Tuesday night at 7 PM there will be a township council meeting that should be very interesting with all the wild stuff coming from the Mayor these days. See the details in the latest article from the Press of AC. McMenamin claims that he will resume the broadcast of public comments at council meetings AFTER Kevin Starkey says its ok. I guess McMenamin missed this . Please make sure to come out to the meeting to send a strong message to Mayor McMenamin and the Stafford First team.
This editorial in the Asbury Park Press sums up what others think of Mayor McMenamin’s moves to stop the broadcast of public comment at Council meetings and to forbid communications between council members and township employees except in his presence.
How many more ways can the Stafford First Clan find to damage Stafford Township? In this article in the Asbury Park Press, there are yet more revelations that arise from the illegal release of select edited township personnel files.
When the Stafford First group came into office and proceeded to replace competent township employees and board members with their sketchy cronies, they were warned by certain township residents that choosing people with a “clouded” past, questionable qualifications or significant character flaws would come back to haunt the citizens of Stafford. What has come to pass far exceeds what this writer thought might happen.
The Mayor has figuratively “poured gasoline” over what is already a bad situation. In releasing personnel records as a tool to politically discredit his political enemies, McMenamin has doomed Stafford to defending numerous potential lawsuits, a paralyzed government, and demoralized township employees.
Ironically, the Mayor who has falsly accused the public of making accusations of criminal activity during the public comment portion of Council meetings, has now released confidential personnel records, that in effect, make accusations of criminal activity.
This is a continuation of decisions made by the Mayor and the members of Stafford First that have now created a horrible mess for the citizens of Stafford.
It is time for McMenamin to step down.
Mayor McMenamin decided all by himself, that it would be a good idea to turn information from employee personnel files over to the press. In these personnel memos; UNAMED sources, supposedly ALLEGE mistreatment by others. The details are in this article in the Press of AC.
In the article, McMenamin said he has committed no violation in releasing the information.
Mayor McMenamin is wrong. If the material released is part of employee personnel files, at the very least, the Mayor would appear to be in violation of the Open Public Records Act.
The Mayor is sticking to his all too familiar pattern of making accusations without any evidence. Hearsay is not evidence
The amaturish editing done by the Mayor on these personnel records does not make it ok to release them in this manner. If the Mayor thinks there is any merit to these claims then he should act on them in an appropriate and legal fashion. If the Mayor has no actionable evidence then his coloring excersize just serves to cause lawsuits against the township, not prevent them.
More to follow…..
According to an article in the Press of AC on 11-17-10, Mayor McMenamin took a Township car to use for an unknown purpose. The car in question was at one time a undercover police vehicle. The vehicle has since been repurposed for use by township employees as part of the township motor pool. Apparently, the registration and plates were never converted to a municipal registration and plates.
The article indicates that this vehicle has been used by the Mayor and several Council members since becoming part of the motor pool.
McMenamin said, “a vehicle with confidential police tags should not be driven by a civilian.”
McMenamin further went on to say, “I had no idea, or I would’ve not been driving it.”
Prior to becoming Mayor McMenamin had been a police officer here in Stafford for a number of years. It is hard to believe that the Mayor, who must have issued hundreds of motor vehicle summons during his tenure as a police officer, could not recognize that the plates on the black Crown Victoria were inappropriate for a municipal vehicle.
McMenamin goes on to cast blame on former police Chief Thomas Conroy. McMenamin said, “That’s the Police Department’s responsibility. I told township Administrator Jim Moran to have former Chief Thomas Conroy remove all of this from the vehicles. I guess Tom didn’t do it.”
Mayor McMenamin, former Chief Conroy has been retired for many months. Once again, it is time to take ownership for the things that take place on YOUR watch. Blaming the former Chief for your oversight is ridiculous.
Mr. Mayor, you were unvailable for the Veteran’s Day ceremony on 11/14, unavailable for the scheduled Council meeting on 11/16, absent for the scheduled Planning board meeting on the night of 11/17; where exactly were you off to in an untraceable township car during the day of 11/17/10? I wonder, is there a vehicle mileage log for this vehicle so that the people might know what our public vehicles are being used for?
All township vehicles should have mileage logs to account for the use of the vehicle.
In this article from the Press of AC , Mayor McMenamin claims that, the township does not have the money to rehire two more police officers laid-off earlier this year. McMenamin now says that employee retirements have left the township with insufficient funds to bring the last two officers back. This is contrary to statements that the Mayor had made earlier this year that pending retirements from the township might make it possible to return the officers.
McMenamin has signed two budgets since being in office, it is time for him to take responsibility for his actions as Mayor. Many of the costs associated with handling of the police are “wounds” inflicted by McMenamin himself. What about all the lawsuits the Township has had to respond to? What about the bucks spent on the EMC? What about the money spent pushing Chief Conroy into retirement.
There were no surprise retirements here. Both the PBA and SOA contracts require that retiring employees give sufficient notice to the Township so that retirements can be budgeted for. The Public employee retirement systems all require advanced notice for a regular retirement. These retirements were either forced or incentivized by the Mayor.
McMenamin cannot be allowed to on the one hand, trumpet the retirements as net cost savings and on the other, whine about the costs. The costs of the retirements are the result of contract and/or labor agreements.
The Mayor has said that there have been unanticipated additional retirements due to township employees reacting to possible changes in the pension systems. The Mayor neglects to mention that the majority of people retiring did so in part because they received thousands of dollars in financial incentives from the township.
If the Township is truly in a bind at this point it is because McMenamin and Moran were remiss or careless in not budgeting a reserve for these retirements. The costs are well known and should be accounted for. Many other Public Agencies and or Authorities budget for this. Regardless of the politics of the matter it is not exactly surprising that public employees with a lot of time in service choose to retire.
Unfortunately, in the end, the residents and taxpayers of Stafford will bear the costs of McMenamin’s mismanagement.
According to a memo written dated November 22, 2010. The Township Council has the “sole authority” on how and whether Council meetings are televised.
Maybe McMenamin can explain why Kevin Starkey NOW says that only the Council may make this type of change.
More to come…
The NJ Statehouse Commission on Monday, unanimously approved the Solar Project at Stafford Park. See this article for details.
For those of you who have expressed an interest in how various parts of Stafford’s municipal government is organized and should operate:
Optional Municipal Charter Law This Law sets up the Structure and Rules (includes: Elections, Duties, Recall, Initiative, and Referendum) for various forms of municipal government.
More information to come in the future. Make sure to check out our Reference Area. It is a work in progress.
In a new development today, Mayor John McMenamin has come out of hiding.
It appears that the Mayor, who can’t seem to make it to Council meetings, Planning Board meetings, or the Veterans Day ceremony, is available for ribbon cutting.
Ocean Health Initiatives is a nonprofit community health center. OHI will be providing primary health care to the residents of Ocean County who are uninsured and underinsured. We wish OHI good luck in providing this valuable service to Ocean County.
This photo was posted to the Township website today 11-19-10, the same day as the event. For some reason, ordinances, meeting minutes, agendas, or changes to meeting dates are not made available or are posted late on the website but this you can get right away.
BTW, who is making sure that Council members are not speaking with Township employees while the Mayor is out playing with scissors?
Unfortunately, McMenamin saw his shadow which means six more weeks of crazy pronouncements.
(Photo from Stafford Township Website)