Monmouth County Freeholders Adopt Budget With Zero Tax Increase

Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry Photo by Vinnie Amessé © www.amessephoto.com

Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry

For the fourth straight year, the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders adopted a county budget with no tax increase.

At their meeting April 10 meeting the Freeholder Board, comprised of 5 Republicans, adopted $480.9 million budget, a $100,000 spending reduction from last year’s budget.  The amount raised through property taxes is $302,475,000, the same amount raised every year since 2010.

“It is a challenge every year to try to cut spending without impacting the level of services our taxpayers have come to expect,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry. “This process is not something that is done in haste. This budget reflects the months of work that has gotten us to a flat tax rate for the fourth year in a row.”

“This year, an internal budget subcommittee met with each department to look for duplicative services and identify areas for consolidation and savings,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Gary J. Rich, Sr., liaison to the Finance Department. “This process has yielded savings in the areas of information technology, finance, human resources, building maintenance and legal services.”

Monmouth County relies less on taxes than most other New Jersey counties. As a percentage of the overall budget, Monmouth County’s taxes comprise 62 percent of the total budget, historically behind Union, Hudson and Essex counties.

“The department heads deserve a lot of credit for their hard work in paring down the budget,” said Rich. “This is the fifth year in which we asked for concessions from the departments and, as a result, this is the fourth year in which the tax levy has remained the same.”

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Posted: April 14th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Meanwhile at the Monmouth Democratic Convention….

….there were no surprises out of the IBEW Local 400 Union Hall in Wall this morning.

Senator Cory Booker was endorsed for the nomination to seek his first full term in the U.S. Senate.

Congressman Frank Pallone was nominated for his 14th term in the House of Representatives.

In the 4th congressional district, criminal defense attorney Ruben Scolavino has agreed to take another one for the Democratic team.  Scolavino lost to Sheriff Shaun Golden, 64%-36% last year.  He will likely face a worse fate against Congressman Chris Smith who running for his 18th term.  Scolavino is probably angling for a Judgeship.

For Monmouth County Freeholder, Larry Luttrell, a Holmdel attorney who came in last against Freeholders Tom Arnone and Serena DiMaso in 2013, hopes to do better this year against Freeholder Director Lillian Burry and Deputy Director Gary Rich who were renominated by the Monmouth GOP this morning.  Joining Luttrell on the County Democratic ticket for freeholder is Joe Grillo of Asbury Park.  Grillo is making his first run at elected office.  He is the municipal chairman of the Asbury Park Democrats, the former executive director of the Monmouth Dems, and works for his family’s tile business.

CD-4 Candidate Ruben Scolavino, Larry Luttrell, Senator Cory Booker, Joe Grillo, Congressman Frank Pallone, NJ Democratic Chairman John Currie and Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal.

CD-4 Candidate Ruben Scolavino, Larry Luttrell, Senator Cory Booker, Joe Grillo, Congressman Frank Pallone, NJ Democratic Chairman John Currie and Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal. Photo via Pallone’s facebook page.

 

Posted: March 22nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races, 2014 Elections, 2014 U.S. Senate race, Monmouth County, Monmouth Democrats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Burry and Rich Are Renominated by Monmouth GOP

IMG_9217Freeholder Director Lillian Burry and Deputy Director Gary Rich took a first ballot victory over Howell Councilman Bob Walsh at the Monmouth GOP Convention this morning.

The unofficial results are:

Gary Rich 294

Lillian Burry 227

Bob Walsh 199

IMG_9214In the race for the U.S. Senate nomination, there was no first ballot winner. Murray Sabrin and Rich Pezzullo qualified for a second ballot which is now being taken.

The first ballot Senate numbers were are follows:

Rich Pezzullo  164

Murray Sabrin 105

Brian Goldberg 72

Robert Tukevage 44

 

Posted: March 22nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Monmouth Freeholders Introduce Budget With No Tax Increase For 4th Consecutive Year

Spending is reduced to 2008 Level

Freeholder Gary Rich, Liaison to the County Finance Department

Freeholder Gary Rich, Liaison to the County Finance Department

The all Republican Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders introduced their budget for the coming year on Thursday evening at the Eastern Branch of the County Library system in Shrewsbury.  The $480.9 million budget is $100,000 lower than the current year’s spending and, for the fourth consecutive year includes no tax increase on Monmouth County property owners.

Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal did not issue a statement congratulating the freeholders. When last we heard from Gopal, he was threatening legal action against the owner and publisher of this site for ridiculing his false statements about Republicans.

The budget plan reflects a continuing effort by the freeholder board to reduce County spending while dealing with increased costs and reduced revenue.

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Posted: March 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County Budget | Tags: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Monmouth Democrats Are Off And Running

Monmouth GOP has its pants on the ground

Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo. Photo via facebook

Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo. Photo via facebook

Their nominating convention is not until March 22 at the IBEW Local 400 union hall in Wall Township, but Monmouth County Democratic freeholder candidates Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo are off and running full speed ahead.

Luttrell, the Holmdel attorney who came in last against Freeholders Tom Arnone and Serena DiMaso, as well as his running mate Brian Froelich, after being endorsed by the Asbury Park Press last year, announced he was running again almost immediately after his sad showing.

Grillo is the former Executive Director of the Monmouth Democrats and the municipal chairman of the Asbury Park Democrats. Like Luttrell, he has never held elected office. Grillo was briefly a candidate for the Asbury Park City Council last year, withdrawing from the race prior to the filing deadline. Since leaving his position as ED of the Monmouth Dems, Grillo has worked for his family’s tile company in Howell.

Grillo stepped up his game over the weekend with a fundraising email blast that announced his candidacy.  He raised $6,200 online through Sunday. A Democrat who does not want to be known for talking to a Republican leaning site told MMM that Grillo has raised over $20,000 for his campaign including checks collected offline. His stated goal is to raise $50,000 by the June 3rd primary.

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Posted: March 10th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Elections, Monmouth County, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Bob Walsh: “The Monmouth GOP’s Brand Is Tarnished”

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, 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: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , | 52 Comments »

Bayshore Tea Party Group Boasts of 1000 Members, Staunch Backers of Anna Little

gonzalez sign blocking

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: | Filed under: Anna Little, Barbara Gonzalez, Bayshore Tea Party Group, Monmouth County, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

Elf on the shelf?

Walsh won’t say if he’s running for freeholder

photo via facebook

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: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , | 30 Comments »

Burry and Rich take leadership roles on Freeholder Board

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.

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: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County Sheriff's Office, Press Release | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

2014 Predictions

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: | Filed under: 2014 Elections, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments »