Mobile County Connection To Visit Middletown On Tuesday, August 18

Mobile County ConnectionAfter a successful debut in Howell last week, Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon, Sheriff Shaun Golden and Surrogate Rosemarie Peters are bringing the Mobile County Connection to the Middletown Library on Tuesday from 10 am till 1 p.m.

The Mobile County Connection office is housed in a large mobile command center.

This is a great opportunity for Middletown area residents who need to renew or apply for their passports, want to update their voting records, need notary services or have questions about wills, estates and guardianship/adoptions to avoid the trek to Freehold or Neptune.

Sheriff’s Officers will be offering Youth and Ident-Adult Identification Cards and information on the proper installation of child safety seats, along with other agency services.  Unarmed fugitives can surrender to Golden if there are no kids around.

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Posted: August 17th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Christine Hanlon, Monmouth County News, Monmouth County Sheriff's Office, Shaun Golden | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Mobile County Connection To Visit Middletown On Tuesday, August 18

June Is a Great Month for Art Openings to the Shore—Not Just Weddings!

April W. Klimley

April W. Klimley

By April W. Klimley, Art Critic

June isn’t just for weddings, beach time or boating. The month has also brings with it a rebirth of creative energy and a potpourri of fine art openings, exhibitions, street art and murals. In fact, there’s so much to see—and so many exhibition openings— that it may be hard to decide what to see each weekend or even during the week. Let me help you decide by giving you a preview of what’s going on during the first half of the month.


This coming weekend there are two key openings taking place on the central part of the Shore. One takes place in Red Bank (June 6), the other in Shrewsbury (June 7).

Saturday June 6 head for the Art Alliance in Red Bank which is holding its final exhibit of the season—The Ebba Osborne Memorial Award Exhibition. A reception runs from 6 pmto 8 pm opening night with music and refreshments in the back room. The exhibit focuses on two themes—“Dreamy” and “Interior”—and a $100 prize will be awarded to the Best in Show. Asbury Park photographic artists Tom and Lois White are judging the exhibit. Their work will be on display in the Alliance windows.

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Posted: June 4th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: April W. Klimley, Art, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Winners and Losers of 2013, Part 3

Monmouth County’s Biggest Losers

Vin SmugVin Gopal. When you’re twenty-eight years old and the most popular governor in the nation singles you out as a practitioner of the “politics of yesterday,” twice in four months, you’re having a bad year.

Worse for the Monmouth County Democratic Chairman, he doesn’t have the juice to enforce the retribution he promised to Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long and Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider, two Monmouth County Democrats who endorsed Governor Chris Christie’s reelection.

When you’re a twenty-eight year old County Chairman and the elite statewide power players of your party convene for dinner in your county, twice, and you’re not invited, you’re having a bad year.

When, after a devastating county-wide electoral loss, a member of your party leaks your declaration of victory taking credit for wins in races you lost and for a victory in a non-partisan election you weren’t involved in, you’re having a bad year.

But none of those things are what landed Vin Gopal on MMM’s biggest loser list.

Gopal in on this list because of his reckless, mean-spirited and false attempted character assassination of a Republican candidate for Red Bank Borough Council.

Gopal launched his inaccurate attack against Sean DiSomma in a press release late on a Friday afternoon in October.   He encouraged reporters to print his allegations on over the weekend and do their fact checking on Monday, after the story had legs.  Some did, to their own detriment.

In his desperate zeal to win in a Democratic town where he was losing, Gopal ruined his credibility with members of the media who had come to rely upon him as a reliable source.

The Bayshore Tea Party GroupOnce respected as a powerful and principled political force, Barbara Gonzalez , Bob Gordon and their shrunken band of zealots traded their welcome at Republican power tables where they could have made a difference for the road less taken of self-righteous irrelevancy.

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Posted: December 31st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Middletown Library Will Consider Part Time Executive Director

Susan O'Neal. Photo courtesy of Middletown Patch.

Susan O’Neal. Photo courtesy of Middletown Patch.

The Middletown Library Board of Trustees will consider hiring a part time executive director to replace Susan O’Neal.

O’Neal submitted her resignation to the board last evening as part of a negotiated termination. Board President Brock Siebert declined to comment on O’Neal resignation, citing a confidentiality agreement.   The termination won’t be official until approved by the Middletown Township Committee.  Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger also declined to comment.

O’Neal’s salary is $119,816, according to Data Universe.

O’Neal’s continued employment became untenable when her emails with Linda Baum, a Democratic candidate for Township Committee revealed that she was colluding with the Middletown Democratic Party to undermine the authority of the Board of Trustees.    The emails were released as a result of an Open Public Records Act request on the part of Committeeman Tony Fiore.  Fiore became suspicious that O’Neal and Baum were colluding when Baum shared confidential information she should not have been privy to at a public meeting.  Baum unsuccessfully sued to block the release of the emails.

Brock said the board’s personnel committee will meet next week to discuss a search for O’Neal’s replacement.  Hiring a part time executive director is one option he wants to committee to consider.


Posted: September 19th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Gerry Scharfenberger, Middletown, Middletown Democrats, Middletown Library | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Middletown Library Will Consider Part Time Executive Director

Asbury Park Press Gets Its Facts Wrong Again

No news. Empty newsstands stored in the Asbury Park Press's empty parking lot in Neptune.

No news. Empty newsstands stored in the Asbury Park Press’s empty parking lot in Neptune.

This morning the Asbury Park Press Neptune Nudniks have an article about something that might be happening and that might cause something else that’s bad to happen.

Two of the three mayors on the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority may be breaking confidentiality rules — and possibly jeopardizing millions of dollars in redevelopment deals — to keep their governing bodies up to date on property negotiations affecting their towns. (Emphasis added)

In a nutshell, the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) is the entity responsible for redeveloping the fort that Congressmen Frank Pallone and Rush Holt let get away.  The authority is governed by a 13 member board. 6 of the board members are representives of the State government. 1 is a Monmouth County Freeholder, 3 are “public members.” The final three are the mayors of the communities that host the fort, Oceanport, Tinton Falls and Eatontown. 

Here’s where APP reporter Bill Bowman got a basic fact wrong:

A state authority under the umbrella of the state Department of Community Affairs, FMERA is the sole body that seeks out potential buyers and lessors and negotiates and approves contracts for the property.

FMERA is not under the umbrella of the state Department of Community Affairs.  It is an independent authority staffed by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

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Posted: July 17th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park Press, FMERA, Fort Monmouth, Neptune Nudniks | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Middletown Library President Resigns

Randall Gabrielan.  Photo Credit: visitmonouth.com

Randall Gabrielan. Photo Credit: visitmonouth.com

Randall Gabrielan’s tenure as president and trustee of the Middletown Library is over.

Gabrielan submitted his resignation to Mayor Tony Fiore this morning, almost three weeks after Fiore asked him to step down.   Fiore asked for the resignation on January 25 upon discovering that Gabrielan, an author of history books about local area towns, had been signing purchase orders as an officer of the library for sales of his own books.

“In his letter of resignation Gabrielan admitted that he was wrong and that he understood my position in asking for his resignation,” said Fiore, “I appreciate that he did the right thing for the Middletown Library and taxpayers by stepping down.   I also appreciate his many years of service to the library.”

Gabrielan, who earns $36,000 per year as the Executive Director of the Monmouth County Historical Commission, could not be reached for comment.

Posted: February 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Middletown, Monmouth County | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

How Much Are These Commissions Costing Monmouth County?

Are they all necesarry?  What can be privatized?

The thing that I found most disturbing about the Middletown Library story is that Randall Gabrielan, in addition  to being president of the Middletown Library, is a employee of Monmouth County.

In his role as Executive Director of the Monmouth County Historical Commission, Gabrielan is paid almost $36,000 per year and earns pension credits.  I wonder if Executive Director of the Historical Commission is one of the jobs that you can retire from, start collecting a pension, and go back to work the next day.

I don’t mean to minimize the seriousness of the Middletown Library situation.  It is serious.   It’s bad enough that Gabrielan sold his own books and signed his own purchase orders.  Even though the sales did not amount to a great deal of money, what stinks about what he did in Middletown in addition to the obvious, is that the library could have gotten Gabrielan’s books cheaper from Barnes and Noble or really cheap from Abebooks, Middletown Mike’s  favorite book seller, for the library’s shelves. 

I suppose we should be grateful that Mayor Fiore and the Township Committee got wind of Gabrielan’s practice, that has been going on for many years, before he bought Middletown Mike’s newsletter, beautifully bound in brown cloth with gold lettering for $59.00 per copy from Abebooks.

I wonder if the Monmouth County Historical Commission has also been buying Gabrielan’s books.

But I digress.

Why does the Monmouth County Historical Commission have a paid executive director?  How many of the other 25 volunteer county commissions have paid staff? 

The Monmouth County Board of Freeholders are taking their budget meetings on the road this month.  Let’s ask them if there are savings to be had in these 26 commissions.

Posted: February 1st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Middletown, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders | Tags: , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Fiore Playing Hardball With Middletown Library President

Randall Gabrielan.  Photo Credit: visitmonouth.com

Randall Gabrielan. Photo Credit: visitmonmouth.com

Middletown Mayor Tony Fiore has asked for the resignation of Middletown Library Board President Randall Gabrielan because Gabrielan has been selling books to the library personally and signing the purchase orders for those books himself as president of the board, according to a report on Middletown Patch.

Gabrielan, a former insurance broker, is also the Executive Director of the Monmouth County Historical Commission, a pensionable position for which he earned $35,391 in 2010, according to APP.com’s Data Universe.

Middletown’s Vendor History report on Gabrielan reveals that he has sold the library $778.45 worth of books since 2007.

Gabrielan told Patch that he considered Fiore’s move to be “political retribution” for his opposition to the Library turning over $500,000 of its surplus to the Township in last year’s budget.

Fiore said that it is a matter of ethics and fiscal accountability.  The mayor has turned the matter over to the state’s Department of Community Affairs’ Division of Local Government Local Government Services.

Library Board Trustee Sherry Miloscia also signed Gabrielan’s purchase orders.  Yesterday, Library Director Susan O’Neal informed Fiore that Miloscia resigned effective January 20.

Posted: January 31st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Middletown, Monmouth County | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »