by guest blogger Linda Baum
Stephanie Murray is this year’s new republican candidate for Middletown Township Committee, and, as usual, her bio touts appointments to various boards & commissions, including the Housing Authority and Zoning Board.
You might be wondering what qualifies Ms. Murray for her role on these boards. Probably nothing. She was appointed by our republican-run Town Committee for only one reason, to pad her bio and fool us about her credentials. My guess is that she didn’t even have to bother filling out an application for membership, which I recently learned can be the case for appointees who are hand-picked. Ms. Murray most certainly took the spots deserved by more qualified candidates.
In fact, room was made for her on the Housing Authority in January 2010 by bumping the then Vice Chair of the board, a highly regarded, dedicated individual with a real estate background who, unfortunately, is not a registered republican. The former Vice Chair had also successfully completed the five courses required for Housing Authority board membership. It’s not clear if Ms. Murray has. She had 18 months from the date of her appointment to do so, which means she should have completed the requirements by July 2011. I’ve been told that if the deadline is not met, past practice has been to promptly terminate board membership. However, per the Department of Community Affairs, that decision is left to the discretion of the Housing Authority Chairperson, another member of Middletown’s republican party.
Ms. Murray was added to the Zoning Board in January 2011, but as a 3rd alternate, not a regular member. As a 3rd alternate member, she has voting rights only on those rare occasions when more than one member of the Zoning Board cannot attend a meeting.
Another detail that Ms. Murray has failed to reveal to the public about her background is that she writes fantasies under a pen name and has for many years. Her skill at story-telling should serve her well in toeing the party line.