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MiddletownMike: Over 300 Supporters Help Kick Off 2016 …

January 15, 2016


MiddletownMike: Over 300 Supporters Help Kick Off 2016 ...BELMAR Surrounded by over 300 supporters, including New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney, State Democratic Party Chairman John Currie, U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone, Union County Sheriff and Former State Democratic Party Chairman Joe Cryan, Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes, Former US Senator Bob Torricelli, State Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (Hudson), State Assemblyman Jamel Holley (Union), State Assemblyman Daniel Benson (Mercer), State Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling (Monmouth), State Assemblyman Joann Downey (Monmouth), Former State Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell (Hudson), Middlesex County Freeholder Ken Armwood, Essex County Freeholder Leonard Luciano and mayors and councilmembers across Central New Jersey including Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik, Atlantic Highlands Mayor Randi LeGrice, Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long, Manasquan Mayor Ed Donovan, Aberdeen Mayor Fred Tagliarini, Matawan Mayor Joe Altomonte, Neptune Mayor Kevin McMillan, Spring Lake Mayor Jennifer Naughton, Lake Como Mayor Brian Wilton, Red Bank Mayor Pat Menna, Brick Township Mayor John Ducey and dozens of other councilmembers and mayors from across Central New Jersey, Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty and former Farmingdale Council member Carly Immen formally kicked off their campaign for the two seats that will be contested on Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders this November.

Doherty and Immen join Sheriff candidate Jeff Cantor and Surrogate candidate Vincent Solomeno as prospective candidates on the Democratic slate for Countywide office in November.

We believe in putting people before politics, said Mayor Doherty. It s that belief that has allowed us to attract great new businesses to Belmar that put people to work, help keep taxes down and provide tremendous destinations for residents and visitors alike. We have had no tax increases in Belmar in five years, while just last year the County freeholders raised property taxes millions of dollars on middle class families. That is simply unacceptable.

I m not running for a cause or to protest something, continued Doherty. I m running because it is becoming almost impossible to raise a family in Monmouth County with the skyrocketing county taxes. I m running to help attract more businesses countywide and I m running because more needs to be done to get Sandy impacted families countywide back in their homes. And our team is running to win.

Matt Doherty has been Mayor of Belmar since January, 2011 and previously served as a Councilman in town starting in 2007. Since becoming Mayor, Belmar residents have yet to see a tax increase on the municipal level. He is a Financial Advisor for Metlife Premier client group of New Jersey in Wall. Mayor Doherty graduated Georgetown University with a BA in government in 1995 and went on to earn his Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University in 1997. He and his wife, Maggie, are raising their three children, Hannah, Claire and S amus, in Belmar.

County property taxes have continued to rise because Monmouth County government has had no checks and balances of late, said Carly Immen. Instead of running government the same way you would run your household or business finances the Freeholder Board has become a solely partisan operation consistently draining money from the pockets of middle class taxpayers. My husband and I are raising our family here in Monmouth County and there is nothing more important to me than ensuring that we get things back on track and moving in the right direction, and I believe that public service is the most direct route towards achieving that goal.

Carly Immen proudly served as a member of the Farmingdale Borough Council and successfully formed a self-supporting Recreation Commission to bring community events and programs to residents of all ages, a first for Farmingdale. She also led the effort to build and install a Little Free Library in town and is currently active in the Farmingdale School PTA and as a Farmingdale Recreation Commission volunteer. She is the Marketing Director for the Atlantic Club and Milagro Spa and holds a Bachelors degree in English with a minor in political science. Carly is married to Kevin Immen, Director of Sales for United States Beverage and a United States Marine, and together they are raising three daughters, Charlotte, Mary Cate and Erin.

Jeff Cantor previously announced his candidacy for Monmouth County Sheriff. Cantor has been in the U.S. Army, both active and in the reserves, since 1985. He has served our country around the world, including deployments to Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. After starting as a Private First Class, Cantor rose through the ranks and has earned the rank of Colonel in the Army Reserves. He has also been a Councilman in Marlboro since 2004 where he has served as the Council liaison to the Police Department and as a member of the Local Emergency Planning Council. Cantor is also a licensed Emergency Medical Technician for the Township of Marlboro and has been a member of the Marlboro First Aid Squad since 1996, volunteering countless hours to protect and serve the population of Marlboro as well as the surrounding towns. Jeff Cantor has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (3rd award), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal (3rd award), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal (2nd award), Kosovo Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal (2nd award); He has also been awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Combat Action Badge and the Basic Parachutist Badge.

Vincent Solomeno announced his candidacy for Monmouth County Surrogate last week. Raised in Union Beach, Solomeno graduated from the Marine Academy of Science and Technology (M.A.S.T.) at Sandy Hook before earning his Bachelor of Science from the University of Scranton. He is the recipient of the prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship and J. William Fulbright Scholarship. As a Fulbright Scholar, he received a Master of Arts from the University of Amsterdam for his study of the roots of radicalization in Muslim and non-Muslim communities in the Netherlands. Solomeno is a Captain in the New Jersey Army National Guard. He has served as an Engineer platoon leader, logistics manager, rear detachment commander, and public affairs officer. From 2010 – 2014, Solomeno was the full time Command Historian of the New Jersey National Guard. He returned in September 2015 from an overseas deployment to Central and Southwest Asia. A recipient of the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal, he was called to active duty during and after Superstorm Sandy, working in devastated communities across Monmouth County.

In addition to his service on the Hazlet Land Use Board, Vincent Solomeno is a trustee of the New Jersey Civil War Heritage Association, a member of the American Legion, the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks (BPOE), the Netherland-America Foundation, and Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Keyport.

House Transportation Bill a Status Quo Disappointment

Posted By: Nadine Lemmon[1] November 6, 2015

With all the chaos in Washington these days, many had given up hope that lawmakers would be able to pull together a long-term transportation authorization. On Thursday, prospects seemed to grow brighter: with a 363-to-64 vote, the House passed a six-year, $325 billion federal highway bill, which they re calling the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act (STRR) Act. If enacted, this would be the first long-term transportation law in a decade, finally giving states and cities the breathing room they need to plan their transportation futures. But unfortunately, as the dust settles, the final product seems to be nothing more than a status quo[2] disappointment that locks in bad policy for the next six years and fails to address the need for new, sustainable revenue sources. There were a few small bright spots, but they were outweighed by a myriad of missed opportunities:

  • Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA): While the TIFIA financing program was one of the best features of MAP-21, its funding was cut by 80 percent in STRR, from $1 billion to $200 million. On the bright side, the house bill does lower the minimum cost of projects from $25 million to $10 million, enabling more communities to access this smaller pot of low-cost loans.
  • Freight: TIFIA s loss was freight s gain. A new, $725 million-per-year discretionary multi-modal freight grant program was included in the bill, but it comes with one big caveat: it s not really multi-modal. Only 10 percent of the funds can be spent on non-highway projects, hamstringing the ability of states to find the best solution for their freight issues. There is some good news though: an amendment which would have increased the weight limit of commercial trucks from 80,000 pounds to 91,000 pounds compromising safety on our roads while causing more wear and tear was successfully defeated[3].
  • Local Control: The Davis-Titus amendment, which would have given communities of all sizes more control and better access to federal dollars, and which had the most bi-partisan support of any amendment, was not even allowed to come up for a vote[4] in rules committee.
  • Transit-Oriented Development (TOD): An amendment that would have enabled TOD projects to be eligible under the Railroad Rehabilitation Improvement Financing program (RRIF) failed. The smaller TOD planning grants $10 million per year which help communities build smart development projects survived the knife.
  • Other Transit Funding: While the traditional 80-20 formula split between highways and transit was retained, transit funding got dinged in a couple of important ways:
    • New Starts/Small Starts Programs: Highway projects will still have 20 percent local-dollar match, but new transit capital projects will face a steeper, 50 percent local match. This move disproportionately impacts smaller and poorer communities, given that larger communities are already kicking in close to 50 percent in local dollars. On top of that, once-flexible Surface Transportation Program funds also won t be eligible for transit projects. On the upside, a successful amendment[5], put forward by Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York and others, partially fixes the problem by enabling CMAQ funds to be used as part of the local match, effectively increasing the federal portion above 50 percent.
    • High Density Program: This program, which provides transit aid to the seven states that collectively account for 50 percent of the nation s public transit riders (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Delaware, Maryland and the District of Columbia), will be slashed by $820 million over six years[6].
  • Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP): This program, which provides the most significant source of funds for walking and biking projects, was not significantly changed from a policy perspective despite threatening amendments[7] but funding was capped at $819 million per year, while all other programs will increase with inflation.
  • Complete Streets: A complete streets provision[8], which enjoyed strong support from AARP, was adopted, and will ensure that more of our transportation projects are considering all users of the road.
  • Gas Tax: Despite House Speaker Paul Ryan s promise to have a more open legislative process[9], discussion on sustainable revenue sources were squashed: a vote was allowed to cut the gas tax[10] by 15 cents (defeated 118-310), but the vote to raise the tax was blocked[11].
  • Extra $40 Billion?: In a surprise move late Wednesday night, an amendment was passed that adds an additional $40 billion[12], from a Federal Reserve capital account, and provides the potential for the full six years of the transportation bill to be funded.

There is still the opportunity for improvements as the House and Senate reconcile the differences in their bills through conference. The House conference committee was chosen Thursday, and there are three representatives on that committee from the tri-state area: Albio Sires of New Jersey and John Katko and Jerrold Nadler from New York.






  1. ^ Nadine Lemmon (blog.tstc.org)
  2. ^ status quo (t4america.org)
  3. ^ successfully defeated (thehill.com)
  4. ^ was not even allowed to come up for a vote (t4america.org)
  5. ^ a successful amendment (t4america.org)
  6. ^ slashed by $820 million over six years (www.syracuse.com)
  7. ^ despite threatening amendments (bikeleague.org)
  8. ^ complete streets provision (www.aarp.org)
  9. ^ a more open legislative process (blog.tstc.org)
  10. ^ vote was allowed to cut the gas tax (thehill.com)
  11. ^ vote to raise the tax was blocked (thehill.com)
  12. ^ adds an additional $40 billion (t4america.org)

Advocates Call on Suffolk County to Fund Complete Streets …

Advocates called on the Suffolk County Legislature to fund the implementation of Complete Streets this week. | Photo: Ryan Lynch Suffolk County is home to some of the deadliest roads 1 for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists in the region. According to a Tri-State Transportation Campaign analysis 2 of federal data, 122 pedestrians were killed along roads in Suffolk County from 2010-2012, with the Suffolk County portion of Jericho Turnpike 3 seeing 16 pedestrian fatalities alone. According to Governor Cuomo s Traffic Safety Committee, 278 motorists and passengers, and 22 cyclists were killed during the same time period.

52,000 non-fatal injuries occurred as a result of almost 90,000 crashes from 2010-2012. Suffolk County adopted a Complete Streets law 4 in 2012, but implementation of the law is still in its early stages 5 . One reason for the delay is a lack of available funding.

The federal transportation bill, MAP-21, cut dedicated walking and biking infrastructure investment by 30 percent while New York State plans to spend less than one percent of its transportation dollars on pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. This represents a reduction of more than $100 million a 40 percent cut in its 2014-2017 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) as compared to 2011-2014. In Region 10 6 on Long Island, planned spending on walking and biking projects will be cut by 24 percent over the next four years, resulting in a paltry .57 percent of the regional allocation of transportation dollars for bicycle and pedestrian projects.

These funding levels persist despite the fact that pedestrians and cyclists account for 27 percent 7 of all traffic fatalities statewide (the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council estimates that pedestrians and cyclists make up 50 percent of all traffic fatalities on Long Island). Unfortunately, these cuts at the federal and state level put added pressure on local governments to make up the gap. As a result, Tri-State, Vision Long Island, the AARP and other advocates called on the Suffolk County Legislature to amend the proposed Suffolk County Capital Program to include funding to establish a Complete Streets implementation fund.

Investments in infrastructure that force motorists to slow down and go the speed limit like landscaped medians 8 , road diets 9 , raised crosswalks 10 , pedestrian crossing islands 11 and protected bicycle lanes 12 will go a long way towards creating County roadways that will be safe and accessible for Suffolk County residents and visitors of all ages and abilities.

References ^ deadliest roads (blog.tstc.org) ^ analysis (tstc.org) ^ Jericho Turnpike (www.newsday.com) ^ adopted a Complete Streets law (blog.tstc.org) ^ still in its early stages (blog.tstc.org) ^ Region 10 (www.dot.ny.gov) ^ 27 percent (peoplepoweredmovement.org) ^ landscaped medians (www.auburnwa.gov) ^ road diets (safety.fhwa.dot.gov) ^ raised crosswalks (www.pedbikesafe.org) ^ pedestrian crossing islands (safety.fhwa.dot.gov) ^ protected bicycle lanes (www.peoplepoweredmovement.org)

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Advocates Call on Suffolk County to Fund Complete Streets …

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