FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP – One Democrat and one Republican will seek a single three-year term on the Township Committee in Freehold Township this year.
Republicans hold all five seats on the governing body.
The term of Barbara McMorrow, who is serving as mayor in 2019, will end at the end of the year. McMorrow is not seeking re-election.
The candidates running for the available three-year term are Democrat Scott Berlin and Republican Maureen Fasano. Election Day is Nov. 5. Berlin and Fasano filed nominating petitions by the April 1 deadline.
Berlin is making his first bid for Township Committee. He is a small business owner who has a political and public relations consultancy and an independent video game development company that will have its first release this year.
Berlin said he has worked in the Arizona state legislature and with elected officials around the country. He has volunteered with the American Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society.
Born in Long Branch, Berlin lived in Middlesex County until his family moved to Arizona before he began high school. He resided in Arizona for nearly a decade and attended Northern Arizona University where he studied history in secondary education before switching to political science.
Following his time in Arizona, Berlin returned to New Jersey to reside in Freehold Township.
“Freehold Township is a great town, but we are in danger of growing stagnant,” Berlin said. “I have a vision, that I know many others do, of a 21st century Freehold Township; a forward-thinking Freehold Township that is ready to tackle the new issues we are facing and prepare for those yet to come.
“With the overdevelopment of central New Jersey, we need better public transit alternatives, such as the long-discussed Monmouth-Ocean-Middlesex rail line to reduce our commute times which are among the worst in the state.
“We need to increase the amount of shared services with Freehold Borough to reduce our tax burden and make government more efficient. And finally, we need to modernize our town, which includes a full re-examination of our master plan and better communication with residents using modern technology,” Berlin said.
Fasano is making her first bid for Township Committee. She co-owns Farmers Insurance Agency, Freehold Borough, with her husband, Eric. They opened the business in 2013 after selling an insurance agency in New York City which they had purchased from Fasano’s father. Prior to working in insurance, Fasano was a teacher at Collier High School, Marlboro.
“I am the fourth of six children to my parents Raymond and Joyce Flood,” Fasano said. “My family moved to Freehold Township when I was 3. From an early age, my parents instilled in each of us to be civic minded. I have always worked hard to be involved, help and care for our hometown and its residents.
“As a student at Laura Donovan (elementary school), Barkalow (middle school) and Freehold Township High School, my parents continued to impress upon me the need for social responsibility. I was the first student government president at Barkalow, as well as a member of the soccer and softball teams.
“In high school, I earned eight varsity letters, was a member of the marching band and the yearbook committee and, in my senior year, was president of the student government, to name a few,” she said.
“My community service began in high school, teaching CCD at St. Robert Bellarmine, and continues today. I have coached in the Freehold Soccer League for over 25 years. My involvement with Freehold Township schools began when my oldest child was 3.
“I was involved in both the redistricting committees and passing the school budget committees … I was PTO president for all three schools my children attended. I am a Monmouth County fee arbitrator and president of the Sunrise Optimist Club.
“I am also currently on the Freehold Township Parks and Recreation Commission, having served a two-year year term as chair. I am involved. I love to help. My roots are deep in Freehold Township. I am proud to call Freehold Township my home. I love my hometown and will work hard if I am elected,” Fasano said.