The so-called "preliminary tax bill" arrived in mailboxes across 08005 just in time to cloud over a beautiful summer weekend. Taxes in our one zip code corner of heaven are out of control. The incompetence and years of mismanagement have made Barnegat a very expensive place to homestead.
And it needs to be fixed.
Centuries ago, Confucius sagely opined that a bell cannot be unrung once it has sounded. There is wisdom in those words. But no one says it should be allowed to ring a second time.
This past April, Barnegat voted to change the majority on our Board of Education. The plurality for the newly elected members was a landslide condemnation of the controversial business and personnel practices of a man who just might be the absolute worst Superintendent of Schools in the history of Barnegat.
Despite a well-funded campaign of sleaze by the McMahon-supported incumbents, 08005 stood up and loudly proclaimed that we are sick and tired and are not going to take it anymore. Hell, we threw the tea into Barnegat Bay and struck a chord for educational excellence and fiscal responsibility.
The fear mongers and doomsday crowd are everywhere. They continue to predict that the educational product in Barnegat will crash up onto the rocks solely due to the new BOE members.
And that is a bunch of crap.
If some of these gossiping canaries would give it up and devote as much time to their spouses as they do to talking, the adultery rate in Barnegat might decrease.
Barnegat has bid a not-too-fond farewell to Thomas McMahon's right hand lackey, Brian Falkowski. Sensing that the jig is up, Fearless Falkowski bailed off the sinking good ship McMahon before it goes under. ET has learned that The Million Dollar McMahon once again showed his true colors by not even making an appearance at Falkowski's farewell soiree.
Neighbors, please do not fret. The grapevine has it that Dr. McMajesty has already found a replacement for Bodacious Brian. Enter Gorgeous George Delaporte. Yes, Gorgeous George is now the one to tote The Million Dollar McMahon's suitcase of ego, paranoia and treachery.
Forsaking the camaraderie of his colleagues for the almighty dollar, Gorgeous George will perform in a sterling manner when he tells McMajesty the sweet odor of his flatulence. A few dedicated teachers may take it in the caboose, but such are the casualties of war. Georgie Boy will do whatever has to be done to make certain his master smiles.
ET thought Delaporte was more of a man. Obviously, we were dead wrong.
Our new BOE is working hard to get a grip on the incredible cost of running a relatively small school district. ET salutes their courage and tenacity. To those who spread false rumors that there is infighting, we say "not"!
Healthy, productive debates on the BOE are what was long overdue. The Linda Mitchell-led BOE walked in lockstep rubber stamping whatever The Million Dollar McMahon told them to. Your tax bill is living proof.
ET wants to give you a coming attraction of where we will be taking this column as August leads to September.
The matter of Thomas Kostka refusing to account for more than $28,000.00 of money donated to Project Playground is far from over. Every time ET sees one of those new blue signs emblazoned "Project Playground" we are reminded of this possible impropriety.
Townspeople who believed in this project and put their money on top of that belief deserve an honest answer supported by an accountant's certification. Twenty-eight grand is no bag of shells, Mr. Kostka. And your mail order minister camouflage just ain't gonna cut it. If the Sinister Minister raided the poor box and then cooked the books, it is a job for the Prosecutor's office.
Kostka, Anthony Gorman and others vainly named Project Playground "Koradigo Cove." They did not have the permission of the township to do this. Hell, those who broke their buns to build the darned thing were outraged at their conceit and egomaniacal act of narcissism. If the town has done anything wise in the past few months, it is to make certain that the self-serving name of Koradigo Cove is left in the dust.
Nor has ET forgotten the mysterious incident of the 49% salary increase that Jeffrey "The Cigar Store Indian" Melchiondo, Thomas "Hopeless" Hartman and Alphonse "Big Al" Cirulli were trying to sneak through.
One of the best moments of true comedy was to see these three political whores with egg on their ugly kissers when Lonesome Len Morano exposed this costly scheme. What did Melchiondo, Hartman and Cirulli do, you ask? They put the hit on their paid whipping boy, township administrator David "Body Shop" Breeden (more on this prize package coming up).
A pet issue of those who team up to bring you the ET perspective is the outright bias, prejudice and hatred of Alphonse Cirulli. Behind his fast-shrinking disguise of being a pious person is the clear and damning truth. Cirulli's infamous and sacrilegious fire-and-brimstone monologue condemning the legal ceremony of a civil union was a desecration of the constitutional liberties that are the foundation of this thing we call America.
Civil unions are not about gay people, straight people or the man from mars. Civil unions are a legislative reaffirmation of the right of ALL Americans to live as they choose so long as they abide by the law.
While some might argue that Alphonse Cirulli was under no legal obligation to perform such ceremonies when he was Barnegat's mayor, that is no excuse for him to abuse that very same office by openly condemning the choices of his constituents. For Cirulli to sit on a dais under the shadow of the American flag is a contradiction and an outrage. Do not forget that Melchiondo and Hartman endorsed Cirulli's clearly bigoted position.
Hatred is a malignancy that you, the voter, have the absolute power to eradicate from our township's government. Your magic bullet is the simplicity of your vote. Support those who realize that the essence of our democracy is the civil liberties of you, me and the person next door across our great nation.
To his absolute credit, Len Morano renounced and vigorously condemned Cirulli's bigotry. Mr. Morano understands that he is a representative of all the people. And for that, standing alone, he should be re-elected.
Friends, this November's election is going to be big. With 2008 being a presidential election year, it should be. The focus of this column will not be the White House; although we might mention our choice for the presidency
Rather, we will zero in on the "outhouse" of Barnegat Township. ET will put before you the facts that never seem to make it into those glossy brochures or cowardly excuses for newspapers that are mailed to 08005 homes.
The facts that challenge the false veneers of the Melchiondos, Cirullis, Matthews and Hopeless Hartmans of the political manure pile should make for interesting reading.
ET suggests you make an enlargement of your new tax bill. Tack it on the refrigerator door so it is in plain sight. Put it there so you stay angry at how the current machine has made you dig so deep into your pocket that there is almost nothing left.
This Election Day, remember the rat finks who did this to you and your family.