Category Archives: Monmouth County Library



The Monmouth County League of Women Voters will be holding a Candidates’ Forum on Wednesday, October 26th at 7:00 PM at the Monmouth County Library Headquarters on Symmes Road in Manalapan. The public is encouraged to attend and ask questions of the candidates. The Forum will be moderated by a League moderator and questions will be taken from the audience.

Come and meet the two candidates for Surrogate, Rosemarie Peters and Michael Steinhorn, and the four candidates for the Board of Chosen Freeholders: Amy Mallet, William Shea, Gary Rich and Lillian Burry. Refreshments will be served.

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy. The goal of the League of Women Voters is to empower citizens to shape better communities worldwide. For more information, contact the LWVNJ at 609-394-3303 or

Sharon Steinhorn

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Filed under League of Women Voters, Meet the Candidates, Monmouth County Library, press release

>Atlantic Highlands Library Is Monmouth County’s Newest Branch

>I found the following press release from Monmouth County somewhat interesting since Middletown’s Township Committee threatened to turn over the operation of the Middletown Library to the county earlier this year if it did not receive adequate reserved funds handed over to it, so that the funds could be applied this years Township budget.

While the circumstances behind Atlantic Highlands transferring its’ library over to the county was no less controversy, you didn’t have the public grandstanding and threats by it’s town council Like you did in Middletown that sparked such public outrage amounts library supporters.

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ – Monmouth County will officially welcome the Atlantic Highlands Library as the Library System’s on May 1, marking the addition of the 13th branch to the largest circulating library system in the state.

“It is with great enthusiasm that we welcome Atlantic Highlands as our newest branch in the Monmouth County Library System,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the Library Commission. “Atlantic Highlands is home to my daughter and grandchildren, and I know first-hand what a wonderful community it is. A library branch there only makes it more special.”

The Atlantic Highlands Borough Council last year voted to join the county library as a branch, and the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders confirmed the action in a vote in December.

“We are so pleased that the people of Atlantic Highlands have chosen to expand our long association by becoming a branch of the library,” said Renee B. Swartz, Monmouth County Library Commission chairwoman. “We will always be mindful of the faith you have demonstrated in our institution and honored that you entrusted the operation of the Atlantic Highlands Library to the library commission.”

Beginning May 1, the library at 48 Avenue C will offer new expanded hours:

Mondays, Wednesday and Saturdays – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesdays and Thursdays – 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Fridays – 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

During the past few months, work has been ongoing to make the borough library’s computer system and catalog compatible with the county system. The library is currently located on Avenue C while its new home is under construction as part of the renovations at the borough hall on First Avenue. The renovation project expected to be completed later this year.

The county library headquarters is located in Manalapan. Libraries with branch status in the county system include the Eastern Branch in Shrewsbury, Allentown, Atlantic Highlands, Colts Neck, Hazlet, Holmdel, Howell, Marlboro, Ocean Township, Oceanport, Wall and West Long Branch.


Filed under Atlantic Highlands, budget surplus, Middletown Library, Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Monmouth County Library

>Free Seminar: "How to Appeal Your Property Tax Assessment"


If any one is interested:
Monday, February 28, 2011
7:00pm – 8:30pm
Monmouth County Library, Headquarters
125 Symmes Road
Manalapan, NJ 07726

On Monday, February 28, 2011, 7:00pm – 8:30pm, the Freehold Township Democratic Club presents a free seminar on how to appeal your property tax assessment. The seminar will be held at the Monmouth County Library, Headquarters, 125 Symmes Road, Manalapan, NJ 07726. Our speaker will be Beverly Bova-Scarano, Former Commissioner of the Monmouth County Board of Taxation, Past President NJ Association of County Tax Board Commissioners & Administrators, and Licensed Residential Real Estate Appraiser, State of NJ. This event is free and open to the public! Light refreshments will be served and handouts will be provided. Topics to be covered include:

*How to avoid common mistakes

*Understanding property assessment appeals

*Just how many comparables do you really need?

*What to expect at the property assessment appeal hearing . . . if it goes that far

RSVP’s are appreciated but not necessary. Please RSVP by calling 732-616-8855 or emailing Please park in the side lot, off Alexandria Drive.


Filed under board of taxation, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Library, Seminar, tax appeals

>Update for Library Supporters

>I found the following posted on the Middletown Township Library’s website, it’s a message from Library Director Susan O’Neal thanking those that came out to show support for the library during Wednesday night’s Board of Trustees meeting.

What is most interesting about this, is her call for supporters to attend the next meeting of the Middletown Township Committee on Tuesday night, February 22nd in order to let the Township Committee know that the Library is special and any effort to dissolve the library or hand it over to the County library system would not be tolerated.

This should make for a very interesting meeting Tuesday night.

Greetings library supporters!

Thanks to the many of you who have written letters of support and/or attended the meeting of the Board of Trustees on Wednesday evening. It turned into a Town Hall type of event, with dozens of people taking their turn to speak.

The resolution of the giveback issue is that there will be a negotiation involving attorneys and administrators for both sides next week, and then the Township Committee and Library Board will each vote of acceptance of the agreement.

On this, I will keep you posted, particularly as the library board may decide to have a special meeting in early March for the express purpose of voting on a giveback of reserves.

Because the Township Committee meeting is next Tuesday at 8:00 p.m., I urge you to attend and let the TC know of your support for the library. In particular, we are fearful that the TC will proceed without public vote on dissolving the library and becoming a member of the Monmouth County Library. Unfortunately, as you may already know, public comments at the TC meetings are always at the end of their meeting. [L]

This threat now must be moved to center stage. There has been no proof presented of savings to Middletown taxpayers, and, in its own investigation, we have found out the possibility that costs might be more. Further, there is no evidence that the Monmouth Cty Library Commission or the Monmouth County Freeholders would vote to approve taking on the services to Middletown, and the prospect of doing so in a hostile environment may make it even less palatable.

On our website [] we are posting background information, budgets, reports, legislation and more. Not everything is there yet- but we’ve been asked for more info and we’re getting it up there as fast as possible. Our webmaster Megan is doing a great job trying to make this access as obvious and easy as possible for you to find. In addition, there’s a table in front of the borrower’s desk at Main with handouts of much of the same information. Next week I’ll have packets to go to the branch libraries with the same.

It’s been a rough week …………….. but it’s always you, our customers that make us smile!

Susan O’Neal, M.S.L.S.


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Filed under budget deficit, budget surplus, Middletown Library, Middletown Township Committee, Monmouth County Freeholders, Monmouth County Library, Susan O'Neal

>Middletown Committee to Library Board; Give Us Your Money Or Else…

>According to an email I received, sent out by Middletown Library treasurer Sherry Miloscia ealier today to friends, asking them to forward it along to other friends and supporters of the Middletown Library system, the Middletown Township Committee has issued an ultimatum to the Library’s Board of Trustees; Give us your money or else!

The Township Committee is looking for funds to plug a huge gap in this year’s budget and it seems that one possible way to fill in this gap is to use extortion as a weapon against the Middletown Library.

Middletown’s newest Committeeman, Kevin Settembrino, had himself appointed as the Township’s representative on the Library’s Board of Trustees. During his first official meeting as member of the Board of Trustees in January, Settembrino made it known that he was after $2.3 million of library funds which would be used to offset the current Township budget.

According to the email posted below, Settembrino made it very clear that either the Board of Trustees hand over the funds to the Township or suffer the consequences; the replacement of current board members when their terms expire with those more friendly to the Township Committee and/or turning over the Middletown library system to the County for inclusion into its system.

I was wondering how long it was going to take before this leaked out I had heard a number of weeks ago that the “sinister” Mr. Settembrino, had an unofficial meeting with library trustees shortly after being elected to the Township Committee last November. Settembrino took the opportunity to introduce himself as the new Township representative to the Board of Trustees and let it be known that he would be looking into ways on how to seize Library’s funds for Township use.

This was a campaign issue that Mr. Settembrino mentioned at the LVGA Meet the Candidates night back in October, so calling the mayor as Sherry Miloscia mentioned at the end of her email, will not help much. Mayor Fiore and the rest of the Township Committee are the ones that appointed Mr. Settembrino to the Library Board in the first place.

So if you are interested in expressing your views over this issue, I suggest you attend the Library’s Board of Trustees meeting Wednesday night in the Community Room of the Main Library on New Monmouth Rd.

From: Sherry Miloscia

Subject: Library Meeting

Date: Friday, February 11, 2011, 1:07 PM

Hi All,

If you can make it, I’d like to invite all of you to the Middletown Township Library Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday, February 16 at 7:00 pm in the Community Room. The meeting is open to the public and you will also have an opportunity to speak, if you wish.

The township committee is trying to decrease their own shortfall by having the library give back part of our budget (illegal to ask for), pay rent (also illegal) or they will start the process to make us part of the county library. If that happens, the branches will close and other towns who are part of the county library system but not that close to the Shrewsbury branch of the county library will come to Middletown instead. Parking is already difficult today, but will be near impossible if that happens. Or, they can choose to close the Middletown Library completely and then you will only have the option to go to Shrewsbury or to any of the member towns that have a library. You will still have to pay for the library as part of the taxes; it will just move from your municipal to your county taxes. They also threatened to not reappoint the trustees and replace us with people who are more sympathetic to what they are asking for.

The person representing the township committee is Kevin Settembrino. He replaced a valuable member of our Board in January, presented his demands at the January meeting, and is expecting an answer at the February meeting. We will have our attorney there to explain our position, but it would also be helpful to have library supporters at the meeting, as well. Mr. Settembrino does not have a library card. He does not have children who use the library and has not attended any programs.

If the Library Board gives Mr. Settembrino everything he asks for, we won’t be able to operate the library anymore. He’s asking for 2.3 million dollars a year, which is more than 50% of our budget. If we agreed to that, we would have to close the doors of the library.

Please forward this to anyone who you think would be impacted by this. If you can’t attend the meeting, you can also call Mayor Anthony Fiore at 732-615-2024 or email him at




Filed under extortion, Kevin Settembrino, Middletown Library, Middletown Township Committee, Monmouth County Library

>Rep. Holt: Economy, security would benefit from alternative energy


Nice presentation by Rush, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to explain the benefits of renewable energy and how it can effect the bottom line to small business owners, but I am glad that one did!

From the Asbury Park Press

MANALAPAN — Small-business owners, looking for breathing room in a sluggish economy, can capitalize on government incentives designed to help them make their buildings more energy efficient, officials said Monday.

The environmentally-conscious moves could save employers money in the long run and jump-start the alternative energy industry.

“There are all sorts of reasons to change,” Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J., said. “Some of those reasons are (that) it’s economically advantageous.”

Holt sponsored a forum at the Monmouth County Library Headquarters, telling nearly three dozen people in attendance that America’s economy and security would benefit from a shift to alternative energy.

There are signs that New Jersey is embracing the idea. The state has the nation’s second most solar capacity in the nation, behind only California. And the use of solar energy in the Garden State has tripled during the past year, said Joananne Bachmann, renewable energy account manager for New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program.

The clean energy program is operated by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.

Some in the audience said they were on board — if they could get financial help.

Sharon Brown, president of Environmental & Occupational Safety Services Inc., a Red Bank engineering firm, said her company recently received a contract from the Air Force to make safety harnesses for C-5 aircraft.

To complete the project, she said her company wants to buy the building from its
landlord, renovate it and expand.

“It’s quite hard right now for small businesses to do these on your own, so you’re
looking for incentives,” Brown said.

Officials highlighted several programs to help convince owners to conserve energy, assess their building for upgrades and look for alternative energy sources such as solar and wind power.

The main ones:

— Small and medium-sized companies with a peak electric demand that hasn’t exceeded 200 kilowatt hours during the past year can participate in a program called “Direct Install” in which a contractor assesses the efficiency of businesses’ heating and air conditioning, electrical and lighting systems.

Read More >>> Here

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Filed under Alternative energy, Asbury Park Press, clean energy solutions, Congressman Rush Holt, Monmouth County Library, small businesses

Monmouth County Freeholder Amy Mallet Deserves Credit For Library’s $6M Budget Cut

It’s good to see that someone at the county level is looking out for the tax payers here in Monmouth County.

After weeks of pressure, Freeholder Amy Mallet was successful in her efforts to have the the budget for the Monmouth County Library System scrutinized more closely and its a good thing that she did because the freeholder board’s finance director, Craig Marshall, found$6M in surplus funds that the Library Commission had been stockpiling in it’s rainy day fund.

Thanks to this finding the library commission will reduce its tax levy by $430,000, which would make the tax levy for the library system the same as in the previous year.

It’s too bad that Freehold Director Lillian Burry, places partisan politics ahead of good fiscal practices, by refusing to give Freeholder Mallet credit for the savings. It shouldn’t come as a surprise thought because Mallet has accused Burry in the past of obstructing closer looks at the budgets of other county departments.

Bob Jordan of the Asbury Park Press wrote about it in an article published on line Friday and which appeared in print yesterday.

“A closer look at the Monmouth County Library Commission’s books — not those on the shelves, but the accountant’s books — has led to good news for taxpayers, with significant budget and tax levy reductions.

Pressure by the county Board of Freeholders prompted the semiautonomous commission to cut its annual budget by $6 million and reduce its tax levy by $430,000, putting the levy at the same $12.15 million used in the previous year. The freeholders approved the new levy April 22.

The changes followed weeks of pressure from Democrat Amy Mallet for stepped-up scrutiny of the library budget. The freeholder board’s finance director, Craig Marshall, found that the commission was stockpiling excessive surplus funds — with enough money in its rainy-day fund to run operations for nearly an additional year. Marshall also uncovered budgeting for unneeded items and overbudgeting for other purchases….”

You can read more of the story >>> Here

As one commenter, voiceoflogic, wrote in response to the article:
How was this not scrutinized before? Are we to believe not all budgets were loooked into before we started jacking taxes and laying people off and jeopardizing thier livihoods. Wonder what other pots of gold will be found under the next overturned rock.

I happen to agree, in this time of economic turmoil every stone should be overturned to find what lays beneath for possible savings.
I applaud Freeholder Mallet for taking the initiative and applying the same standard to the County Library Commission as Governor Christie took on local school boards across the state by making them use their budget surpluses to hold down tax levies.
With the further scrutinising of the budgets from all Monmouth County governmental departments, what other excesses will be found that could potentially save tax payers of this county money?

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Filed under Amy Mallet, Asbury Park Press, Bob Jordan, budget surplus, Gov. Chris Christie, Monmouth County Freeholder, Monmouth County Library