Tag Archives: Politics

Who is Carolyn Broullon and how do you pronounce that last name?

carolynCarolyn Broullon has thrown her hat in the local Highlands political ring. The timing of when she gets in, next May or the following November, is up to you and how you vote in this November’s election of when the next Non-Partisan Election should be.

Here is her statement on who she is and what she stands for:

I discovered Highlands in 2002 while looking for a vacation home. After a few months, I realized what an amazing town this is and got rid of my NYC apartment to live here full time. It took a while to learn all my neighbor’s names and stories since I worked in Manhattan and wasn’t around from 7:30 am – 7:30 pm on workdays. Now, I’m proud to say we’re not just neighbors but good friends.

After Sandy, so many of us were either living out of town or simply couldn’t make it up the hill to go to the council meetings, so my wife and I signed up for a free uStream.tv account, bought a USB microphone and started streaming the meetings from our Mac laptop. We felt it was important for those displaced to have a way to see the council meetings, to participate in our future.

At the end of last summer, a group of residents came together to try to help the town move forward by re-introducing non-partisan elections to Highlands. We met as strangers with different ideas and party affiliations, but banded together to make our town more than just Democrats and Republicans. After knocking on doors and educating residents on how non-partisan election work, we successfully changed how we elect our council people in Highlands. This is now a direct process in which political party leaders do not choose who is on the ballot, Highlanders do.

My professional background has prepared me well for serving Highlands. I’ve been working in market research since 1992, coordinating international fieldwork, conducting focus groups and managing staff. My start in research was at Data Development, now known as Radius Global Market Research [one of the largest independent market research firm in the US], then on to Research International, now a part of TNS in the WPP Group [one of the top 5 market research firms in the world].  From 1999-2006, I had my own research business then I went on to my current position Vice President of Gazelle Global.

Skills I’ve honed along the way include budgeting, staff management, contract negotiations and conflict resolution.  Most of all, my training has given me the tools to listen to people and transform those thoughts and ideas into action.  I believe I can use my business experience to help our town. Now that I’m working from home, I have the time to do just that. We need so many things, but we must also prioritize.

Here’s a short list of actions I believe will make a difference in everyday Highlander’s lives:

1. Negotiate a resolution to Borough Hall and the Community Center empty buildings

2. Aggressive code enforcement to bring in much needed revenue

3. Review current operational cost and make cuts where appropriate

4. Remove ordinances that hinder new business development

We need to embrace the use of volunteers to contribute to a town-wide recovery including: light construction, painting, weed-whacking and street sweeping. There are many things we can do locally, without state or Federal funding. We have many tradespeople in town that can guide volunteers to complete much needed projects.

Those of you that know me have seen this example, but for those of you who do not:

In December of 2008, a serve flood wiped out a road to a state park in Hawaii. After being told by the state that repairs would take $4 million dollars and up to 2 years to fix, the residents and business owners came together, rented heavy equipment, got some volunteers, and in April of 2009, they did it themselves, in 8 days.


What’s on your short list? What are your ideas? Don’t be shy. Tell me. I’m listening.

Yours for Highlands,


P.S. Broullon is pronounced brew-yawn. Just think: You brew coffee so you don’t yawn.

New Disclaimer Proposed for Highlands Residents on Facebook

my opinion What you need to know about R- 14- 220:


Highlands New Jersey Facebook “Group”

The Borough of Highlands wants to mandate that any elected official, official, employee, agent, representative, and volunteer must include a disclosure on any post to the Highlands, New Jersey Facebook page (which there actually isn’t one, there is a Highlands, New Jersey Facebook Group – you can tell by the word groups in the url) OR any other social media site (pretty loose scope).

The proposed disclosure shall read “the following is a statement, comment or posting of [your name here] only and does not represent an official statement, comment or posting on behalf of the Borough of Highlands.”

A few things here:

a) All of the things that need to be accomplished in Highlands: Flood mitigation, Town Hall & PD station repaired, Tax stabilization, Attracting businesses to Bay Ave, and they chose this as a priority??  Really?

b) The proposed resolution is so broadly written it opens the door to selective enforcement, which in I’m guessing was purposefully done.

c) It appears to be another way to gag residents. First they limited the amount of time you have to ask questions in a council meeting. Now they are trying to legislate how you communicate on social media.

HB fb page

Highlands Blog Facebook “Page”

d) If their assertion that people are getting “confused” because Highlands is in the title of the social media site, then ask the social media site owner to disclose its not an Official Highlands Borough Social Media site.  I know this should be obvious already to anybody going to the said page/groups etc. But some people apparently get easily confused.  This Blog has a facebook page. (You can tell because it has the word “page” in the url) and its always had in the header “Personal Blog”)

e) A better way to handle it would be to have an official Highlands Borough Facebook Page & Twitter Account. (Like other towns, i.e. Middletown, or Hazlet) for “Official communication”.

f) Another potential way to handle it would be to have “officials” put a disclaimer up when they are posting “official” business. This way its a much narrower scope, easier to enforce and doesn’t force 1/2 the town to write a disclosure when they post anything anywhere.  Have you ever volunteered for anything in town, ever? Well then my fellow resident, you would be considered a volunteer under this proposed resolution.

g) The disclaimer doesn’t fit in a Tweet – (which is only 140 characters), what happens there?

h) Its on the Highlands Agenda for Wednesday Night’s Council Meeting at 8pm HES. If you feel like this is a joke and want our elected officials to spend more time fixing our town, getting grants and stabilizing taxes, you might want to come and speak out. (But do it in 3 minutes or less.)

i) This resolution seems to be counter productive.  If you volunteer you’re not allowed to post on social media with out disclosure, and if you post on certain outlets, you can’t volunteer. Here are some of the social media outlets that could be considered if you ever volunteered and post on:

Instagram (You want to post a pic of Twin Lights, make sure you disclose that’s your pic and has nothing to do with the Town.)
Google +
Any Comments section of any web site
Google Talk
Yahoo Buzz

Who’s Job Is it Anyway?

finger pointingAnybody remember the story of  four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.

The following is the Highlands Version:

There was an important job in Highlands to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.

Anybody could have done it, but Nobody in Highlands did it.

Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job.

Everybody thought that Anybody in Highlands could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.

It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody in Highlands could have done.

There are 3 main reasons why Highlands should move past blame and into effective action.

1) It is far more productive to focus on corrective action in the future.

2) It’s less expensive to get on to a solution instead of investing good money after bad simply to point the finger of blame.  i.e. like why we (Highlands) didn’t have flood insurance on our municipal buildings. The reality is we didn’t have it, we can’t change that, how do we put our town buildings back together without it and make sure we’re covered in the future.

3) Even if you can perfectly decide who was to blame, most likely those to blame will never ever admit to it and you still have to solve the problems at hand. Energy is better spent and figuring on how can we move on, get better, learn from this, and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Leadership is very much needed in Highlands and we have to be able to get past simple blame games and exhibit  positive leadership if we want to move forward as a community.



Where Should Highlands Borough Hall be?

highlands boro hallOne of the things that came out of the Highlands special council meeting was the consideration of moving the permanent Borough Hall and the police station to potentially Shore or to other locations not on Bay Ave.

One of the talking points not readily available is what the cost differentials were between rebuilding on Bay or building a new building on Shore (or somewhere else)

Where do you think Borough Hall should be?

Highlands CFO retiring

retirementSteve Pfeffer is retiring from Highlands as CFO next year. Its been reported in AHHERALD and MMM that the job is being offered to Patrick DeBlasio who is currently the tenured Tax Collector for Highlands.

Some of the questions being discussed are:

A) Why isn’t this position being publicized or advertised?

B) Mr. DeBlasio currently has 5 jobs in 4 different Boroughs, is it reasonable to think that he could handle a 6th job? Job sharing isn’t new, Mr Pfeffer was split his time between Tinton Falls and Highlands as CFO. But is there a number of jobs that tips the scale from a yes to a no vote when considering hiring a potential employee?

C) If Mr. DeBlasio is appointed CFO, he’ll be paid over $300,000 a year. Highlands portion of that is $95k, $65 for CFO and $30k for tax collector. Do we get a special deal for him doing 2 separate jobs in one municipality? So instead of $95k we only have to pay him $70k? I mean we are saving him traveling expenses.

What do you think we should do regarding back filling the CFO position?

Why you may want to go to the council meeting this week in Highlands

Two important things are going to be on this week’s council agenda this Wednesday which is being held at the Elementary School 360 Navesink Ave (Rt 36) at 8pm:

I.  Public Hearing for Ordinance O-13-16  which is to allow Shadow Lawn Trailer Park to change the land use from Mobile Home to High Rise/Multi-family.

Proposed Pro’s:  Increased Ratables  – However, the math doesn’t add up on this, it sounds like a more ratables is in theory only.

Proposed Highrise  120 ft high, so lets say 12 units per floor (mirrors Eastpoint) & 10 floors up = 120 units.  Average cost per unit, approx $300k so $36 mln MV would be approximately $25 mln Assessed Value.  If we also figure out of the 120 units, .33 will have school age children then approx 40 kids will be attending school. So the going rate per Highlands student is $20k ish per student, 40 x $20,809 = $832k per year.  So the taxes generated minus the tax abatement, minus the per year school cost =  -$383,422  (Well good thing we charged for those permits, we’re going to be almost $400k in the hole.)

Think about it this way, Highlands has many multi-family units on the South side (Look at all the condos under the Twin Lights)  None of them have been the Silver Bullet for increased ratables.

If you are against having another Eastpoint,  or just don’t want it because of:

Athetics – Its going to look ugly
Increased strain on current infrastructure, i.e. sewers, PD, Schools,
Ecological Reasons – The Hill can’t hold it up
Potential Litigation costs – A few years back Highlands lost a legal battle to do something similar
You’re just cantankerous and you don’t like new things

Click below for a sample email to send to the council and object (Needs to be done by Wednesday 8/21)

Shadow Lawn objection email 8.2013

II. Reading of the proposed Ordinance to go to a Non-Partisan Government

(That petition thing a lot of you signed during Clamfest).

Where the meet Highlands Council Candidates

To meet Democrat candidates Councilman Kevin Redmond and Tara Ryan
When: Thursday October 18th 7-9 pm
Where: Windansea Restaurant, Shrewsbury Ave, Highlands
Buffet and cash Bar $20 suggested donation

For more information Click Here

To meet Republican Candidates Bill Byrne and Mike Galvin
When: Sunday October 21th 4-7 pm
Where: Chubby Pickle Bay Ave, Highlands
Appetizers and 2 drinks $20 suggested donation

When: Saturday October 27th 4-7 pm
Where: Off The Hook Rt 36, Highlands
Appetizers and 2 drinks $20 suggested donation

For more information click here

OWS – Occupy Wall Street – one person’s view..


Ok, so Occupy Wall Street has  been going on for what a month now. Do I agree with what they are doing? Not really. Do I think they have a right to do it, yes.

Honestly, I really don’t think they have a clear message or conception of what they want and realistically can accomplish.  AND because of that – people like me don’t take them seriously.

I mean really, look at this sign:

Occupy Wall Street Daily Agenda

Daily To-Do list

Outreach discussion – CHECK

Discussion on “REAL democracy” CHECK

Clown & Burlesque show (3pm)  WHAT??

I wonder if the rebels chasing Gaddafi had a clown show right before they killed him?

Kinda looks like Wild Bill Hancok/Freddie KruggerOk, then there is this guy, Mr. I have tattoos on my face and yet still wonder why I can’t find work. And why do you think he hates Barney Frank? Is he homophobic? Is it because he’s anti-drug and Barney has been against federal government  preempting states’ medical marijuana laws? – Meaning he’s okay with personal use of the stuff.  Did Barney Frank maybe made him lose his job at the rodeo? – Don’t really know.

Then take the girl below, who seems to be FOR lax marijuana laws (Mixed message). Maybe these two should have a discussion??

How exactly is legalizing pot going to “SAVE” the economy? Maybe she thinks that the bill collectors for her student loans that were going to harass her for payment, but then they got high would benefit her. And look at the old guy next her.. “Free Healthcare, Education, Food clothing, Shelter for all”  – yeah, but they aren’t for communism.

And this lady, is she REALLY a protestor or just a homeless person that is using a sign to keep warm? Does she & her little poodle really hate corporate power? Does she really look like she should be wearing vans with peace signs? – just saying