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.”

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

Technical delay, my apologies

Sorry, folks, I’m having YouTube difficulties.

The video referenced below should be up shortly.

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Hathaway ‘ex’ tied to Colts Neck? Hmm.

The New York Post’s Page Six Magazine from Sunday had an interesting feature about Raffaello Follieri (Anne Hathaway’s apparent ex) and the recent trouble he’s found himself in.

What I found most intriguing was this — Apparently, Follieri wrote a bad check ($215,000, to be exact) to real estate developer John Morrongiello, for which he was issued a “desk appearance ticket” by NYPD officers.

The kicker, in my mind: Morrongiello is from Colts Neck, N.J.

Follieri has alleged ties to the Vatican, Bill Clinton and even the Mob.

I’d say it’s no surprise he was dipping into New Jersey real estate, especially in Colts Neck. (Have you driven through there recently?)

The Italian playboy did eventually pay up the $215,000 and charges were dropped.

Does make me wonder, though . . .

PHOTO: (From People.com)

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Filed under Anne Hathaway, Colts Neck, Raffaello Follieri

Yet another FEMA Open House . . .

This one will take place on July 16 at the Middletown Senior Center, Leonardo, from 2 to 8 p.m.

What a shocker. And they say the FEMA issue isn’t a political one.

More details forthcoming.

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Filed under Bayshore Flooding, FEMA, FEMA Open House, Middletown

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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Middletown matters? Then stop printing bull and learn how to budget properly

I picked up the June issue of Middletown Matters. I did this for one reason: To read Mayor Gerard Scarfenberger’s “message.”

I just put it down and am utterly disgusted. I can only imagine how discomforting this is to residents who know what actually goes on behind Middletown doors.

Firstly, the mayor addresses the “adoption” of the 2008 municipal budget. Um, hello Gerry, you have to vote on that tonight at 8 p.m. in Town Hall. Are you kidding me? So assumptive, it makes me want to puke. Yes, the ridiculous budget will probably get passed because of the Township Committee’s Republican majority (gag), but that is certainly nothing to be proud of.

I was also greatly disturbed by the manner in which the mayor depicts taxes. He makes it seem as if residents “merely” contribute some hundred dollars to the township, while the rest of their tax money goes to other locations. Yes, that is the process — The municipal budget is only a portion of a resident’s tax bill. But in no way does that make deceitful spending, wasted money and fiscal gluttony OK. Don’t make excuses, mayor.

Scharfenberger also bashes Trenton, as usual. Laughably, he notes how Middletown’s budget “process,” if that’s what he wants to call GOP-controlled spending, is lauded and used as a state model. And he thinks spending is poor in Trenton now?? WONDER WHY, if they’re using models like Middletown. I’m scared for my state, and if I lived in Middletown . . . I’d be scared out of my mind.

He also voices displeasure with unfunded state mandates, such as a “truck wash.”

“Thus our ‘reward’ for operating the town in cost-efficient, fiscally conservative manner is to have the small return on all of the money we send to Trenton cut even further,” Scharfenberger writes. I’m not even going there. EVERY municipality had cuts in state aid. I don’t know why the mayor is so worried anyway, Middletown will just bond what it can’t fund, thus leaving a legacy of decades of debt.

Mm, but I think my favorite part of this message was when Scharfenberger said there was a budget hearing during which the mayor, the deputy mayor and township administrator heard from department heads where cuts were made. WOW, not like there are three other people on the Middletown Township Committee or anything. Not to mention a chief financial officer attended that hearing. And an attorney. And a clerk.

Oh, and a great majority of the public. Guess they don’t “matter” all that much, huh?

I feel sorry for any resident who takes this message as it is intended: genuinely. There is nothing true or genuine about it. It’s the perfect example of certain elected officials feeding the public what they want it to know.

All in all, I should have expected this b/s. We are talking about Middletown, after all.

The vote on the 2008 municipal budget will take place tonight at 8 p.m. in Town Hall. Contrary to the mayor’s apparent intentions, the public is invited.

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Filed under 2008 Municipal Budget, Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger, Middletown

Oh goodness . . . The dinosaurs are at it again

I found the absolute best article from the Los Angeles Times.

Its focus? John McCain’s MOM, Roberta McCain.

This woman is 96 years old. Let me say that again: She’s 96. God bless her and all her wisdom. Jeez.

The article paints a candid picture of Roberta, but it sounds like the reporter wasn’t able to get much out of her. After all, she has been “muzzled,” as they say. She knows it; he knew it.

I wonder why they won’t let the woman speak. She clearly has some great stories to tell. And a sense of humor to boot.

I’d let her campaign as much as possible. I mean, it might kill her, but it might also kill John. (He’s 71, let’s not forget.) Americans like people they can relate to. Mrs. McCain has almost 100 years of relatability.

I’d say that’s worth more than a some cheesy slogan.

I wonder if Obama has an antiquated mama. Hmm, highly doubt that.

Click on the headline to read the article.

PHOTO: Isn’t she sweet? (Thanks to Mary Ann Chastain of the Associated Press; taken from the site)

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Filed under Barack Obama, Roberta McCain, Sen. John McCain