In the pursuit of trimming Monmouth County’s bottom line Freeholders Tom Arnone, Gary Rich and John Curley, Curley who faces the voters in November, are about to turn their back on several handicapped and indigent patients living at the John L. Montgomery Care Center in Freehold, despite a viable, fiscally responsible and compassionate alternative being proposed by Freeholders Lillian Burry and Serena DiMaso. The Burry-DiMaso plan both trims the budget and saves the facility, which serves some of the county’s most needy families.
Life is wondrous, beautiful and vital, until it’s not. Many of us have watched a grandparent, so active and so engaged from the earliest moments of our youth, suddenly decline and descend into illness and death. It’s even harder when it’s a parent or a child. My dad recently fell ill. As I write this he lays in intensive care, holding on to his relatively young life via prayers and the constant attention of family and medical professionals. If he survives this dangerous chapter, he may have a lifetime of respiratory, physical and occupational therapy ahead of him. A wondrous beautiful life is all at once fragile and uncertain.
It’s been a long winter, but we are rounding the corner and spring is in our sight. The weather this week is finally giving us the big thaw that we need to get out from under these huge snow piles.
As the snow melts, and after weeks of plowing and salting County roads, Monmouth County Department of Public Works and Engineering crews have transitioned over to the next phase of operation: pothole repair on County Roads. Residents can report a pothole on a County road by calling the Monmouth County Highway Division of the Department of Public Works and Engineering at 732-431-6550. If you come across a pothole on a State highway, you should report it to the NJ DOT at their website. Potholes on local roads should be reported to the appropriate local municipality. Please do not use 911 to report a pothole, as the 911 service needs to be used for emergencies.
The Monmouth County Highway Division is asking residents to report potholes on County roads by calling 732-431-6550. County roads have pentagon shaped blue signs with gold letters.
The division is transitioning from plowing and salting roads to permanently repairing potholes that occurred over the course of the winter.
Monmouth County Public Works Highway crews repair potholes on County roads.
“There are nine Highway Division crews going out on the County roads every day to look for and repair potholes,” said Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone, liaison to the Department of Public Works and Engineering. “The Highway crews are also responding to reports of potholes from police departments and residents that come in all hours of the day and night.”
Arnone said that the potholes are filled with recycled asphalt from other county road projects and other potholes, producing a cost savings for Monmouth County property tax payers.
Monmouth County will have a new 250 acre park in Aberdeen and Marlboro Townships, despite the fact that Port Authority of NY/NJ backed out of a commitment to fund $5 million to purchase 87.8 acres of the open space from a developer who had approvals to build 250 homes on the property.
Today, the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders approved funding the entire $10.6 million land purchase from Aberdeen/Wilson Associates, LLC through the County’s Open Space Trust Fund.
“The Port Authority appears to be unwilling to honor its commitment of sharing to fund a project that will preserve significant portions of the Matawan Creek watershed and eventually provide a 250-acre park,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the County Park System. “The Port Authority’s offer to help move this deal forward appears to have been withdrawn. Fortunately, Monmouth County has an invaluable Open Space Trust Fund to finance the entire purchase.”
State Senator Joe Kyrillos praised the Freeholder Board, the NY/NJ Baykeeper and Aberdeen Township for making the park a reality and slammed Port Authority for backing out of the deal.
Monmouth County Clerk M. Clair French address the Monmouth GOP convention. Chairman Shaun Golden in background. photo by Art Gallagher
An impressive crowd of over 400 Monmouth Republican County Committee members gathered on Saturday morning to nominate their candidates for State Assembly, County Clerk and Freeholder. The size of the crowd was impressive not only because of the weather but because the results of the convention were a foregone conclusion as there were no challengers to the incumbent Assembly Members, Freeholder or Governor Chris Christie’s nominee for County Clerk.
Free of any competitive tensions, the mood at Colts Neck High School was upbeat, friendly and proud among the grassroots leaders who came out for Chairman Shaun Golden first nominating convention. Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso noted both the size and enthusiasm of the crowd. “This crowd is almost as large as last year’s convention when we had a competition for the freeholder nominations,” DiMaso said, “We’re in really great shape and that is a testament to Shaun’s leadership.”
Baby…it’s cold outside! We’ve experienced near record lows this year. With these freezing cold temperatures comes additional problems besides just trying to stay warm – the low temperatures in combination with precipitation and other weather conditions causes havoc on our roads. The County Public Works Department has been very busy the past few months, ensuring that county roads are safe to travel on by pre-treating and plowing on a consistent schedule and staying ahead of the accumulation. By pre-treating our roads, the snow and ice begin to melt as soon they hit the asphalt and also makes plowing easier and much more efficient.
In addition to keeping the County roads safe, our Public Works Department has been helping municipalities throughout our county as well through our County Shared Services program. We have recorded cost savings across several municipalities by providing plowing services as well as access to the pre-treatment solution. There are many outstanding projects currently in the upstart stages in the Shared Services arena.
The West Front Street Bridge (S-17) that connects Red Bank and Middletown will close to vehicular traffic on or about Monday, January 5, 2015 and remained closed through Sunday May 17, according to a statement from the Monmouth County Department of Public Information and Tourism.
Also known as Hubbard’s Bridge, the structure which was built in 1921 is being replaced with a modern bridge that will compliment the look an function of the nearby Coopers Bridge which connects Red Bank and Middletown on Route 35. The project started in August of 2013 while keeping the bridge open to cars and trucks. The closure announced today signals that the 16 month project is entering its final phase.
Pedestrians will continue to be allowed to use the bridge during this period and bicyclists will be allowed to walk their bikes over the structure.
“America is too great for small dreams.” Ronald Wilson Reagan
Freeholder Tom Arone
2014 is coming to a close and I find myself reflecting upon my year as Freeholder of the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders. I am very conscious of the tremendous support Monmouth County receives from each of the municipalities and residents. I receive phone calls and emails daily from members of local governing bodies as well as from informed conscientious residents. Through this open door policy which is how I choose to run my office, it is apparent that just like me we all share a common interest; and that is to continue to create new ways to maintain Monmouth County as one of the most wonderful places to live. Your unending support has helped me and the rest of The Freeholder Board accomplish many great things, and I would personally like to thank all of our local governing bodies along with our residents for the part each played in making 2014 a great year. Being mindful of the exemplary leadership of not only my fellow Freeholders but of each and every municipal governing body, I consider myself blessed to be working amongst so many hard working individuals whose main goal is always what is in the best interest of the residents.
Monmouth County is made up of an array of dedicated, accountable and knowledgeable people comprised of all those working in the offices and schools to those maintaining the roads in and around the county and everything in between. Each and every one of them takes on the responsibility of getting a job done and doing it right. For that I recognize and am thankful for all county departments for keeping Monmouth County as beautiful and safe as it is, and for making it the most desirable county to live- in the State of New Jersey.
Our Grow Monmouth Façade Improvement Program continues to be popular. We are still accepting applications and approving projects to help businesses improve the look of their building. We could not be more pleased with how the program is going. As part of the Grow Monmouth Initiative this past weekend there was a ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the opening of Little Dog Brewing, a microbrewery located on Steiner Avenue in Neptune City. Along with Mayor Brown, I was happy to attend and cut the ribbon at the brewery’s opening. The Grow Monmouth Business Roundtables will be continuing after the holidays. I look forward to getting back out to discuss the needs of Monmouth County’s business community.
We continue to assist our municipalities with ensuring the safety of Monmouth County and its residents. A few ways in which this is accomplished is through the upkeep of county roads as well as the upkeep of traffic signals. There was a traffic signal activation ceremony conducted a few days ago at the intersection of County Route 40A (Memorial Drive) and Evergreen Avenue in the Boroughs of Neptune City and Bradley Beach. The Activation Ceremony marked the completion of this much anticipated project. As liaison to the Department of Public Works and Engineering, I am happy to have been able to be a part of it from its inception through fruition.
The 1st Annual Pound the Pavement for Purple 5K Run/ 2 Mile Walk for Pancreatic Cancer was held Saturday, November 1st and was a tremendous success despite the unpredictable weather conditions presented by Mother Nature. In fact, I believe the cold temperature along with the wind and rain only contributed in helping to make this race not only a memorable one but an extremely positive and inspirational experience.
First and foremost on behalf of Neptune Township Committeeman Eric Houghtaling and me, we would like to thank everyone who worked so diligently on putting this race together and ensuring its success. To begin with, a tremendous thank you to the outstanding joint committee mostly comprised of Neptune Township and Monmouth County employees, namely Michele Narciso, Tiffany Bailoni, Sandra Petersen, Carina Santos, Mike Zarro, Fred Rummel and Darlene Di Leo. Thank you also to Gail Temple and my wife Chickie Arnone who also worked hard on the committee. All of these people were instrumental in helping Committeeman Eric Houghtaling and me bring this effort to fruition.