Tag Archives: marlton new jersey

An Even Bigger Jerk Than the Average Politician

As he has written in the past, The Curmudgeon lives in Marlton, New Jersey. As relatively small towns go it ain’t much: lots of single houses, a lot of retail, a handful of office complexes, and zero sense of community. The town’s not very well run, as The Curmudgeon has noted before, and this year alone it’s lost three major company headquarters.

Last Tuesday Marlton’s mayor, Randy Brown, easily won re-election to a third term in office. The day after – the very day after he finished asking people to entrust the office to him for another four years – he turned around and explained that he had his eye on another office.

“I’m going to make a decision in the beginning of the new year about pursuing the Republican nomination for governor,” he told one of the local rags that passes for a newspaper in small town America.

So if Mayor Randy didn’t want to be mayor anymore, why did he run? And why did he wait only twenty-four hours after he was re-elected to give his constituents the figurative middle finger?

Chances are that Mayor Randy’s not going to become governor because southern New Jersey’s modest population in comparison to the central and northern parts of the state has historically made it very difficult for its politicians to get elected to state-wide office. Also because, well, he has absolutely nothing to offer.

But if he remains mayor and then seeks another term, The Curmudgeon hopes his fellow Marltonians (Marltonites?) will return the middle finger and turn Mayor Randy into ex-Mayor Randy.

 

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Republicans Run “Nanny States” Too

Any time a legislative body passes a law or a regulatory agency issues a requirement that appears to show concern for the welfare of people, you can pretty much count on some Republican declaring that the law or regulation is a sign of a “nanny state” – liberal government coddling its citizens instead of letting them sink or swim on their own merits. (And because heaven forbid government actually care about the people.)

The Curmudgeon got to thinking about this recently when his brother, who lives in the same condo development as his older sibling, lamented how much he missed grilling in his yard.

In the condo development in which the brothers reside, grilling is not prohibited. The rule is that people may operate charcoal grills or electric grills but must situate their grill at the far end of their driveway, closest to the street, with a visible fire extinguisher present at all times. Gas grills are prohibited.

Pretty strict condo development, huh?

Well, no, not exactly.

It turns out that the rule isn’t a rule: it’s a law – a nanny state requirement if ever there was one in a town that has a Republican mayor and an all-Republican council and has been dominated by Republicans for more than generation except for one person who was elected mayor as a Democrat – and then promptly changed his registration to Republican, proving once again that you can, indeed, fool most of the people at least some of the time. (And for the record: this isn’t about The Curmudgeon being unhappy about the limits on his own grilling. He may be the only native-born American male ever who has no interest in cooking on a grill.)

So Marlton, New Jersey, owned and operated by Republicans, has its own nanny state requirements. It could trust people to exercise reasonable judgment about their grilling practices, but instead, it chooses to treat them like third-graders and impose highly prescriptive rules upon them.

So the next time you hear a Republican complain about Democrats trying to turn America into a nanny state…

Democracy Inaction

One of the nice things about living in suburbia is that about two weeks before every election, you receive in the mail a complete, official sample ballot that shows you what offices are up for election and who’s running for them.

It’s a handy tool because in suburbia, candidates don’t actually tell you where they stand on the issues or campaign for office.  Also, there are no newspapers that cover local government or politics.  With a sample ballot in hand, though, you have a week or two to try to find out if any of the candidates are any brighter than, say, a third-grader or have prison records or might, heaven forbid, have something to offer.

Of course, for many of them there’s no reason to take any positions on issues because why risk alienating someone when there’s nothing to be gained?

Nothing to be gained from telling the voters where you stand?

That’s right.

You see, in the sad little town of Marlton, New Jersey, where The Curmudgeon resides, the pathetic Democratic Party couldn’t even field an opponent to the incumbent Republican mayor.  Even in Philadelphia the pathetic Republicans usually manage to get some poor schmuck to put his name on the ballot, just so the party can say it’s making an effort, but not in Marlton.  No Democrats running for mayor this year.

But it doesn’t end there.

Two seats on the town council are up for election, too, and no Democrats are running for those seats, either.

If it wasn’t so sad it might be funny.

The Marlton Follies Continue

The Curmudgeon has written in the past about Marlton, New Jersey, the town in which he resides.

About how the town’s mayor and council allowed a local party boss to bully them into allowing him to build his own personal helipad adjacent to a residential community.

About the mayor who was the previous mayor’s campaign manager, changed parties to run against his mentor, and then changed parties again once he was elected.  Clearly, this was a guy who believes in nothing – other, that is, than his own ambitions.

About the mayor who, when running for office, was asked for information about his positions on various issues and told one constituent – The Curmudgeon – that he didn’t share that kind of information.

About a town council that passed a resolution of support for the Baltimore Ravens football team, which has exactly one fan in town:  the mayor.

About the school district that accepted money to allow an Italian food chain to drape an enormous banner with its name across the front of an elementary school, teaching students there a valuable life lesson in the real golden rule:  he who has the gold makes the rules.

And there have been a few things The Curmudgeon hasn’t mentioned.

Like the metal detector that briefly appeared inside the municipal building – but not at the building’s entrance, which is the obvious and natural place to put a metal detector.  No, the detector was placed outside the room where court is held and the council meets, because the town’s leaders felt it was more important to protect their own lives than those of the working-class people who do the actual work in town hall.

About the really nice “Welcome to Evesham Township” (Marlton’s official name) sign that isn’t even at the city limits and to which was recently affixed the mayor’s name on a makeshift sign that appears to be one step up from those stencils we all had when we were kids.  The mayor, it turns out, apparently has his eye on higher office – governor, it appears – and putting his name out there in one more place couldn’t hurt, he presumably figures.

And a recent decision to rename a road in honor of a business – but then not to tell anyone.  Yes, they renamed a road, simply replaced the street signs with signs bearing the new names, and never bothered to tell the people who live in the area, leaving them to give their visitors directions to their homes that included the name of a street that no longer exists and for which there were no longer any signs.

The latest, though, is an object lesson in using public money for personal purposes.  Recently, the township dedicated new sports fields – two baseball fields and two softball fields built at a cost of $5.3 million.

No wonder The Curmudgeon’s property taxes have doubled during his ten years.

But the story doesn’t end there.

As it turns out, during the dedication ceremony, the mayor unveiled a plaque at the new fields that honors…his father.

And a member of the town council unveiled yet another plaque at the field that honors…his father.

So these self-important, preening peacocks took advantage of the town’s expenditure of $5.3 million of their neighbors’ money to offer personal memorials to their own daddies.

Rank has its privileges, they say – and it looks like the people who run Marlton, New Jersey are the rankest of them all, seemingly intent on squeezing every drop of personal privilege out of their elected offices, and local taxpayers, that they possibly can.

Talk about insider politics.  No wonder people hate politicians.