Lucas will serve as mayor in Manalapan

Township Committee names Cohen deputy mayor for 2010

BY MARK ROSMAN Staff Writer

The Manalapan Township Committee has elected Committeeman Andrew Lucas to serve as Manalapan’s mayor for 2010. Lucas was tapped as mayor when the governing body held its reorganization meeting for the new year on Jan. 3 at the municipal building.

Lucas, a native of Manalapan who began serving on the Township Committee in January 2005, previously served as mayor in 2007. His current three-year term will be up in December.

Under the Township Committee form of government the members of the governing body select a committee member to serve as mayor for a one-year term. The mayor runs the municipal meetings.

Guests in the packed meeting room at town hall looked on as Ryan Green was sworn in by New Jersey Lt. Gov.-elect Kimberly M. Guadagno to begin serving his first three-year term on the committee.

Green was elected in November and joins Lucas and Committeewoman Susan Cohen to give Republicans a 3-2 majority on the governing body.

Democrats Michelle Roth and Don Holland continue their terms in office.

In accepting his position on the Manalapan Township Committee, Green, who recently stepped down from his seat on the Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District Board of Education, thanked residents for giving him the opportunity to serve the community.

“It is an honor and a privilege to serve and I am humbled to be seated here,” he said.

Green thanked a number of individuals who worked on his campaign, and he thanked his family and his wife, Judith, for their support of his commitment to public service.

“I am looking forward to a productive 2010,” he said.

Green will serve as the committee’s liaison to the following departments/ committees: Finance, Public Safety, the Manalapan Arts Council, and Special Needs.

Lucas was sworn in to office as mayor by Monmouth County Surrogate Rosemarie D. Peters. She said she first met Lucas four years ago when they were running for county offices.

“Andrew is a very special person,” Peters said. “He is willing to give his time to serve. He has deep roots in the community, a wonderful work ethic and an Ivy League education that gives him an understanding of finance. Manalapan is fortunate to have a public servant of his character.”

In his comments, Lucas said that during his years on the Township Committee the governing body has had Republicans, Democrats and independents.

He said, “We need to continue working across party lines. We have been able to put politics aside to get things done for the town,” and he mentioned items such as the Manalapan Recreation Center expansion, the development of Thompson Grove Park and effective municipal budgets.

In a brief comment about finances, Lucas said, “the economic climate makes it unconscionable to raise taxes on residents.”

Lucas will serve as the committee’s liaison to the following five departments/committees: Administration, Environmental, Finance, Shade Tree Committee, and the Western Monmouth Utilities Authority.

Cohen, who was elected to serve as deputy mayor, will serve as the committee’s liaison to three departments/committees: Health, Freehold Regional High School District, and Heritage Committee.

Cohen was appointed to the committee in 2007 and elected to a three-year term in November 2007. She previously served as deputy mayor in 2008. Her current term will end in December.

Roth will serve as the committee’s liaison to the following four departments/committees: Recreation, Transportation, Community Service, and Shared Services.

Holland will serve as the committee’s liaison to the following five departments/ committees, Public Works, Manalapan Englishtown Regional School District Board of Education, Construction, Municipal Agricultural/Open Space Advisory Committee, and Shared Services.

In key appointments, the committee named the following individuals to serve in these capacities for 2010: township attorney/ parliamentarian, Roger McLaughlin of McLaughlin, Gelson, D’Apolito and Stauffer; township engineer, Gregory R. Valesi of CME Associates; township planner, Richard Cramer of T&M Associates; chief financial officer, Patricia Addario. Those appointments were made in 5-0 votes.

Other appointments included special counsel for bankruptcy, Sal Alfieri of Cleary Alfieri and Jones (appointed 4-1, Roth voted no); special counsel for tax appeals, Alfieri (appointed 4-1, Roth voted no); municipal prosecutor, Nicole Sonnenblick (appointed 5-0); public defender, Susan Clark (appointed 5-0); arborist/certified tree expert, Shari Spero of CME Associates (appointed 5-0); and appraiser for tax appeals, Pamela J. Brodowski of BRB Valuation and Consulting Services (appointed 4-1, Roth voted no).