Brightbill will take all the ink she can get

As if it weren’t bad enough, the letter I referenced in the previous post also contains what I might call “campaigning.”

Done in this manner, it’s just wrong on so many levels.

Anyway, Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger writes that Deputy Mayor Pamela Brightbill “has devised a Strategic Plan for Middletown, which will result in a review of all our departments and a plan for expanded cost-saving proposals and potential interlocal agreements for the township, all done at no cost to the taxpayers.”

Let’s sell* Pam some more. (*Definitely not my first choice of words, but the other option is a bit harsh.) I’d like to see the details of all her “interlocal” work.

I don’t see one mention of what Committeeman Patrick Short has done “at no cost to the taxpayers,” which is heck of a lot more than sit during meetings and stare at the ceiling.

The committeeman recently completed the Municipal Elected Officials Certification Program, from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy Center of Government Service, at Rutgers University.

Short said this program, the cost of which totaled about $1,000, was done entirely on his own time and at zero cost to the taxpayers. “It helped orientate me to the job and provided me advanced training to address fundamental issues and current issues that confront elected officials,” he said. “I would highly recommend the program to newly elected officials, as well as, those with experience.”

(A general description, as well as more information, is listed on the program’s Web site.)

Short clocked about 35 hours in courses, not including travel time. Some of the seminars he experienced included “Conducting a Public Meeting” and “Municipal Budget Process for Elected Officials.”

Perhaps the Township Committee would be wise to tap into Short’s extensive knowledge — including what he learned from this course — and enlighten Pam as to how a meeting should actually run.

Correction: How an effective, fair and unbiased meeting should run.

It’s really a shame the mayor would rather highlight some ineffective campaign tactic rather than a committeeman who actually took the time to educate himself for the betterment of the entire community.

I wonder if presenters talked about Middletown’s “wonderful” budget process during the later seminar. I mean, considering it’s such a good model and everything . . .

PHOTOS: (above) Deputy Mayor Pam Brightbill; (below) Committeeman Patrick Short

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