The Arnone Report

By Freeholder Tom Arnone

Freeholder Director Tom Arone

Freeholder Director Tom Arone

As reported last week, The Board of Chosen Freeholders have begun pairing up with the local municipalities and conducting Business Roundtables as a means of helping small businesses promote themselves within Monmouth County. As liaison to the Department of Economic Development, I attended the first of these roundtables which took place in the Borough of Matawan. I partnered with Matawan Mayor Paul Buccellato to host the first Grow Monmouth Business Roundtable event. The department of economic development identified and invited businesses from Matawan to join us to discuss what makes doing business in Matawan great and what can be improved. The mayor and I were joined by Assemblyman Rob Clifton and Senator Sam Thompson. I am very pleased to report that 35 people were in attendance representing some 27 businesses. In the next couple of weeks we will be hosting roundtables in the Township of Hazlet and also in the Borough of Manalapan.

In keeping with promoting small businesses within MonmouthCounty, our third annual Made in Monmouth event has been scheduled for Saturday, April 12th. We are again partnering with MonmouthUniversity for the event. We encourage all businesses that make a consumer product in the county to show and sell their products, free of charge, at the event. Made in Monmouth is open to the public free of charge. We invite everyone to attend and to take advantage of the opportunity to buy the multitude of great products that will be available.

I will be meeting with the mayors and tourism leaders of our coastal communities on March 31st at the CountyConnection located on Route 66 in Neptune. This is our Tourism Advisory Group where we will discuss tourism plans for the upcoming season.

Also, I have been invited to participate in Monmouth Ocean Development Council’s annual pre-Memorial Day weekend event. It is called the “Kick-off to the summer.” I will be joined by Ocean County Freeholder Joe Vicari. We will highlight the best of our counties for the 2014 Summer Season. This will be on May 21st at 5:00 p.m. in Asbury Park. You can expect I will report further details as the information becomes available.

Lastly, I would like to congratulate fellow brother, Carlo Roberto Brancato, Major, USMCR for being selected as the Amerigo Vespucci Society’s (AVS) 2014 Man of the Year. The AVS conducted its 121st annual dinner dance honoring Carlo on Saturday, March 1st at Branches in West Long Branch. Carlo Roberto Brancato, is a patriot who has served his nation courageously and has conducted two tours of duty, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most recently, he served in Special Operations Task Force West during Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan from September 2012 until May 2013. As a member of the Amerigo Vespucci Society, I attended the event and presented Carlo with a Certificate of Recognition on behalf of the entire Board of Chosen Freeholders. We are all very proud of Carlo and thankful to him for his service to our great nation.

Posted: March 3rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Tom Arnone | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

One Comment on “The Arnone Report”

  1. John Schneider said at 6:43 am on March 4th, 2014:

    I’m a retired executive from AT&T after 25 years. Currently, I’m a high-school teacher and a local musician. I’m also a fifth-generation resident of the Jersey Bayshore area.

    I have volunteered my own time and money to help the Jersey Bayshore recover and regroup. And now I’m excited about how the local towns are beginning to come together for a common cause. And thank you for helping us regain our dignity and enthusiasm for who we are and what we have to offer.

    Our plan is simple, but our goals are challenging…

    1) Unify local governments, businesses, organizations, and residents of the Jersey Bayshore area to appreciate the need for and acceptance of tourists.

    2) Increase understanding and appreciation of local residents of the opportunities for their own shopping, recreation, dining and history within the Bayshore area.

    3) Position the Bayshore area (in the minds of potential outside tourists) as a legitimate travel destination.

    I have not developed this plan on my own but instead collaborated with a number of local and state authorities, including organizations and legislators, including Freeholder John Curley, Sen. Joe Kyrillos, Bob Hilton (C&VB) and Grace Hanlon of NJ Travel & Tourism.

    We have already accomplished a number of important steps toward success:

    1. Strategic Positioning – As a result of meetings with the New Jersey Office of Travel & Tourism, the Jersey Bayshore will now be designated as an Official Tourist Destination and will be included in promotional budgets and communications initiatives of the State. In addition, “Exit 117” of the Garden State Parkway will be designated as the beginning of the Jersey Shore.

    2. Internet & Social Media – The official website for the Jersey Bayshore was developed and “welcome videos” for every town were produced, as well as hundreds of videos on what to do and see in the area. In addition, Facebook Groups were established and administered for towns which previously had none. All significant social media, such as Twitter, YouTube and others, are now utilized daily to position the Bayshore.

    3. Advertising & Promotion – Initial radio, television and print advertising has already been developed and tested. Six 28-minute pilot television episodes of “Jersey Bayshore Country” have been produced and will begin airing on Comcast Public Access Channels in Monmouth and Ocean Counties beginning in March. There are 22 additional episodes to be produced. Some examples of advertisements and pilot episodes are included on the enclosed DVD which I recently distributed to businesses of the Jersey Bayshore.

    4. Marketing Materials – More than a thousand photographs and hundreds of hours of video footage have been collected and will be utilized in a number of marketing materials, including a 12-page promotional brochure which may be downloaded by potential tourists or residents. Several thousand postcards of the Jersey Bayshore have also been produced.

    The people of the Jersey Bayshore have seen lots of media attention on the Jersey Shore and we understand how it important it was to New Jersey’s overall economy. But we’ve been struggling for decades with how to attract tourists to our beautiful area and now we’d like to be recognized as a great place to live, work and play.

    As you know, some folks say tourism started declining when the Garden State Parkway was opened and motorists could bypass us completely. Whatever the case, we’re now seriously trying to come back.

    Incidentally, I have not received a cent for my efforts to promote the Jersey Bayshore. Every aspect and every advertisement and every video have been provided to local businesses at absolutely no cost to them. And in the beginning of my efforts, people couldn’t understand why I would not charge for my services. In fact, some folks thought it might be a scam. It’s not. I’m doing this because of my love for the area and because we simply cannot afford to spend lots of money on promotion or advertising.

    Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions at 732-872-4962.

    John Schneider