Posts Tagged ‘Mount Holly’

2014 Year in review

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

2014 was an interesting year for Mount Holly. Tried to narrow it down to a top ten events/issues of the year and it was not easy. There is actually a tie for #1

10. IM THE MAYOR DOW resigns and Belton pushed out–   Jan 1 will bring the end of local handyman Dwayne Belton’s term on Town Council. His accomplishments include promoting his business, receiving free ice sculptures for his business at the Fire & Ice Fest and well nothing more than being a waste of space. As for Rich Dow he was a ticking time bomb that finally went off. See previous posts for more details as we have officially retired his name from the site.

9. Main Street Mount Holly cancels “First Night”- It was fun while it lasted but due to lack of volunteers and funding First Night is no more. Lets hope other events like the car show, St. Patrick’s Parade and Fire & Ice continue to thrive.

8. Relief Fire Company scandal- There was a law suit filed by the fire district because the Relief refused to fix their roof and there was an issue of missing money. The suit has since been dropped as Relief gave in by opening their books and signing a long term lease giving the fire district control of the property. The culprit(s) of the missing money may never be brought to justice as it became “blame the dead guy” at 17 Pine Street.

7. Mount Holly Library Saved–  Mayor DiFolco lobbied the Freeholders to take over our struggling library and succeeded. The previously underfunded library will now remain open as a history/cultural center and a significant part of our town.

6. Mill Dam Park upgraded– A $250,000 grant was put to use at the aging park and it is now a great place to visit. Sources indicate more improvements are on the way.

5. Police Chief retires– We thank Chief Steve Martin for his years of service to our community. His retirement caused a little shack up in the MHPD as some other supervisors retired on his heals but order has been restored. Congrats to Chief Tom Mastrangelo and newly promoted Lieutenants Rich Spitler and Bill Fields.

4. Contested Primary–  For the first time we had a partisan primary in town now that our elections were changed to a partisan format. The democrat primary was interesting as two school board members and a former mayor faced off. On the republican side they could barely find candidates to file but with a twist of fate a democrat and a republican both won in the general election.

3. Thiessen returns, Grant in then out, what was Tim Young thinking and Betty Sykes is a breath of fresh air–  After spending 4 years away from public office former Mayor Jules Thiessen reemerged. Thiessen and his running mate Brian Grant won the primary democratic primary by a landslide. School Board member Tim Young ran an interesting campaign to say the least. We respect his efforts and hope he focuses his energy on positive initiatives in town. As luck may have it Brian Grant later dropped out of the race setting up an outcome that no one could have predicted. Betty Sykes the retired vital statistics registar for Mt Holly stepped in as a replacement republican candidate and won the day. Sykes and Thiessen will be sworn-in January 5 as the new council members.

2. Local Schools will get fixed– After many failed attempts to pass referendums to fix our schools it will finally get done. Over $20 Million dollars will be invested in our schools for much needed repairs. Most of the funding will come from a grant lessening the local tax burden. The difference this time was the support of local building trade unions and local union members. The school board president and company can try to take credit but we all know who actually got it passed. #boss

*1. New Breweries hopefully beginning of an economic boom- Why have one brewery when you can have two. Village Idiot Brewery downtown and Spellbound Brewery on Lippincott Lane have been great additions to our town and we encourage everyone to visit them. Both small businesses have been a breath of fresh air for our town and we look forward to watching them thrive.

*1. Significant progress in the gardens– Drive down Levis Drive and you will see a completely different scene from a couple years ago. Only a few of the old houses remain, construction is booming and the finish line is finally in sight. The DiFolco/Brown/Jones administration kept their word and Mount Holly can start to shed the stigmata of failed redevelopment.

Overall it was a good year. With the exception of the nonprofits that continue to purchase properties killing our tax base and ruining our town there has been progress. Hopefully the mayor and council continue to fight the good fight to improve Mount Holly. Less nonprofits, attract more businesses to town and more police on the streets would be a good start.

Chief Martin retiring, Mastrangelo takes command

Friday, October 17th, 2014

By Rose Krebs Staff writer Burlington County Times

MOUNT HOLLY — After 25 years with the police department, Chief Steve Martin has decided the time has come to retire.

On Wednesday, the Township Council accepted Martin’s resignation effective Dec. 31. A resolution was added to the agenda to accept the resignation. Martin will use time off accrued for the rest of the year and his last day on the job was a few days ago.

Lt. William Seitz has been serving as officer in charge for the past few weeks as Martin prepared to leave his post. But on Thursday, Township Manager Eric Berry said he appointed Lt. Thomas Mastrangelo as officer in charge starting immediately.

“Mount Holly has been good to me,” Martin said Thursday. “I worked with the best cops around as I see it. I’ll miss it.”

Martin, 45, says he eventually plans to enter the private work force. During his decorated career in law enforcement, he served with Burlington Township and Mount Holly’s department. He came to Mount Holly in March 1988, working his way up the rank from patrolman to the chief position in 2008.

The council approved a resolution honoring Martin for his years of service, including his work with the special response team, the Burlington County Joint Tactical Team, and as acting township manager from November 2012 to September 2013.

Also on Wednesday, the council took action to create a captain position in the department. An ordinance, which was not on the agenda nor was a copy provided to the public, was passed on first reading to create the position.

After the meeting, township solicitor George Saponaro said the ordinance was recommended by labor counsel, Kathleen Boncyzk of Long Marmero and Associates of Woodbury, Gloucester County. He said it will be considered on second reading Oct. 27.

Berry said Mastrangelo was appointed officer in charge Thursday to “ensure a smooth transition.”

Based on council’s action Wednesday, Berry said it seems council wants to stick with having a police chief on the force. Berry was not at the meeting.

At the time Seitz was made officer in charge, Berry also declared himself public safety director. He said the moves were intended to give the council the option of having an officer in charge and public safety director instead of police chief.

Once the captain position is in place, officials said the intention is to put someone in that post in an acting capacity until a chief appointment is made.

Relief Fire Company SCANDAL

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Missing money???

The Relief Fire Company on Pine Street is allegedly under investigation. A source from the fire company states there is “only a couple of hundred bucks left in the bank” and authorities want to know what happened to their assets.  Apparently the investigation stems from a dispute between the Fire Company organization and the Township’s Fire District that is responsible for the fire tax. The source states the Fire Company owns the Pine Street Firehouse and the Fire District rents it from them. There was  a dispute over fixing the roof of the firehouse and as the landlord Relief refused to fix it. When the dispute went to court it was discovered that $100,000+ is “missing” from Relief that just a few years ago had plenty of money in their coffers.

The Relief is well known for being America’s Oldest Fire Company but according to several members it has been “run into the ground the last several years by the people in charge of the fire company.” The fire company likes to blame the Fire District for everything when in fact they themselves are the ones to blame. Apparently the fire company has even “thrown out” members that questioned any unethical behavior even one of the fire commissioners that was a one time member.

It should come as no surprise that all those hoagie sales were a scam and the money raised did not go to a good cause. Some members of the now closed Union Fire Company on Washington Street state that they have been kept out of leadership positions at Relief when they joined after their own firehouse was closed. They should be thankful of that now it looks like criminal activity has been uncovered.

More to come on this when the court case and/or investigation is made public.

**To the be very clear the individuals allegedly involved are not the firefighters that actually respond to calls for Mount Holly Fire Dept. The culprits are mostly members of the Relief that are not active firemen and dont even live in Mt Holly. Apparently an “old guard” of non firefighting members have run the organization for quite some time now.

Primary postmortem, winners and losers

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

Belton is officially a Lame Duck!

Winners and Losers of Mt Holly’s first primary


Grant and Thiessen ran a great campaign and kept it simple. No one can deny Thiessen always had the right intentions while previously serving on council but was always stuck working with difficult Councils. Grant received the most votes in his 2012 BOE race and now came out on top in the primary. Given no surprises from the GOP or a huge infusion of money into the race the Dems are the overwhelming favorite to win in November. Even a large number of republicans have publicly stated they can’t wait to vote for Grant and Thiessen in November.

Democracy– Voters in town now get to chose who will be on the November ballot unlike previous years when deals were cut and slates of candidates were formed on High Street.

Old School Republicans– there were a couple “off the column” wins by some longtime republican county committee members. Just goes to show it does not matter what column you are in. If the people like you and think you’re a good candidate they will vote for you. End of story

Josh Brown– Tim Young ran his campaign as if he had some sort of vendetta against UEZ Director Brown, even stating he would fire Brown if elected. Everyone knows Josh is a hard worker and always advocating for our downtown business district. With Young being squashed in the primary it proves that karma eventually catches up to you.

Nick Sodano– The local democratic municipal chairman picked winners in Grant and Thiessen. He can retire on top as he has chosen not to remain the chairman of the local party. Sodano is a tenacious campaigner and delivered for his candidates.

The Evil Boss as Tim Young has titled him didn’t lose any sleep over Young’s candidacy. In fact  the mysterious man in the cigar smoke filled room was busy working on campaigns in major cities north of Burlington County. Other than having to respond to a reporter because of Young’s absurd accusations “The Boss” hardly got engaged in the local campaign. The election was won by the candidates as it should be.


Tim Young– His campaign of fear mongering, lies and unrealistic promises was over before it started. Blame the column all you want but when you’re a bad candidate you’re still a bad candidate. The local democratic party chose the better candidates and they won. The School Board member now has to face the music after trying to take credit for the hard work of the teachers and students in our schools.

Dwayne Belton– The sitting council member is now officially a lame duck. After both political parties rejected him as a candidate and not filing to run as an independent we can now count down the months of his reign. With the last sitting member of The High Street Elite choosing not to run the town can breathe a little easier. Win Win for Mt Holly!

Local Republican Party– With contested county committee seats in multiple districts the local party that dominated our town for years seems to be in disarray. By my count the party is split between old and new and it should be interesting who is chosen to run for Town Council. Its an open secret that the GOP candidates were merely place holders and they still need someone to step up and run.

Primaries for Town Council

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Township now under partisan primary process


The local Democratic Party as well as the Burlington County Democrats have endorsed Brian Grant and Jules Thiessen. The hacker kid Tim Young that works at 7-11 and didn’t graduate high school is running as well.


Placeholder candidates Patricia Cauley and Janet DiFolco filed petitions. The local republican committee will reorganize after the primary and select two candidates to run for office.

2013 Year in review

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Many changes from the new administration, Gardens lawsuit settled, Dow’s ego explodes.

We saw a new administration make the first significant changes in our town in over 25 years. When Rich DiFolco, Jason Jones and Lew Brown were sworn-in we knew change was coming. The first act of the year and probably their biggest regret was making Rich Dow the Mayor. Within a month he became IM THE MAYOR DOW and like him being mayor the rest is history.

There are more successes then failures. With new attorneys appointed by Town Council the biggest success story of the year is the Gardens lawsuit finally being settled and a solution finally in sight. A new township manager was hired and municipal recreation programs have significantly improved. A couple police officers have been hired to help battle the crime rate and word is more are on the way.

Year end acknowledgements and awards

Elected official(s) of the year- The new Town Council that got the gardens deal done

Quote of the year- “BECAUSE IM THE MAYOR” -Rich Dow

Hacker of the year- School Board Member Tim Young who hacked this site and hijacked the FB page

Player of the Year- Dwyane Belton who swears hes gods gift to women, just ask the female bartenders at Ott’s.

Winner of the year-Rich DiFolco who will most likely become Mayor tomorrow

Loser of the year- Rich Dow- self explanatory

Hypocrite of the year- Tim Young who raised our taxes every year in office then complains about the UEZ buying a christmas tree for downtown.

Predictions for the new year-

Dywane Belton will run as a republican or independent candidate (or both because he always claim to be non-partisan)

Luiz Lopez runs for office again.

Belton and Dow serve their last year ever in any elected office. (may be shorter time for Dow)

Tim Young wastes more of our tax dollars filling OPRA requests costing us thousands in legal fees to accomplish nothing.

Tim Young loses in the primary when he runs for Town Council

The local republicans bring Brooke Tidswell off moth balls to run for Council now that it is partisan elections.

The special school referendum for school improvements gets shot down again

Kent Pipes pays taxes on his properties-  JUST KIDDING

And last but not least the infusion of small batch breweries in town are successful and thrive helping the town.


Dow still in hiding

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

IM THE MAYOR DOW will spend his last two weeks as mayor hiding in shame. He’s been dodging everyone and claiming he is sick to avoid his punishment for “unethical behavior”.

Great story on Gardens by SCOTUS Blog

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

SCOTUS Blog does a great recap of the Gardens story and the hardships of the residents.

Note the idiot lawyer Maley that made over a million dollars off the project.

CLICK HERE to see the slide show/story

Press coverage of pending Gardens Settlement

Friday, November 8th, 2013

As settlement nears 10+ years of mistakes and discrimination exposed

This one is a MUST READ for every resident of Mount Holly: MSNBC story


On a positive note its refreshing to see the new majority of Town Council kept their campaign promises from a year ago and found a solution to this disastrous project that every taxpayer in Mount Holly continues to pay for.

This may be the best I’M THE MAYOR DOW yet

Friday, November 8th, 2013

A double addition of ITMD this week.

I really wished someone would start getting these on video

At Wednesday nights special council meeting Mayor Dow did what he did best, let people know that I’M THE MAYOR. This time it pulled out his classic line before the meeting even started.

Shortly before the meeting Wednesday night Rich Dow attempted to enter the front door at Holbein School only to find it locked. Running late for the meeting he became agitated and started banging on the door and yelling. You guessed it, his classic rant of “I’M THE MAYOR let me in” and “You better let me in.” Once let in the door by the police officer apparently he was very rude to the officer and expressed his disbelief that the door was not open for “The Mayor”.

Then after a meeting in which nothing really happened an angry resident Paul Bracy (who we all know is nuts) began to shout at Rich Dow. Mr. Dow’s response was classic: “Do you know who you’re talking to? I’m the Mayor you don’t talk to me that way”

You just cant make this stuff up. SMH