Sunday, November 16, 2008

Another One Bites the Dust

Councilwoman Gallo has officially submitted her resignation letter. Sametta Thompson, of the Asbury Park Press, said it best. “Gallo is [the] second township official this year to resign from office.”

Although Councilwoman Gallo technically resigned from the Aberdeen Township council on November 8th, she had disappeared from the political scene after her heated opposition to the town’s budget at the September 2nd meeting. According to the minutes, Mayor Sobel pointedly asked her, “Do you want to be a member of this council or not?” Councilwoman Gallo responded “I do but I am not.” At issue – the township’s massive level of pay-to-play.

Former Township Manager, Stuart Brown, was reputed to have been ousted earlier this year on the same grounds. During his tenure, at least two CME projects were denied funding and, soon after his departure, Aberdeen awarded CME $237,071.25 in new business. Sure enough, at the September 2nd meeting, Councilwoman Gallo objected to money being allocated for the road program, a.k.a. CME Associates. (For those new to the scene, CME Associates is the township engineer, receiving over a million dollars a year; they’re also the town council’s largest political contributor.)

In her letter, Councilwoman Gallo stated “recent developments have cause [sic] me to realize that my attempts to promote what I believe are the best interests of Aberdeen, are often at odds with my fellow council members. As a result of my strong commitment, my personal life and health have begun to suffer. I therefore, no longer feel that I can fulfill my duties and responsibilities as a council member.”

One can only wonder at the level of pressure to force from office a councilwoman only eight months into her first term. Councilwoman Gallo was no stranger to the hard knocks of local politics. She was a founding member of the Matawan-Aberdeen Educational Foundation and then served six years on our school district’s board of education. After resigning her seat to Pat Demarest (currently the BOE President), Gallo later served on the Aberdeen Township Planning Board. When Councilman Minutolo was dumped from last year’s Democratic ticket (and subsequently became chairman of the Aberdeen Republicans), Gallo was recruited to run for council and garnered the second highest vote tally after Councilman Vinci.

Yet, the moment she objected to the township’s pay-to-play, she was gone. Following the meeting, Mayor Sobel told the Independent “People get at pay-to-play with some of our hiring practices but we were one of the first municipalities to pass a pay-to-play ordinance.” Mayor Sobel’s statement was remarkable on two counts – First, the ordinance was passed just last year and only applies to developers, in particular Matawan’s chosen developer for the proposed transit village. Second, Mayor Sobel made the statement fully aware that virtually each of the township’s providers of professional services is also a financial contributor to the local Democratic party.

The question now is what will happen next. Will the all-Democratic council appoint someone completely oblivious to local politics or will they find a “team player” wholly subservient to the party’s interests?

Given the council’s record so far this year – the forced resignation of a popular town manager, a freshman councilwoman’s resignation while under fire, and the municipality’s largest ever tax increase – plus the upcoming shock from the property revaluations, the Democrats prospects for maintaining a monopoly in next year’s elections are looking dim indeed.

On a final note, I'd like to thank Councilwoman Gallo for her service to our community and wish her all the best.
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Anonymous said...

Did she not know what she was getting into when she decided to run last year?

What would have been the worst case scenario if she just kept voting NO on everything? 6-1 votes?

However, all she needed to do was hold on until Nov 2009, when 3 new NON KAUFF people get elected to council to turn the tide!

Anonymous said...

How about Gallo, Perry and Brown run as Independents for town council, I'd support them!

Anonymous said...

I overheard that there was some sort of "hoo-ha" at the board meeting last night. Anyone go who'd like to share what that was all about?

Anonymous said...

What did Normans puppet have to say? The one the only A #1 A-Hole Mayor David Sobel. His statement to the newspaper was not only insulting to Ms. Gallo but to the taxpeyers of Aberdeen. He hoped she would have given it more time. Who he is he kidding?

What was Gallo supposed to do just sit there and be ignored, ridiculed and worse for looking into the obvious corrupt payouts to CME and all of Norm's friends.

Mayor Sobel do not plan on getting re-elected next time. You are done.

Anonymous said...

Kimsmomshusband your dumb

Anonymous said...

Miss us? We hope all of Normans corrupt puppets did? We have been very busy to say the least. Planning the Aberdeen-wide exposure of the Norman Kauff Syndicate. We have been spending an awful lot of time on old contracts and repeated fees paid for shall we say questionable studies, work and reports by CME.

U C's brother is down at the league of municipalities corruption fest and we hope to get some info. We gave him pictures off of the Aberdeen calendar so as to ID our political scum.

How many corrupt Aberdeen representatives will be attending. Wonder if Norm will attend? We can be sure CME will take care of their GOOD EARNER. Just like the mob you have to take good care of those who bring in the green. Right Normy?

With taxes and all rising we wonder how much Aberdeen will be spending on entertaining Norms co-conspirators on our tax dollars.

Aberdeener should press for an accounting of what officials and employees attended and see how much of a benefit was derived from sending our tax people, payroll or the like on a mini vacation.

It seems the council created a problem with an employee who mistake after mistake, screw up after screw up and with no action by supervisors, for some serious problems (if true) she thinks she runs the show. We will be checking on that since it is said to be disruptive and embarrassing.

It seems this new manager may be the puppet we all thought he would be. Thats what you get from corporate America. Looks good on paper but execution is lacking. Then again maybe he saw what they did to Stewart Brown and said I'll just coast under the radar. Just what we need in Aberdeen a $120,000.00 a year scarecrow.

It really is coming Norm. Can't wait till you see the first piece hit the----.

Anonymous said...

UC & CB no one cares where you were, but we are all sure you two weren't doing anything constructive. Go back to sleep.

Aberdeener said...

Fred Carr has resigned as borough administrator of Matawan. And another one bites the dust.

Anonymous said...

Yes. Without warning and without fanfare, another professional whose only fault was integrity and professionalism was asked to leave immediately.

Anonymous said...

Let the inmates run the asylum

matawan advocate said...

Fred Carr gave his letter of resignation to the Council and it was accepted. How can Anonymous say it was without notice and fanfare? If you know more details do tell. Otherwise all you are doing is raising controversary when none exists. We wish Mr. Carr the best in his future endeavors. Perhaps Matawan will revert to hiring a part time Borough Administrator due to the current financial crisis.

Aberdeener said...

In fairness, I think anonymous is correct. Carr chose to not attend the meeting, suggesting his resignation, so soon after Republican's gained control of the council and during an economic slowdown, may have been forced upon him.

Back in January, I had commented on the rumor that Carr would resign if Buccellato was elected mayor. Though the timing was off, the rumor appears to have had some truth to it.

I wish Fred Carr the very best. He's spent his entire life serving the public. He's a good man.

As for Matawan, desperate times call for desperate actions. Though I can't find the quote, I once heard a line attributed to Alfred DuPont - Nothing focuses a man's mind like a noose around his neck.

Let's hope Matawan's leadership feels the noose and takes the necessary steps to rescue the borough.

Anonymous said...

Just to touch on the Gallo resigning, I am truly disappointed with her. I am a big fan of Mrs.Gallo and what she was attempting to do at these meetings. She was becoming a voice of the people and standing up to these council members. With that being said I can't believe she gave up so easily, I am disappointed with her, she has let us down. After such a short stint as a council member she just gave up. I thank her for her questioning of the council members but wish she would have tried longer.

Anonymous said...

The previous post must understand that the amount of pressure, phone calls, veiled threats and more by Norman Kauff and his tools must have put Ms. Gallo through hell. That is what they do. The fact that she resigned may have been based on some personal matters or needs but the majority of things which caused her resignation were Kauff related. That you can be certain.

It is very simple. Gallo started to question and probe the CME giveaways and that is not to be brought to light or exposed as it would be devastating to Norm and all of the others who feed at the trough of funneled taxpayer dollars.

The new manager you can be sure got his marching orders from Kauff and just looking at Brown and Gallo being cut to the bone has clearly shown him his course of action. He must sit there everyday wondering if he is next to be cut or he has just accepted the $110,000.00 plus salary and laugh at his good fortune. He just has to keep quiet and just keep cashing his check every week. In this economic tim you can't blame him.

I myself work in Manhattan for GE for over thirty years and am quite certain that my position is in peril. I myself would never sell my soul to the devil and cash a check for my silence. To betray the public trust and an oath I took to represent the residents of Aberdeen to the best of my ability, if my best was to just allow corruption to flourish and look the other way. Only time will tell with the latest manager and what he will do to stop past practices that cost us millions a year. The jury is out and many are watching very closely on this new manager. Maybe there is some hope if he learned anything in the cesspool that is Old Bridge. My sister and her family live their and from what they tell me politics and corruption in Old Bridge goes hand in hand.

Only time will tell.

Anonymous said...

Gallo either knowingly or unknowingly has provided an opportunity for reform-minded people in Aberdeen. The election next year, which would have been for 3 of the 7 seats on Council, will now be for 4 seats. This means that voters have another run at taking control back from Kauff's corrupt Democrats.

Remember, Kauff's group barely won last year by just 100 votes. That year the opposition was split. Hopefully we'll be given a decent alternative to the status quo. Gartley sure can't do this heavy lifting. Now is the time to defeat Kauff and make the remaining Kauffites miserable for the remainder of their terms.

It's going to be at the Council meetings for Drapkin and Gumbs. Let's make sure that happens.

Anonymous said...


It's going to be lonely at the Council meetings for Drapkin and Gumbs. Let's make sure that happens.

Aberdeener said...

If the Democrats don't take back control of their own party in the upcoming primaries, it won't matter who's on their ticket. The Republicans will run against the sitting councilmen - Gumbs, Vinci, and Drapkin.

Anonymous said...

Not accurate - next off of Council are Sobel, Raymond, and Perry in 2009 + Gallo's seat

Aberdeener said...

You misunderstand - the Republicans will make the election about the sitting council members, not the ones running for the open seats.

Anonymous said...

I am disapointed with Gallo. Our loone voice has left, given up the fight. I wish her luck and will thank her for her short time, but she has left us and now it's just Perry. I wish she would have given it more of a chance.

Anonymous said...

U C Brother - get a life - you're just a cry baby wishing for your position back... PS Norman has not been working in the town for years so get over this Norman puppet thing - it's getting old

Aberdeener said...

Norman Kauff still does work for the township and continues to exert influence through the Aberdeen Democratic Executive Committee.

I'm surprised someone would suggest otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Mr Kauff is "Of Council" to the township attorney that replaced him and is paid handsomely for bringing the firm his business. Kauff collects money from all of the city's professionals and works backroom deals that would be illegal is the sunshine. Why anyone would defend Kauff is a mystery. He is a parasite who cares about nothing other than feeding his ego and lining his pockets. Kauff is a sterling example of what is wrong with local government in NJ.

Anonymous said...

Yes I agree Kauff is the worst of the worst in Aberdeen. Equally upsetting is the fact that our dishonest and corrupt politicians do absolutely nothing about Norman Kauff and his devastating effects on our communities finances.

The citizens of Aberdeen can only hope the new manager grows some backbone and refuses to drink the Kauff kool-aid much less not allow himself to be a part of the defendant walk that we have seen of many of our local political leaders, supposed political leaders that is. Many of us cannot wait to see Vinci and the others being shackled and led into arraignment proceedings.

Kauff and his late night, parking lot shakedowns and more are well known and should be priority number one for numerous investigations.

To paraphrase a comedy routine by Cheech and Chong years ago, If it looks like shit, smells like shit then that makes it Norman Kauff.

Perhaps we need to put a warning sign out in front of town hall warning developers to be careful of former town attorneys who use strongarm tactics coupled with outright demands for tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees. Such fees are of course for Normans quick approvals, which would of course come so smoothly, as long as the developer came across with Normans suggested fees and his hand picked legal firm is used.
You see money comes to Norman in many ways. Not bad for someone never elected to make any decisions on behalf of the taxpayers of Aberdeen.

Myself and my neighbors are watching the end of County Road for the proposed development to see how involved Norman will be, and how he will benefit financially. Some very embarrassing questions are coming to the developers as to their cozy relationship with Norman Kauff.

Norman we are not going away.