Development, Re-Development, Murals & No One's Running for Office ... Yet

There is so much to wonder about in both Highlands and Atlantic Highlands these days, and for sure I’ll have news stories here on some of them. But in the meantime, there is so much to wonder about.

Mark Fisher’s great research and update on the new building next to Mike’s Deli should make a lot of people wonder.

Did the Planning Board really think a blank wall as the first eye-catcher when you come into town would be a good thing?

But he also offered a solution….make it a mural, a work of art, something that will draw attention. Did the planners think of anything along those lines? Let’s hope someone contacts Jim Kovic, probably the best muralist around and an artist who knows the town, knows the people, knows the history and could do a magnificent job.

Check out his work in Long Branch, Sea Bright, and of course Miller Hill in Highlands, to say nothing of the children’s room in the Headquarters Library in Manalapan. And many more places!

Kalian has done some pretty magnificent things with four buildings in town and it’s my bet that if asked, they’d even think it’s a good idea and perhaps contribute towards it.

And with deadline at 4 p.m. Monday, it will be interesting to see the last minute entries for both school boards and Highland council for the November election.

I for one was amazed that you don’t simply pick up a form to be a candidate for the school election at the school…it’s either online or in Freehold, a Highlands employee told me. Seems like they could make it a bit easier for people who aren’t computer literate…there are still some of those around.

It was also interesting to note that phone calls to all three boards of education..that’s what it takes to run the three schools in the two boroughs ..on Friday went to answering machines, once you get through the list of different offices to contact. Seems the board members, at least in Highlands, don’t work on Fridays in the summer, even on the Friday before the last day for filing, so it’s a bit difficult to get information at the 11th hour. Never did hear from the other two boards, but Highlands did return my call on Sunday morning! Very nice, but a little late to get responses to Friday’s questions. I’m sure this doesn’t mean the office is open on Sunday, but not Friday, so it was just a very nice person picking up messages and responding.

So the Redevelopment area in Highlands will get a lot of questions now that more information was explained at the great meeting…and it truly was a great meeting. But a quick look at the owners of the properties in the area showed that the owner with the most property is none other than the Borough of Highlands itself!

Nine properties owned by the borough. Beautiful parks included, but gee, what hope do you have for a redevelopment zone when the borough’s own properties are in it and they haven’t done a darn thing all these years to improve their own properties, let alone anyone else’s.

I’m still back to a strong code enforcement program could eliminate many of the reasons enough properties “qualified” to make them part an area so disgraceful it needs help to get rehabilitated. And when you look at the other names, so many are companies, LLCs, and different companies owning different properties but located in the same business office in another town?

Then when I look at the asking price on a property for sale just outside the district but possibly owned by one who also owns property within the district and says he’d never sell, do you wonder how one could be priced at nearly a million dollars and yet the redevelopment area close by is so derelict it needs attention? Judging from the prices other houses in Highlands are now selling for, does it make you wonder whether the town is really as bad as some would have you think?

It will be interesting to see and read bios and past experiences of those running for seats on the Highlands board of education, the only one that so far appears to have any competition at all.

Want to read more of what makes Muriel scratch her head and wonder? Check out the related posts below!


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