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.
It seems better than soliciting votes at a cemetery, but it is still illegal.
Linda Baum, the Democratic candidate for Middletown Township Committee was asked told to leave Middletown High School South on Tuesday. Baum was greeting students on their way into school. When school started she entered the building and asked the administration to announce her presence over the intercom and have students come to meet her.
This was not Baum’s first attempt at seeking ineligible voters. Over the summer she campaigned at the River Plaza Elementary School.
Baum did not return MMM’s calls seeking comment. She is challenging Deputy Mayor Steve Massell for a three year term on the committee.
Tony Fiore will be elected to serve another year as mayor of Middletown when the township reorganizes on Sunday, January 1.
Committeeman Steve Massell will be Deputy Mayor.
Stephanie Murray will take the oath of office for her first term on the committee. Murray replaces Deputy Mayor Pam Brightbill who is stepping down after two terms.
Fiore said that his top priority in 2012 is to continue to find cost savings and to keep the township’s property taxes stable.
Additionally, Fiore wants to implement the lessons learned in 2011 to improve real time communications with Middletown’s residents. “We learned a lot as a result of the December 2010 blizzard and the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. We will be improving our communications in the coming year.”