Mayor Scharfenberger’s Snow Storm Message

Mayor Scharfenberger’s Snow Storm Message

Middletown, as well as most of Monmouth and Ocean Counties faced a storm that became one of the five worst in the last 140 years, with 30 inches of snow and winds equivalent to a category 2 hurricane. Township crews and private contractors began working the streets at approximately 10:00AM on Sunday, December 26th.

Hours before the storm weather predictions were for about half of what we actually were faced with. One of the most difficult issues with this storm was how quickly the snow accumulated. For the first 24 hours crews out plowing and using front end loaders were severely hampered by an extraordinary number of emergency calls requiring fire, first aid and police response. From Sunday, December 26th through Thursday, December 30th 3,449 calls for assistance were received.  Of these, 1,009 calls required some form of emergency response and many were 911 calls. There were 204 reports of disabled motor vehicles (many stranded or abandoned and many of which were emergency vehicles), 123 First Aid and/or Fire responses and 102 reports of motor vehicle crashes.

Each emergency response required the diversion of a snow crew from wherever they were working to the location of the emergency so that access could be quickly provided to the address. This effort was continually hampered by again, an extraordinary number vehicles being stuck on the road, including numerous police cars, ambulances, tow trucks, and plows. There were also numerous cars left abandoned on roads, further hampering plowing operations.

Many pick-up trucks with plows were simply overwhelmed by the volume and weight of the snow and unable to function. In most areas, front end loaders were needed. Although front end loaders are very efficient in the volume of snow they can move, they do move very slowly. This is especially true in areas with a lot of on-street parking and we have a lot of neighborhoods like that.

Besides the complication of the tremendous volume of snow and the enormous number of calls for emergency response, two other factors contributed to the difficulties encountered. Because the storm hit Sunday and peaked Sunday night, there were a lot more cars parked on the streets that there would be for a weekday storm. In addition, on some roads conditions were made worse after mostly well-intentioned people moved snow from driveways and walkways and put it back into the streets.

The Township has had crews on the road, both township employees and private contractors, constantly since Sunday morning. Typically there are about 24 to 30 workers on either plows, front end loaders, or salt/sand trucks at any given time. The town is divided into four districts and each district has a supervisor that moves the crews from place to place within their district.  They also re-deploy vehicles as needed to respond to emergencies. These crews, which include both township employees and private contractors, have worked round the clock since Sunday morning and will continue to do so for as long as necessary.

Each year the Township awards contracts to 6-7 private contractors to supplement our municipal operations. In response to this snow emergency, we added two more contractors. While one did show up and performed very well for us, the other contractor simply failed to appear.  The area this contractor failed to cover had to be picked up by others causing further delay.

Middletown is comprised of 42 square miles compared to Manhattan with only 23 square miles. Our large geographic area presents a number of substantial challenges during storm events like this. The sheer number of roadway miles in Middletown is daunting when you think of plowing snow. Crews have to plow 330 roadway miles, which is the equivalent of plowing from Middletown to Richmond, Virginia.

We are confident that Middletown’s emergency responders and road crews did their very best through this extremely powerful storm. However, we realize that there is always room for improvement.  We will be making every effort to review our operations and procedures used to respond to such storms and will implement several changes that will help us to handle such events more expeditiously in the future. We thank you for and appreciate your patience and perseverance. We will make every effort to continue improving our operations to the best of our ability.

Finally I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of Monmouth County and the State of New Jersey.  In addition to clearing the County roads, Freeholder John Curley was instrumental in sending us three front end loaders and operators to help clear Middletown roads.  Similarly, the New Jersey Department of Transportation was quick to clear the State highways that run through Middletown and a representative from the Governor’s office even reached out to me personally to offer any assistance we needed.  We thank them for partnering with us during this extraordinary storm event.

Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger

Mayor Scharfenberger’s Snow Storm Message

Mayor Scharfenberger’s Snow Storm Message

Middletown, as well as most of Monmouth and Ocean Counties faced a storm that became one of the five worst in the last 140 years, with 30 inches of snow and winds equivalent to a category 2 hurricane. Township crews and private contractors began working the streets at approximately 10:00AM on Sunday, December 26th.

Hours before the storm weather predictions were for about half of what we actually were faced with. One of the most difficult issues with this storm was how quickly the snow accumulated. For the first 24 hours crews out plowing and using front end loaders were severely hampered by an extraordinary number of emergency calls requiring fire, first aid and police response. From Sunday, December 26th through Thursday, December 30th 3,449 calls for assistance were received.  Of these, 1,009 calls required some form of emergency response and many were 911 calls. There were 204 reports of disabled motor vehicles (many stranded or abandoned and many of which were emergency vehicles), 123 First Aid and/or Fire responses and 102 reports of motor vehicle crashes.

Each emergency response required the diversion of a snow crew from wherever they were working to the location of the emergency so that access could be quickly provided to the address. This effort was continually hampered by again, an extraordinary number vehicles being stuck on the road, including numerous police cars, ambulances, tow trucks, and plows. There were also numerous cars left abandoned on roads, further hampering plowing operations.

Many pick-up trucks with plows were simply overwhelmed by the volume and weight of the snow and unable to function. In most areas, front end loaders were needed. Although front end loaders are very efficient in the volume of snow they can move, they do move very slowly. This is especially true in areas with a lot of on-street parking and we have a lot of neighborhoods like that.

Besides the complication of the tremendous volume of snow and the enormous number of calls for emergency response, two other factors contributed to the difficulties encountered. Because the storm hit Sunday and peaked Sunday night, there were a lot more cars parked on the streets that there would be for a weekday storm. In addition, on some roads conditions were made worse after mostly well-intentioned people moved snow from driveways and walkways and put it back into the streets.

The Township has had crews on the road, both township employees and private contractors, constantly since Sunday morning. Typically there are about 24 to 30 workers on either plows, front end loaders, or salt/sand trucks at any given time. The town is divided into four districts and each district has a supervisor that moves the crews from place to place within their district.  They also re-deploy vehicles as needed to respond to emergencies. These crews, which include both township employees and private contractors, have worked round the clock since Sunday morning and will continue to do so for as long as necessary.

Each year the Township awards contracts to 6-7 private contractors to supplement our municipal operations. In response to this snow emergency, we added two more contractors. While one did show up and performed very well for us, the other contractor simply failed to appear.  The area this contractor failed to cover had to be picked up by others causing further delay.

Middletown is comprised of 42 square miles compared to Manhattan with only 23 square miles. Our large geographic area presents a number of substantial challenges during storm events like this. The sheer number of roadway miles in Middletown is daunting when you think of plowing snow. Crews have to plow 330 roadway miles, which is the equivalent of plowing from Middletown to Richmond, Virginia.

We are confident that Middletown’s emergency responders and road crews did their very best through this extremely powerful storm. However, we realize that there is always room for improvement.  We will be making every effort to review our operations and procedures used to respond to such storms and will implement several changes that will help us to handle such events more expeditiously in the future. We thank you for and appreciate your patience and perseverance. We will make every effort to continue improving our operations to the best of our ability.

Finally I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of Monmouth County and the State of New Jersey.  In addition to clearing the County roads, Freeholder John Curley was instrumental in sending us three front end loaders and operators to help clear Middletown roads.  Similarly, the New Jersey Department of Transportation was quick to clear the State highways that run through Middletown and a representative from the Governor’s office even reached out to me personally to offer any assistance we needed.  We thank them for partnering with us during this extraordinary storm event.

Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger

Programs at Middletown Library Week of Jan 4-9

MIDDLETOWN, NJ – The following programs are scheduled at Middletown Main Library, 55 New Monmouth Road, Middletown for the week of January 4-9, 2011:

mt_library

Tuesday, January 4th

10:00 – 11:30 AM

PC Literacy

Introduction to Computers—includes keyboard and mousing skills.

12:30 – 2:30 PM

Social Knitting Group with Joan Corby


Learn to knit, share projects and expertise at this social knitting group.  New members are always welcome. Community Room

1:00 PM

Scrabble Club with Renee Cohen

New members are always welcome to join the group playing this challenging word game.  Community Room

Thursday, January 6th

6:45 PM

BCUG Workshop

Brookdale Computer Users Group Workshop “Word Processing” with Chris Ching.  Computer Lab

In The Teen Zone

Teens/Tweens

Wednesday, January 5th

4:00 – 5:30 PM

Legos

Legos construction session led by tween Logan Adams.  Have fun while using your creativity in this group project.   All welcome.  Community Room

Sunday, January 9th

1:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Teen Service Project:  Unshelved!


Teens are invited to straighten the shelves of our well-used collection with guidance from staff and teen volunteers.  Meets monthly.

Programs at Middletown Library Week of Jan 4-9

MIDDLETOWN, NJ – The following programs are scheduled at Middletown Main Library, 55 New Monmouth Road, Middletown for the week of January 4-9, 2011:

mt_library

Tuesday, January 4th

10:00 – 11:30 AM

PC Literacy

Introduction to Computers—includes keyboard and mousing skills.

12:30 – 2:30 PM

Social Knitting Group with Joan Corby


Learn to knit, share projects and expertise at this social knitting group.  New members are always welcome. Community Room

1:00 PM

Scrabble Club with Renee Cohen

New members are always welcome to join the group playing this challenging word game.  Community Room

Thursday, January 6th

6:45 PM

BCUG Workshop

Brookdale Computer Users Group Workshop “Word Processing” with Chris Ching.  Computer Lab

In The Teen Zone

Teens/Tweens

Wednesday, January 5th

4:00 – 5:30 PM

Legos

Legos construction session led by tween Logan Adams.  Have fun while using your creativity in this group project.   All welcome.  Community Room

Sunday, January 9th

1:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Teen Service Project:  Unshelved!


Teens are invited to straighten the shelves of our well-used collection with guidance from staff and teen volunteers.  Meets monthly.

Anti-Bullying Program at Middletown Main Library

“For Teens-By Teens”

MIDDLETOWN, NJ – On Thursday, January 13th from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m., teens from Middletown High School South’s Civic Leadership Club will conduct an anti-bullying program and at Middletown Main Library—a Q&A will follow the session.  Designed for teens and tweens, ages 11 and up, the program will be moderated by Bob Lightbody, mentor for the Civic Leadership Club, and teen librarian Ellie Strbo.  The program will be held in the library Community Room.

mt_library

Middletown Township Public Library is located at 55 New Monmouth Rd—mtpl.org—732-671-3700 x320.

Anti-Bullying Program at Middletown Main Library

“For Teens-By Teens”

MIDDLETOWN, NJ – On Thursday, January 13th from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m., teens from Middletown High School South’s Civic Leadership Club will conduct an anti-bullying program and at Middletown Main Library—a Q&A will follow the session.  Designed for teens and tweens, ages 11 and up, the program will be moderated by Bob Lightbody, mentor for the Civic Leadership Club, and teen librarian Ellie Strbo.  The program will be held in the library Community Room.

mt_library

Middletown Township Public Library is located at 55 New Monmouth Rd—mtpl.org—732-671-3700 x320.

End of Year Deal Saves Thousands for Highlands

HIGHLANDS, NJ – Highlands PBA President Matthew Chesek announced the police union had reached an accord that will save Highlands Borough thousands of dollars in 2011.  Starting January 1, 2011 under the memorandum of agreement with the Borough, officers will no longer be paid overtime for the next 18 months. That will save the Borough an

estimated $193,000 dollars over the contract term. In addition the Union agreed to defer raises saving a total of      $27,331 dollars. “We are all having tough times and cutting extra duty pay was a difficult decision. In the end we are committed to working with the Borough and providing the community with the best level of service,” said PBA President Chesek. He continued, “We are local police officers who know the residents, businesses, and kids – we want to keep that level of protection and eliminating overtime and deferring raises was the result”.

The Union  also approved allowing the Borough to switch to a cheaper health care plan that will save an estimated $320,000 Borough wide. The Borough for its part also agreed not to layoff any officers for the next 18 months. “The half million dollars in savings was done so we can maintain our level of service. Keeping the officers we have and maintaining a minimum of 2 to 3 officers covering the Borough each shift was important”, said Chesek.

End of Year Deal Saves Thousands for Highlands

HIGHLANDS, NJ – Highlands PBA President Matthew Chesek announced the police union had reached an accord that will save Highlands Borough thousands of dollars in 2011.  Starting January 1, 2011 under the memorandum of agreement with the Borough, officers will no longer be paid overtime for the next 18 months. That will save the Borough an

estimated $193,000 dollars over the contract term. In addition the Union agreed to defer raises saving a total of      $27,331 dollars. “We are all having tough times and cutting extra duty pay was a difficult decision. In the end we are committed to working with the Borough and providing the community with the best level of service,” said PBA President Chesek. He continued, “We are local police officers who know the residents, businesses, and kids – we want to keep that level of protection and eliminating overtime and deferring raises was the result”.

The Union  also approved allowing the Borough to switch to a cheaper health care plan that will save an estimated $320,000 Borough wide. The Borough for its part also agreed not to layoff any officers for the next 18 months. “The half million dollars in savings was done so we can maintain our level of service. Keeping the officers we have and maintaining a minimum of 2 to 3 officers covering the Borough each shift was important”, said Chesek.

New Year’s Poll 2011

jack_archibald_120The year 2010 was full of surprises and next year will be no different. As in past years, the winner of our annual New Years poll will receive a free one – year subscription to the Herald courtesy of this writer.

Will Freeholder Amy Mallet retain her seat next November?

How many Assembly seats in the NJ legislature will the Republicans win next November?

Which month will Michael Bloomberg declare his independent run for President?

Will any New Jersey municipality declare bankruptcy in 2011?

The Dow Jones will be closer to 10,000 or 13,000 or July 1, 2011?

Which major tournament will Tiger Woods win in 2011?

Will the Atlantic Highlands Borough Hall be completed by December 1?

How many shared services will Highlands contract with other towns in 2011?

Which Democrat will announce a primary challenge to President Obama?

Will South Korea retaliate against North Korea in 2011?

How many calls will Atlantic Highlands First Aid Chief Richard Huff respond to next year?

Will the Monmouth County Democrats nominate Brian Unger for any county wide position?

Whose memoir sells more books next spring- Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld?

How many Republicans will be running for President on December 1, 2011?

Governor Chris Christie’s approval rating will be higher or lower on July 1?

Will Atlantic Highlands Donald Brown have more yards rushing or receiving next fall?

Good luck to all and best wishes for a prosperous New Year!

New Year’s Poll 2011

jack_archibald_120The year 2010 was full of surprises and next year will be no different. As in past years, the winner of our annual New Years poll will receive a free one – year subscription to the Herald courtesy of this writer.

Will Freeholder Amy Mallet retain her seat next November?

How many Assembly seats in the NJ legislature will the Republicans win next November?

Which month will Michael Bloomberg declare his independent run for President?

Will any New Jersey municipality declare bankruptcy in 2011?

The Dow Jones will be closer to 10,000 or 13,000 or July 1, 2011?

Which major tournament will Tiger Woods win in 2011?

Will the Atlantic Highlands Borough Hall be completed by December 1?

How many shared services will Highlands contract with other towns in 2011?

Which Democrat will announce a primary challenge to President Obama?

Will South Korea retaliate against North Korea in 2011?

How many calls will Atlantic Highlands First Aid Chief Richard Huff respond to next year?

Will the Monmouth County Democrats nominate Brian Unger for any county wide position?

Whose memoir sells more books next spring- Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld?

How many Republicans will be running for President on December 1, 2011?

Governor Chris Christie’s approval rating will be higher or lower on July 1?

Will Atlantic Highlands Donald Brown have more yards rushing or receiving next fall?

Good luck to all and best wishes for a prosperous New Year!