John P. Curley named director; Thomas A. Arnone is deputy director

Rosemarie D. Peters sworn in as Surrogate

FREEHOLD, NJ – John P. Curley took the reins of the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders yesterday at Monmouth County’s annual Organization Day held at Biotechnology High School, pledging to hold the line on spending and provide more oversight over county government.

“I will not entertain any new taxes; I will not remain silent in accepting the status quo, and I will not allow government to expand,” Curley said after becoming director of the Board. “We will find every spare dime to give the residents of Monmouth County a more affordable and efficient government.”

Curley also will seek to increase privatization of county services, cap management salaries at $141,000, sell the county’s two health care facilities and privatize two county golf courses.

Prior to Curley’s selection as director of the Board, Freeholders Lillian G. Burry and Gary J. Rich Sr. were sworn into office. Burry begins her third, three-year term; for Rich it is his first. Also, Rosemarie D. Peters was sworn into her second, five-year term as county surrogate.

Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone who is in the second year of his first term, was selected to serve as deputy director of the Board. Arnone said he looks forward to continuing the county’s long-term commitment to improving the local economy through the Grow Monmouth initiative, and strengthening partnerships with all 53 Monmouth County towns in the area of shared services.

Arnone welcomed Rich to the Board, and congratulated Curley on his new leadership post. “I know you to be a dedicated and hardworking person, and with all the differing views, you will bring it all together to unite and achieve our goals.”

Burry said she sees a future where there are job opportunities for Fort Monmouth’s displaced workers, a strong and viable horse industry and the Monmouth County Park System reaching its goal of preserving 20,000 acres of land.

“It is a future that calls for boldness and prudence as we continue to work through challenging economic realities,” Burry said. “I believe it is this balance that has kept us strong and able to sustain a AAA bond rating when the federal government could not.”


Freeholder Gary J. Rich Sr. of Spring Lake, with his three children at his side, takes the oath of office from Superior Court Assignment Judge Lawrence M. Lawson at Monmouth County's Organization Day held at Biotechnology High School in Freehold.  

Rich of Spring Lake pledged to work to bring more businesses to Monmouth County, look for efficiencies in government and improve services to county residents.

“It is my proud honor to stand before you as your county freeholder,” Rich said. “There will be challenges ahead, but we will overcome those challenges. I look forward to working with this Board of Chosen Freeholders to do what is best for the residents of Monmouth County.”

Freeholder Robert D. Clifton gave a moving farewell speech, noting that he will be resigning from the Board effective 9 a.m. Saturday morning in preparation for his swearing in Jan. 10 to the New Jersey General Assembly, where he will represent the 12th Legislative District.

Clifton thanked the current and former freeholders for their support during his seven years on the Board and then turned his attention to the county workforce.

“To the employees I say I am truly humbled to have worked with such a group of ‘get in and get it done’ people,” Clifton said. “We have a very competent family of workers who provide excellent service to our residents. This gives me a sense of pride and gratitude that is beyond words.”

Curley presented Clifton with a proclamation in appreciation of his time and service on the Board and thanked him for his “steady hand of guidance.”  

The freeholders made a number of citizen member appointments to various county boards and commissions that included:

  • Advisory Council to the Monmouth County Office on Aging (three year terms)– Rose Marie Kakol of Belford, Sarah Larsen of Hazlet, Milton Ziment of Elberon and Thomas W. Adcock of Neptune City.
  • Agriculture Development Board – Regular members (three year terms) Martin Bullock of Cream Ridge and Arthur Giambrone of Freehold; alternate members (one year terms) Patricia Butch of Millstone and Ross Clayton of Freehold.
  • Addiction Services (three year terms) – Richard Bernhardt of Allenhurst, Dr. Robert Gabel, M.D. of Little Silver, Vicky Nelson of Red Bank, John Verdon, Jr. of Red Bank and Ronald Povolo of Keansburg.
  • Construction Board of Appeals – Regular member (four year term) Richard Hogan of Manalapan; alternate member Henry Stryker of Freehold.
  • Environmental Protection Council  (three year terms) – Wilma Morrisey of Allenwood and Scott Thompson of Rumson.
  • Historical Commission  (three year terms) – R. Glenn Cashion of Middletown, Barbara Kolarsick-Harrigan of Spring Lake and Joseph A. Grabas of Freehold.
  • Library Commission (three year term) – Nancy Grbelja of Clarksburg.
  • Mosquito Extermination Commission – (three year terms) William McBride of Monmouth Beach and John Mele of Cream Ridge.
  • Planning Board – Regular members (three year terms) Vincent Domidion of Colts Neck Nancy Grbelja of Clarksburg and James Giannell of Red Bank (unexpired term ending Dec. 31, 2013); as alternate citizen members (one year terms) Charles Casagrande of Spring Lake and Craig S. Marshall of Marlboro.
  • Board of Recreation Commissioners (five year terms) – Thomas Hennessy of Colts Neck and Kevin Mandeville of Matawan and Mark Zelina of Holmdel (unexpired term ending Dec. 31, 2012).
  • Senior Citizen & Disabled Resident Transportation Advisory Committee (three year terms) – J. Randy Bishop of Ocean Grove, Sarah Larsen of Hazlet, James Marzano of Union Beach, Elaine McNamara of Freehold and Theodore Narozanick of Freehold.
  • Shade Tree Commission (five year term) – Gary DeFelice of Red Bank
  • Transportation Council (three year term) – Peter Vannortwick of Middletown and Nancy Grbelja of Clarksburg (as Planning Board representative); alternate members Selika Josiah-Gore of Marlboro and Thomas Grimes of Freehold. 
  • Workforce Investment Board (three year terms) – Ben Waldron of Lanoka Harbor and the Executive. Director of Monmouth-Ocean Development Council and Patricia Koziol of Holmdel.
  • Youth Services Commission (three year terms) – Amy Altenhaus, PhD. Of Freehold, Kathi Callaghan of Wall, Kathy Collins of West Long Branch, Henry Davis of Middletown, Wendy DePedro of Eatontown, Eileen Higgins of Fair Haven, Carl Jennings of Long Branch, Kathleen Weir of Lincroft and Joseph Passiment of Toms River and representing the county’s Office of the Superintendent of Schools and Kim Best of Middletown (unexpired term ending Dec. 31, 2012).

For additional information about Monmouth County and the Board of Chosen Freeholders, visit the county’s Website at