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Arnone Takes Helm as Monmouth Freeholder Director

Freeholders John Curley and Serena DiMaso and Clerk M. Claire French sworn in at Monmouth County organization meeting

Shared services and economic growth will be focal points for newly appointed Freeholder Director Thomas Arnone in 2013 as the region recovers from superstorm Sandy.

Arnone, who has long advocated for increased cooperation between municipal and county government, pledged to continue that effort during the annual Freeholder board organization meeting, held at Biotechnology High School in Freehold Township on Thursday.

“When I stood here two years ago, that was my goal, that was my vision—that we were going to engage back with the municipalities. Because quite frankly, the only way we’re going to succeed in Monmouth County is as a partnership,” Arnone said. “Not every aspect of shared services will work for everybody. But there’s something for every municipality that can work together with the county to make it a better place to live.”

The county’s Grow Monmouth initiative, which aims to promote area businesses and streamline the involvement of local government in business development, will be of increased importance in the wake of Sandy, he noted.

“Right now we need businesses. We need businesses here. We need businesses to stay here and we need to put people back to work.  And the only way we’re going to do that is to streamline some of the processes with the municipalities,” Arnone said.

The freeholder director said the county’s public relations capabilities would be available to municipalities to ensure the viability of Monmouth’s $1 billion tourism industry.

“We all benefit from tourism,” Arnone said. “We have the ability to do everything possible to make everybody know that the Jersey Shore is open so that we can bring people back here and gain that revenue.”

Curley, DiMaso and French Sworn In

Monmouth County Clerk M. Claire French certified the 2012 county-wide election results during the meeting. The election saw Monmouth Republicans sweep in the two freeholder seats and the clerk’s position that were on the ballot.

French, a Wall resident, defeated Democrat Michael Steinhorn of Rumson in November. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno administered the oath of office to French.

Freeholder John P. Curley of Middletown was sworn in by state Sen. Jennifer Beck, with whom he served on the Red Bank Borough Council. Curley bested Democrat William Shea of Howell to win a full, three-year term on the county board.

Freeholder Serena DiMaso, a Holmdel resident, won over Kevin Lavan of Hazlet for a one-year unexpired term. DiMaso was sworn in by Judge Lawrence M. Lawson and will serve as deputy director of the Freeholder board in 2013.

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