By Monmouth County Freeholder Director Tom Arnone
Happy May! After this rainy and cold spring, I am looking forward to the summer months ahead.
I know I always say that it has been a busy couple of weeks but it truly has been. I’d like to take some time to share with you what I have been up to and a few important dates to come.
Last week I, along with my fellow Freeholders, attended the 10th anniversary celebration of the opening of the Monmouth County Child Advocacy Center. The center was established with the intention to create a single “one-stop” location for abused children and their families to receive the services they need. The building was designed to be a child-focused facility in order to reduce the trauma to the victims. In 2015, the center saw an expansion with the addition of a medical suite where exams can be conducted, as well as space for art therapy and mental health counseling.
While it is an unfortunate and terrible tragedy that a facility like this is needed, I am grateful for the wonderful staff at the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the volunteers who care so deeply for each individual who walks through the door.
On a separate note, I joined tourism and municipal representatives from throughout the County last week at the bi-annual Monmouth County Tourism Advisory Group meeting. These meetings are hosted by our tourism division as a way to discuss the tourism industry and how it affects our region and our tourism partners. As liaison to the Department of Public Information and Tourism, I always look forward to these meetings. The County has been and will continue to be as a resource to our tourism partners to ensure they see a successful season.
As mentioned at the meeting, our marketing efforts are working toward making Monmouth County a four-season destination. It is our goal to extend the tourism season year round to help our small businesses who rely heavily on seasonal traffic. We’re looking forward to promoting all the great events and assets our County offers throughout the entire year!
In speaking about tourism, I’d like to announce the annual Monmouth County summer kick-off celebration will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 20, in Belmar. We’ll be hosting our annual press conference at the Taylor Pavilion with several guests representing different aspects of the tourism industry. The event is rain or shine and all are invited to attend!
On a separate note, I would like to address the ongoing concerns expressed by residents regarding the Monmouth County Reclamation Center that has been open since the 1970s. I want the residents to know that their concerns are being heard and that the County has and will remain to be proactive in our efforts at the landfill. Finding a solution has and will remain to be my top priority until the issues are resolved.
I have received many requests asking for a public meeting regarding the Monmouth County Reclamation Center and the County’s efforts regarding the odors associated with the landfill. I wanted you to know that I have scheduled a meeting for May 13 at 7 p.m. in Tinton Falls.
At this meeting, I look forward to providing an in-person update on the progress that has been made as well as the current work being done at the landfill. I will be addressing specific questions and concerns that have been raised and discussing the next steps the County will be taking over the coming weeks.
The meeting will be held at the Tinton Falls Municipal Building, 556 Tinton Ave., and I have invited Senator Vin Gopal, the Tinton Falls Mayor and Council, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection [NJDEP] and the Monmouth County Regional Health Commission. I hope you will join me to continue our open dialogue about everything that has been going on at the landfill and the future plans for remediation efforts.
As always, it’s a privilege to serve as your Freeholder Director.