Freehold Borough council hires new business administrator

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FREEHOLD – As Freehold Borough’s longtime business administrator prepares to retire, a new business administrator has been appointed.

The Borough Council’s Dec. 16 meeting was the final meeting for Joseph Bellina, who became business administrator in January 2000 and will retire on Dec. 31.

That evening, council members appointed Stephen Gallo as business administrator for a five-year term from Jan. 6, 2020 through Jan. 5, 2024, after which he may be reappointed.

Council members passed a resolution honoring Bellina on the occasion of his retirement and praised him for his tenure as business administrator.

“Thank you so much for your countless hours and dedication to Freehold Borough,” said council President Kevin Kane, who will become mayor in January. “Even though you are a Yankees fan, we never let that get between us. I learned so much from you. I just want to thank you for everything you have done for us.”

Councilwoman Sharon Shutzer said, “I really have to say you have served us with distinction and dedication. You have put up with our foolishness, our rantings, our ravings. You have remained a gentleman and I just cannot thank you enough; not only as an individual councilwoman, but as a resident of this town, I thank you.”

Shutzer also thanked Bellina’s wife, Linda, who was in attendance at the meeting.

“Linda, we know here that behind every good man there is a good woman,” she said. “Thank you, Linda, thank you Joe, from the bottom of our hearts.”

Gallo has been Keyport’s business administrator since 2014. During the meeting he congratulated Bellina and thanked the governing body for the appointment.

“I want to congratulate you (Bellina) on your retirement,” Gallo said. “To the members of the governing body, the citizens here … I had the opportunity to spend two-plus hours with Joe on Saturday morning and he filled me in on everything. I appreciate the time he gave me out of his personal schedule and he even picked up the tab for breakfast. Obviously, I have big shoes to fill.

“I want everyone to understand the way I approach this job is that I am your humble servant. … My job is to recommend to the council and the mayor. I’m not the decider, I’m the recommender. I’ll bring a bunch of ideas to you, two or three of them might be good ones. I look forward to working with everyone here … Thank you for this opportunity, I’m very excited to get started,” Gallo said.