed rights of individuals would be clearly in danger of unwarranted invasion.

The Legislature further declares it to be the public policy of this State to insure that the aforesaid rights are implemented pursuant to the provisions of this act so that no confusion, misconstructions or misinterpretations may thwart the purposes hereof.

The Legislature, therefore, declares that it is the understanding and the intention of the Legislature that in order to be covered by the provisions of this act a public body must be organized by law and be collectively empowered as a multi-member voting body to spend public funds or affect persons' rights; that, therefore, informal or purely advisory bodies with no effective authority are not covered, nor are groupings composed of a public official with subordinates or advisors, who are not empowered to act by vote such as a mayor or the Governor meeting with department heads or cabinet members, that specific exemptions are provided for the Judiciary, parole bodies, the State Commission of Investigation, the Apportionment Commission and political party organization; that to be covered by the provisions of this act a meeting must be open to all the public body's members, and the members present must intend to discuss or act on the public body's business; and therefore, typical partisan caucus meetings and chance encounters of members of public bodies are neither covered by the provisions of this act, nor are they intended to be so covered.

Shut up.

Art Gallagher said...

Rick said

You say it will take more than a year to destroy Monmouth, yet all the republicans lambast President Obama for the economy he inherited after 8 years of disaster. What is the difference?

8 years of disaster? 2001-2007 were very good economically, despite the hit our economy took on 9/11/01.

But the biggest difference is Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Fannie and Freddy, along with their friends at AIG and Goldman Sachs. Their failure to head warnings from Republicans about the risky mortgage lending practices is what lead to our economic callapse.

Nationally, Republicans are not defending that, nor are they defending their own reckless spending when they had power. They are not even lambasting Obama for the state of the economy now. They are lambasting what he wants to do to it, i.e., cap and tax and Obamacare.

Art Gallagher said...

To various anonymous posters:

Purely personal attacks, from both sides, that add little or no substance, have been rejected from this thread and will continue to be.

Anonymous said...

In accepting your Sunshine Act argument, then for example, if these three GOP middletown committee persons just happened to meet up in ShopRite while buying baloney and got into a discussion of public matters and decided to write a letter on such, they should have signed their letter as members of the Middletown Republican Club not as public officials. That's the rub. Now I will stop corresponding on this matter, but again you have the right to select who to post, and I appreciate your sharing my pov.

Art Gallagher said...

There may be a lot of baloney at "typical partisan caucuses" but that doesn't mean that they spontaneously happen at Shop Rite.

Joseph Irace said...


The Municipal ratings for Monmouth County were released to coincide with 3 different bond deals the County and the Improvement Authority were doing. This is normal practice for the rating agencies to affirm or modify ratings when new deals are issued.

Hope this clears up some of the confusion!


Anonymous said...

I find it odd that the party in power for the past 20 years has to attack their opponent instead of talk about the good things they did.

- Attempted to increase his own salary after two months? What salary?

Where are the facts in their piece?

Art - care to get the facts?

Voting to support Corzine budget? Do they mean a resolution that has no impact and is simply political? Or can a Middletown township committeemember's vote actually impact the governor's budget in Middletown?

20 years of running Middletown and the best Peter Carton can provide is personal attacks on his opponent.

By the way, I saw Pat Short recite the pledge of allegiance at the Lincroft Debate.

Where is the apology from Tom Hall? He had the audacity to question the patriotism of a 20+ veteran of the US Military & West Point Graduate Patrick Short.

The local Republicans really sicken me.