Tuesday, December 30, 2008

End-Year Review

My four-year old son has a new trick. He asks you to close your eyes and then sucker punches you in the tummy. The “trick” reminded me of what our elected representatives have been doing to us for years. Over the past year, we’ve witnessed both positive changes and more business-as-usual. I can’t claim the blog has done any good but I am sure of one thing – The next time an official socks us in the gut, our eyes will be wide open and the public won’t tolerate such abuse for long.

As the year’s stats show, traffic peaked in April, sharply dipped in June after I forbade anonymous comments, and then matched April’s peak in December.

Among the top ten articles, school related articles outnumber township articles by 2 to 1. Only three of the top ten were written in the later half of the year.

The issue of school directors lacking a “director’s certification” was easily the biggest story in the past six months and is not about to die anytime soon. New information will be released in January and we still have to see whether any lawsuits or regulatory actions will be forthcoming.

Once again, the least regarded story is that involving affordable housing. The town has granted zoning variances to a politically connected local developer to build unwanted and unnecessary housing despite the adverse impacts upon the community. Yet, my readership appears more interested in who’s using the handicapped parking spaces in front of town hall.

By far, Dr. O’Malley represents the single biggest improvement to our district in the past year. For the first time in recent history, the school district has recognized its mission is academic performance and community service, not patronage.

On the flip side, the township has been a series of disappointments. First Town Manager Brown’s resignation and then Councilwoman Gallo’s resignation. Meanwhile, pay-to-play is rampant and the back-door dealings continue.

The biggest lesson of the year was the school board election. Jan Rubino, with the implicit endorsement and support of the teachers union, solicited campaign contributions from school staff. The scandal was largely ignored and she won in a landslide.

The biggest question mark is BOE President Pat Demarest. She has a commendable record supporting Dr. O’Malley. In everything else, she’s been a terrible disappointment. From ethics, to academic achievement, to staff qualifications, to teacher qualifications, she has steadfastly maintained her position that the minimum legal standards, in all cases, are sufficient for our students and community. Yet, despite her low standards, she publicly opposed Dr. O’Malley’s appointment. Go figure.

As for the blog itself, I am still well below my goal of reaching 5% of all households in Aberdeen. Excluding certain stories, Aberdeener.com often doesn’t pass the 3% threshold. I had assumed a natural organic growth through word of mouth. That hasn’t happened. In January, I plan to promote the site through a bulk mailing and provide a “Best of Aberdeener” page listing the choicest articles.

One thing’s for sure – it’s no longer business as usual. More and more, officials are considering their actions’ consequences. Whereas before they could act fearlessly in the shadows, now they must tread carefully in the light.

I believe the blog continues to do well and I thank my readers for their indulgence and support. I continue to hope the blog will become unnecessary.

May everyone have a blessed year.
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37 comments:

Tony said...

Aberdeener,

Happy New Year too. I for one really like that someone has the guts to"put it out there" and make those who are crooks nervous. I look forward to what new issues you will bring to light in the new year.

KennyCB said...

Before I leave for the GSP I would like to let all who take the time and seek to rid our community of the corrupt, power hungry and immoral politicians and their handlers that I make all of you this promise. Every single day i will let someone in my area of Aberdeen know about what is going on. I will give them and if I have to show them how to get on the Aberdeener website.

Like the old saying goes. I tell two friends, they tell two friends and so on and so on*** Just think of it and my hope is all of you do the same.

To all of you who like we have been told before that we are wasting our time I say BLAH, BLAH, BLAH*** Give them some of their own medicine.

To the Kauffkins I say to you enjoy what time you have left between now and election day.

In closing I say

THE TRUTH SHALL SET US FREE.

Happy New Year to all.

matawan advocate said...

Aberdeener, Congratulations on your successful blog. It has been an inspiration to other bloggers like us. Keep up the good work.

One thing we all have learned is not to close our eyes to corruption. Simply put by your son's trick....we can no longer "close our eyes" to corruption. We can make a difference!

Happy New Year to you, your family and readers.

NSectionJoe said...

While my constant watching of the Board of Education is my priority, the information often supplied here is very valuable to those of us who seek accountability. The 70% of my and your tax dollars is something that cannot receive too much attention and public criticism.

I like many others have grown tired of those who swear on the BIBLE to do the right thing, only to immediately forget the very oath they had just swore to uphold and to work diligently on behalf of the people.

70% of our money with little accountability goes through the Board of Education. $50,000,000.00 plus annually. They must be watched and the public informed all along the way. We can no longer allow ourselves to be governed by the few who to the man or woman the word accountability is a joke.

HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY NEW YEAR.

KimsMom and Husband 2 said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR ABERDEEN

Anonymous said...

Hey KennyCB, you talk a good game, but when are you going to put yourself out in the public eye and run for office. Do you volunteer for anything? or do you just like hiding behind this blog which is acoording to some facts that are put on here are only about 10% correct and 90% BS. I live in the A section and have checked out some info that has been posted by the ABerdeener and you since I was off this week, and found most of the stuff posted has either been spun to make the township and the BOE look bad.

Its time to stop putting everyone down for your own personnal agenda and start working together to make ABerdeen a great town.

Hey Aberdeener that goes for you to, info is great when its correct, but what you are doing is destroying the BOE and the township for political purpose only.

Hey Kenny from the J section, at least I give you credit you put yourself out in the public eye when you were on the BOE, I voted for you the first time, but thought your ego got the best of you when you were on the Board. If you decide to run for council or the Board again leave your ego behind and do whats right. For the rest of you stop hiding behind this blog and get involved

Russ in strathmore said...

Mr. Comment Above,

Can you tell us what info was wrong? or spun ? specific examples?

NSectionJoe said...

Anonymous will give no specific examples. People like that would just rather say people who put them selves out there are wrong rather than prove anyone wrong with specifics.

When it comes to the BOE vast amounts of money were spent improperly, schools were rebuilt without any real supervision or accountability for their costs or materials used, test scores have been and remain in the basement and much, much, more.

The reality is what people like anonymous hide from reality and would rather castigate others rather than give one shred of evidence. This anonymous poster is not alone. It is very sad. So to anonymous take your best shot and give just five examples where anyone has been wrong or wherein the Aberdeener put something out to the public that was wrong and was purposefully meant to be hurtful.

I and many others are waiting. Good luck and take your time.

Anonymous said...

Russ,
1. Council had no choice about approving COAH plan. If they did not, the township would be fined and cost the taxpayers money. The land that is owned by Cifelli is being developed by Centex which the council has been fighting with, so thier is no rlationship or payoffs involved.
2. No one on this council is getting a state job which has been said numerous times, I ran into one of the gentleman at town hall and he thought that was pretty funny.
3.It was said in past comments that they are on the take from developers and professionals, again it was denied and aked me to get proof, which I think was asked
for by someone else on this blog.

All I am saying is stop bashing peolple unless you get involved, and stop hiding behind this blog which is going to tear this town apart. The BOE is walking on eggshells and the infighting is hurting everyone. If you have proof of corruption lets see it instead of BSing about it

Aberdeener said...

Anon,

Thanks for the examples. I'll respond to each.

COAH - The new COAH regulations don't change our prior obligations, only future obligations. Why did Coppola oppose the developments last year but support them this year? Why are we using far higher development projections than the state? To simply say we had to submit "a plan" does not justify "the plan" we submitted.

State/County Jobs - There have been numerous rumors that council members will be seeking state/county jobs to supplement their pensions. To say no one has gotten a "state job" is not correct. Councilman Raymond got a job working for the MVC in Scudiery's Airport Plaza. As for what will happen in the future, now that Scudiery has gained control in Freehold, let's see. Hopefully, you're right.

On the take from developers - I have never suggested that any council member is "on the take" from developers. However, I have documented the special tax breaks that Ciaglia received. I, too, am familiar with the "parking lot shakedown", "condo unit set-asides", and other such allegations but I try to refrain from writing on topics that I can't document.

As for the BOE walking on eggshells, I hope that's true. They have much to answer for.

If these are the best examples you can provide to substantiate your claim that my posts are "10% correct and 90% BS", then you've given a pretty strong endorsement for this blog.

Thanks and happy new year.

Aberdeener said...

An earlier comment was deleted for being graffiti.

KennyCB said...

CENTEX is just a front like the other developers that Cifelli used in the past to keep his name out of the approval process. Norman Kauff as an Attorney has allowed himself to pull the strings on property density, zoning changes and more in violation of the NJ Code of Ethics. When Norman walks a client through the approval processes time after time and development after development or house after house even when citizens come out in protest, he violates his position as the supposed taxpayers legal representative. He has done it over and over again and Mayor Slob-el is right there to say*as was reported previously* **we shouldn't take food out of the mouths of the Ciaglia children.** So against a strong vocal public outcry they approve everything the Ciaglias wanted for years. Cifelli is the same as Ciaglia and Norman works that side of the family as well.

Get it through your anonymous thick skull. NORMAN KAUFF IS A LOW LIFE SCUMBAG AND HAS SCREWED AND CONTINUES TO SCREW THE TAXPAYERS EVERY SINGLE DAY*. He deserves to be investigated if nothing else.

Norman is Aberdeen it is that simple. And he is running Aberdeen into bankruptcy. You can bet they have already started to gather the C.M.E. wish list for road programs, bullshit studies and more already and it is only 1/2/09.

After all it is a big election year and Norman and the boys need lots of money. How many road programs and engineering fees will be created this year to feed C.M.E. and Normans wallet? In the past C.M.E. has been paid about $1.3 million dollars a year for their *to say the least questionable* work. Many of us are still waiting for an explanation on the Gerard Avenue and that C.M.E. screw up.

Tick Tock** Tick Tock.

Allow me to start the year off right

F U Norman Kauff

and your little dog too.

You can't handle the truth said...

Why did Kauff contact Levitt's successor to remove the deed restriction from the church's property on Cambridge? Ciaglia might have paid for that legal work directly or through escrow - but why did Kauff, the Township Attorney at the time, involve himself in such a conflict of interest?

Why do the Township's professionals, Planner and Engineer, change their "professional" opinions on the flip of a dime - if the dime is flipped by Kauff?

Why does Kauff push developers to hire a specific law firm for representation when that law firm does no other work for them and/or they have in-house attorneys?

How does Vinci organize a land grab and then avoid paying property taxes?

Why is money never left in escrow accounts after the Township's professionals are done with zoning and planning reviews?

Why does CME always spend up to its budget estimate, even when not supported by the level of work performed?

Why did taxpayers support weekly trips to Maryland for former Manager Coren?

Why did the Aberdeen Democrats pay Vinci a stipend? to run? for campaign expenses?

How did Ciaglia gain approval to overbuild from the Zoning board?

Why does the COAH plan segregate affordable housing to the Cliffwood side of town?

A denial from people that can't be trusted is worth as much as a wooden nickel. The reality illustrates why the cost of living in NJ is so high. This is a great state and a great town that is tainted by the actions of a few self-serving cronies who are made to feel important by Kauff. Kauff is a sickly old man who makes up for his impudence by playing monopoly with our money.

KimsMom and Husband 2 said...

WOW somebody had their wheaties this morning.

Way to go!

So to all the kauffanistas we ask

DENY THE INFO PROVIDED BY YCHTT

You cannot explain away the truth.

And how about Kauff negotiating in parking lots with developers who when they do not pay Normans shakedown bribes mysteriously they are never the chosen developer on the projects Norman Kauff controls.

It is not just a coincidence.

He is scum and he knows it !

Face it Norman Kauff SUCKS !

Anonymous said...

It might be a good time to buy Centex(CTX)- one o the best builders out there with very little debt.

Anonymous said...

I am a ,little lost. Where are the Centex homes supposed to go? the old Cifelli? Why is that bad? how many units?

What about the PRESERVE next to charlie brown's? Are there limitations who is going to live there? There are a lot of units... does this produce tax revenue?

KennyCB said...

It is not about the homes and who built them. It is about the political involvement and the fact that our NORMAN KAUFF is involved and he is negotiating for and controlling Aberdeen without being elected to do so. He is a political power hungry -scumbag and that is all.

What gives Norman Kauff the right to negotiate contracts?

What gives Norman Kauff the right to shakedown developers for payoffs and bribes in a parking lot?

What gives Norman Kauff the right to do anything on behalf of the people in Aberdeen?

Who is Norman Kauff and why is he so involved wiothout authorization from the people of Aberdeen?

John Lynch, George Norcross and Norman Kauff. Need I continue? These are the scum that ruin our state. Our town is ruined and being bled dry by a man not elected, not sworn and not competent to do so with NO ACCOUNTABILITY for his actions, misdeeds or giveaways to his cronies. The town council is a group of simpletons led by Mayor Slob-el and *his supposed end of day integrity statement* is an absolute joke.

Perhaps anonymous should get a map and take a good look at it. The Preserve on 79 is in Matawan not in Aberdeen.

People this is New Jersey and unfortunately that says it all. Money, politicians, treachery, overtaxed citizens, failing schools, pay to play and the list goes on and on. Wake the F up.

F U Norman Kauff

KennyCB said...

I just got a call and was asked how I know all of what goes on about Norman Kauff.

The answer is very simple I have lived here since 1979. I have and continue to be active as a watcher of the political shenanigans in and around our town and state.

When my wife was alive she forbid me to get involved publicly due to the fact that her brother worked for Aberdeen. Since she has passed on last year I have taken to be very vocal with what little time I have left. I know people who know people as it is said. I know present and former politicians and community activists and I ask questions.

I also believe what I read on this site. Why? It is very simple. Those who do the crime and who are shown time after time to be political hacks and scum fail in every sense of the word to *defend* themselves over our serious accusations and with various forms of proof of corruption. As it said in the holy book *let those who cast the first stone* I cast the stone with my accusations and postings. Their silence is their guilt and they dare not cast a stone against any of us, as they know they are guilty.

That is why I care little for the Kauff Crew and their deaf, dumb and blind supporters and hangers-on and their blah, blah and blah responses.

I will be vocal and will call those out to be accountable for as long as I live. My downright hatred for Norman Kauff does not rule me. It does merely drive me to expose and question his unchallenged, unaccountable and corrupt involvement. Let him respond just once or take legal action. He can't, he won't and he's scared. Many of us know much that would have to come out in court proceedings. Norman Kauff cannot defend his guilt. Others attached to Norman at the hip know how much we know and it would be hard to answer questions about parking lots, job giveaways, falsified lighting plans by C.M.E. and much more. Yeah I know people. and they know an awful lot.

To you anonymous posters you can save your breath. I do not have to go to council meetings to get my point across or have my questions or accusations answered. Your and their silence is enough for me and many more who call you out.

2009 should be very interesting. The Aberdeener will take care of that and every single day more people know. Norman hates that. Right Norm?

Anonymous said...

Referring to your little comment about teacher's certification and taking on line classes through a distance learning class is rediculous. Do you know the time and energy teachers and any other student puts into these classes? For one the on line classes in some cases are just as demanding as being in the classroom. Until you sit through the various programs there is no need to knock getting a masters through an on line institution. Many colleges and universities now offer classes on line to their students on campus. This is the year 2009 and this is the way the world is going; there is no need to knock hard work. You go in an hour before your students come in, stay an hour or two after your students have left, and then head to class. Most on line courses expect you to be in the classroom for no less than ten hours a week with two small assignments and a major assignment due every Sunday. In a regular classroom you go once a week and might not even have an assignment due until the end of the semester. Research all the different programs out there.

greenwood ronald said...

Wow Mr. KennyCB

I wrote the post you answered. I was just asking about the Centex homes.... I am not as enlightened as you.

My Preserve comment was directed in such a way that shouldn't we not like those homes for the same reason we don't want the Centex home? I KNOW WHERE THEY ARE- in Matawan but pose the same problems to our school district with added students - does the tax revenue cover that? CALM DOWN !!! I believe the Aberdeener mentions Matawan AND Aberdeen on the opening page of this site.

I ALSO disagree with you. I have read your posts- they have good points. I think the "F U Norm" stuff a little to far and is sophomoric. I actually believe most of what you write BUT WHY NOT give specific examples? AND WHY NOT GO TO A TOWN COUNCIL meeting? AND really make a stink? I think some of what you say falls on deaf ears and you like Mr. Warren, Mr. Aiken, and others should make your face known and encourage others to go with you - Strength in numbers they say.....

KennyCB said...

Once again going to a council meeting in front of our idiots does absolutely nothing. If I was to go and bring forth my proofs and more all that would happen would be that Slob-el would deny everything and the town attorney would make some grandstanding speech about lawsuits and defamation of character and the like, which would never happen for the reasons previously posted. Just like that idiot Gross on the Bored of Education attorneys are liars and their supposed threats of lawsuits never materialize.

They know what they do, they deny what they do and only THE TRUTH will set us free. It is coming and I for one cannot wait until many more citizens, business owners and taxpayers realize what these supposed community and our elected officials are really doing. It certainly is not doing the work of the people. It is in truth merely doing the work of Norman Kauff, C.M.E. and others who work in the dark shadowy political underworld that is NJ politics.

If my SOPHOMORIC greetings to Kauff offend you, the F U is what Kauff does to each and everyone of us every single day. I just merely return it his way. Yes it is SOPHOMORIC and I know he hates it.

Just GOOGLE the name Norman Kauff and see what comes up. It will surprise you. When Norman leaves this life he will forever be remembered for eternity by some of our and other peoples comments and sophomoric suggestions on what he could do to himself.

Sadly I will be away for a couple of weeks and I will count on UCB to get in touch with me should the Federal authorities do a sweep of our corrupt politicians.

UCB is back by the way and was proudly serving as a private contractor in Iraq. I for one am glad he returned safely. I am merely going to visit my brother and sister and will try not to think about Kauff the whole time I am away. It will be hard I am sure.

F U Norman

Anonymous said...

RE. the anonymous post that ends with the words"..research all the different programs out there." Please, God in Heaven, let it not be anyone who is teaching our children. Its riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes and very badly written. It scares me.

Anonymous said...

Kenny CB, when you speak we only hear "blah, blah, blah". You don't go to the council meetings because you are scared and a blow hard and YOU are ANONYMOUS! Stop acting like you are not!

Aberdeener said...

Three-quarters of our teachers getting masters degrees now get them from two online programs. The programs are widely reputed to be cheap and easy compared to other programs. The issue isn't that the programs are online. The issue is that they're poorly regarded. Our BOE President may consider it irrelevant where our teachers get their degrees but I don't.

As for The Preserve, my apologies but I've never researched the development. The poster is correct that any development would impact our school enrollment. The question is whether taxes cover the additional costs. I don't know.

Though I would love to write more about Matawan, I lack time. As you may imagine, Aberdeen and the school district keep me sufficiently occupied.

sickntiredretwrkrwcares said...

It was said recently that this blog THE ABERDEENER is going to tear this town apart.

Let us review:

What will the overwhelming costs for shoddy work freely given to CME do to the taxpayers of Aberdeen? $1.5 Million annually as of now and expecting to grow this year.

What will the test scores and graduation rate do to ready our children for the world at a cost to the taxpayers of $13,000.00 each?

What will the out of control spending of the Bd. of Ed. do to the taxpayers? $54,000,000.00 a year.

What will developers being allowed to build with little if any accountability to the school costs and town services costs they leave behind?

What are we to do with a former town Attorney who illegally and immorally works both sides of developmental deals with no accountability?

What do you do with council leadership that said nothing while large amounts of money were spent by a former town manager along with his weekly trips to his sailboat in Virginia while using a town vehicle and town gas for many years?

What do you do with local governmental boards that are controlled by the same lawyer that works both sides of the deal and tells them what to do with no accountability?

Talk about tearing Aberdeen apart there will be no Aberdeen if Norman Kauff and our incompetent leadership continues in Aberdeen?

Wake up Aberdeen!

Lng4mthreng said...

The last post is right and there are more examples of our local leaders misdeeds. Unfortunately there are far more examples in and around Aberdeen that come to light every day. My example for all to consider is the sign a developer has been allowed to leave on the fence line on Church Street for over two years now that advertises a planned senior citizen development that probably has no approvals to put one beam in the ground. Why does Aberdeen allow free advertising like that? Who is getting paid off or getting free home improvements for that one? We all know what upstanding local legal mind (laughing) is probably controlling and allowing that to happen. Any guesses?

Anonymous said...

lng4mthreng is right. Why is that sign there. Does it have zoning approval like my signs had to have for my business. Where is the Code guy to enforce that rule. Is it OK if it is a favored developer who passed his envelopes to you know who?

Makes one wonder does it not?

Anonymous said...

Have you seen that sign lately? It looks like one more day of strong winds will have that sign airborne and I feel sorry for any driver, coming around that bend, if that sign does break free. It's an accident waiting to happen. I say the time is right for removing the sign as it is not only an eyesore, but it's about to become a road hazard too.

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