Monthly Archives: February 2012

Feb. 13 Council Meeting Addresses Grant Application, Raise in Water & Sewer Rates

The SLH Borough Council met on Monday, February 13. In attendance were: Mayor Maccanico and Council Members Cindea, Diver, King, and McLean. Councilmen Shuler and Vorbach were absent.

Business conducted at the meeting included a public hearing required by law for the Borough to apply for Green Acres grant money towards conversion of the Fletcher Property into an arboretum.

Additional business was the introduction of an ordinance to raise the Borough’s water and sewer rates for the first time in 20 years. Councilman Vorbach, chairperson of the Utilities Committee, which oversees this department, was absent from the meeting. The public hearing for the ordinance was set for Monday, February 27 at 8:00 PM.

The Feb. 13 meeting in its entirely may be viewed on the heightsonline YouTube channel.

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January 23 Council Video Available to View

The SLH Borough Council met on Monday, January 23. In attendance were: Mayor Maccanico and Council Members Cindea, Diver, King, McLean, Shuler and Vorbach.

The recording of the meeting, in its entirety, is available on the heightsonline YouTube channel.

January 9th Council Recording Available to View

Attendance for the January 9 Council Meeting: Mayor Maccanico, Council Members Cindea, Diver, King, McLean, Shuler, Vorbach. All present.

The full recording of the January 9, 2012 SLH Borough Council meeting is now available for your viewing on our YouTube channel:

January 1 Borough Reorganization Meeting Runs Smoothly

As required by State law, the Spring Lake Heights Borough Council held their annual reorganization meeting of the municipal government. The January 1 meeting ran smoothly, without the dissent which had marred the last two reorganizations.

Acting borough clerk Janine Gillis read the results of the November election. Following this, Gavino “Butch” Maccanico was sworn in, the first Republican mayor of SLH in over 20 years. Councilman James Shuler was also sworn in, after a recount of election results proved him the winner by one vote. Former Councilman Gary McLean was nominated and selected by the Council to fill the remaining year of Mr. Maccanico’s now-vacant 3-year Council term.

Meeting attendance: Mayor Maccanico, Council Members Cindea, Diver, King, McLean, Shuler, Vorbach. All present.

You can view the reorganization meeting in its entirely on the heightsonline YouTube channel:

Resident Speaks Out About Missing Council Members at December 15, 2011 Meeting

The last SLH Borough Council meeting of 2011 was sparsely attended, and that was just by the Council members themselves. As has become the habit, no elected Democrats took their seats at the dais for the second meeting in a row. Councilmen John P. Brennan Jr. and Thomas Vorbach were absent, as was Mayor H. Frances Enright. Mayor-elect and Council President Gavino “Butch” Maccanico presided over the meeting.

During the Voice of the Public, resident John Tangeman spoke, “I couldn’t help but notice that there are very few Council members here tonight, and I just wanted to make a comment. The other members of the Council, however, they were elected to serve out a term and they have been missing for the last several meetings. And I just want to make a statement to everybody I think it is a disgrace that they don’t fulfill their term. They are so interested in getting elected and then when they are elected, they’re not here, so it just shows how fallen the Democratic party has become in this town.”

A quick survey of meetings shows that the last meeting attended by all elected Democrats in 2011 was September 11. On September 26, Councilman Vorbach was absent. On October 11, Councilman Vorbach was absent again. On October 24, Mayor Enright was absent. On November 14, Councilman Brennan was absent. On November 28, as on December 15, Councilmen Brennan and Vorbach, along with Mayor Enright, were all absent.

Following Mr. Tangeman’s statement, Councilwoman Patricia Cindea noted that when Democratic Councilwomen Kathleen Crippen and Lynn Kegelman did not win re-election, they nonetheless filled out their terms, which run through December 31.

You can view the entire December 15, 2011 Council meeting on the heightsonline YouTube Channel: 

Monmouth County Freeholders Rescind Stringent Pay-to-Play Resolution

The January 26, 2012 agenda for the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders meeting seemed benign enough. Item Number 22 on the consent agenda was certainly designed to slip by unnoticed. The agenda read:

22. Resolution rescinding Resolution 08-397 and adopting N.J.S.A. 19-44A-1 et seq. 

However, the item caught the eye of former Democratic Freeholder Amy Mallet, who decided to look up exactly what Resolution 08-397 was all about. That is when she discovered the Board of Chosen Freeholders was looking to rescind their previous decision to adopt pay-to-play regulations much more stringent than the State law covers.

Prior to the Board’s voting, during the meeting’s Voice of the Public session, Ms. Mallet proved she still has the taxpayers’ interests at heart when she outlined for the attendees, as well as the public record, exactly what the resolution was seeking to undo.

On May 8, 2008, the members of the Board of Chosen Freeholders passed a resolution adopting pay-to-play laws prohibiting the County from doing business with anyone or any firm that had donated more than $300 dollars to a political campaign. Claiming now that this resolution had proved to unwieldy to follow, the current members of the Board of Freeholders determined to rescind the resolution and follow the State statute.

Unfortunately, the State statute had recently been derided by the State Comptroller, Matthew Boxer, who stated that the law allows “the local entity to an essentially unregulated system.”

The Board of Chosen Freeholders passed the rescinding resolution by a 5-0 vote. Ironically, the resolution was passed on a motion by newly-sworn-in Freeholder Serena DiMaso. Mrs. DiMaso had apologized early on in the meeting for misssing that afternoon’s workshop session due to the funeral of her mother-in-law. The workshop session is where it is determined which Freeholder with sponser which pieces of business, so attendees were left wondering if Mrs. DiMaso actually understood what she was motioning. The other new Freeholder, Gary Rich of Spring Lake, seconded the motion. All others voted yes.

The Citizens Campaign of Metuchen, a grassroots organization that supports good government, decried the Freeholders action. The Citizens Campaign actively supported the passage of the original resolution by the Freeholders. They have issued a call to service, asking that interested citizens attend the next Freeholders meeting on Thursday, February 9 at 7:00 PM in the Hall of Records, Freehold, NJ. Anyone interested may contact Heather Taylor at 732-548-9798.