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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Re the MAC - Letter in Thursday's Press/your reactions?

As a lifelong resident of West Long Branch and a Monmouth University alumna, I am compelled to react to Bill Handleman's column on university President Paul Gaffney. ("A town's issues cry out for a compromise," Jan. 14.)

Of course, Gaffney is frustrated. The university is trying to compare itself and compete with Division I schools that have several campuses such as Seton Hall and Rutgers.

Neighbors in proximity of the university endured frustration long before Gaffney took over. We have been frustrated with unkept promises the university has made with regard to expansion. Promises made should be upheld, regardless of who is at the helm.

Our frustration has turned to animosity because we are faced with the negative impact university growth has on homeowners. Although our "good neighbor" has adamantly stated the university does not pose "quality of life issues" for us — traffic, code enforcement on rental property, noise, underage drinking — we know better.

Reasonable people have approached Gaffney with compromises. The Monmouth University Liaison Committee presented Gaffney with a request to provide significantly reduced tuition to nearby residents to take courses to help offset the loss in property values.

Reduced tuition is not such an outrageous idea. Similar advantages are given by state schools in other states as a way to attract long-term growth in a community. Here, a private institution needs to be neighborly to help meet its goals. It would help stabilize the value of homes close to the university by making properties attractive to young families looking to establish roots in the community as opposed to being a rental property, vacant a portion of the year and bringing down surrounding properties.

University officials "studied" this and said it was a compromise they were not willing to make.

Perhaps if they reconsider giving back instead of bullying, they would be perceived as a "good neighbor."

Antonia Berbrick

WEST LONG BRANCH

13 Comments:

Blogger Tony Graham said...

A blogger alerted me to this which appeared in today's Press...

Well, I guess when all else fails the good citizens of WLB, they may as well try a little black mail.....that's how it looks to me anyway.


Notice there was no precedent set by private schools according to this letter.


And I want to see the realtor that says homes in WLB, near MU or not, are dropping in value...

6:49 PM, February 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a matter of fact Tony, don't these ingrates actually get some tax relief with a big ratable like MU in their town?

6:20 AM, February 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, this is certainly a novel approach to the situation -- let's oppose everything MU ever wants to do because it won't offer Accounting 101 with the 'good neighbor' discount! And where does this one think this good neighbor policy should reach out to -- just the good folks of WLB, or maybe their neighbors in Eatontown, or Red Bank, or Middletown, or ....hell, let's cut everyone's tuition in 1/2! That'll get MU some love!

Tony, doesn't your editorial editor read these 'complaints' before sticking them in the paper? Could this have possibly sounded like a plausible reason to stop the MAC to him?

The problem is, this kook isn't alone. I know there's always the 'town idiot', but it seems like WLB is a town OF idiots!

8:47 AM, February 02, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

A letter to the editor is sort of like our blog.

While many posts here are very well structured and informative, etc., a few are not always up to that level.

But..if they don't break our "rules" I usually run them anyway.

As for this letter - it was as you - a say novel approach. I certainly hadn't seen it before.

9:22 AM, February 02, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

I do not know about the tax relief situation. Maybe someone out there does...

9:36 AM, February 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just how does a significant tuition discount offset their loss in property value? How do you even calculate that? Also, who would get it and does it apply to each home owner. No wonder the university refused to do it. It makes no sense at all. How dare this guy talk about signifcant discounts when the university donates thousands of dollars in to numerous projects in this town. We clean up their neighborhoods in the spring, provide family entertainment, educational enrichment and community theater right in their back yard.

9:38 AM, February 02, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Bottom line I guess..is that it all comes down to the Thursday WLB zoning board meeting on whether to change the (well at least one) vote.


While that, in my opinion, would be the "right" thing to do for all parties involved, that would fly in the face of recent WLB history on this issue.

From there it would be on to the courts....

9:45 AM, February 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep reading about "unkept promises". Would someone please, PLEASE, clue everyone in on what the promises were? Who made them? When? To whom? On what authority? Were they supposed to be forever? And what do they have to do with the MAC?

And "the university is trying to compare itself and compete with Division I schools ...such as Seton Hall and Rutgers"? Seems like all they're trying to do is keep their head above water athletically with the Quinnipiacs and Sacred Hearts of the world. That's not exactly Big East territory.

1:23 PM, February 02, 2007  
Blogger bob curran said...

Tony,
I say we raze all the homes of the people complaining and turn it into a parking lot for the MAC.Just a thought.

2:53 PM, February 02, 2007  
Blogger JMG1MON said...

Dear Antonia Berbrick,

Are you kidding me??? A "good neighbor discount"?? What other private school offers a "good neighbor" discount??? Answer is NOONE!!!! You want a neighborly discount??? GO TO A PUBLIC SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!! Property values going down??? I want proof of that!!! Don't make a comment without providing fact!!!

I'm with other bloggers on this issue now. Bring it to the courts and ask for as big an arena and as many capacity events as you would like. No more of this garbage from the town. Give them the ultimatum of take this proposal or face legal action!!

3:35 PM, February 02, 2007  
Blogger JMG1MON said...

Here, a private institution needs to be neighborly to help meet its goals. It would help stabilize the value of homes close to the university by making properties attractive to young families looking to establish roots in the community as opposed to being a rental property, vacant a portion of the year and bringing down surrounding properties.


I'm 26 years old, and I'm telling you I would not be looking to buy in West Long Branch. It has nothing to do with Monmouth either. It is simply: TOO EXPENSIVE!!!!!! You want younger families to move in to the area, sell your properties for cheaper!!!!!!!!!!! Don't blame Monmouth University because the average home in West Long Branch is probably somewhere around $600,000 or more (just a guesstimate). If you lower the price, they will come!!!

3:42 PM, February 02, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

I believe the ""promises" involved - whatever they were - refer to the former MU president Rebecca Stafford who left 3-4 years ago...though I do not have any specifics as to what they might have been ....

6:18 PM, February 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tony,

football games bring in over 3000 people a game. There are zero traffic issues during those events. The mac will basically attract the same attendance.

These people simply want something to cry about.

WLB property value has really dipped lately, LOL.

-rev

4:11 PM, February 03, 2007  

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