Marlboro GOP Poised To Challenge New Sign Ordinance

2013 Marlboro RsA proposed Marlboro temporary sign ordinance on the agenda for adoption by the Township Council on Thursday evening July 17 has Marlboro Republicans contemplating a federal court challenge should the all Democratic Council enact the measure.

Mayor Jon Hornik, named the best mayor in New Jersey in an unscientific PolitickerNJ poll earlier this month after the Township’s resident email list was used to rally online votes, told MMM that political signs create clutter and traffic safety issues in the Township and that his administration has been working on an solution that protects free speech rights while improving public safety since 2008.  “It’s not just local races, but every level…county, state, and federal.  Marlboro gets littered with campaign signs every fall,” Hornik said, “It is a safety issue that has gotten worse since the Board of Education elections were moved to November. The council has been working hard to make sure the safety and clutter issues are addressed while at the same time protecting free speech rights.  I will support what they come up with.”

The proposed ordinance, which can be found here, would prohibit temporary political signs on Township property and public rights of way, with the exception of rights of way adjacent to private property (that strip of land between sidewalks and curbs), regulate the size of signs to 16 square feet, and allow signs to be placed on private property only 45 days prior to an election or event and seven days after an election. Candidates, Committee Chairmen, Campaign Treasurers and private property owners with signs on rights of way adjacent to their property would be subject to fines ranging from$100 to $1250 and/or 90 days in jail for violations.

Marlboro Republican Chairman Christopher Dean said the ordinance is designed to give the incumbent Democratic governing body a political advantage. “They (the Marlboro Democrats) have secured every available billboard in town that accepts political advertising for the next three years.  The only purpose of this ordinance is to prevent Marlboro Republicans or Democratic Primary challengers from getting their message out.  It is a suppression of political speech and a violation of the 1st amendment,” Dean said, “We are going to fight this for as long as it takes.”

Dean has hired Matthew Rasmussen, an attorney with Hanlon Niemann  to fight the ordinance. 2013 Marlboro Dems

Rasmussen said the ordinance is “a government overreach that is unconstitutional.  Ordinances like this have been overturned numerous times. A test case will not be necessary to challenge this ordinance if it is adopted.”

Rasmussen said he hopes to convince the governing body,which includes two attorneys, Hornik and Councilman Frank LaRocca, on Thursday night that the ordinance is unconstitutional and prevent federal litigation.  He told MMM he would feel obligated to file a challenge in federal court if the ordinance is adopted.

“The opposition cares only about getting their candidates elected, Hornik said, “They are forgetting that this ordinance will apply to all candidates of all parties.” Hornik said Dean’s efforts were ” a waste of time and energy”and dismissed the importance of campaign signs to political campaigns. “Maybe they increase name recognition a bit,” he said,”but they don’t change votes.”

LaRocca was less diplomatic than Hornik in his comments about the opposition.

“Chris Dean makes mountains out of mole hills and his extreme partisanship is detrimental,” LaRocca said, “He is obsessed with Jon Hornik and he has no credibility.  One of out ten times, Dean might have a good idea, and we will listen to it. But anything that we propose, he’s automatically against it.  He was against the Shop Marlboro Program which has been huge success and save taxpayers a great deal of money.  We don’t govern based upon what Chris Dean wants. We govern for what is in the best interests of Marlboro citizens.  We’ve been the most conservative administration in recent Marlboro history and we’re Democrats.  Dean should be happy with what we are doing.”

Regarding the potential penalty of a 90 day jail term for violating the ordinance, LaRocca said, “No one is going to jail for violating this ordinance.  Any judge who imposed such a sentence would be run out of the country.”  LaRocca said the penalties were in line with the minimum and maximum penalties of all New Jersey municipal ordinances.

Posted: July 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Jon Hornik, Marlboro, Monmouth County, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments »

22 Comments on “Marlboro GOP Poised To Challenge New Sign Ordinance”

  1. DEM said at 2:35 pm on July 16th, 2014:

    HEY Jon campaign signs do increase name recognition a lot.Signs are part of freedom of speech,Frank and Jon try to put me in JAIL for putting up a sign.Maybe you should read the 1st amendent.

  2. Dear Mr. Dean, Municipal Republican Chairman said at 4:16 pm on July 16th, 2014:

    Mr. Dean,

    Come election time, your town looks like sh*t!!! Every corner has distracting signs all over the place. Your own wife had a very large irregular shaped Crayola crayon box shaped sign for her BOE election.

    Why would you want this to continue??

    Every sign should be limited! Both parties have abused the marketing of their respective candidate. Furthermore, after the election, these signs still remain.

    The madness and stupidity in the name of partisan politics has to stop. I take that back: Even signs advertising goods and services have to be brought down as well.

  3. Love the Dynamic Duo said at 4:26 pm on July 16th, 2014:

    A few questions that perhaps the dynamic duo, Frankie and jonny can explain
    1. Why does jonny feel it is OK to use the Township’s resident email list to promote himself?
    2. What incidents of “safety” do they refer to or is this just a cheap excuse to promote their desire to inhibit others to run against them and take away their throne? Have there been specific accidents attributed to political signs?
    3. Why would jonny blindly “support what they come up with” as a solution to the placement of political signs? Is he afraid that going against frankie will negatively impact their law practice?
    4. Why is it wrong for Dean to care about getting other candidates elected? Isn’t that why Frankie and jonny spend 10’s of thousands of dollars to place signs and utilize all of the town’s billboards? Isn’t it wrong to use the billboards that are really meant for local business owners to be able to advertise for their own political and financial gain?
    5. Why do Frankie and jonny post signs illegally and in violation of their own current ordinance?
    6. Why does jonny consider it a “waste of time and energy” to fight for 1st amendment rights?
    7. How could jonny know whether signs have any influence on votes? Does he read minds too?
    8. Why does Frankie have such bitterness towards Chris Dean? Is it because he calls them out when he believes they are not in office for the right reasons and have their own political agenda that includes the services of local thugs to proliferate the illegal placement of their political signs and spew untruths about anyone who opposes their view?
    9. Who really benefits from the Shop Marlboro program? What about the residents who can’t afford to shop in Marlboro and are forced to shop elsewhere due to financial constraints? Why should they not have the ability to lower their tax burden? Who really benefits from the transaction fees related to this program? Does anyone on the current administration or their staff or families benefit? The only person ever known to boast about their savings due to shop Marlboro is jonny who posts pictures of his tax bill. Has jonny found a way to place his picture on his tax bill yet?
    10. Why would Frankie include jail time for anyone found guilty of violating his ordinance for safety reasons if he believes, “No one is going to jail for violating this ordinance. Any judge who imposed such a sentence would be run out of the country.”

  4. Kathy Baratta said at 7:45 pm on July 16th, 2014:

    I have a question. Why doesn’t “Love the Dynamic Duo” post under his real name? IF his alleged grievances are worth consideration you would think he or she would want to stand tall and call for an accounting.

    This anonymous posting is tantamount to ringing a door bell and running. If you’re a kid, it’s a prank. If you’re an adult, it’s cowardice.

  5. Kathy Baratta said at 7:51 pm on July 16th, 2014:

    The above also applies to, “DEM,” and, “Dear Mr. Dean.”

    Art, if you have Facebook posters (whose identities are known) why do you not also compel your posters to use real names? If you don’t know how to validate the offered identities, feel free to ask. I know you like to disparage my former and quite successful website but no one posted anonymously and it made for some great debate.

    Anyway, it’s actually quite simple and would lend more credibility.

  6. preaching Kathy, said at 8:03 pm on July 16th, 2014:

    if you don’t like the way he runs his blog, then go run your own.
    You’re a shill and everyone know that

  7. Art Gallagher said at 8:06 pm on July 16th, 2014:


    There was an anonymous post by “aase” addressed to Frank Jack two days ago from your IP address. It said,

    ” Frank Jack, your response to Kathy Baratta is ridiculous. You may disagree with her but if you want to know what an “assault rifle”i s, you have to accept the State Legislature’s definition or no one can even discuss the subject because we won’t be talking about the same thing.

    Many people use the figure of speech “spraying bullets” etc. It doesn’t mean they are ignorant. I’ve been shooting and been a member of gun clubs since I was a teen and I’m well past 65 now. Have heard many enthusiasts and experts use that term when talking about automatic weapons.

    I don’t know who’s coming after you real or imaginary but good luck in defending yourself.”

    Was that post a prank or cowardice?

    As you can see, I don’t need your help validating identities, but thanks anyway.

    Keyword in your description of your site: “former.”

    My only complaint about your former site is that you limited debate by keeping people out. Everyone is welcome here.

    I keep the anonymous comment option available because my readers like it. Even the ones who complain about it can’t resist looking to see if there is a train wreck.

    Thanks for looking out for my credibility, Kathy. I think I’m doing pretty well.

  8. hornik township said at 8:08 pm on July 16th, 2014:

    does have too many signs but why would lawyers write an ordinance that they acknowledge any “judge…. who enforces ….would be run out of out the country”.
    Seems Dean is not the problem their thought process is.

    Now thats a waste of time and town resources to enact something you don’t intend to enforce
    Looks like they are the ones trying to pick a fight
    Why else would the all Democratic council go forward with this?
    And is it true they are only doing this for political signs?
    Isn’t that a 1st amend violation?

  9. Kathy Baratta said at 8:08 pm on July 16th, 2014:

    Although baseless, that’s a quite interesting assertion. But, okay. I’ll bite. A “shill” for whom exactly?

  10. Kathy Baratta said at 8:15 pm on July 16th, 2014:

    Sorry, Art, but you couldn’t be more wrong about this but it is interesting that you want to out me, so-to-speak, but everyone else can post anonymously? I’m starting to think maybe you are behind these posts.

    But man, I must really have struck a nerve, huh?

  11. Art Gallagher said at 8:22 pm on July 16th, 2014:

    No, you didn’t strike a nerve, Kathy. This is fun for me.

    You’ve said your leaving MMM and never coming back many times. It always makes me smile when you are here again. You can’t resist my wit and charm.

    If you didn’t make the aase post, talk to whoever you share the computer with and tell them they are pranksters or cowardly.

  12. aase said at 8:25 pm on July 16th, 2014:

    I posted the comment under the name “aase.” If you are interested in who I am, you can contact me through my email address.

    As a former Republican Borough Councilman, county committeeman and club president, I preferred to remain anonymous.

    You do know that an IP Address represents more than just one computer or even one physical address.

    Feel free to apologize to Kathy Baratta as a real man would.

  13. Art Gallagher said at 8:27 pm on July 16th, 2014:


    The anonymous former Republican Councilman and Club President that you live with says he’s sorry.

    He’s not a prankster or cowardly. Like many others, he prefers to remain anonymous and has good reasons to. He can explain it to you.

  14. Kathy Baratta said at 8:32 pm on July 16th, 2014:

    I come here because I like to keep abreast of the ravings of the lunatic fringe.

    And, being the simple creatures they are, they are so easily rattled as you prove on a daily basis.

    So, in the end it appears we both come here for the fun. So thank you for finally admitting no one should take you seriously.

  15. aase said at 8:52 pm on July 16th, 2014:

    Art, I didn’t say I was sorry. Kathy is right to question your credibility given you’ve proved now you do just make stuff up.

    The fact is Kathy and I disagree on anonymous posting.

    That doesn’t change the fact that you took it upon yourself to assume and we all know what happens when we assume.

    As I said, a real man would apologize to Kathy. What are you going to do?

    For the record, I have no problem with anonymous posts as long as they are civilized. If someone writes an attack piece, full of vilification and personal attacks, a moderator worth his salt should call him out.

  16. Sancho Panza said at 9:05 pm on July 16th, 2014:

    Marlboro has, to say the least, a checkered history of confronting constitutional rights. Including cruel and unusual punishment (for not mowing lawns) and unwarranted search and seizure (of kindergarteners).

  17. Kathy Baratta said at 9:14 pm on July 16th, 2014:

    “Unwarranted search and seizure of kindergartners.”

    Thank you, anonymous lunatic fringer for making my point so succinctly (and so swiftly).

  18. Love the Dynamic Duo said at 9:26 pm on July 16th, 2014:

    Hi Kathy. Thank you for reading my earlier post. The reason I choose to remain anonymous is because I have 2 young children who participate in local sporting activities. It is a well known fact, here in Marlboro, that many who have crossed hornik have paid consequences. I wish to not expose my family to that probability. It is also a known fact that anyone who sticks their neck out locally and voices objections or even questions the current administration as to policy and uncontrolled spending is chastised. So, I regret that you have an issue with my anonymity, but I would hope that that would not deter you from answering any of the questions that I raised earlier should you care to do so. This is a direct attack on our 1st amendment and I find it ironic that frankie and jonny would handle this the way they are considering the fact that councilman cantore puts his life on the line serving our country in an effort to protect our rights. Again, thanks for reading my post and since I am adult, feel free to call me any name you wish. Although, in the end, I hope my questions are answered truthfully.

  19. Kathy Baratta said at 10:09 pm on July 16th, 2014:

    Since you addressed me directly I will give you the courtesy of a reply even though I don’t have a clue if you even exist.

    Standing up for a belief or principle is never easy.

    However, I think that Matt Drudge has more than proved that you can go against the powers that be and not only live to tell the tale but benefit greatly from it.

    Drudge came at Bill Clinton while Clinton was in his first term – in the White House. I don’t think Jon Hornick’s reach supersedes Clinton’s grasp.

    There were several scrawly, illegible signatures on the Declaration of Independence but John Hancock made sure his signature was legible so King George would know for sure it was him. He could have lost his life and you could…what exactly is it you’re so afraid of?

    Unless the mayor and his fellows are not going to be held to the strictures of this proposed ordinance change your “questions” are, to me, simply the complaints of a political rival.

    As to answering your questions? All I have to say about that is I friggin’ hate ALL campaign signs. They are a blight on the landscape.

  20. Love the Dynamic Duo said at 6:17 am on July 17th, 2014:

    Thank you Kathy: While Dan Quayle was no Jack Kennedy, I would certainly not compare in any way, shape or form jonny to Bill Clinton, albeit his indiscretions. I also don’t know whether Bill Clinton totaled his car on his own driveway; but, I digress. While I respect your feelings towards political signage, I cannot condone anyone, for any reason, trying to take away anyone’s first amendment rights.

  21. Art Gallagher said at 6:25 am on July 17th, 2014:


    I goofed. The aase you live with is not sorry.

  22. Kathy Baratta said at 11:45 am on July 17th, 2014:

    Of course not, Art. You’re the sorry one.