The four of the five members of Manalapan’s Township Committee, all Republicans, endorsed Monmouth County Republican Chairman John O. Bennett III for a second term as Chairman yesterday.
In a statement released by Bennett which can be found here, the Mayor Jordan Maskowitz, Deputy Mayor Jack McNaboe, and Committee Members Mary Ann Musich and Susan Cohen, the MCGOP Vice Chairwoman, said:
It is a great honor to stand with John O. Bennett in his campaign to seek a second term as Chairman and Vice-Chairwoman, respectively. The bottom line is that John Bennett has kept all of his campaign promises from two years ago, and the Monmouth County Republican Party is stronger today than it was then.
John’s first promise when running two years ago was to implement a new set of by-laws and move to a convention system when selecting candidates in order to make the entire process more democratic. John has done this, and now County Committee members select our organization’s candidates, not political bosses in the back room.
Manalapan Township Committee Members Mary Ann Musich, Deputy Mayor Jack McNaboe, Mayor Jordan Maskowitz, Susan Cohen and Ryan Green
John also pledged to put in place a Board of Directors to meet and advise the Chairman, and he has met this promise as well. Now, Republican representatives from all over the county have a direct say in the County Party. He also promised to keep our County Party headquarters open and staffed full time, and has done this. The County Party headquarters has been an invaluable resource for Manalapan Township. Last year at the headquarters, our campaign volunteers made phone calls into Manalapan every Monday night on behalf of Governor Christie, our County candidates, and our local Township Committee candidates.
We encourage County Committee members not just of Manalapan, but all of Monmouth County to vote for JohnO. Bennett, a proven leader and party builder, at the June 10th Chairman’s Convention. Thank you.
By a 4-1 vote the Manalapan Township Committee elected Jordan Maskowitz to serve as mayor for the year 2014.
Ryan Green, the sole vote against Maskowitz, nominated Susan Cohen to serve a third year as mayor. Cohen declined Green’s nomination and nominated Maskowitz.
Green said Maskowitz lacks the integrity to be mayor. Green accused Maskowitz of violating the Open Public Records Act and announced he provide evidence of OPRA violations, 50 emails, to the Monmouth County Prosecutor tomorrow.
Maskowitz said that the emails Green was referring to were contract related and not subject to OPRA.
Cohen broke from her prepared remarks to rebuke Green. She said that Green was grandstanding and that if he believed the law had been violated he should have immediately gone to the prosecutor. Cohen said she would have gone with Green to the prosecutor if she believed there were OPRA violations on the committee.
Green said he had the unanimous support of the Township Committee members to be mayor in 2014, prior to his writing the State Department of Community Affairs and the State Department of Health with concerns over the committee’s negotiations with the Englishtown-Manalapan First Aid Squad.
During the public portion of the reorganization meeting, Manalapan Republican Chairman Steven McEnery said that he make a mistake in ever recommending Green for public office. McEnery said that Green had proven not to be a team player, rather he is only out for himself. McEnery apologized to the the entire Monmouth County Republican Commitee for recommending Green be elected a freeholder in 2012.
Jack McNaboe was elected Deputy Mayor by a 5-0 vote.
The Manalapan Township Committee unanimously approved an agreement with the Englistown-Manalapan First Aid Squad on December 11, 2013 that will permit the previously all volunteer squad that provides first aid and ambulance service for free to Manalapan residents to form an non-profit entity to would hire paid EMTs to supplement the declining ranks of volunteers and bill residents who use the services the amount that their health insurance companies would otherwise pay to private first aid and ambulance companies.
Township Committeeman Ryan Green joined his fellow Republican committee members in voting for the agreement with EMFSA, but then went public with a letter to the editor to the NewsTranscript in which he criticized Mayor Susan Cohen and Deputy Mayor Jordan Maskowitz for failing to seek input from the public on what Green calls “a major change.”
John “Jack” McNaboe will be appointed tonight to fill the vacancy on the Manalapan Township Committee created by Don Holland’s resignation, according to the township’s GOP Chairman Steve McEnery.
McNaboe currently serves as chair of the township Planning Board and as a member of the Emergency Management Subcommittee.
The new committeeman will defend the seat in the November general election. If victorious, he is expected to run for a full term in 2014.
McNaboe will be joined by Deputy Mayor Jordan Maskowitz and Mary Ann Musich as Republicans seeking to maintain 5-0 controll of the governing body in November. Maskowitz is seeking his second term. Musich was nominated last Saturday to run for Andrew Lucas’ seat. Lucas chose not to run again, giving up a grandfathered pension eligibility and health benefits, after selling the development rights to his farm to the State Farmland Preservation Program for $1.152 million.
Musich currently serves as a Commissioner on the Western Monmouth Utilities Authority (WMUA), a post she has held since 2012. Prior to serving on the WMUA, Mrs. Musich spent more than 15 years on the Manalapan Township Zoning Board of Adjustment, where she also served as Chairperson. Outside of her experience in Manalapan, Mrs. Musich is retired from a 20 year career in municipal government, having worked for the East Brunswick Sewage Authority.
Manalapan GOP Chairman Steve McEnery told MoreMonmouthMusings that Andrew Lucas has chosen not to seek reelection to the Manalapan Township Committee, citing the demands of raising two young children and of building a new house on the farmland to which he just sold the development rights to the taxpayers for $1.152 million.
Lucas is completing his third three year term on the committee. He was a GOP nominee for freeholder in 2006.
The Manalapan GOP Committee is meeting Saturday morning March 9 to choose the replacement for Committeeman Don Holland who resigned on Monday and an additional candidate to run for Lucas’ seat in the fall. Committeeman Jordan Maskowitz is seeking reelection.
With three seats now open in November, the 5-0 Republican control of the Manalapan Commitee is now at stake in November.
Manalapan Township Committeeman Andrew Lucas’ $1.152 million sale of the development rights to a farm in owns in the Township was not approved by his colleagues on the committee this evening. The motion to approve the Township’s $187,000 contribution to the the purchased failed on a 2-2 vote.
Committeeman Ryan Green first moved to table the purchase due to incomplete documentation. Committeeman Jordan Maskowitz voted with Green to table the purchase. Mayor Susan Cohen and Committeeman Donald Holland voted against tabling. Cohen and Holland then voted to approve the purchase. Green and Maskowitz voted no. Lucas the fifth member of the committee recused himself from voting on the purchase of his own property.
Green told MMM that Lucas left the dais when the matter came up and left the building. Lucas did not return for the remainder of the Township Committee meeting.
Green said he has not decided how he would vote when and if the documentation for the sale is completed.
Monmouth County’s portion of the purchase is on the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting of the Board of Chosen Freeholders. The Freeholders will not proceed without Manalapan’s portion of the purchase being approved, according to Freeholder Director Tom Arnone.
Lucas, Manalapan’s former mayor and a former GOP candidate for freeholder, purchased the farm which had been slated for development in March of 2010 for an undisclosed amount. Soon thereafter he started the process of selling the development rights, for $1.152 million, through funding through the State, County and Township. Lucas participated on Township Committee discussions of his application.
The purchase approved by the Freeholder Board in May of 2011 was held up by an ethics complaint filed by former Manalapan Mayor George Spodak. The State Agriculture Development Committee conditioned its funding on an satisfactory ethics review of the transaction. Local Finance Board Chairman Thomas Neff wrote Lucas in September of last year to inform him that his application had been approved because he consulted with the Manalapan Township Attorney about his application. Neff’s letter also said that the Board would use Lucas’s case to provide clear guidance to future office holders to recuse themselves from applications that they have an interest in.
Arnone and Freeholder John Curley have announced that they oppose the purchase of the Lucas farm. Freeholder Lillian Burry supports the purchase. Deputy Director Serena DiMaso and Freeholder Gary Rich have not announced how they would vote on the purchase should it make it out of Manalapan.