Former Fair Haven mayor Mike Halfacre, who left his job of three years as head of the state Alcoholic Beverage Control division to join a law firm last May, is changing jobs again. He’s just been hired as executive director of the Beer Wholesalers Association of New Jersey. He’ll continue as “of counsel” to the Newark law firm of Genova Burns, working on select matters, he tells redbankgreen. (Archive photo from 2007. Click to enlarge)
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By JOHN T. WARD
Former Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre has quit his job as head of the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, redbankgreen has confirmed.
Halfacre told redbankgreen that he will leave the agency – the unit of the Attorney General’s office that regulates liquor licenses – effective June 30 to return to the practice of law.
Two sitting council members and a former member are the nominees to fill the empty seat of former Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre, who resigned last month to take a job in the Christie Administration.
The local Republican Committee last week submitted the names of Council President Jon Peters, Councilman Ben Lucarelli and former Council President Andrew Trocchia to fill out the 2012 portion of the two years remaining on Halfacre’s term, committee chairman Rich Magovern tells redbankgreen.
By JOHN T. WARD
He’s yet to resign, but the Asbury Park Press says Fair Haven’s Mayor Mike Halfacre now has been formally named to a post in the Christie Administration that will require him to step down from his elected post.
Halfacre, who apparently jumped the gun last week by announcing his new job as head of the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control on Facebook before his appointment was made official by the governor’s office, did not appear at Monday night’s meeting of the borough council.
Borough officials who appeared not to know of the latest Press report told redbankgreen on the condition of anonymity that Trenton had asked Halfacre to “lie low and not do anything mayoral” while his appointment was being finalized.
Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre is stepping down to take a job in the Christie Administration as head of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, a unit of the Attorney General’s office, the Asbury Park Press reported Wednesday afternoon.
From the Press:
Halfacre confirmed the announcement on his Facebook page Wednesday, saying he had accepted the directorship and will be closing his law office and stepping down as mayor.I will make a formal announcement at Mondays council meeting to the public and my last day as mayor will be Feb. 3, Halfacre said in a phone interview. Its a very big change and Im very excited for the opportunity.
Watching a poorly funded Tea Party-approved candidate throw a scare into an opponent this week, Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre kinda wishes he’d stayed in the GOP primary race in the Congressional 12th District, he tells PolitickerNJ.
But after seeing David Corsi of Oceanport garner 46 percent of the primary vote Tuesday on just $5,000 raised versus venture capitalist Scott Sipprelle‘s $640,000 warchest Halfacre rues not staying in the contest, writes Politicker’s Max Pizarro:
Asked if he regreted not running to the finish, particulalry after seeing Corsi’s victory by 768 votes in the Monmouth County portion of the district, Halfacre said, “Absolutely. I made a mistake. No one could have predicted this election result. If we had any idea the line would have been as weak as it was, we would have stayed in.”
Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre is miffed again.
Two weeks after complaining that borough residents served by the Red Bank water utility had no advance notice of a rate increase, he says the borough was caught off guard with road construction work that Monmouth County started Tuesday “without any notice to the Borough of Fair Haven, and without our input.”
The work, it seems, will require sporadic detours at the busy intersection of River Road and Hance Road over most of the month, he says in a post on his blog.
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
Mike Halfacre’s days in politics aren’t over yet. And he’s willing to break a longtime pledge to prove it.
Following his withdrawal from the District 12 Congressional race last week, the Republican tells redbankgreen that he’s running for a second term as mayor of Fair Haven in November.
“Yes I am,” he said. “I’m running for mayor in 2010.”
Coming off a disappointing failure to win the backing of GOP powerbrokers in Monmouth County, Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre has quit his run for Congress, according to an announcement from his camp Tuesday afternoon.
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
Congressional candidate Mike Halfacre failed to capture home-county backing from his party Monday night, a hit that shows dwindling support for the Fair Haven mayor’s bid to unseat 12-district incumbent Democrat Rush Holt.
Meanwhile, local newspaper publisher Diane Gooch gained traction in her own bid for a Congressional seat.
Fair Haven Mayor and candidate for Rush Holt’s 12th district Congressional seat, seen in his office with a map of the district. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
You aren’t going to see much white space on Mike Halfacre’s calendar these days. Maintaining a town, a law practice and working the campaign trail tends to wipe out your free time.
Since announcing his campaign against Democratic incumbent Rush Holt in July, the mayor of Fair Haven has been hard at work trying to gain support across the large swath of New Jersey that is the 12th District 44 municipalities in five counties that reaches from Halfacre’s hometown to the Delaware River.
With county conventions and a primary looming, Halfacre has been on a dizzying pace on the stump.
“I’m very busy,” he said. “I am out somewhere almost every night of the week.”
Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre, who’s running for Congress in 2010, has scheduled a public forum on President Obama’s national health insurance plan to be held 90 minutes earlier, and in the same place, as one hosted by the incumbent Halfacre hopes to unseat.
Halfacre’s campaign today announced what’s billed as the “Open to All Town Hall” scheduled for Wednesday, August 26, at the Middletown Arts Center.
With his town having just landed a whopping $477,000 in federal stimulus money, one might think that Fair Haven mayor and congressional aspirant Mike Halfacre is in a bit of political quandary.
Halfacre, you see, rarely misses an opportunity to bash the Democrat-spearheaded spending plan.
“Charles Gibson just asked: What’s in massive stimulus for you?” Halfacre posted on Twitter back in February. “My answer: Not a damn thing!”
That was a couple of weeks after he wrote a blog post in which he called on “all Republicans” to oppose the economic bailout then up for a vote on the Hill. He termed it a “pork-laden and, by most economists’ accounts, ineffective stimulus package.”
Last week, Fair Haven learned it had won approval for the full cost of replacing sidewalks on River Road from Fair Haven Road west, past the Acme supermarket.
After months of testing-the-waters fundraising, Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre plans to make his run for Congresss official on Tuesday.
The conservative Republican has scheduled press conferences in his hometown and in Trenton to announce his challenge to incumbent 12th-district Democrat Rush Holt next year.
Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre today declared his intention to run for Congress.
Or did he?
In an email sent today to family, friends and supporters, Halfacre says "I am running for Congress in New Jerseys 12th Congressional District in 2010."
But Halfacre tells redbankgreen that nothing has changed since last Friday, when he reiterated that he was considering a challenge against incumbent 12th-district Democrat Rush Holt but hadn't yet made up his mind to run.
"No, this does not make it any more official than it was last week," he tells us via email. "This is an effort to gauge interest and support, that's all."
He's created a political action committee known as Mike Halfacre for Congress, according to a filing made last week with the Federal Election Commission. It lists Ronald Gravino as the treasurer and gives its address as Colonia, NJ.
"I am considering a run, and filed paperwork that lets me explore that opportunity and speak to people to gauge the interest in my candidacy," Halfacre, a Republican, tells redbankgreen via email.
Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre is distancing himself from a report that he’s mulling a run for Congress… while at the same time admitting that he’s sorta kinda thinking about it.
Wally Edge, the pseudonym for a blogger at PolitickerNJ.com, writes today that Halfacre
True? Here’s what Halfacre told redbankgreen, via email, early this afternoon:
That article has been pointed out to me. I dont know where the guy gets his info from, but it wasnt from me. I was on the train, but other than that, I have made no decisions about what to do with myself in 2010.
But when we pressed him, he said this:
This is a bit of a surprise, frankly. But it is certainly flattering to be thought of in this way.
It is unfortunate that Mr. Kamin, despite his background in journalism, has chosen not to disclose some important facts about his experience with Fair Haven and his quest for public information.
First, Mr. Kamin failed to disclose that he and the Borough of Fair Haven have a long-running dispute about the responsibility to pay for maintenance of the private pond upon which his house is adjacent. Mr. Kamin does not like the fact that the Borough will not pay to clean-up and maintain his privately owned pond, which has no public access and which is bordered on, and owned by, several private homes.
Second, Mr. Kamin does not acknowledge that he sought some confidential information about Borough employees, which, by law, cannot be disclosed.
By LINDA G. RASTELLI
Fourteen months ago, the Municipal Land Use Center, a federally-funded, anti-sprawl think tank based at the College of New Jersey in Ewing, chose eight central New Jersey towns to share in $300,000 to come up with ways to make their communities more livable. Fair Haven was among them.
Using its $40,000 grant, the borough is now in the midst of a “visioning” process to determine, among other goals, how to make its bifurcated business district half old-fashioned downtown, half a hodgepodge of strip malls and car-centric stores more appealing to pedestrians and bicyclists. The Project for Public Spaces, a not-for-profit planning group from New York, has been leading a series of public forums, seeking input.
Mike Halfacre, a lifelong Fair Haven resident and avid bicyclist (he’s competed in numerous triathalons), is in his first year as mayor. He spoke to redbankgreen about the visioning effort last week at his office in Little Silver, where he practices real estate law.
Whats so special about Fair Haven that it was selected for the grant program?
Fair Haven has some unique challenges. The other recipients of the grant were all predominantly cities with downtowns that are much more developed than Fair Haven’s. Weve a blank slate, in a way.
Our main street is a very busy road and we want to sort of reverse engineer it and make it a more pedestrian friendly place. I think thats what attracted [the Municipal Land Use Center] the opportunity to effect some pedestrian-oriented advancements.
"We did it! We introduced a second consecutive budget lowering taxes. Folks at mtg only wanted to complain about leaf collection. Sigh."
That's from a Twitter post late last night by Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre.
And this is from his blog today:
If you read the papers, you will see that Fair Haven is the only town in the region that has been able to lower taxes two years in a row, despite the fact that we are down over $160,000.00 in state funding over that same period.
Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre has published on his blog a head-to-head analysis of the competing offers from Monmouth County and Little Silver to take over the borough’s emergency police dispatching operations.
Here’s the document, which includes cost breakdowns as well as Q&As about the nuts and bolts of the two proposals: Download Shared Dispatch Comparisons
In terms of annual costs to Fair Haven, Little Silver’s pitch has the edge, coming in at $42,720 less than two-thirds the $66,084 the county would charge.
But capital equipment outlays would set Fair Haven back $117,858 if it contracts with Little Silver, twice the sum a deal with the Monmouth County 911 Communications Center would cost.
They’re a little large, and tend to crowd the sidewalk. Mayor Mike Halfacre says he lost a “$1.79 cup of coffee” when he accidentally collided with one.
The six vivid yellow pedestrian-crossing signs recently installed on Fair Haven’s main drag by Monmouth County also add to a “cluttered” look on River Road, which already has its share of county-mandated signage, locals say.
Still, the borough officially welcomes the signs. Its governing body said so at a recent meeting.
Also welcome: moveable signs placed on the center line of River Road and Hance Road advising motorists to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
The vote was split between veteran Councilman Jerome Koch, who was re-elected in November, and Peters.
Councilman John Lehnert seconded Koch’s nomination, but then abstained from the final vote.
Halfacre said he flipped the coin to avoid alienating anyone.