Thursday, May 14, 2009

Corrections/Analysis of May 12th Election Results

Note: in the listing of Absentee Ballots, the zero on Ed Johnson's tally dropped off. That number should be 50 absentee ballots cast for Ed Johnson. Johnson's total vote count, which included the absentee votes, was correctly reported as 706. This typo occurred in the rush to get tallies up on this site election night and we regret the error.

Click here for the ballots cast per voting district.
Some Analysis:

Although the Time4Change ticket was made up of first-time candidates, it showed strongly in this election. One out of every three voters chose a Time4Change candidate. Election tallies show only 1278 ballots cast, out of a possible 7,772 registered voters - for 17%, the lowest turnout in more than 8 years. (City Clerk Steve Kay is checking to see if it broke a record in the city.)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Election Results

Our sincere thanks to all voters in Asbury Park.

This evenings vote tallies indicate that the existing Mayor and Council members have been elected to another term.

Time4Change respects the decision of the people of Asbury Park.

We would like to thank all of our running mates for the chance to voice our views and to present our platform.

We offer our congratulations, not only to the winners, but to every constituent.

Results as of this evening:

Johnson: 462 / Absentee: 11
Nevin: 403 / Absentee: 7
Perillo: 474 / Absentee: 13
Michell: 399 / Absentee: 4
Pacheco: 283 / Absentee: 6
Suggs: 158 / Absentee: 7
Quinn: 482 / Absentee: 19
Sanders: 591 / Absentee: 38
Bruno: 570 / Absentee: 38
Loffreddo: 624 / Absentee: 42
Johnson: 706 / Absentee 50
Henderson: 579 / Absentee: 42

Time4Change welcomes the future.

Welcome to Election Day - May 12th

Please vote for me, Maureen Nevin, and as many of my running mates -- Rosetta Johnson, Tony Perillo, Kevin Michel and Elisabet Pacheco -- as you wish.
If you need help with your polling place, or a ride to the polls, please call Rosetta at 732-927-3063. If you have a question for me, please call 732-261-4860.
I'll post the results tonight.
If you need more information about the campaign, please consult the postings on this site.
Thank you to all who have supported my bid for council.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Loffredo's Arrogance

I guess soon to be former council member John Loffredo must've regretted hitting that reply all button, when he responded to candidate Amy Quinn's broadcast email to all candidates about the appearance she arranged for us at Asbury Park High School last week, May 7th.
The kids heard our introductions asked us questions, told us their concerns and voted. The results will be released after Election Day, tomorrow May 12th.
While I, along with two of my running mates from Time4Change and candidates Quinn and Harold Suggs, seized the opportunity to talk to our youth and include them in the Democratic process, this was John Loffredo's response: to amyquinn, Jbruno0001, score-e, jeed, Hendesun, me, MayorSanders20., blackmoret show details Apr 27 Reply

Thanks for checking with us first , I will be at an awards dinner. NOT very cool of you. John L

Amy asked that I not report this on my blog until after our APHS visit. I kept my promise, Amy!
By the way we seven have also appeared on the only Asbury Park radio station, WYGG 88.1 FM, to answer questions and defend our platforms. The current council didn't even acknowledge their invitations. Government by the people for the people?

AP Resident Sees Lots of Room for Improvement in AP

Here's what a 10-year resident had to say about today's Asbury Park:
Like quite a few other residents of Asbury Park, the City “inspector” left a notice in my mailbox last week – something to the effect of, “Apply for a permit to fix your sidewalk within 20 days or you will be fined.”
One 18” sidewalk panel is on the very left corner of our frontage (total 40-foot property width) is distinctly damaged. Incidentally, over the course of the last 60 days, my wife and I have been aggregating contractor quotes for rehabbing our entire front hardscape – well before the notice was dropped.
That is not the point. This is…
Asbury Park seems to continually enact self-permission to extract yet more money from its residents. Therefore, I figure nearly $10,000 per year in taxes (between our small residential and commercial spaces) gives me permission to extract some explanations from Asbury Park, especially those same officials (council people) who will, most assuredly, unabashedly wield their political capital come reelection this month.
What I find wholly offensive is the government’s utter and continuing dearth of checks and balances – a legacy that has, in fact, grown iconic. Permit me the opportunity to demonstrate.
I took the following photos last week. They illustrate the sidewalk and parking lot of, you guessed it, our very own City Hall. Please bear in mind that if the City is earnestly concerned about safety/liability, this particular stretch likely entertains 250-500 times the amount of daily pedestrian traffic than my quiet, suburban block.
(The photos were good, but didn't carry over to this blog. Most of us who've been to city hall have already seen the cracked sidewalks and pot-hole marred parking lot.)
On the surface (pardon the pun), the sum of this may appear to be nothing more than City government’s perennial misguided trivialities. But the reality is far from frivolous. Just where do our monies go? And how do such governmental and municipality measures flow? And most importantly, who is minding the store when the shopkeeper is not looking? The answer to the last question is… WE are, or at least, we SHOULD be.
So, let’s put all of this in perspective, shall we?
Sure, you may hear that the numbers are down. And some are to a certain degree. But the fact remains. This city continues to struggle… exceedingly so.
§ Asbury Park’s population hasn’t increased in 10 years
§ But the police force has increased by over 30%; we have 98 police officers for a town of 16,550!
§ Nearly 40% of Asbury Park’s city payroll is allocated to the police department
§ The national average salary of a police officer is $46,000; the average salary for an Asbury Park police officer is $70,000

§ National Violent Crime Rates have been decreasing for years and now stand at 17.7%; yet Asbury Park Violent Crime Rates: 21.2% (10 years ago, Asbury Park’s violent crime rate was less @ 20.8%)
§ National Crime Index = 320.9, Asbury Crime Index = 877.9 (this is extraordinarily tragic)
§ Asbury Park has nearly five times the national average in robberies
New police cars. New horseback patrol. New bike patrol. But, with all this new gear and financial support, a police force 30% larger in the last 10 years and a population that has actually declined in the last 10 years, what exactly is happening here? (This is not a slight against hard-working cops. This is purely a quandary that needs an answer, and a very succinct, no-nonsense one at that.)
You can elect all the school board members you want. You can hire all the MBA educators you want. You can pump in all the Abbott monies you want. But the fact remains. Education in this town continues to wallow in unfathomable failure.

§ Asbury Park High School has a National Great Schools® rating of 1 in 10 stars. (1 = worst)
§ New Jersey Language Arts literacy rate: 83%, Asbury Park Language Arts literacy rate: 25%
§ New Jersey Math proficiency: 75%, Asbury Park Math proficiency: 14%
§ National high school graduation rate: 74%, Asbury Park high school graduation rate: 67% (one in three Asbury kids drops out of high school)
§ Percentage of students who go to college and graduate: 26%, Asbury Park students: 7%
§ Total per pupil expenditures, New Jersey: $14,603, total per pupil expenditures, Asbury Park: $28,532
So, we give double the money for a quarter of the proficiency. How can that abysmal ROI continue?
The Mission Statement for Asbury’s Public School System:
To provide comprehensive, innovative and technologically progressive educational programs to all students so that they can develop the full range of their talents and maximize their learning potential. All students will develop a commitment to education, family and community which will enable them to be positive, contributing citizens.
This is precisely the kind of drivel that may serve an annual report or temporarily attenuate an inattentive populace, but on finer note, it is nothing more than vacuous. To impel a constituency of predominantly poor folks, you need to invoke reality first and practicality second. YES, a better public school system will draw more dollars into the till and thereby reduce the tax burden on citizenry. We all get that. But, that and that alone is not manifest destiny. Children deserve a good and more importantly EFFECTIVE learning environment. THAT is sacrosanct. And anything less untenable, maybe even criminal.
New Jersey has the dubious distinction of having the highest property taxes in the nation, the third-highest income tax rates, the 10th-highest sales tax and the 11th-highest corporate tax rate. Let’s just say it has made the state an “unattractive place to do business” and barely enables residents to keep their proverbial heads above water. The Tax Foundation released its annual report showing the Garden State ranked DEAD LAST in the nation in "business-friendliness" for the second straight year.
OK. But we live here and that’s the way it is, right? Well, let’s take a deeper look at our municipal microcosm…
Median Household Income
§ National: $49,199
§ New Jersey: $67,035
§ Asbury Park: $28,100
Median Household Property Value
§ New Jersey: $372,300
§ Asbury Park: $208,636
Median Taxes
§ Property taxes paid for housing units, NJ: 2.4%
§ Property taxes paid for housing units, Asbury Park: 3.2%
§ Asbury Park has the 6th highest tax rate per capita out of 52 Monmouth County municipalities
§ National unemployment rate: 8.5%.
§ Asbury Park unemployment rate: 11.6%.
§ New Jersey residents with income below poverty level: 8.5%
§ Asbury residents with income below poverty level: 30.1%
§ New Jersey residents with income below 50% of poverty level: 4.2%
§ Asbury residents with income below poverty level: 15.2%
Alright, so you get the picture by now.
Well, let’s just add a few more rather decisive details to that picture.
Cost of Living
Asbury Park has a 131.6 Cost of Living index based on a National index of 100. Each 10 points equals a 10% increase. So, Asbury is effectively 31.6% higher than the national average. That is quite significant.
Which takes me to these final points…
I love Asbury Park.
I have lived her for nearly 10 years and escaped here virtually every year since a child with his family in the late 60s. All of us have our Asbury stories, none less or more important than the other.
But loving something does not exempt us from challenging it.
Asbury Park remains broken. Very broken. And I’m not talking about its sidewalks.
The newly occupied boardwalk pavilions, the occasional New York Times article, the rehabbed facades... they are not signs of “progress”. In fact, progress is ordinarily ill-defined overall. It has very little to do with brick and mortar. It is, first and foremost, the strengthening of social fabric, not paving over old problems with new parking lots. Progress is celebrating cultural depth and diversity, not poorly manifested physical developments that merely attempt to patch tax shortfalls and nurture narcissism.
If we learned anything from our presidential elections – no matter what party affiliations we may entertain – it’s that people are at the root of change, not politicians.
Asbury is the perfect sized locale for a national municipal test model.
How about a “green city” replete with urban farming, botanical gardens, mandatory sustainable new construction, reconditioned public transportation and so on.
How about a hybrid public education system adopting successful inner city and charter initiatives, a zero tolerance policy for failure for students, educators and administrators, and finally, a complete disconnect from egregious State and regional dispensations (Abbott and others) that nurture social and logistical iniquities.
How about a 100% transparency mandate from the citizenry – that’s us! All government practices must be available virtually and hard-copy. I’m not requesting, I’m demanding to know how all permit fees are calculated, how all fines are determined and levied, how all city employees are deemed fit for hire, if/how all safety objectives are being realized, how all monies are being invested in real time and how the social integrity and growth of the electorate will be managed for the short and long terms.
So, here’s my final thought, actually an exemplification of what is all-awry at City Hall.
Let’s take the event called THE TASTE OF ASBURY that just took place. The City’s Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) launches the event each year. It’s a political fundraiser, pure and simple. The UEZ charges Asbury businesses (mostly restaurants) a large fee to participate and also mandates that restaurants supply an enormous amount of food and/or drink. It equates a huge investment for businesses that are already foundering in a down economy. I know about this event. I used to run an art gallery with a small cafĂ© on Cookman Avenue. (In fact, I know a lot about most or all events in Asbury. I even founded First Saturday in Asbury (with my wife and friend) nearly four years ago.)
This is the City’s M.O. While they demand more and more tax dollars, while they enact more and more commercial regulations, restrictions and permits, and while they do so without hesitation or explanation, they also perennially arrest thousands upon thousands of dollars from these same local businesses via “fundraisers” like Taste of Asbury and other events. They also exploit these businesses for public relations, because there is little if any governmental communications initiative. And, they never, and I repeat, NEVER, ordain tax abatements or other incentives to keep businesses marching forward in a more fair and fiscally sound manner. Hence, the atrocious commercial attrition year over year.
So, before our Mayor gets another gig for his band to play The Taste of Asbury… or the Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) makes tens of thousands of dollars off the very courageous souls who have the cojones to open their retail doors on Cookman, or Tom Gilmour or Terry Reidy triumphantly sing the City’s praises, I suggest that all of us pull the carpet up and look at what lurks beneath. I guarantee you’ll find a bundle of termites on rotting floorboards.
It truly might be gainful if Dan Jacobson – yeah, the guy who pens the whorish rag called the TriCity News – actually does some reporting someday on matters like this instead of bilking suburbanites for ad money they can’t afford and then condemning them for being suburban. Actually, The Coaster isn’t exempt from this responsibility either. I like them, but I don’t learn much from them.
The question remains… what do we want and need our City to look like – not just today, but tomorrow? This is not a white question or a black question, a straight question or a gay question, a private question or a public question. This is a question that we must all ask ourselves and each other before plopping down yet another couple hundred bucks for some mysterious permit to fix a water-cracked sidewalk tile on a street with no drainage.
Thanks for reading my little diatribe.
Doug Forbes

Dead Body Found in Asbury Park

The crime rate may be down, according the candidates running for re-election, but that didn't stop police from finding a dead woman in a black plastic bag Saturday (May 9th).
(Note: Body found Saturday morning - Asbury Park Press reports it Monday morning. Did they think it was too gruesome for Mother's Day?)
Whatever the current council has been doing to reduce crime, it's not enough!!
Get the Police out of the Squad Cars and Walking the Beat!!!
Time4Change - Vote the first five candidates on the ballot tomorrow, May 12th.
Polls open at 6 am and close at 8 am.
Need a ride to the polls? Please call 732-927-3063

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Time4Change One More Time on Radio Tonight

Time4Change will hit the air -- over 88.1 FM, WYGG -- from 6 - 9 PM tonight, Saturday May 9, for one more call-in show before Tuesday's election.
To date, the incumbents have ignored the station management's generous offers of free air time to answer studio as well as listeners' questions.
Tony Perillo, Maureen Nevin and Kevin Michel of the Time4Change ticket will be in the studio tonight.
Call the studio at 732-775-0821 or 775-6203 -- If you have trouble hearing the show over the radio, please go to and click listen live.

Perillo on Boxing Gym

Again the newspapers here are trying to paint Time4Change in a bad light. Tony Perillo did not say at the Council Meeting Wednesday night that he is opposed to a boxing program or its gym.
Here is what he said:
The proposal to build a gym from scratch on the second floor of the Public Works building WITH money taken out of the affordable housing fund, which is provided by the master developer as required by law, would be impractical.
Tony's suggestion of looking into placing the program in an existing gym was to reduce the city's costs -- not to suggest using the Affordable Housing money for a private gym. Affordable Housing money should be spent on affordable housing.
There are other monies earmarked for recreation or Community Block Grant monies, which could be used for this purpose.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

City Mortgaged AGAIN for Headlines

Today's APPress is a classic example of the Asbury Park Council's effective use of the only daily paper here as a free advertising tool. Trouble is it's deceptive advertising!
Last night's meeting was chock ablock with photo ops and puffery.
The Press today is filled with stories - old and new - of the usual government grants and loans -- most already reported earlier -- to give the appearance that "The Five Big Spenders" are saving the city again. Only what the stories didn't cover is the 4% tax rise necessitated by this year's overspending.
The excess spending required an ordinance to raise the state-mandated spending cap to 3.5%.

The $15 million in stimulus money being touted is comprised of only $5 million that the city doesn't have to pay back. The news report doesn't tell you what interest rate we'll have to pay for a portion of the simulus money. (Most news sources would give the current rate as a guide.) A mystery portion, also not detailed in the APP report, is an interest free loan. Both interest-free and interest loans will add to our total debt picture when we go to the muni market to either refloat our existing multi-million dollar bond anticipation note, which comes due this June, or bond for it, which will require our going for a new credit rating from the newly chastened credit rating agencies, who can be expected to be a lot more critical now.
Once again we're being spoon fed pablum and told a bedtime story like a bunch of children.
Your opinions?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Time4Change Gets Endorsement

Rev. Gil Caldwell, who marched with Martin Luther King in 1965, has endorsed three members of Time4Change. Read his letter here.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Tony Perillo Earns AP Action Endorsement

Time4Change candidate, Tony Perillo, earned the coveted endorsement of Asbury Park's gay and lesbian political pac this week, pushing out the current Mayor, Kevin Sanders, and Deputy Mayor, James Bruno, who did not score high enough to be endorsed by the group.
See more at The news drew fire from the rest of the incumbent ticket. John Loffredo, a two term councilmember, asked the group not to put his or his other two running mates' names on the AP Action signs. The signs, though, had already been ordered.

Maureen's OpEd - Why Everyone Should Care...

Why Everyone in NJ Should Care Who Gets Elected in Asbury Park, an Op-Ed by Maureen, which appeared in the April 30th, Coaster.

Click here to read.

Time4Change Ads

We began our series of ads by focusing on each candidate and what he or she will bring to the council.

Click for

March 26th- Open Government - Nevin

March 26th - Inter-Governmental Cooperative - Rosetta Johnson

April 2 - Financial Leadership - Tony Perillo

April 2 - Academic Excellence - Kevin Michel

April 9 - Cultural Harmony - Elisabet Pacheco

April 16 - C-8 What Progress? Time4Change

April 23 - Ocean Mile - A place strangely familiar...

Click here for Why Time4Change is Running

Time4Change Answers in the Coaster - Why Vote

Why you should pull the lever for Time4Change on May 12th. Click here to read the Coaster clipping.

Maureen Nevin's Response to Tri-City Dan

Click here to read Maureen Nevin's response to Dan's characterization of her as a "Conspiracy Theorist".

Rosetta Johnson's Letter to Tri-City Dan

Click here to see Rosetta Johnson's answer to Dan Jacobson of Tri-City News' remarks about her candidacy.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Clarification on Nancy Shields of APPress

Time4Change wishes to clarify our earlier report that placed the blame on a reporter for the Asbury Park Press misquoting our runningmate Anthony Perillo. We were under the impression that the reporter, Nancy Shields, had gotten the information wrong because she wrote the only article relating to the subject, which was the financial problems facing the holder of Asbury Park's waterfront redevelopment rights, Asbury Partners LLC.
In fact, the misquote was not made by Nancy Shields, but by the APPress' editorial page editor.
The editorial page editor wrote "The good news -- or at least the not-catastrophic news -- is that Asbury Partners chief operating officer Larry Fishman last week dispelled rumors that a bank had foreclosed on the loans."
Nancy in her article had in fact quoted Perillo correctly saying that "lenders are ready to foreclose on them."
We apologize for pinning the blame on Nancy. However, the editorial editor certainly should have been more careful than to misquote in his efforts to paraphrase Perillo's comment. Even while the editor managed to reference his statement without identifying Perillo, it was easy enough to trace the paper's only other coverage of the issue to Nancy's report on the Candidates' Forum at Asbury Tower, when the Partners' precarious position was first reported by Perillo.
And, while we're on it, the editorial says Asbury Partners is "restructuring its debt"... We'd like to point out that lenders don't help creditors restructure their debts unless default is very likely. If it were otherwise, why would the lender want to accept terms less favorable to them? Most lenders have shareholders or private investors to whom they must answer.