Friday, September 26, 2008

Letter to the Independent

Please Note: I am presently in Houston and internet access is not readily available. Between that and the Jewish holidays, I will likely not post another article until the end of next week.

The following letter to the editor, after careful consideration by the Independent's editorial board, was rejected for publication:

Your article, “Councilwoman Probes, Meets with Resistance” (Sept. 18, 2008), by ace reporter, Erin Stattel, was both insightful and revealing. I applaud Councilwoman Gallo for challenging Aberdeen’s largest tax increase in its 150-year history.

Mayor Sobel’s condescension (“What do you mean you don’t understand?”), was inappropriate. When I had questions regarding Aberdeen’s publicized budget summary, Angela Morin, the township’s Director of Finance, told me the budget summary wasn’t intended to be understood by the average citizen and recommended I take a course in public finance at Rutgers University. Surely, Councilwoman Gallo, barely seven months into her first term, would have questions.

It was equally inappropriate for Mayor Sobel to have the township clerk, Karen Ventura, float a story that contracts for professional services weren’t approved until September because “necessary paperwork was left on former Township Manager Stuart Brown's desk.” Even if Brown’s desk had secret compartments and was booby-trapped, even if Mayor Sobel and the township attorney didn’t receive copies of all contracts, does it really take six months to ask a vendor to e-mail another copy?

However, I was most aghast by Mayor Sobel’s pooh-poohing taxpayer angst over Aberdeen’s rampant pay-to-play. CME Associates, the township’s engineer and largest contributor to the Aberdeen Democratic Party, receives over a million dollars a year in no-bid contracts. Other party contributors include Coppola & Coppola (township planner), Allen Falk (township prosecutor), Marc Leckstein (attorney for the planning and zoning boards), and Tom Fallon (township auditor).

Some vendors are selected because of their relationship to former township attorney Norman Kauff, the “unofficial” chairman of the Aberdeen Democratic Executive Committee (his wife signs the checks). These include his law firm Rogut, McCarthy, and Troy (township attorney), Marc Schram (public defender), and his neighbor Bill Parness (public relations).

Mayor Sobel’s claim that “we were one of the first municipalities to pass a pay-to play ordinance" is untrue. Ordinance 10-2007 was just passed last year and only refers to developers, not vendors. In fact, at the time of its passage, Ordinance 10-2007 only blocked one company from doing business with Aberdeen – the Columbia Group, Matawan’s developer for the Aberdeen-Matawan Transit Village. So much for being neighborly.

Unfortunately, this is what happens in the “Soprano State” when a town is run by a single party for over a decade. The most egregious example is Councilman Vinci. The county and township gave him 4,000 square feet of tax-free land adjacent to his home. Vinci receives regular payments from the Aberdeen Democratic Executive Committee, including “consulting fees” for work done on his own reelection campaign last year. He browbeat the county into demolishing a house and building a private access road so that state highway workers would no longer drive by his house. Vinci and Councilwoman Gumbs are the only council members to take a raise this year. Coincidentally, they are also the only two able-bodied members of the town council to park in the handicapped spots in front of town hall.

The article notes Councilwoman Gallo may be relinquishing her seat. How sad and how telling.
>>> Read more!


Anonymous said...

I hope Gallo doesn't let them push her out. We need honest voices to question the insane methods those in control, exercise in this town.

Councilwoman Gallo, you and Perry are the only two on the council I would ever vote for.

Aberdeen voters we need to support the officials willing to challenge the corruption in this town.

Anonymous said...

Does that mean that they told you they cannot print it? Does it mean they may print it in the future?

Let me know, since if they have made that decision on a letter such as this one shown on the Aberdeener I will ask them to stop delivering the paper to my house. The reason I would tell them would be very simple. So much for Freedom of the Press, as the press probably got pressured by Kauff and Crew, and the editor bowed to the pressure.

If any such pressure was applied in such a manner that should be all the proof they at the newspapers would need, to know something was really crooked in Aberdeen. As if we all do not know that already.

So much for the pen being mightier than the sword.

I will await your response Aberdeener. While I understand the "after consideration part of it I just want a confirmation from the author before I call and express my disgust.

Anonymous said...

Come on. Nobody should be shocked that a letter with such contents was not printed. It is without a doubt that Kauff and crew called and complained feverishly to the editor of the Baychore Independent about Ms. Statels article as it made some of the Aberdeen Municipal personnel and its leadership look like a bad Abbot and Costello "who's on first" type routine.

Why else would the Bayshore Independent not print such an exacting and pointed letter stating the obvious facts as well showing exactly what is going on in Aberdeen, and who is cashing in. So much for the hard hitting press. I am told that paper used to go pretty far after a story, years ago. Too bad they failed us this time. There is no excuse.

While I do not get the Bayshore Independent, even if I was to have it delivered in my driveway like the other parts of Aberdeen, I would cancel my delivery, even if it is free. But I live on that side of town and we do not get it dropped in our driveway. Unfortunately the Bayshore Independent does not get it either, as they miss an opportunity in Cliffwood and the beach for press dollars. I am sure there is some formula and criteria but I mean how many houses are you talking about?

I am certain the economics of an area dictates who gets the paper, but come on, if one section of Aberdeen gets it, they should all have to get it.

I am also certain that Kauff wishes no one got the paper as of late, as the Gallo article made the town leadership and its staff look inept and as if they were (are) hiding everything from the citizen taxpayers. The truth will be getting out very soon so F the Bayshore Independent.

F Kauff too.

Anonymous said...

As people enter New Jersey our welcome signs should read as follows:

Welcome to New Jersey where our politicians are corrupt and we let them be that way, we don't know any better."

Kauff is laughing at every single one of us. And he likes it that way. Let us start the weekend off right,

F U Norman

I do not know about you but those eight letters start my weekend off in a good way.

Anonymous said...

Mine also.

Anonymous said...

We too.

Mr. & Mrs. Middlesex Jim

Anonymous said...




Aberdeener said...

I don't know why the letter was rejected. Possibilities include length, number of "unsubstantiated" accusations, controversial nature, or they just plain didn't like it.

I do, however, know the letter was circulated and considered for publication.

matawan advocate said...

nsectionjoe, "Tell me it isn't so Joe!" If the same government agencies and regulatories overseeing the bailout was to prevent this from happening why aren't they all replaced without so much as an umbrella?

The working person gets fired for poor performance on the job. If they are lucky, get unemployment in an amount they can hardly live on. The rich get a golden parachute for poor performance in an amount that could feed a small country.

As long as there are "golden parachutes" for CEOs and the like, what incentive do they have to succeed? It is a win win for them.

Everyone seems to have forgotten ENRON.

Anonymous said...

Once again our government at work.

You must look all the way back to 1776 and before to see where unfortunately, "history repeats itself time and time again".

Citizens since that very early time have merely traded the overbearing and oppressive rule of mother England, for a similar situation wrought with "taxation without representation", in what was then about to become an America supposedly free from the tyranny of English rule, which has since the inception of the Declaration of Independence been a continual and ever present problem wherein its elected officials are seldom if ever held accountable, for anything they do or the very real costs to us its citizens.

Throughout our history the one ever present fact without fail has been that our supposed representatives fail to represent the people they are sworn to serve. History since time began is filled with example after example of the total failure of political leadership. Our financial mess is no different it just becomes another piece of history.

Just look at the idiots who are speaking so loudly and pointing fingers at everyone but themselves. Chris Dodd, best known as the best drinking buddy of Ted "give everyone everything" Kennedy And the other loudmouth Barney "I had no idea my house guest was operating a male escort service and prostitution service from my own home" Franks. They head the very governmental regulating boards and committees that were supposed to oversee and stop this exact type of thing from occurring. NO ACCOUNTABILITY, and once again the taxpayers foot the bill for these men and many others in governments failures.

Like it or not history repeats itself. The financial failure of 1929, Hitler, Idi Amin Dada, Pol Pot, Darfur, the list goes on and on.

Whether it be physical or emotional the cost for corrupt government and the complete and total lack of anything close to accountability and justice for all does not exist.

History repeats itself and it always will.

Anonymous said...

It is off the subject but Nsection is right. When we stop the insanity by voting out all incumbents. It may be a radical step but at least it is a step.

Middlesex Jim

Anonymous said...

It will never happen. Look at Lousinberg, nowhere to be found and will win the election handily. Not in New Jersey. The sheep are to stupid.

Anonymous said...

Baaa Baaa Baaa. Opressed by Kauff Sheep #22 checking in.

Who cares we cannot change it? They *politicians* have set it up to fail and they like to profit personally off of that failure.

Do you realize that many corporations are rife with politicians spouses sit on Boards of Directors of major corporations and foundations, spouses who do absolutely nothing but serve as a direct *in House* monitor.

It is like having a built in lobbyist for *conduit of cash for influence* their politician spouse, at a bargain price.

Look at Wayne Bryant presently on trial for corrupt activities, whose family members had salary's totaling over $650,000.00 annually from state jobs. Just a coincidence? Not likely as it pervades our corrupt system, and costs us tremendous amounts of our money.

F U Norm.