- "NJ property taxes: Tax assessors banned from side jobs for tax appeals, judge says," Asbury Park Press, 4/16/19
Wall's municipal tax assessor should not have worked as expert for a taxpayer challenging the property value developed by another municipal tax assessor, according to a court ruling.
New Jersey Tax Court Judge Mala Sundar wrote in a court ruling that a prohibition, which was already in place at the county level, also applied to the state's tax court. Her ruling could cut off municipal assessors working certain side jobs as appraisal experts.
- "Wall police dispatcher acquitted after chief's secretary admits affair with Pagan head," Asbury Park Press, 2/11/19
The Wall Township Police Department’s communications supervisor was accused of stalking the then-police chief’s secretary, but a jury saw matters differently.
Jurors believed the supervisor's story that he was performing a required background check — one that revealed the secretary was carrying on an affair with the president of the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club, said the exonerated man's attorney.
....Curcio also testified that the charges were brought against him in retaliation for a pending lawsuit he has against the police department alleging he, as a darker-skinned Italian-American, has been the repeated target of racist remarks, including being called a monkey and the N-word, according to Bertucio.
- "After 2nd cancellation, what is the future of Wall's Christmas Light Show?," Asbury Park Press, 11/27/18
Disagreement between the show’s organizers and township officials over the location of the 80,000-light, 25-minute show — which took place at a Woolley Road home from 2005-2016, before Wall administrator Jeff Bertrand requested that it move to township property — has become deeply entrenched.
The township contends that the free show, which each December drew thousands of onlookers and raised nearly $20,000 for a local charity over three nights, has become too big for a residential neighborhood. The show’s organizers say they’ve presented detailed plans to address that concern, to no avail.
- "Immensely popular Wall Christmas Light Show canceled for 2nd straight year," Asbury Park Press, 11/26/18
After a one-year hiatus, the immensely popular Christmas Light Show in Wall was looking to make a comeback this December.
It’s not happening.
- "In sudden turnaround, regulators suspend new rules for New Jersey's craft breweries," Asbury Park Press, 10/2/18
State alcohol regulators suspended enforcement of new rules for New Jersey's craft breweries after top lawmakers vowed to roll them back in a flurry of critical statements Tuesday afternoon.
The state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, or ABC, said in a statement that the pause would allow it to further consult with the competing factions — craft breweries on one side and bars and restaurants on the other — and potentially work with lawmakers to write new legislation.
- "'Toxic culture of hate' has infested town's police and 2 lawsuits are proof, some say," NJ.com, 9/28/18
Dave Fretz, a Democratic candidate for a Wall Township Committee seat in the Nov. 6 election, urged committee members to address what he called "toxic" levels of discrimination in the police department and municipal government.
"Not too long ago I stood before this committee, demanding answers regarding the Jacobs anti-Semitism settlement," Fretz read from a statement. "At that time I was criticized for my comments and assured that the egregious actions of the employees named in that settlement were isolated, not indicative of a larger systemic problem. That turned out not to be true."
"While I know that the vast majority of our police officers and township employees are excellent people, there is a toxic culture of hate and discrimination that has been allowed to fester here in Wall Township and it has to stop now," Fretz said.
- "My sergeant made me make a sex tape: Wall police lawsuits allege racism, more," Asbury Park Press, 9/26/18
WALL - The township police department is being sued by an ex-cop and a suspended dispatcher, who are accusing a number of its officers of repeatedly using racist language, including referring to African Americans as "monkeys" and using the N-word.
A lawsuit filed by a former Wall Township Police dispatcher says officers called him a "monkey," mocked him, and posted racist and sexually-explicit cartoons for him to see -- all within a broader negative atmosphere in which officers and their superiors routinely used the n-word.
The dispatcher, Nicholas Curcio, is white, and of Italian descent, the suit states.
- "New Jersey cracks down on events hosted by microbreweries," NorthJersey.com, 9/24/18
...microbreweries in the state have now become too active in the eyes of some, prompting the state to crack down on the number of events they can host each year.
Under a “special ruling” signed Friday by the director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, David Rible, New Jersey’s microbreweries are limited to holding 25 on-site activities annually, such as trivia nights and live performances.
They also cannot provide take-out menus from area restaurants, host more than 52 private parties a year or show sports on TV unless it counts as one of their 25 special events.
- "Will Chris Smith's gay adoption remarks make him another endangered N.J. Republican?," NJ.com, 9/13/18
Rep. Chris Smith, R-4th Dist., New Jersey's longest serving congressman, was the only Garden State Republican considered safe.
But a controversy over his views on adoptions by same-sex couples could change that.
- "GOP lawmaker caught on tape: Orphanages better than gay adoption," Washington Blade, 9/12/18
In an exchange with high school students that was caught on tape, a Republican congressman from New Jersey was tongue-tied over the prospect of same-sex couples adopting children and suggested kids would be better off in orphanages than with LGBT families.
Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) made the remarks May 29 when addressing student constituents in the auditorium of Colts Neck High School.
- "Wall employee: Workers left Nazi propaganda on desk, called him 'Jewbacca,'" Asbury Park Press, 6/20/18
The Township Committee has agreed to pay $1.25 million to a former employee who said co-workers repeatedly made anti-Semitic comments and placed Nazi literature on his desk.
...In his lawsuit, Jacobs, who is Jewish, said he "endured having his co-workers and superiors continually barrage him with anti-Semitic comments on a near-daily basis." The suit claimed he suffered emotional distress that eventually affected his health.
- "A look back at Wall Township's racist past," Asbury Park Press, 6/17/18
Seventy years ago this past week, Leroy Hutson, his wife Ada and their 8-month-old son Ronald moved into their new home on Pacific Avenue in the Glendola section of town and immediately discovered that they were not welcome.
...on the night of June 11, 1948 – their second night in the house – someone burned a cross on their front lawn.
This was Wall Township in the mid 20th century, which just a decade earlier, had been the regional headquarters for the Ku Klux Klan – with the hate group’s sprawling campus located at the old Marconi Wireless Station – a two-mile drive from where the Huston family had now moved.
- "Are We Seeing the Beginning of a Blue Wave in New Jersey?," NJ Spotlight, 6/8/2018
The turnout for the midterm primaries was the highest in years, with Democrats showing up at the polls in greater numbers than Republicans in most congressional districts.
- "Democrats, Don't Be Fooled by Victory," New York Times, 11/12/17
...if Democrats are going to succeed next year and beyond, they can’t focus only on last week’s positive signs and start believing their own spin. They also need to think about the warning signs. There were more of those than many people realize.
- "Winners & (a bunch of) losers from Election Day in NJ," NJ.com, 11/8/17
New Jersey voters on Tuesday made their pick for governor and caused some major shakeups in key state and local races.
- "Is Hazlet meeting dispute about First Amendment or fairness?," Asbury Park Press, 3/10/17
[Wall Democrats have had a similar dispute with the township and Wall branch of the Monmouth County Library System - Ed.]
A meeting to talk about sewer bills and other taxpayer concerns is turning into a debate about whether a township policy keeps the political playing fields fair for all — or hurts free speech rights.
At issue is a meeting that the Hazlet Democratic Club plans to host Saturday at Hazlet Library on Middle Road.
Here's the rub: A longstanding Hazlet policy prevents partisan events from taking place in township buildings.
- "County Dem's New Chairman Senses New Energy From Base," The Two River Times, 2/23/17
As chairman, Brown sees his job as being the “servant/ leader” of the party and following its wishes. “And it’s not easy,” he conceded, attending to the disparate interests in a large, diverse county like Monmouth. “Sometimes it’s like being (King) Solomon,” trying to keep that balance, he kidded.
But one of the chairman’s major responsibilities is getting candidates elected. He said there is “a lot of enthusiasm and energy of new Democrats coming out I believe will translate into additional votes.”
The Democrats could use it. Monmouth County’s current voter registration gives Democrats a slight edge with 105,000, compared to 101,000 Republicans. But what makes or breaks countywide elections here in Monmouth are the independent/unaffiliated voters, which total about 208,000. And while there are the occasional bright spots for Democrats – sometimes winning a county freeholder seat (even taking control of the five-member freeholder board for a year in 2009, the first time in more than a generation), and shoring up majorities in some municipalities, the county has been consistently Republican red.
- "Congressman Smith vs. the activists," Asbury Park Press, 2/19/17
With a Republican president and a conservative Republican Congress in control, and a Supreme Court about to have a 5-4 conservative majority, this is [Rep. Chris] Smith's season in the political sun. For more than 30 years, Smith has been a leading voice to end abortion, defund Planned Parenthood and repeal Obamacare, positions with which many of the activists that trail him are at odds.
But as the scene at the library building would attest, the opposition will not go quietly into the night. Indeed, for a new legion of left-leaning voters embittered by November's election results, Smith has become an obsession.
Robin Nowicki, a Manalapan resident and member of District 4 Coalition for Change, said the activists are trying to shine a light on Smith because they believe he "keeps getting elected because there is no real coverage of him."
- "Is Monmouth County becoming NJ's political center?," Asbury Park Press, 1/23/17
But if the [gubernatorial] race shapes out as an all-Monmouth derby, it will cement the county as one not to be taken lightly, said Benjamin Dworkin, director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University.
“Monmouth County as a player in state politics — and a competitive area with competitive elections year in and year out — is something I think we can expect to see for a while,” Dworkin said. “It’s a growing county, it’s significant in size and Democrats and Republicans are running aggressive races against each other at all levels.
“In and of itself, the people in each party’s county political leadership are important players within the state political universe,” he said.