In the 1960s anti-war activists adopted songs like the Eve of Destruction and For What It’s Worth as their anthems. Disenchanted youth feared that the world was on the verge of collapse; we were nearing the end of days. Concurrently, the civil rights activists were singing the hopeful “We Shall Overcome.” (Black folks singing an upbeat and emboldening song written by a white guy would be frowned upon today.) Both groups were buoyed by the blessing of free speech. Their voices were heard. Attempts at silencing them only made their voices louder and more widespread. Even people on the sidelines began to pay attention.
When I was first elected Mayor, I detailed my ‘Plan for Progress…100 Days and Beyond’. As a lifelong resident of Marlboro and business person, I stressed the need for investment in public safety and infrastructure including roads and open space preservation while getting our fiscal house in order. Especially in light of the great recession and the severe storms which we weathered as a community, I am pleased that we have been able to accomplish as much as we have, and my focus for the next four years will be on these same critical areas.
I was just lectured about wishing someone a “Happy Memorial Day”. “Isn’t that an oxymoron,” I was asked, “Right up there with “Jumbo Shrimp” and “Military Intelligence”?
This was as I joined my fellow patriots in stocking up with supplies for the grill and ice chest. In addition to cheering at parades and participating in celebrations throughout the weekend, we do have responsibilities that extend beyond not showing up at the BBQ empty handed.
At Gettysburg, Lincoln summed up our responsibility pretty clearly. He commissioned each of us, throughout the ages, to ensure “that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.” Read the rest of this entry »
To navigate these new waters in 2019, President Donald Trump has signaled a willingness to negotiate but he must remember that his greatest leverage could come in the House minority if he wishes to plot a more conservative path.
Without a doubt, the number one problem facing Garden State families today is the ever-increasing burden of high property taxes.
To begin to address the problem and assist local governments in keeping costs under control, a 2 percent cap on interest arbitration awards was unanimously approved by our state Legislature and enacted by the governor in December 2010. Read the rest of this entry »
“On Thursday, the Legislature advanced a commonsense piece of legislation that was first proposed in 2004 and will reform the archaic practice of requiring taxpayers and private businesses to pay for costly legal notices in print newspapers. The legislation provides the option of posting notices online and citizens will be allowed to take advantage of modern technologies that are already in use by the vast majority of the people in our State.
“It also saves money.
“The current unfunded mandate that is being addressed by this legislation costs New Jersey taxpayers and private citizens more than $80 million per year. That is $80 million annually from property taxpayers, including those facing the nightmare of foreclosure.
There are few Jewish journalists I like and respect as much as Samuel Freedman, a distinguished professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and Pulitzer-prize nominee, which is why if he criticizes me I take it seriously.
Sam wrote a lengthy feature on me and my friend Peter Noel when we co-hosted WWRL 1600 AM’s morning show in 2002-2003. It was a ground-breaking radio program on America’s legacy black radio station that featured a renowned African-American journalist and a Rabbi dueling it out for four hours every morning. Peter became a brother to me and remains so till today, veritably one of the truly fine people I know amid our myriad political disagreements. Sam’s lengthy feature in The New York Times captured the vibrancy of our morning program and the capacity of people from different backgrounds to find common ground and love each other.
Congressman Chris Smith meets with members of the New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence, Nicole Morella, Cristina Williams and Catherine Hernesh . photo via facebook
For 22 years, the Violence Against Women Act has been one of our nation’s most impactful laws. Aided by $6 billion in federal VAWA funding, millions of women have received emergency assistance during a crisis and support that has helped break the cycle of violence.
As the first comprehensive legislative package to address the epidemic of domestic violence, VAWA changed the attention to and conversation surrounding how we as a nation can better support victims of abuse and help families in need of a safe space. The law, which I supported at the outset and consistently since, invested significant resources to help prevent domestic abuse, assist the women and children who fall victim to it, and improve the judicial system’s response.
The recent filing of the proposed JCP&L Monmouth County Reliability Project should serve as a wake-up call to all taxpayers in the state of New Jersey. The proposed 10 mile project with upwards of 200 foot monopoles to be installed on New Jersey Transit right-of way, will have a negative impact on the property values of all adjoining properties and potentially, properties within the line of site. The impact alone in Middletown could be upwards of $1.5 million in lost value. However, don’t despair taxpayers of Middletown, Holmdel, Hazlet, Aberdeen and Red Bank, according to their BPU filing, JCP&L will be making a $9.8 million payment towards the local municipalities through Energy Receipts taxes.