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Point Beach Mayor Calls Council Appointments Patronage 'Orgy'

Point Pleasant Beach's Council named new court officials, a borough attorney and other professionals over Mayor Vincent Barrella's objections that the new positions were an "orgy of patronage."

Barrella particularly singled out the appointments of Borough Attorney Kevin B Riordan, Prosecutor Steven Zabarsky and Public Defender Michael Schaller as rewarding allies of Ocean County or Point Pleasant Beach's Republican Party.

Barrella also criticized the council for naming John Dixon to the Board of Adjustment instead of naming one of the alternate members to a seat on the board and naming Dixon as an alternate.

Councilman Stephen Reid challenged Barrella to find that the appointees are not qualified. 

"This Council cares about moving forward and everyone we've appointed is well qualified," Reid said. 

With the addition of Thomas Toohey and Thomas Vogel to the council, the Republicans gained control of the governing body and, therefore, the ability to name professionals, such as accountants, engineers and attorneys.  In Point Pleasant Beach's form of government, the mayor only casts a vote if there is a tie on the six-member council.

Councilman Bret Gordon was the only dissenting vote on the Council, opting to abstain on or oppose the appointments because they may conflict with anti-nepotism ordinances adopted in December before the change in the council.

The anti-nepotism ordinance was directed prohibiting elected state or county officials representing Point Pleasant Beach from getting work from the borough.  Zabarsky is a partner of Citta, Holzapfel & Zabarsky, where state Sen. Jim Holzapfel (R-10th district) is also a partner.

Barrella maintains that the firm had normally sent junior associates to prosecute cases and municipal court officials had complained. 

Reid pointed out that the firm acts as prosecutor in more than 20 municipalities and also successfully prosecuted the "Sammy the Dog" animal cruelty case in Brick in August.  Schaller is an attorney and former State Trooper who worked as chief of staff and held the rank of major and Barrella acknowledged that Schaller is "bright."

Among the less debated apointeees, the council approved filling the roll of "Animal House" judge with Brian E. Rumpf from Rumpf, Reid and Dolcy. Rumpf is a state senator from the 9th district, covering Southern Ocean County, making the appointment outside the scope of the "anti-nepotism ordinance," Barrella said.  Francis Rodman Rupp was appointed "Animal House" prosecutor.



Mike Corbally February 05, 2014 at 03:37 PM
Sean, I guess as an appointed County Employee you do understand the system. Neither I or my companies have employees. The majority appoints, as taxpayers we just hope they appoint experienced professionals that wouldn't be a financial detriment to the town.
Laura February 06, 2014 at 11:55 AM
May I remind everyone Point Pleasant Beach is the town that had Nat Sladkin as President of the REPUBLICAN Club and head of the Chamber of Commerce. Obviously not a lot of animal lovers in that club or Chamber.
Rick Ricky February 11, 2014 at 08:13 PM
Patronage jobs do go hand in hand in all the towns no matter who is in control. This is why the towns are surely sinking fast and going down the way side. PPB has one idiot after another running their towns just as the all the other towns close by. Re hiring this attorney was a slap in the face to ever resident in this town that this man deeply insulted at numerous meetings when he was attorney. Making the sam mistake twice. @A Resident, Did you really think there was going to be any difference in Vogel & Toohey? They are just different sheep that were already in place. They were voted in. Do you really think they care what the residents have to say now? How on to your wallets now? You have a new council of bloc's and corruption up there. Good Luck PPB.
Rick Ricky February 11, 2014 at 08:18 PM
mistypes... slap in the face to every resident, making the same mistake twice and Hold on to your wallets now.
Rick Ricky February 11, 2014 at 08:21 PM
Big deal lost 1 supporter, it will take 2 years for all the residents to catch on. It is obvious the residents of this town and others aren't very bright. They fall for all the bull that these council members are controlling. They are all so very gullible and easily fooled. Just look what goes on in this town. Most are not living in the real world only in their bubble world.

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