By Tom Arnone, Monmouth County Freeholder Director
I hope everyone is having a happy holiday season! It’s hard to believe the first day of winter is right around the corner when it feels like we just celebrated the end of summer!
As liaison to the department of public works and engineering, I want to ensure everyone that our employees have been preparing for any potential storms during the upcoming winter season. We have the best crews around who all have the same goal in mind – to keep our residents safe during any inclement weather. Our number one priority always has been and always will be safety.
On a different note, I am happy to report we had another successful Mini Made in Monmouth earlier this month in Manalapan. A smaller version of our bigger Made in Monmouth held every spring, this event also provides consumers with locally-made products sold by local small business owners. I’m proud of our Made in Monmouth and Grown in Monmouth programs that support local businesses. After all, small businesses are the backbone of our economy.
As such, my fellow Freeholders and I know the importance of fostering a healthy economic climate for all of our businesses. It’s discouraging to hear more and more stories of companies like Honeywell, who decide it is in their best financial interest to relocate out of our heavily taxed state. That’s why the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders continues to work with our business community, including countless small business owners, to make sure they’re able to conduct their business without undue financial burdens.
Speaking of local businesses, I would like to congratulate the Saker family on the opening of their newest ShopRite location in Shrewsbury. It was a pleasure to attend the ribbon cutting a few weeks ago alongside my colleagues. The opening of any new business means new job opportunities for our residents!
Another program I would like to provide an update on is my healthy eating initiative. Fifth- and fourth-grade students from Colts Neck, Asbury Park and Neptune City have been visiting Allaire Community Farm each week and learning something new! It’s great to see the students work together and, of course, get so excited over growing and eating healthy foods!
I’ve also had the opportunity recently to visit a few different schools throughout the County. Among my visits included a stop at Brookdale Community College with Sheriff Shaun Golden, where we discussed the ongoing opioid epidemic. I’d like to thank the students for inviting me to join the Sheriff to discuss this important topic.
I also visited with students at the Academy of Allied Health and Sciences. I’m so proud of the students and this school, which is part of the Monmouth County Vocational School District. We had a great discussion about my role as a Freeholder, government and the importance of getting involved in the community from a young age. I look forward to continuing my school visits throughout the County over the next few months.
Lastly, I’d like to express my condolences to President George H.W. Bush’s family and friends. The President was a true statesman and humble public servant. His unwavering commitment to the country will not soon be forgotten.
As always, it’s a privilege to serve as your Freeholder Director. I hope everyone has a happy and healthy holiday season!