COLTS NECK – Russell Macnow has concluded nine years of service on the Colts Neck Township Committee.
Macnow has served three three-year terms on the governing body. The Colts Neck Republican Party, which has maintained a 5-0 majority on the Township Committee for many years, has adhered to a policy under which no member of the committee serves more than three terms.
Republican Sue Fitzpatrick will join the governing body in January. She was elected to her first term in November. The committee will hold its 2020 reorganization meeting on Jan. 4.
Fitzpatrick will join Thomas Orgo, J.P. Bartolomeo, Michael Viola and Frank Rizzuto on the governing body.
In remarks during the committee’s final meeting of 2019 on Dec. 11, Macnow said, “For the members of the public who came out to meetings to participate, whether good, bad or indifferent, I thank you for your participation over my nine years here.
“Public participation in the community is very important. If people don’t participate, it kind of tells us they aren’t paying attention and they should be. What we do here on the (Township Committee) level seems mundane, but it’s important work. It’s like running a company and we try to run it as efficiently and as smoothly as possible.
“We have great professionals here, from our business administrator, Kathleen Capristo, to our municipal clerk, Trina Lindsay, and our township attorney, Meghan Bennett, to the people you see on a day-to-day basis like our police chief, our DPW director, and our CFO … they do the best they can and they make the town work.
“I am appreciative of their efforts. We may not always agree, but disagreements are the essence of government and if everyone agrees all the time, then we wouldn’t have an effective form of government.
“And volunteers make this town tick. From members of the first aid squad and fire department to the members of the governing body, they make the town work. To those who don’t volunteer and don’t feel you are able to do it, I urge you to do it. Get out, help your neighbors and don’t forget about them,” Macnow said.
Rizzuto spoke about working alongside Macnow and specifically the work Macnow did to make the planned construction of a new police station and courthouse possible.
“Russ and I have gotten to work closely over the years,” Rizzuto said. “Russ is very dedicated to public service, especially emergency services. He has done a lot to advance this new project by saving money and making sure that when we do build it, it will be on sound financial footing.
“He did it quietly and he is very modest about it. We tease him by saying we are going to name the new building the Macnow Justice Complex and build a bronze statue on front. However, if we did name the new building after him, it wouldn’t be that far out of line because he did a lot to advance the project,” Rizzuto said.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, Jim Schatzle, a former member of the Township Committee, said, “About 10 years ago, someone came to my office and told me they thought they had someone who should run for Township Committee.
“Russell Macnow’s name was thrown out and I said I didn’t know him that well at the time. Ten years later, not only is he a benefit for our town, but I can say I have a personal friend who I appreciate.
“I could not have had a better partner to help deal with (significant storms that struck Colts Neck) and I appreciate him for that. Colts Neck is a better place because of what he has done for us,” Schatzle said.
The Township Committee announced its meeting dates for 2020. Meetings will take place at Town Hall, 124 Cedar Drive, at 7:30 p.m. unless advertised otherwise.
The dates are Jan. 8, Jan. 29, Feb. 12, Feb. 26, March 11, March 25, April 8, April 29, May 13, May 27, June 10, June 24, July 8, Aug. 12, Sept. 9, Sept. 30, Oct. 14, Oct. 28, Nov. 12 and Dec. 16.