RED BANK: MENNA SEEKS PDQ CHARTER REPORT

menna burry 010216Mayor Pasquale Menna with Monmouth County Freeholder Lillian Burry after Saturday’s borough government reorganization. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna hopes to assemble a “blue-ribbon panel” in coming days to quickly assess what he called “one of the biggest elephants in the room:” the Red Bank Charter School’s controversial expansion plan and its impact on taxpayers.

Menna announced the initiative at Saturday’s borough government reorganization, telling a packed room he hoped the seven-member committee would “articulate the issues, the consequences, and the financial impact” of such an expansion for taxpayers.

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NO VIDEO AS BYRNES BOWS OUT

byrnes-exit1Middletown Committeeman Sean Byrnes says he doesn’t anticipate a return to politics any time soon, if ever. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Sean Byrnes, the Middletown Township Committee‘s lone Democrat, made his final appearance behind the dais Monday night in an hour-long meeting of “mixed emotions” during which the committee recognized him with a proclamation commending his service.

But the governing body also tabled a measure on one of Byrnes’ pet projects: getting the meetings videotaped.

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CANDIDATE Q&As: MIDDLETOWN

election_2010_qa

Earlier this month, redbankgreen emailed questionnaires to local candidates for public office in towns with contested elections on November 2. Beginning today, we’re running their replies, starting with those from Middletown, where four candidates are vying for two seats on the five-member Township Committee. The committee members, not voters, select the town’s mayor.

Here’s the Middletown ballot: middletown-ballot-2010

The replies are arranged below in alphabetical order. Next week, we’ll have the replies from candidates in Sea Bright, Rumson and Red Bank.

BYRNES: FORM A FINANCE TASK FORCE

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NAME: Sean F. Byrnes (Democrat, incumbent)

AGE: 47

OCCUPATION: Attorney

LENGTH OF RESIDENCE IN TOWN:
10 years

General Questions:

1. What do you see as the top three issues
in town?

a. Constantly Increasing Taxes.

b. Poor Governance Structure

c. Marginal Transparency

2. What specifically are you planning to do to address those issues?

The Township’s steady tax increases are the product of poor planning and a refusal to make difficult decisions. We had an increase in our municipal tax levy in 2010 that exceeded 13%. By my calculation, our municipal tax levy has jumped approximately 45% in the last 5 or 6 years. We have no published, agreed upon plan for attacking the categories of spending that drive these increases. We need to create the Finance Task Force I have been calling for since my election 2007, include some of our extremely competent residents who have financial backgrounds and develop a written plan to bring our spending in line with our available revenue. This will mean a reduction in services, but so be it. We can do this without cutting the core services that our citizens need. Non-essential services will be reduced. I have recommended the following measures for the last two years, and I will continue to advocate for their implementation:

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MAHONEY: BUDGET NEEDS BETTER PLANNING

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NAME: Mary Mahoney (Democrat)

AGE: 56 (do you have to print that?) Yikes!

OCCUPATION: Worked for 18 years as a buyer and showroom manager in the garment center before retiring to raise my family.  For the past 7 years I’ve worked at the Pottery Barn as a Design Studio Specialist and also as a Independent Sales consultant for Silpada Designs.

LENGTH OF RESIDENCE IN TOWN: over 24 years.

General Questions:

1. What do you see as the top three issues in town?

– Poor planning and execution. Township Committee reacts instead of planning long term. Produces waste and higher taxes.

– Ineffective and inefficient governing.  No defined or specific responsibilities for committee members.

– Misplaced priorities.  Many areas in Middletown are neglected such as the Bayshore area where flooding as not been fixed for over 20 years.

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