Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Voter Apathy

I am repeatedly amazed by the number of people who clip coupons, drive the extra mile to save two cents on a gallon of gasoline, and comb through the internet to find the absolute lowest price, but won’t take five minutes once a year to vote on the school budget and BOE candidates. When asked, they all have the same answer – “It doesn’t matter.” Voting does matter but I understand their angst. The will of the majority is no longer being served.

First, some quick facts. Over 20,000 people in Matawan-Aberdeen are eligible to vote but less than 2,500 cast a ballot. The average household spends about $4,300 a year in school property taxes. Despite the school budget being defeated for seven consecutive years, school property tax hikes continue to outpace both inflation and wage growth.

As costs rise, academic performance stagnates. In last year’s Math HSPA exam, nearly 30% of our eleventh graders couldn’t correctly answer half the questions.

Is there accountability? Not much. One administrator (likely a principal) didn’t get his raise this year (and probably for reasons unrelated to low test scores). In the past ten years, the district hasn’t taken any action against a single tenured teacher.

Then there’s the question of whom the Board of Education serves. It seems inconceivable that 100% of the board would knowingly support a budget that a majority of their constituents oppose. Now the BOE has been instructed by Aberdeen Township and Matawan Borough to cut $500,000 from the budget. If you thought that meant cutting spending, think again. Of the $500,000 cut, $375, 000 is for a roof on the administration building that needs to be replaced. In other words, the district didn’t cut capital spending; they postponed it and, in doing so, increased the maintenance cost on a roof that needs to be replaced. Only $125,000 in operating costs (0.2%) was cut from a $63.4 million budget.

That the township, borough, and school district would so blatantly reject the will of the voters creates the appearance of a conspiracy, a view buttressed by scheduling their public meetings on the same night to reduce press coverage.

It’s equally troubling that a month after ratifying the teachers contract, we still have no clue as to any of the provisions. The board attorney maintains the district should not disclose any details while the contract still undergoes legal finessing. Nonsense. Both the school board members and the teachers union members ratified a memorandum of understanding. There’s no reason why the public can’t see what they ratified. At present, the teachers contract may not be available for another two months, i.e. until summer recess.

So, why vote? Because voting does matter. At last night’s board meeting, Dr. Gambino took the symbolic step of announcing his intent to not attend the New Jersey School Board Association’s annual Workshop and Exhibition held in Atlantic City. He was then joined by fellow board members O’Connell, Kenny, and Donaghue. The savings is only $800 per person but it’s the first time I’ve witnessed board members recognize the district has a scarcity of resources. The board majority steadfastly defended their position to attend, claiming the workshops benefited the district. (Anecdotally, as a regular attendee of board meetings, I’ve not witnessed any benefits from using public funds to send board members on jaunts to Atlantic City. )

Another major step is the superintendent’s decision to introduce Everyday Math to all grade levels and begin teaching algebra in seventh grade. This is the first step towards raising academic standards beyond the minimalist state requirements.

There’s also hope that the board will begin using objective standards to measure and reward the superintendent’s job performance.

Board President Pat Demarest has begun approaching the community, including myself, for ideas to improve the district.

Despite my criticisms, I’ve even been approached by board members Gerald Donaghue and John Barbato to open new lines of communication and tackle shared goals.

I feel a sense that, despite the election results, the board priorities are shifting. Board members live here, too, and they see their friends and neighbors becoming better informed and more demanding.

Once upon a time, a school board member’s legacy was based upon his years of service and the people he personally helped. That’s no longer the case. A board member’s legacy is now entwined with the school district’s performance. The only way to build a legacy is to build the school district.

Yet, voter apathy could doom these reform efforts. Real change entails risk, political fortitude, and community support. Voters need to know that change is afoot and that they can make a difference.

The best way to do that is to engage the voter. At last night’s board meeting, a local teacher asked the board to consider research showing high school students are more aware and perform better when classes begin at 9AM. The board respectfully listened, thanked him for his comments, and it ended there. The speaker was given no expectation of a follow up.

Former board member, Ken Aitken, suggested using Citizen Advisory Committees. I’m not interested in toothless committees. I would prefer Executive Committees. Each executive committee would be chaired by a senior administration official or board member and consist of local residents recruited to serve.

We’d have computer experts on the executive technology committee to review technology curriculum, purchases, budgets, strategy, etc. We’d have accountants and financiers on the executive budget committee. Builders and contractors on the executive building committee. Media experts overseeing public communication. College professors on curriculum sub-committees. There would be committees for special education, athletics, nutrition, security, transportation, etc.

And these committees would have teeth. Every committee will have the right to submit a proposal for the board to review and vote upon. That means every proposal will get a public airing and board review.

Voters must become stakeholders and parents must transform from bystanders into participants. Our school mission should be to empower parents to determine the best education for their children. I believe our school district is ready for the change.
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46 comments:

Anonymous said...

Complacency kills, Voters do not care and my vote will not mean a thing.

These statements are too often used by voters and is just what our elected officials prey on. Being opportunist at hearts our elected officials love the fact and actually count on the fact that voters apathy and lack of concern allows them to stay in office. In Aberdeen that allows them to continue to do the bidding of our local snake oil salesman NORMAN KAUFF.

Keep thinking that way people and just know that the likes of Norman Kauff and his crew get richer and richer.

Kenny CB

Aberdeener said...

The following is Dr. Gambino's statement, in full, regarding his decision to not attend the NJSBA 2008 Workshop & Exhibition.

October is the NJ School Board Convention. This is an event where school board members and school administrators from across the state can come together for a 3 day convention in Atlantic City. This is an optional activity for School board members. Some members who have attended in the past even invited their spouses to share in the vendor exhibits throughout the convention halls and attend the evening parties held each night by various vendors.

Looking ahead to this year’s convention, I am considering the value-added return for my attendance. Last year, the conference offerings relative to my role as a board member were somewhat limited in my opinion and those offered with such importance were typically closed due to capacity or were in a large over-crowded room where the attendees would listen to a speaker present to sometimes 800 plus people.

Last week were asked by the business office if were planning to attend this years conference. At first I said yes, and then began thinking about this expenditure to our district during this fiscal prudent time. The estimated cost to attend the conference is $800 per person, which include transportation, 2 night hotel accommodation, registration fees and meals. Dr. O’Malley and Ms. Iron’s, I am going to opt out of attending this years conference, and politely request the $800 to be allocated for my attendance at the conference is ear-marked for something which would benefit the students of our district. If any of my fellow board members wish to join me in this action, the dollar amount returned to the students will surely increase.

Anonymous said...

Aberdeener,
As usual, you make many good points and suggestions. I appreciate Dr. Gambino's, Mr. O'Connell's, Kenny's and Donaghue's "symbolic" steps not to attend the NJ Teachers Convention in AC. It's not much money, but it is $3,200 total.

As far as the other board members and their desire to accept any of your suggestions, I wouldn't hold my breath. As much as I HOPE they are ready to make real changes, I've seen them nod when we speak for years, then proceed to do business as usual. (Now I'm sure someone will say I'm spreading hate, I'm not, I've just heard it all before.)

However, none of that discourages me from voting. It only makes me fight harder for my children, and I hope it makes others begin to join the fight for all our children.

Thank you Aberdeener for enlightening many parents to what has been hidden in the past. If changes are made, I credit you and the pressure this blog is putting on the members to take notice. Information is power.

nsectionjoe said...

The mere fact that this mornings paper has the headline that the Matawan and Aberdeen town Councils cut $500,000.00 from the budget is futile. Real cuts would have the dead and or almost dead wood that are administrative positions cut from the budget. But what do my eyes see this morning in my newspaper is the headline that "Regional school board accepts $500,000.00 budget cut" accepts that is laughable, but I continue to laugh.

For those of you who will not or care not to read the article their is more to laugh about.

1. A $375,000.00 saving for postponing the partial roof replacement at the Cambridge Dr. School. That could have been done a few years back if the school board did their jobs or wait a minute had ensured that others did their jobs watching for wasteful or unnecessary spending during the $38,500,000.00 school construction boondoggle. I again make the statement that at least $7,000,000.00 in that construction project was wasted. Understand I have made the statement before and no one has proven me wrong. They know what they have done and they will never be able to stick their heads in the ground far enough to hide from the actions and misdeeds.

2. School transportation cut by $34,000.00. What did someone realize or has someone done an efficiency exam and found out we had one too many people in the system not needed? Check the administration offices for not needed salaries and positions. please. Savings possibilities would be numerous.

3. But the best and most laughable advisory was that a department of Curriculum and Instruction was being abolished. Savings NOTHING, they will find jobs for all of them and savings again NOTHING.

I am laughing so hard I am crying.

The saga continues.

nsectionjoe said...

My comments must continue:

Reading the rest of the article I am once again proven right as to the real and necessary thing every school district needs. A complete and total review of every department and every dollar spent. The mere fact that recent reports and analysis of not only the Abbott Districts mis-spent or could not provide real and substantive proof for nearly $900,000,000.00 dollars is at the root cause of the next statement in the article and I quote:

"The three employees whose jobs were eliminated by the restructuring will be able to interview for the newly restructured positions. One of them has already been reassigned (NAME DELETED)who served as Supervisor in the curriculum department, is now the director of elementary elementary school accountability"

Did someone in this school district actually use the word accountability.

My overall shock is short lived as the new position given to (NAME DELETED) is $120,710.00. Did our administration really save money? Or did they find a job for another administrator who is not needed amongst a school district with FAR TOO MANY ADMINISTRATORS and similar positions that should have been done away with many years ago.

Well t least we got a $500,000.00 cut generously awarded to the residents out of a $64,000,000.00 budget. What is the real percentage and savings? ZERO really!

PRICELESS I don't think so, again.

mrsb said...

I have to agree with the anonymous poster who stated that the board has sat and nodded at us for years, only to go back and do whatever they want.

Here's hoping that Dr. O'Malley can created a unified BOE in which he can lead into a better future for our kids.

I will believe it, however, when I see it.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone been following the New Jersey Department of Education and their proposed "School District Fiscal Accountability, Effeciency & Budgeting Procedures".
Take a look at the website: www.nj.gov/education/news/2008/0430acc.htm

I wonder what many in this administration (and old board members) would say about "Subchapter 8 - School Districts Conditions for the Receipt of State Aid. Section 6A:XX-8.3 Nepotism Policy" . I'm sure they would be lobbying against it. And unfortunately, it appears that many of the old dead wood we have in this district would still be grandfathered in.

However, it is a step in the right direction. Let's hope it goes through.

Anonymous said...

Summary of Draft Accountability Regulations from the NJDOE site:

Subchapter 8 – School District Conditions for the Receipt of State Aid

The travel requirements detail the procedures and limitations on board and employee travel consistent with the OMB Circular as required under the CORE statutory reforms. These include establishment of a board policy consistent with the circular and ensures all travel is educationally necessary and fiscally prudent (e.g. directly related to and within the scope of the employees’ responsibilities).

Anonymous said...

MRSB, I see you like to comment when someone has a grammar error, well re-read your comment.

Anonymous said...

MRSB, I see you like to comment when someone has a grammar error, well re-read your comment.

mrsb said...

To anonymous, I commented one time to a person who was making a personal attack, calling someone an "idiot", about how their post would be taken more seriously if they used punctuation and capitalization.

Quite frankly, you are doing the exact same thing that you are accusing me of doing. Pot, meet kettle.

Anonymous said...

You are correct, I am. How does it feel? Childish, correct?

mrsb said...

I don't feel childish at all.

When we are posting on a blog that is talking about the shortcomings of our educational system (among other topics), can you deny that someone who posts an entire entry with absolutely no attempt at any capital letters or punctuation, and is calling people nasty names will not be taken seriously?

Sorry, no, I don't feel childish for pointing it out. I'm sorry if you do, for trying to make me feel that way over a simple typo.

Certainly wasn't my intention.

mrsb said...

To get back on topic, the cut of $34,000.00 appears to be coming out of the late bus transportation budget. Anyone know what the numbers are usually on that budget?

Seems like a good place to cut money, but at the same time, I hate the idea that some children might miss out on extracurricular activities or after school tutoring because they may not have a ride if they stay late. Hopefully the district will be able to find ways around this, such as doubling up routes instead of cutting all late buses.

nsectionjoe said...

Late bus cuts is no different then Corzine cutting state parks and the State Department of Agriculture. What an idiot cutting the D of A in the Garden State. What an idiot!

This I am certain was a trait learned as he was climbing the corporate ladder at Goldman Sachs. Corzine and several of his cronies for too many years got their golden parachute retirement packages as the insider trading scandal loomed, or in the case of one of the Goldman Sachs fair haired boys, one who walked away with a $45,000,000.00 goodbye and good riddance package, all for getting caught having an extra-marital affair with his direct subordinate.

And you wonder why cuts to school budgets are laughable? Did any administrator get the ax? Did jobs get merged or consolidated? Are we getting an more efficient system?

Of course not as will we still have too many administrators and too few real and substantive cuts to a $64,000,000.00 system. An extremely inflated budget with the proof of failure in the test scores and rankings the Matawan-Aberdeen school district has which continue to have our district in the basement.

The saddest thing is that now those who failed for many years to bring accountability to our administrators and the same who were in control (Z & B) were in control while our schools budget grew by $20,000,000.00 in five years, are back in control to continue their job give-away for allegiance program, again.

But we did get a cut of $500,000.00 from our town leaders.

Did they touch the football budget? If so were the percentage of cuts the same as cuts to music, art,theater, Vo-tech,woodshop and all of the rest of non essential to education programs? Did we decrease the stipends and numbers of coaches for all sport activties, did we get them to do more with less? Did we go out to bid for lower attorney fees?

Did we really cut anything from anything or did we just cut the built in extra monies strategically placed into the budget just to show the taxpayers that cuts were made, all the while knowing the money they need to remain at status quo, was always there.

They know when they are preparing the budget that it will fail. So they sharpen the pencil, pad a little here, pad a little there and surprise, the real monies you need are right where they needed it to be.

I am sure Dr. O'Malley needs a new bottle of aspirin by now.

Ask yourself did they make those we have now in our school system do more with less, like my family has to do, due to the excessive taxes we pay to a bloated system.

This is where Corzine's and other administrator's valuable leadership skills come from. That is the reason he will be gouging us with new taxes and fees very soon.

The cuts to the budget here did not effect the teachers union in any way shape or form. God forbid that sacred cow gets touched. The mere fact that our district failed in any form to truly cut the waste and bloated personnel ranks or administrative staff is the real proof. Cuts were deserved of those who are mired in useless personnel positions with redundant
overlapping processes. This is where the true savings are that would easily restore proper spending levels that a taxpayer base could appreciate and afford.

Talk about voter apathy, we have parent apathy and taxpayer apathy that needs a wake up call, all across the board. Board of Ed that is.

I forgot this is the Matawan-Aberdeen School District.

mrsb said...

I believe that there is a lot of truth to what you are saying, nsectionjoe.

I'd love to hear what you'd suggest that we, as a community, can do about this.

Obviously the best thing we can do, overall, is become more educated on what is going on, get involved, and vote.

But in the short term, what can we do right now?

I, for one, am not a numbers person. I could look at copies of the budget all day long and have no idea what was going on with any of it. But there must be something that can help the situation.

Any suggestions of how we can work on this?

Anonymous said...

Voting means nothing in the state of New Jersey. For the councils to only take $500,000 is an insult to the taxpayers. Where was the outrage at the board of education and town council meetings. None! Thats the only thing they understand. Besides Corzine and his cronies are going to take are right to vote on school budgets away from us anyway. The charade is over. In your face taxation without representation. Not just voter apathy, apathy period.

nsectionjoe said...

The best statement I have ever heard regarding school boards came from Rudolph Guilliani.

And I quote; "School Boards should not be involved with school construction nor should they be involved with the education". No truer words have ever been spoken.

Please do not get me wrong in every form of leadership it always starts off well intended but not too long afterwards the changes start in a very subtle way. Forget about lobbyists and rewarding those who helped you get elected to wit you initially feel indebted. The reality is that everyone wants their piece of you and the rewards are monumental. Look at the Clinton second term when Bill Clinton went to the banking lobbyists for support. He was reported to have gotten $3,000,000.00 for his campaign. Soon after his election win the banking industry miraculously received approvals for increased fees on a nationwide level that put Clinton's election windfall in the 1/10th of 1% of the money passed onto the banking industry customers. The banking industry, which received in increased fees and charges in monumental proportions to their campaign donation. For a mere $3,000,000.00 in donations the banking industry still collects
in excess of $3,000,000,000.00 annually, from all of us as a thank you from Bill Clinton. Money well spent by the banking industry.

On a local level just look at former Mayor and now convicted felon John Merla. Sure they caught hi accepting money from one source. How many people do you think he took money from all together all of those years? There are many who paid the piper and who fear the piper (Merla) may still sing a tune, which may have the others who paid the piper getting that early morning knock on the door from the authorities.

They sell themselves so cheaply and we pay for it one thousand fold if we are lucky. It is all about the money.

With all of the cost overruns on the school construction in our district costs as well as those who may have approval of any extras and far more may have been rewarded, who knows? Should we not think that monies or favors were not given to those who controlled the purse strings during the reconstruction of our districts schools. Or to those who pushed for the new football field installation approvals? Who is to say?

But after all of the many examples we are given here in New Jersey almost on a daily basis, both locally and beyond from leaders we elect as they get caught. They will to the person proclaim their innocence and as has been stated numerous times before, they will deny, deny, deny. Asking any question of our school board will not really get you to the truth but you may be able to get close. They hate questions!

Believe me when I tell you I have seen it up close and personally at level all the way up the chain in my former field of employ. I witnessed firsthand the influence and power yielded to gain political favoritism at very high levels. I can assure you influence and favoritism is sold so very cheap, and the costs to taxpayers is so very monumental and costly to all of us.

In our school district the easiest way to get your point across is to ask a question, wait for the answer that of course will be spun in every direction, without answering your original question at all. Wait until they finish and then say going back to my original question.
They hate that.

Ask what the total costs for school books for the entire district is at a school board meeting? Then ask them to bring you the answer to a very specific questions like that every meeting. Ask for instance what Bruce Quinn's expense account total was for every year he was superintendent. Ask what his car allowance was or his gas bills. Ask
how many teachers have received awards from state or national organizations. Ask if any disciplinary action has taken place which caused a teacher to be let go in the district in the last two years. Ask how many times a parent has sued the district for anything. Ask how many times our school attorney has defended the district in court or mediation? How many times did the district win, settle or were mandated to make changes?

If they do not want to work for the students, make them work for you. Be polite and ask that in two weeks you would like an update and be there in two weeks.

Just look at me for example. I asked Dr.O'Malley about security concerns I had several weeks ago. Have I gotten an answer to my concerns and questions? Has anything been done to change the situation I brought to his attention? Did O'Malley reach out to me and give me an update on his findings? No!

So to coin a phrase bestowed upon me by a former councilman in Aberdeen, he said "it is better to work with him, then to have him out there against you". I did merely ask a question and the fact that I have not been contacted or even if I was to be advised that my concerns were unfounded and I was off the mark, would at least be something to respond to me about.

So to Dr. O'Malley I tell you it truly is better to work with me, then have me out there asking more questions. I can assure you there are many questions and concerns out there for me to ask week after week after week.

I will give Dr. O'Malley until September to get a firm hold on the district and an understanding of who is needed and who needs to go. But come September he had better have answers for all my questions, concerns and facts.

September is about 100 days away.

I for one cannot wait!

Anonymous said...

To the commentor reponding to NJDOE "School District Fiscal Accountability, Effeciency & Budgeting Procedures Subchapter 8, maybe you should read further.

Subchapter 8 not only deals with travel related to education, it also addresses nepotism (section 6A:XX-8.3) and pay to play(section6A:XX-8.4). I'm glad to see it addresses nepotism given the way jobs are handed out in this school district.

Or maybe, you're a current(old) board member writing in anonymously, or possibly that is how you got your job, and you don't want us discussing this. Hey why not download all 205 pages of the draft. And read it in detail.
Take a look, website: www.nj.gov/education/news/2008/0430acc.htm

Aberdeener said...

Just a reminder, only $125,000 in operating expenses was actually cut. The other $375,000 for replacing a roof was simply postponed. Since postponing the new roof will increase maintenance expenses, this cut is actually costing us money, not saving.

nsectionjoe said...

This mornings newspapers are once again filled with all of the BS about the Superintendent of schools in Keansburg. We should all be shocked that an administrator was given a sweet deal.

Did she do her job seems to not be the question anyone is asking. And the fact that politicians across the state are outraged and calling for an investigation is hypocritical. Let us look at the sweet deals and perks that these same politicians have gotten for years before we go after a woman who negotiated a contract perhaps equal to her worth.

Has anyone mentioned the geniuses on the school board in Keansburg that approved such a supposed sweet deal or did she get what the market rate decides a superintendent with her experience should get? These are the type of questions that should be asked before she gets penalized.

How about going after those who approved this contract for crimes against the taxpayers and students.

Face it, it's only the tip of the iceberg and the citizens stand as though they are on the deck of the TITANIC, with no hope of survival.

That is the reality in NJ, sadly.

Aberdeener said...

Last week, 5 houses in Aberdeen and 1 in Matawan were put into foreclosure.

Having the highest property tax rate in Monmouth County isn't helping our children.

Anonymous said...

Aberdeener, Beware of wolves in sheeps clothing!

I'd like to know who in the community Pat Demarest approached for ideas to improve the community. If she is really interesred, why doesn't she or the BOE, hold an open forum, (other than the scheduled BOE meeting) just to ask citizens what changes they would like to see. Or go from school to school with these discussions.

And as far as Barbato, Why his big change of heart? It wasn't too long ago he sent his lawyer after you.

I hate to be so cynical, but I don't see it more than their attempt to try to fool the public once again. They are fully aware the public is reading this site, and I think they are using you to promote them as "willing" to change. I'll believe it when I see how they cast their votes.

Remember, next year the two of them are up for re-election. Are they starting to spread it on from now? Let's watch what and who they actually fight for. Will it be academic achievement and our students?

Barbato has been on the board for 17 years and Demarest has been there since 2003, haven't they had enough time to make changes to improve the district? I hate to say it, but I think they are looking for votes from now, it's all a show.

Aberdeener said...

Yes, Donaghue, Demarest, and Barbato are all up for re-election next year. I'm happy to give them the benefit of the doubt.

To quote Ronald Reagen, "Trust but verify". We'll see what happens. I hope they don't let us down.

Anonymous said...

Aberdeener,
Can the Board of Education really hold back the details of a ratified contract. There can't be a law against the public knowing the details of a contract that was ratified by both sides two months ago. I understand the entire contract might not be available, but why not details when asked. The Union members know all the details why not the community members?

Anonymous said...

Don't you get it. The BOE is now under the spell of Norman Kauff. He bought their cooperation last election. I would love to see them come to the Middle School where my daughter goes and open the floor to questions from the community.

I would ask why the BOE did not know about the drug treatment facility or brain injured facility both of which are within 200 feet of that school. You can't have drug dealing near a school but drug detox or brain injured adults possibly walking in and around the school is all right.

Perhaps they had the right lawyer when they went for their approvals.

Norman Kauff maybe?

He and his kind know no shame!

Kenny CB

justicelanenbortonormk said...

Hello everyone I just found about this site today at lunch. The waitress was telling the table next to us about a website in the area that gives the inside scoop about local scandals and the political scene.

Lo and behold I just spent almost the whole time since coming home from lunch looking at the various topics and input from some very disgruntled members of our community.

The best part of it is that a person on my street is mentioned very often. You see I live on Justice Lane, which seems to be from what I have read here today, to be the home of the devil incarnate. That being Norman Kauff a fellow resident of my street that keeps to himself for the most part. From what I read her today it seems my neighbor has quite the busy schedule manipulating the goings on in several communities and is likewise despised for it in a similar here in Aberdeen.

If you ever protest in front of his house feel free to use our facilities as long as you need. It would give us some excitement on the cul-de-sac I can assure you.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Kenny form CB,

The application from the drug detox program expansion was withdrawn if you went to the town hall meeting you would known. In addition the school board had a lawyer at every meeting regarding the program I saw him there. The program has been in existence for years and it is a town hall issue not school board. In addition there are two open forums a months at the BOE building they are called the board of ed. meetings feel free to go and speak up, if you have an opinion.

Sincerely,
An informed citizen of the Aberdeen

Anonymous said...

To: An informed citizen of Aberdeen

Sure we should all go and stand in front of them and ask questions. Have you ever seen the video or seen the faces of our school board members as people speak at these board or bored meetings?

They are so not interested. I recall the genius that was Barbara Williams who looked so disinterested she almost crawled up into a ball in her chair and fell asleep at these meetings. Barbato has a dead pan look as well as Zavorskas who just looks like she is ready to run.

Sure sometimes they occasionally look concerned if they have an issue they packed the seats with or need to cater to. Really they do not want us there asking questions.

Keep drinking the kool-aid and believe everything they spoon feed you. You seem to know all of the answers and we cannot even see the strings attached to your mouth that they control.

Don't bother to respond unless you have an independent thought.

Kenny CB

Anonymous said...

So Kenny, you are saying we shouldn't even bother to show up and say anything? Is it better to sit at home and type on a blog and/or cry and complain to your neighbors and co-workers about what is going on in town. I agree with the informed citizen of Aberdeen on this one. We have to go to the BOE meetings and meetings at Town Hall to voice our opinions, but most importantly show up and vote and try to get these people who care only about themselves out of office.

nsectionjoe said...

The reality is simple we need to tell everyone to look at the Aberdeener and review its contents and information.

One voice is not enough no matter what, I know firsthand. You are too often looked upon as a gadfly or a pink flamingo that stands alone. OK one really big flamingo.

We all collectively need to speak out and stop the trivial BS between some on this site who have an agenda or have been put up to monitoring this site, and/or assigned to defend those we seek to spotlight.

I for one have chosen to concentrate on the school board only. I leave others to find their own niche or subject on which to concentrate.

$64,000,000.00 and the BOE deserves all of my attention. Everything else is open to all of you. There is plenty for all of the rest of you to do as topics arise.

Enjoy your holiday and be safe.

Anonymous said...

Mrsb,

I am the one you went after for lack of capital letters. You are wrong about one thing, I DID use punctuation.

You see, that is how I write when quickly creating a comment before bed. I see you as very accusatory. You automatically think me to be below you or not worthy of carrying on a comment conversation because I did not use capital letters. I also see in the next blog article that you come down on those kids who work at fast food places or supermarkets. What is wrong with that I ask? Is not earning a wage instead of living off a parent good enough? Or, maybe the teen is helping the family out by working- perish the though of that - a family in our posh little town struggling to make ends meet... but after reading several of your comments, I can see you might have a hard time "getting that".......

I also did use the word idiot. You have to understand that just because people write on here - some more than others (must have been a slow week at the office for nsectionjoe) - it does not make them always correct in what they say. "People who live in glass houses should not throw stones". In other words, be careful what you write on here if you express yourself in strictly accusatory terms.
Mrsb, there are things called agendas - and many people have them. It is sad but true - and a lot of people on here seem to have them and cannot wait until a new blog comes out to get on here and BE HEARD WITH THEIR AGENDA ( all caps means "loudly" if you do not know - I don't want to offend those who follow punctuation). I only write this so late as I am sick and can't sleep - I feel the need to explain myself to cut off a future personal attack, i.e. - I don't use capitals all the time and I am out of work threfore I am posting at 1:45 am.

I have read the Aberdeener and agree on some blogs and disagree about others and that is what makes this country great. I do not become insensed when I read someone else's comments as you and NSECTION seem to. On this Memorial Day, I beg the question again - Where are you those like you at BOE meetings? Do you and others complain at council meetings? Do you go to ALL of your child's achool functions? Would you know your child's teacher if you passed him/her in the supermarket where those "mangy" teens are working? I only ask because I have seen you haul off on teachers on this blog.

These are the questions I have. This is not a total personal attack on you as it is more on the people in this town who have let NUMEROUS things go by the wayside saying nothing and waiting 10 years for a blog to come along to point out facts that are mostly available for pulic knowledge-

1. closing of local businesses = loss of tax revenue
2. loss of that factory on Cliffwood Ave = no tax rev.
3. The stoppage of the tranist village idea which would bring in business and tax revenue
4. The lack of talk about merging these 2 towns to save money - combining services
5. Repair to the Cliffwood Beach section beach front which is disgraceful compared to UB and Keyport.
6. The apparent self indulgence of local officials- loss of revenue

All of these are important too and would offer tax relief - but where are people on meeting nights and voting days?????

I would be remisce (spelling?) if I did not thank Mrsb for opening my eyes to the CAPITAL letter and all it offers. My life is complete and I feel like a highly educated individual, like you, now that I have seen the light.

mrsb said...
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mrsb said...
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mrsb said...

Let me start by saying, I really wish blogger had an "edit" button. Sorry to the Aberdeener for the deleted posts.

Let me address a few things here. First of all, I did not "come down" on kids who work at fast food places or supermarkets. I said, directly copying what is on this blog:
"I'd love to see more than just the usual fair for the teens in the area -- bagging groceries or fast food."

Where is this being negative toward these jobs? My son gathers carts at a grocery store. I'm proud of him for making an effort to earn his own way while keeping his grades up.

Would I rather he was working as an apprentice doing something he really enjoys and might go on to have a career at? Yes, of course. But I don't take anything away from the job he has.

I also said that "Every job is an opportunity for grown and learning, but finding something that you are truly interested in is really exciting."

Again, how is that disparaging kids that are bagging groceries or working fast food?

And I certainly never called any children "mangy".

To answer your questions, I watch the BOE meetings on the Huskie vision. I assure you that Dr. O'Malley would both recognize my name and my face. I know all my children's teachers, my son's Child Study Team members and their principals.

I can also tell you that Mayor Buccellato would recognize both my face and my name, along with several of both the Matawan and Aberdeen city council members. I am very active in the community. If you go to these meetings, you've seen me.

I have also never "hauled off" on teachers. I have said several times that I don't believe most teachers are failing the kids, that I believe their hands are often tied by red tape caused by the district and by being force to teach to the standardized tests.

If you feel the need to accuse me of things, go right ahead, but please at least make sure that you are quoting me for things that I actually said. I am happy to defend my statements or apologize where I was wrong.

On that note, I would like to apologize to you for getting on about the grammar thing.

Quite frankly, your use of the word "idiot" offended me and is a word that makes me a little crazy, as my son is cognitively impaired. I attacked you for something that is my personal pet peeve and had at you for something else, just to get under your skin like you did mine. For that, again, I apologize.

Anonymous said...

Well then I thank you. But I want you to know that maybe my point was not taken in the correct way. I am more mad about the people in this town.

The last part of my post is the real reason I continually come on here. The 6 things I listed and the fact that people in this town love to complain yet do not seem to do anything - not saying that you may be one of them.

Thank you


P.S.-
Aberdeener - any blogs on the way about the 6 parts of my post? #6 has been addressed numerous times on here - any future blogs about the other 5??

Thanks

mrsb said...

On your #5, it is my understanding that there are funds put aside for the Cliffwood Beach project by the state, and that Aberdeen has to come up with matching funds. The township's part of the money was not added to the budget for this year (though it was one of the things the current administration ran on), so it will be next year before their is even any discussion about it.

I agree that it is a real shame when you compare our strip of seawall/beach to those in Union Beach, Lawrence Harbor or even tiny little Keyport.

Cliffwood Beach, I really believe, has the potential for so much more than it's being used for. The beach is always filthy, so no one wants to go there. There is a hockey court that no one utilizes (why doesn't the township organize something there?). They took the benches down from the seawall a couple of years ago, and we've never seen them come back.

It's a real shame.

Anonymous said...

Aberdeen lost some $68,000 for the sea wall project, as they mentioned in the last meeting. That project is in jeopardy.

Brian in Aberdeen

Anonymous said...

Let's be real - the seawall project is not a priority for Kauff; hence is not a priority for Sobel,Drapkin,Gallo, Gumbs,Vinci, or Raymond. It's interesting that the two grants still equal about $130,000; but, Kauff's Clowns have only approved $18,000 - and that's only for payments to Kauff's buddies at CME Engineering. Raymond is the biggest disappointment - won't even fight for something in his neighborhood.

Voter apathy is a disease that occurs when we are lied to by politicians and are made to question whether any of them are honest.

mrsb said...

A timely article posted online today:

http://tinyurl.com/5bdzds

It states that the seawall project will start on June 9.

Anonymous said...

It was stated at the last meeting that the state withdrew about $68,000 for the project. I don't know if the project will go through and to what extent because of the "lost" money. The council was going to look into some other accounts to see if they could come up with some of the money lost, if not the project may move forward but to what extent? They would have to limit some of the previous ideas, construction. They will probably bring it up at the next council meeting.

Brian in Aberdeen

mrsb said...

Todays APP online article states:

"The project is funded by grants received from the Community Development Block Grant program for $28,271 and the Monmouth County Open Space program for $169,000."

I assume that they will be going on ahead with the project without the money they lost from the state.

Anonymous said...

I see what it says, I just don't know if the project will go forward to the same extent as originally planned.

Brian in Aberdeen

mrsb said...

Didn't mean to imply that you didn't "get it", sorry if it came off that way.

I would be interested to see exactly what plans are being put into play starting in June, and what they have to cut out of the original plan due to the loss of money.

Perhaps the township is looking into other grant money to make up for that loss? There seems to be a lot of opportunities for this sort of project these days.

Anonymous said...

didn't take any offense, I have no problem with what you said.

Brian

Anonymous said...

Don't be naïve about the Cliffwood seawall project. They'll keep the project in design through the next election so that the engineers (CME) can make their money. We'll definately get flashy designs and plans - but this Council will keep the projrct going until CME has enough to funnel back to Kauff and Scudieri. The corrupt nature of the local dems is why I became an independent several years ago. I still vote - haven't missed an election since I voted for Bill Bradley in the primary. Unfortunately, many people just give up and stop voting.