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.
Middletown Township launched its new website this morning. The site, which works well on mobile devices as well as desktop/laptop computers, is sure to win even more accolades than the Township’s previous award winning site which set the standard for municipal governments communicating with residents and businesses.
Monmouth County Republican Chairman Shaun Golden released a statement this morning announcing that his slate of municipal candidates this year included six Young Republican Leaders under the age of 35.
Candidates for local office filed to run with their respective Municipal Clerks all across Monmouth County on Monday. It is clear by the two parties’ selection of nominees, that Republicans in Monmouth County are the only ones offering voters a chance to elect a new generation of leaders with fresh, bold ideas for the future.
A rant against Mayor Stephanie Murray and the rest of the Middletown Township Committee was posted anonymously on the business facebook page of the Middletown Township PBA Local 124 yesterday afternoon.
Written by “I am a police officer in Middletown Township,” the post alleges that Murray and the Township Committee are not paying police officers salaries and claims that officers are subjected to sub-standard working conditions. The anonymous officer claims that the Township Committee gave themselves a 20% raise:
A new program by the Middletown Veterans Affairs Committee will add deeper meaning and clarity to the remembrances of the brave men and women who gave their lives for our freedom.
For years, many communities, including Middletown, have named streets after fallen heroes. Now in Middletown there will be a commemorative sign under the official street signs that identifies the hero, their branch of service and the conflict in which they were sacrificed.
Wednesday afternoon in Port Monmouth, Congressman Chris Smith joined Mayor Stephanie Murray and Committeeman Tony Fiore joined Veterans Affairs Committee Members James Guerrieri, and Tom Garretson and William Bouw in honoring the life and heroism of Army Sgt Richard Belicose who died as the result of injuries sustained in Vietnam in May of 1967. Sgt Belicose’s brothers Ron and Robert were on hand for the ceremony.
Middletown Police Chief Robert Oches. Photo courtesy of Middletown Patch
Middletown Police Chief Robert Oches is getting $249,338 for unused sick and vacation time accumulated over his 40 year career upon his retirement at the end of this month. The payout is at Oches current pay scale, despite the fact that the time accumulated over a 40 year period.
The Township Committee approved the payment, reluctantly because it is required by State Law, at Monday night’s meeting.
Committeeman Tony Fiore said that most Oches’ unused time was accumulated prior to 1996 when the Township Committee passed a 150 day cap on retirement awards.
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.
Middletown Mayor Stephanie Murray and Committeeman Tony Fiore tour North Middletown with Congressman Frank Pallone and U.S. Senator Bob Menendez last week. photo via facebook
Middletown Mayor Stephanie Murray and Committeeman Tony Fiore, a former mayor, will be the Republican candidates for Township Committee this fall, according to an announcement on the Middletown Township Republican Organization’s facebook page this weekend. If reelected, Murray will serve her second term; Fiore his third.
The Middletown Democrats have yet to announce their candidates. On Sunday, Party Chairman Don Watson told MMM that he would be filing candidates petitions today, the deadline for candidates seeking a partisan nomination, but declined to name the candidates. Watson indicated it was possible he could change candidates overnight.
MIDDLETOWN – Constituents have told Sen. Robert Menendez that the National Flood Insurance Program is feast or famine – high premiums feast on Jersey Shore residents, while low payouts force tough decisions on homeowners affected by Hurricane Sandy…
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.”