By Freeholder Gary J. Rich, Sr.
With all the vitriol surrounding this year’s Presidential election, it would be easy for voters to believe that the disfunction of Washington extends down to all levels of government. Fortunately for the residents of Monmouth County, that assumption couldn’t be further from accurate.
Over the last several years, the all-Republican Freeholder Board in Monmouth County has delivered year after year of the highest caliber of government services, while maintaining the utmost attention to fiscal responsibility. It is no coincidence that Monmouth County is one of only 33 counties in the country to hold a AAA bond rating from all three rating agencies, a distinction we have now held for 18 years in a row. From 2012 through 2014, the current Freeholder Board held the County tax levy flat while simultaneously cutting millions of dollars in operating costs from the County budget.
Led this year by Freeholder Director Tom Arnone and Deputy Director Serena DiMaso, the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders delivered the largest cut to the county tax rate in recent memory, returning $4.5 million to Monmouth County taxpayers.
Working with Tom and Serena over the last five years, I can unequivocally say that you will not find two more dedicated public servants. Tom has spent his time on the board dedicated to expanding shared services between the County and our local municipalities to save money at both levels. He has introduced Made in Monmouth and Grown in Monmouth programs to help our small businesses and farmers in Monmouth County to thrive. And he has doggedly pursued the fight to save Shark River, a cause he has spent over 20 years advocating for and working with all levels of government to negotiate a resolution. Tom was one of the most integral players in the process that led to Shark River’s dredging finally getting the go-ahead earlier this year.
Serena epitomizes the true meaning of public service in everything she does. In addition to her full-time role on the Freeholder Board, Serena is a volunteer first responder in Holmdel, responding to emergencies at all hours of the day and night, serving as a lifeline when tragedy strikes. Serena also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Foundation for Women Legislators, crossing the aisle to work with female legislators in both parties to share ideas, causes and best practices.She has been instrumental in shrinking government and continues to work on innovative and cost savings programs.
I am proud to serve with a team of dedicated Republicans that truly puts the Monmouth County taxpayer first. I hope voters will join me in enthusiastically supporting the re-election of Tom Arnone and Serena DiMaso, as well as Shaun Golden for Sheriff and Rosemarie Peters for Surrogate, tireless advocates for the residents of Monmouth County.