Guest Blogger: Carolyn Broullon


There seems to be a bit of confusion around town regarding the Highlands Post Sandy Survey and my motives for conducting it, so I’ve asked the HighlandsBlog to post this note for me.

Here is some background on me and the survey:

  • HighlandsBlog is not my blog; I found it while web surfing in January of this year
  • I bought my house in Highlands in 2002 and have been a full-time resident since 2003
  • I work full-time in NYC, and yes, I take the boat (Seastreak)
  • The purpose of the survey is detailed below

After speaking with many neighbors in the months following Sandy, I felt a need for all Highlands residents to give voice to issues, concerns and future ideas for the town after the storm in a formal manner.  I asked my firm [Gazelle Global Research Services, LLC] to support me in surveying our town’s residents.  They have agreed to donate resources and man-hours, gratis.  As I, personally, have designed the study and will analyze results, I am abstaining from participation.  Market Research has been my profession since 1992 and I want to volunteer my services in a concrete way that will benefit both residents and our local government.

The research objectives are geared to better understand what the citizens of the Borough of Highlands can do to help local government in terms of process for:

Information flow, Flood mitigation. Completion/timing of permits, Grant and SBA loan information, Code enforcement and Next steps to make Highlands more attractive to new residents and businesses, and to improve quality of life post-Sandy for current residents

This survey is not sponsored by the Borough of Highlands nor any other local, state or federal agency, government or political party. Responses are completely confidential and will be used for research purposes only.  A summary of findings will be shared after the survey is completed and analyzed.  In no way will anyone be identified or contacted because of their answers to this survey.  Responses will be analyzed in total only.  The questionnaire takes 10-15 minutes.

I’m planning on presenting detailed findings to the council as well as possibly FEMA and local news/media outlets such as the Asbury Park Press.  The news exposure will be good for town, and we all know we need that urgently.  This study could be a great beginning for further research.  I would be happy to continue to volunteer my time and expertise to aid the town in better understanding the views of all residents.  All Highlands residents are encouraged to participate in the research study.

Sign up at: highlandsnjsurvey@gmail.com

Survey will open to your comments until July 21st, 2013.

*Only Highlands residents [seasonal or full-time] 18+ are eligible to take the survey

Thanks for your participation,

Carolyn [12 Miller St]

25 thoughts on “Guest Blogger: Carolyn Broullon

    1. Broadway Bill

      Been there, done that like a week ago…..
      My only complaint is I wanted to change some answers, but couldn’t go back.

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    2. Broadway Bill

      P.S.

      This is the exact same entry that was published on the blog back on June 28th – only now it’s not from the owner of the blog, but from a guest blogger!

      I’m so confused….I think it’s time for my meds….

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  1. njview

    What a great project and very generous of you and your employer. Thank you for the effort. Why limit to just residents? I own property in town but don’t live there. I have ideas for how the town can make the most of the next steps.
    (1) Recognize this is the right time to merge or share police, court and grade school adminstration services with neighboring towns.
    (1)Buy out and demolish some of the below-grade buildings along Bay Avenue and make inviting, parking areas, to support the other businesses downtown.
    (3) Rezone the bulkhead sections and simlar flatlands areas to encourage clustered or town homes like they have at the end of Center Avenue or like Marina on the Bay, which will encourage investors to buy up some of the smaller bungalows at fair market, and assemeble a larger parcel on which to rebuild.This in turn will bring a broader residential tax base to town- like happened in Belmar and Avon. Business will follow if a better residential mix is created.
    (4) Do NOT sell off the ‘charm’ of the green hills, by spiking them with isolated, dense towers. We will be stuck with the image and the bills for the future damages long after the developer leaves…the slopes are the most unique and sellable feature of the town as a whole and there is no financial reason to allow greater hieghts, that will not bring more ratables once the factor of support costs (which taaxpayers pay, after the developer leaves) are added to the equation.

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    1. Carolyn

      @NJview – after watching our neighbors toss out their life’s belongings on the street next to ours, and living through the process of no power, walls or floors, I felt for this survey, it should be targeted to residents. There can always be further research, but in my opinion, I felt the people who lived though the madness needed to be heard first.

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    2. Broadway Bill

      Thank goodness your “property” was damaged and not your home.

      I don’t know what I would have done if I had to clean up TWO homes.

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    3. njview

      Bill, I rented downtown starting in 1987 on Bay and owned on Seadrfit from 1988 to 1991. I owned and lived on the ‘island’ section (behind the Jenny Parker complex), from 2004 to present.. Don’t quite understand why anyone would discount my interest in the progress of the town and damage to it.

      If the council bent over for me like they do for the other out of town propery owners (like Gelber and Bollerman) right now we’d have a better traffic pattern on Shore and Bay, fresh parking on Bay and fewer below-prime properties along i; modern, inviting signage and lighting and less ‘street clutter’ (can, pots, etc) to start.

      Then I’d ask the council to give me better zoning in the residential areas downtown, for clustered homes or bundled lots, and not impair the scenery of the last (almost) untouched hills on the east coast…and I’d start selling this town as the waterfront lovechild of Lambertville and Brooklyn, since we already have a huge base of artisitic, vegan, organic, craftsmen, farming, and professional folks wanderign around here……

      (on that nore, I wonder why this segment of the opopulation hasn’t already been given the political power to take the town to new heights? Does our current political system lock them out based on Fear of the new? Complacency? Patronage?)

      OK back on point…What if the poll was only limited to people who owned, and lived here full time. Or only rented. Or only visitied. That’s why I thought it was a more balanced approach to hear from everyone. I’ve heard certain influential people comment that the ‘renters’ are the root of the town’s problem. Too bad they don’t know my tenants- accomplsihed artists, and professionals with families, all of whom I was able to attract to the charms of this town and who have been here many years already- no transients, no druggies, etc….. Hope my hard sell about how great this area is, will not going to backfire on them, since they only ‘rent’ ‘property’ that I own.

      Until ‘we’ ALL start to assemble a focused plan of our own, with achievable ideas including some small, quick wins, as to how to make it better, ‘we’ will lose the fight every time to the big developers- all of whom only seek bottom line profits at our expense. yet…the Public officials somehow feel forced to accept a bad plan, over no plan at all. So…let’s give them a plan. And stop trying to prioritize amonut who owns, who lives, and who visits on summer weekends, just get a strong willed coalition no matter what the starting point is.

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    4. Broadway Bill

      I’m sorry Mr. Trump….you obviously have more experience wheeling and dealing in Highlands real estate than I do.

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    5. highlandsblog Post author

      There is something seriously wrong with you BB.. you’re like a curmudgeon that got up on the wrong side of the bed and then someone pee’d in your wheaties.

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    6. rockemsockem

      NJview…you have valid and smart points and most people on this blog welcome all people and exchange of ideas …keep em coming.

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  2. njview

    (5) rethink and re-position the police trailers to allow the Shore Drive bike path and car traffic to flow again. No reason to cut off this public space, when other placement or design can make the police trailers safe and still allow the public its access. This blockage is choking off the Hudson Bike Path just when we should be encouraging tourist to check out the town…

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    1. highlandsblog Post author

      I like your suggestions. If you ever want to do a “guest blog” with some of your ideas on how to accomplish the above, I’d love to publish it.

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    2. NoLongerNew

      I haven’t been down that way in a few weeks but I always ran through “their” parking lot. I guess it’s difficult to maneuver bikes through the barricades?

      You should come to a town council meeting and voice your opinions.

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  3. rockemsockem

    Yes I agree…good ideas. Downtown should be the concentration of development first and foremost. Just to add I think it would be a good idea to have buses to Sandy hook for residents and visitors…fishing charters,water activities, Zip lines since we have beautiful scenery and hills to do it,…just activities that are simple and make attractive to visitors and residents. I guess what i’m really saying is we need a REAL Chamber of Commerce.

    Carolyn …. as a person who lived through this I personally I would have no objections to opening up to people who own but don’t live in town as they have a vested interest in this town succeeding and more power in numbers. But I totally respect and understand where you are coming from. Also just curious what prompted you having to explain survey?

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    1. Carolyn

      @rockem well, some people were talking trash so I felt I needed clear the air, so to speak. I’m trying to do a good thing and

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  4. Misha

    Carolyn
    Thank you for your time and expertise (and your company!).
    I was happy to help in the survey. I would like to have had more choices on how do you get your news perhaps other with fill-in.
    Look forward to the findings and wish you the best,
    Mishsa

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  5. Frustrated

    @rockem- I like your ideas, but how about trolleys rather than buses? I think trolleys would give it an awesome, old-fashioned shore vibe.

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    1. rockemsockem

      Trolleys would be awesome and def more charming. I know I love going to Sandy Hook and when we have company have enjoyed going there but parking and traffic nightmare and too hot to walk or bike ride with beach chairs and bags. We are so close and yet can be such a hassle. I always wondered why people who own boats didn’t think to start as a business taking people to Sandy hook maybe even a boat tour business.

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  6. tom

    Thank god you people dont run the town with your ideas. I lost so many braincells reading your posts I forgot math

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    1. highlandsblog Post author

      I have a feeling you didn’t know math before.. but I would encourage you to stop reading now we don’t want you what brain cells you might have left.

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