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Former Brick Councilman: Campaign Promises Broken

Former Councilman Mike Thulen offers his opinion in a letter to the editor

The following is a Letter to the Editor sent by former Brick Township Councilman Michael Thulen:

After Tuesday night’s , I went back to the Democratic Campaign website (http://www.stopacropolis.com) that is still up for all of Brick to see for themselves.  The following is straight off their home page.

Said Ducey, “This November, the key issue in Brick will be fiscal responsibility.  Our town’s residents are tired of the Acropolis team’s waste, mismanagement and cronyism that led to an unprecedented 24% increase in property taxes this year.  The tax increase is outrageous, especially in this difficult economy.”

The other nominees on the Democratic slate echoed Ducey’s concerns.  Susan Lydecker, the overall top vote getter, said, “Our town is too important to be left to politicians who care more about their own salaries and self interests than about the residents of Brick.”

Jim Fozman, a small business owner, said, “Keeping Brick affordable for our residents and small businesses is my number one priority.”

Bob Moore, a volunteer firefighter and plumbing manager, said, “Property taxes have to be kept under control. The Acropolis team has failed miserably on that front.”

After reading their advertisements and hearing these people talk through out the campaign and while they have been council people, I am outraged.  These people said anything to get elected; and have either followed the exact same plan started by the previous council or have changed their language to suit their personal needs. 

Waste and mismanagement:

The budget voted on last Tuesday night by the council had very little change form the year before and if the referendum increase were not already available to them there certainly would have been a tax increase this year.  (Where is their fiscal responsibility?)

Self Interests:

Each of the new councilpersons has chosen form a Chinese menu what benefits or perks they will take for themselves, some take a salary, some take the health benefits, and who knows which is taking a pension.  (Where is the ethical responsibility?)

Priorities:

Mr. Fozman’s first comment Tuesday night (Chairman of the Business and Finance Committee) with regards to the budget was that we have to raise taxes. Watch the video of the council meeting. (What happened to the first priority?)

Can we live with this budget, yes?  Could their have been a tax cut, yes.  The council has taken the million dollars from the BTMUA and put it in the surplus fund this year.  This million dollars of revenue could have been used in the operating budget this year and a tax cut would have been realized without changing any of the services in the township.  The Democrats have shown their stripes already, no tax increase this year and a 2% minimum increase next year.  Last year during the budget season I said we would be good for a couple of years if the referendum passed, it seems predictions are coming true.

The Brick Township Council's main job and responsibility is to approve or create a budget.  This is why I have watched them so closely since the new crew has gotten into office.  The council president confirmed this Tuesday night stating the meetings would be cut back the rest of the year, because the main work has been done.  I will continue to watch and make comments as the year continues, but I believe most of the damage has been done until budget season starts again in December of this year.

Art Sholty May 21, 2012 at 09:20 PM
To Mike, Very well written Mike. There will be many meetings that will attest to the fact that political gain controls all these new freshmen will be tossing around for their own well being.When this is finally understood by the voting public it will prove that the administration that you were associated with was correct in their protection of the citizens of Brick, "the jewel od South Jersey." I forsee the rise of improvement regarding the quality of life here in this township and also the re-taking control, delivering Brick back to people intent on furthering Brick into promanance as a township worthy of spending the rest of our lives in. I know that you love Brick Mike and so do the majority of its citizens so keep on punching. We need you and some of your loyal cohorts to return to the duties that you were falsely duped out of.
JD May 21, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Nice and well written mike... better than Sholty... That said, I'm Republican and voted for the Democrats... I think there is waste and cuts that could be made.... the Repubs and Acropolis didn't make the necessary cuts and spend spend spend... the 24% tax increase plus the previous increases were over the top... nothing was done to cut headcount. Nobody... previous and current council has the cahones to make the necessary cuts!!! So get off your soapbox!!!
Ryan Meyers May 21, 2012 at 09:42 PM
It has been said one of Thulens sons was placed on the board of the Housing Authority. Can you tell me if that was true and was your reference to "where were your ethics whe family and friends were overcompensated." I am asking a questioning on Thulens son, only because he is a public political figure and wonder what age he took that position
Ryan Meyers May 21, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Appears Mr Thulen is in campaign mode. Of course you'd agree, with anyone, regardless of how badly they positioned this town, as long as they had an "R" next to their name.
localexpert May 21, 2012 at 09:53 PM
To the SORE LOSERS,IT WAS A 3 TO 1 PLURALTY,please remember the power of the people. Wait until this NOV. it will be a greater plurality against this reigning Mayor.I was a R who voted D.To the victor belong the spoiles,to bad SORE LOSER.....
Vera Fozman May 21, 2012 at 09:59 PM
Ryan, my question was one for Mr Thulen to ponder and reflect upon. He should respond to your question as I do not have his answers. Best regards to you.
Kathie Bottazzi May 22, 2012 at 01:17 AM
Why is it that a "watchful eye" on the part of a former Councilman is viewed as Repblicans being "sore losers? . Mr. Thulen obviously cares for Brick Township or he wouldn't take the time to write the above letter. Perhaps his intent is to run for Council next year, that is his right. As for his son who is a member on the Housing Authority .. There is no pay or benefits for that position .. It's called community service..how terrible of the Thulen's..just saying
Jim May 22, 2012 at 01:36 AM
Like I said. Closet commies. Doesnt surprise me one bit. Vote them out. Next time dont vote for anyone from that communist training camp called UC Berkeley.
Crabby May 22, 2012 at 01:45 AM
This Nov? There is no election this Nov in Brick.
Do Da the Barbarian May 22, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Whew what an embarrasment you are to a sitting councilman, ever notice you are the only wife of a councilperson shrieking on here . Did we all forget the campaign promise one of the four clowns broke. How about the fact that Council President Dudecly takes his full health benefits.
Daniel Nee (Editor) May 22, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Which member of the Brick Township council went to U.C. Berkeley? I don't recall anyone on the council having gone to school there.
Tired of the BS May 22, 2012 at 02:12 AM
How much $ did the council save each tax paying resident/homeowner? I'm not great at mathematics, but I'm pretty sure it's less than $2.00. (and we won't see any of it) How many homeowners are paying less on their property taxes now? Will any of the surplus monies go towards contracts, bonuses, etc...?
localexpert May 22, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Not only a 3 to 1 plurality,I forgot to mention that it was a SWEEP. That was pour community service and our right to VOTE.
Mrgrumpass May 22, 2012 at 10:39 AM
The only problem with any group having complete control of government is that hey get cocky, stupid, arrogant, complacent, condescending, pick one or all, look at our past all R town government and DC for the first 2 years of Obama’s term total control doesn’t work, and total partisanship also doesn’t work but it makes for lively B20TV.
Chief Wahoo May 22, 2012 at 11:43 AM
Most of what you say is true. But you forget one thing, it is because of you and your past republicants actions that caused liars to be voted in. Lies, nepotism, cronyism and yelling at people all were fine for the sheep . The 24 % to cover your spend spend spend tracks was too much theft for even the Bricktucky sheep to put up with. So every lie that now is told by the democRATS is your fault as much as theirs.
JD May 22, 2012 at 11:54 AM
Thulen... you know what is wrong.... both the Repubs.... and Dems.... taking $1million from BTMUA the past few years... All that does is increase water rates... that is a tax increase and a way to get around the 2% CAP... What I advocated was to refuse the money from BTMUA... this year and last year. That is just an example of what is wrong with council... whether they be repubs or dems... they just don't have the cahones to make the cuts!!!
Hot dog Johnnie May 22, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Mr. Thulen, Where was your "ethical responsibility" during your time in office when your political allies shamelessly promoted their own "self interests"? You sat silently during the Acropolis/Bellu quid pro quo, the Mathews housing authority hiring, the Sangiovanni board of ed hiring, the Jim Lacey BTMUA hiring, your own Rehabco personal financial gain, and many more partonage hirings & appointments too numerous to detail here. Your silence regarding "ethical responsibility" was deafening for the length time in office as a Council person. Now, all of a sudden, you found a moral compass? Where has your outrage been all these years? Dare I call you a hypocrite, or are you suffering some new form of politically connected Alzheimers? The new Council people have been in office less than 6 months. I say give them a chance to sink or swim. We (the voters) already gave you yours and I say (along with a voting plurality) you failed miserably. If after their term is up, they have not performed to our satisfaction, they too will be voted out.
JD May 22, 2012 at 01:11 PM
btw.. Budget year 2013 should have 0% tax increase also... otherwise, vote them all out of office!!!
10% Tax Cut NOW May 22, 2012 at 01:25 PM
If he did care a Brick Township he would have cut our tax's last year and the prior year before. Instead he and his fellow council members continued to increase our tax's ove the last few years in their total control of government. Jobs were secured for many friends by creating a Parks Department that was not needed. These services were handled by DPW workers but the Mayors vendetta got in the way of good government and freinds and family came first. Jobs have been created for Mr (s) Sangiovanni @ the BOE, Brando @ the MUA and Matthews @ the BHA w/ no credentials other then being part of the Good Boys Network. It's the selfserving issue stop and all should work for the Community.
Tom Aponte May 22, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Mike Thulen should crawl back under the rock he came out from! What a loser. And I mean Loser in every sense of the word.
Ryan Meyers May 22, 2012 at 02:36 PM
"watchful eye" to you, a fellow party member. To those that voted him out of office, we're looking for the catch. Why is it wrong to question the qualifications of someone appointed to the Housing Authority ? Don't they appoint contracts, have the ability to spend lots of our tax dollars and make important decisions ? How terrible would it be, if someone was just appointed because of nepotism? but then that never happens...just saying.
10% Tax Cut NOW May 22, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Well said - Amen
DennyD May 22, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Hey Mike, As a former member of the Town Council can you tell us exactly what Juan Bellu's job entails? $150K makes him the second highest paid official in Brick. Take today for instance. What would be a normal day in his position? If you choose not to answer, do not expect anyone to take your criticism seriously. If you're not sure maybe you can call the Mayor and ask him. He did give Bellu a $50K pay increase not that long ago. "You're doing a helluva job Juanie"
Lori Morrison May 22, 2012 at 04:30 PM
If we were still living in "Bricktucky", there would be a non partisan form of government.The mayor and council would be loyal to the people, not their political parties.
DennyD May 22, 2012 at 04:39 PM
I am answering my own post. I just got off the phone with Mike Thulen. He called me. We had a lively discussion where he responded to many of my questions. Maybe not all the answers are the ones I wanted but at least he made the effort. That is precisely what our elected officials should do. Whether answering questions at a Town Council meeting, a Q and A at a Senior Village or a one on one phone call or e-mail this is what being transparent means. To the rest of our "community leaders" in whatever capacity, it is time that you all start answering more questions. Time to get rid of the D or R next to your name and put a T for Truth. I thank Mr. Thulen for getting back to me.
JD May 22, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Most are pretty accessible... Best to get their personal emails if you want responses... those going to "council@brick" go into bottomless pit. I've spoken to and/or have gotten responses to emails from Ducey and Toth.... I'm not happy with many decisions they are making... but better than Acropolis.
Mickey May 22, 2012 at 07:43 PM
nicely said......very impressive !
Thomas Anthony May 22, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Let me start by stating that I think that we should offer encouragement and support to all our elected officials. However, that does not mean that the ordinary citizen should rubber stamp either party regardless of their actions. Having watched the recent Council Meeting, I was astonished at how little some Council members know about the budgeting process. In my opinion, an individual who choses to run for an elected office and significantly impacts the lives of so many (70,000+ residents, 26,000 families) ought to familiarize themselves with the fundamental issues facing our Township. Understanding the basic elements relative to the Budgetary Process is paramount to the Brick Township taxpayers. Although I voted for Councilman Ducey, I was extremely surprised that he knew nothing about the 2011 Referendum and the associated amount raised by the historic VOTE. Former Councilman Thulen, thank you for taking the time to attend Council Meetings and having the fortitude to voice your views. Your knowledge and understanding of key issues are important in these economic times and is duly noted.
Mike Thulen May 22, 2012 at 09:59 PM
I would like to respond to some of the folks who were kind enough to read my letter. With regards to use of the surplus and allowing it to plummet over the years; every year the surplus was used to keep taxes stable or as low as possible, the surplus account was reestablished by property sales or resources that were not taken from the local taxpayers. It is my belief that when taxes are raised they will probably never be lowered again. That said as a fellow taxpayer I did everything possible to hold off the tax increases as long as possible while keeping the services the taxpayers in Brick learned to expect over the years. It was unfortunate that we hit a perfect storm last year; cuts in state aid over the years, 2% cap and a referendum that passed requiring the Brick Council to raise taxes. To answer to Mr. Meyers; Michael Jr. was 28 years old and had been involved in community service for over 10 years prior to his appointment by the other members of the council, I did not vote or suggest the appointment of my son. To answer 10%; taxes were not cut last year because the referendum passed. To answer JD; the BTMUA is backed by Brick Township, but has rate payers from several towns. If the taxpayers of Brick can take advantage of a good investment and lower their cost of government I believe it should be done.
Jim May 25, 2012 at 03:31 AM
Lower our dam taxes jerk off. Im not going to pat your bottom and tell you any other way. You politicians make me ill. Every excuse and no solutions. Where did the red light traffic camera revenue go?

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