How to structure a coup in Highlands


I’m sure I’m not the only person unhappy with the Highlands Process.  That being said there is a path on changing things.

a) Choose candidates on BOTH sides that are NOT known

b) Have you’re friends that are ‘Independent’ make sure they choose a side, if they don’t they can’t vote and they have to cast a vote DURING PRELIMANRY

c) Only choose people not from the current regime..I don’t care if the ultimate outcome is Democrat or Repub , having someone NEW is most  important.

50 thoughts on “How to structure a coup in Highlands

  1. Duncan McCleod

    As a point of historical fact on the past two elections, and to their credit, the Republicans in Highlands did exacly what was suggested here. In fact, spots on the Republican ticket were actively advertised and all could interview that were interested. All five candidates that were put up in the past two elections by Highlands Republicans were defeated. Its great to suggest ideas like this which are valid, but if people dont vote for new people when they run for office, then arent the problems in Highlands really the voters fault? It is often said that the people get the government they deserve.

    On the flip side the Democrats did put up two new candidates and both of them were elected. So that is a plus.

    The problem that any political newbies in town face is a deeply entrenched “good ol boy” system which corrupts everything happening in the town. Case in point were two former council people that had virtually no education, no vision for the community, but were on the council for 9 years, and had not one major achievenment between them to show for it.

    Its no wonder the town is a mess, will remain a mess, and was ill prepared to deal with a disaster like Sandy. Not in terms of first response and volunteerism, but in being strong enough to recover economically afterwards.

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    1. RockemSockem

      You are correct about the past but I think(or hope) this time different as Sandy has shown us how truly inept our elected officials are but I guess we will have to wait and see. I know everybody I know in this town including most on this blog are done with this crew and doesn’t matter what political persuasion you are. Keep kicking people when their down they will react. If everyone keeps thinking that way nothing will ever change. Occupy Highlands:)

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  2. Broadway Bill

    Okay…let me get this straight….

    A) Find two people who nobody knows….in a town where you have to know somebody to get anything and try to get them elected when nobody knows them so you’re starting out all the way from square one and hope that people will vote for complete strangers.

    B) Find people with no experience in government who have the free time and are willing to put up with all of the aggravation that must come with the position while they are learning how to do the job.

    Listen, I hate politicians as much as much as the next guy, but, seriously, if you have a clogged drain in your house, do you call a roofer? If you’re having trouble with your car, do you take it to a carpenter? So when did this theory become popular that if you’re having trouble with your government, you should bring in some real estate mogul!

    And let’s face it…..being a town official in Highlands is not a glamourous jobs. There are very few perks. It’s not like you’ll have access to Air Force One! The closest you’ll come is a good seat with Santa on a fire truck!

    I know that every election, both parties send out public notices encouraging people to contact them who are interested in running for office and these organizations have the resources to get you elected. Why would you want to try to do it on your own? The reason you see the same faces over and over again in office is because nobody else wants the job!

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    1. highlandsblog Post author

      A) didn’t say no one knew, I said new, sounds similar but different meaning or at least that’s what I meant.
      B) You have to start in Government some where why not a town council.
      C) Not saying we do it on our own, saying we infiltrate both parties in order to stack the deck.

      BB do you want the job?

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    2. Broadway Bill

      How much does it pay? lol!

      Seriously though…someone did ask me once to consider running for School Board and I declined.

      Secondly, who in their right mind would vote for me? An outsider? Someone who, apparently, does nothing, but make snide comments?

      I’ve got enough on my plate AND I’m not sure sure if I meet the residence requirements currently.

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    3. Mule 1

      I am not sure of the effectiveness or efficiency of starting the coop right now. This past November we had a full slate of elections for multiple elected positions take place. The next municipal election will be for mayor alone I believe. Facts seem to indicate that opportunity to get most bang for the efforts is further down the line.
      Not discounting the importance of stopping business as usual or the power of the Mayor’s bully pulpit, just saying there is a lot of lead time for building this coop. As the coop gets framed and fitted out a lot of change and ending of business as usual can come from efforts to make sure current elected officials, town staff, business, school and those who assume control of vital areas due to the complicity or laziness of those who should be leading the way are monitored and held accountable for current behavior. It seems to me that in Highlands as well as every other group undertaking anywhere where more than one human needs to decide whats good for the group, the distraction of being opposed as a philosophy is as damaging and self defeating as carrying on with business as usual

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  3. highlander

    im in. i dont want to run but ill support and campaign for anyone who does. the day has finally come for people of this town to turn it around. it has so much potential besides the barhs/hbp clam fiasco once a year. people from all over come to the some of the business here in highlands and eventually stay here. but now we have been dealing with one of the highest tax rates in monmouth county and it will get worse. and i read in one of the other posts that tim hill is the adminstrator of the hope for highlands funds. he could not be impartial on so many different problems that were going on in this town. i heard and seen firsthand how he dealt with the fiasco on washington ave. i would have been screaming if i lived down there. plus you have a mayor who picks and chooses what is important to the town. the man at the meeting was just trying to say his side. i wonder how all that would have played out if it was his house. oh in case anyone didnt already know, when we all got reassessed for our taxes, the mayors house went down appro 30000 along with going down another 30000 after the storm. i hope all yours went down that much, mine didnt

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    1. RockemSockem

      When did you get your new tax assessment? I haven’t received anything regarding that and I sent letter in requesting it right after storm certified mail.

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    2. highlander

      log onto Tax Board Tax Board Home – Monmouth County click on propery card assessment info. it will show your latest assement as of 2013. you can look up a lot of info on there too about what other ppl pay

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  4. highlander

    i hope yours got lowered..they town did not lower mine until i emailed the monmouth county board of taxation. they was a deadline back in december to apply to get it lowered. also i hope everyone in town knows that the final day to get your hazard mitagtaion grant in is march 31.

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    1. Mule 1

      FINAL, FINAL FINAL day to get your:
      Hazard Mitigation Grant application into FEMA.
      This is a FEMA administered and operated program. It’s reason for existing,”….to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters…” Rather wide and indefinite mandate probably a lot of room for reaons and purposes someone would need this help. Some other important of need to be expanded and explained components, one you apply to FEMA but FEMA keeps track of the money as a grant to States and towns, One other authorizing constructs of the program, it is meant to get mitigation efforts incorporated into the immediate recovery efforts under taken.

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    2. Mule 1

      This last post of mine looks like something out of the business as usual file- THE date of this Final, Final Final application process is MARCH 31- not today, tomorrow or last week,

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    3. Jen

      But is there an individual application, or is this all through the town? I am having a hard time finding anything for individuals, since relying on the town doesn’t seem like the smartest idea.

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    4. RockemSockem

      I looked up website and although the assessment card has no difference in value the website shows home reassessed for less not as much as Mayors yet the Tax bill for the first 2 quarters of 2013 is higher. I assume i’m going to have to fight that. It really just never ends.

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    5. Stacy

      I SUSPECT everyone’s reduced values kick in the third quarter of the year because the first two quarters were always “guesstimates”

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    6. RockemSockem

      Yes but taxes for first 2 quarters should not have gone up on a home that is inhabitable. My understanding new assessment should be of Jan 1, 2013 therefore town should credit difference.

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  5. Duncan McCleod

    The founding fathers of our country established a government where anyone could run for office and govern themselves. If people dont stand up and do that, someone else that may not have their best interests at heart will do it for them! Two choices here, you can either do, or just bitch!

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    1. Broadway Bill

      The founding fathers will also rich, white Protestants who established a country where everyone was equal as long as they weren’t black, gay,Jewish, or Catholic.

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  6. Carolyn

    Don’t know what good it will do, but we’re going to the Council meeting tonight. I’m going to ask them why they can’t live stream ala Skype or something similar so out of town residents who are sill paying their taxes BTW, as well as others who can’t get to a meeting can view remotely. Does anyone else have a question they want me to ask?
    CB

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    1. Broadway Bill

      lol! In Highlands? You got to be kidding me?

      Don’t you know they already have that electronic message board in front of boro hall and if you want to find out what’s going on in town you have to sit around the Water Watch, Katz’s, or Andy’s Seashore Bar!

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    2. Broadway Bill

      lol! In Highlands? You got to be kidding me!

      You mean you don’t get all your public notices from the electronic board outside of boro hall? If you want to find out what’s going on in town you have to spend your mornings at the Water Whitch, afternoons at Katz’s, and evenings at Andy’s Seashore Bar!

      You must be new in town!

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    3. Carolyn

      Ha, no, 11 years here, I just spend 7.30am to 7.30pm in NYC at work. It costs nothing to Skype, so I’d love to see what their answer will be. I would love to run for office, but there aren’t enough hours in the day.

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    4. highlandsblog Post author

      if you do group skype at least one the participants have to have premium skype, and there is a limit of 25.. but I don’t think they have 25 ppl attending..

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    5. highlandsblog Post author

      I don’t know how it would work, but what about google hangout? I think there is a 15 ppl limit, but most would go in person and the first 15 could join?

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    6. Stacy

      They have wifi at the school (protected) so that’s not an issue. There is a free app called TeamViewer that might allow streaming and there’s always a free 30 day trial of go to meeting.

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    1. Carolyn

      Great Rockem, had to set it up on my android tablet… Damn windows phone… We’ll see of they let me stream it!

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    2. Mule 1

      I don’t know about anyone else but the previous bing bang boom tempo and sparks of action should give all some hope we can make sure that the right thing gets known, done and out front in a perfect world. Does anyone know if it is legal to film a government body at work w/o their permission, just saying Carolyn keep your sneakers on and run like hell when somebody notices what is going on. On a serious note I hope everyone is sufficiently awed at how quickly a need became an idea and an idea an action. Very impressive Carolyn, have you ever thought about being governor?

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  7. RockemSockem

    I found this http://www.njslom.org/magart_1208_pg74.html On New Jersey State League of Municipalities and it states video taping legal as long not disruptive
    Municipal officials are often concerned about the videotaping of municipal meetings by the public, both because of the possible disruption of the meeting and because some residents attending the meetings do not want to be videotaped. New Jersey case law makes it clear that a member of the public cannot be prohibited from videotaping a municipal meeting. In the case of Tarus v. Pine Hill, Docket No.a-93-05(2007), the New Jersey Supreme Court said “…we hold that, subject to reasonable restrictions, members of the public have a common law right to videotape municipal proceedings in New Jersey. Our conclusion is supported by an interwoven tapestry of jurisprudence and policy that demonstrates both the value of open government and the right to document governmental proceedings.” As for concerns over the privacy of members of the public, the Court said “Although some citizens may be fearful of video cameras, we find that consideration insufficient to deny the right to videotape. Further, no right of privacy protects a citizen’s public comments.”

    However, the Court did find that the common law right to videotape public meetings is neither absolute nor unqualified. A public body may impose reasonable guidelines to ensure the videotaping is not disruptive to the meeting or to the other citizens’ right of access to and participation in that meeting. The court indicated that such guidelines can include restrictions on the number and positioning of cameras, lighting, and the location of the person operating the equipment. They can also include restrictions designed to control noise levels and prevent damage to public facilities. Any guidelines must be as narrow in scope as possible to accomplish these goals. Furthermore, they must be established and applied in a neutral fashion.

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    1. Carolyn

      So… Mayor was fine with me streaming and suggested I come to all the meetings and stream them too. Only problem was it worked at my house but not at the school even though I brought my WiFi hotspot. It may be a broadband issue. Regardless, I vidoed it and will figure out a way to post it. Stay tuned peeps.

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    2. Carolyn

      They are going to vote on the permit issue on April 17th. Mayor said he would vote yes to the refund and mused that he was under the impression it would be unanimous

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    3. Carolyn

      For sure – one lady last night spent $1500 in permits so is very happy to get that cash back. Her place must have been totaled

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    4. highlandsblog Post author

      yeah, apparently the amount was tied to how much you spent, so if you paid an electrician $5000, and your neighbor paid $2000, for the same exact job, you and your neighbor would pay different amounts for the same permit. Nothing like getting screwed more by the town after being over charged by your contractor. I still would like to know whose infinite wisdom was it to charge in the first place. That person needs to be replaced.

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    5. Carolyn

      I guess because none of my neighbors even started until I was done, they didn’t have much to go by… Miller Street is one lonely place.

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  8. highlander

    yes miller st is lonely like a lot of streets in town. at night there is a lot of darkness and that bc ppl dont live here anymore, we are looking into getting a security system bc you dont have neighbors to watch your backs anymore. i thankfully still have my neighbors around but thats bc we all helped each other to get back on our feet. on my block alone there are at least 12 houses not occupied and some of them have not even been touched since the storm. cant wait for the warm weather to come. i thank everyone for all their input. it has been lifesaving to some.

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  9. Carolyn

    So… look at what is item #1 on the agenda for tonight’s Council Meeting:

    Consent Agenda: 1. R-13-84 Resolution Establishing Policy Re: Video Recording of Mtgs

    Mayor told me he’d ask for passcode to broadband at the school so will try the streaming again tonight. I bought a nice USB mic to help with sound. If it doesn’t stream, I will record and post to the same site: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/highlands-meetings

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