Jeffery W. Foster resigned from the Wall Township Committee last week. He is applying to be the Director of Public Works for the Township and wants his application to be considered on it’s merits, not based upon his political position.
Foster was elected to the Township Committee in 2007 and served as mayor in 2012. He has been chairman of the Public Works Committee throughout his tenure.
Foster, 59, has been looking to get a municipal public works position for last the last few years. He applied to be the Director of Public Works in Belmar two years ago. Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty said Foster’s application was given serious consideration. “Jeff would make an excellent Public Works Director,” Doherty told MMM in a phone interview.
Foster has also applied to be an Assistant Public Works Director in Middletown. He sold his auto repair and towing business last summer. He started working as a maintence worker at the New Jersey Department of Transportation last September. “They let me use the heavy equipment,” Foster said, “I love this work. ”
Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden has picked up the endorsements of the elected officials from a third large municipality in his quest to replace John O. Bennett III as the Chairman of the Monmouth County Republican Organization.
Mayor Clint Hoffman, Deputy Mayor George Newberry and Township Committee Members Ann Marie Conte, Jeff Foster and Todd Luttman, the entire governing body of Wall Township, signed a letter on Wall Township Republican Organization letterhead and addressed to Monmouth County Republicans today, strongly endorsing Golden for Chairman. Their letter can be found here.
The Wall governing body joins the elected officials of Middletown and Howell in supporting Golden.
Wall Township Mayor Anne Marie Conte will not be a candidate for Freeholder when the Monmouth County Republican Committee meets on January 14 to elect a successor to Assemblyman-elect Rob Clifton, according to Monmouth Republican Affiliated Club President and Wayne’s World Reporter Wayne Pomanowski.
Pomanowski said that Conte called him to asked that her photo and bio be removed from the Affiliated’s website. Reportedly Conte was stung by criticism from Wall Township residents, including an OpEd piece by 2010 Monmouth Democratic Sheriff candidate Eric Brophy published on the Wall Patch, that she was seeking higher office so soon after being reelected to the Township Committee.
Conte was not available for comment.
Pomanowski also said that Manalapan Deputy Mayor Ryan Green is definitely a candidate and that Hazlet Mayor Scott Aagre is close to entering the race. Green’s bio and photo are on the Affiliated site.
A strong argument could be made that the path to becoming a Monmouth County Freeholder goes through Red Bank realtor Jim Giannell’s office.
Since 2005 when he backed Colts Neck Mayor Lillian Burry, Giannell has picked every non-incumbent Freeholder nominee except two. One exception was Marlboro Councilman Jeff Cantor who replaced Freeholder Anna Little, a Giannell pick, on the ticket in 2007. Cantor lost a close election to Democrat John D’Amico and then left the Republican party for Jon Hornick’s Democratic organization in Marlboro. The other exception is John Curley. Curley was Giannell’s pick over Serena DiMaso in 2008. Curley narrowly lost to Amy Mallet in the Obama landslide. In 2009 Giannell backed Kim Spatola, a former Atlantic Highlands councilwoman over Curley. Curley prevailed at Joe Oxley’s first candidate selection screening and went on to defeat Sean Byrnes of Middletown in the 2009 Christie landslide in Monmouth.
With the election of Gary Rich earlier this month, 3.5, counting Curley, of five Freeholders owe their offices to Jim Giannell. If the former Red Bank municipal chairman’s pick in the current race to replace Assemblyman-elect Rob Clifton, Howell Mayor Bob Walsh, is elected on January 14, Giannell will have picked all five members of the board.
While the Freeholders may owe their careers to Giannell, there is little, if any, evidence that he is a boss, in the classic New Jersey sense of the word. Once they take office, the Freeholders go their own way. Burry is supporting Anne Marie Conte over Walsh in the current race. Curley and Tom Arnone are staying out of the race for now.
Here is a list of Giannell’s picks for non-incumbent Freeholders since 2005:
2005: Lillian Burry. Burry ran with incumbent Bill Barham. Barham was elected at a Republican convention earlier in 2005 to replace long time Freeholder Director Harry Larrison. Even in the wake of the Operation Bid Rig scandal which tarnished the Republican brand, Barham and Burry defeated Democrats Barbara McMorrow and Rebecca Aaronson and Independent Brian Unger. The Republican victory was in large measure do to the Asbury Park Press’s call for voters to bullet vote for Unger. Back then the APP’s endorsement still had influence. Unger garnered over 18,000 votes. Burry’s margin of victory over McMorrow was only 1,792 votes.
2006: Anna Little and Andrew Lucas. Little was elected, by one vote, over Howell Mayor Joe DiBella at a convention to replace Amy Handlin who had been elected to the Assembly. Giannell managed Little’s campaign and her floor fight at the convention. A month later at a contentious multiple ballot nominating convention, Giannell and candidate Terrence Wall threw their support to Lucas in an anti-establishment move against DiBella and then Chairman Fred Neimann. Little went on to win the rest of Handlin’s unexpired term in the general election. Lucas lost to Barbara McMorrow.
2007: Giannell did not have a candidate. Little, his successful pick in 2006, spent a contentious year battling with Chairman Puharic and Freeholder Director Barham. Little declined to seek the nomination rather than submit to Puharic’s rules for screening and the convention. Cantor was selected to join incumbent Rob Clifton on the ticket. Clifton won. Cantor lost to Democrat John D’Amico.
2008: John Curley was Giannell’s pick over Serena DiMaso who had the backing of Chairman Adam Puharic. Burry was Curley’s running mate. In a photo finish election dominated by Obamamania, Burry prevailed and Curley lost to Amy Mallet on the count of provisional ballots. Democrats took control of the Freeholder Board for the first time in 20 years.
2009: Giannell backed Chairman Joe Oxley in supporting Atlantic Highlands former Councilwoman Kim Spatola over Curley. McMorrow was up for reelection and was considered a lock to be reelected. Nominating a woman, given the pro woman gender gap demonstrated by Burry and Mallet’s 2008 victories was considered the only hope of defeating McMorrow. Just before the nominating meetings for both parties, McMorrow announced she would not seek another term. Curley won a roll call vote at Oxley’s first screening selection. The Democrats scrambled to find a candidate to replace McMorrow, settling on Byrnes from Middletown over Mike Beson of Neptune Township. Curley defeated Byrnes and Republicans won back control of the Board.
2010: Giannell’s pick, Tom Arnone, narrowly defeated former Middltown Committeeman Tom Wilkens and Spring Lake Councilman Gary Rich. Arnone and incumbent Rob Clifton went on to defeat D’Amico and Spring Lake Councilwoman Janice Venables.
2011: Giannell backed Rich over Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas, who had Burry’s support, Walsh, and Wall Township Committeeman George Newberry. Rich won the nomination with 25 votes in the screening committee. Lucas has 23 votes and Newberry 22. Walsh withdrew before the polling. Rich and incumbent Burry went on the defeat Mallet and newcomer William Shea earlier this month.
2012? Monmouth County Republicans have not had a nominating convention of all county committee members since 2008. It remains to be seen if Giannell can pull off another close race. Don’t bet the house against Bob Walsh.
Freeholder John Curley will be elected Director of the Board by his colleagues when the Monmouth County Board of Freeholder reorganizes in January, MMM has learned. Freeholder Tom Arone will be elected Deputy Director.
Curley said he will use the opportunity to continue his work to reduce the size and cost of county government. He said he was concerned about the amount of surplus used to hold the line on property taxes in the current fiscal year. He sees savings coming from using more part time employees and outsourcing government functions where possible. Curley said he hopes the county is able to sell the nursing homes it owns.
Arone sees the continued expansion of shared services as an opportunity to reduce costs for municipal governments while enhancing revenue for the county.
Freeholder Lillian Burry who has served two terms as director and broke the glass ceiling when she become the first female director said Curley would do a good job in the post. Burry was elected to her third term on the Freeholder Board earlier this month. She said her focus will be on the projects she has been working on, notably, the redevelopment of Fort Monmouth and the park system.
Curley, Arone and Burry are each taking a strong interest in the race to fill Assemblyman-elect Rob Clifton’s seat on the board. The new Freeholder will be running with Curley in the 2012 general election and with Arone and Sheriff Shaun Golden in the 2013 election, assuming a 2012 victory.
Neither Curley or Arnone expressed a preference for any of the announced candidates, noting that the field may not be set.
Burry recruited Wall Township Mayor Anne Marie Conte into the race and is supporting her for the post.
Curley said he expected a strong challenge from the Monmouth County Democrats in 2012, mentioning Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty and Freeholder Amy Mallet, who lost her reelection bid earlier this month, as possible challengers.
Wall Township Mayor Anne Marie Conte and Atlantic Highlands Councilman Peter Doyle are candidates to fill the Freeholder seat being vacated by Freeholder Director Rob Clifton upon his swearing in to the State Assembly.
Conte and Doyle join Holmdel Deputy Mayor Serena DiMaso and Howell Mayor Bob Walsh as candidates in the Republican County Committee election which will take place on January 14th. Both Conte and Doyle were reelected to their current offices earlier this month.
Atlantic Highlands Councilman Peter Doyle
Doyle confirmed to MMM that he is throwing his hat in the ring, saying, “I think I can do a lot for Monmouth County.” Conte was not immediately available. Multiple reliable sources told MMM that she is “definitely” running. The sources said that Conte was running for the vacant seat at the urging of Freeholder Lillian Burry.
Burry confirmed her support of Conte. “Anne Marie is exceptionally competent and intelligent. I’ve been impressed with her enthusiasm and the job she has done in Wall,” said Burry, “she would make an outstanding Freeholder, but must first get through the process of the convention.”
The Monmouth County Affilated Republican Club’s website mentions Manalapan Deputy Mayor Ryan Green, Manalapan businessman Joe Ficalora, Keyport Chairman Bob Burlew, Hazlet Mayor Scott Aagre, and former Freeholder Bill Barham as possible candidates.
The County GOP’s official website has an announcement urging potential candidates to call Chairman Joe Oxley as soon as possible at 732-431-6664.