Howell Councilman Bob Walsh, second from left, and Freeholder Gary Rich, right, are set to compete for a 2014 GOP nomination. Andrew Lucas, left, then a Manalapan Committeeman and Wall Township Committeeman George Newberry, between Walsh and Rich. Photo from 2011 Freeholder nomination race.
Howell Councilman Bob Walsh, a candidate for one of two available nominations for freeholder at the Monmouth Republican Convention on March 22, said that the Monmouth Republican Party’s brand has been tarnished by the Burke Farm deal with Andrew Lucas and by the Brookdale Community College scandal that resulted in former Brookdale President’s Peter Burnham’s conviction for official misconduct and theft.
Incumbent freeholders, Director Lillian Burry and Deputy Director Gary Rich are seeking to be nominated for reelection at the convention.
Speaking on the record, Walsh said that many “neutral people, people who know nothing” that he encounters think that the Lucas farm deal and the Brookdale scandal are examples of Republican corruption. Walsh said that he talks to these people and tries to correct their perception, “but it is out there and a lot of people think that way, it’s a common thread.”
Walsh was very careful not to speak negatively about Burry and Rich specifically while discussing his own candidacy. ”I don’t consider that I am challenging them,” he said, “I am seeking an office according to the rules. No one is elected forever. People complain and complain about government, yet keep electing the same people. That’s what’s wrong with this country.”
“People say that government should be run as a business. I have a very good record in business, as a licensed banker, and a very good record as mayor of Howell that I am proud of. I think I am an asset and will be an asset to the freeholder board. I have energy, passion and the flexibility to do the job.”
While not specifically accusing anyone of complacency, Walsh said that his candidacy and his service, if elected, would be a battle against complacency in county government.
“Complacency has no place if public service,” he said, “I am very pleased with some of the things I see happening since I started running.” He declined to elaborate.
Walsh said he expected that this November’s election will be more contentious that usual.
Posted: February 26th, 2014 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth GOP | Tags: Bob Walsh, Gary Rich, Lillian Burry, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth GOP | 48 Comments »
Bayshore Tea Party Group member Frank Gonzalez, husband of the group’s co-founder, Barbara, installs homemade lawn signs on Rt 35 in Middletown during the 2013 Monmouth County Republican primary campaign
Bayshore Tea Party Group co-founder Barbara Gonzalez told HuffPost that her group has nearly 1000 members and that they are staunch supporters of former Highlands Mayor Anna Little’s quest to unseat Congressman Frank Pallone, in an article posted last evening.
“If you don’t get someone in who is totally willing to fight the establishment, it will never change,” Gonzalez told HuffPost.
Little lost to Pallone in 2010 and 2012 with BTPG’s support, but Gonzalez thinks it will be different this year.
Gonzalez said her membership roll has grown by “a couple of dozen new members” since earlier this month when the Bridgegate controversy broke.
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Posted: January 30th, 2014 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Anna Little, Barbara Gonzalez, Bayshore Tea Party Group, Monmouth County, Monmouth GOP | Tags: 4 am robocall, Anna Little, Barbara Gonzalez, Bayshore Tea Party Group, Bob Gordon, Bob Walsh, Bridgegate, Declan O'Scanlon, Frank Pallone, Gary Rich, Joe Kyrillos, Leigh-Ann Bellew, Lillian Burry, Monmouth GOP, Monmouth GOP Freeholder Nomination, Serena DiMaso, Shaun Golden, Tom Arnone, Wake up call | 17 Comments »
Walsh won’t say if he’s running for freeholder
Howell Councilman Bob Walsh. photo via facebook
It’s been almost two months since Howell Councilman Bob Walsh told us he would challenge Republican freeholder incumbents, Director Lillian Burry and Deputy Director Gary Rich, at the upcoming Monmouth Republican Nominating Convention. In our early December interview, which Walsh claimed he thought was off the record after publication, he said he would be sending a letter to member of the Monmouth County Republican Committee shortly after the first of the year.
Now, at the end of January, there’s been no letter, and Walsh wouldn’t say if he’s running when we called him late last week. ”I’m busy at work and have a few things to take care of; go to the doctor for my annual check up. Then I’ll decide,” Walsh said.
But Walsh was overheard at a Howell Republican Club meeting last week saying he was going to run and he was seen working the crowd at Sheriff’s Shaun Golden’s Winter Breakout fundraiser on Friday.
One Republican insider who requested not to be named said Walsh is running. ”He’s all in and its going to be a shit show,” the committee member said, ” he’s calling the municipal chairmen.”
Manalapan GOP Chairman Steve McEnery said he hasn’t heard from Walsh. “He hasn’t called me,” McEnery said, “so I really don’t know what he’s going to do, but I don’t think we need a convention fight for freeholder nominations.”
Another chairperson said Walsh is probably gauging his level of support before committing. “A lot of people rallied around Lillian and Gary as a result of your article in December,” the chair said, “they both (Burry and Rich) have issues, but nothing that disqualifies them. Why should we have a fight just because Bob Walsh wants to be a freeholder?”
Burry, who said Walsh “should wait his turn” in December, laughed when told that he in now equivocating. ”One day he’s running, the next day he’s not. You’ll have to ask him,” Burry said, “I’m running. I already have more than enough signatures on my petitions and I’m still collecting.”
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Posted: January 27th, 2014 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth GOP | Tags: Bob Walsh, Gary Rich, Lillian Burry, Monmouth GOP, Monmouth GOP Freeholder Nomination | 30 Comments »
Arnone, DiMaso sworn in as freeholders
Shaun Golden sworn in as County Sheriff
Freeholder Tom Arnone, the 2013 Director, turns over the gavel to 2014 Freeholder Director Lillian Burry. Don Burry, the director’s husband, and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande look on with approval.
FREEHOLD, NJ – Monmouth County freeholders Lillian G. Burry and Gary J. Rich, Sr. became, respectively, freeholder director and deputy director at the Board’s 2014 organization meeting held on Jan. 2 at Biotechnology High School.
“In the year ahead, I promise to work tirelessly for changes we desire that will make better lives and a stronger economy for the people of Monmouth County,” said Director Burry. “We have much work to do in transitioning Fort Monmouth into an engine for economic growth while restoring services for our veterans, finding a balance between economic development and historic preservation at Fort Hancock, creating a new County Master Plan and completing the County’s Child Advocacy Center.”
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Posted: January 6th, 2014 | Author: admin | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County Sheriff's Office, Press Release | Tags: Gary Rich, Lillian Burry, Press Release, Serena DiMaso, Shaun Golden, Tom Arnone | 1 Comment »
Happy New Year MMM readers! 2014 has been a great year so far!
Here’s what we expect in the year ahead.
Senator Cory Booker will narrowly defeat Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick in the U.S. Senate election. Bramnick will be the instant front runner for the GOP gubernatorial nomination in the 2016 special election.
Marlboro Mayor Jonathan Hornik will be a speaker at numerous Democratic Clubs throughout New Jersey and will establish himself as a major fundraiser for Democratic candidates on the municipal and county levels. Hornik will proclaim that the only thing he is running for is reelection as Marlboro’s mayor in 2015.
The 11 incumbent New Jersey Congressmen running for reelection will win. The Republican nominee in the third congressional district seat currently held by Congressman Jon Runyon, who is not seeking a third term, will be elected. Tommy DeSeno will write a column complaining about gerrymandered districts.
Senate President Steve Sweeney will keep picking on Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr.
Governor Chris Christie will have more public appearances in Iowa, South Carolina, Texas and Florida, combined, than he will have Town Hall Meetings in New Jersey.
Anna Little will seek the Republican nomination for Congress in the 6th district, hoping for a third shot at Congressman Frank Pallone. Little will lose at the Monmouth and Middlesex nominating conventions and wage a primary. The Bayshore Tea Party Group will sit out the 6th district primary, citing their commitment to Dr. Alieta Eck’s campaign in the 12th district. Eck will be unopposed for the 12th district nomination to take on Congressman Rush Holt.
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Posted: January 1st, 2014 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2014 Elections, Uncategorized | Tags: Adam Schneider, Anna Little, Asbury Park Press, Bob Walsh, Chris Christie, Cory Booker, Dr. Alieta Eck, Ed Zipprich, Frank Pallone, Gary Rich, Joe Grillo, John Moor, Jon Bramnick, Jon Hornik, Jon Runyon, Larry Luttrell, Lillian Burry, Matt Doherty, Pat Menna, Steve Sweeney, Tom Kean JR, Tommy DeSeno | 19 Comments »
Freeholders Tom Arnone and Serena DiMaso with Sheriff Shaun Golden
The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders will hold their annual reorganization meeting on Thursday, January 2, 2014, 4 PM, at the Biotechnology High School, 5000 Kozloski Road, in Freehold Township.
Freeholders Tom Arnone and Serena DiMaso will be sworn into their new terms of office, as will Sheriff Shaun Golden.
Freeholder Lillian Burry is expected to be elected Freeholder Director for 2014. Freeholder Gary Rich is expected to be elected Deputy Director.
The 2013 Freeholder Board will hold a Sine Die meeting to conclude the years business at 2PM on the 2nd, at the Monmouth County Hall of Records.
The Latin term Sine Die means the final adjournment of a legislative session, without adjourning to a specific time or date; literally it means “adjournment without a day.”
Posted: December 30th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County Sheriff's Office | Tags: Gary Rich, Lillian Burry, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Freeholders, Serene DiMaso, Shaun Golden, Tom Arnone | No Comments »
Howell Councilman Bob Walsh, second from left, and Freeholder Gary Rich, right, are set to compete for a 2014 GOP nomination. Andrew Lucas, left, then a Manalapan Committeeman and Wall Township Committeeman George Newberry, between Walsh and Rich. Photo from 2011 Freeholder nomination race. Photo credit Rhoda Chodosh
Freeholder Lillian Burry: “They (her opponents) should say what they would do better. Their negative attacks make them look like asses. They are asses!”
The By-Laws instituted by Monmouth Republican Chairman John Bennett as the fulfillment of one of his major campaign promises in 2012 will likely result in one of his most ardent supporters, Freeholder Lillian Burry, being challenged at the 2014 Monmouth Republican Nominating Convention in March.
Howell Councilman Bob Walsh said he will seek a nomination for freeholder when the Republican County Committee convenes next spring. Incumbents Burry and Freeholder Gary Rich both said they will seek the nominations for new terms…Burry’s 4th, Rich’s 2nd…and that they are prepared to fight back Walsh’s challenge.
“Tell him to wait his turn,” Burry said of Walsh’s challenge. “I’m running and I support Gary Rich for another term.”
“I’ve heard the name mentioned as a candidate,” Rich said of Walsh, “but I haven’t heard from him. It is interesting that he would challenge an incumbent like Lillian Burry who has such an exemplary record serving the taxpayers of Monmouth County. Lillian and I both work very hard to improve the county.”
“Freeholders are not elected for life,” Walsh, a former Howell mayor elected as an Independent, said, “my record speaks for itself. Lillian and Gary are both vulnerable. The Democrats are looking to take them out are excited about running against them. I am more electable than either of them and I would be a better freeholder than either of them.”
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Posted: December 4th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2014 Elections, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth GOP | Tags: 2014 Freeholder races, Andrew Lucas, Andrew Lucas farm, Bob Walsh, Gary Rich, Jim Giannell, John Bennett, Lillian Burry, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP, Serena DiMaso, Vin Gopal | 29 Comments »
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.
The plaintiff non-profit could be called LAGE, Luttrells Against Government Exploitation. The trustees of the entity are Luttrell, his wife and his mother.
Luttrell is a Democratic candidate for Monmouth County Freeholder.
The all Republican Monmouth County Board of Freeholders passed a resolution by a 3-2 vote on February 28 to join the Township of Manalapan and the State of New Jersey in purchasing the development rights to the Lucas property for farmland preservation. The county contributed $277,920, Manalapan paid $186,969 and the State picked up $687,111 of the purchase. Freeholders Lillian Burry, Gary Rich and Serena DiMaso voted in favor of funding the purchase. John Curley and Freeholder Director Tom Arnone voted no.
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Posted: June 11th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2013 Election, Lillian Burry, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth Democrats | Tags: Andrew Lucas, Andrew Lucas farm, Diamond Developers, Gary Rich, John Curley, Larry Luttrell, Lawrence Luttrell, Lillian Bury, Local Finance Board, Lucas Farm, Serena DiMaso, Tom Arnone | 10 Comments »
The 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 rights.
By a unanimous 5-0 vote the all Republican board introduced a 2013 budget that reduces county spending by $6.3 million. The amount to be raised by property taxes will remain at the 2010 level. Spending is budgeted to be below 2008 levels.
“We continue to face the pressures of increased fixed costs and reduced revenues, but were able to reduce the total budget below 2008 levels and maintain a zero increase to the tax levy,” Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone said. “As has been the case for the past several years, county departments were asked to cut their budget allocation proportionately to help this board reduce the impact on the taxpayers.”
The budget appropriates $481 million in spending. $302,475,000 will be raised from property taxes. The remaining $178.525 million comes from federal and state funds, shared services agreements, and fees.
Freeholder Gary Rich noted that the county has reduced its workforce by 15% since 2008.
While the freeholders introduced a budget that reduces spending and keeps the tax levy flat, they also passed a resolution that allows them to increase the tax levy by 3.5%.
The county budget is tentatively scheduled for adoption at 7 p.m. March 28, following a public hearing. The freeholders will make a PowerPoint presentation on the budget March 5 at the Monmouth County Eastern Branch Library, Route 35, Shrewsbury and at 7 p.m. March 19 at the Monmouth County Library Headquarters on Symmes Drive, Manalapan. The public is invited to attend and offer comments.
Posted: March 4th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County Budget, Property Taxes | Tags: Andrew Lucas, Cap Bank, Gary Rich, Lucas Farm, Monmouth County Boad of Freeholders, Monmouth County Budget, Property Taxes, Tom Arnone | 5 Comments »
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: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Manalapan, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders | Tags: Andrew Lucas, Donald Holland, ethics, Gary Rich, John Curley, Lillian Burry, Linda Baum, Local Finance Board, Lucas Farn, Manalanpan, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Freeholders, Open space, Ryan Green, Serena DiMaso, Susan Cohen, Tom Arnone | 22 Comments »