Democratic Freeholder Candidate Lawrence Luttrell at Four Seasons debate in Manalapan. photo by Rhoda Chodosh
In a move reminiscent of Congressman Rick Lazio’s aggression towards First Lady Hillary Clinton in the 2000 U.S. Senate debate in New York, Lawrence Luttrell, a Democratic candidate for Monmouth County Freeholder jumped from his seat and lunged towards Freeholder Director Lillian Burry Wednesday night at a candidates debate at the Four Seasons Club House in Manalapan.
Deputy Freeholder Director Gary Rich and Giuseppe “Joe” Grillo, Luttrell’s running mate, braced themselves to protect Burry as it appeared that Luttrell would leap over them to get to Burry. Rich and Grillo were seated between Burry and Luttrell. Luttrell pulled back before going airborne and turned to the debate moderator and shouted, “This is not what I came here for. If this is going to be a kangaroo court where we don’t follow the rules, I’m leaving right now.” Luttrell was living up to the name of the paper organization he created with his wife and mother-in-law to sue Monmouth County last year; R.A.G.E.
What apparently set Luttrell off was Burry asking him, “Is your name Pinocchio?”
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Posted: October 9th, 2014 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Freeholder, Lillian Burry, Manalapan, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, News | Tags: Four Seasons Manalapan, Freeholder Director Lillian Burry, Freeholder Gary Rich, Giuseppe "Joe" Grillo, Hillary Clinton, Larry Luttrell, Lawrence Luttrell, Monmouth Democrats, Rick Lazio | 21 Comments »
UPDATE: August, 27, Curley pulls nursing home sale resolution
Freeholder John Curley called this morning to say that he has pulled his resolution to sell the Monmouth County owned nursing homes from this week’s agenda. County CFO Craig Marshall is on vacation. Curley wants Marshall available to address all of the financial concerns regarding the proposed sale. Curley expects to reintroduce the resolution in September.
Reductions in Medicaid payments for long term care under the Affordable Care Act have led to increasing deficits at Monmouth County’s two government owned nursing homes.
The John L. Montgomery Care Center in Freehold and the Geraldine L. Thompson Care Center in Wall are owned and operated by Monmouth County’s government. Property tax payers have been subsidizing the long term care of the elderly, disabled and infirm residing in these facilities for decades. From 2007 through 2013 the cumulative deficit funded by Monmouth property tax payers was about $40 million. Despite cost cutting measures and union givebacks, the combined deficit this year is on track to exceed $13 million plus the cost of repairs and capital improvements required to keep the facilities in compliance with state and federal regulations, due to cutbacks in the amount that Medicaid pays for patient care under ObamaCare. 98% of the patients at Montgomery and Thompson are insured by Medicaid.
Freeholder John Curley has been pushing his colleagues on the all Republican Board of Chosen Freeholders to sell the nursing homes for years. Every time the issue gets traction or public attention, patients in wheelchairs and staff members of the nursing facilities show up at Freeholder meetings and plead with the Freeholders not to sell the facilities. The patients’ stories are heart wrenching. The declarations of love for their patients by the staff members are moving.
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Posted: August 26th, 2014 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Freeholder, Gary Rich, John Curley, Lillian Burry, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County Health Department, Serena DiMaso, Tom Arnone | Tags: Gary Rich, Geraldine L. Thompson Care Center, John Curley, John L. Montgomery Care Center, Lillian Burry, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Nursing Homes. Monmouth County, Serena DiMaso, Tom Arnone | 7 Comments »
Freeholder Director Tom Arone
By Monmouth County Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone
While informing the residents of Monmouth County about the happenings and goings on within the county has always been the focus for my writings, I thought it best to change my focus for this submission. Why you might ask? The reason being is that although raising awareness as to the many gains and strides that continue to occur in and around Monmouth County is of significant importance and benefit to our residents, I feel sometimes we need to take a step back and look outside of ourselves. It is extremely important for each of us to take time and perhaps reflect if even for a moment on the vast array of wonderful causes out there originated for the sole purpose to help raise awareness as it pertains to the many important issues we are faced with today. Because the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders fully understands the significance of helping to get the word out, we have taken steps by doing our part in also trying to help raise awareness.
A few of the observances made recently by The Board of Chosen Freeholders during the months of March, April and May were Autism Awareness, Alcohol Awareness, Military Awareness and Breast Cancer Awareness. The Board also recognized the tenacious energy set forth by The Red Cross and Monmouth County Fair Housing. Each of these tremendous causes was recognized by The Board of Chosen Freeholders during one of their regularly scheduled meetings. Representatives from each of the various organizations were invited to attend a meeting to accept a Certificate of Recognition for all they do to help raise awareness for each of their causes. Additionally, they were recognized for the multitude of great things they have independently been able to accomplish thus far, as well as being congratulated for their efforts in continuing to educate the public on how much work is still needed in order to maintain progress and continue to accomplish great things.
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Posted: May 14th, 2013 | Author: admin | Filed under: Freeholder, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Tom Arnone | Tags: Alcohol Awareness, Autism Awareness, Breast Cancer Awareness, Freeholder Director Tom Arnone, Military Awarness, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County Fair Housing, The Red Cross, Tom Arnone | 1 Comment »
By Monmouth County Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arone
It is now February and the question on Monmouth County residents’ minds is what is The Board of Chosen Freeholders doing to help restore the shore since undergoing the wrath of Super Storm Sandy. Let me begin by saying that the Board’s primary goal at this time is to get the word out to as many people as humanly possible that the Jersey Shore is thriving and up and running. How is this being accomplished? To mention just a few things, for starters our Department of Tourism is pulling out all the stops in one enormous effort to ensure that we can expect to see not only the usual visitors that frequent the shore communities in Monmouth County but engage and encourage new visitors to see what Monmouth County has to offer.
For instance last month a Tourism Representative attended the Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show in Valley Forge PA. There were over 200 vendors present at the show. Attendance at the show which was held Saturday-Sunday January 26th and 27th was estimated to be well over 2,000 people. The Monmouth County presence was aimed at letting people know we are still the place you want to be. This past week our Department of Tourism was present for the Atlantic City Boat Show at the Atlantic City Convention Center. Attendance at this 5-day show was estimated to be over 3,000 people. A concerted effort was made by our stellar tourism team to make sure that everyone present was made fully aware that Jersey Shore is flourishing and Open for Business.
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Posted: February 16th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Freeholder, Hurricane Sandy, Jersey Shore, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders | Tags: Freeholder Director Tom Arnone, Tom Arone | 11 Comments »
Could they possibly endorse Curley and DiMaso for Freeholders too?
The Asbury Park Press has recognised the fine job Republican County Clerk M. Claire French has done over the last ten years and endorsed her for a third five year term.
The Neptune Nudniks got this one right. They dismissed Democratic candidate Michael Steinhorn as someone who “has little to recommend him for the job,” despite the fact that he exposed the statistical anomaly of the Monmouth GOP winning the first general election ballot position in 30 of 33 years and that they like his proposal to that the clerk’s office provide mobile services to seniors and veterans.
Given their logic in endorsing French, it will be fascinating to see how they endorse at least one of the Democratic Freeholder candidates, as I expect they will.
The Democratic Freeholder campaign has been so anemic that I suspect many readers don’t even know who is running. Despite the Monmouth Dems outraising the Monmouth GOP through September, there is little evidence that Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal and his team are trying to get their nominal slate elected. Publicly Democratic leaders say the right things about supporting their candidates. Privately they seem resigned to a Republican blow out.
The Democratic candidates are William Shea and Kevin Lavan. Shea, as Amy Mallet’s running mate, lost to Freeholders Lillian Burry and Gary Rich last year. He is challenging Freeholder Director John Curley for a full three year term. Lavan, who lost his run for Assembly to Declan O’Scanlon and Amy Handlin in the 13th district last year, is running against Freeholder Serena DiMaso for the remaining one year of Rob Clifton’s term. Clifton resigned upon being sworn into the State Assembly.
Shea and Lavan were not even on the same page when the Nudniks interviewed all four candidates in September. Shea recklessly proposed a 20% across the board spending cut from the county budget without backing up how he would do it. Lavan said “maybe” depending upon the results of an audit.
Yet, the Nudniks loath single party control of any governing body (except the federal government when it is in Democratic hands) and has a historical bias against “Club Monmouth” as they frequently call the Monmouth GOP. They seem to forget that all of the Monmouth Republican county office holders and all of Monmouth GOP leadership has been replaced since Operation Bid Rig, except Claire French who they just endorsed. The GOP holds all five seats on the Freeholder Board.
Will the APP editorial board affirm the nudnikness and endorse Shea or Lavan? We’ll find out soon. Either way, it won’t matter on election day. It might matter to their own crediblity if the actually endorse the best people for the job and get over their own biases.
Posted: October 26th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Asbury Park Press, Freeholder, John Curley, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP, Neptune Nudniks, Serena DiMaso | Tags: Asbury Park Press, endorsements, Freeholder Director John Curley, Freeholder Serena DiMaso, John Curley, Kevin Lavan, Michael Steinhorn, Monmouth County Clerk, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP, Neptune Nudniks, Serena DiMaso, Vin Gopal, William Shea | 1 Comment »
Anna Little, with good reason, has been taking credit for John Bennett’s election as Monmouth GOP Chairman. If not for Little endorsing her benefactor and encouraging the County Committee members who are also Tea Party activists to vote for Bennett, Christine Hanlon would be Chairwoman.
Little’s reward, whatever it is, will come sometime after she loses to Frank Pallone in November.
The biggest change that Bennett has made since taking over the helm of the Monmouth GOP six weeks ago is to start to make good on his campaign promise to raise the money necessary for county campaigns. He has informed the Monmouth GOP ticket of Freeholders John Curley and Serena DiMaso, as well as County Clerk Claire French, not to worry about rasing money for the fall campaign. He has instructed office holders not on the ballot this fall, including the legislative delegation and the sheriff, all of whom have campaigns next year, to suspend their fund raising activities effective August 1 so as not to compete with his efforts for the current campaign.
But how will he raise the money?
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Posted: July 31st, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Anna Little, Brookdale Community College, Campaign Contributions, Campaign Finance, Christine Hanlon, CME Associates, ELEC, Frank Pallone, Freeholder, John Bennett, John Curley, Middlesex County Democrats, Middletown Democrats, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth GOP | Tags: Anna Little, Bill Barham, Brookdale Board of Trustees, Brookdale Community College, CME Associates, CME Engineering, Fred Niemann, Highlands, John Bennett, John Curley, Josh Elkes, Rick O'Neil | 35 Comments »
Freeholder Serena DiMaso
Freeholder Serena DiMaso will participate in her first regular public meeting of the board tonight at the Hall of Records, 7PM.
There will be a ceremonial swearing of our newest freeholder at the beginning of the meeting. DiMaso was officially sworn into office moments after she was elected by the Monmouth County Republican Committee on January 14.
Posted: January 26th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Freeholder, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders | Tags: Monmouth County Freeholders, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Serena DiMaso | 1 Comment »
Serena DiMaso fires back
Manalapan Township Committee Member Ryan Green, a candidate for Freeholder in tomorrow’s Title 19 election, has taken the gloves off in what until now has been a clean and collegial intra-party contest.
Green issued a press release late last night criticizing the Holmdel Township Committee for considering selling land, including land purchased with Green Acres dollars, to close a budget deficit. Green based his criticism upon a January 6 article in the Holmdel Patch.
Holmdel Deputy Mayor Serena DiMaso is competing with Green, along with Howell Mayor Bob Walsh and Atlantic Highlands Councilman Peter Doyle for the freeholder seat vacated by Assemblyman Rob Clifton.
“To learn that the Holmdel Township Committee would consider selling one of our most valued resources in Monmouth County, open space, is very disappointing. I have a strong record of preserving open space, as I believe it improves our quality of life. I will never support selling any of it,” Green said.
Green said he believes very strongly that when governing bodies purchase land, especially with Green Acres funding, it should be maintained as open space. He said he has been a leader in preserving open space in Manalapan since joining the Township Committee.
He is also concerned that selling land, as the Holmdel Township Committee is considering doing, is a short-term solution to address Holmdel’s looming budget deficit.
“In order to address budget deficits, we need long-term solutions. We need to prioritize what services are being provided, reduce spending, and find new shared services agreements that can save taxpayer dollars. Once that land is sold, it’s unlikely that Monmouth County will ever get it back,” Green stated.
DiMaso shot back, “If we sell, it would be 10 acres of a 400 acre facility to a soccer academy. It will be deed restricted for recreational use, so it will remain open space, and its use will not change. The sale will have Green Acres approval.”
“The Plum Lane property that Ryan ‘read’ about was not purchased with Green Acres money. It was donated to the Township and is surplus land.”
“If Ryan wanted to engage in a genuine debate about open space, why wait until the 11th hour with a press release? I saw Ryan on the campaign trail three times this week. He has my number and my email. He could have brought this up anytime. This type of last minute distortion is very disappointing coming from a so called Republican. Maybe Ryan’s ambition and NJEA DNA is more dominant in his character than his status as a Republican, especially one who promised to run a positive campaign. If he broke this promise to a fellow Republican, what promises will he break to the Monmouth County taxpayer? ”
Update from Ryan Green:
I was informed of this issue while walking door to door on Wednesday evening. I have never mentioned one of my fellow candidates by name during this campaign, nor have I ever engaged in personal attacks. The actions of the Holmdel Township Committee raise a legitimate policy issue for Monmouth County regarding open space, and I feel that it’s important for the voters to know where each candidate stands on this issue.
Posted: January 13th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Freeholder, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County Republican Committee | Tags: Bob Walsh, Holmdel Patch, Monmouth County Freeholders, Monmouth GOP, Peter Doyle, Rob Clifton, Ryan Green, Serena DiMaso | 22 Comments »
Howell Mayor Bob Walsh announced today that the 30th legislative district team of Senator Bob Singer, Assemblyman Sean Kean and Assemblyman Dave Rible have endorsed his candidacy for Freeholder.
The announcement can be viewed here.
Posted: January 12th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Freeholder, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth GOP | Tags: Bob Singer, Bob Walsh, Dave Rible, Freeholder, Monmouth GOP, Sean Kean | 8 Comments »
Freeholder Director John Curley is not taking sides in the campaign for Assemblyman Rob Clifton’s seat on the county governing body which will conclude on Saturday with the Title 19 convention of Republican County Committee members at Colts Neck High School.
“We have four very strong, smart and articulate candidates,” said Curley, ” I will be proud to serve with and run with whoever the party gives me on Saturday.”
The successful candidate on Saturday can be sworn in as Freeholder upon resigning from their current office. The new freeholder and Curley will be the presumptive GOP nominees for this fall’s election.
Curley said he expected the election to be a close contest to Holmdel Deputy Mayor Serena DiMaso and Howell Mayor Bob Walsh. He said he is impressed with both Atlantic Highlands Councilman Peter Doyle and Manalapan Committeeman Ryan Green, both of whom are making their first bid for county office. “We’ll be hearing from then again,” he said.
Posted: January 12th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Freeholder, John Curley, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth GOP | Tags: Bob Walsh, John Curley, Monmouth County Republcian Committee, Peter Doyle, Rob Clifton, Ryan Green, Serena DiMaso | 2 Comments »