The Holmdel Township Committee geared up for 2013 on Wednesday night, joined by Freeholder and former Holmdel Mayor Serena Dimaso and Freeholder Thomas Arnone.
Mayor Patrick Impreveduto was elected unanimously by the Committee for another term.
"The primary focus of our administration is the continued improvement and efficiency of township operations," Impreveduto, pointing to the recent transfer of the Board of Health to county operations and the creation of a police impound lot as a source of revenue.
Impreveduto said he and the committee have three goals for 2013: to maintain the character of Holmdel, keep the town affordable for residents and to maintain a sense of community.
Real estate developer Tom Critelli is joining the five member Committee, replacing 12-year member and sole Democrat, Larry Fink, who chose not to run again.
"Tom will be a tremendous asset to Holmdel with his background in finance and development," Impreveduto said.
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The governing body is now all Republican for the first time in more than a decade.
In November, Joseph Ponisi and Critelli each garnered about 61 percent of the
vote in a face-off against their respective Democratic Party opponents, Larry Luttrell and Mark Levinson. Ponisi won an unexpired one-year term, and Critelli a full, three-year term.
Elected Township Committee members receive a salary set by ordinance ranging from $2,600 - $4,300; the deputy mayor a range of $2,700 - $4,500, and the mayor $2,800 - $5,000.
Issues before the Township Committee will be the future of the
473-acre Alcatel-Lucent development tract, under contract by Somerset
Development; the hiring of a new Township Administrator to replace the
recently-resigned Andy Katz; and plugging an anticipated budget gap
without raising taxes.
"The redevelopment of the Lucent property continues moving toward conclusion, with the closing now expected in March of 2013," Impreveduto said. "Last Friday we received the concept plan from Somerset Development, and we as a Committee will be reviewing it in the coming days."
Impreveduto said the Lucent plan is expected to bring much-needed revenue to Holmdel Township, "while maintaining Holmdel's uniquely desirable characteristics."
The township has also pledged to extend its help to Keansburg Borough, still suffering the after-effects of superstorm Sandy, a project to be spearheaded by Critelli.
The expansion of the township library in the lower level of Town Hall, into offices formerly occupied by the Recreation Department, is being overseen by Greg Buontempo.
"We have made some hard choices," Impreveduto said. "And the choices we have made have kept our tax rate one of the lowest in Monmouth County."