Tuesday, December 20, 2011

APP: Middletown places Parks and Recreation director on administrative leave

Only a few hours after last night's Middletown Township Committee meeting was over, Kevin Penton of the Asbury Park Press posted online his story about Middletown's Park and Recreation Director Gregg Silva being placed on administrative leave.

In my earlier blog post on the subject, Penton was one of the journalist that I eluded in the post, that had tried to contact Township Administrator Tony Mercantante for a comment about Silva last week.

After last night's Township Committee meeting, I noticed that Kevin Penton had approached Mr. Mercantante and was speaking to him for a prolonged time. When Penton exited Town Hall, I nodded to him and asked if he had heard anything new concerning Gregg Silva. He started to say that he had sent Mercantante an email last Thursday but he hadn't checked to see if he received a response or not. He was about to say more but a gentleman interrupted him and started asking him about Middletown's Shadow Lake, so we never finished our conversation.

It is apparent however from the article, Penton spoke to both Mercantante and soon to be ex-mayor Tony Fiore (who refused to comment), about Gregg Silva. Unfortunately, as expected, Mercantante didn't say much to Penton other than confirm that Silva was placed on administrative leave:

Gregg Silva is still a township employee and is receiving pay while an investigation proceeds, said Township Administrator Anthony Mercantante, who declined to specify the details of the inquiry.

“At this point, he is not in his office,” said Mercantante, referring to Silva. “We’ve agreed for him not to come in until we look at a few issues.”

Mercantante declined to specify when Silva was placed on administrative leave, saying it occurred within the last 30 days. A date for the leave to expire has not been set, he added.

You can read what Kevin Penton wrote ...Here, but remember where you read the details about Silva's administrative leave first.


20 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a sad sad sad state of affairs in the Middletown Parks & Rec at Croydon. Ben Cursi works less than 6 hours/week and the part time help can't do much. The paperwork is piled all over the place. All of their policies are outdated. Good Bye to Mr. Silva who has allowed our Parks & Rec to be run like it was in the '70's.

Anonymous said...

I heard they might ask Wilkens to take the position ... given his background as an Olympian, committeeman, and current member of Rec Advisory Board.

Middletown Mike said...

The problem is Silva's job fell under the auspices of civil service. if either Pam Brightbill or Tom Wilkens were to apply to replace Silva they would each need to pass the civil service exam and get behind other that are truly more qualified then them.

The other problem would be, why replace Silva at all? Middletown laid-off everyone that worked for the department this year. Why would the Township pay someone $95K a year to supervise no one? Roll the department into DPW or have the Library coordinate services.

It may not be the Library's mission to coordinate events for P&R but they do sponsor similar programs and have the personnel capable to handle the job.

Anonymous said...

On Silva’s behalf I would like to stick up for him. The problem is that Silva thought he was god and that he did not have to answer to anyone. He thought that Parks and Recreation was HIS and he would run and do what he wanted to do with it. I have volunteered a few events that Silva has been at and the way he treats the residents and his staff at these functions was appalling I am just surprised that he was not let go sooner. I am sure more will come out in the future about what else he has gotten away with. As soon as all those who were laid off come forward and let the powers to be know what skeletons he had or has. As for the rumor of Pam B taking over it would be wonderful to have her run that department someone who cares about Middletown someone who lives in Middletown that has a idea of what the people want and need in Middletown.

Middletown Mike said...

Nice way to stick up for the man there Anon, are you sure you didn't want to throw him under the bus?

Anonymous said...

Throw him under the bus. No. he has done that pretty much himself

Anonymous said...

And if I wanted to throw him under the bus anymore I would have just post the stuff that I know and a few other people know of how he had done things in his department that were questionable and shady.

Anonymous said...

As You Climb The Ladder Of Success Remember Those You Step On. For One Day You Will Have To Climb Down That Same Ladder.

Anonymous said...

Never mind turning over the recreation component to the library, it should go to the arts center which has already been given some of the events and programs. And, supposedly, they have plenty of volunteers.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:02,

Pam Brightbill knows nothing about running a parks and recreation department. She has no experience in the area and Middletown shouldn't be her classroom.

Ms. M. O'brien at the Cultural Arts Center is a much better and qualified candidate to temporarily take on the duties until a thorough investigation and audit of the department by an outside party takes place. If someone is hired to run the department they need to have prior experience in the field.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:02,

Pam Brightbill knows nothing about running a parks and recreation department. She has no experience in the area and Middletown shouldn't be her classroom.

Ms. M. O'brien at the Cultural Arts Center is a much better and qualified candidate to temporarily take on the duties until a thorough investigation and audit of the department by an outside party takes place. If someone is hired to run the department they need to have prior experience in the field.

Anonymous said...

If the department was eliminated because it was considered "non-essential", why the suggestions for the director's replacement - Has the township miraculously found funds to reinstste the department - move maintenance staff to public works and recreation programs to arts center and really save township money. Does Brightbill need a job so badly a department has to be re-created for her. This whole situation seems "fishy".

Anonymous said...

Brightbill is not qualified. Don't you have to be honest.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:49 AM

All of the departments that comprise Middletown government need to be examined from the perspective of a total reorganization. A good place to start is the recreation department.

With that said, G. Silva was not the last person standing within the recreation department because the Cultural Arts Center was part of the Recrreation Department -- to the best of my knowledge the Center is still active and providing the Midedletown taxpayer with consistently large operating expenses.

Let Public Works take on all 'outdoor' maintenance activity and all 'recreation cultural activity' reorganized between the MAC and MPL.

Management to guide recreation activities already exists, with the exception of poltical payback and is there a need to maintain the position of Recreation Direction?

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:49 AM

All of the departments that comprise Middletown government need to be examined from the perspective of a total reorganization. A good place to start is the recreation department.

With that said, G. Silva was not the last person standing within the recreation department because the Cultural Arts Center was part of the Recrreation Department -- to the best of my knowledge the Center is still active and providing the Midedletown taxpayer with consistently large operating expenses.

Let Public Works take on all 'outdoor' maintenance activity and all 'recreation cultural activity' reorganized between the MAC and MPL.

Management to guide recreation activities already exists, with the exception of poltical payback and is there a need to maintain the position of Recreation Direction?

Anonymous said...

There are still P&R employees at the Tonya Keller REc Center in East Keansburg. In fact, they just hired someone there.

Anonymous said...

Recreation Department money (invoices, etc.)for the Tonya Keller Recreation Center should be closely examined. The Center provides an important community service and it is also a place where someone could redirect dollars without those who actually run the Center knowing about it -- repairs, upgrades social events, etc.

Anonymous said...

Has Mr. Mercantante called for a special outside audit of P&R books: invoices can be padded to cover other expenses that normally wouldn't be approved. The Asbury Park Press recently ran an article where some company based in Belford was doing this kind of thing in another town in Monmouth County. Ray O'Grandy was paying for repairs for trucks that didn't need to be repaired when he was working for Monmouth County.

Anonymous said...

Has Mr. Mercantante called for a special outside audit of P&R books: invoices can be padded to cover other expenses that normally wouldn't be approved. The Asbury Park Press recently ran an article where some company based in Belford was doing this kind of thing in another town in Monmouth County. Ray O'Grandy was paying for repairs for trucks that didn't need to be repaired when he was working for Monmouth County.

Anonymous said...

As I said in older post. as time goes by more dirt about Silvas doings will come to light...........The problem is that Silva was employed as the Director but ran his department as a Dictator. He did not think he had to answer to anyone his word was final. Last time I checked there are a lot of people above him, and at the top of his food chain are the residents of Middletown. He is a selfish, self serving, me person that did not care for the people that worked under him. Case in point when they laid off half of his Department everyone in his office everyone that did his work and the work for that Department and now that all those people are gone it shows who was actually doing the work while he sleeping in his office. He went as far as to tell us the people that were laid off that we would be getting our jobs back. And if the administrator and Township Committee needs more dirt on him they should bring in the people that were lied to by him and the remaining employees I sure it would make there case stronger to get rid of him…..“Careful not to burn bridges, you might just need to cross back”