Category Archives: Middletown Township Committee

I like when the people speak

I‘m still receiving comments regarding a few of my posts on Middletown Township.

I really wanted to share them in light of recent events, especially because these posts are now hidden down the page.

The comments are comforting, as well as insightful. All of these happened to be posted anonymously. To the authors, thanks! To quell any immediate reactions, I do not know who posts when they do so anonymously.

I still welcome any and ALL comments, on any topic. Or e-mails.

Comment re: Midday dose of Scharfenberger

Anonymous said. . .
“Don’t you just see the strings attached to the Republican puppet now serving as Middletown’s mayor. Doesn’t he realize that he and his Republican cohorts are not the ONLY ONES elected to the Middletown Township Committee???? The two Democrats are DULY ELECTED representatives of the people. WE DID NOT WANT MORE Republicans because we are DISSATISFIED with the Republicans in this town!!!!!!”

Comments re: Middletown Matters? Then stop printing bull and learn how to budget properly

Anonymous said. . .
“Wow! The mayor can read minds. How else would he know weeks in advance about budget vote, clairvoyant even. Let’s not forget this is a budget that carries a 4.1% tax increase, the highest in many years. He conveniently forgets to tell Middletown residents what the tax increase is and that it is the highest tax increase in years. It is hard to believe how public officials can get away with using taxpayer resources as campaign material. But this is Middletown.”

Anonymous said. . .
“Just like the Democrats use The Courier & that Lincroft rag for their campaign material. When did newspaper reporters stop reporting the news all start writing editorials?”

Melissa L. Gaffney said. . .
“Free space, the beauty of the Internet — I can write whatever I want, just like you can. My blog isn’t a “Courier” Web site, nor is it “Courier” affiliated unless I reference an article in that newspaper. Anyway, I think the difference with the Middletown Matters newsletter is that taxpayers pay for that. I’m [sure] some taxpayers would not be happy knowing their dollars go toward the publication of a slanted newsletter. People buy newspapers because they want to. Don’t forget The Asbury Park Press, who tends to favor Republican doctrines and view points.”

Anonymous said. . .
“Melissa, you are correct. Middletown Matters is a “Republican administration rag.” It is not informative about the important things, e.g. It took four issues before any disclosure on the revaluation finally took place and that only after issue was taken with that neglect. Even then the administration spoke out of both sides of their mouths. Journalism should be honest and forthright with the news. The taxpayers should refuse to fund this newsletter. It is currently being used to SHOWCASE an incumbent running for re-election!!!”

*Please note, I did make grammatical corrections to the comments where necessary. Not one word has been changed or altered in any way, shape or form. You can check to the original posts to make sure.

PHOTOS: Taken at Grounds for Sculpture, Trenton, during March 2008. (Melissa L. Gaffney)


Filed under Democrats, Middletown, Middletown Township Committee, Politics, Republicans

I’ll ‘save you this little spot,’ Pam

In Part Two of “Brightbill digs a hole,” Middletown’s deputy mayor continues her comment during the committee’s workshop session on June 30, this time elaborating on her participation in the township newsletter, Middletown Matters.

Brightbill says she doesn’t believe there is a “conspiracy” to keep certain members out of the newsletter, that it is open to any member.

The newsletter was a hot topic during the meeting, as Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger assumed the 2008 municipal budget’s adoption in his “message” before it was even voted on.

Committeeman Patrick Short addresses the Middletown Youth Job Fair’s coverage in the newsletter during this clip, and why only Brightbill’s picture is in there when, in fact, both she and Short attended the event.

“I don’t even remember my picture being taken,” she says.

I wonder how many of those instances exist in her world.

Watch the video. I recommend viewing Part One (previous post) first.

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Filed under Committeeman Patrick Short, Deputy Mayor Pamela Brightbill, Middletown Township Committee

Brightbill attacks Short and digs a hole, all in four minutes

I would suggest turning up the volume on this one.

The Middletown Township Committee’s Workshop Session was . . . well documented, to say the least.

Probably one of my favorite clips of any meeting comes to us tonight during the Township Committee’s comment session.

Rather than make an actual comment, Deputy Mayor Pam Brightbill decided to interrogate Committeeman Patrick Short, who had excellent responses, in my opinion, to what Brightbill probably threw out there as a red herring – a tactic to distract from any actual issue she might meagerly attempt to address.

The deputy mayor did something “stupid,” in my opinion: She asked a question rather than make a comment. This entire discussion began by her questioning Short if he “discounted” any responses he had received regarding what Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger deemed the “Infamous 39,” some things Short and Committeeman Sean Byrnes addressed regarding the 2008 municipal budget.

The budget, by the way, was adopted by a vote of 3-2.

Although a bit lengthier than most of my videos, Brightbill says a few things I think any viewer should take note of:

1 – I’m still not quite sure what a “charge back” is (around 2:20). Whatever.

2 – Please note how the deputy mayor sometimes glances in this direction; also, how she can’t even defend her own point all that well. There is no rebuttal, only babble.

3 – Apparently, Brightbill “knows” how other committee members are going to vote in advance (3:03, a very notable portion of the video). She said she “knew” Short and Byrnes were going to vote “no” for the budget, and that he and Byrnes knew how she and Mayor were going to vote for the “other resolution.” I’m pretty sure Pam unknowingly admitted that the Township Committee – thus, the township – is governed by a political majority (GOP), not by what’s best for the people.

4 – Around 4 minutes in, Scharfenberger looks rather . . . impatient? Perhaps embarrassed? Maybe just upset. He certainly begins moving around a lot.

5 – My favorite part: Brightbill admits that Scharfenberger assuming the adoption of the 2008 budget in the latest issue of Middletown Matters was a “mistake” and should not have happened.

Enjoy, Middletown. Here’s one of your candidates for Township Committee at her finest.

The following video is “Part One: Brightbill digs a hole.”


Filed under Committeeman Patrick Short, Deputy Mayor Pamela Brightbill, Middletown, Middletown Township Committee

APP "edited" Grenafege letter?

Democratic candidate for Middletown Township Committee Jim Grenafege sent a letter to the Asbury Park Press regarding Anthony Fiore’s letter a few weeks ago.

(Fiore is a Republican candidate for that same committee, if you didn’t already know.)

I’m actually quite upset, as there is a blatant typo in the very first sentence: Grenafege refers to an “Alan” Fiore, which is an errant displacement when compared to his original letter. I’m looking at a copy of the original right now, and Jim Purcell published it on his blog yesterday.

Firstly, Grenafege titled his letter “Chumming for votes with red herring.”

The Press – arguably – titled it “Candidate rebuts view on police staff.”

Let me begin my criticism by saying I respect The Asbury Park Press and its reporters; there is a lot of thorough, hard work done in their offices. Although “young and dumb,” I somewhat understand that anything submitted to a newspaper must be edited for various reasons. That’s their job, and the Press does it well.

However, I did not think an opinionated letter would be edited for its content. The fine print at the bottom of the Opinion Page states that “all letters are subject to condensation and rejection.” Nowhere does it state a letter could or would be changed to reflect alternate meaning.

What happened to this letter is the perfect example of how any newspaper is able to tamper with words and massacre a person’s meaning. It truly shows the power of the press.

Grenafege knows exactly who ANTHONY Fiore is. The fact that his name was changed both in print and online (click on the headline to visit the APP) is, in my opinion, irresponsible and bleeds advocacy. I have always viewed the APP as favoring Republican points and politicians – and that’s FINE, it’s a fact of life and we all do it. But changing a personal letter submitted to the OPINION section? Eek.

Again, I respect the Press because they publish both Republican and Democratic letters. I don’t know the “ratio” or how “equal” it is, but I have typically seen ALL views expressed on the Opinion Page. But, please – and I would say this to any newspaper – when it comes to letters, why must we let politics guide basic career functions?

Grenafege said he was under the impression “editing,” in the journalistic sense, involved checking for grammatical errors and, at the same time, ensuring that any changes made don’t alter the intended meaning of the piece.

I spoke to Grenafege about several of the “misinterpretations.” I urge everyone to read his original letter posted on The Inside Clamdigger before they pass judgment. The letters could not be more different.

Grenafege also voiced valid concerns about this issue. “If this is how the editing changed my intended meaning, then what is happening with these other letters?” he asked.

Great question. I’d like to know the answer myself. I only hope that, at the very least, “Alan” was a legitimate typo. Gosh, am I crossing my fingers.

I guess I’m just naive to think, despite political parties and personal preferences, that everything is addressed fairly and equally.

If someone is legitimately incorrect, OK. I have no problem addressing human ignorance when it’s warranted. But Grenafege KNOWS, and it upsets me so much to see words tampered with.

I work in a profession where words are all we have. To take someone else’s and change them in what appears an effort to make a candidate look as if he doesn’t know what he’s talking about (my opinion), you might as well take away the option to have an opinion at all.

Politics is not “fair,” and I know I’m part of something that is not necessarily a proponent of giving 100-percent equal attention to both sides. But, damn it, fair is FAIR. There is right or wrong, no in between.

It’s either “Alan” or “Anthony,” and we know who we’re talking about.

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Filed under Anthony Fiore, Jim Grenafege, Middletown, Middletown Township Committee

Middletown meeting tonight

The township meeting agenda is posted on Middletown’s Web site for its workshop meeting tonight at 8 p.m. in the court room.

Known action items include a resolution authorizing an amendment to the proposed 2008 municipal budget, as well as a resolution opposing the current Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood zone maps.

The latter resolution also requests reconsideration from FEMA in its Flood Insurance Rate Map implementation.

I’m anticipating a very interesting meeting, as both the budget and FEMA have been controversial topics during Middletown meetings.

Let the pens fly.

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Filed under 2008 Municipal Budget, Committee Meeting, FEMA, Middletown, Middletown Township Committee, Resolutions

Fiore a no-show

I was scheduled to interview Anthony Fiore at 10 a.m. today.

Fiore is a candidate for the Middletown Township Committee.

He did not make it in to The Courier, nor did he answer my call around 10:15 a.m. I left a voicemail.

I hope all is well, especially with this weather we’re having.

Mr. Fiore, if you’re reading this: Please give me a call so we can re-schedule!

I can be reached at (732) 957-0070, ext. 6127.

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Filed under Anthony Fiore, Middletown Township Committee