Kane named council president; Jordan, Rogers join governing body

FREEHOLD – Kevin Kane has been elected to serve as president of the Borough Council in Freehold Borough for 2019. Council members held their annual reorganization meeting on Jan. 6 and welcomed two new public officials to the dais.

In the first order of business, incumbent Councilwoman Sharon Shutzer and newcomers Annette Jordan and Margaret Rogers took the oath of office.

Shutzer and Jordan, the winning candidates in the November election, were sworn in to begin serving three-year terms. Rogers, who was appointed to fill a vacancy, was sworn in to begin serving a one-year term.

The oath of office was administered to Shutzer by state Sen. Vin Gopal, to Jordan by Congressman Frank Pallone, and to Rogers by Gopal and state Assemblywoman Joann Downey.

Kane was then elected to serve as council president in an unanimous vote by Shutzer, Jordan, Rogers, Councilman Michael DiBenedetto, Councilman George Schnurr and himself. Kane has served on the council since 2001.

Democrats hold all six council seats and the mayor’s office in the borough.

In separate resolutions, the council accepted Mayor Nolan Higgins’ nomination of Robert Cosgrove as municipal prosecutor for 2019 and Jonathan Lomurro as public defender for 2019.

Through one resolution, council members accepted Higgins’ nomination and appointment of Business Administrator Joseph Bellina as deputy clerk, Chief Financial Officer Richard Gartz as treasurer and collector for water and sewer rents, Kathleen Caruso as deputy treasurer, Patricia Berg as tax search officer and Kevin Coyne as borough historian, each for a one-year term.

Council members appointed Paul Ceppi to a two-year term on the Planning Board, and Garry Jackson and Jose Geronimo to one-year terms; Dr. Edward Stoner to a four-year term on the Board of Health; and Coyne, Barbara Wagner and Gregory Clark to three-year terms on the Historic Preservation Committee.

Francis McDaniel was appointed to a five-year term on the Housing Authority; Roger Kane, a former mayor and father of the council president, was appointed to a three-year term on the Lake Topanemus Commission; Maureen MacCutcheon was appointed to a five-year term on the Library Commission, with Branford Rogers appointed to a two-year term and Elisha Carter appointed to a one-year term.

Matthew Young was appointed to a one-year term as a fire official on the Fire Prevention Bureau; Carol Lida, Gianna Dell’Omo, Christine Gregory and Ron Griffiths were appointed to three-year terms on the Human Relations Committee; and Gregory was also appointed to a five-year term on the Shade Tree Commission. Alice McCobb was appointed chairwoman of the Memorial Day Parade Committee.

For legal services, the council authorized a contract with Kerry Higgins of McKenna, DuPont, Higgins & Stone. For engineering services, the council authorized a contract with William Wentzien of Abbington Engineering. For consulting engineering services with utilities, the council authorized a contract with Mott MacDonald.

Council members appointed Matt Trembo as a full-time Class II special law enforcement officer (SLEO), Niall Centofanti as a part-time Class II SLEO and Ty England as a part-time Class II (SLEO), all with the Freehold Borough Police Department.