Saturday, July 31, 2010

Township Committee Violates Open Public Meeting Act!

In what amounts to a clear violation of New Jersey's Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA), the Washington Township Committee (as a whole) is discussing official business via email. Here is one of several emails where "business affecting the public is discussed" involving all five committeeman. Making matters worse, they are using private email addresses, as opposed to their official "" accounts, to hide their activities from the township's email backup system, which is intended to record email transactions of all township personnel. Why are they NOT using their Township provided email accounts?

With this understand of the Township Committee’s actions that are in clear violation of the OPMA, one has to wonder what else they are illrgally deciding outside of the public’s view?

In case you're wondering, the email was obtained via an Open Public Records Act request filed in May 2010.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Jeff Koch = Hypocrite

I recently asked former WTBOE Finance Chair Jeff Koch to comment on the record $2.2 million (8.4%) school tax increase his budget imposed on Washington Township taxpayers in 2005. Here is what he had to say:
"Kevin, I think the voters "raised our property taxes by a record amount when I served as Finance Chair for the 2004-2005 ". Call them what you want. Civics 101. BOE members do not pass budget the voters do."

So now BOE members should not be held accountable for the budgets they put before voters? Isn't this a major paradigm shift for Jeff and his Darkside buddies? Does Jeff really expect anyone to believe this? For all the signs (Defeat the Mauro/D'Angelo Budget), websites (, and campaign flyers Jeff helped create to castrate other elected officials for their budgets, this has to be the most hypocritical position Jeff has taken; and there are many to choose from.

The bottom line is simple. As Finance Chair for the 2004-2005 school budget, Jeff Koch was, in essence, the “architect” for the LARGEST PROPERTY TAX INCREASE OF ANY KIND IN THE HISTORY OF WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP. This is a hard, cold fact Jeff can’t hide from; no matter how hard he tries!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

More GOP embarrassment...

In my prior posting, I commented on Tom Lotitio's bogus claim with respect to my dealings with the Mendham Township Committee.  Here's all you need to know about whether or not to trust anything that comes from the mouth of a Mendham Township GOP politician.

Friday, July 9, 2010

NJ Senate vote positions property tax cap for passage Monday

While I would have preferred a 2% cap with no exceptions, this is a step in the right direction in terms of containing future property tax growth. But this does NOTHING with regards to Christie delivering on his campaign promise of "LOWERING" property taxes. Where is this plan? Does the Governor think we are stupid and will just forget what he promised? Maybe he should ask Howard Popper what happens to officials who promise LOWER taxes and don’t deliver!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

How a typical Darksider sees the world...

Tom Lotito’s latest diatribe proves how dangerous a thesaurus can be in the hands of the ignorant.

Observer Tribune COMMENTARY
By Thomas Lotito
Published: Jul 2nd, 7:09 AM

Are the meanings of words today being manipulated in our society in order to win someone over to one political view point or another?

And, are most people victims like innocent bystanders at a train wreck, when they hear a political argument, not sure of who’s right or wrong?

Etymology is the study of the origins of words. As languages have evolved over time, the meanings of many words have changed, causing confusion amongst people when communicating. Could the change in the meaning of words be a contributing factor for a person as they form their world view? The use of words has consequences.

It is my opinion, the most widely misused words today are “pro-choice,” when it comes to being “for-abortion.” The term really should be “pro-baby murder” because terminating a pregnancy has many far reaching consequences that are not connotative in the term “pro-choice.”

Furthermore, the term “gay rights” is also a term that is widely misused in order to get people into thinking that homosexuals somehow do not have equal rights because they can not openly marry.

The term “gay” means happy, and was used for generations with out the “homosexual” connotation. Homosexuals have civil rights because they are Americans, it’s only when they want to be identified by their behavior that the confusion and misuse of words ensues. “Gay rights” should really be called “homosexual rights.” And “gay marriage” should be called, “marriage equality for homosexuals.”

You can’t say a prayer at a graduation ceremony without someone invoking the words “separation of church and state,” which is often used today to limit Christian participation in schools and public activities.

The term “separation of church and state” was first used by Thomas Jefferson, which originally meant that the government could not intrude into the religious practices of Americans. What’s really happening is your constitutional rights are being trampled upon. It’s not “freedom from religion,” “it’s freedom of religion.”

Less controversial words like “I appreciate how you feel” have an air of condescension and are often used in an argument to de-legitimize another person’s point of view. What really should be said is, “I think you’re wrong” or “I strongly disagree.”

The words “Full Monte” were coined by the customers of Sir Montague Burton’s tailor shop of Sheffield, England in 1904. Burton’s complete three piece suit with a waistcoat was called the “Full Monty.” Today the term refers to being naked in public. The 1997 movie “The Full Monty” is a story about six unemployed men who decide to form a male striptease act.

The term “hate” is often used by liberals when someone points out a flaw or legitimately disagrees with Barack Obama’s policies or point of view. The person who says, “why do you hate Barack Obama?” in a political argument is really saying “I don’t want to hear your point of view, shut up.”

The word “hate” is also often used by liberals to describe financially successful and very popular conservative talk radio show hosts.

Recently, Janet Murguia, President and CEO of National Council of LaRaza, cautioned and chastised a number of television and radio talk show hosts. She said “words have consequences, and hateful words have hateful consequences.” Even though her partisan rhetoric was aimed more at talk radio, she did say that cable news shows like Chris Mathews, Rachael Maddow and Keith Obermann, parroted the vitriolic rhetoric spoken by their more unsavory guests.

If you look at politics as an advertising campaign, clarity of message is paramount. The Tea Party movement grows more and more popular. Liberals seeking to grow the size of government don’t like the Tea Party movement because they have been an effective voice in their advocacy to return to the principals set forth by the Constitution with a smaller limited Federal government.

Slang like “tea-bagger” and “wing-nut “ are used as a pejorative by liberals to describe people who participate in the Tea Party movement. If you are hearing the term “tea-bagger” or “wing-nut” for the first time of course your first reaction would be to disassociate yourself from it.

The meaning of the words “freedom of speech” has changed in our current political climate.

Is political correctness limiting free speech by the way we view policy, gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation and institutional discrimination? In other words, are people afraid to speak out against behaviors that a generation ago were considered mental health issues because their definitions were changed?

The other emotionally charged misused phrase in the liberal class warrior playbook is “tax cuts are for the rich?” Today a family of four with two incomes totaling just over $100,000 is considered rich. But, they still pay the alternative minimum tax, which was put in place in the 1960’s and was not meant for middle class income people. Are you a two income family in N.J. making just over $ 100,000? Do you consider yourself “rich”?

Are you making up your mind based on campaign slogans and sound bites from the television? Does your political world view match your work ethic? Do you spend more money at the end of the month than you take in? Are you supporting politicians that spend more money than the government takes in?

When it comes to politics we shouldn’t take everything we hear at face value. Questioning the words that politicians use is prudent in determining what side of the issues we want to be on. Changing the meanings of words does have consequences.

The writer, Thomas Lotito, an independent piano tuner, is a resident of Washington Township and a frequent observer of township politics.

Move over Dan Quayle...

The following comment was recently submitted by former WTBOE member Jeff Koch in response to a letter appearing on the Observer Tribune website:
jeffreyskoch wrote on Jul 3, 2010 9:58 AM:

" First, I will start by saying to whom it may concern, Yes theses guys raised Taxes by 2,345 %, we know they are developing a nuclear weapons in secret. With that out of the way I think the committee has done an excellent job in some tough times. With a new, maybe more conservative republican running, with Mr. Liabraaten, maybe they can do better. It will be time to watch Mr. Welch and his proposal on lowering taxes and keeping services the same or better. There are important issues, if the school budget fails next year, contracts, flea market and others. If Mr. Welch takes a stand on these issues we will know what to think. "
Jeff, were you drunk when you wrote this or what? You now qualify as a contestant on the FOX TV show, "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader"!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Remember this?

Here's what Long Valley's newest Darksider, David X. Johnson, had to say BEFORE Howard Popper was CRUSHED by Dave Kennedy:
June 03, 2010 - By David X Johnson
Nedd endorses Kennedy !

I've been reading the various endorsements in the Observer-Tribune in support of David Kennedy. It strikes me as odd (at first) that the arguments in these endorsements are remarkably similar to Kevin Nedd's talking points. Nedd openly supports Kennedy with the zeal he supported Obama and he attacks Kennedy's opponents for him. What's up with that? Why in the world would a registered Republican, David Kennedy, have a Democrat, Kevin Nedd, supporting him in a Republican primary? It seems obvious to me that Democrat Nedd and Republican Kennedy are in the same political bed together.

Once again, Kevin gets it wrong. A big part of the Committeeman's job is negotiating with organized labor. The irony is that Nedd, of all people, is insisting that Kennedy would have no conflict of interest by being both a committeeman and a 25 year veteran of the police union. Nedd has first-hand experience "rendering himself an ineffective committeeman" by creating a conflict of interest and disqualifying himself from labor negotiations. All the more so, David Kennedy, who would also be disqualified from participating in labor negotiations because of his union background.

Nobody is raising a legal challenge. That's a false issue. It's just common sense that a lot of tax payers are uncomfortable with a union man on both sides of the negotiating table. It's an executive committee, not a labor committee! One of the first questions out of Kennedy's mouth at a town budget meeting was whether or not open space funds could be used to pay police salaries. Right then and there you get a good idea where his loyalties lie. Forget the tax payers and the rest of the town employees ... pay the union people first.

Why would we want to take a chance knowing that he's a lame horse right out of the shoot? Worse yet, why would Republicans want to vote for someone that garners the support the of Fabian Socialist, Kevin Nedd? No thanks. I'll stick with the two proven fiscally conservative Republican candidates, Howard Popper and James LiaBraaten. We might live in a rural community, but I didn't just fall off a turnip truck.

By David X Johnson
LOL!  To borrow a phrase from Don Imus, "is there a dumber man on the planet?"

For the record, I count my self as a Kennedy supporter; but as a Democrat, I did not "endorse" him in the GOP primary.  As for the General Election, assuming the field does not change, Kennedy will however get one of my votes in the fall.


Imagine if Richard Merkt were a Democrat!

Bottom Line: Despite his campaign promise, Governor Christie has done NOTHING that will result in a LOWERING of our property tax bill! In fact, Washington Township residents just got a skyrocketing increase in their estimated 2010 property tax bills. Go Chris!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

...somebody step on a duck?

Having lost the GOP nomination to retain his WT Committeemen seat, it seems Howard "lame duck" Popper couldn't bring himself to writing the traditional OT letter thanking his supporters. Instead, Howard opted for a entry on his Facebook page. How big of him.