The following is a letter to the editor regarding to demise of the Brick Municipal Alliance Committee (B-Mac) several years ago, which has become an issue in the ongoing campaign for Brick Township Council. B-Mac has since been re-established. More can be found in this story.
To the Editor:
For almost ten years, I was a volunteer with the Brick Municipal Alliance Committee (BMAC), a grant-funded drug prevention program run by the Township. I started helping out at dances and other youth events when my son was in middle school and was formally appointed to the Committee in 2004. Committee members were responsible for helping at programs and events, and for fundraising for additional programs and services not provide by the grant.
Over the years, I watched the program grow and saw hundreds of Brick’s young people take part in the safe, healthy activities BMAC provided. Sometime in 2009, the Committee was told, without further explanation, that BMAC was going to be a sponsor of Summerfest. We had always had an information table at Summerfest, so it didn’t seem like a big deal.
After that though, things began to change. Money was short, programs stopped and at the last fundraiser I participated in, I noticed the donations weren’t even being made to BMAC but another organization called Brick CARES. It seemed like BMAC had disappeared.
A few years ago, I read that former Mayor Acropolis had emptied the BMAC fundraising account to pay for Summerfest and then shut down BMAC when the grant funders found out.
That is why I have been paying close attention to the talk by the Republican Council candidates led by Frank Pannucci, Jr. regarding drugs in Brick. You see, Mr. Pannucci was a member of BMAC at the same time that I was. In fact, he was Co-Chair of the Committee at one point.
So I’m curious as to when he became so concerned about drugs in Brick. Where was he when over $100,000 in program money fundraised by volunteers was used to pay for Summerfest? Where was his voice when BMAC was shut down and Brick walked away from tens of thousands of grant dollars for drug prevention programs?
Why wasn’t Mr. Pannucci sounding the alarm about the dangers of drugs then? If he was so concerned about a drug problem in Brick, as former Co-Chair of the Committee, why didn’t he fight for BMAC? If he truly cared about keeping our young people drug free, when he had the chance to stand up for what was right, why did he stay silent?