Monthly Archives: November 2011

November 14, 2011 SLH Council Meeting

The video recording of the November 14, 2011 SLH Council meeting is posted on YouTube. You may view it by clicking the link below:

BREAKING NEWS: IT’S A TIE! Shuler, Meehan Tie Vote for SLH Council Seat

Election Day 2011 is over, but local drama lingers on as the Monmouth County Board of Elections announced today that the race for a SLH Council seat that was too close to call resulted in a tie.

On Election Day, local Republicans missed a clean sweep of all open seats by 3 votes. Incumbents Gavino “Butch” Maccanico won the mayor’s race and Councilwoman Patricia Cindea held off a challenge by John E. “Jack” Tully. The voting for the council seat being vacated by John P. Brennan was tight, with Democrat Hugh Meehan holding off Republican Jim Shuler, 784 to 781.

Several provisional ballots had been cast at the polls, and these needed to be tallied by the County Board of Elections. The result of that count was to add 3 for Jim Shuler, tieing the Council seat vote 784 to 784.

Sources say that the SLH Democrats will demand a recount. The local party committee must pay for this to be done. If the vote stands, there will be a run-off election after January 1, 2012.

Heightsonline will post updates to this story as they happen.



SLH Councilman Gavino “Butch” Maccanico narrowly edged out incumbent Democrat H. Frances Enright for mayor with a 794 to 745 vote. Incumbent Republican Councilwoman Patricia Cindea beat back the challenge from State Democratic Committeeman and SLH 1st District Democratic Committeeman John E. “Jack” Tully, with a vote of 797 to Tully’s 681. Democratic newcomer Hugh Meehan, who replaced primary winner Ray Critchley on the Democratic ballot in July, led Republican challenger Jim Shuler by 3 votes, 784 to 781.

Residents noted that the Democratic campaign for former Councilman Tully and former nun Enright was extremely low and dirty, even by SLH standards. They felt if the campaign was an indication of how these candidates would serve the town, they wanted “nun” of it.

Several poll workers noted that provisional ballots had been filed, yet they were not included in the final count. Several non-residents were reported to have voted, as well. The Freehold Board of Elections will be requested to assist in these issues.

Watch for heightsonline to update election news as it becomes available.

Council President Maccanico Leads Oct. 24 Meeting

Council President Butch Maccanico leads the October 24, 2011 SLH Borough Council meeting when Mayor Enright does not appear.

Who Doesn’t Want to Buy New Equipment?

In campaign accusations leveled at the current SLH Council, voters are being told that the current council could not agree to buy much-needed equipment which would facilitate garbage pick-up and snow removal.

Not only is this charge completely false — the Council did agree to buy the equipment — but a look at 1990 meeting minutes shows an interesting contrast.

Minutes from a January 29, 1990 budget workshop show that current candidate Jack Tully was part of a council that would not include equipment purchases on the 1990 budget.

Workshop attendees included Mayor Frank Adams along with Councilmen Frank Russo-Alesi, John E. “Jack” Tully, George Bruton, Jack Whitworth, Art Herner, and Elwood Malick. Borough Administrator Frank Horner and Borough Clerk Dorothy Gutierrez also participated.

During the workshop, the issue of purchasing new equipment came up:

” … Discussion about new garbage trucks — should have two at $125,000 each. Herner said this is the year to buy some upgrade equipment as we are fixing things up now. Also need a backup street vacuum because we have only one and if it goes down we have nothing. Also need a lift which could also be used by the mechanic and make his work a lot safer.

On Fairway Mews snow removal, we have one sander. The Mayor suggested making it into a 8 to 10 cubic yard dump for less trips. $60,000 was plugged in for general snow removal and spoken of was the problem with the new machine being towed by a new truck. One year is expected out of the rebuilt truck and the next few years we will just need garbage trucks so put $85,000 on the wish list.”

The council ended up not putting the equipment purchase in the budget for 1990.

UPDATE: October 11 Council Video Now on YouTube

The October 11, 2011 SLH Borough Council meeting video is now available on YouTube.

At this meeting, Democratic Councilman John Brennan argues against appointing a temporary Chief Financial Officer and against retaining a certified consulting firm to handle the Borough’s financial duties.

Currently, the SLH Democrats are making accusations that the Borough is going bankrupt and can’t pay its bills. The truth is, the Borough is not going bankrupt. The Borough is paying its bills.

A certified municipal CFO is needed to legally carry out financial issues. The Borough Council named a temporary CFO and has retained a consultant with the necessary certification so that all financial matters will be attended to while a job search is conducted for a new CFO. Additionally, this gives the Council time to evaluate whether or not a full-time or a part-time CFO is required.

The former CFO, Colleen Lapp, a certified municipal chief financial officer, was paid $70,000 by SLH. She had not received a raise from SLH during the past 4 years. She was offered the position of CFO by the City of Red Bank where she is paid $93,000 annually with a five week vacation.

At no time was the CFO position left vacant without a plan. Initially, Ms. Lapp agreed to stay on part time so that the Borough could fulfill its obligation to have a certified CFO. When she could not stay on due to her new work load, she recommended using the firm the Borough has now contracted with. Contractor and temp firms providing CFO services are working all over the state, but Mayor Enright felt it necessary to involve the Borough Attorney and to contact the Department of Community Affairs in Trenton in an apparent effort to derail the Council’s appointment of the temporary CFO and the certified contractor.

Watch the proceedings at the October 11 Council meeting: