Category Archives: Monmouth County NJ

Vin Gopal Announces Candidacy for Monmouth County Democratic Party Chairman

Receives overwhelming support across Monmouth County from more than 100 Democratic Leaders and the unanimous endorsement of the Monmouth-Ocean AFL-CIO Central Labor Council

February 14th, 2012

Contact: 732-299-5625

LONG BRANCH – Democratic activist and local businessman Vin Gopal formally announced his candidacy for Monmouth County Democratic Party Chairman with the support of more than 100 Democratic Party municipal chairs, mayors, elected officials and local leaders.

After serving as the Monmouth County Democratic Party Chairman for 24 years, Victor V. Scudiery recently announced that he would not seek another term as the County Chair.

“Victor has led our party with courage and integrity, growing this county’s Democratic organization and helping to elect dozens of Democrats throughout the county” said Gopal. “I know that he will continue to support Democrats after June as he focuses on his other business and charitable endeavors.”

In an impressive show of support, elected Democrats throughout Monmouth County signed a letter touting Gopal’s record of fundraising and organizing. These Democratic party leaders are encouraging fellow Democrats to support Gopal, citing his recent bid for the New Jersey State Assembly, where he received the most votes of any Democratic legislative candidate in Monmouth County. Gopal was also the only Monmouth County Democratic Legislative Candidate who received an endorsement from the Asbury Park Press and his team was able to raise over $200,000 for his campaign.

Gopal has spent the last six years organizing and fundraising for Democratic campaigns throughout Monmouth County. Gopal has hosted over thirty fundraisers, which helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Democratic candidates for municipal and county races. Gopal’s aggressive fundraising efforts have helped the Democrats win elections in key municipalities and his grass roots organizing has led to the formation of new Democratic Clubs in Colts Neck, Neptune City, Little Silver, West Long Branch and other municipalities.

Joe Caliendo, Chairman of the Middletown Democratic Party, which has 92 County Committee seats and would be crucial to any candidate’s effort to become the County Chairman, has endorsed Gopal, stating: “I am supporting Vin Gopal because he brings energy and experience, a combination we need for the Monmouth County Democrats. I will let our delegation know why I am supporting Vin this June as Victor Scudiery’s successor.”

Gopal currently owns and operates several businesses, including a chain of community publications supported by over 200 advertisers that reach over 35,000 homes and businesses each month. He also owns and operates a retail embroidery and sign store in Hazlet that serves more than 1,000 customers per year. Gopal serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Northern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Trustees of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monmouth County and is President of the Hazlet Business Owners Association. Gopal also volunteered for many years as an EMT for rescue squads in Freehold and Colts Neck.

A graduate of Penn State University, Vin Gopal is a former legislative aide to New Jersey Assemblyman Herb Conaway and former fundraiser for Newark City Councilman Ron Rice, Jr. He resides in Long Branch, NJ.

Please see below for full text of endorsement.

Dear County Committee Member:

“With news that Monmouth County Democratic Party Chairman Victor Scudiery will retire in June, we fully endorse Vin Gopal as the next county chairman.

We believe that Vin, as County Chairman, will best carry on the work that Vic Scudiery started and will help lead our party toward Democratic victories across the county. While Vic’s generosity and commitment can never be replaced, we know that the Monmouth County Democratic Party under Vin will emphasize a new vigor, fresh perspective and a bright future for all Democrats.

We are confident that Vin will provide the leadership we need because he has a proven record of fundraising, organizing, and party-building. Vin has hosted over thirty fundraisers for municipal and county candidates, helping to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars. Vin has also been the driving force in the formation of many new Democratic Clubs such as West Long Branch, Colts Neck, and Neptune City. Additionally, Vin has built alliances statewide that will move Monmouth County forward.

As a candidate for State Assembly this past year, Vin was the only Democratic legislative candidate from Monmouth County to win the endorsement of The Asbury Park Press. He was also the highest vote-getter of any Democratic legislative candidate in Monmouth County this year. Vin has been there for every one of us and we are confident he will be an outstanding party chairman who will unite Democrats across this county.

Based on all of these reasons and many others, we are proud to stand with Vin Gopal today and we will stand with him in June at our convention. We all look forward to urging our respective county committee members to support Vin because he is the best person to lead our party.”

Signed below.

DEMOCRATIC MUNICIPAL CHAIRS

Bill Shenton, Aberdeen

Amy Quinn, Asbury Park & County Dems Vice-Chair

Luis Pulido, Belmar

Ed Cicchi, Bradley Beach

Rick Ambrosia, Colts Neck

Matt Cohen, Fair Haven

J.J. Mistretta, Freehold Township

Rebecca Kane, Highlands

Andy Bace, Hazlet

Tony Orsini, Holmdel

Steve Morlino, Howell

Robert Napoli, Interlaken

John McCarthy, Keansburg
Bob Bergen, Keyport

Daniel J. O’Hern, Little Silver

Mike Ryan, Lake Como

Gerry Ward, Manalapan
Florlee Wan, Matawan

Joe Caliendo, Middletown

Jackie Dollive, Neptune City

Jim Mowczan, Neptune

Janice Robbins, Ocean Township

Ed Zipprich, Red Bank

Ann Baker, Roosevelt

Dina Long, Sea Bright

Norma Rosenbloom, Shrewsbury Borough

Ed Nolan, Shrewsbury Township

Michael Lee, Tinton Falls

Ken Connors, Union Beach

Eric Brophy, Wall Township

Larry Shapiro, West Long Branch

ELECTED OFFICIALS

Aberdeen Mayor Fred Tagliarini

Asbury Park Mayor Ed Johnson

Belmar Mayor Matthew Doherty

Bradley Beach Mayor Julie Schreck

Neptune Mayor Randy Bishop

Lake Como Mayor Mike Ryan

Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long

Roosevelt Mayor Beth Battel

Shrewsbury Mayor Ed Nolan

Spring Lake Mayor Jennifer Naughton

Aberdeen Deputy Mayor Margaret Montone
Asbury Park Deputy Mayor John Loffredo

Neptune Deputy Mayor Eric Houghtaling

Aberdeen Councilman Greg Cannon

Atlantic Highlands Councilman Roy Dellosso

Freehold Borough Council President George Schnurr

Hazlet Committeeman Joe Belasco

Highlands Councilman Chris Francy

Highlands Councilwoman Rebecca Kane

Highlands Councilman Kevin Redmond

Holmdel Committeeman Larry Fink

Interlaken Councilman Robert Napoli
Keyport Council President Christian Bolte

Keyport Councilman Kenneth McPeek

Keyport Councilman Joe Sheridan

Keyport Councilwoman Joy-Michele Tomczak
Lake Como Councilwoman Marni McFadden-Lee
Lake Como Councilwoman Patricia Tzibrouk
Little Silver Councilman Daniel J. O’Hern
Neptune Committeeman Kevin McMillan
Neptune Committeewoman Mary Beth Jahn
Red Bank Council President Art Murphy

Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich

Red Bank Councilwoman Kathy Horgan

Red Bank Councilwoman Juanita Lewis

Red Bank Councilwoman Sharon Lee

Spring Lake Councilwoman Janice Venables

Spring Lake Councilwoman Priscilla Reilly

Spring Lake Councilman Bob Drasheff

Mike Beson, Democratic Leader

FORMER FREEHOLDERS

Former Monmouth County Freeholder Amy Mallet

Former Monmouth County Freeholder John D’Amico

Former Monmouth County Freeholder John Villapiano

LABOR LEADERS

Monmouth Ocean AFL-CIO CLC – Official Unanimous Endorsement
Wyatt Earp
Mike Ryan

Pete Geronimo

Chuddy Whalen

Joe Caliendo

ADDITIONAL ENDORSEMENTS

“As Democratic leaders in Red Bank, we proudly support Vin Gopal as the next county Democratic Chairman. Vin has supported Democrats in Red Bank for years, helping us raise money and helping us organize our campaigns. He would make an outstanding chairman and we plan to inform the Red Bank delegation about our support.”

Red Bank Democratic Party Municipal Chairman & Councilman Ed Zipprich

Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna
Red Bank Council President Art Murphy

Red Bank Councilwoman Kathy Horgan
Red Bank Councilwoman Juanita Lewis
Red Bank Councilwoman Sharon Lee

Red Bank Democrats Vice Chairwoman Lauren Niccosia
Red Bank Democratic Club President Barbara Boas

Red Bank Democratic Club Secretary Deborah Marks

“As Democratic leaders in Middletown, Monmouth County’s largest municipality, we proudly support Vin Gopal as the next county Democratic Chairman. Vin has supported Middletown for years, helping to raise money for our municipal candidates and helping the party any way he can. We will urge the 92 member Middletown delegation to support Vin Gopal this June for county chairman.”

Joe Caliendo, Middletown Democratic Party Municipal Chairman

Sean F. Byrnes, Former Middletown Township Committeeman (2008-2011)
Marilyn Tuohy, Middletown Democratic Party Vice-Chairwoman

Marilyn Maguire, State Committeewoman
Don Watson, Middletown Democratic Club President

John Amberg, Middletown Democratic Party

Marilyn Michaels, Middletown Democratic Party
Linda Baum, Middletown Democratic Party

James Grenafege, Democratic Nominee for Middletown Township (2011)

Mary Mahoney, Democratic Nominee for Middletown Township (2010)

Mike Morris, Middletown Democratic Party

“The Manalapan Democrats join Chairman Gerry Ward in fully endorsing Vin Gopal for County Democratic Chairman. As 3 former Democratic Mayors, we give Vin our 100% support and we know he will work hard to help Democrats win across Western Monmouth.”

Former Manalapan Mayor Michelle Roth

Former Manalapan Mayor Beth Ward
Former Manalapan Mayor Drew Shapiro

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Filed under AFL-CIO, candidacy announcement., Chairmanship, Democratic Party, endorsement, Hazlet Business Owners Association, Middletown NJ, Monmouth County NJ, Victor Scudiery, Vin Gopal

Pinewood Derby Winner

Tonight was Middletown Boy Scout Pack 242’s annual Pinewood Derby, guess who’s car came in 1st place! That’s right, it was my son’s car.

My son Ryan’s car came in 1st place for the Weeblo #2 den. His car will now represent thePack 242 and the Weeblos at the Monmouth County regional finals later this year.

This is the first car that either of my sons have made, in the 12 years or so that they had been involved in scouting that has come out of the Derby as the winner of their group. The average heat time of this car was 2.46851 seconds, which was very impressive.

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Filed under Boy Scouts of America, Middletown NJ, Monmouth County NJ, Pack 242, Pinewood Derby

Amy Mallet Reflects Back On Her Time As Monmouth County Freeholder

The following letter was received from Freeholder Amy Mallet

Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”- Former President Teddy Roosevelt

I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve the people of Monmouth County for the past three years. I am proud of my accomplishments which began with promises I made three years ago.

Monmouth County is now a major developer of clean, renewable solar energy at no additional cost to taxpayers. This effort provides environmental and economic benefits now and in the future. User-friendly computers offer the public a chance to learn about our solar savings in real time at four county locations. This initiative has served as a model for other solar projects that are being planned and developed throughout Monmouth County.

A key element in Government must be transparency. I proposed using digital technology so that everyone in the public can hear unedited proceedings of our meetings. Today it is simple from any computer via http://www.visitmonmouth.com. The home page has a button “Listen to Freeholder Meetings”. This is transparency, but only a start.

Our Legal Department was restructured due to past instances of excessive billing. We hired an in-house counsel to serve in a full-time capacity. This brings accountability and efficiency to our legal matters and has saved over 1.3 million dollars in just over two years.

I lead the expansion of the Veterans Interment office to include professional Veterans Services. Through the passion, diligence and long hours of our trained Veterans Service Officers and Veteran volunteers, this office is busy helping veterans in Monmouth County every day.

A comprehensive Aging Advisory Board brings energy and ideas to helping our seniors. We introduced the free Wellness Discount Program for all residents which offers discounts on prescription medication and other health products and services. Through the Office on Aging, we also established the first caregiver respite program in our county.

I called for changes at Brookdale Community College in order to take it in a better direction. This call came after researching and questioning budgets, meeting minutes, policies and procedures. We need to do what is in the best interest of our students, while providing a premier learning environment, quality education and facilities to our college.

The backbone of county government is our staff, taking us through the day-to-day operations. Many are on the front line directly helping residents care for their health and well-being, improving the safety of our roads and bridges, maintaining our justice system, imprisoning criminals at the jails, disposing and recycling our waste, staffing our libraries, parks and many functions residents do not see.

As liaison to Human Services during my tenure, it is my hope that my successor has the passion to serve as a voice in helping our neighbors who are most vulnerable. This requires an understanding of the needs of those who are less fortunate. They are our neighbors, friends, families and constituents. These individuals and families may be homeless, unemployed, hungry, home-bound, emotionally or developmentally disabled, handicapped, seniors, caregivers, troubled youth, drug and alcohol dependents, returning veterans and so many more. Our staff tends to these needs with a case load which has been growing weekly during these difficult economic times. While the demand for services is that much greater, they have still been able to hold the line on their budgets.

I must point out the areas where I believe there is more to accomplish:

Boards and Commissions which are autonomous require Term Limits. Many residents don’t realize that these entities control spending of millions of tax dollars and influence policy. The makeup of the boards should also be diverse. Turnover would make for a healthier environment. Lack of turnover is contrary to the oversight expected from residents.

Continued consolidation of duplicative functions.

Transparency needs much more work. Meeting Minutes of all autonomous boards and commissions need to be online. I already made this request twice. The website is only as good as the information contained within it. In addition, we should list all employees and new hires online (name, position, department, salary, start date)

Ethics reforms are needed. The Democratic majority instituted an Ethics Board in 2009 which was reversed by the Republicans at their first opportunity. This voluntary board would have been quite busy given the questionable situations which have arisen. Government should not be left to police itself, and history tells us there is too much at stake here to be ignored.

Advertising Panels on our bus fleet will serve many purposes including a new revenue stream. My suggestion is that we start by cross-promoting our Care Centers to bring awareness and fill additional beds which will be a revenue source. After testing the program, we can promote this program to outside entities for advertising revenue.

In the words of John Quincy Adams “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” I hope that my leadership will inspire more residents to ask questions, get involved and exercise their right to vote. Let’s never forget that this is a government “of” the people, “by” the people and “for” the people. Anything short of this is unconstitutional.

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Filed under Brookdale Community College, ethics reform, Freeholder Amy Mallet, Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Monmouth County NJ, open government, transparency, veterans services

Freeholder Amy A. Mallet wins Spinnaker Award; Local Chamber of Commerce cites her leadership, public service

FREEHOLD, NJ – Monmouth County Freeholder Amy A. Mallet was announced as the honoree of the 2011 Spinnaker Award for Public Service presented by the Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce.

Mallet of Fair Haven has been a small business owner who has served as a Monmouth County freeholder since 2009.

“I am extremely honored to be recognized by the business community for my public service,” Mallet said. “Since joining the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, I have worked to help businesses prosper, while also working to minimize the burden on Monmouth County taxpayers during this difficult economy.”

Upon bestowing the Spinnaker Award for Public Service, the chamber notes that Mallet is “an individual who has provided outstanding leadership and support” of the principles of the Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber recently announced its choices for this year. The annual Spinnaker Award Dinner will take place on Nov. 16. According to the chamber, the Spinnaker has become the premier business-to-business signature event in the region and attracts hundreds of people who attend to congratulate the honorees and to network with Monmouth County’s foremost business and community leaders.

“I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to each of the winners this year,” Mallet added. “I am honored to among those who truly understand the importance of giving back to their community.”

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Filed under Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce, Fair Haven NJ, Freeholder Amy Mallet, Monmouth County NJ, Spinnaker Award