Friday, September 22, 2017

September 18, 2017 Middletown Township Committee Meeting: It's All About Garbage

At the September 18th meeting of the Middletown Township Committee, a resolution that would include all of the township into the garbage collection district was presented for public input. This means that all of the homes in town will have their garbage and recycles collected by one company and there will no longer be private collection, which means that there will be some winners and losers when this resolution goes into effect on January 1st, 2018.

The cost for garbage collection will be included in the property taxes of all resident s that live outside of the current garbage district; Some of these residents pay as little as $67 per quarter now and will see a sharp increase in their garbage fees, while others will see moderate increases.  Those on the governing body however, say that those increases will be offset by the fact that those currently living outside of the garbage collection district, will no longer need to pay out of pocket for bulk garbage disposal, which will save them out of pocket expenses if they have large items like furniture or appliances to throw out.

M&S Waste Services, a company that has been hauling garbage in Middletown for 57 years, created a big controversy when they announced to residents that this change was going to take place. As a result.

It seems that this decision was made "behind" closed doors and in secrecy. It wasn't going to be addressed during the meeting that night until word got out; It was a last minute addition to the agenda.

On Tuesday (on the day after the meeting), the township announced the change to garbage pick-up to residents on its website.

The discussion of the resolution begins at 38 minutes into the meeting for those interested in hearing the details.

And for those that live outside of the garbage districts, who wish to know how much this change will cost them, the tax rate for waste collection is currently .0065 per $100 of assessed home value. So for those living in the more affluent sections of Middletown, you can expect to be paying much more for your waste disposal.

As always you can download a copy of the Meeting Agenda that contains the discussion items and the proposed resolutions and ordinances that were voted on or presented during the meeting. A box around an item is a link, bringing you further into the document to that resolution or ordinance. At the end of the resolution there will be a link bringing you back to the agenda. Attached to this agenda is also the monthly bill list, so that everyone can see how the Township is spending our tax dollars.

Monmouth County Democrats Launch Website Highlighting Senator “Both Sides” Beck’s True Record

For Immediate Release
September 18th, 2017

Monmouth County Democrats Launch Website Highlighting Senator “Both Sides” Beck’s True Record; a website designed to expose Republican Senator Jen Beck’s legislative record.

Hazlet - Today, the Monmouth County Democrats announced the launch of their new website The website details Republican Senator Jen Beck’s legislative record on issues important to Monmouth County families.

Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth)

“Senator Jen Beck has a bad habit of glossing over her true voting record and claiming to be on both sides of multiple issues,” said Matt Anderson, Executive Director of the Monmouth County Democrats. “This website is designed to give voters a closer look at Both Sides Beck’s actual voting record and see how many times she voted against Monmouth County families’ interests.

“From property taxes to equal pay, Beck has claimed one thing yet voted another way, often times even flipping her original vote just to support Governor Christie’s agenda. Monmouth County families deserve better than Both Sides Beck.”

The website is live and can be viewed at

Friday, September 15, 2017

Pallone, Kennedy, Northeastern Representatives Introduce Legislation to Shield Sandy Gasoline Reserve from Elimination by Trump

September 14, 2017

Washington, DC –Congressmen Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) together with Reps. Michael E. Capuano (D-MA), Mike Doyle (D-PA), Eliot Engel (D-NY), William R. Keating (D-MA), Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH), James P. McGovern (D-MA), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Paul D. Tonko (D-NY), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) and Peter Welch (D-VT) today introduced legislation to create in law a Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve. The Reserve, which would hold up to one million barrels of gasoline, is critical to ensuring that the region is protected from a disruption in the supply of gasoline due to a natural or manmade disaster.

The Members of Congress stressed that the move was necessary because President Donald J. Trump has moved to eliminate the reserve created in 2014 in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy by President Barack Obama and then-Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz.

“President Trump’s effort to eliminate the Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve is as outrageous as it is shortsighted. Given how severely limited access to gasoline was in the wake of Sandy, it is imperative to defend a measure that can save our economy and even save lives in an emergency.

“The legislation we’re introducing will protect the Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve from being wiped out by establishing it in law as part of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.”

The legislation:
· Amends the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA) to create a Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve (NGSR) of one million gallons as part of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

· Initially covers the states of New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire.
· Provides the Secretary of Energy with authority to add additional, contiguous states to be covered by the reserve.

· Permits the Secretary to use the reserve upon a finding by the President that a severe energy supply interruption exists or is likely to exist in the region within the next 30 days.

· Requires the Secretary to sell the gasoline at fair market value with no loss of revenue to the United States.

· Directs the Secretary to transmit to the President and Congress a plan within 60 days of enactment describing the acquisition of storage and related facilities for the NGSR. 
· Authorizes the Secretary to acquire, store, and transport refined petroleum products acquired by either purchase or exchange.

Pallone and Kennedy said that with the 2017 Hurricane season already producing monstrous Atlantic storms like Irma, it was even more critical than ever to ensure that the Northeast had in place a reserve and other mechanisms to make the region more resilient when another storm strikes. They noted that it was particularly important to have a reserve in place in light of the fact that updated predictions by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have called for above average activity this year, including 11-17 named storms, five to nine of which would become hurricanes.

Pallone, who is the Ranking Democratic Member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce with jurisdiction over Federal energy policy, said:

“Maybe being whisked to Bedminster by federal vehicles and tax dollars might have caused President Trump to forget the devastation that Sandy brought to New Jersey and the northeastern United States, but we and our constituents have not. Access to gasoline was severely limited in the aftermath of the storm, causing major problems in the region impacting homeowners, businesses and emergency personnel. We learned hard lessons from this experience and put in place a plan to make the region more resilient when another storm strikes.”

Kennedy, who also serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee added:

“After every natural disaster, once rescue and recovery efforts have ended, our country and our government not only reflect on the strength of our response, but study our shortcomings and promise never to repeat them. Once the winds and rains of Sandy subsided, a shortage of gasoline hampered recovery efforts and compounded the suffering of our neighbors throughout the Northeast. If this gasoline reserve is eliminated for political reasons, it will leave our constituents vulnerable and our local governments unprepared when the unexpected arrives again.”

9-13-17 Planning Board Meeting

A meeting of the Middletown Planning Board was held this past Wednesday night. It was of note due to the 2 items of business that were heard, The Village 35 and the Steak & Ale properties.

The Village 35 project was back on the agenda, but the Board and the developer could not agree on the direction that testimony would go. The Board finally voted not proceed with the direction the developer wanted to go. A decision as to when the hearing would continue took another long period of time, after hearing the lamentations of the Board members about having to be subjected to the amount of testimony that would be in front of them. The hearing ended around 1:18:00 minutes into the video.

The remaining portion of the video had the developer of the former Steak & Ale property finish up their testimony for the project to construct a day care, a Dunkin' Donuts drive-thru, a Mavis tire center and other retail space that they received approval for. This hearing began at 1:33:00 of the video, which was after a 15 minute break between each hearing.

h/t MiddletownOG

Thursday, September 14, 2017

LETTER: O’Scanlon has nothing new to offer voters

The expressed opinions or views of this letter does not necessarily represent the opinion of the MiddletownMike blog. This letter appears online at the Asbury Park Press:

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon’s Sept. 7 op-ed piece “Gopal lacks credibility on property taxes” on community consolidation and property tax relief was transparently self-serving. Apparently all it will take to solve the Gordian knot of New Jersey taxes is electing him, Sen. Jennifer Beck, and other like-minded candidates to office. But the record would suggest otherwise.

After nearly a decade in office, we don’t have tax reform because O’Scanlon has nothing new to offer, has presented no innovative ideas and has no record of significant accomplishments or collaboration to extol. Instead he just rolls out the same old public service villains — police, firefighters, teachers and “special interests” — as the root cause of our tax dilemma.

It is no less emblematic of their monolithic worldview that both O’Scanlon and Beck voted against equal pay for women. And it is especially interesting to note that O’Scanlon’s ire and focus of the piece were directed at Vin Gopal, who is not the candidate O’Scanlon is running against. Does he really think so little of Beck and other women that he must “mansplain” complex issues to and for them? Beck should be able to speak for herself to the candidate opposing her, but if she believes women don’t deserve the same pay as men, then perhaps she is better off letting O’Scanlon do the speaking for her.

It is time to stop pointing fingers, blaming others and throwing rocks at other candidates. O’Scanlon has had nine years to solve the tax problem and he hasn’t succeeded yet. Why should he another two years to try? He shouldn’t.

Kevin Akey

Little Silver

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

September 5, 2017 Middletown Township Committee Meeting

It was a quick 30 minute meeting last week of the Middletown Township Committee. Committeeman Kevin Settembrino was not present but participated on a conference call.


Ordinances were passed to :
  • Borrow 1.12M for various capital projects
  • Set a health benefits waiver policy
  • Expand the list of prohibited acts on township properties
  • Establish a Halloween curfew

Resolutions were adopted to:
  • Establishing a duplicate tax lien certificate
  • Reduce the performance bond for Oak Hill Associates
  • Authorize an online auction
  • Amend a contract with an architect working on the McCloud-Rice Croydon Hall
  • Hire an additional Planner for redevelopment projects
  • Authorize the application for a matching Open Space grant to provide upgrades at various parks
  • Pay the bills for the township

As always you can download a copy of the Meeting Agenda that contains the discussion items and the proposed resolutions and ordinances that were voted on or presented during the meeting. A box around an item is a link, bringing you further into the document to that resolution or ordinance. At the end of the resolution there will be a link bringing you back to the agenda. Attached to this agenda is also the monthly bill list, so that everyone can see how the Township is spending our tax dollars.

Tricia Maguire, Democratic Candidate for Middletown Township Committee

Democratic Candidate for Middletown Township Committee, Tricia Maguire, addressed nearly 100 supporters who came out to show their support on September 8th. Tricia had some very good words to share with everyone.

Tricia shared her thoughts on why she is running for Township Committee and about her experience knocking on doors campaigning and talking to people around town.

Note: the sound and picture quality of this video isn't the best which is my fault. I recorded it on my cell phone and didn't have the proper settings on the phone to optimize the recording. Nevertheless, Tricia's words speaks volumes about herself and her campaign. You can learn more about Tricia at her website:

Vin Gopal for Senate “I Know”

NJ State Senate Candidate and former Monmouth County Democratic Chairman, Vin Gopal, released his first web ad of his LD 11 Senate campaign today. have  a look at it.

Vin Gopal for Senate "I Know" from NJSDM on Vimeo.

LD13 Day of Action

Join our Freeholder candidates Brian Wilton and Margie Wilton with our LD13 candidates, Sean Byrnes, Mariel DiDato, and Tom Giaimo for their day of action!


Pallone Applauds Passage of SANDy Act in Senate

September 12, 2017

Pallone’s Version of Legislation to Improve Communications Networks during Emergencies Passed the House Earlier this Year

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) applauded the Senate for passing the SANDy Act, which will help ensure the resiliency of the nation’s communications networks during emergencies. Pallone first introduced the SANDy Act in November 2015 and helped pass it in the House twice.

"The recent disasters across the country have been yet another reminder of how important it is that Congress pass my bill. I therefore applaud the Senate for passing the SANDy Act. This law complements the Resiliency Framework that we crafted with the wireless carriers last year that is already making people safer when disaster strikes. We are fast approaching the five year anniversary of when Superstorm Sandy ripped through New Jersey. We in New Jersey saw firsthand how critical communications networks can be during emergencies. We must do everything we can to be prepared for disasters like Sandy, Harvey, Irma and the wildfires in the West, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in both the House and Senate to make the SANDy Act law.”

During and after Sandy there was a major breakdown of communications networks, including cellular and home telephones, television, and internet services. This created a dangerous barrier to emergency response and recovery for residents and towns. Pallone’s SANDy Act would make sure all communication providers—radio, TV, Internet, and phone—can fix outages faster, even across state lines. It will recognize the critical role that wireline and mobile telephone, internet, radio and television broadcast, cable, and satellite services play during emergencies by providing priority access to otherwise restricted areas during emergencies like other utilities, to help them repair and maintain their communications equipment during disasters. It would also begin a process to provide 911 services over Wi-Fi hotspots during emergencies.

Last year, Pallone, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and CTIA, together with wireless providers AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon announced an agreement that wireless providers will share information and advance wireless network resiliency before, during, and after disasters and emergencies. The Framework is also supported by the Competitive Carriers Association and its members. The agreement provides for reasonable arrangements for roaming during disasters when technically feasible, fostering mutual aid during emergencies, enhancing local governments’ preparedness and restoration, increasing consumer readiness and preparation, and improving public awareness and stakeholder communications on service and restoration status by providing public information on actual outages for given disasters or emergencies. The Framework is also supported by the Competitive Carriers Association and its members. That agreement has already made a difference in improving communication during recent storms.

Monday, September 11, 2017

September 11th, 16 Years Later

16 years ago in lower Manhattan, there wasn't a clue everything was about to change.


(h/t @RogueCPI)

Thursday, September 7, 2017