By Jennifer Gregory, CTRS
I am writing this letter in response to the countless articles written by the Asbury Park Press, their editorials, the treatment of Monmouth County Employees and the family Members of the Monmouth County Care Centers. I am an 18 years employee of Monmouth County and I work at the John L. Montgomery Care Center in Freehold, NJ. We are a long term Care facility that takes care of Monmouth County’s most vulnerable young citizens. There are 62 residents under the age of 59. Currently, our youngest resident is just 17 years old. I mention the age of our population because several of your articles have pointed out how many empty Medicaid beds are available in other private Monmouth County Nursing Homes that our residents could easily be transferred to, should Freeholder Curley succeed in Closing, Selling, or Privatizing the John L. Montgomery Care Center. These “typical” other private nursing homes are perfectly fine for your average geriatric residents but are not suitable alternatives for residents of John L. Montgomery. Our residents are in their teens, twenties, thirties, and forties, who are not grandparents or your elderly parents but they are your children, your brothers, and your sisters… They are not looking to reflect on their lives but looking to live their lives to the fullest with the possibility of new experiences, friendships, and futures. That is what Monmouth County provides its citizens with at the 5 Star Rated John L. Montgomery Care Center.
By Jennifer Gregory, CTRS
By Tom Arnone
Super-storm Sandy arrived with a fury leaving devastation and destruction just about every where you turned in Monmouth County. The effects of Sandy have been catastrophic and far reaching. We have all been forced to reckon with the likes of this tragic event of nature. Through no fault of our own, many residents were left frozen and powerless in more ways than one. The wrath of Sandy overwrought the county with crumbled boardwalks, shattered homes, bringing shattered hopes and dreams to many; buildings were destroyed by fallen trees and downed power lines with fires emerging caused major havoc throughout our great county and then…. all was still.
As I toured the areas in Monmouth County that were hit the hardest and who were impacted most severely, I walked around in disbelief. All of it was so surreal.
However, this is Monmouth County. A county filled with people of integrity who possess a passion for protecting and preserving what we as residents have come to know, love and appreciate from living in this wonderful county. Even before the chaos of “Sandy” began and continuing throughout the touchdown of the storm lasting right up until the writing of this article, our County Employees have worked tirelessly and feverishly day and night in a valiant team effort to spare our county and all its residents from even further devastation.
As I write this article today, it is with great pride and an enormous amount of gratitude that I say thank you to all those County Employees who in typical county fashion have risen to the occasion when faced with the challenges brought here by “Sandy”. A simple thank you extended to these impressive men and women somehow just doesn’t seem sufficient. Our Monmouth County employees deserve to be applauded and recognized for their outstanding heroic efforts seen throughout the entire chain of events occurring pre and post “Sandy”. Monmouth County employees are the true backbone of this great county. Under normal circumstances, we residents rely heavily on their abilities and when asked for their assistance, these Monmouth County employees perform their duties effectively and efficiently coupled with an eager responsive manner and always with a willing and able attitude. The handling of “Sandy” was certainly no exception!
Additionally, The Board of Chosen Freeholders would also like to thank and recognize the tremendous effort put forth by each and every one of our Mayors, Council Representatives, Administrators and all of the Emergency Services Personnel who were so instrumental in assisting our County Employees in securing the safety of Monmouth County and its residents. All of the support and man power you supplied certainly aided in accomplishing what needed to get done while making every second count.
Yes, “Sandy” was fierce, wreaked havoc and brought destruction, but along with this negative, she gave way for some very moving positive. What was left behind in the aftermath of “Sandy” was the true human spirit. People came together for the sole purpose of aiding one another. Friends, family members, neighbors and strangers could be seen helping each other all throughout the county. Volunteer forces came out in droves from every state in this great nation joined together to assist our county and local officials, police departments, fire departments and electric companies to name just a few. What an amazing display to observe; concerned random people from everywhere banding together united in one overwhelming effort and all for the sake of the common good of Monmouth County. It is an intangible that was left behind and that most will remember always.
Again, on behalf of the entire Board of Chosen Freeholders, thank you to our premier team of employees for getting us through thus far and who no doubt will continue in their diligence as we work through the next phase of restoration and recovery.
In closing, I reiterate with confidence something that’s been said many, many times before…..Monmouth County is the place you want to be! It certainly has been in the past and we, The Board of Chosen Freeholders, along with our great County Employees are committed to making sure it always will be.
- Tom Arnone is Freeholder Deputy Director, Monmouth County
Burry on Mallet: “She’s a fraud, she a fraud, a fraud, fraud, fraud!”
Former Freeholder Amy Mallett, a Democrat, laid the blame for the Brookdale Community College scandal that lead to former college president Peter Burnham pleading to guilty to theft by deception and official misconduct earlier this week at the feet of the Monmouth GOP’s “cozy” relationship, “Club Monmouth” with the leadership of college.
In an OpEd piece published in The
Asbury Park Press, Mallet took aim at Republican Freeholder Lillian Burry and her campaign treasurer, John Cantolupo who was the Brookdale Board of Trustees’ lawyer at the time Burnham’s lavish contract and spending irregularities were uncovered.