By Monmouth County Freeholder Director Tom Arnone
In observance of this past Memorial Day, we should take the time to remember those who lost their lives while bravely serving our country. It is because of these heroic men and women that we can continue to enjoy the freedoms they so bravely fought to defend.
Let it also not be lost on us the sacrifices made by the families of these heroes, including Gold Star Mothers. Through their grief and heartbreak, these women have been pillars of strength in their communities, keeping alive the legacies of their loved ones. I would also like to thank those who have served and are currently serving our country.
I encourage all parents and guardians to talk to their children about the importance of honoring and remembering those who have fought for our country. It is important to teach our children to recognize and remember the sacrifices made by those who serve our country throughout the entire year, not just during certain occasions and holidays.
Over the weekend, I joined my fellow Freeholders in attending parades and Memorial Day ceremonies throughout the County. As always, I appreciate the thought and planning our municipalities put into hosting meaningful ceremonies in honor of those who served this great nation.
On a separate note, I had the honor of speaking at two important events last week. First I attended the Monmouth County Police Academy Graduation where I spoke to our future Law Enforcement leaders to thank, congratulate and welcome them as they embark on their careers as law enforcement professionals. I then attended the Educational Services Professionals Programs Annual Event where I spoke to the outstanding teachers and educational service professionals who play a vital role in shaping our youth; the future of our community. Both of these organizations are the backbone of our community and I want to thank them for their dedication and service.
Additionally, I have been traveling to different municipalities in the county on a Shared Services tour. My goal is to educate these towns on the shared services programs that the county provides. As liaison to the county’s Shared Services Department, I want to ensure that Monmouth County is and will remain the leading Shared Services County. I look forward to continuing to work together with our partners.
On a different note, I had the opportunity to host the 2019 Annual Summer Kick-Off Press Conference on May 20th in Belmar alongside my Freeholder colleagues, Sheriff Shaun Golden and Clerk Christine Hanlon. As the liaison to the Office of Public Information and Tourism, I am proud to say that Tourism is a $2.6 billion industry in Monmouth County and it was no surprise to hear that the county saw an increase in visitors last year! Nearly 8.6 million people came to the area last year, making Monmouth County one of the top five most visited counties in NJ! As always, It is a pleasure to work with local tourism officials to ensure Monmouth County not only remains one of the best places to live, but also one of the best places to visit. Remember, it’s “The Place You Want to Be!”
I would like to thank Belmar and the Belmar Elementary School officials for helping us coordinate our press conference and kick off another successful and fun summer season. I would also like to congratulate the winners of the third-annual Monmouth County Summer Kick-Off Poster Contest, which was opened this year to fourth-grade students at Belmar Elementary School.
As warmer weather approaches, I would also like to remind everyone to be extra cautious while driving. Schools will soon be out and children will be playing outside and riding their bicycles throughout their neighborhoods. Please be vigilant, share the road and please put your phone down – don’t be a distracted driver.
Lastly, I would like to remind everyone to check out the County’s tourism website, www.tourism.visitmonmouth.com. Once there, you will be able to find events, activities and things to do in Monmouth County throughout the summer season and the rest of the year.
As always, it’s a privilege to serve as your Freeholder Director.