Could they possibly endorse Curley and DiMaso for Freeholders too?
The Asbury Park Press has recognised the fine job Republican County Clerk M. Claire French has done over the last ten years and endorsed her for a third five year term.
The Neptune Nudniks got this one right. They dismissed Democratic candidate Michael Steinhorn as someone who “has little to recommend him for the job,” despite the fact that he exposed the statistical anomaly of the Monmouth GOP winning the first general election ballot position in 30 of 33 years and that they like his proposal to that the clerk’s office provide mobile services to seniors and veterans.
Given their logic in endorsing French, it will be fascinating to see how they endorse at least one of the Democratic Freeholder candidates, as I expect they will.
The Democratic Freeholder campaign has been so anemic that I suspect many readers don’t even know who is running. Despite the Monmouth Dems outraising the Monmouth GOP through September, there is little evidence that Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal and his team are trying to get their nominal slate elected. Publicly Democratic leaders say the right things about supporting their candidates. Privately they seem resigned to a Republican blow out.
The Democratic candidates are William Shea and Kevin Lavan. Shea, as Amy Mallet’s running mate, lost to Freeholders Lillian Burry and Gary Rich last year. He is challenging Freeholder Director John Curley for a full three year term. Lavan, who lost his run for Assembly to Declan O’Scanlon and Amy Handlin in the 13th district last year, is running against Freeholder Serena DiMaso for the remaining one year of Rob Clifton’s term. Clifton resigned upon being sworn into the State Assembly.
Shea and Lavan were not even on the same page when the Nudniks interviewed all four candidates in September. Shea recklessly proposed a 20% across the board spending cut from the county budget without backing up how he would do it. Lavan said “maybe” depending upon the results of an audit.
Yet, the Nudniks loath single party control of any governing body (except the federal government when it is in Democratic hands) and has a historical bias against “Club Monmouth” as they frequently call the Monmouth GOP. They seem to forget that all of the Monmouth Republican county office holders and all of Monmouth GOP leadership has been replaced since Operation Bid Rig, except Claire French who they just endorsed. The GOP holds all five seats on the Freeholder Board.
Will the APP editorial board affirm the nudnikness and endorse Shea or Lavan? We’ll find out soon. Either way, it won’t matter on election day. It might matter to their own crediblity if the actually endorse the best people for the job and get over their own biases.
Prosecutor: The Brookdale investigation is ongoing
Curley calls for resignation of Trustees
Former Brookdale Community College President Peter Burnham, 68, pleaded guilty to one count of third degree theft by deception and two counts of second degree official misconduct today before Judge Thomas F. Scully in Monmouth County Court, according to Acting Monmouth County Prosectuor Christopher Gramiccioni.
In a plea agreement, Burnham accepted a five year prison term. During the first two years he will be ineligible for parole. Gramiccioni said the parole leniency is in consideration for Burnham’s cooperation with the investigation into Brookdale which is ongoing. The prosecutor said he expects Burnham, who was released on his own recognisance today, will serve two years after he is sentenced on September 21st.
Gramiccioni said the Brookdale investigation has been going on for the last 15 months. He declined to say who else at the college is being investigated.
Burnham admitted using college credit cards for more than $24,000 in personal expenses and to defrauding Brookdale and the federal government of $20,398 in funds intended for his son’s college tuition. Both Brookdale and the federal government paid the young Burnham’s tuition at Monmouth University. Monmouth later cut a refund check to Burnham for $20,398. He kept the money.
Freeholder Director John Curley, the “whistle blower” on the Brookdale scandal, today called upon those members of the college’s Board of Trustees who served during Burnham’s tenure as president to immediately resign.
Curley said that two Trustees have been replaced sense Burnham’s resignation. He wants all but the two replacements to resign today. Curley first shed light on Burnham’s spending irregularities in a statement issued to MMM in February of 2011.
NJAW customers still under strict non-watering mandate
TINTON FALLS, NJ – The Monmouth County Office of Emergency Management, in consultation with New Jersey American Water (NJAW), lifted the outdoor watering ban today for all non-NJAW customers.
However, the mandatory outdoor watering ban remains in effect for all NJAW customers in order to maintain water pressure and supply throughout the lines as repairs continue.
“Even though the ban has been lifted for many residents, public safety officials urge everyone to continue conserving water,” Freeholder Director John P. Curley said. “We look forward to further progress in the days ahead.”
The state of emergency remains in effect for all NJAW customers. The ongoing water emergency means that:
Customers of New Jersey American Water are under a mandatory water restriction that bans all outdoor water use and encourages indoor water conservation. It is illegal for NJAW customer to water lawns, shrubs or gardens, fill swimming pools and wash cars;
All restrictions for non-NJAW customers have been lifted, although conservation is urged.
New sod or newly seeded lawns and planted shrubs can be watered to an appropriate level;
Indoor conservation measures include refraining from using washing machines and dishwashers, limiting showering times and flushing toilets less frequently; and
Commercial businesses that rely on water for their operations are not subject to these restrictions.
Because a state of emergency still exists, law enforcement will continue to enforce the ban for NJAW customers.
“Monmouth County residents should be commended for their cooperation and support during this critical time,” Sheriff Shaun Golden said. “Their efforts helped improve the situation enough to remove some of the bans that had been put in place.”
The emergency was created by the collapse of three large water pipes June 29 at the water company’s water treatment plant at Swimming River Reservoir.
All Monmouth County residents to follow mandatory water restrictions
Photo credit: Tony Fiore
TINTON FALLS, NJ – The Monmouth County Office of Emergency Management, in consultation with the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, declared a countywide state of emergency following a water main break at the Swimming River Reservoir Friday afternoon. All county residents have been directed to follow water restrictions.
Eighteen towns serviced by New Jersey American Water Co. have been directly affected. Three large water mains broke Friday afternoon, causing a reduction or total loss of water pressure or supply.
All county residents are directed to discontinue nonessential outdoor water use and limit indoor use. New Jersey American Water Company customers are urged to follow a “boil-water advisory.”
“All of Monmouth County is in a state of emergency because New Jersey American Water Co. may have to feed off other utilities throughout the weekend,” Freeholder Director John P. Curley said. “We need to pull together during this critical time and help one another by conserving water.”
“The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office is working closely with local law enforcement agencies to ensure that an outdoor water ban will be strictly enforced,” Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden said. “These restrictions are not just for New Jersey American Water customers, but for everyone in Monmouth County. Cooperation is necessary in order to maintain public safety.”
The mandatory restrictions for all Monmouth County residents include the following:
Freeholder Director John Curley said that tests performed by the County Department of Health have not determined the cause of the illnesses that befell employees and visitors at the Monmouth County Courthouse last Friday and again on Monday.
The Courthouse will remain closed until at least Monday while the State Department of Health conducts its own tests starting tomorrow and through the weekend if necessary.
“Our people have come up with nothing,” said Curley, “the State really should have stepped in right away. It’s a shame to spend all this money on a duplicate effort.”
Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden told MMM that the Courthouse will remain closed on Wednesday, June 20. Golden said that tests for over 3000 possible airborne contaminants came back negative. Additional test are being performed.
Freeholder Director John Curley told MMM that all tests performed today to find the what caused 77 people to fall sick at the Monmouth County Courthouse yesterday have come up negative.
Curley said the officials conducting the tests are now taking a second look at the possibility that the cut flowers that were suspected of causing the sicknesses on Friday may also have been the source of the problem on Monday.
No announcement has been made regarding the courthouse opening or remaining closed tomorrow.
Monmouth County officials remain stumped about what caused the reported sicknesses at the courthouse on Friday and again yesterday. The courthouse is closed today as testing for the source contaminant continues.
Freeholder Director John Curley told MMM that he received a report at 8am this morning indicating the facility had been tested for chemical contaminants overnight. The test came back negative. Curley said the facility is being swept for mold and pollen today.
Sheriff Shaun Golden said that all systems have been checked and rechecked and that environmental testing is being conducted today.
A message on the Court’s website states that General Equity at the Hall of Records and the Probation offices at Mechanic Street, Freehold and in Ocean Township are open today.
Bail can be posted at the Monmouth County Jail. Temporary restraining orders will be handled by the local police.
Child support payments can be mailed to NJFSPC, PO Box 4880, Trenton, NJ 08650-4880 or dropped off at the 30 Mechanic Street, Freehold office. Probation payments will also be received at Mechanic Street.
The Monmouth County Democrats are holding their nominating convention on Thursday, March 22 at the Bayshore Senior Center, 6:30 PM.
Michael Steinhorn of Rumson is the only candidate who has filed to run for County Clerk. He is expected to be nominated to run against Republican incumbent M.Claire French. Steinhorn was the nominee for County Surrogate last year.
Former State Trooper Bill Shea, a candidate last year, and former Hazlet Mayor Kevin Lavan, a candidate for Assembly last year from the 13th district , will be freeholder candidates.
There are two freeholder seats up this year; a full term that is being defended by incumbent Republican Freeholder Director John Curley and an unexpired term that will be defended by Freeholder Serena DiMaso. DiMaso was elected by the Monmouth Republican Committee to fill the vacancy created by Rob Clifton’s election to the State Assembly.
The Democrats have yet to determine which seats Shea and Lavan will challenge.
Former Freeholder Amy Mallet has not ruled out re-seeking the office that she lost last November. Asked repeatedly by MMM if she was going to make an run for freeholder either at the convention or in the primary, Mallet said, “no, not at this time,” and “I am not running as of now.” Asked to give a definitive answer, she declined.
Two candidates have thrown their hats into the ring for the nomination to take on Congressman Chris Smith in the 4th congressional district. Former Monmouth County Surrogate Patricia Bennett, now an elder law attorney in Red Bank and Spring Lake businessman Brian Froelich will compete for the Democratic endorsement on Thrusday night.
Froelich has a website and says he’s filed with the FEC to be a candidate. He would not rule out a primary challenge should he lose to Bennett on Thursday, saying, “I intend to win at the convention and have not thought beyond that.”
Freeholder Director John Curley said that county administrators have reviewed Randall Gabrielan’s financial records with the Monmouth County Historical Commission and that “everything was found to be in compliance.” Curley had requested the review last week upon learning of the news that Gabrielan had been signing purchase orders as an official of the Middletown Library for sales of books that he made to the library.
Gabrielan submitted his letter of resignation as president and trustee of the Middletown Library, dated tomorrow, to Mayor Tony Fiore this morning.
Gabrielan is paid $34.75 per hour for his county job as Executive Director of the Monmouth County Historical Society, earning over $36,000 and pension credits in 2011, according to Curley.
“That’s a good question,” Curley said when asked why the Historical Commission has a paid executive director, “That will be a topic of discussion at the upcoming budget meetings.”
The Freeholder Director noted that Gabrielan’s predecessor at the Historical Commission, the late George Moss of Rumson, peformed the executive director duties of the commission as a volunteer.