Lucas Farm Purchase Approved By Manalapan, Freeholders

Andrew Lucas will finally get his $1,152,000.

After almost three years since the Manalapan Township Committee Member purchased a 97 acre farm in Iron Ore Road, the Manalapan Township Committe and the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders approved the funding of their respective portion of the purchase of the development rights to the property.  Manalapan is paying $186,969.10 of the purchase price. Monmouth County is paying $277,920. The balance is coming from State coffers for the purpose of Open Space preservation.

Manalapan’s all Republican Committee approved their funds, 2-1, on Wednesday evening, according to ManalapanPatch.  Committeeman Ryan Green voted no. Deputy Mayor Jordan Maskowitz abstained.  Mayor Susan Cohen, the Monmouth GOP Vice Chair, and Committeeman Donald Holland voted to approve the purchase.  Lucas recused himself from the proceedings.  Maskowitz and Lucas are both up for reelection this November.

The isssue was heated at the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders meeting last night, with John Curley accusing his fellow freeholder, Lillian Burry, of colluding with Lucas. Lucas hosted a fundraiser for Burry at the farm in 2011, according to the Asbuy Park Press.   The APP said the exchanges between Curley and Burry were so intense that Freeholder Director Tom Arnone called multiple recesses.  Arnone voted with Curely against the purchased.  Gary Rich and Serena DiMaso joined Burry in voting for the purchase.

Democratic Freeholder candidate Lawrence Luttrell asked Burry to recuse herself.  County Counsel Andrea Bazer advised Burry that she had no conflict that would prevent her from voting.

Former Middletown Democratic Township Commitee candidate Linda Baum also spoke against the purchase on ethical grounds.

The issue has been controversial for years because, while he recused himself from voting as a committee member on the purchase, Lucas participated in deliberations about the transaction.  The State Local Finance Board approved the ethics of Lucas’ participation due to the fact that he sought the advice of the Township’s attorney.  In their opinion, the Finance Board indicated that they would be issuing new rules to cover future similar circumstances.

Posted: March 1st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Manalapan, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments »

22 Comments on “Lucas Farm Purchase Approved By Manalapan, Freeholders”

  1. TR said at 12:44 pm on March 1st, 2013:

    can’t we all just get along

  2. TeaPartyMonmouth said at 1:01 pm on March 1st, 2013:

    Merry Christmas Andrew.

    We will see you in the primary.

    From the Monmouth County Taxpayers

  3. Club Monmouth At it Again said at 2:04 pm on March 1st, 2013:

    Sheesh, I’m a Republican, but this is what happens when there is a majority on the Board without oversight.

    Why is John Curley the only R bringing up good points and questioning this???

  4. Really said at 3:05 pm on March 1st, 2013:

    Who knew Lillian Burry was still alive? I have seen her picture I thought she was a ghost.

  5. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » Democratic Freeholder Candidates Slam Lucas Farm Deal said at 6:36 pm on March 1st, 2013:

    […] on the Freeholder Board” over the 3-2 split decision to pay Manalapan Township Committeeman Andrew Lucas $1.152 million for the development rights to his […]

  6. Thank you John and Tom said at 8:55 pm on March 1st, 2013:

    Thank you for bringing debate and discussion on this issue.

  7. Like it or not, said at 10:44 pm on March 1st, 2013:

    the program is many years old, and funded by voter-approved referenda for open space and farmland preservation. In many people’s opinion, Lucas should have stepped down from his governing body once he began the years- long approvals. That being said, unless the laws change, the deal is legal. Many really need to get past the class warfare and jealousy, simply when someone has something of value to sell and make money for their family: wouldn’t you?.. the sale was approved at all three levels, and personally attacking and defaming people,with unsubstantiated claims,who simply support the land preservation, is very uncool and base behavior, and serves no purpose but to inflame emotions and grab a headline.

  8. Meanwhile, in Asbury Park said at 3:28 pm on March 2nd, 2013:

    Meanwhile, in Asbury Park, we taxpayers spend $30,000 to “educate” each student, many of which never even graduate.

    Hopefully the Tea Party marches into Asbury Park and performs their song and dance over there. $1.1 million is chump change compared to what we are robbed of in the name of “education”.

  9. Sancho Panza said at 7:36 pm on March 2nd, 2013:

    It is highly instructive that not a single politician or reporter has made even a futile effort to publicize how much Lucas paid for the swamp. After all, it should be public record, right?

  10. Why does Lucas REFUSE to reveal the purchase price? said at 8:29 am on March 3rd, 2013:

    Sancho, agree with you 100%

  11. It's all about said at 9:35 am on March 3rd, 2013:

    the land. Land once developed is gone forever. Guessing that if a separate referendum was on the ballot in the town, people would get past who owned/owns it, and vote to acquire it through that program. The Garden State is losing much of its gardening space every year, and this is just a race against time.

  12. Sorry, It's about TRANSPARENCY!!! said at 10:34 am on March 3rd, 2013:

    It’s about being above board and of course transparency. Do you not agree?

  13. Why don't you said at 11:24 am on March 3rd, 2013:

    Go and do an OPRA request, and read the reams and reams of years’ worth of appraisals, questionnaires, testing, committee mtgs. at 3 levels, letters, ethics complaints and determinations, and past boards’ votes to approve this parcel,among dozens of other applicants, and if you still need more transparency, call up the guy and ask?

  14. Can't call the guy; he refuses to divulge the price said at 11:37 am on March 3rd, 2013:

    Andy boy refuses to discuss the price, claiming it’s a business. Everyone else must disclose prices when they buy/sell homes or real estate, why not him?

    Besides, if he wanted to save it from development, all he had to do was hold onto the land and let the Township look for other properties in the town seeking preservation.

  15. When's the last time said at 11:54 am on March 3rd, 2013:

    You drove through places like Marlboro and Manalapan, and can you remember when it was nearly all farms? It’s almost impossible to get around there,with all the development and traffic,that the greedy towns permitted, for tax ratables’ revenue. Again, just because you are jealous of someone else making money,or just because you may not like this deal or that program, the majority in this country,whether we like it or not, still rules. If you are so incensed about this program, why not channel your anger and personal animosity, and name-calling,into persuading our fine legislators, all of whom are up for election this year and love to submit bills with their names on them, to create changes to the program that you and other like-minded voters can live with?

  16. I agree, BUT, he will not divulge the price said at 12:04 pm on March 3rd, 2013:

    I agree, but you asked me to ask Andy the price he paid for the land–he refuses!

    Like I said, if he wanted to preserve it, all he had to do was retain ownership of the land. This would in effect permit other properties in Manalapan to get looked at.

  17. ask where your 60 million went said at 12:16 pm on March 3rd, 2013:

    why dont you fools go ask how Asbury spends $60 million every year in school funding for a barely 50% graduation rate. you’re attacking the wrong guy and wrong place, fools.

  18. observer said at 12:31 pm on March 3rd, 2013:

    Not one applicant was ever asked their purchase price. That information is not even part of the application process.

  19. @ask: said at 12:46 pm on March 3rd, 2013:

    Couldn’t agree with you more! But it doesn’t stop there: look at every former “Abbott” district! as usual, we are another example of a state that throws more and more money at a problem, while asking little in true positive results. It will continue as long as we sucker-taxpayers allow it to.

  20. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » Freeholders Introduce Budget With $6.3 Million Spending Decrease said at 8:48 am on March 4th, 2013:

    […] Monmouth County Freeholders did more than fight over Andrew Lucas’ farm last week before voting to approve their portion of the $1.152 million purchase of his development […]

  21. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » Democratic Freeholder Candidate Sues Monmouth County Over Lucas Farm Deal said at 6:37 pm on June 11th, 2013:

    […] Lawrence Luttrell, a Holmdel attorney, has filed suit against Monmouth County on behalf of a new non-profit corporation, Residents Against Government Exploitation (RAGE), over the government purchase of the development rights to Manalapan Township Committee Member Andrew Lucas’ farm for $1.152 million. […]

  22. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » Judge Lawson: Freeholder Lillian Burry had no conflict of interest regarding Lucas farm vote said at 9:00 am on January 23rd, 2014:

    […] Monmouth County Assignment Judge Lawrence M. Lawson has ruled that “no rational fact-finder could find a conflict of interest” in Freeholder Lillian Burry’s March 2013 vote to fund the purchase of the development rights to former Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas’s Burke Farm. […]