Progess in Tourism, Share Services, Infrastructure and Economic Development
By Freeholder Tom Arnone
Freeholder Tom Arone
The Belmar Seafood Festival was a huge success and the County enjoyed having the opportunity to show its presence over the three day weekend. It was estimated that crowds exceeded 150,000 over the three day weekend and as liaison to the Department of Tourism, I was happy to have had the opportunity to speak with so many individuals. On July 4th, Monmouth County Public Information and Tourism will have a booth at Oceanfest on the boardwalk in Long Branch. The booth will be open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. All are encouraged to attend and join in the celebration that will end at 10 p.m. with an evening of spectacular fireworks.
The most recent meeting of The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders was hosted and held in Asbury Park. Monmouth County’s Department of Public Works and Engineering has been performing vehicle preventative maintenance and repairs for Asbury Park’s fire trucks and emergency vehicles at a cost savings of 40% to the City’s taxpayers. While the Division of Highway has been assisting the local municipalities with sediment removal projects to enhance water quality and reduce flooding.
Additionally, as the Freeholder representative to the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority and Freeholder Liaison to the Department of Public Works and Engineering, I am pleased to report that in the next few weeks, the County expects to receive a federal grant for $10.5 million for the reconstruction of Bridge O-10 on Sunset Avenue over Deal Lake between the City of Asbury Park and the Township of Ocean.
This past week, the New Jersey state Senate and Assembly both passed the “Opportunity to Compete Act,” which prohibits businesses with more than 14 employees from asking applicants to check a box to indicate whether they have been convicted of a crime. Additionally, businesses would be prohibited from asking first-time interviewees if they’ve been convicted of a crime.
It has been reported that NJ Governor Chris Christie’s office worked with the legislators on the language of the bill; thus, Christie is expected to sign the bill into law.
New Jersey is already one of the least business-friendly states in the United States. According to the Tax Foundation’s 2014 State Business Tax Climate Index, NJ was the 2nd least business-friendly state – based on over 100 criteria – and ranked at the bottom in income taxes, corporate taxes, sales tax and property tax. And this ranking does not account for the Democrat-controlled legislature’s zeal to increase the “millionaire’s tax” that affects far more people making less than a million dollars a year than people making more than that.
A substitute teacher at Matawan-Aberdeen High School was arrested on Thrusday and charged with engaging in sexually explicit conversations with two female students, ages 15 and 17.
Philip Riveley, 29 of Woodbridge, was charged with two counts of second degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child. He is being held at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution on $150,000 cash bail.
The arrest is the result off an investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Special Victims Bureau and the Matawan Police Department. The Woodbridge Police Department assisted in Riveley’s arrest.
If convicted, Riveley faces a prison term of five to 10 years.
Asbury Park – An overflow crowd of Asbury Park residents attended the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders meeting in the city last evening to rally the county’s governing body to save the north end beachfront property known as Bradley Cove.
iStar Financial, the city’s master developer, owns the development rights to the site and has a proposal to build 15 town homes on the property. The Asbury Park Council passed a resolution earlier this month to apply for Green Acres funding to preserve the property.
The freeholders were sympathetic to the public outcry to prevent the development, but made it clear that the ball is in Asbury Park’s court. Prior Asbury Park administrations sold the development rights to the property and approved a tax abatement to support the development. Community members are now trying to undue that deal, and seem be hoping that Freeholder Board has the power to make that happen.
“Drew’s Law” is named for 11 year-old Drew Keough Cerrata. The boy was killed in a motor vehicle accident last April
Legislation proposed by Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth) and Senator Nicholas Sacco (D-Bergen and Hudson), Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, would lower speed limits to 15 mph on roads adjacent to or passing through parks when they are open or when children are present. Violators would face fines of between $100 and $400, double the current amount.
Dubbed “Drews Law,” the legislation is named Drew Keough-Cerreta, the 11 year-old Keansburg boy killed last April by a vehicle that was apparently traveling at the 25 mph speed limit.
“The Keansburg community is still reeling from this terrible loss,” said Kyrillos . We must make sure the roadways around parks give our children the utmost safety. The time to do that is now. Slowing traffic is a small price to pay and I thank members of Drew’s family and others for their input on this important measure.”
Joseph W. Pezzano, Drew’s uncle and a 29 year veteran of the Keansburg Police Department, was on duty and answered the call when his nephew was struck.
In a statement issued in support of the legislation, Pezzano said,
For the second consecutive week an anonymously sourced national media report has suggested that Governor Chris Christie could be prosecuted for conduct involving the Port Authority of NY/NJ.
A New York Timesreport published on the Gray Lady’s website last evening and in the print edition this morning suggests that Christie could be prosecuted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the Security Exchange Commission for pushing the Port Authority to fund $1.8 billion in repairs to the Pulaski Skyway. The NYTimes report relies heavily on dozens of memos and emails that investigators reviewed and the NYTimes obtained. Most of the documents mentioned in the story involve Bill Baroni, the former State Senator and Christie’s point man at the Port Authority until his resignation last December.
Governor Chris Christie took a break from the budget battles in Trenton yesterday to raise money for wounded veterans and Boomer Easion’s Cystic Fibrosis Foundation by playing on a celebrity softball game at Yankee Stadium. Christie played third base and grounded out at the plate.
In a column in the current issue of the triCityNews, Freeholder Director Lillian Burry said that one of her opponents in the coming election was right when he accused Burry of not supporting “agricultural and farmland preservation in “coastal” towns. “It’s for the same reason I don’t support beach replenishment in Upper Freehold and Millstone. There aren’t any beaches there, just as there aren’t a lot of farms in Red Bank or Long Branch or Asbury Park.”
Burry points out that there in only one parcel in the region qualified for the farmland preservation program, in Long Branch, and that the owner of the property has not applied to sell the development rights to the program which is funded by municipal, county and state dollars.
At issue is beachfront property at the north end of Asbury Park that is slated for residential development. There is some vocal opposition to the proposed development and Democratic Freeholder candidate Joe Grillo is trying to jump on that band wagon to get traction in his fledgling campaign against Burry and Deputy Freeholder Director Gary Rich.