Middletown Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger, Laura Saker and Richard Saker
Middletown– Mayor Gerald Scharfenberger, PhD. and the Township Committee awarded Richard Saker the Distinguished Citizen Award at the Township Committee meeting on February 15.
Saker, the head of Saker ShopRites, Inc., was honored for his ongoing and significant contributions to the township’s Cultural and Arts Council, the Middletown Arts Center, and Middletown Day. He’s a major sponsor of many township outreach programs including the Welcome Home Picnic for Vietnam Veterans and the Mayor’s Food Basket. He’s also dedicated member of the Economic Development Committee, explained Mayor Scharfenberger.
Middletown, NJ- Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger, Ph.D. announced today that the Township is ready for the coastal storm that is expected to hit New Jersey on Friday.
“Middletown is ready to face what may be the first major snow storm of the season,” said Scharfenberger, “The township has 153 pieces of equipment at its disposal to clear snow from more than 650 lane miles of road.”
The fleet includes 83 township plows, brining machines, sanders, and other heavy equipment. The township can put more equipment on the road this year thanks to the recent acquisition of several army surplus vehicles at no cost. The other 70 plows are provided by local contractors who augment township snow removal efforts as needed.
Acting Governor Kim Guadagno administered the Oath of Office to Mayor Gerald Scharfenberger, PhD, on Sunday when the Middletown Township Committee reorganized for 2016.
Selected by his fellow members of the Township Committee, Scharfenberger replaces Stephanie Murray who served two terms as mayor through 2014 and 2015. Scharfenberger praised the “spectacular job” Murray did as mayor and expressed his gratitude to her for what she taught him about leadership and public service.
Scharfenberger has been a member of the Township Committee since 2005 and previously served as mayor in 2007,2008, 2009, 2010 and 2013.
Guadagno swore in Committeeman Tony Fiore as Deputy Mayor and Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden administered the Oath to Committeeman Steve Massell who was elected to his third term on the Committee last November.
When the NJ Turnpike Authority set out to build an extension and exits 15E and 16E on the Turnpike in 2001, a long forgotten cemetery of unmarked graves, a “Potter’s Field,” was discovered on the site known throughout the years as “Snake Hill,”Laurel Hill,” and more recently “Graffiti Hill.” Dr. Gerry Scharfenberger, PhD, was a member of the team of archaeologists that recovered, identified and re-interred the 4571 bodies that were first buried at the site, as well as over 100,000 historical artifacts.
On Tuesday, October 20, Scharfenberger, a Middletown Township Commiteeman,will be making a fascinating presentation about the site which during the late 1800’s to mid 1900’s was the home of a county jail, a “lunatic” asylum and a tuberculosis asylum.
The event,which is free and open to the public, will take place at the Middletown Arts Center, 36 Church Street, at 7:30PM until approximately 8:30 p.m.
Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino was in custody for over 2 hours on simple assault charges
Fiore wants the Monmouth County Prosecutor to investigate
Middletown Committeeman Gerry Scharfenberger cuts the ribbon at Sorrentino’s tanning salon last March. photo via facebook
Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino was arrested in Middletown this afternoon after Township Police broke up a fight between the reality TV star schmuck and his brother Frank.
Detective Lt. Steve Dollinger told MMM that a call came into to the Middletown PD shortly after 2PM reporting a fight at the tanning salon owned by Sorrentino. The actor was arrested, charged with simple assault and released on $500 bail at around 5:15. Dollinger declined to comment further, but other sources told MMM that Frank Sorrentino had a black eye and that Mike’s hand was bandaged as a result of the fisticuffs.
The story of Sorrentino’s arrest was first reported by TMZ, the entertainment gossip website. Last week TMZ, which is located in Marina del Rey, California, broke the story that employees of the tanning salon filed complaints with the Middletown Police that their $100-$200 paychecks had bounced.
All five members of the Middletown Township Committee have announced that they are backing Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden in his bid to replace John O. Bennett III as Chairman of the Monmouth County Republican Organization.
Front, Mayor Stephanie Murray and Deputy Mayor Kevin Settembrino. Rear, Committeemen Tony Fiore, Gerry Scharfenberger and Steve Massell. Photo via MiddletownNJ.org
Mayor Stephanie Murray, Deputy Mayor Kevin Settembrino, and Committee Members Gerry Scharfenberger, Stephen Massell and Tony Fiore, all Republicans, issued a statement through Fiore .
“Sheriff Golden will bring a new energy to our Party and make us even stronger in delivering the best and most efficient county and municipal governments in New Jersey to the people of Monmouth County.
“Shaun has demonstrated a commitment to excellence and innovation while improving the performance of the Sheriff’s Office and controlling costs to the taxpayers on both the county and municipal levels. We believe his leadership and executive skills will greatly serve Monmouth County residents in a political capacity as well.
“Shaun will move our party forward and is the best person to heal any fractures that have occurred over the years.
“We appreciate the good job that Chairman Bennett has done during his term, but now, we face new challenges as elected officials and political leaders. We can’t afford to rest on our laurels, but must move forward with fresh eyes and with a renewed commitment to improve our performance for the people we represent and serve.”
Fiore told MMM that the committee members were speaking for themselves, not for the Middletown Republican Organization. Middletown GOP Chairman Peter Carton is aware of their endorsement, but has yet to speak with Golden or Bennett, Fiore said.
Gerry Scharfenberger is the only member of Middletown’s Township Committee of non-Italian American descent. Gerry did the honors at the ribbon cutting and said the right things.
“The goal is always to fill vacant storefronts, so whenever that happens it is a positive thing,” he said. “And if the star power they have is able to help them and the other businesses here, that’s even better.”
But the expressions on Gerry’s face in the pictures at NJ.com tell another story, which prompted MMM to look further into the situation.
Why wasn’t Mayor Stephanie Murray presiding on the high profile ribbon cutting? She finds the situation offensive.
“While I wish the business success for the sake of the existing businesses in the shopping center, I don’t personally support Mr. Sorrentino as his insensitivity and disrespect toward women (calling women “grenades” for example), is appalling and offensive, Murray said, “Additionally, as an Italian-American who loves and lives at the Jersey shore, the image Mr. Sorrentino projects is equally offensive.”
Committeeman Tony Fiore is also not happy with the situation.
“While Mr. Sorrentino has the right to open a business anywhere he chooses, Mr. Sorrentino has done nothing to help promote a positive image of the Jersey shore or Italians who live or visit the Jersey shore,” Fiore said, “In my view no self respecting Italian who grew up in NJ, lives at or loves the Jersey shore would help promote his business. While I wish him like any other business in Middletown success, he shouldn’t expect Middletown to embrace the circus that he is bringing to the Middletown.”
The Middletown Library Board of Trustees will consider hiring a part time executive director to replace Susan O’Neal.
O’Neal submitted her resignation to the board last evening as part of a negotiated termination. Board President Brock Siebert declined to comment on O’Neal resignation, citing a confidentiality agreement. The termination won’t be official until approved by the Middletown Township Committee. Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger also declined to comment.
O’Neal’s continued employment became untenable when her emails with Linda Baum, a Democratic candidate for Township Committee revealed that she was colluding with the Middletown Democratic Party to undermine the authority of the Board of Trustees. The emails were released as a result of an Open Public Records Act request on the part of Committeeman Tony Fiore. Fiore became suspicious that O’Neal and Baum were colluding when Baum shared confidential information she should not have been privy to at a public meeting. Baum unsuccessfully sued to block the release of the emails.
Brock said the board’s personnel committee will meet next week to discuss a search for O’Neal’s replacement. Hiring a part time executive director is one option he wants to committee to consider.
With remarkable teamwork on the part of the candidates, county and municipal leaders and key members of the legislative delegation outside of the 13th legislative district, the Monmouth County Republican Organization earned the resounding endorsement of a Republican electorate that has proven over the years that performance and integrity matter far more to them than party loyalty.
Big egos checked, big leaders pulled together to support each other. A real team emerged.
By virtue of his long term friendship with Governor Christie and his campaign for U.S. Senate last year, State Senator Joe Kyrillos is on every Christie mind reader’s short list of possible U.S. Senators to replace the late Frank Lautenberg.
Assuming Kyrillos defeats Leigh-Ann Bellew in the primary today, his move to the U.S. Senate would create a vacancy for the nomination for State Senate in LD 13. If either Assemblywoman Amy Handlin or Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon move up to the Senate slot, as would be expected, there will be an Assembly nomination vacancy.
Neither Handlin nor O’Scanlon will say if they want the State Senate seat, which probably means they both want it. Even so, I would expect that they would work that out amongst themselves rather than have a convention fight.
A nominating convention for the resulting Assembly vacancy would bring out a wealth of Republican talent.