Monday, November 26, 2007

Matawan: One of the best places in U.S. to raise kids

According to BusinessWeek, Matawan, New Jersey is the 12th best place in the United States to raise kids. Congratulations to everyone over there, especially the kids. Click on the headline to go there.


Aberdeener said...

If true, it's a sad commentary on the rest of the country. High taxes, failing public schools, and no "Main Street" that gives a town its character.

Still, I do love it here.


Well, the high taxes are something that every community should be trying to deal with. "Failing public school" -- I don't think I would say that at all. The dedicated educators in Matawan and Aberdeen deserve better than that -- much, much better.

But the "Main Street" thing, I suppose, addresses the Train Station Project.

The Matawan Train Station Project was a $750 million plan that was proposed by the company of Piscataway developer Jack Morris. Mr. Morris's plan was not previously selected by the joint board Aberdeen and Matawan convened for the purpose of selecting a joint plan, based on not meeting the specifications designated by the joint board.

Consequently, it was stated on the record by former Aberdeen Town Manager Mark Coran that political influence was asserted in an attempt to get the plan pushed through by elected and non-elected parties, despite the shortcomings identified by the joint board. Mr. Coran said lobbying on behalf of this plan by certain Monmouth County elected officials was intense, regardless of the shortcomings with this proposal. But such influence was not fruitful and did not work.

By the time it was clear Mr. Morris's plan was not going to be adopted by the joint board, Matawan unilaterally pulled out of the board and Mr. Morris's company was named the "lead developer" in Matawan by the Matawan Borough Council.

Following this, Mayor Robert Clifton, who did not vote on the Morris appointment, ran for his first term as a Monmouth County freeholder. Subsequently, his campaign received a $5K donation from an East Brunswick PAC that had received donations from Mr. Morris's company.

This was discovered by The Courier, Mr. Clifton was notified (several months after his election) and he returned the money, from private means, back to the PAC.

Meanwhile, an attempt at getting Matawan residents to buy into this singular vision of the redevelopment was made by the then-Republican controlled Matawan Borough Council. This was not successful to date, and the project is undeveloped.

Many questions remain by elected people, and I suppose many residents.

Aberdeener said...

Check the New Jersey Report Card for our high schools - we pay above average but get below average results in every category.

Matawan also has the distinction of having one of the worst nursing homes in the country.