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Acropolis Strikes Back Following TRMUA Criticism

Brick mayor defends against criticism from political foes, friends

Brick's mayor, after being dragged into the mudslinging of a mayoral race in a different town, has defended his record and has some tough words for .

The controversy started last week at 's Council meeting, where Brush called for the Toms River Municipal Utilities Authority to be dissolved. Brick Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis has been the executive director of that authority since last summer. Brush, Toms River Mayor Thomas Kelaher's opponent in Toms River's mayoral election this year, has been campaigning on a promise to , which he has called a "patronage pit" for GOP politicians.

At the council meeting, Toms River Councilman Gregory McGuckin denounced Brush's move as a "campaign-year tactic" but added that it's something the township has been quietly investigating.

"It's old news," Acropolis said, of his job directing the Toms River MUA, at which he makes $93,000. "I've been the executive director for a year."

Compounding matters, John Ducey, a Democratic candidate in this year's Brick Township council election, called on Acropolis to resign from either his mayoral position, at which he makes $53,000, or the Toms River MUA job.

"Acropolis has abandoned his duties as mayor of Brick in favor of his higher-paying patronage job in Toms River," Ducey said in a statement to Brick Patch. "It's no surprise that our property taxes in Brick have gone up 24 percent in the last year alone, with our mayor constantly out of town."

But Acropolis said he puts in his hours in Brick.

"I'm there pretty much every single day," Acropolis said, explaining that, essentially, every elected official has a full-time job in addition to his elected office, and needs a primary source of income once a political stint is over.

"If someone was the manager of a making, let's say, $70,000 a year, and became mayor, does somebody really expect that manager to leave that job, take the mayor's job at $50,000? What are you going to go back to?" Acropolis said. "Every single elected official has a primary source of income."

He also took aim at Brush's former stint as Toms River mayor, which ended in 2007.

"Other than changing the name from Dover to Toms River, I don't know what he did," said Acropolis.

As for Kelaher, Acropolis said, as he understands it, some quotes were "taken out of context" in the media.

Acropolis did say he would support the idea of regionalizing authorities such as the Toms River MUA, but not eliminating them and having municipal governments swallow them up.

But back in Brick, Ducey said Acropolis holding two jobs is just wrong.

"Acropolis should resign immediately," Ducey said. "Two full-time salaries for one politician, at a cost of $146,000 to taxpayers, is just wrong."

Acropolis is not up for re-election this year, but the majority of seats on Brick's governing body are up for grabs. Republicans currently control all seven seats. Ducey, along with running mates Susan Lydecker, Jim Fozman and Bob Moore – who also called for Acropolis' resignation – would all have to come out victorious in November to wrest control of the council from the Republicans.

Joseph Woolston Brick September 28, 2011 at 02:25 AM
Tea Party, I thought they were going to be a new and exciting movement, different from D's and R's and somehow they have merged with the R's. I thought they would be some type of independent force, now their in the same canoe. It's a shame ( or is it a sham).
Joseph Woolston Brick September 28, 2011 at 02:39 AM
You people have no clue how despised the Mayor and town council are by the voters of Brick. I will guarantee you four of them will be gone this November and the rest by the next, along with Steve. They should attend our neighborhood meetings, do you know what the biggest suprise is, the people who absolutely can't stand them, are D's, Independents and believe it or not, even an enormouse amount of R's. I have never met so many Republicans that are sorry that they voted for Acropolis. I'm an Independent, I voted for Acropolis and I promise not to make that mistake again! It will take a long time for a Republican to get back into office in Brick, it will takes years to get the taste out of our mouths of this administration.
Joseph Woolston Brick September 28, 2011 at 03:19 AM
Don't know about the other voters, but I can tell you my story. I went to school with Acropolis, I knew his reputation and he wasn't well liked. So when time came to vote I was going to vote Democratic BUT I really didn't know the Democrat running that well, he wasn't a great speaker and a little befuddled, so at the last minute, I decided to go with what I know and I voted for Acropolis, as soon as I started back to my car, I had almost instant buyers remorse, I even said to myself aloud, what did you just do, I even wondered if I could go back and change or nullify my vote. But I just kept walking. It didn't take long to realize that I had made a HUGE mistake. Then came the Ice Palace debacle and you better believe I signed that petition, could you imagine where we would be right now if that has gone through? He blamed the opposition to it on all the Democrats in town, not realizing it was the people of the township that didn't want that dilapidated ice box. I then realized he was out of touch with reality. Then he turned Summerfest into Summercrap. Started charging for Windward Beach which went over like a lead balloon and nobody goes there anymore. Then lets mention the friend and family Crony Club that he formed, The Foodtown fiasco Then came the threats to services and all the lies and finally we all got the tax hikes. Bravo! I don't have buyers remorse anymore, I had total remorse!
Joseph Lamb September 28, 2011 at 04:37 PM
This is a very important election. If all 4 of the Ducey team get elected, the council will control the overall budget, make commissioner appointments to the BTMUA and Housing Authority, make appointments to the Planning Board and Board of adjustment so the taxpayers will have an opposing view of the activity taking place and the council can prevent the December bond ordinances that will cost us.
Joseph Lamb September 28, 2011 at 04:40 PM
Anyone want to bt that the $6.7 million that M&M owes for Foodtown shows up just in time for Stevie's reelection to keep the tax rate down in that year? We could have used that $6.7 million this year.

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