Thursday, July 10, 2008

So Long, See Ya, Good Bye Mr. Kevin Brown!

You might not know Mr. Kevin Brown if you're not from Long Branch, but those of us in Long Branch, unfortunately, have come to recognize this gentleman as the face of all that is wrong with the downtown area of Long Branch and the lone holdout to a clean, safe and prosperous community.

Three weeks ago, a state court gave Mr. Brown extra time to vacate his property so that the the City of Long Branch can move forward with it's acquisition of the property and move forward with the Broadway Redevelopment project. Now it's time to beat it Mr. Brown. Go away. I know what you must be thinking... how could *I* support "the government" taking one's private property?

Easy, so let's review the facts.

Long Branch is an Abbot district. Apparently that means Long Branch is a poor neighborhood. Don't tell that to people I see with $100,000+ Ferrari, Benz, Lamborghini, etc in Pier Village EVERY night because they might stop coming to town and spending a lot of money. Seeing as the redevelopment of the ocean front has been highly beneficial to the city (both increased revenue and MUCH lower crime), I have to suspect that additional redevelopment will only make the town even better.

Further. Mr. Brown claims to be "Pastor" Rev. Kevin Brown. Pastor of what? his "mission" has never been. Being an opportunity, Mr. Brown purchased his property AFTER the redevelopment plans were already completed and in place and he was aware of those plans BEFORE he purchased his property. The other business owners in the area, or at least the owners of Cafe Lapa - a Portuguese eatery next door, are looking forward to the redevelopment as the owners have noted a significant loss of business to the MUCH nicer Pier Village bakery/eateries. Granted, Cafe Lapa is owned by the Pax family which has a financial stake in the redevelopment, it doesn't change the fact that those rich folk with their expensive sports cars aren't likely to go park them on the street on lower Broadway, Long Branch.

Even more, it's not so much "the government" taking Mr. Brown's property as it is We the People. Yes, indeed, We the People have reelected the same mayor and team several times, knowing that the mayor and team plan to use eminent domain to make the city better. We the People of Long Branch know what we're getting and we like it. When We the People no longer like it, we'll elect a mayor who isn't running on the ED platform and/or has a "better" city plan. Further, the rest of us aren't worried about ED in our neighborhood because the rest of us 1) don't own property a high crime area 2) didn't knowingly buy property in an area marked for redevelopment and start complaining 3) are looking forward to investors spending money on improving our town. Certainly Mr. Brown is not going to spend the MILLIONS that investors are about to spend in MY town.

Mr. Brown is a scammer. He has scammed the people of Long Branch and New Jersey into giving him a free ride, and now a taxpayer funded payout for his scam. I for one, just hope that Mr. Brown has already wasted enough taxpayer money on filing lawsuits in every court at every level or comes up with the money to pay for all court expenses, including the cost to the city to have an attorney represent the city in each of his frivolous lawsuits.

FWIW - I found this blog covering the same story - sounds like I'm not alone on this one.

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