Monmouth County Government to Reorganize on Thursday

Freeholders Tom Arnone and Serena DiMaso with Sheriff Shaun Golden

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: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County Sheriff's Office | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Freeholders support traditional and religious holiday celebrations and displays in schools

By Freeholder Director Tom Arnone

At the December 10, 2013 meeting of The Board of Chosen Freeholders, a resolution was passed regarding Assembly Bill 4481 which provides school districts with the option of educating students about the history of traditional winter celebrations and allows students, faculty and other staff to offer traditional greetings regarding the celebrations. Some examples of the traditional greetings would be Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Holidays.Freehold_City-20131208-00140

Furthermore, Assembly Bill 4481 also provides the option to allow a school district to display on school property scenes or symbols associated with traditional winter celebrations, including a Menorah or a Christmas image such as a nativity scene or a Christmas tree; however the scene must display a scene or symbol of more than one religion, or one religion and at least one secular scene or symbol.

In addition to holiday displays, the legislation provides that a school district may include musical selections with religious themes at winter or holiday programs if the winter or holiday program includes musical selections of more than one religion or one religion and music secular in nature.

Freehold_City-20131208-00142I felt that this piece of legislation was something that was very important to bring back into our schools because it encourages the support of understanding the importance of individuals and families keeping with tradition. Not only was I a strong supporter of this piece of legislation but I received the full support of The Board in particular my fellow board member, Freeholder John Curley.

Assembly Bill 4481 which allows school districts to teach about traditional winter celebrations, display holiday symbols on school property, and include musical selections with religious themes is legislation that I will continue to support in hopes of seeing those old family values and traditions restored to what they once were.

            With the Holidays come family gatherings, office parties, socializing with friends and Year End football game get-togethers. These are occasions each and everyone of us looks forward to all year.

            The Board of Chosen Freeholders wishes the residents of Monmouth County a very safe and happy holiday season.

Freehold_City-20131208-00141

Posted: December 16th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, NJ State Legislature, Tom Arnone | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Monmouth County Department Of Consumer Affairs Fight Sandy Scammers

Click photo for Consumer Affairs Brochure

Click photo for Consumer Affairs Brochure

The Monmouth County Department of Consumers Affairs has resolved $1.6 million in disputes since Superstorm Sandy, Freeholder Lillian Burry reported last night, according to NJ.com.

For the entire year of 2012, the department resolved only a little over $1 million in disputes.

Burry said the Department has taken a proactive approach to combatting fraud, answering calls related to price gouging, used cars sold with flood damage, fake charities and illegitimate contractors.

Earlier this year, the Department repeated warnings to consumers of home improvement and repair schemes in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Earlier this month, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs settled the first two Sandy-related price-gouging cases against gas stations for $46,000 – the division is in the process of investigating the over 2,000 price gouging complaints it received after the storm

Posted: April 26th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Hurricane Sandy, Lillian Burry, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Monmouth County Police Academy Update: Becoming the best in New Jersey

HIGH_RES_ARNONE (571x800)By Monmouth County Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone

 

            Under the direction of the current liaison to The Monmouth County Police Academy, Freeholder Lillian Burry along with the help of the newly appointed Director of The Monmouth County Police Academy David Morris and me who currently serves on the Executive Board, The Monmouth County Police Academy is flourishing with numerous activities. Currently the following recruit classes are in session: Basic Course for Police Officers – 84th Class has a class size of 68; Special Law Enforcement Officer Class II 39th Class for part time officers. currently has a class size of 64; Park Rangers Recruit Class has 16 officers – 4 from Burlington County and 12 from Monmouth County. As of this writing there are 148 law enforcement recruits being trained at this Academy. These are unprecedented numbers and have required the assistance from various law enforcement entities to ensure quality training. Certainly this has been a logistical challenge, but it has created true partnerships and outstanding commitments by so many.

            Upcoming additional scheduled recruit training classes are Special Law Enforcement Officer Class, Corrections Officers Basic Recruit Class and School Resource Recruit Class. The latter is a one week course held to train officers who work within the various school systems.

            Along with the recruit training classes, the Academy hosts numerous in-service classes for the veteran law enforcement officers. The Academy also continuously updates new training and promotes this through the use of its website, www.monmuothcountypoliceacademy.com and FACEBOOK membership. The Academy is pleased to have representatives from International, Federal, State, County and local law enforcement agencies provide quality training to our constituent base.

            Additionally, The Academy also has private outside vendors who provide valuable public safety training. For example, Meridian Health trains their security personnel here during the summer months. The Joint Insurance Companies provide safety training to veteran police officers.

            The activity levels at the Academy have increased significantly. Compared to 2010 attendance and enrollment are up and revenues have more than doubled. The Board of Chosen Freeholders are committed to continuing to make improvements to the programs being offered at The Monmouth County Police Academy and to the building as well. The Board’s ultimate goal is to see that the Academy becomes the best in the state, and as it appears The Monmouth County Police Academy is well on its way.

Posted: March 28th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Tom Arnone | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Lucas Farm Purchase Approved By Manalapan, Freeholders

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: | Filed under: Manalapan, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments »

Mallet slams Burry, “Club Monmouth” over Brookdale scandal

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: July 27th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Brookdale Community College, John Curley, Lillian Burry, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Serena DiMaso measures up well as a freeholder

Takes on the weighty issues

Posted: July 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Weights and Measures | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

How Much Are These Commissions Costing Monmouth County?

Are they all necesarry?  What can be privatized?

The thing that I found most disturbing about the Middletown Library story is that Randall Gabrielan, in addition  to being president of the Middletown Library, is a employee of Monmouth County.

In his role as Executive Director of the Monmouth County Historical Commission, Gabrielan is paid almost $36,000 per year and earns pension credits.  I wonder if Executive Director of the Historical Commission is one of the jobs that you can retire from, start collecting a pension, and go back to work the next day.

I don’t mean to minimize the seriousness of the Middletown Library situation.  It is serious.   It’s bad enough that Gabrielan sold his own books and signed his own purchase orders.  Even though the sales did not amount to a great deal of money, what stinks about what he did in Middletown in addition to the obvious, is that the library could have gotten Gabrielan’s books cheaper from Barnes and Noble or really cheap from Abebooks, Middletown Mike’s  favorite book seller, for the library’s shelves. 

I suppose we should be grateful that Mayor Fiore and the Township Committee got wind of Gabrielan’s practice, that has been going on for many years, before he bought Middletown Mike’s newsletter, beautifully bound in brown cloth with gold lettering for $59.00 per copy from Abebooks.

I wonder if the Monmouth County Historical Commission has also been buying Gabrielan’s books.

But I digress.

Why does the Monmouth County Historical Commission have a paid executive director?  How many of the other 25 volunteer county commissions have paid staff? 

The Monmouth County Board of Freeholders are taking their budget meetings on the road this month.  Let’s ask them if there are savings to be had in these 26 commissions.

Posted: February 1st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Middletown, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders | Tags: , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Freeholder Serena DiMaso’s First Meeting

Freeholder Serena DiMaso

Freeholder Serena DiMaso

Freeholder Serena DiMaso will participate in her first regular public meeting of the board tonight at the Hall of Records, 7PM.

There will be a ceremonial swearing of our newest freeholder at the beginning of the meeting.  DiMaso was officially sworn into office moments after she was elected by the Monmouth County Republican Committee on January 14.

Posted: January 26th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Freeholder, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

Ryan Green Takes A Shot At Holmdel Township Committee

Serena DiMaso fires back

Manalapan Township Committee Member Ryan Green, a candidate for Freeholder in tomorrow’s Title 19 election, has taken the gloves off in what until now has been a clean and collegial intra-party contest.

Green issued a press release late last night criticizing the Holmdel Township Committee for considering selling land, including land purchased with Green Acres dollars, to close a budget deficit.  Green based his criticism upon a January 6 article in the Holmdel Patch.

Holmdel Deputy Mayor Serena DiMaso is competing with Green, along with Howell Mayor Bob Walsh and Atlantic Highlands Councilman Peter Doyle for the freeholder seat vacated by Assemblyman Rob Clifton.

“To learn that the Holmdel Township Committee would consider selling one of our most valued resources in Monmouth County, open space, is very disappointing. I have a strong record of preserving open space, as I believe it improves our quality of life. I will never support selling any of it,” Green said.

Green said he believes very strongly that when governing bodies purchase land, especially with Green Acres funding, it should be maintained as open space. He said he has been a leader in preserving open space in Manalapan since joining the Township Committee.

He is also concerned that selling land, as the Holmdel Township Committee is considering doing, is a short-term solution to address Holmdel’s looming budget deficit.

“In order to address budget deficits, we need long-term solutions. We need to prioritize what services are being provided, reduce spending, and find new shared services agreements that can save taxpayer dollars. Once that land is sold, it’s unlikely that Monmouth County will ever get it back,” Green stated.

DiMaso shot back, “If  we sell, it would be 10 acres of a 400 acre facility to a soccer academy. It will be deed restricted for recreational use, so it will remain open space, and its use will not change. The sale will have Green Acres approval.”

“The Plum Lane property that Ryan ‘read’ about was not purchased with Green Acres money. It was donated to the Township and is surplus land.”

“If Ryan wanted to engage in a genuine debate about open space, why wait until the 11th hour with a press release? I saw Ryan on the campaign trail three times this week. He has my number and my email. He could have brought this up anytime. This type of last minute distortion is very disappointing coming from a so called Republican. Maybe Ryan’s ambition and NJEA DNA is more dominant in his character than his status as a Republican, especially one who promised to run a positive campaign.  If he broke this promise to a fellow Republican, what promises will he break to the Monmouth County taxpayer? ”

Update from Ryan Green:

I was informed of this issue while walking door to door on Wednesday evening.  I have never mentioned one of my fellow candidates by name during this campaign, nor have I ever engaged in personal attacks.  The actions of the Holmdel Township Committee raise a legitimate policy issue for Monmouth County regarding open space, and I feel that it’s important for the voters to know where each candidate stands on this issue.
Posted: January 13th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Freeholder, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County Republican Committee | Tags: , , , , , , , | 22 Comments »