Category Archives: Monmouth County Freeholder Candidate

Bill Shea For Monmouth County Freeholder

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct 28, 2011

MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ – Howell resident and former New Jersey State Trooper Bill Shea is running for the Democratic position of Monmouth County Freeholder alongside Surrogate hopeful Michael Steinhorn and Freeholder encumbent Amy Mallet.

Shea states that he will bring a new energy and viewpoint to the Board of Chosen Freeholders, showing in-office fiscal responsibility while working to stimulate Monmouth County job growth.

“My career as a state trooper in New Jersey has been exceptionally rewarding and I will treasure all of the fine men and women I have befriended while serving New Jersey,” says Shea. “I take with me the experience and confidence the State Police has taught me and look forward to serving the State of New Jersey as a Monmouth County Freeholder.”

Shea served the people as a New Jersey State Trooper for ten years as a member of the Field Operations and Homeland Security Sections. His career ended when the Division of Law and Public Safety involuntarily retired him due to multiple injuries sustained during his career. Shea graduated from Keansburg High School and received his Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice from Monmouth University, later continuing to earn his Masters Degree in Administrative Science from Fairleigh Dickinson. Shea is supported by his loving wife Lori, a Certified Athletic Trainer at Lincoln High School in Jersey City.

The Board of Chosen Freeholders is empowered with a wide scope of authority mandated by the State of New Jersey. The board wears many hats and has legislative and executive functions including oversight and regulation of county property and finances. This entails three hundred and eighty miles of county roads, one thousand bridges, and maintenance of more that 14,500 acres of county parks.

Shea has been endorsed for Monmouth County Freeholder by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 30,The Monmouth and Ocean Counties Central Labor Council, The Monmouth County Education Association in conjunction with N.J.E.A. and 6th District Congressman Frank Pallone.

For more information visit www.votebillshea.com.

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Filed under Bill Shea, Democratic Candidate, Monmouth County Freeholder Candidate, NJ State Trooper

>Getting to know Freeholder Candidate Janice Venables

>The Monmouth Dems recently posted a video on Youtube introducing Freeholder Candidate Janice Venables. The Facebook announcement of the video has this to say about her:

“Councilwoman Janice Venables has a strong record as a fiscal conservative in the Borough of Spring Lake. She is ready to bring her record to Monmouth County as your next freeholder. Get to know Freeholder Candidate Janice Venables!

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Filed under campaign video, Facebook, Janice Venables, Monmouth County Freeholder Candidate, You Tube

FREEHOLDER CANDIDATES SUGGEST MEASURES TO PRESERVE AND IMPROVE THE HORSE RACING INDUSTRY IN MONMOUTH COUNTY

For Immediate Release: August 10, 2010
Press Contact: Shane Derris (732) 739 8888 or Dems.Monmouth@gmail.c
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Freeholder Candidates John D’Amico and Janice Venables are extremely disappointed with the recent findings of the Governor’s Advisory Commission on NJ Gaming, Sports and Entertainment and the Governor’s strong support for its suggestions. Freeholder D’Amico said, “Closure of Monmouth Park on top of the closure of Fort Monmouth would devastate the economy and quality of life of Monmouth County. This year’s successful meet should motivate us to sustain and improve the racetrack, not shut it down.”

Venables, a Spring Lake Councilwoman, said “A dismantled horse racing industry would threaten as many as 13,000 jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of taxable revenue that the state and municipalities depend upon to pay for essential services. Over the last several years, the better horses and jockeys have gravitated to other states that allow slot machines and can offer greater prizes because of increased revenue and attendance. It is time New Jersey reads the writing on the wall. We must bring slot machines to the racetracks or face the destruction of the industry in the entire state. The increased revenue garnered by “racinos” in surrounding states has saved numerous racetracks from closing their doors, and most professionals agree this is the biggest hurdle facing the industry. We call upon the Governor and the Legislature to take the necessary steps to place the “racino” option on the ballot in November so that the racing industry can join the Atlantic City casinos as a major contributor to taxpayer relief, education, and programs for senior citizens.”

Pending the holding of a ballot referendum, D’Amico and Venables suggest that the following steps be taken: (1) Renewal of the annual casino revenue supplement of $30 million for the racing industry; (2) A substantial increase in the number of off-track wagering facilities pursuant to the 2001 authorizing legislation; (3) Possible purchase from the Meadowlands Authority of the development rights to the Monmouth Park property with the stipulation that the funds be used to support the racing industry; and (4) Stronger measures to support the Standard Bred Racing Industry.

Venables said, “We don’t object to the sale of the facilities to private investors, but they won’t want to buy the race tracks if they cannot make any money. The Governor seems to have decided that the Atlantic City casinos are more important than the horse racing industry and its supporting infrastructure throughout the state. Yet the report to the Governor states, for example, that 2,100 slots at the Meadowlands would cost Atlantic City gaming revenue a mere .01% loss. This minor drop in Atlantic City revenue could save New Jersey’s and Monmouth County’s horse racing industry.”

D’Amico observed that “at a time when Monmouth County is suffering from already excessive suburban sprawl and traffic congestion, we can ill afford to lose the thousands of beautiful acres dedicated to horse racing and its supporting industries. Preservation of the horse racing industry in Monmouth County is not only critical to the economy but is also essential to the preservation of the quality of life we have come to cherish and enjoy.”

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Filed under casinos, Freeholder John D'Amico, horse racing, Janice Venables, Monmouth County Freeholder Candidate, Monmouth Park

Vincent Solomeno for Freeholder: My statement from the hearing: Why I oppose the Monmouth County budget.


Vincent Solomeno, Candidate For Monmouth County Freeholder, attended the March 9th 2010 public hearing on the proposed Monmouth County Budget at the Eastern Branch of the Monmouth County Library in Shrewsbury.

Solomeno read into the record the following statement as to why he opposes the proposed budget that the Freeholders have offer-up. The statement can also be found at his facebook site:

Good evening, my name is Vincent Solomeno, and I’m a property taxpayer from Hazlet. I first want to thank the professional staff for the time spent preparing this budget proposal.

That said, members of the Board, it is my hope that you reject this proposal. Monmouth County residents simply can’t afford this level of spending. It’s time to go back to the drawing board and produce a budget with significant savings.

This is no normal time—the worst economy in generations. Clearly, the status quo is unacceptable.

Yet as I read the budget proposal, a number of areas go unaddressed—areas that if cut can result in significant savings for taxpayers. Unfortunately, this budget is more of the same, when that’s exactly what we can’t afford.

This budget does not consider the potential savings of combining the purchasing departments of the county and the parks system—a redundancy which costs taxpayers money.

This budget does not consider the savings to be had by combining our two motor pools.

And at a time when many private-sector workers are seeing their salaries cut or their wages frozen, this budget does not consider the savings to be had by freezing the salaries of non-contractual personnel earning over $100,000.

The important question I hear from my neighbors is, “Why?”

Why doesn’t this budget end the practice of awarding no-bid contracts for professional services? Doing so would increase efficiency, guarantee transparency, and save taxpayer dollars.

Why doesn’t this budget honor the intent of the cap law? Monmouth County families know it’s time to do more with less. You wouldn’t hand a credit card to a shopaholic, so why, in these economic times, should the county spend significantly above the cap, when all it means for residents is higher taxes and more spending?

I understand the enormity of the task before you. We may disagree over specific priorities, but we all know—just like Monmouth county families know—that in this time of stagnating wages, layoffs, and rising property taxes, it’s time to make tough choices.

This budget doesn’t make those tough choices. We don’t live in a fairy tale, and we can’t wish our problems away. We simply can’t afford tax increases year after year. Enough is enough.

Monmouth County families are struggling. We owe it to them to cut this bloated budget and bring them real property tax relief. I hope you have the courage to do just that.


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Filed under budget meeting, Democratic Candidate, Facebook, Hazlet, Monmouth County Freeholder Candidate, Vincent Solomeno

Solomeno, Monmouth County and Pancakes, Mmm… Perfect Together

Vincent Solomeno, Democratic Candidate for Monmouth County Freeholder, sent me the following note attacked with a video from a pancake breakfast fundraiser that he held last Saturday. He asked me if I would post it here on the blog and I was more than happy to do so.

Since deciding to run for Monmouth County Freeholder, I’ve visited with elected officials, party leaders, and private citizens to hear their ideas and concerns. In communities from Matawan to Brielle and Allentown to Oceanport, I’m consistently hearing that people have lost faith in government’s ability to solve the public policy challenges that grow more pressing with each passing day. I am seeking the nomination for Freeholder because I believe we can do better. We can restore trust in government by continuing the change begun in 2009 and demonstrating through our actions, not just our words, that Monmouth Democrats are serious about reforming the way Freehold does business.

I am optimistic about the future of Monmouth County and it will be my honor to be part of an effort that translates that optimism into real results. Right now, I’m working to build momentum for a grassroots campaign that involves citizens of all stripes. I am grateful to the Hazlet and Union Beach Democratic Clubs, who threw a pancake breakfast for me last Saturday. We turned out 80 people, raised some money, and demonstrated that politics does not have to be consigned to the professionals. I hope to hold similar events in other parts of Monmouth in the weeks ahead, but in the mean time, I encourage you to check out a video of my remarks recorded by a supporter and posted to YouTube.

Kind regards,

Vincent Solomeno

P.S. If you haven’t already, please check out my web site –
www.vincentsolomeno.com

You can also connect with Vincent Solomeno by becoming a Facebook Fan or by following him on Twitter

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Filed under Democratic Candidate, Facebook, Hazlet NJ, Monmouth County Freeholder Candidate, Twitter, Vincent Solomeno

Solomeno For Freeholder: Why I’m Running

Like so many others, I was disappointed with the outcome of the election last November. While the implications of that day have yet to fully reveal themselves, it is clear to me that this moment demands increased citizen involvement in the public policy process. In short, it’s time to engage.

I’m running for Monmouth County Freeholder because I believe we can do better. Since November, I’ve visited with elected officials, party leaders, and private citizens to hear their ideas and concerns. They share my belief that we can regain our Democratic majority on the Freeholder Board through an energetic grassroots campaign that focuses on stabilizing property taxes, preserving open space, and aggressively pursuing opportunities to bring new businesses – and the jobs that come with them – to Monmouth County.

My decision to pursue the nomination is the first step on a road that I hope will lead to victory come November. I intend to build a campaign of people, not power brokers. A campaign defined not by sound bites, but substantive ideas. And perhaps most importantly, this will not be a campaign defined by one person, but by citizens joined together in the pursuit of a common goal: a green, safe, and affordable Monmouth County.

As I’ve said to those I’ve spoken with in the short time since taking this decision, I have no illusion about the many challenges that lay ahead. Yet the obstacles I face in the coming campaign are nothing compared to those facing Monmouth County and our fifty-three municipalities. Quite literally, we can no longer afford the status quo. Indeed, I firmly believe that the present circumstances requires Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike to set aside petty differences, roll up our sleeves, and work together for the public good.

I am optimistic about the future of Monmouth County and it will be my honor to run alongside Judge John D’Amico in an effort that translates that optimism into real results. In the mean time, I encourage you to keep me on my toes. Let me know what I’m doing right, what you think I can be doing better, and please be sure to visit my web site at www.vincentsolomeno.com.

Thank you.

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Filed under Monmouth County Freeholder Candidate, New Jersey, Vincent Solomeno

in Middletown Vote Sean Brynes and Patrick Short For Integrity, Ingenuity, Responsibility and Commitment

Election day in Middletown is tomorrow, just like it is throughout the state. Middletown residents have a great opportunity to elect two well qualified, upstanding individuals and fellow Middletowner into office tomorrow, those individuals are Sean Byrnes and Patrick Short.

Each have served Middletown well over the past two and a half years and it is time for their good work to continue. In Byrnes’s case that means electing him the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, where he can continue to work for more open and transparent government and keep a watchful eye over county finances just as he has done here in Middletown.

In the case of Patrick Short, no one could have more integrity,ingenuity,responsibility or commitment than he.

Patrick Short hasn’t made any friends down at Town Hall and that is a good thing! He has always looked out for the residents interests and never his own or party’s. He lead the fight to have resolutions and ordinances posted on the township website prior to public meeting, he fought to eliminated health benefits for part-time elected and appointed officials in Middletown and he has lead the fight in the alleviation of the flooding problem in the Port Monmouth section of town. And it should be noted that Short does not collect a salary, health benefits or is entered into the pension system, he is not compensated in any way for his service. Short very well may be the only elected official in the state that can boast of such a claim!

Both men have served our country well, Byrnes as a member of the US Coast Guard for 22 years retiring with the rank Commander and Short, who as a West Point graduated, served in the US Army retiring as a Lt. Colonel.
Both their backgrounds in management have proven invaluable in keeping taxes down, neither have ever voted for a tax increase while their Republican colleagues have increased taxes by 16% over the last 4 years.
Because of their opposition to township bonding over the past two years Middletown’s debt peaked at $85 million and is now on a downward slope of approx. $65 million.
This fact alone warrents your vote, I know it does mine. So when you enter that voting booth tomorrow remember what Sean Byrnes and Patrick Short have ment to our commuintiy over the past three years and vote for them: Byrnes for Freeholder and Short for Township Committee.

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Filed under Democratic Candidate, Middletown Township Committee, Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Monmouth County Freeholder Candidate, Patrick Short, Sean F. Byrnes

Remember When Voting For Monmouth County Freeholder:Byrnes Best Bet For Freeholder

When residents of Monmouth County enter the voting booths tomorrow remember one thing before you pull that lever to vote for Freeholder: Byrnes Best Bet For Freeholder.

That was the headline of the Oct.18th editorial in the Asbury Park Press in which the APP endorsed Byrnes for Freeholder over last years retreat John Curley.

For those who would like to read again what the APP said about Sean Byrnes in it’s endorsmen, I’ve re-posted the editorial below:

Monmouth County voters are fortunate to have three well-qualified, civic-minded candidates to choose from in this year’s election for an open seat on the Board of Freeholders. But Democrat Sean Byrnes’ passion for cutting government spending and increasing transparency separate him from the field.

Byrnes, Republican John Curley and Independent Stan Rosenthal are seeking the seat being vacated by Freeholder Director Barbara McMorrow, who opted not to seek re-election this year, citing health reasons. Curley, vice president of an auto dealership and a former Red Bank councilman, was narrowly defeated by Democrat Amy Mallet in last year’s election.

Byrnes, an attorney and Middletown township committeeman, is bright, articulate and has an uncommon grasp of issues affecting Monmouth County residents.

His review of the county budget has enabled him to pinpoint departments “ripe for cutting,” and he has identified specific positions within departments that have more personnel than needed to function well. He says he will push for across-the-board 10 percent budget cuts, as well as directing some department heads to find further cuts.

A proponent of openness in government, Byrnes said he would make sure all county budget data and other information of interest to residents would be posted online. He lamented the apathy he has seen about county government, and said having more information easily available would encourage residents to get involved and provide input on ways to make government more efficient and responsive.

Byrnes’ extensive volunteer and professional background have given him hands-on budget and management experience that would serve him well on the freeholder board.

A private-practice attorney with no public contracts, Byrnes has served on the Red Bank Board of Education and the boards of directors for the Community YMCA, the Parker Clinic and the Charter School. A graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, he served in the Coast Guard for 22 years before recently retiring as a commander.

Control of the freeholder board, now in the hands of the Democrats after decades of all-Republican membership, is again on the line in this election. Curley raised concerns that a Democratic majority on the board would enable the state party leadership to gain control over jobs and contracts in Monmouth County.

But Byrnes does not appear to be beholden to his party’s political bosses. In fact, he has been critical of some of the patronage appointments and contracts handed out with little or no oversight during the past year. Byrnes said he was pleased with the current freeholder board’s decisions to have in-house legal and engineering services and “doing away with a system that allowed handouts.”

In Red Bank, Curley successfully fought machine politics and helped keep a helipad, a patronage-job visitors center and a solid waste station from being built in the borough.

Rosenthal, a retired financial analyst with Merrill Lynch, has been active with several volunteer programs and is passionate about helping people in need, especially during these tough economic times. He says his presence on the freeholder board would make it truly bipartisan, and he promised greater oversight in the budget process.

Curley and Rosenthal both have strong credentials. But Byrnes is exceptional, the best choice in a field of three worthy candidates.

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Filed under Asbury Park Press, Middletown, Monmouth County Freeholder Candidate, Sean F. Byrnes

Support Sean Byrnes For Monmouth County Freeholder

For readers of this blog who do not know, I write a column that appears in the Monitor Newspapers called “Take it from me”. I have contributed several articles to the Monitor over the past few months, the lastest is in this weeks special election coverage edition and can be read below. It is my take on why you should elect Middletown Committeeman Sean F. Byrnes the next Monmouth County Freeholder.

I hope you find it interesting and informative enough to persaude your vote towards Sean Byrnes this coming Tuesday, Nov. 3rd :

With so much attention being paid to this year’s NJ Governors race between Jon Corzine and Chris Christie, other important races for political office throughout the state are being overshadowed, ignored and all but forgotten about by all except those who are seeking office. One such race happens to be for Monmouth County Freeholder.

In 2006, Barbara McMorrow was able to break the stranglehold that Republicans held in the county by becoming the first Democrat elected to the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders in over 20 years. Those of John D’Amico and Amy Mallet followed her election in 2007 & 2008, which turned over control of the county to democrats for the first time since 1986.

It looked as if Monmouth County would remain a “Blue” county for the foreseeable future, McMorrow was extremely popular and she was up for re-election this year. Republicans throughout the county did not want to run against her, due in part to her popularity. Then came news in late March that Freeholder McMorrow would not seek re-election this year due to illness. Democratic hearts sank while Republican hopes at recapturing the county swelled: the search for viable candidates on both sides started in earnest.

The best that the Monmouth GOP could come up with was republican retread John Curley, who lost last year’s election to Amy Mallet and who, as a councilman in Red Bank, resigned suddenly to move to Middletown citing high property taxes in Red Bank as one of his reasons.

Monmouth County Democrats chose a fresh, young face in Middletown’s Sean F. Byrnes to run against John Curley. And, as far as I’m concerned they made an excellent choice.

Byrnes grew up in Red Bank and graduated from Red Bank Regional High School before attending the US Coast Guard Academy, where he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Government. He retired from the Coast Guard after 22 years of service to our country as a Commander. While serving in the Coast Guard, Sean Byrnes went to night school and earned his Law Degree from Georgetown University.

Sean Byrnes has always had a strong believed in public service and throughout his life has placed a high priority on it. He has served as a member of the Red Bank board of education, Red Bank River Center and as a founding Board Trustee with the Parker Clinic. He served five years as Chairman of the Board of the Red Bank Branch of the YMCA, and two years as their Chief Volunteer Officer. He also serves as a minister and lector at the Church of St. Leo the Great, Lincroft.


In 2007, Sean garnered broad bipartisan support when he was elected to the Middletown Township Committee. In doing so, he became only the second Democratic elected in 18 years.

Since his election, Sean has focused on transparency in government, fiscal accountability and improved municipal governance. He drafted and secured passage of a resolution requiring all resolutions and ordinances to be posted on the Township website in advance of public meetings. He also voted against an ordinance that placed restrictions on the videotaping of Township meetings. Byrnes has repeatedly proposed resolutions to create a Finance Committee to begin the budget process well in advance of budget approval. And, introduced an ordinance to eliminate health benefits to Sewerage Authority Commissioners. To improve municipal governance in Middletown, Sean secured passage of a resolution establishing a Strategic Planning Committee and a Committee to implement the recently completed Recreation Master Plan.

Sean Byrnes is clearly the most qualified and best candidate to succeed Barbra McMorrow for Freeholder. His years of public service to our country, as well as our community, has prepared him well to represent the residents of Monmouth County as our next Freeholder.

Middletown’s loss will be Monmouth County’s gain.


If anyone is interested in receiving the Monitor Newspaper free by mail, you can email your information to monitornewpapers@gmail.com

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Filed under Middletown, Monitor Newspaper, Monmouth County Freeholder Candidate, Sean F. Byrnes

Asbury Park Press Endorses Byrnes For Monmouth County Freeholder

In this morning’s editorial section of the Asbury Park Press, the paper has given it’s endorsement for Monmoith County Freeholder to Middletown Committeeman Sean F. Byrnes.

In so doing, the APP states that “Byrnes’ passion for cutting government spending and increasing transparency separate him from the field.”… “Byrnes does not appear to be beholden to his party’s political bosses. In fact, he has been critical of some of the patronage appointments and contracts handed out with little or no oversight during the past year.” and added “…Byrnes is exceptional, the best choice in a field …”


Here’s the full endorsment:

Byrnes best bet for freeholder

Monmouth County voters are fortunate to have three well-qualified, civic-minded candidates to choose from in this year’s election for an open seat on the Board of Freeholders. But Democrat Sean Byrnes’ passion for cutting government spending and increasing transparency separate him from the field.

Control of the freeholder board, now in the hands of the Democrats after decades of all-Republican membership, is again on the line in this election. Curley raised concerns that a Democratic majority on the board would enable the state party leadership to gain control over jobs and contracts in Monmouth County.

But Byrnes does not appear to be beholden to his party’s political bosses. In fact, he has been critical of some of the patronage appointments and contracts handed out with little or no oversight during the past year. Byrnes said he was pleased with the current freeholder board’s decisions to have in-house legal and engineering services and “doing away with a system that allowed handouts.”

In Red Bank, Curley successfully fought machine politics and helped keep a helipad, a patronage-job visitors center and a solid waste station from being built in the borough.

Rosenthal, a retired financial analyst with Merrill Lynch, has been active with several volunteer programs and is passionate about helping people in need, especially during these tough economic times. He says his presence on the freeholder board would make it truly bipartisan, and he promised greater oversight in the budget process.

Curley and Rosenthal both have strong credentials. But Byrnes is exceptional, the best choice in a field of three worthy candidates.

Byrnes, Republican John Curley and Independent Stan Rosenthal are seeking the seat being vacated by Freeholder Director Barbara McMorrow, who opted not to seek re-election this year, citing health reasons. Curley, vice president of an auto dealership and a former Red Bank councilman, was narrowly defeated by Democrat Amy Mallet in last year’s election.

Byrnes, an attorney and Middletown township committeeman, is bright, articulate and has an uncommon grasp of issues affecting Monmouth County residents.

His review of the county budget has enabled him to pinpoint departments “ripe for cutting,” and he has identified specific positions within departments that have more personnel than needed to function well. He says he will push for across-the-board 10 percent budget cuts, as well as directing some department heads to find further cuts.

A proponent of openness in government, Byrnes said he would make sure all county budget data and other information of interest to residents would be posted online. He lamented the apathy he has seen about county government, and said having more information easily available would encourage residents to get involved and provide input on ways to make government more efficient and responsive.

Byrnes’ extensive volunteer and professional background have given him hands-on budget and management experience that would serve him well on the freeholder board.

A private-practice attorney with no public contracts, Byrnes has served on the Red Bank Board of Education and the boards of directors for the Community YMCA, the Parker Clinic and the Charter School. A graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, he served in the Coast Guard for 22 years before recently retiring as a commander.


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Filed under Asbury Park Press, Democratic Candidate, endorsement, John Curley, Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Monmouth County Freeholder Candidate, Sean F. Byrnes