Guess Blogger: Should Highlands Change its Name?

Always Love a Guest Blogger, all I have to do is Cut & Paste..

—With the threat of a large property tax increase looming, a growing number of folks in town, including long time residents fear we are being driven toward bankruptcy unless we can attract and keep new residents and businesses. One way would be to adopt a more accurate and historic name for our town so that our identity would stand out.

The name Highlands was arbitrarily assigned when we were split off from Middletown and has no real link to our famous past. As you know, are always confused with Atlantic Highlands and folks trying to find our struggling businesses, esp. restaurants, often end up there. NJ people, who don’t live in this immediate area, think that Highlands is a place up in Warren County. And although its painful to admit, we may have an image problem. This could have come from the 1960s and 70s, when, as you may remember, partying got a little wild here.

Here are names folks have suggested, vote for the one you like most:

    Highlands Beach Old town name, area on Sandy Hook

   Twin Lights First built 1828

    Highlands By The Sea

    Water Witch Old town name and book by James Fenimore Cooper, written in 1830

    Parkertown First Clamming family here in early 1800s, many descendents still here.

    Cardville First Cards here in 1814, many descendants still in town


Editors Notes: I kinda of like Highlands, just Highlands. But that being said if we are using old names in Highlands others might include:



Ahern by the Sea


22 thoughts on “Guess Blogger: Should Highlands Change its Name?

  1. andrew

    People in this town are not very welcoming. If you are not from here they give u a look… After donating time helping this town after sandy and moving here from north jersey..I am ready to leave somewhere else.. thought about opening a hardware store but people are not thankful and just not nice…


    1. Rockemsockem

      Andrew that’s very sad to hear! There are good people here you haven’t found them yet. Dont leave:) Give another chance,people are working hard to change the old guard mentality! We need a hardware store…what’s the problem?


  2. duncan mcleod

    How about waterwitch cove???….but changing the name won’t help anything until the town gets cleaned up.


  3. Highlands

    Leave the name alone, if anything merge with Atlantic Highlands. Take a page from Asbury Park and attract developer to completely rebuild and reset downtown and Bay Ave. People would find Highlands if they had a reason to. Create a buzz – do something!!! The answer isnt raising taxes, its telling the lazy part time government to get to work or get out. Nothing great comes easy.


    1. Carolyn

      I’m with you HB – leave the name as is and let us DO SOMETHING.  Having town officials s top volunteerism is unconscionable . If no one knows what I’m talking about, you should go to a council meeting or re-watch them at:  where people offering to help fix up Boro hall and rest of town were turned down by our “town leaders” what a joke.



  4. Kathy Jensen Finnegan

    Middletown is not going to change their name just because there’s a Middletown located in every other State too. Highlands should not change their name just because some people don’t know the difference between “Highlands” and “Atlantic Highlands”. Personally, I like the name Highlands. Maybe we should just post a sign on the Route 36 in Atlantic Highlands that reads “Highlands 4-Miles”.


  5. Njview

    A quick but careful merger/transfer of all services to other towns is more effective to lower cost of living, than changing a name. Consolidation of services (school, police, & eliminating our current town hall operation entirely) will definitely make Highlands more attractive.


    1. Highlands

      I couldn’t agree more. The current government is as useless as one can get. All these part time officials get paid big money to maintain status quo of which that is even questionable. There only solution is to raise taxes so they can maintain the high salaries. It’s disgusting. Nothing great comes without hard work but the are to busy with other jobs to worry about this great little Highlands Village.


  6. Seven Stars

    I like Water Witch. But I like the name Highlands too:)

    I think the generalization that Highlands people are unfriendly is unfair. I’ve only lived here for 5 years but I’ve met lots of nice people. We’ve had a rough couple years in town but there are still a lot of caring people here trying to keep things going. I’m still glad I moved here and I still love my little, battered house!

    I like Njview’s idea about the services. That’s a cost conscious solution.


  7. John

    “Twin Lights”-I love it ! Our little town, a beacon for the safety of ships at sea for almost 200 years.– But the truth is folks, nothing is going to change here because too many people like it exactly the way it is. The problem with this though is that it will be impossible to keep this town from going down the tubes without aggressive changes to attract rateables to support our school, police and other services
    It hurts that things keep happening that are dooming us- a property tax increase, the failure of all the FEMA Recovery plans, hiring a part-time CFO at an outrageous salary +++
    Scared and Angry!!


  8. NoLongerNew

    I like Highlands. There are thee Washingtons in NJ and only one Highlands. So what if we get confused with Atlantic Highlands? That should be motivation to do something POSITIVE to differentiate ourselves from Atlantic Highlands.

    Besides, we can’t afford to change our name. We’re nearly broke.

    I know a merger will never happen with them, but if we had to merge I’d love to become “North Sea Bright.” Dina Long has her shit together, is proactive and joining forces with others up & down the coast, and Sea Bright Rising is still going strong. For some reason there is still momentum across the bridge where we seem to be winding down our efforts, turning away volunteers to fix borough hall, and Hope for Highlands is closing up shop.


    1. Dave Hart

      Riding around town over the past year I think the most appropriate name for us is “The Ghost Town” My quess is that half the folks (and their tax $) have gone already.


    2. Don Ryan

      Not according to the town Dave. They said at the meeting that 95 percent of the people paid there taxes and that the other 5 percent that didn’t is normal in any giving year. That’s there figures not mine. I think we should call the town ” shanty town” because that’s what it is, was and always will be. Oh there will be some development from big builders,but if your a home owner your screwed.we can’t blame all our troubles on the town council. We need to look at our selves. The way we keep our homes,leaving garbage around and not maintenaning. Our small section of town has bin asking ” FOR 6 YEARS “to have a small road to be repaved and to deal with water that leaches onto it. It ain’t going to happen!! They will not touch any property that isn’t there’s. and why ” because we sue each other and the town” this issue is more complicated, and i won’t waste any more time speaking about it. All I can say is I’m really sorry I picked this town to invest in. Im exhausted with all the bullshit. I had hoped to rebuild my homes and improve the neighborhood. It just doesn’t seem worth it. Anyway doesn’t it cost money to change the name of the town? We can vote new people to run the town, but trust me they to will loose there drive to. Don Ryan


  9. Dave Hart

    Thanks Don, That could be good news. But why are even real estate agents advising people to stay away from here? A good start would be a new name and a new town council. I can’t believe another property tax increase is even being discussed!


    1. Don Ryan

      I hate to sound so negative about the town,especially because we were so enthusiastic when we first moved here. This town has so much potential and it ashame we can’t move foward in a more unified way. I agree that maybe a new name and fresh faces would help. But the reality is we’re broke. And I’m sure the council has made some questionable decisions,but it seams there are issues in this town that are big problems,that will require lots of money. I don’t know how it’s all going to get done. All we can do is our part in improving the town and hope we can get the help we need for the big problems….


    2. NoLongerNew

      A new name is pretty much just lipstick on a pig. If a realtor is steering people away from Highlands I’m sure they’d steer them away from “Highlands Beach” or any of the other dozen or so suggestions.


  10. chris

    Highlands should vote to separate downtown from uptown. Uptown residents shouldn’t have to pay for people who unwisely purchased property in a known flood zone and without flood insurance. Downtown can be renamed Highlands At The Bottom Of The Sea.


    1. Kat

      Downtown is where the business district is, and is very important to those of us who live up the hill to clean it up so we can get people back in their homes. People who will in turn upport the local businesses we all need to keep open. I have no desire to be seperated from my neigbors below me.


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