UNPRECEDENTED: Toms river council votes against fellow councilman Rodrick, Exclusive interview with Mr. Gartner


The Vote

Toms River Councilman Daniel T. Rodrick had a bad week. First, he lost the Mayoral primaries – badly. Then he got silenced by a resolution from his fellow councilmen.

Tuesday night all Toms river councilmen voted to censure Rodrick and demanded he resign. The vote cannot force him to resign but amps up the pressure. Additionally, the censure bans him from making comments on any township related matter – outside the Township building without legal representation.

Sources tell GreaterLakewood, the vote and censure idea was developed by the townships’ attorney. She felt Mr. Rodrick can only do harm to the Township by talking – hence banning him for speaking on township matters.

The Backstory

Mr. Rodrick was unique in his ability to bring Rise up Ocean County as well as the Jewish community together to vote against him. He ran a nasty campaign, had a viral video of him saying horrible things and he attacked the Jews – head on. The ‘flyer’ he sent out before elections was extremely bigoted and Anti-semitic.

“Ultimately Jewish people prevailed over the Greeks, Romans, Persians, and Hitler himself. Don’t think for one minute that a hater of Jews will be successful. history has repeated itself over and over and all haters of Jews have wound up on the losing end”

Scott Gartner to Dan Rodrick – GL Interview

Rodrick’s flyer showed photos of Scott/Shabsey Gartner with Mo Hill saying “MO HILL – Working with the land use committee to reduce the 10-acre rule for houses of worship.” This refers to Toms River’s current law (yes we dare say current ūüôā ) requiring houses of worship to be on at least 10 acres land.

In an exclusive interview with GreaterLakewood, Scott/Shabsey Gartner said ‘Dan Rodrick too is included in the divisive, hateful, publicly engaged, and biased rhetoric and I called for his resignation.’ Adding, ‘I gave him two weeks to come clean by me. Dan and I spent 10 minutes talking… I told Dan you can have your legacy go down as a lover or hater. You can be a peace-maker or a trouble-maker.”

Gartner continued “Ultimately Jewish people prevailed over the Greeks, Romans, Persians, and Hitler himself. Don’t think for one minute that a hater of Jews will be successful. history has repeated itself over and over and all haters of Jews have wound up on the losing end.”

“I told him” Gartner said “my goal for you, Dan, is to retract the hateful rhetoric that RUOC has been thriving off.”

Speaking with GreaterLakewood, Scott/Shabsey Gartner said he indeed supported Mo Hill for Mayor saying Mo is an incredible person ‘A great Christian who is incredibly knowledgeable on the needs of all the people. Whether it is taxes, traffic, anything – he really understands the issues at a local level.’ Gartner added ‘Mo is a neighbor of mine – he lives 8 houses away and I like him.’

It is integral to note: The TRJCC has no connection with Mr Gartner.

Scott/Shabsey Gartner’s generosity is remarkable. Recently he donated to the People’s pantry and started a fundraising campaign, sponsored the Toms River Police dodgeball game – to the tune of $4,000, and sponsored the #KneadKindness¬†challah bake event – an event intended to bring the community together – Jews and non-Jews alike.

Scott/Shabsey Gartner is active on the Ocean County human relations commission. He works with the Ocean County prosecutor – and works on ‘love thy neighbor.’ Additionally, Gartner works with the NJ AG’s office on a ‘regular basis’ to ‘ensure the community, not just the Jewish community but the Ocean County community is developing into a model community.’

In conclusion, Scott/Shabsey Gartner said for the record ‘There is no collusion, there is no bribery – any and every conversation held was done with legal and transparent protocol. There has never been any side deals or innuendos.”

All about the 10 acre rule for Shuls

Toms River zoning laws state that houses of worship must be built on properties that are a minimum of 10 acres in size.

Scott/Shabsey Gartner indeed threatened, a year ago, to sue the Toms River Township over the 10-acre law saying Orthodox Jews need to have Shuls in walking distance and 10 acres is simply not feasible. Jews walk to shul in the snow and heat, with many children coming, but many communities do not have an open 10-acre area nearby.

GreaterLakewood pointed out on multiple occasions the unfairness of this rule. The actual township building has 50X more cars than any Shul will ever have – yet they can be built on less than 10 acres.

Stores, Gas stations, Police stations, busy offices and other retail establishments can be built on under 1 acre and can have far more cars and more traffic than any Toms river Shul will ever have. It is, therefore, GL’s view, that it is clear religious institutions are being treated differently than nonreligious assemblies – a clear violation of Federal law. In our opinion the 10 – acre rule is simply a ticking time bomb.

Of course, fellow non-Jewish residents are entitled not to have Shuls pop up on their quiet cul-de-sacs but there needs to be a reasonable solution. In reality, local Townships are essentially on defense since federal religious use Law overrides local zoning laws if they are unfair.

A few lines from the federal law says:

“In addition, RLUIPA prohibits zoning and landmarking laws that:

(1) treat churches or other religious assemblies or institutions on less than equal terms with nonreligious assemblies or institutions.

(4)¬†unreasonably limit religious assemblies, institutions, or structures within a jurisdiction.”

Federal Law

Time will tell.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here