Burry, Rich sworn to three year freeholder terms

FREEHOLD, NJ – Monmouth County Freeholders Gary J. Rich, Sr. and Serena DiMaso became, respectively, Freeholder Director and Deputy Director at the Board’s 2015 organization meeting held on Tuesday, Jan. 6 at BiotechnologyHigh School.

“I am honored and humbled to serve as the 2015 Freeholder Director and begin my second term as a CountyFreeholder,” said Director Rich. “I plan to focus my efforts on bringing the best of our traditions and ideals forward and working to produce a model of government fit for the 21st century.”

Prior to the selection of the Board leadership, Freeholders Lillian G. Burry and Gary J. Rich, Sr. were sworn into office.

Burry was sworn into her fourth term as freeholder by Acting Governor Kim Guadagno. Rich was issued the oath of office by Superior Court Judge Lisa P. Thornton.

Following a business meeting that appointed the freeholder and citizen members to almost two dozen County boards and commissions, each of the freeholders delivered remarks that acknowledged 2014 accomplishments and offered a look at what is ahead for Monmouth County in 2015.

Freeholder Burry spoke about the significant steps in 2014 that have revitalized the former FortMonmouth site: the opening of CommVault, the fully operational County Park System recreation facility and County infrastructure improvements. She also pledged her continued commitment to creating a homeless Veterans community at FortMonmouth.

“2015 will be the year of a new comprehensive County’s Master Plan,” said Burry. “Only the third in our history – and it will be a uniquely powerful resource for our municipalities, school districts, businesses and residents. It will both better inform decision making and provide valuable insights into many areas of County life.” 

Freeholder Deputy Director DiMaso addressed the changes to the newly named Mosquito Control Advisory Board, formerly known as the mosquito extermination commission.

“While the commission just marked its 100th year of service to the County and has changed its name, their mission will not change; the only change will be a savings to the residents,” said DiMaso. By integrating the commission into County government we have combined like services and employee tasks. This busy and important board responded to over 700 calls and, for 2015, has been awarded a $77,000 community block grant to further enhance mosquito surveillance.”

Also serving on the 2015 Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders is John P. Curley who highlighted the challenges of the County’s Department of Human Services as residents in need put demand on the many social services that assist with food, shelter, transportation and medical needs. 

“The coming year we will have even more financial hurdles that we will have to overcome,” said Curley. “Many of our residents still aren’t home due to Superstorm Sandy. This continues to put a huge hole in our tax base. However difficult as this is, we cannot put additional burdens on our tax payers and residents. I look forward to removing the financial burden of the County-operated nursing homes from our balance sheet.”

Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone highlighted that MonmouthCounty’s Shared Services initiatives continue to maximize County resources while providing the equipment and manpower to assist towns with important projects.

“We are also helping local businesses,” said Arnone. “Eleven business roundtables have helped to cut the red tape and improve communications between businesses and municipal leaders. Tourism spending was up by five percent last year; money generated by tourism in our restaurants, stores, boardwalks and beaches has a positive impact on our local economy.”

All of the Freeholders thanked County staff and administration for their hard work during the past year. They also expressed their thanks to Burry for her leadership of the 2014 Freeholder Board.

Among the 2014 County accomplishments listed by the Freeholders were the opening of the new Sheriff’s OfficeCommunicationCenter and the second phase of the MonmouthCountyChildAdvocacyCenter and maintaining the County’s AAA bond rating by all three major ratings agencies.

Set to be completed in 2015 are the reopening of the repaired Glimmer Glass Bridge in Manasquan and the reopening of the new West Front Street Bridge between Middletown and Red Bank; both bridges will be open before the Memorial Day weekend.

“At its core, government is about people—serving our constituents and providing a rewarding environment for the people, specifically the employees, who make those services possible,” said Director Rich at the conclusion of the meeting. “The better job we do as elected officials to improve our processes, our efficiencies and our services, the better experience we have to offer all the people – from employees to residents.”

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

  • Addiction Services (three year terms) –Robert Gabel of Little Silver, Vicky Nelson of Red Bank, Michael Ring of Wall, Rosemary Smentkowski of Asbury Park and Ramon Solhkhah of New York.
  • Advisory Council to the Monmouth County Office on Aging (three year terms) – Thomas Adcock of NeptuneCity, Norman Ginsburg of Elberon, Rose Marie Kakol of Belford and Sarah Larsen of Hazlet.
  • Agriculture Development Board – Regular members (three year terms) – Martin Bullock of Upper Freehold, Arthur Giambrone of Howell and David Holmes of Cream Ridge and Nancy Grbelja of Millstone. Alternate members (one year terms) – Ross Clayton of Freehold and David Dill of Middletown.
  • Construction Board of Appeals – Regular member (four year term) – Errol Lamberson of Long Branch; Alternate members (four year terms) – William Doolittle of Brielle and Salvatore Farruggia of Bayville.
  • Environmental Council (three year terms) – Wilma Morrissey of Wall, Scott Thompson of Rumson and John Vig of Colts Neck.
  • Fire Marshal Assistants (three year terms) – Richard Hogan of Manalapan, Vito Marra of Oceanport, Fred Migliaccio of West Long Branch, Christopher Pujat of Farmingdale, Dean Stoppiello of Union Beach, Kevin Stout of Freehold and Anthony Vecchio of Keyport.
  • Historical Commission (three year terms) – Glenn Cashion of Middletown, Joseph Grabas of Freehold, Barbara Kolarsick-Harrigan of SpringLake and Muriel Smith of Freehold Borough.
  • Library Commission (five year terms) – Grace Abramov of Howell and Renee Swartz of Rumson.
  • Mosquito Control Advisory Board (three year terms) – William McBride of MonmouthBeach and John Mele of Cream Ridge.
  • Planning Board – Regular members (three year terms) – Vince Domidion of Colts Neck and Nancy Grbelja of Millstone; Alternate members (one year terms) – John Mele of Cream Ridge and Marcy McMullen of Holmdel.
  • Board of Recreation Commissioners (five year term) – Patricia Butch of Millstone.
  • Senior Citizen & Disabled Resident Transportation Advisory Committee (three year term) – Russell Anderson representing the Center for Vocational Rehabilitation, James Marzano, Jr. of Union Beach, Elaine McNamara of Freehold, Patty Pennington representing the Arc of Monmouth and Paul Profeta of Manalapan.  
  • Transportation Council – Regular members (three year terms) – Thomas Burke of Belmar, Kathleen Madaras of Manasquan, Peter Van Nortwick of Middletown and Nancy Grbelja of Millstone. Alternate member (one year term) – Tom Henessey of Colts Neck.
  • Workforce Investment Board (three year terms) –Paul Dement of Middletown, Chris Ruisi of Holmdel and Roseann Isasi of Belmar.
  • Youth Services Commission (three year terms) – Amy Altenhaus of Freehold, Kathi Callaghan of West Long Branch, Kathy Collins of West Long Branch, Rev. Henry Davis of Middletown, Wendy DePedro of Shrewsbury, Eileen Higgins of Freehold, Carl Jennings of Long Branch, Joseph Passiment of Toms River, Michael Rodrigues of Brielle and Kathleen Weir of Lincroft.

For additional information about Monmouth County and the Board of Chosen Freeholders, visit the County’s website at www.visitmonmouth.com