Funding approved for replacement of bridge over Pews Creek
Middletown Committeman Tony Fiore, Congressman Chris Smith and Middletown Mayor Stephanie Murray inspect the Bay Ave Bridge on the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, October 29, 2014. MMM file photo
MIDDLETOWN, NJ – Monmouth County was informed that it would be receiving a $2 million reimbursement from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the replacement of Bray Avenue Bridge (MT-2) over Pews Creek in the Port Monmouth section of Middletown.
The $2,006,208 allocation represents a 90 percent reimbursement for the rebuilding of the bridge that has been closed since the tidal surge created by Superstorm Sandy overtopped the bridge and advanced the deteriorating condition of the bridge significantly.
“Residents and commuters in the Port Monmouth area will be glad to hear this news,” said Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone. “With the financing in place, the County’s Public Works and Engineering staff can now shift gears and move the Bray Avenue Bridge replacement project forward.”
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.
Democratic Freeholder Candidates recount their arrests, Threaten Blogger
By Art Gallagher
Democratic Freeholder Candidates Giuseppe “Joe” Grillo and Lawrence Luttrell talked about their arrests at the Lincroft Village Green candidates forum
Monmouth County Democratic Freeholder Candidate Lawrence W. Luttrell continued his assault on Freeholder Director Lillian Burry’s character tonight at a candidates forum in Middletown.
“There have been 10 indictments since Lillian Burry has been in office,” Luttrell declared at a League of Women Voters moderated debate sponsored by the Lincroft Village Green Association at the Lincroft Elementary School. “Monmouth County has a corruption problem, ” he said.
Luttrell rattled off 10 names, starting with former Freeholder Harry Larrison and six other Operation Bid Rig defendants who were arrested in February of 2005.
“Those people were gone before I got there,” Burry angrily shot back at Luttrell.
Burry was first elected to the Freeholder Board in November of 2005, nine months after the Operation Bid Rig arrests.
R. Craig Weber was sworn in as the 8th Chief to lead the Middletown Township Police Department over its 86 year history last evening before an overflow crowd at Town Hall.
Mayor Stephanie C. Murray administered the Oath of Office as Weber’s family stood beside him.
During his remarks, Weber acknowledged the support and friendship of his Deputy Chiefs and all the members of the department. He welcomed the Chiefs of several area municipalities and law enforcement leaders from County, State and Federal law enforcement agencies. Weber said that under his leadership there would be an increased level of cooperation with other agencies.
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.
Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino was in custody for over 2 hours on simple assault charges
Fiore wants the Monmouth County Prosecutor to investigate
Middletown Committeeman Gerry Scharfenberger cuts the ribbon at Sorrentino’s tanning salon last March. photo via facebook
Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino was arrested in Middletown this afternoon after Township Police broke up a fight between the reality TV star schmuck and his brother Frank.
Detective Lt. Steve Dollinger told MMM that a call came into to the Middletown PD shortly after 2PM reporting a fight at the tanning salon owned by Sorrentino. The actor was arrested, charged with simple assault and released on $500 bail at around 5:15. Dollinger declined to comment further, but other sources told MMM that Frank Sorrentino had a black eye and that Mike’s hand was bandaged as a result of the fisticuffs.
The story of Sorrentino’s arrest was first reported by TMZ, the entertainment gossip website. Last week TMZ, which is located in Marina del Rey, California, broke the story that employees of the tanning salon filed complaints with the Middletown Police that their $100-$200 paychecks had bounced.
Monmouth County’s new Republican County Chairman Shaun Golden announced his leadership team this afternoon in an email to GOP County Committee Members.
Golden’s Regional Vice Chairs are Mary DeSarno of Wall Township, Christine Hanlon of Ocean Township, Tony Fiore of Middletown and Rob Nicastro of Howell.
The Diversity Council, which is still in formation, is Chaired by Juan Malave of Howell. John Costigan of Howell is the liaison to the NJGOP.
Ron Gravino is the Treasurer. Wayne Pomanowski is the Sgt-At-Arms and John Lane is the Parliamentarian. Tom Szymanski is the Executive Director.
Golden invited all County Committee Members and volunteers to attend a 2014 Campaign Kickoff on Saturday, June 28, 10am and Party Headquarters, 2 Monmouth Ave, Unit B3 in Freehold. A light breakfast will be served.
New bill reauthorizes regional contribution agreements for Sandy affected counties
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon will introduce new legislation tomorrow that reauthorizes regional contribution agreements (RCAs) between towns in the nine most Superstorm Sandy-impacted counties. These agreements will permit the transfer of housing units to count towards a recipient municipality’s fair share obligation. These types of agreements were originally permitted under the Coalition On Affordable Housing where one town could transfer a portion of its affordable housing obligation to another. RCAs were banned in 2008.
“I’ve always said that the law banning RCAs was shortsighted,” explained O’Scanlon. “I want to go on record saying I disagree with this far reaching court-mandated housing scheme. But if we have to have it, there should be a mix of options for municipalities to deal with it. “Mayor John Hornik of Marlboro recently revived the discussion of RCAs in relation to those areas affected by Sandy. We have seized on that common ground and developed legislation reauthorizing RCAs to help facilitate the construction, reconstruction or rehabilitation of housing in areas hardest hit by Sandy. We can finally put these funds to work creating affordable housing and helping towns recover from the storm at the same time. I look forward to working with Mayor Hornik on this as we work to persuade the legislative leadership to join the effort.”
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.