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.
Municipal Chairman likens Township Committeeman to fugitive Edward Snowden
Invoking the recently deceased radio personality, Bob Grant, Manalapan Republican Chairman Steve McEnery referred to Township Committeeman Ryan Green as a “petulant pipsqueak” and likened Green to Edward Snowden at last night’s reorganization meeting.
Here are McEnery’s remarks are prepared for delivery:
A famous radio personality died recently; he was a former resident of Manalapan and worked in radio for 50 years or so. His name was Bob Grant many of you may remember him. He was a strong conservative voice, but also provided a little amusement along with his views on all things.
He had a few memorable lines that he used regularly. “Get off my radio” was one that comes to mind. Another was when he addressed someone as a “petulant pipsqueak”.
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.”
Andrew Lucas resigned his position on the Manalapan Committee today. His term was due to expire at the end of this year. He was not seeking reelection.
His two line resignation letter simply said he was resigning effective immediately and appreciated the opportunity to serve.
Mayor Susan Cohen and Committeeman Ryan Green both said they had no idea why Lucas resigned. Lucas has not returned a call for comment.
Once a rising star in the Monmouth GOP, Lucas was a nominee for Freeholder in 2006, losing to Barbara McMarrow of Freehold Township, then a Democrat. McMarrow has since become a Republican and is a member of the Freehold Township Committee.
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.
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.
Serena DiMaso. In her third try for the office, Monmouth County’s new freeholder was victorious by a wider than expected margin. During this campaign, Serena revealed a dignified strength and tenacity that had been missing from her earlier bids.
Joe Oxley. The chairman who had done away with conventions due to the chaos and deep divisions that often resulted, lead the county party in an orderly and adult gathering that left the party stronger.
Peter Doyle. The previously little known West Point graduate, a councilman from a small town (only 8 committee votes in Atlantic Highlands) introduced himself to the county as a strong leader with a bright political future. He exceeded expectations with his third place finish and is considered a front runner for future county or state vacancies.
Bob Walsh. The Howell Mayor ran a positive, passionate and clean campaign. His concession to DiMaso during the first few moments of the second ballot vote was the right thing to do for party unity.
“I treat people the way I’d like to be treated,” Walsh said in an post election interview, “Serena won, it’s a simple as that. She worked hard and ran a clean campaign. She’s a wonderful woman who has my complete support as a freeholder and in the coming election in November.”
Tom Fitzsimmons. The Matawan councilman and political consultant managed a positive campaign for DiMaso. He proved to be the best vote counter and bs detector in the field.
The Monmouth County Republican Party. The days of a raucous divisions are certifiably behind us. The party produced four very qualified candidates, elected the best, and left the convention unified. Worries of having a quorum present proved to be unjustified as 487 committee members showed up to preform their statutory duty.
Monmouth County Residents have an outstanding Board of Freeholders.
Holmdel Patchprovided accurate and timely coverage of the election which is syndicated throughout Patch’s other Monmouth County sites.
Ryan Green. The Manalapan Committeeman didn’t realize that, like Doyle, he was never going to overcome the countywide support that DiMaso and Walsh had built in previous runs for the office. Doyle got it in the last week of the campaign and kept building relationships for the future. Green threw an ill advised Hail Mary pass with his 11th hour press release bashing DiMaso. DiMaso intercepted the errant pass and ran it back for a touchdown, leaving Green and Manalapan Chairman Steve McEnry, the advisor, damaged. Rather than leaving this campaign with a base to build on going forward, Green finds himself stuck in a hole that McEnry let him dig. Green was slated to be Mayor of Manalapan prior to entering the freeholder race. Now he’s an ambitious committeeman who has been publicly chastised by a newly elected freeholder for breaking the “11th commandment.”
Steve McEnry. See Ryan Green above. Manalapan has 52 county committee members. Green only received 39 votes total. An embarrassing failure for the Manalapan Chairman.
Jim Giannell. The Kingmaker’s winning streak has been broken. After his candidate, Walsh, conceded, Giannell graciously passed the mantle to Fitzsimmons.
Monmouth County Democrats. DiMaso was not the candidate they were rooting for. Regardless of who their new chairman is, Vin Gopal or Frank “LaHornica” LaRocca, they will be hard pressed to field a competitive slate this year.
The Asbury Park Press.As of 5:25PM they still have not reported that Monmouth County has a new freeholder. APP has made no mention of the special Title 19 election since Christmas Eve.
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.
Freeholder Director John Curley is not taking sides in the campaign for Assemblyman Rob Clifton’s seat on the county governing body which will conclude on Saturday with the Title 19 convention of Republican County Committee members at Colts Neck High School.
“We have four very strong, smart and articulate candidates,” said Curley, ” I will be proud to serve with and run with whoever the party gives me on Saturday.”
The successful candidate on Saturday can be sworn in as Freeholder upon resigning from their current office. The new freeholder and Curley will be the presumptive GOP nominees for this fall’s election.
Curley said he expected the election to be a close contest to Holmdel Deputy Mayor Serena DiMaso and Howell Mayor Bob Walsh. He said he is impressed with both Atlantic Highlands Councilman Peter Doyle and Manalapan Committeeman Ryan Green, both of whom are making their first bid for county office. “We’ll be hearing from then again,” he said.