I would like to commend Mayor Tony Fiore and the Township Committee for the stellar job they have done in managing Middletown Township’s affairs during the worst economy in several decades. Middletown cut over $4 million from its most recent budget and now spends less per person, around $875 than just about any municipality in the state. They also have one of the smallest workforces per capita and the smallest police force per capita while having the lowest crime rate of any comparable town in Monmouth and Ocean County. They have managed to maintain a superb AA bond rating, which, according to Moody’s and Standard and Poor, is due to Middletown’s “rapid debt amortization and sound financial operations.” The recent contract the town brokered with the local PBA, which saw an astounding 25% member contribution toward health benefit premiums far exceeds even what the State was able to secure. Their efforts to lower property taxes by increasing revenues from expanded recycling and lower costs through alternative energy is the sort of creative thinking that we need during these tough economic times. The fact that Middletown was named one of the top 100 places to live in the country by Money Magazine for three years in a row is testament to the success of the mayor and township committee. I wholeheartedly support Mayor Fiore and his running mate Stephanie Murray for the local leadership we need as a partner to Governor Christie and his much needed reforms.