38 thoughts on “Highlands 2013 in Review

  1. rockemsockem

    Not trying to be negative but these are all truths:
    Highlands Municipality Recap:
    -Sandy came ashore with no real emergency management preparedness plan in place(pumps not working effectively, storm drains not cleared, no sandbagging protection throughout town)
    -Town clean up great job.
    -Kind volunteers came from all over country to help Jersey shore residents.
    -No insurance on municipal buildings.
    -Distributions center opens with kind donations that never really got into hands of the people truly affected since most people were displaced and not living in their homes.
    -Solutions center opens(drink up) with no real solutions.
    – People were further financially burdened by paying for permits even though most residents insurance companies did not pay for but were consistently told they do therefore were forced to pay out of pocket even though almost every other town waived per state directive.
    -No grant writer- NO Sandy grant money(almost every other town along the shore with far less damage received big grant awards).
    -No CRS program which given our history of flooding should have already been in play.
    -No code enforcement to really speak of till this day.
    -Council meetings, with same questions being asked and still no real answers.
    -Municipal website being paid for by tax payers. Useless ….all HTML code, never up to date information.
    – 4 houses destroyed while homes being elevated…no accountability.
    – 2 house fires with one sad death in a month I’m quite sure due to lack of code enforcement.
    – Highland United for Non Partisan elections won
    – Interesting election with a write in getting 15% of vote.
    – Although candidates expressed how important flood protection and code enforcement, still no difference on either front. Only 2 elected officials live downtown, Chris Francy with home already elevated prior to Sandy and Mayor who was directly affected ….the rest of council, town administrator, attorney,etc not directly affected.
    -Rushing an emergency meeting the day before holiday weekend to enrich a developer at the cost of safety to life and property for residents.
    -Sewer Authority dissolution a mess! Our neighboring town will pay what ever they have to, to wash their hands of Highlands. NJPG corroded pipes, T & M our town engineers totally screwed up by not drill test borings in correct place before installing sewer pipes at a cost to taxpayers. Lets not forget residents pay same water use as restaurants that use much more and even with people displaced from there homes with no working bathrooms, sinks etc their bills remained the same.
    -Transit village proposal and Paradise Park proposal with no negotiations to benefit the residents and give back to community.
    -Hiring a CFO with a pension that has 6 jobs instead of bringing in experienced fresh blood when we are in serious financial condition.
    -Garbage mounts on hills…. garbage truck destroys residents car and home.

    Lets now recap what residents & business who were directly effected had to deal with:
    -Destruction of their homes and place of business…losing all they owned.
    -Displaced for 6 months to even now from home, families, neighbors.
    -Insurance companies
    -Mortgage companies
    -Contractors(GC’s Plumbers, electricians, getting permits, getting inspections)
    -Navigating all grant processes.
    -Higher Flood insurance rates
    -Elevating homes
    -Trying to participate in helping town recover with the will to succeed even though they have a lot on their own plate but their help is shunned.

    Highlands Residents should be proud of themselves for their strength & perseverance.
    My hope for the New Year is that the Mayor & council will put aside the nonsense and start to actually hear and respect ALL their residents, Look at the big picture and start to make brave choices to make ourselves whole. I do ask myself can certain members of council and various persons in administration truly understand the people who really lived it? You know people always say I know somebody but until you live it personally you can never truly understand!


    1. barbara iannucci

      Rockem… Facts are not a position of negativity, and as you say they ARE truths. I just hope that next year’s recap shows the progress Highlands has made in handling your list of facts here.


  2. Lucille Kane

    “not trying to be negative, but…….”

    Will the author please recheck his “facts”, because unfortunately, not all “facts” are truths. Remember, back in the day, when the earth was flat?

    After a most difficult year, it would be nice to hear something positive about our home town heroes. It is certainly appropriate to thank the many who came to our aid from all over the country, but to omit a word of thanks to the many Highlanders who donated time and energy to help their fellow towns people seems a bit of an oversight.


    1. Rockemsockem

      Okay Lucille your right! Thank you to all the residents who helped each other along with the people who can from all over the country. Unfortunately you need to face the truth and stop looking through a distorted lens to raality of things. Like I said the residents of this town should be proud of themselves they worked so very hard to get home! The sad thing is after all their hard work and heartache they find themselves in a town that continues to spiral downward. I hope the New Year brings positive things but I still see a lot of work and worry ahead for most. Maybe not for your family …I don’t know?


  3. Lucille Kane

    Funny thing your mentioning my glasses, Rock, they not only see reality, but they can read between the lines, spot innuendo, allegations and spin a mile away.

    As for the town being on a downward spiral, Highlands has had its heyday. That was back at the beginning of the last century when Highlands was, indeed, a destination. After WWII, with automobile production at its highest and Turnpikes and Parkways being built, Highlands was bypassed for the shore towns on the ocean with their boardwalks an amusements. We are not as fortunate as Atlantic Highlands with its harbor or Sea Bright with its many beach clubs….that does bring the big bucks in. We are also not the only small town in this precarious position.

    “No real emergency preparation”? Fact: Our emergency service is one of the best around. I guess, by your measure all the shore towns’ emergency services were poorly lacking.

    Fact: Yes, the local distribution center’s and the people who donated to them, did an amazing job. The people who live on “the hill” were without peer. Fact: More people than you credit received goods and food. Food was distributed for an especially long time. Fact: A great many of the people who were displaced down town were renters and have since moved, but I am sure that they received aid wherever they went.

    As for most of the Council not living down town and suffering major damage to their property, gee, ain’t that a shame. Now your statement regarding that Fact is awash in

    Recheck your Fact about the unfortunate fatality in the one house fire and think cigarette not code enforcement.

    As for the Fact about the building permits……as you say, the town is on a downward track to oblivion, so how can you justify returning already paid in fees to the many who had already started to rebuild. By the time, I believe it was the Mayor’s belated suggestion to do away with them, (couldn’t possibly be politics’ rearin’ that ugly head) it was impossible to reimburse.

    Fact: CFO….trusted employee of the Borough for many years….highly recommended for the job by present CFO….gee….our council must not have been thinking.

    You know something, Rock? You had a good idea to “recap” our 2013 events. But with all
    the spin associated with it, you got me belivein’ the world still is flat.


    1. highlandsblog Post author

      Ms. Lucille – you’re batshit crazy, and I get the fact that me trying to argue or debate with someone that is an old bitty relative of a council person makes me as crazy as you are.. so the only thing I say to you is … peace be with you .. live and let live.. god bless you .. are we clear?


    2. NoLongerNew

      In your first comment you wrote “Will the author please recheck his “facts”, because unfortunately, not all “facts” are truths.”

      So please, what is not accurate in this video? If you’re going to make accusations please back them up.

      Also, I do want to correct Rockem. I believe there are three council members that were living downtown when Sandy hit. In addition to Nolan and Francy, I believe Redmond also was hit VERY hard.

      Lucille, I have issues with the town’s preparedness for Sandy. The order to evacuate was given SEVEN (if I remember correctly) hours in advance. For some people it’s hard to find a place to go on such short notice especially if they have pets and/or medical issues. Luckily some of us relied on our own common sense and not the town and made arrangements in advance. Even our own mayor couldn’t get his family out of harm’s way and had to be rescued. I’m appalled that his poor decision making put our first responders in harm’s way. With that kind of judgement I’m shocked that he was able to beat Becky in November.


  4. Lucille Kane


    Yes, the Mayor and his family had to be rescued (among the rescuers was his political opponent). This after the fact that he was at Ptak Towers telling the residents that they had to get out or they risked the chance of help being unavailable. More of a do as I say and not as I do situation. Those first responders did do a magnificent job. No lives lost.

    It seems the entire Jersey Shore was in the same evacuation mode as Highlands.

    Mr. Nolan won this election the same as he won his first. It is historically know that, in this town, a 3rd party nominee takes votes from the Democrats. May should be an interesting month in Highlands…..looking forward


  5. Lucille Kane

    “batshit crazy”

    Such an ineloquent response to a post reminds me of a quote from Elbert Hubbard: “If you can’t answer a person’s argument, all is not lost, you can still call them names”.

    And did you know that, in certain markets, guano is considered a valued commodity?

    By the way, it is not “bitty”, but biddy.

    May you and your readers enjoy a very good new year.


    1. rockemsockem

      Okay….so obviously only one person here has a personal reason to spin things. Its nice to be related to certain people and not have to deal with what the average citizen does. Living in a denial bubble must be nice but many people face serious realities! I apologize to Mr Redmond . Nuff said!


    2. PrayingMantis

      Just a small correction. The two fires have not been linked to lack of code enforcement. Lucille is correct that the fire that was responsible for the fatality was from a cigarette. Three council members had direct damage from the hurricane (including Chris Francy) and Becky’s mother and father, and brother had extensive damage. Lucille was displaced from her home as well. Lucille is always going to stick up for her granddaughter, that is expected. I often have a hard time following her fractured arguments but is it necessary to say such insulting things? As far as spin goes, I am seeing a lot of it.


  6. rockemsockem

    Actually you maybe correct on one of the house fires but Bay Avenue was blatant code violation as it had a partially collapsed roof for years. I apologized regarding inaccuracy to Mr Redmond, Mr Francy said at a council meeting he had some water in insulation under his house. The rest are facts as far as I’m concerned and I’m no political animal with no agenda just a citizen tired of the poor decisions that affect everyone. You can’t stand up for yourself as a citizen or your accused of a “secret agenda” made perfectly clear by Ms Lucille’s response. Just don’t listen…. just defend, some of which are really indefensible. Don’t just tell people they haven’t lived or experienced Pre & Post Sandy what they have….and it’s so in your face that if you are with the “politically in” crowd things are easier for you in this town and that is just plain wrong and people are fed up with it. I doubt that Lucille or any of the Kane family, Mayor etc,etc, etc, paid for permits and I admit not a fact just a gut feeling but will defend others having to pay it. I understand defending her granddaughter but not blindly! That how I see it, it’s my right to express it. Still hoping New Year brings positive change. OUT!


    1. PrayingMantis

      While you bristle at what you perceive as a suggestion of a “secret agenda” you accuse someone else of using political pull to relieve their family of paying permit fees. I certainly hope that you fully understand that you are making an accusation of ethical misconduct by an elected official, with merely your “gut” as evidence. You certainly have a right to your opinion and I am glad that you are being clear about what is fact and what is speculation.


  7. Lucille Kane

    It’s a simple thing to find out who paid what to whom……just check the Borough’s books.

    I got a smile out of the “fractured argument” It amused me. But, just remember, the more fractured the argument seems, the deeper the tongue in the cheek. Which IMHO is a far far better thing than a foot in the mouth.


    1. NoLongerNew

      “Will the author please recheck his “facts”, because unfortunately, not all “facts” are truths. Remember, back in the day, when the earth was flat?”

      Care to elaborate? I think you missed my question the first time so I’ll ask again.


    2. Joe Killeen

      Can I be bat shit crazy 2, I get incensed when I see attempts to bully anywhere. What is wrong with this site, a long time resident and aware and current event sensible, disagrees with your party line and you call her bat shit crazy- try and keep your distance from dumb and partisan bloggers{Art Gallagher and Brian Delany) it was nice to almost have a real, intellectual discussion about our struggling town, unfortunately that still remains elusive. I will recognize myself in the future as bat shit crazy 2 unless you can come up with another pithy epitath.


    3. highlandsblog Post author

      wow, where do I begin? Well, I think anybody that knows you can answer are you bat shit crazy question.. 2) you are the king of FB bullying, so the fact that you get incensed when attempts to bully occur puzzles me.. 3) how can *we* have an intellectual discussion about our struggling town when YOU are an idiot 4) I can think of many, many applicable epithets 5) just like YOU to make negative comments on a video you haven’t even viewed…
      Honestly, I try to live by the words of Mark Twain “Never argue with stupid people. They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” – but there are times its really hard…


    4. Joe Killeen

      I have just one question, Do you actually spend all your waking hours at this level of anger? If you consider actual questions and comments that rise above the level of personal attacks on folks bullying than you have the higher ground this time. Why we in astericks, we is the real no I in any team and teams build success not negative attacks, always and often not logical. I am at a loss to find negative comments on a video “I didn’t see…” please help this stupid person understand.
      Yours forever, Bat Shit Crazy 2


    5. highlandsblog Post author

      no, I have a job and a life. you have attacked me personally on FB, I chose to ignore you.. but when you attack the bear enough you might get bit… don’t mistake my quietness for shyness or inability to defend myself. You and your “friends” have commented on a video you haven’t even viewed.. In case you didn’t read the the about part of this.. its my personal view about Highlands..


    6. PrayingMantis

      Dear Highlands Blog:

      I post here from a different internet device than the one normally I use to read your blog. I wanted you to know that I did watch your video and I thought it was a nice recap (as I posted earlier). I count myself as a friend of Joe Killeen but I don’t know if you were including me as a “friend” of his in your comments. Most of my earlier comments were directed to RockemSockem, whom I tend to agree with about 90% of the time and only comment on other 10%.

      I do find it uncomfortable to feel as if I need to justify what I am reading and commenting on, and that you think it is OK to post posts about what your readers are reading to discredit their statements. It isn’t a big thing. This is your forum, your opinions and your playground; thus your rules.


    7. Joe Killeen

      I had trouble loading the video but if it contained the statement that all of the town rulers lived on the hill, then that is a fact that has been corrected and should give you some closure.


    8. Joe Killeen

      God has nothing to do with this. :Older:, “Older” who you calling “older”? I’ll have you know that my grandchildren think I am cool. For every $5 dollars I give them they say, “Cool grandpa.” so there. I have a life as well mon cherie , more years than you on the odometer which gives me the clarity to say you will get more with honey than you will with vinegar, Happy New Year to you and yours. May the wind of the New Year make your powder drier and less likely to misfire.


    9. Joe Killeen

      God has nothing to do with this. :Older:, “Older” who you calling “older”? I’ll have you know that my grandchildren think I am cool. For every $5 dollars I give them they say, “Cool grandpa.” so there. I have a life as well mon cherie , more years than you on the odometer which gives me the clarity to say you will get more with honey than you will with vinegar, Happy New Year to you and yours. May the wind of the New Year make your powder drier and less likely to misfire.


  8. Lucille Kane

    Sorry NoLongerNew, I didn’t mean to dismiss your question out of hand. It was an oversight. The world flat theory was used as an analogy. It was once “fact” that the world was flat. It was once “fact” that there were many gods. “To the moon, Alice” was once a comedy line. So you see, “fact”, not unlike creative bookkeeping, can be manipulated, intentionally or not.

    “Live and let live” is a fine motto to live by. Unfortunately the blog master doesn’t practice what she preaches. More of a do as I say and not as I do situation ala our Mayor’s practice.

    It might be noted, that perception is the better part of politikin’ in which spin, innuendo, allegations and untruths play a major role. It might also be noted that when someone besmirches the efforts and accomplishments of another, they are merely bringing attention to their own lack of character and their insecurities.

    As Johnny Mercer once sang, “accentuate the positive….”



  9. Carolyn

    As the new year approaches can we agree to listen more and maybe argue less? The way to get anything done is through compromise, bending, not breaking others. All the best to the residents of our little town – Happy New Year.


  10. Cathy Kane

    As Ms. Kanes family Believe me when I tell you I paid for every permit . Full price no favors no discounts. Stop by 5 central ave anytime when I get back home(maybe by Feb.) and I will be more than happy to show you all the cancelled checks. It would be my pleasure. Happy New Year.


  11. rockemsockem

    Dear Cathy,
    I don’t know you but I can say that I have personally witnessed preferential treatment towards certain people and honestly just really made me sad & sickened that even during extremely difficult times that stuff like that going on. Having said that, I take your word for it and hope you are home soon! Happy New Year!


  12. Cathy kane

    Rocken socket
    So happy you are taking my word for it. If what you say is truth ,what,when,where. It is so easy to throw accusation around without fact. I personally find it hard to take what you say seriously when someone uses rocken sicken instead of his name to make a point.


  13. bayaver

    We are all bat shit crazy. You have to be, to live in the low lying Highlands. But it is also bat shit crazy to have the same people in leadership roles who continue to do the same thing. Nothing. There needs to be a lot of change in 2014 and it should start at the top. I believe there are enough good people who want to be part of the change and make Highlands great again, but there is no leadership to rally around. We continue to put garbage in, we continue to get garbage out.


    1. Joe Killeen

      I agree bayaver. Garbage in,garbage out. Sitting back and just throwing accusations around that make Highlands seem like Detroit with a bullet. Not sure how we grow or rise from this level or when the most widely read blog, Monmouth Musings, along with the only sitting Republican in town government tag the town, the government they have engineered, as the laughing stock of Monmouth County. You have to wonder why only those who object to baseless allegations and innuendo as to who what and where is making a living or easy spending money off their neighbors post on this site with their real names. Stop creating a cesspool of nonsense, be brave enough to come out front and debate issues rather than sitting back and hurling garbage around to make sure something on nothing might stick.
      Bat SHit Crazy 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,…………


    2. NoLongerNew

      Bayaver, I hope you and your neighbors come to the town council meetings to help us with the change this town so desperately needs. The reason that the same “nothing” keeps happening is because no one is there to hold the council and the township employees accountable. Well, not “no one.” It’s the same people asking the same questions getting the same dismissive answers. The council needs to see and hear the dissatisfaction, address complaints, and push this town to its fullest potential.

      Maybe once we have a sizable group attending every council meeting they’ll stop doing what they’re “allowed to do” (Becky Kane’s words on hiring DeBlasio, the council’s opinion on why they let WindNSea be open until 5am on NYE) and start doing what’s right for the town and its residents.


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