ET begins today's masterpiece with a disclaimer of sorts. Every member of the ET consortium has the highest level of respect for Barnegat's Finest - our Police Department. When we refer to the gals and guys in blue as "Artie's Angels," we do so in an objective manifestation of reverence. Chief Arthur Drexler is doing a splendid job. Drexler and his co-commanders have polished The Angels into an elite team of law enforcing crime fighters that does 08005 proud.
ET agrees that Artie's Angels MUST be equipped with the latest technology. We no longer live in the days of Dick Tracy where a cop can pull-out his trusty magnifying glass and discover whodunit. Today's criminals are more vicious, brutal and cunning then those of yesteryear. Fight fire with fire or watch Barnegat burn to ashes.
Caveat. Our words in the last paragraph are not meant to even remotely imply that spending should be frivolous. ET vehemently disagrees that Barnegat needs to increase its fleet of gas-guzzling SUVs if Artie's Angels are to be well-equipped. The cops already have several of them on patrol. Surely, if the State Police have a majority of Ford Crown Victorias on the road, Barnegat can function with the same, less-extravagant fleet. It is the mobile technology inside those cars that concerns ET.
Township Committee Members "Lonesome" Len Morano and "Dynamic" Dotty Ryan are to be commended. ET salutes their wisdom in questioning the need to add SUVs to the cost of the police budget. Morano and Ryan support upgrading the Angel's communication system. Had The Three Blind Mice named Hartman, Melchiondo and Cirulli not been so busy playing stupid political games, this could and would have been done long ago.
Another culprit is Barnegat's Township Administrator David "Body Shop" Breeden. The Man Who Will Paint Any Car for $29.99 was so tied up trying to help The Mice sneak through a 49% pay raise for select township employees that he neglected to take care of what is really important. We are certain the family of injured Officer Chris Smith will be sending Breeden a Christmas card.
It was absolutely comical to learn that The Three Blind Mice plan on using surplus bond money to fund improvements for Artie's Angels. If Mister and Missus Barnegat went into hock for this money way back when, why was anything "left over?" Why were each and every one of us paying interest on money that was clearly not needed at the time it was borrowed?
ET will tell you why. It is because 08005 is in the hands of a political machine that does not know its rear end from its elbow. The Three Bind Mice hired an uncertified administrator named Breeden only because the local Republican bag-man ordered them to. They KNEW Breeden lacked the certification necessary to serve as Barnegat's CFO but went ahead and hired him anyway. When you are dealing with a political party that boasts the leadership of a thug named Gilmore and can hire unqualified sweat hogs like Diamond Jack Kelly to work at airports, what else should you expect?
When Barnegat was ranked the #1 place to live in New Jersey, those in-the-know knew that "honor" was bought and paid for by an area builder. Hell, advertising dollars can buy just about anything from a magazine or newspaper (ain't it the truth, Biggy?). Now, that rating has mysteriously backslid to #270. Why? What changed in 08005?
The answer is that nothing changed except the date - and the tax bill. Perhaps the builder who paid the initial endowment got what his company wanted and saw no need to throw good money after bad. Perhaps that builder realized how hard it will be to attract purchasers once the cost of living in 08005 becomes known to them. It is a system that smells like an overfilled septic tank at high tide.
Neighbors, our town is in the hands of clowns who obey the edicts of the Toms River Republican Clubhouse like trained dogs. Their virtual Pavlovian response to the boss's call is hitting you, us, our children and grandchildren right smack dab in our bank accounts.
Hell, drive through YOUR town. Look at how many homes have been abandoned. Banks are reveling in orgasmic delight at the number of foreclosures. And Barnegat is not getting its tax dollars simply because people can no longer afford to pay the outrageous levy.
Len Morano was the sole member of YOUR township committee who stood up to decry the revaluation of property when Melchiondo, Cirulli and Hopeless Hartman voted to bring in an assessment company whose work product was inaccurate. The Three Blind Mice are not good custodians of YOUR town. Rather, they are three incompetent buffoons who pontificate but have not a clue how to legislate in YOUR best interests.
This November you have a chance to do something about it. Just like you cleaned house at YOUR Board of Education you can begin to throw these fools out of town hall. Thomas "Hopeless" Hartman has cost YOU and YOUR family plenty. Hartman is not worthy of YOUR trust. Hartman was rescued by the Toms River Machine and given a cushy County job at more than $70,000.00 plus lucrative benefits after he blew two private sector positions. Why is Ocean County hiring possible incompetency with YOUR tax dollars when better choices are readily available? Perhaps the job they gifted to Hopeless Hartman should have gone to YOU or YOUR loved ones.
ET salutes Morano and Ryan. We commend them on their clear understanding of what the term "public service" means.
In the same breath we throw a verbal rotten tomato to the incompetent masquerading as Barnegat's township administrator. There might be a lot more to the story about why Mr. Breeden was the subject of a special investigation when he had suspicious dealings with auto body shops during his tenure in Camden. Of course, with "zealous" local journalists (rollover Horace Greeley) like Biggy on the beat, it will be left to ET to uncover the rest of the story.
And we will.