Howell Democrats Endorse Independent For Township Council

Howell Democrat candidate for Council, John Bonevich, right, with Gov Murphy and Mayor Berger, endorsed his Independent opponent, Michael Bernstein

There are three seats on the Howell Township Council on the ballot in November.  The Howell Democrats have three candidates, as do the Howell Republicans.

An Independent candidate, Michael Bernstein, submitted nominating petitions for his candidacy to Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon last Monday morning.

John McCabe, the Chairman of the Howell Democrats, John Bonevich, one of the Democrat candidates for Township Council and Amy Sara Cores, the Democrat candidate for State Senate in the 30th legislative district last year, signed Bernstein’s nominating petition. Five members of the Howell Democrat County Committee signed Bernstein’s petition.  13 people who signed Bernstein’s petitions also signed the petitions for the Democrats candidates.

Howell’s Republican candidates for council, Tommy Russo, Pamela Richmond and Robert Walsh said that the Democrats are colluding with Bernstein and that the Independent should be knocked off the ballot, in a formal challenge file with Hanlon yesterday. 

Hanlon has till Wednesday to rule on the challenge.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: June 12th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: 2018 Elections, Howell, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Howell Farm Preserved

Thompson farm HowellMonmouth County, Howell Township and the New Jersey State Agricultural Development Committee have purchased the development rights of Thompson Farm, 49 Howell Rd, through the State’s Farmland Preservation Program. The $1,158,268 transaction ensures that the 68-acre farm will be devoted to agricultural use.

“Preserving farmland and acquiring open space are two critical pieces of protecting our environment and retaining its natural character,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry. “It is no coincidence that Thompson farm is adjacent to Meade farm, which was the first farm preserved in Monmouth County 29 years ago. Mr. Thompson’s heirs are to be commended for honoring their father by protecting the land on which he toiled for many years.”

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Posted: May 31st, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Howell, Monmouth County, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

DiBella: End Nicastro Recall Effort

By Joe DiBella

DiBella for web

Joe DiBella

I was disturbed and disappointed to learn that a group of residents have filed a petition to recall our Deputy Mayor, Rob Nicastro.

I have lived in Howell for nearly 20 years and have not seen a more hard working, devoted public servant than Deputy Mayor Nicastro. I met the Deputy Mayor Nicastro while he was leading the fight to correct an issue with how his neighborhood was being unfairly charged for water services. In dealing with the issue facing he and his neighbors he worked tirelessly with local, county and state officials and he got results. When he disagreed with a policy issue he did not try and overthrow the government or overturn a legitimate election. Instead he rallied people together and worked collaboratively to get results. He has applied that same tenacious approach while serving as an elected official in Howell. He was recruited to run for office based and at first declined the opportunity to run. Having seen him in action these past few years I for one am glad he was convinced to seek office.

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Posted: March 7th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Howell, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Squirrel rescuer rejects plea deal

Maria Vaccarella squirellsFreehold Township- Maria Vaccarella, the Howell woman who was threatened with a $1000 fine and six months in jail for rescuing two baby squirrels, rejected a plea deal of a $35 court costs and a suspended fine that was offered by Township Prosecutor Anthony Vecchio this afternoon.

Vaccarella and her pro-bono attorney, animal rights lawyer Doris Lin, showed up unannounced in Freehold Township Municipal Court to ask Vecchio to dismiss the summons that Fish and Wildlife officials mailed to Vaccarella after they took the squirrels she cared for after they were abandoned by their mother.  The case, which was transferred to Freehold from Howell Township because of a conflict, was originally scheduled for January 27th.

Vecchio told MoreMonmouthMusings that he thought the suspended fine and court cost would be a fair way to resolve the case that has received nationwide attention.  He said the case would be transferred back to Howell for litigation.

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Posted: January 20th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Howell Mayor Gotto calls his video taped behavior “unacceptable”

Howell Mayor William Gotto. Photo via HowellRepublican.com

Howell Mayor William Gotto. Photo via HowellRepublican.com

A heated exchanged between Howell Mayor William Gotto and a 19 year old Township resident, Chris Cohen, that ended with both parties apologizing, shaking hands and expressing their respect for one another has ignited a social media outrage now that a video of part of their encounter has been posted on facebook and YouTube, more than a month after the incident occurred.

On October 14, there was a petition drive at the Howell library to collect signatures of residents opposed to a proposed affordable housing development at West Farms on Route 9.   Grotto and Deputy Mayor Robert Nicastro went to the gathering to answer questions about the proposed development.

The questions were heated and pointed when Cohen says he asked the mayor, “Whose pockets were being lined here?”

Gotto says he heard the question as an accusation of personal corruption. He lost his composure, as can be seen on the video:

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Posted: November 21st, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Howell, Monmouth County, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Howell mayor accuses township residents of anti-Semitism

Howell Mayor William Gotto. Photo via HowellRepublican.com

Howell Mayor William Gotto. Photo via HowellRepublican.com

HOWELL — Mayor William Gotto isn’t happy about “absolutely disgusting” comments he said were made on social media about a controversial affordable housing project owned by an Orthodox Jewish group. In fact, he made his disdain publicly known when he bemoaned at a council meeting on Nov. 9 and in a subsequent letter to residents, riling… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: November 17th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Howell, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Deception and Distraction: An Inaccurate Report on Health Benefits Remains Inaccurate Nearly 4 Year later

DiBella for webBy Joseph M. DiBella

Recently the Asbury Park Press published a story based on a widely criticized and discredited State Comptroller’s 2012 report examining the state of health benefits for public workers of municipalities, county governments and school districts. The report, which was panned by most benefit and insurance professional at the time as being actuarially and statistically invalid, also failed to accurately reflect the process local governments must use when selecting benefits for its employees. The report made for good headlines, but it didn’t make for good policy.

The takeaway of the report was that local entities in New Jersey — counties, townships, boroughs, school districts — could simply join the state health benefit plan and save the state $100 million dollars. But that wasn’t correct then and it isn’t correct now. The report overlooked the fact that benefits are collectively bargained for and can’t simply be changed on whim or all at once. It also made the false assumption that just by merging all the groups across the state, their claims history, which is how insurance policies are priced, would miraculously get better and generate savings. Finally, the report largely blamed local benefit brokers and consultants for the high cost of health care for public plans even though the cost of brokerage services is about 2% to 3% of the total cost of healthcare. The state plan is a solution for many public employers as are other private plan options. The key is to examine all of the options and align the entity with the best solution for their circumstances.

The report was largely discredited and dismissed at the time of its issuance by industry experts for being naïve and non-factual. But because it includes an eye-popping alleged savings number, the nearly 4 years old report is regularly dusted off and re-circulated by political operatives and media types looking to re-create a controversy that never existed.

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Posted: November 3rd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Health Care, Monmouth County News, ObamaCare, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Pedophile Gets 12 years

Kevin Motyka. photo via facebook

Kevin Motyka. photo via facebook

Kevin Motyka, 24, of Howell Township, was sentenced to 12 years in state prison for sexually assaulting a toddler and electronically recording the act, according to a statement by Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Motyka must serve 85% of his sentence before being eligible for parole.   He will be subject to the provision of Megan’s Law, Parole Supervision for life and is banned from having unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 18, pursuant to the sentence imposed by Judge Anthony J. Mellaci, Jr.

A tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children led to the arrest of Motyka in February of 2014.

A Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Computer Crimes Unit investigation revealed Motyka sexually assaulted a 2-year-old boy between May and December 2012, and created photographs and video recordings of the attacks. The defendant also distributed child pornography of images that did not include his young victim.

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Posted: October 31st, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Crime, Crime and Punishment, Howell, Monmouth County Court, Monmouth County News, Monmouth County Prosecutor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Mobile County Connection Will Debut In Howell, Weds August 12

Monmouth County Mobile Connection

Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon, Surrogate Rosemarie Peters and Sheriff Shaun Golden are teaming up and taking their show on the road in a mobile office, aka The Mobile County Connection, starting tomorrow, August 12 at Howell Township Library.

“We are proud to be unveiling such an important outreach program,” said Hanlon. “It is the first of its kind in Monmouth County and features mobile government services in an effort to connect people with government in their communities.”

The Mobile County Connection office will be housed in a large mobile command center and be rolled out for the first time at the Howell Township Library, 318 Old Tavern Rd., August 12, from 11am to 2pm. During the event, residents will be able to apply for and renew their passports as well as have passport photos taken. Residents will also have access to free notary services and voter/election information.

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Posted: August 11th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Mobile County Connection Will Debut In Howell, Weds August 12

Howell Man Indicted On Pedophilia Charges

Defendant is free on $125K bail

rittmanGregory Rittman, 50, of Howell Township, was Indicted by a Monmouth County Grand Jury this week on 12 counts of Sexual Assault, Endangering the Welfare of a Child and Lewdness, according to a statement by Acting Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Rittman was arrested on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, after authorities received a report from an employee at a McDonald’s that described lewd behavior witnessed by an 8-year-old juvenile, near the sink in the men’s bathroom of the restaurant. Rittman was charged with one count each of second degree Sexual Assault, third degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, fourth degree Lewdness and a disorderly persons charge of Harassment. He was released after posting $73,000 bail with no 10-percent option, as set by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Teresa A. Kondrup-Coyle, J.S.C.

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Posted: July 17th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Howell, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Correctional Institution, Monmouth County Court, Monmouth County News, Monmouth County Prosecutor | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »