By Freeholder Tom Arnone
Monmouth County Freeholder Tom Arnone
I’m proud to announce the Board of Chosen Freeholders has introduced a zero tax-increase budget, while maintaining the high quality of services for our residents. We will be keeping the tax levy flat while keeping spending down. As introduced, the budget is $445 million, in comparison to $493 million in 2010.
As public servants, this is what we strive for – providing residents with the high quality of life and services they deserve at the lowest possible cost.
The public will have a chance to listen to the budget presentation two more times, with the next presentation being held at 5 p.m. on March 9 at the Monmouth County Library Headquarters in Manalapan. The final presentation will be held at 5 p.m. on March 23 at the Monmouth County Library – Eastern Branch in Shrewsbury.
The efficiency and efficacy of our County government does not stop with a flat budget. We’re constantly looking for new ways to bring cost saving measures to our 53 municipalities. As the liaison to the County’s department of economic development, it’s my job to advocate for shared services.
The most recent shared services agreement we’re proud of occurred between the County and Manasquan, who was searching for an entity to collect sediment material from a recent bulkhead project. As part of the agreement, the County collected the sediment for its own reclamation center, resulting in a large cost savings measure for Manasquan. Mutually beneficial relationships like this are occurring around the County.
These are the stories I like to tell others about as a way of promoting all the County has to offer. I especially enjoy discussing shared service opportunities during business roundtable meetings, which I’ve hosted in municipalities around the County. Most recently, I visited with business owners and officials in Keansburg, where I discussed potential new ways our County government can help. I’ll be continuing these business roundtables again this year and would like to visit any municipality that is interested.
In addition, we will be hosting a shared services seminar for municipalities this May. More information will be released in the coming weeks.
I’m also happy to announce we’re at vendor capacity for our annual Made in Monmouth event April 8 at Monmouth University. Vendors who wish to participate in this event that showcases consumer products made in Monmouth County must register on a wait list. I encourage everyone to attend and shop local.
Lastly, I’d like to thank the Ashley Lauren Foundation for allowing me to participate in their annual Butterfly Ball “Dancing For Our Stars” Competition Feb. 25. It was truly an inspiring evening where we heard from families facing pediatric cancer.
As always, I look forward to serving the County in 2017.