Friday, June 3, 2011

Important Letter from Brick Democratic Chair Tony Lazroe

                On June 7th the most important primary election in recent memory will take place in Brick Township. The importance of this election is based on the fact that for the first time in several election cycles we, the Brick Democrats, have a genuine opportunity to not only win seats on the Council but to actually take control of the Council if we can get every one of our four candidates elected. The record of the current administration has been well documented and need not be detailed here. This administration was elected by mandate from the people and they took the mandate and used it as a weapon to benefit no one but each other.

This is why it is so very important for you to exercise your best judgment in choosing the Democratic candidates who will run for council. Based on integrity, consistency in positions, credibility, electability, and very importantly party loyalty, there can be no other choices but the four candidates who have been chosen by and who represent the official Democratic organization: John G. Ducey, Sue Lydecker, Jim Fozman, and Bob Moore. Each of these individuals has proven him/herself over the past months in each playing an integral role in the resurrection of the Brick Democratic Party. Each of these candidates has remained consistent in their principals and in the positions they have taken. From leading food and clothing drives for those less fortunate, to coaching and mentoring the youth of our town, to initiating a “Young Democrats” organization, to honoring our veterans through good works, to serving as a volunteer fireman, to serving on various bodies ensuring ethical conduct in the legal profession - each of these candidates have proven their credibility and dedication to this town and their willingness to work on behalf of others. Very importantly, each of these individuals have consistently proven over and over again their loyalty to the Democratic Party and organization. They understand and respect the importance of solidarity and teamwork, and of working selflessly with no personal agenda.

For all of these reasons I ask you all to support your party and your organization and vote for the only candidates who have credibility and electability: John G. Ducey, Sue Lydecker, Jim Fozman, and Bob Moore. Thank you.

                                                                                    Democratically Yours,
                                                                                    Tony Lazroe, Chairman
                                                                                    Brick Democratic Party

Friday, May 13, 2011

Chairman Lazroe on Radio Program

Brick Democratic Chairman Tony Lazroe was recently interviewed on Underground Progressive Radio. During the interview,  Lazroe spoke about the community and about the upcoming primary election. To listen to the full interview, click here: The Local Burner: Interivew with Brick Democratic Chair Tony Lazroe

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Chairman Lazroe; Accusations False, Lamb Does not Represent the Brick Democrats

I am writing in response to a letter that recently appeared in the Brick Times from Jean Ripa that contained several offensive and incorrect statements concerning the alleged position the Democratic Party took on the recent referendum. Ms Ripa also alleges that we Democrats write lewd and offensive blogs and that Joe Lamb is one of us. Ms. Ripa, you are wrong on all counts, and I find it offensive and irresponsible that you would accuse the Democratic Party without first checking your facts. 

Joe Lamb IS NOT ONE OF THE CANDIDATES SPONSORED AND SUPPORTED BY THE BRICK DEMOCRATIC PARTY. Joe does not belong to the Democratic club, does not attend meetings and in no way is he or his attitude representative of the rank and file of the Democratic Party. He failed in his attempt at a leadership position in the party and, typically for him, picked up his marbles and went home. He did not get the endorsement of the party and represents only himself when he speaks at Council meetings, which is why he is running alone on his own line. The council candidates sponsored, endorsed, and supported by the Democratic Party are John Ducey, Susan Lydecker, James Fozman, and Bob Moore. You will learn a whole lot more about each of them in the weeks ahead.

As this letter is written before the referendum vote, I have no idea what the results of the vote are. We Democrats neither spoke for or against the referendum our feeling being that under the circumstances each family must determine for themselves what makes sense to them financially. More importantly the real issue is not the referendum but the reason why we are in this position. The residents of Brick should never have been threatened and put in this position. Yes, Ms. Ripa, this administration did most definitely dig itself into this hole. This governing body did irresponsibly use onetime non-recurring sources of revenue to keep the budget artificially low because they were more concerned with their own re-election than with what is truly in the best interests of the citizens of Brick. In fact, in the letter written to the NJ Civil Service Commission explaining the reason for the need for a referendum the reasons given included the reduction in state aid, but also noted the inability of the town to use these same non-recurring sources of revenue. This Mayor and Council irresponsibly reduced the surplus from over $17 million a few years ago to under $5 million today; they can no longer count on the “donation” of funds that the MUA had been giving them; the township “exhausted the anticipated revenue know as advanced school taxes” (Juan Bellu’s words) - in short one-time budget gimmicks were no longer available precisely at that point when the 2% CAP mandate hit. Yet they still continued to award salary increases to some as well as spend in other areas.

Even more unsettling is that some weeks ago at a Council meeting I specifically asked Council President De Luca if any of these non-recurring budget gimmicks had anything to do with the position we are in now.  He turned to consult with Mr. Bellu – yes the same Bellu that accepted a nearly $50,000 salary increase and then gave our Mayor a another full-time $92,000 in Toms River - and then they both flatly denied that any of these budget maneuvers had anything  to do with the problem Brick is in. What they both apparently did not know was that I (and others) am in possession of a copy of the letter written by Mr. Bellu to Robert Czech of the State Civil Service Division. The letter clearly stated these reasons, as well as one or two others, as the reasons we need a referendum. So was Mr. De Luca and/or Mr. Bellu publicly dishonest with me or with Mr. Czech?

This has been the position of the Democratic Party from day one. Joe might have flip-flopped, but the Democratic Party did not.

Respectfully submitted: Tony Lazroe, Chair Brick Democratic Party

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chairman Lazroe; Union Does its Part in Budget Crisis

In what can only be called a remarkable show of brotherhood and concern, Brick Township’s largest labor union, Transport Workers Union 225, Branch 4, elected to forego their scheduled salary and step increases in an attempt to avoid layoffs, save jobs, and maintain an acceptable level of services.  We applaud the members, and especially to the leadership who initially proposed this remarkable step.  One of the marks of true leadership is taking steps and making decisions that you know in your heart to be in the best interests of your membership, even if that decision is an unpopular one and could possibly mean your removal from the leadership position.  In this case the courageous thing to do was the right thing to do, and the leadership was both courageous and correct.

What I, and others, find so ironic about this is the comments attributed to Brick Mayor Steven Acropolis after the union vote was announced.  In typical grandstanding fashion the Mayor praised the decision and complemented the leadership, but was also quick to point out that despite the action, layoffs might be unavoidable. “It’s all up to the referendum” Acropolis noted. The referendum in question is of course the question being put to the people of Brick as to whether or not the governing body should be permitted to exceed the 2% Property Tax CAP imposed by law. In other words, we might not have layoffs if you people out there let us raise your taxes more than the law allows. Support the referendum and pay more taxes and then maybe we can save some jobs. However, it seems from this vantage point that the Mayor’s “concern” is grossly hypocritical.

It is true that we are suffering through extremely difficult economic times.  We have seen Acropolis in statement after statement speaks about the need for shared sacrifice when it comes to the Townships budget.  But this shared sacrifice doctrine did not stop Mayor Acropolis from rewarding Juan Bellu with a $50,000 salary increase shortly after laying off over 40 municipal workers. This is same Juan Bellu who is the Assistant Administrator in Brick, a position that was resurrected under Acropolis and now costs the taxpayers almost $200,000 a year when you take into consideration salary and benefits.  This is the same Juan Bellu who is a commissioner with the Toms River MUA who recently “rewarded” Acropolis with a tax payer funded $92,000 full time job on top of his $50,000 full time mayor’s job. Acropolis took the job because, in his own words, he “needed the money”!!!This is the local Republican version of shared sacrifice, “We have ours, but yours I’m not so sure about.”  Unless the people of Brick let the Mayor raise our taxes more than the 2% CAP, the fine people of the TWU will be looking for work.

This is a position that the TWU and the citizens of Brick Township should never have be put in.  The Mayor’s greed, cronyism and unwillingness to fairly manage town finances combined with the Councils inability or refusal to question the Mayor’s actions have become an ever increasing burden on the Brick Township taxpayers.  Governor Christie, a Republican, first asked for shared sacrifice but when I publicly pointed this out to the current administration a member of the Brick Council, another Republican of course, said the Governor talks out of both sides of his mouth. Mayor Acropolis, when asked by this writer what he thought of this replied, “I agree with the Councilman.” Really Mayor? Who speaks out of both sides of his mouth? Certainly not you Mayor after your raises to Bellu and others while asking Public Workers to tighten their belts. Certainly not you Mayor after your greedy MUA money grab. After all, you need the money. Certainly not the all Republican Council who blindly agrees with and supports every single one of your actions.  We can do better.

Tony Lazroe, Chairman
Brick Township Democrats

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Acropolis Mistaken About Union Call Outs

One of the earliest targets in Acropolis blame game was the Public Works workers and their Union.  We heard early that there were reports of as many as eleven workers who called out sick during the storm.  The Mayor and his Council lead the residents to believe that this was one of the main causes of the lackluster performance of the township in this snow emergency.  But after some digging by a local radio station in Brick, Underground Progressive Radio, we find that the Mayor was at best mistaken in his comments or at worst he was internally misleading the residents of Brick  to cover his lack of leadership.   It is upsetting that the Mayor would try to place blame on these outstanding individuals many of who worked more than twenty consecutive hours on the plows.  These individuals should be commended for all they were able to accomplish while being undermanned due to the massive layoff. 

Here we have the full interview, on The Local Burner, with John Menshon, Union representative TWU Local 225 Branch 4.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Governor Christie Reacts to Acropolis' Criticism

In an interview yesterday Governor Christie reacts to Mayor's criticism with harsh words for Acropolis.  The Governor reminds the Mayor that all politcs are local and that the Mayor should stop blaming other people for his mistakes.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wait is That My Road?

Many of the township residents awoke today overjoyed to find an end to their snowy house arrest.  But as you venture out you will find half plowed roads, jug handles unusable and turnoffs with no visibility.  And what does the Mayor have to say about this nothing.  All he is doing is complaining today that residents are being impatient and just flat out mean to him.  He went as far as to claim that all of the criticism of his handling of this storm has been nothing but a carefully planed political attack.  The facts in these events are simple Mr. Mayor they need no spin; you laid off many public works employees, have been threatening to layoff more, all the while you have been handing out raises to your political friends. What your seeing now Mayor is the people of Brick Township rising up and saying no more.  The residents will no longer stand for the ineffectiveness of the the Mayor and his rubber stamp Council.