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High Cost of Trash Pickup on Minds of Brighton Residents

One resident asks for help with costs at "Meet and Greet" with Barnegat candidates yesterday.

Trash collection at Brighton at Barnegat was a topic of discussion at a meet the candidates forum held yesterday at the mobile home park's clubhouse.

Former mayor and current township committeeman Jeffrey Melchiondo and current mayor Al Cirulli, who have been serving on the committee since 2004, are running on the same Republican ticket. Their challengers are Democrats Elaine Taylor and Susan Conway.

"We pay a significant amount for trash removal here; is there anything that can be done about that," Brighton resident Jack Rucker asked the candidates.

Melchiondo noted that the township has worked with other developments in town to lower trash collection fees and given the difference back to residents for stabilization purposes.

Conway responded that although she did not have all of the details available to her regarding the park's contracts for trash pickup, she said part of the work the Democrats plan to do is "cut the fat," where they can in the township's budget, and that will likely mean renegotiating for certain services in the town, including trash collection.

During the early 1990s, the state passed a law referred to as the "Kelly Bill," which required municipalities to either pay for the cost or provide certain services, including trash collection and snow plowing. But these services were not initially provided or reimbursed by the township to either Pinewood or Brighton park residents.

In 2008, however, as a result of a court settlement with Pinewood property management, the Township assumed the cost of trash and recycling collection, along with snow plowing in exchange for a commitment from property management for a reduced rent increase, along with stabilization of rent for a two-year period, according to Melchiondo.

"If Brighton park management is interested in the same arrangement, the Township is willing to entertain the offer contingent that any savings realized will be given back to residents for rent stabilization purposes," Melchiondo told Patch, after the meet and greet.

A manager with Brighton said their property owners were already in talks with the trash collection company that services the property. She declined to elaborate.

During the meet and greet, Cirulli noted that he works as a vice principal at the Pinelands Regional High School and Melchiondo, who is a former president of the local Chamber of Commerce, said he owns a cigar shop downtown.

Taylor said she is a former Board of Education member and stay-at-home mother and Conway, who grew up in Barnegat, works as an attorney in Northern New Jersey. Conway served on a charter commission to re-examine the form of government in town several years ago.

The two Democrats told Patch after the meet and greet that they plan to hone in on the transparency and openness of the township committee and attracting more ratables to Barnegat, among other issues.

Conway said she would love to see township meetings televised, and would work with the local cable provider to ensure that happens. Taylor said she wants to closely examine the shared services agreements in town, and wants to broker more shared service agreements, where possible, with the local Board of Education. Conway and Taylor also mentioned they would like an opportunity to debate the incumbents.

Cirulli, however, has told a Patch reporter that he is comfortable letting his  record as mayor speak for itself.

Jeff Melchiondo October 10, 2012 at 12:38 AM
"Conway responded that although she did not have all of the details available to her regarding the park's contracts for trash pickup, she said part of the work the Democrats plan to do is "cut the fat," where they can in the township's budget, and that will likely mean renegotiating for certain services in the town, including trash collection." Ms. Conway, with all due respect, you appearently missed the fact that Barnegat Township just completeted a 5 year contract with Waste Management, that included Ocean Township and resulted in a savings in Barnegat Township alone of over $2,000,000.00 (2 million dollars). Barnegat Township has been a front runner in shared services in New Jersey and is fast becoming a "model community" for other municipalities to follow.
Susan Conway October 10, 2012 at 03:29 AM
Mr. Melchiondo: I am aware that Barnegat has taken some effort to engage in shared services - a relatively recent effort on the committee's part, trash collection aside. My goal would be to step up these efforts, while reviewing and eliminating costs that the town is unnecessarily incurring. With the largest tax increase in Barnegat history occurring in 2010 under your watch, I would have expected Barnegat's debt to be much lower than the approximately 13 million it currently carries. Obviously, budgets must be balanced, and cutting costs via reduced expenditures, not history making tax increases during one of the worst recessions on record, is the only acceptable way. That includes aggressive efforts to share services with neighboring towns. For the citizens of Brighton, who I was directly addressing with regards to trash collection, that also includes an analysis of the agreement those individuals entered into with the landowner and whether that can be nullified or re-negotiated so that they do not have to carry such a heavy and costly burden. I do not nor can not accept the notion that any citizen of Barnegat, let alone our seniors, be required to pay such hefty taxes, on top of a 58 percent above-national average cost of living, for a town that has fallen from the highest ranking of best places to live in New Jersey in 2006 to the 201st best place to live in 2011. I want us to get back to number one - and shared services will put us on that path.
Elaine Taylor October 10, 2012 at 03:34 AM
Mr. Melchiondo, you say you want to run on a record. I believe you should. A record of affordable housing, biggest tax increase in Barnegat history and overdevelopment. If you can find time to argue on-line, please have enough respect to fellow Barnegat residents to have a debate and answer real questions to real problems.
Mac October 10, 2012 at 08:07 AM
So Jeff, what you are saying is, Barnegat Township, a community with a ‘lucrative open space fund’, ".... has been a front runner in shared services in NJ and is fast becoming a 'model community' for other municipalities to follow?"
Cindy Janowiak October 10, 2012 at 02:02 PM
The Republican incumbent candidates show a lack of respect to the voters in Barnegat by not participating in a debate or candidates’ night. These are incumbents who voted to reduce the number of township committee meetings thus giving taxpayers less of a voice. These incumbents and their fellow committee members have done nothing to get the township committee meetings televised. If the incumbent candidates believe they are doing good things, the right things for Barnegat, they should be proud, even anxious, to speak to the people and meet the challenge of their opponents at an open forum. Let’s not forget that these incumbents enjoy a Republican majority on our township committee and have for several years. However, if they refuse to appear at a debate or candidates’ night, the only conclusion to be drawn is that even they do not stand behind their record.
Capt Jacobsen Mey October 12, 2012 at 02:18 PM
This is funny how Jeff Melchiondo has the time to sit here making a response, but he nor Al Cirulli will afford actual public time to the Barnegat Tax Payers in person to either answer OR refute the issues plaguing the Township - issues that ARE of concern to the very people who PAY each of your salaries. We are also the people who are are being drained of our tax payer dollars. Answer this - exactly what have either of you done that HAS benefitted the tax payers and/or this town since you both have been in office? This town has had NO improvent in services to its tax payers. This town has NOT protected open space, but rather has sold nearly ANY open space out to develops MORE residences, Section 8 and store fronts that DO NOT benefit the tax payers, NOR is there ANY NEED for such OVER DEVELOPMENT in this town! Have either of you driven around Barnegat to take note of all of the For Sale signs that have gone up, the homes sitting abandoned due to foreclosure? People are LEAVING, there are no jobs here, no decent ratables and nothing that is benefitting the tax payer. For crying out loud, there's NEW developments with VACANT LOTS that are NOT selling, yet you two insist on selling more land to pad Walters and any other developers pockets.Lower Shore Road - a costly joke. What is being done in this town is a disgrace to the town & to us, the tax payer. BTW - you both picked an excellent color for your campaign signage - yellow - that sums it up right there.

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