Thursday, January 20, 2011

There's Gold in Them Thar' Sewers

There have been some that say da politics in Manalapan can sometimes be found in da gutter. Then again, those gutters must empty somewhere, and maybe that's why Manalapan and Marlboro's sewers seem to be paved in gold.

It wasn't that long ago that residents of these towns were forced to pay over 30% more just for da honor and privilege to flush their toilets. Were people using their bathrooms more? Was someone constipated? They passed that potty edict at a time when Democrats dominated da local government, and those governments seemed to have no problem not poo-pooing da toilet flushing fee increase.

But then came word that da Feds decided to detour into Manalapan, and while they were in town figured it would be a good time to hold a good old fashioned raid of da Western Monmouth Sewer Authority. Da raid, handled through da offices of a guy named Chris Christie, led to da arrest of da chief sewer rat, "FBI" Frank Abate, who was charged with "taking thousands of dollars worth of free or discounted home improvements and services from contractors and developers in exchange for exercising his authority in favor of those individuals" according to da FBI."

In all, da sewer rat "received significant benefits, including free or discounted home improvements and repairs, property surveys and legal work from contractors and developers seeking work with the WMUA. The Indictment refers to, but does not cite by name, six contractors and two commercial and residential real estate developers who sought sewer approvals from the WMUA."

Oh, and he also received da Cadillac health benefits plan along with a six-figure salary -- that YOU Da toilet FLUSHER pay for.

Can you wonder what would have happened If only Christie looked a little further.

Now, you may not know this, but da WMUA also has four "commissioners" as they are called. Along with that snazy title comes a small yearly cash salary, along with those famous Cadillac health benefits, and other benefits that make it worthwhile to have da kind of background necessary to be a "commissioner" on da WMUA.

Now, if they placed a "Help Wanted" ad in da local snoozepaper, it may read something like this:

"Help Wanted. Needed is a commissioner for da WMUA. Required qualifications - must give political cash donations or at da very least support campaigns for Manalapan Democrats. No actual sewer or pollution engineering experience required."

Maybe it was an ad like that which got Eric Abraham voted in by Democratic majorities twice to be a commissioner on da WMUA.

Then, there was this ad: "Help Wanted. Needed is a commissioner for da WMUA. Required qualifications - must have served or have been an active part of Marlboro Republicans. Being voted out of office a plus. No actual sewer or pollution engineering experience required."

Maybe it was an ad like that which got Joseph Pernice his post on da WMUA.

Then, maybe if you checked da want ads recently you saw an ad like this: "Help Wanted. Needed is a commissioner for da WMUA. Required qualifications - must have a background as a 'political enforcer' or worked on a number of political campaigns. Being a current Grand Poobah of a local Republican Party (aka: Party Boss) a definite plus. No actual sewer or pollution engineering experience required, in fact, we can care less about your actual working background."

Maybe it was an ad like this that gave Manalapan NJ GOP Municipal Chairman Steve "Iron Girth" McEnery da notion that he too can "serve" as a "commissioner" of da WMUA.

So, you have 4 so-called "commissioners," and these three have direct ties to da closed-door politics of Manalapan and Marlboro. Their "qualifications": they apparently may have never even worked in a sewer or even know Ed Norton, they all have bathrooms in their houses and they're tied into da political parties in these towns - so much so that one of them is a political party boss!

So, here's da question - can "anybody" be a sewer commissioner - and why in da world are we spending homeowners hard-earned money to support these politicos in da first place?

If anything, da nomination and approval by majority Republican vote of Manalapan Republican GOP Municipal Chairman Steve McEnery only proves da point that these "appointments" seem to be nothing more than a political giveback at da expense of taxpayers who have no say in da process.

Was this position advertised? Was it on a job website? Was it posted anywhere? Was anyone who is a registered Democrat considered? Did they ask Susan Cohen?

DaTruth is, considering how towns are so cash-strapped and money is tight, why are we even paying for these so-called "commissioners?" Why can't each town that uses da WMUA simply have one of da already elected officials on their town committees simply be responsible for attending meetings and reporting back to da towns, rather than pay 4 guys 4 salaries and 4 Cadillac health plans and 4 benefits plans to keep da towns informed of toilet flushing?

Oh, and while were at it, did you know that da WMUA has its own spokesman?

That's right -- there's a guy who gets paid big-bucks to be a paid spokesman for a sewer authority -- meaning an organization that processes da stuff you flush down your toilets has an actual paid person to speak for it! And it probably wouldn't surprise you at this point to find out that this guy has big ties to da state Democratic party.

Now, in Manalapan Land Baron Andy Lucas was voted not by da voters but by his political majority to be mayor again. To be fair, that's how da system works so we won't give him grief for this. However, as a powerful mayor, maybe he can give us da benefit this time.

This is a challenge to Mayor for Life Andy Boy - do away with da "Commissioners" on da WMUA. Da WMUA already has a very qualified General Manager, a very qualified Director of Finance and a very qualified staff of other professionals who actually know something about sewers and pollution and less about being political hacks and party backers.

Da question is - will he take YOUR money out of his friend's pockets?

Didn't Manalapan's political leaders learn from a 25-month fishing expedition that in our opinion was nothing more than a political vendetta at taxpater expense? If you don't believe that, read this for yourself, see the legal briefs and draw your own conclusions!

And, with Chris Christie going after a sewer authority in Passaic County for their salary issues and other issues that taxpayers are forced to foot the bill for, isn't it time we look at da similar situation that befalls Marlboro and Manalapan taxpayers?

With da economy da way it is, and some towms fighting for their own survival and some homeowners doing da very same, we believe it is time to do away with party patronage jobs that come with salaries and benefits and do da right thing - "For All Da People."

And that's daTruth.


Anonymous said...

This passing should really be noted somewhere on this blog:

MARLBORO — Flags at the municipal complex will be at half-mast Friday in honor of former Township Administrator Alayne Shepler, who died at age 68 Tuesday, township officials said.

Shepler, of Old Bridge, served as township administrator in the 1980s under former Mayor Saul Hornik. A Neptune administrator from 1988 to 1993, Shepler also served as administrator, police director and purchasing director over a period of about nine years in Old Bridge.

She left Old Bridge to become administrator in Manalapan in 2003 before resuming her former post in Marlboro in 2008. Shepler died of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, her family said.

"She did a tremendous job for Marlboro Township both through my dad's administration in the '80s and in agreeing to come back to my administration for the past two-plus years," said Mayor Jonathan Hornik, who is Saul Hornik's son.

"There are very few people who are capable of handling union negotiations who can leave and be respected by everyone in the room," Hornik said. "She was an unbelievable combination . . . of toughness and class. She told it how it is."

Shepler is survived by two daughters, Alexis M. Zisko of Freehold Township and Alyssa M. Palmieri of Old Bridge, and their husbands, a granddaughter, a sister and a nephew, Zisko said.

"She was a strong, smart, kind, compassionate and funny woman who will be missed by many," Zisko said.

A wake will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday at Waitt-Nelms Funeral Home, 501 Route 79. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Gabriel's Parish, 100 N. Main St., where Shepler was a congregant.

Manalapan Democrat said...

If Michelle Roth had made Larry Roth the WMUA Commissioner the outrage from republicans would have been enormous. Making the GOP chairman the commissioner is nothing more than party politics and political patronage at its finest. Should we even be surprised anymore?

Gray Pulls Back, Lucas Plays It Close to the Vest said...

Gray Will Not Be A Candidate For Freeholder

By Art Gallagher

Jim Gray of Manalapan, the former clerk of the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, has been telling party leaders and other potential freeholder candidates that he will not be seeking the GOP nomination for freeholder this year. According to multiple sources, Gray will continue his service on the Monmouth County Library Board, and enjoy his retirement with his family. Gray did not return MMM’s phone call for confirmation.

Word that Gray was considering a bid, as reported here on January 10th, had a virtual field clearing effect. Now that Gray has chosen not to run, the race for the nomination to challenge Democratic Freeholder Amy Mallet is expected to heat up. Incumbent Republican Lillian Burry has indicated that she will seek a third term. No challenger is expected to Burry’s nomination.

Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas stopped short of declaring his candidacy when asked by MMM if he was running. He said that with Gray out of the race he would re-start his efforts to gauge the level of support he has among municipal chairs and other party leaders.

Wall Township Committee Member George Newbury and Spring Lake Councilman Gary Rich, Sr. are expected to seek the nomination.

Holmdel Mayor Serena DiMaso and former Middletown Township Committee Member Tom Wilkens, both veterans for the nominating process are considering bids, as is former Tinton Falls municipal chairman Michael Laffery.--moremonmouthmusings

Anonymous said...

Squaddo, nice mention of Alayne Shepler's passing. She was a great woman and excellent public servant.

Anonymous said...

Bullcrap! Andrew Lucas has been raising money for his Freeholder run for two years now. He is planning to run for Liiian Burry's seat.

I know this because the SOB asked me for money!

By the way, Mr. Ward you forgot to mention Stephen McEnery has been reported as a "Business partner" with Andrew Lucas. Another ethics violation don't you think?

My 2 cents said...

"By the way, Mr. Ward you forgot to mention Stephen McEnery has been reported as a "Business partner" with Andrew Lucas. Another ethics violation don't you think?"

I don't know where you get your information, but that is a pretty damning charge to make. Is there proof that the Chairman of the Manalapan Republican party who was given a commissioner's position with pay and benefits is or was also a business partner of the current Manalapan mayor? If someone can post that, then maybe a case can be made that should most definitely warrant an investigation.

My 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

I think the vast differences in compensation between victims of the September 11 casualty and those who die serving our country in Uniform are profound. No one is really talking about it either, because you just don't criticize anything having to do with September 11. Well, I can't let the numbers pass by because it says something really disturbing about the entitlement mentality of this country. If you lost a family member in the September 11 attack, you're going to get an average of $1,185,000. The range is a minimum guarantee of $250,000, all the way up to $4.7 million.
If you are a surviving family member of an American soldier killed in action,
the first check you get is a $6,000 direct death benefit, half of which is taxable.
Next, you get $1,750 for burial costs. If you are the surviving spouse, you get $833 a month until you remarry. And there's a payment of $211 per month for each child under 18. When the child hits 18, those payments come to a screeching halt.
Keep in mind that some of the people who are getting an average of $1.185 million up to $4.7 million are complaining that it's not enough. Their deaths were tragic, but for most, they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Soldiers put themselves in harms way FOR ALL OF US, and they and their families
know the dangers...
(Actually, soldiers are put in harms way by politicians and commanding officers.)
We also learned over the weekend that some of the victims from the Oklahoma City bombing have started an organization asking for the same deal that the September 11 families are getting. In addition to that, some of the families of those bombed in the embassies are now asking for compensation as well.
You see where this is going, don't you? Folks, this is part and parcel of over 50 years of entitlement politics in this country. It's just really sad. Every time a pay raise comes up for the military, they usually receive next to nothing of a raise. Now the green machine is in combat in the Middle East while their families have to survive on food stamps and live in low-rent housing. Make sense?
However, our own US Congress voted themselves a raise. Many of you don't know that they only have to be in Congress one time to receive a pension that is more than $15,000 per month. And most are now equal to being millionaires plus. They do not receive Social Security on retirement because they didn't have to pay into the system. If some of the military people stay in for 20 years and get out as an E-7, they may receive a pension of $1,000 per month, and the very people who
placed them in harm's way receives a pension of $15,000 per month.

I would like to see our elected officials pick up a weapon and join ranks before they start cutting out benefits and lowering pay for our sons and daughters who are now fighting.
"When do we finally do something about this?"

Anonymous said...

"Is there proof that the Chairman of the Manalapan Republican party who was given a commissioner's position with pay and benefits is or was also a business partner of the current Manalapan mayor?"