Neptune Township has a few challenges that continue to affect the lives of our residents.
According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, Neptune and Asbury Park have the highest violent crime rates in Monmouth County. Fortunately, Neptune Township has an outstanding police force; we must do everything in our power to ensure that our officers have the resources they need. Technology such as “ShotSpotter” “increases tactical awareness and response” to gunshots, as well as acting as a deterrent to gun violence.
Abandoned property in Neptune Township also has a negative effect on our quality of life; they lower property values and make our town less inviting to new business. We can work towards addressing these nuisance properties by using Code Enforcement to hold the owners accountable. I would also work with the “Green Team” of Neptune Township to foster community involvement in neighborhood clean-ups.
I purchased and renovated my Neptune Township home in 2005. Owner of Foley’s Deli in Neptune City for 13 years, I have since moved on to a position as Vice President of Finance for a Trenton corporation. With my financial background, I have extensive knowledge in both creating and managing budgets and ROI’s. As a member of the leadership team I am constantly problem solving and finding more effective ways to conduct business. My team knows they can count on me, and I would bring this proactive attitude to the Township Committee.
Volunteering my time has always been a calling for me. I would like to encourage and facilitate more community involvement; it benefits our neighborhoods and brings people together.
At a recent meeting in Midtown, several residents pointed out that there are few programs for our youth when the school day is done. I would like to work with the community to find grant opportunities, volunteers and mentors to make sure that the young people of Neptune Township have access to beneficial programs. Most importantly, the citizens of Neptune must have a voice in these matters. I’ve spoken to many residents who currently feel they are not being heard.
As a shore town we have so much potential; we need leadership that can address our shortcomings and bring responsible redevelopment, new businesses, new jobs, and new revenue to Neptune Township.
Community safety is one of our biggest challenges in Neptune. Since being on the Township committee we as a committee have developed a Police Oversight Committee which has a Neptune Resident on the committee.This enables the residents in our community to have a voice.
The police Pitman schedule was put in place for police officers which increases the number of police officers on patrol at one time which increases our safety.
I would like to explore the possibility of a Township Community Center which can keep the people in the community engaged in productive activities which could also help reduce crime and improve safety in our community
I have extensive experience in leadership. I have served as the Painters local 694 Financial Secretary for 12 years. I was elected as Vice President of my Painters local 694. I have been shop steward for my employer for over 20 years. This position requires me to be a liaison between the union, the workers, and the employer which requires the skills of negotiation. The qualities of leadership and negotiation are required to be an effective member on the Township committee.
I have the desire to serve my community and have been involved for many years. Initially serving as coach on the Neptune recreation sports teams, which naturally progressed to becoming a member on the Recreation Committee, and a member on the Neptune Township planning board . I have effectively served on the Neptune Township committee for over three years .
It is important for Neptune Residents to have a sense of community. Currently there are opportunities for open communication with the township / Police . One program that is currently in place Is “ Coffee with a Cop” where police Officers have scheduled times to meet at McDonald’s where residents can come and share their concerns with the police officer. There is also a program held yearly called “Hooked on Fishing not Drugs” where the police officers fish with children to engage the children to facilitate a relationship with the police.
Serving on the Township Committee since 2016, one of my goals that I achieved was extending the hours at the Senior Center to enable working seniors to get involved in the senior center and the community. Future plans for the senior center are to put in place a monthly caregiver support group for those who care for our seniors.
There is the safety of our community. With raise of serious crime we must make sure the police have the resources they need to help combat the gun use and drug dealing. I will work with the police force and identify ways that can improved safety or lesson the gaps in support of our Neptune Police force.
The town has problems with attracting businesses and more important keeping those that have chosen our town to have their business located. These types of tax revenue streams can help to defer other tax increase. The budget certainly needs to be looked at in more depth. As a citizen advisory committee member for Jackson NJ it was very helpful to question planned expenses in hopes to leverage cost savings.
My background and career experience has me in the Business Administration and Marketing.
I am a Neptune resident living here just over 2 years. My wife and I moved from Jackson NJ to get closer to our five kids and also our grandkids. Grew up in Colts Neck, moved to Howell then Jackson where we raised our kids. While in Jackson I was involved with the Republican organization Starting with creating a young republications club and served as treasurer for a couple years. As a group we worked hard to raise money, offered volunteer services and as we progressed we became a part of the Republican Organization.
Why did I choose now to run. I could not sit back as I began to notice our town government has been in a bad way or should I say status Quo. Why are they not offering more solutions to improve safety and affordable living conditions. I see opportunity for Neptune and want to be apart of the a change.
Of course the major issue now is how do we approach and deal with the crime and drug activity. We must provide more safety in our neighborhoods. People want a quality of life that allows them to go outside of their home with out the worry of street activity.
Safety improvements can come in ways like review if we can expand he number of police or better setup the zones they patrol. We should foster a community outreach for our officers and residents.
The school activities after hours should be evaluated as well as the number of great centers in each neighborhood. Let us provide activities that the young men and women can utilize so they are not left to choose a way of life that can lead to crime.
1: Keeping taxes stable and our bond rating high is a principal goal.
That can be achieved by looking for opportunities to share services, keeping tight control on budget expenditures and maintaining a small cash position to weather unforeseen, but necessary expenditures. Our bond rating is AA+ and keeps our cost of borrowing low.
2: Greater enforcement in the maintenance of properties.(Property Maintenance)
Our residents homes are often their biggest investment so living next door to homes perpetually in a state of disrepair cannot continue. We will look to reduce the time allowed for property owners to fix and clean up their property so that it is rare that this takes more than 2 years!
3: Assure that residents are safe and feel safe!
We have done much to improve policing by establishing a Police Oversight Committee but there is still more to do! We must find new ways to deter violence in our communities, especially Midtown, and we are working closely with the folks in the community, the County Sheriffs Office and Asbury Park government.
I studied political science and law in university. While I never thought to work in government, my career as a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Consultant in financial services and health care gave me increased exposure to how government and regulators can improve and protect the lives and assets of people.
As a CTO, I managed budgets in excess of $700 million and teams as large as 1750 people around the globe.
Working in financial services, one must be disciplined and always thinking about how to improve service and cut costs and risks. In that business, customer service is a differentiator and I apply what I have learned there, to my role as a Committee-person.
I use the social media platforms (Nextdoor, Facebook groups, my Carol Rizzo Facebook page) to keep informed about what residents are seeing or feeling. Many times people reach out through one of the groups (The Gables, Shark River Hills, Ocean Grove) to ask questions other times people email me directly. I usually respond in 48 hours.
Quality of life means knowing and feeling safe. Safe can be personal safety as well as financial security. That’s why I am focused on keeping our communities safe, clean and a wonderful place to live and work. Working with our police department is amazing. Every man and woman is a well trained officer and we have been awarded Police Accreditation; given to only 1/3 of NJ police departments; high bar to meet!
For most people, their homes are their biggest investment and they don’t want to see that value go down. So we are absolutely focused on preserving value by getting properties cleaned up and properly maintained.