Manalapan mayor’s gala supports local organizations

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By Mark Rosman
Staff Writer

MANALAPAN – Community groups were the recipients of proceeds from the Mayor’s Gala that was held in November at the Battleground Country Club, Manalapan.

Mayor Mary Ann Musich said the Mayor’s Gala affords the Township Committee an opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding contributions of Manalapan’s residents and businesses, while raising funds to contribute to local charities.

Checks were presented to representatives of the community groups during the Dec. 14 meeting of the Township Committee. The following area organizations received a donation: Samaritan Center, $15,500; JAR of Hope, $3,500; Manalapan Arts Council, $3,000; Manalapan Police Explorers, $500; Brennan Stands Alone, $2,000; Kickin’ It, $2,250; Friendship Circle, $1,250; Manalapan Domestic Violence Response Team, $1,000.

The Samaritan Center operates a food pantry whose purpose is to provide food for individuals and families in need in Englishtown, Manalapan, Marlboro and Millstone Township.

JAR of Hope is dedicated to bringing awareness and raising funds directed to ongoing research with the goal of eliminating Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

The Manalapan Arts Council is dedicated to enriching and developing creative arts by providing diverse artistic programming and entertainment for residents of Manalapan and neighboring communities.

The Manalapan Police Explorers gives young adults an opportunity to learn about law enforcement and community service. The Explorers work with the Manalapan Police Department.

Brennan Stands Alone is a foundation that was created to ease the burden of routine stress for those injured in the line of duty in order that they may focus on treatment and rehabilitation.

Kickin’ It is an anti-bullying center that has programs for children beginning at the pre-school level.

Friendship Circle is a nonsectarian organization that provides social and recreational activities for individuals with special needs.

The Manalapan Domestic Violence Response Team is made up of volunteers who are advocates for families that are experiencing domestic violence.

Honorees at the Mayor’s Gala were Anthony Morelli, a former mayor of Manalapan and the Samaritan Center director; U.S. Olympian and Manalapan native Robby Andrews; CERT-MRC member Mindy Dinburg; Board of Health member Maizie Frankiel; Manalapan High School Principal Adam Angelozzi; and Gino Palummo of Uncle Gino’s Marketplace.

In other business at the Dec. 14 Township Committee meeting, the committee passed a resolution authorizing an agreement between the township and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 73, AFL-CIO Local 1236.

The existing agreement between the township and AFSCME expired on Dec. 31, 2015 and the parties negotiated a new agreement, according to the resolution.

Township Administrator Tara Lovrich said the AFSCME agreement “covers a diverse group of employees with varying skill sets, including all clerical and union administrative employees, as well as subcode officials and inspectors in the Construction Department.

“It is a four-year agreement that runs from Jan. 1, 2016 through Dec. 31, 2019. The salaries range from a clerical employee at just under $28,000 to a construction
subcode official, who is licensed by the state, at slightly more than $80,000.

“The contract percent increases were given on a sliding scale by job title, however, the total cost of contract over four years was approximately 11 percent,” Lovrich said.

Finally, Committeeman Jordan Maskowitz concluded six years of service on the governing body by thanking his fellow committee members and the municipal staff for all of their efforts on behalf of Manalapan’s residents.