>Freehold NJ – The Freehold Borough Democrats announced the nomination of J. Nolan Higgins as their candidate to run for mayor as Mike Wilson steps down after 26 years in office. Higgins is a lifelong resident of the borough, and the owner of Higgins Memorial Home in Freehold, a business established by his father, James, in 1955. He served as Chief of the Freehold Fire Department and was a member of the Fire Department Board of Representatives. He is the former chairman of the Freehold Zoning Board of Adjustment and currently serves on the Freehold Citizens Budget Advisory Committee. He is a past winner of the McGackin Award, which is given to those who have made exceptional contributions to downtown Freehold.
Incumbents Michael DiBenedetto and George Schnurr will seek re‐election to the Borough Council. DiBenedetto is also a local businessman and lifelong resident. He has served as Council President and Assistant Fire Commissioner. His service on Council includes acting as Council liaison to the Public Works Department, the Shade Tree Commission, the Personnel Committee and the Recreation Committee. He is a member of the Freehold Fire Department, Monmouth Hose Company, a member of the American Legion, the Knights of Columbus and the Freehold BPOE. He previously served on the Planning Board, the Finance Committee and the Memorial Day Parade Committee and was a Little League Coach.
George Schnurr is the current Council President. Schnurr serves on the Finance Committee and is part of the team that makes Freehold Borough a municipal leader in shared services with other towns. Prior to his election to the Freehold Borough Council, Schnurr was a member of the Planning Board ‐ a position he still serves in as a Class III member. He is the Council liaison to the Memorial Day Parade Committee. He holds numerous computer system certifications and is a member of the “International Who’s Who of Information Technology”. He served as President of the Freehold Borough Little League where he spearheaded the redevelopment of the Little League complex. He previously served on the Shade Tree Commission. George is a member of the Knights of Columbus.
Councilman DiBenedetto expressed his enthusiasm for the Democratic ticket. “Mayor Wilson will leave big shoes to fill. But we could not have found a better person to carry on Mike Wilson’s vision and passion for Freehold than Nolan Higgins. Nolan shares our philosophy of putting the needs and interests of Freehold Borough above politics or personal agendas. He is committed to our goal of sound economic practices. We are all excited to work together to preserve and protect the town and the people that we all love.”
George Schnurr echoed these sentiments when he added “Nolan is a perfect fit for us. He has a strong business background and a long history of community service. He will complement the talents of our council members and provide a unifying leadership to the governing body. He is well respected by all facets of our community.”
Higgins noted that a prime concern for Freehold is continued fiscal responsibility and accountability. “In order for Freehold to continue to thrive, we need to be fiscal watchdogs for our residents. We have to find ways to balance our obligation to provide for public safety and to maintain our infrastructure with the need to keep our budget as trim as possible. I am impressed with the Council’s efforts to find new and innovative methods to cut costs in a difficult economy”
Mayor Wilson offered his endorsement to the candidates. “I am thrilled to pass the torch on to Nolan Higgins. Nolan is universally respected in town and has vast experience as Fire Chief, Zoning Board Chairman and by serving on the Citizens Budget Committee. Nolan, Mike and George are quality individuals that share my enthusiasm for Freehold. With a strong council behind him, I am confident that Freehold will be in good hands