Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Matawan has a Tie Vote

Note: The state has approved a special election to be held Tuesday, January 15th. Only Mayor Aufseeser and Councilman Buccellato will be on the ballot. Mayor Aufseeser will remain in office until the winner takes the oath of office.

Monmouth County "found" another vote for Councilman Buccellato in Matawan's mayoral election, bringing the vote to a tie. No doubt, accusations will fly in all directions. Supporters will suggest chicanery at the town level. Detractors will imply election fixing at the county level. And all people will agree that elections are too important to be left to government bureaucrats.

I stated that Councilman Buccellato should not, and probably would not, request a recount. The reasons were obvious. I could not find a single election, conducted by electronic ballot, that had been overturned through a recount. I believed that his slim chances of success balanced against the possible acrimony and accusations that could ensue, would weigh against requesting a recount.

I also stated that Matawan should require automatic recounts in all close elections so that candidates wouldn’t be forced to make this Hobson’s Choice. Citizens have every right to demand that all election counts be accurate and that elected officials are, in fact, elected.

Still, I am shocked that another vote was found. Apparently, someone X’ed an oval instead of filling it in. Perhaps Councilman Buccellato knew of this. Don’t know. Assuming none of the absentee or provisional ballots are challenged, the candidates will need to negotiate a resolution and get approval from the judge. The borough charter is silent regarding tie votes.

There will definitely be another election. The question is when. The options are now or at a future scheduled election. If now, it would need to happen in December to allow the winner to assume office in January.

I’m not about to make the mistake again of predicting what the candidates will do but this is what I’m afraid might happened: Councilman Buccellato will demand an immediate special election. Mayor Aufseeser will provide a thousand reasons to postpone – not enough time, not enough resources, the “found” vote was improperly counted, another recount is needed, etc. The Mayor only needs to delay the process for another two weeks. If she succeeds, the election will likely be postponed to either coincide with the school board election or the presidential election.

Until a special election takes place, Mayor Aufseeser will remain mayor. She has absolutely no reason (but patriotism) to expedite the process.

Of course, a judge could override her but we’ve been there before. Last year, Mike Cannon asked the court to wave the residency requirement for candidates so he could run for a council seat in Matawan. Such a petition had never before been granted in Monmouth County. Yet, Judge Lehrer, in complete disregard for the plain language of the law, allowed Cannon to run because his “heart and mind had always been in Matawan.”

(Cannon, speaking to the court by phone while vacationing in Hawaii, claimed he moved to Aberdeen for financial reasons. His Florida vacation home was ruled irrelevant to the case.)

Will Mayor Aufseeser postpone the special election till next year? She sure could.

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Truth In Matawan said...

I wonder who Freeholder Clifton voted for? Whichever candidate had the highest bid?

matawan advocate said...

I'm sure he didn't vote for any Councilperson who lost Matawan an $85,000. grant, nor kept information from the rest of the Council as well as residents, regarding a taxpayer paid Study of Main St. Perhaps he voted for a Councilman who put a new roof on the Clinton St Park without any fanfare, but because he saw a need and filled it!

Anonymous said...

If there's no fanfare, how do you know about it?

Who put the roof on the boat house at Ravine Drive?

Who put the sidewalks in at Penniplede park?

Who cost us way more than a measly $85,000 with his botching of the Silver Oaks/redevelopment legislation? Who is the reason for the legislation in the first place? Do you know WHY we're actually being sued, and who, specifically is being sued? Do you know the truth or do you know what you've been spoon-fed? I'm trying to help you here, MA, you seem like a good egg that's been unfortunately been given loads of terrible info. Not your fault really; I just want you to dig deeper.

Keep in mind, I'm not saying you're WRONG with the accusations you level against the people you're leveling them against (though you may be), I'm just suggesting it may be worthwhile to dig deeper and shed your svengali while you can...

PS Is it Pay-for-Play all the time, or only Pay-for-Play when Councilman Buccellato specifically accuses democrats of doing it? Because this gross mis-spending of our funds by Clifton, Buccellato et al seems criminally obvious to be Pay-for-Play. What do you think, MA? Can we see a post on your blog investigating that one? I bet that'll set a lot of people all a-twitter!

Aberdeener said...

The Matawan write-ins have still not been recorded by the County. I'll try to check back this afternoon.

matawan advocate said...

Jerry Hourihan at a Council meeting mentioned it. Apparently Moe, you don't attend Borough Council meetings.

As to the Boat House roof, Mullaney & Cannon per Mullaney gave it to the Borough at a meeting prior to their being sworn into office. For all we know they used leftover campaign funds to pay. Don't know for sure. Perhaps you can shed some light on where the money came from.

As to the Clinton St Park roof, Buccellato asked a contractor (who does not work in Matawan) and a supplier who wished to remain anonymous, to donate labor and materials to do the job. Mullaney had mentioned the need for a roof at a Council meeting and Buccellato reached out and had it done. You will notice there was no photo or article. As someone said in the MA blog, good deeds do not require applause. Although my thought is they should be recognized even if it is in a whisper.

Moe, as to Pay for Play accusations, you must be cautious. Do you know what a R.F.P. is versus a Bid?

As to Silver Oaks v. Matawan, a Judge didn't find cause. Are you implying the Judge didn't know what he was doing? I don't think so. Let's see what happens with the appeal of the decision which should take place soon.

Aberdeener said...

The Matawan write-in votes are
5 votes for Jose Henriques
and 1 vote each for
Jane Montefort
Steven Sawczak
Edward G Downey

Truth In Matawan said...

Thanks Aberdeener, unfortunately, I don't know any of those (though one sounds very close to the town clerk).

MA--Going to pick up the banner of Moe and as he suggests, "dig a little deeper". Are you saying that Councilman Buccellato's idea to remain anonymous was to inform his hatchet-man/spokesmouth Jerry Hourihan, and have HIM tell everyone at the meeting? Doesn't really sound like there was much of an intent to stay anonymous then, does it?

This doesn't take away from the good deed of putting the roof on the building at Clinton Street Park--it was still a good deed. But there was absolutely no intent for it to remain anonymous on the Councilman's part and for him to pretend otherwise is disingenuous and for you to pretend otherwise is naïve.

Also, could the donations have been from leftover Republican campaign funds as well? Maybe you could shed a little light on that one?

And I'm also curious, who DID put the new sidewalks in at Penniplede park, and did it cost us something, or was that donated, too?

As for Silver Oaks, I hope we win the appeal so we can get started on the redevelopment project. But I believe the question, irrespective of whether or not the judge dismissed the case or ruled in the town's favor (whichever it was), was WHY were we sued in the first place? What action, BY WHOM, caused us to be sued, taking up soooooooo much of our valuable time, money, and resources, and stalling much-needed redevelopment for two years?

As for Pay-for-Play, well, it's obvious to any non-brainwashed individuals what happened in the Freeholder situation. Why more people aren't up in arms about this, demanding an inquiry and the re-awarding of the contract to a lower bidder, is a mystery to me.

matawan advocate said...

Did dig deeper and the information on that project is as follows:
The project everyone is talking about was not a Bid but an Request For Proposal, hence R.F.P., which is based on qualifications. A Bid must be given to the LOWEST bidder. That is the law. If this had been a bid and was given to the highest bidder, don't you think the State Attorney General would have stepped in. Perhaps you don't give the people of Matawan enough credit. Perhaps they know what an RFP versus a Bid means and you didn't. Are you really searching for the Truth in Matawan?

As for Jerry Hourihan, he is no ones man. Jerry Hourihan is a respected member of this community. Why do you have such a negative attitude toward him?

Do you think Mullaney is Aufseeser's hatchet man? Wasn't it Mullaney who was a Challenger at the last minute on Election Day, when both parties had agreed that Challengers were not necessary? That sounds like a hatchet man to me. Perhaps you are the naive one.

Jose Henriques, isn't he the owner(?)of the Main St C-Town? Recall a photo of Mayor Aufseeser, Councilman & Councilwoman Mullaney, Jim Shea, Jose Henriques in a photo/article, opening day of C-Town in one of the newspapers. Truth in Matawan, interesting that you didn't recognize the name. I'll have to dig it out from my old Blogs and publish again.

Thanks Aberdeener for providing another forum for Matawan.

Truth In Matawan said...

Councilman Mullaney may indeed do work on behalf of Mayor Aufseeser, after all, they ARE members of the same political party as well as elected (for now) members of the same governing body. Jerry Hourihan seemingly serves to further the agenda of Councilman Buccellato, often disseminating information the Councilman either can't or shouldn't disseminate himself. It's all politics, of course, on the part of both parties, but your turning a blind eye towards one party's goings-on is transparently partisan and unproductive!

As for the difference between an RFP and a bid, Matawan Advocate has done a great job explaining that to the masses, however, to those who already understand it (present company included), that's not the real question being addressed. The real question is, point blank, "Why was this structured as an RFP and not a bid if not to put the Board of Chosen Freeholders in a position where they would be able to award it to their political lackey, Mr. Buccellato, et al?" A second question might be "Granting that an RFP is not legally BOUND to give it to the lowest bidder, the way an open bid process would have been, why is it that the Board of Chosen Freeholders nonetheless exercised ZERO fiscal restraint in awarding the contract to the highest bidder--that is, do they have NO respect for the hard-earned dollars of their Monmouth County constituency, or rather do they just take us all to be morons?"

I think you might want to think of those questions the next time you discuss Pay-for-Play in re Buccellato, roofs that keep water out (what other kind are there?), and the Board of Chosen Freeholders.

As for Jose Henriques, our own Google search at Truth in Matawan reveals that he is a Matawan citizen who lives at 211 Lakeside drive, and he once testified at a UPZB meeting that although he was in favor of C-Town (vs. an empty eyesore), he was concerned about the potential traffic problems. You can read more about it here:,%25202006.doc+jose+henriques+c-town&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&client=firefox-a

The owner of C-Town, meanwhile, is, according to another Google search, a Ricardo Hernandez. You can find that at several locations, including, interesting enough, here:

Now that the confusion of ownership of C-Town vs. mayoral write-in candidates has been resolved (and we can understand MA confusing the two gentlemen, after all, they ARE both Hispanic names, how could MA possibly keep them straight?) with a minimum of research, perhaps MA can dedicate that research time to the Silver Oaks matter and help us figure out the Truth behind why we've been unable to redevelop the train station area--why did they hit us with that time- and money-wasting lawsuit again? Who was the person that was the impetus of the lawsuit? What has been done to ameliorate the situation?

Let us know what you dig up!

matawan advocate said...

Obviously you support Councilman Mullaney, Mayor Aufseeser and the Democratic majority. Therefore, discussion is a mute point.

Thank you for the correct name on the owner of C-Town. I do hope my Hispanic relatives will forgive me. Did pose it as a question, didn't I? Did say I'd have to dig it up on my Blog, didn't I?

Ask the Freeholders how the award was made. If you want answers go to the source.

As to research, MA is digging into why the bacteria in our water supply, the revaluation letters and Meghan Mullaney's resignation was held until after the election. Of importance here and now is the water supply/filtration system and what is to be done. Also the urinating/defacating behind the 7-11 by dayworkers is a major health concern. To date have not seen fence Mayor Aufseeser said was to be installed by 7-11.

Leave the legal issues to the Courts. Agree with you on the need for Redevelopment of the Train Station area. The current Council has not moved forward in developing a plan. All members do not seem to agree on their vision.

Haven't seen activity on your Blog. Perhaps you can provide answers to your own questions. It is obvious you are not going to answer any asked. Perhaps in lieu of shadowing you should try dispensing information. Anyone can be a Monday Night Quarterback.

Truth In Matawan said...

You are 100% correct in one respect--our own blog could use a few more posts. But until we have some truth to dispense, we don't want to post blind rhetoric.

Two things to refute:
1) You say that we "obviously support Councilman Mullaney, Mayor Aufseeser, and the democratic majority", hence all discussion is (sic) mute.

Is this an attempt to avoid answering the questions we've asked regarding the various issues affecting our town? If so, it's not only transparent, it's unfounded--Truth in Matawan, despite portions of certain posts appearing so--does not support any one party or candidate. We simply want to best for our little borough.

2)You then say it's obvious we'll not answer any questions you'll ask me--that's not true. Please list any and all questions we've avoided answering, and we'll do so, on your blog (or ours) if you prefer, immediately, to the best of our ability. Ironic, since you've avoided answering questions (see #1), but we can help you by re-posting those questions again, in case you want to undertake the same challenge we're offering.

*Who put the new sidewalks in at Penniplede park, and did it cost us something, or was that donated, too?

*WHY were we sued in the first place by Silver Oaks? What action, BY WHOM, caused us to be sued, taking up soooooooo much of our valuable time, money, and resources, and stalling much-needed redevelopment for two years?

*Why was the county contract structured as an RFP and not a bid if not to put the Board of Chosen Freeholders in a position where they would be able to award it to their political lackey, Mr. Buccellato, et al?

*Granting that an RFP is not legally BOUND to give it to the lowest bidder, the way an open bid process would have been, why is it that the Board of Chosen Freeholders nonetheless exercised ZERO fiscal restraint in awarding the contract to the highest bidder--that is, do they have NO respect for the hard-earned dollars of their Monmouth County constituency, or rather do they just take us all to be morons who wouldn't notice them pissing our money away to a political contributor and ally?

I think that's all of them.

BY THE WAY, I also noticed the lack of a promised fence at 7-11, as well as the fact that some signs from the election are STILL up, believe it or not. I'm not clear on who's supposed to put the fence up (the owner of the property, the 7-11 franchise owner, or the town), but I think the candidates should all be responsible for their own signs.

Truth In Matawan said...

We were also wondering if the new roof at the Clinton Street Park is one of those fancy kinds that keep water out? You know, the kind that the Board of Chosen Freeholders thought so highly of, they awarded the contract to the highest bidder, the firm of Councilman Paul Buccellato, a longtime financial contributor to 4 of the 5 Freeholders, because they have the most experience with roofs that keep water out.

As opposed to the other four firms (all with lower, and is some cases, dramatically lower, bids) who apparently put up the other kind of roofs--the kind that let water in.

I hope the poor kids that use the Clinton Street Park Building don't get the second kind of roof!