Holmdel officials elect Buontempo to serve as mayor during 2020

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Republican Township Committeeman Gregory Buontempo will serve as Holmdel’s mayor and independent Township Committeewoman Kathy Weber will serve as deputy mayor in 2020.

Buontempo and Weber were elected to those positions by their fellow members of the Township Committee during the municipality’s 2020 reorganization meeting on Jan. 2 at Bell Works, Holmdel.

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In Holmdel’s form of government, residents do not directly elect a mayor. In January, the five members of the governing body select a committee member to serve as mayor for the year. A second committee member is chosen to serve as deputy mayor for the year.

Weber was elected to the committee in the Nov. 5 election and sworn in to start serving a three-year term on Jan. 2.

The initial results of the election indicated that Republican Chiung-Yin Liu defeated independent candidate Prakash Santhana for the second available three-year term. However, a recount that was requested by Santhana determined that he was the winner and he was sworn in to begin serving a three-year term on Jan. 2.

Liu has filed legal action contesting the results of the recount.

Weber, Santhana and Buontempo are joined by Republicans Tom Critelli and Rocco Pascucci on the governing body.

Prior to the votes for mayor and deputy mayor, Township Clerk Wendy Patrovich administered the oath of office to Weber, who was accompanied by her husband.

Patrovich then administered the oath of office to Santhana, who was accompanied by his family.

Following a unanimous “yes” vote to elect Buontempo as mayor, state Sen. Declan J. O’Scanlon Jr. (R-Monmouth) administered the oath of office to Buontempo, who was accompanied by his wife and children.

When it came time to elect a deputy mayor, Pascucci nominated Weber for the position. All five committee members voted “yes” and Patrovich administered the oath of office to Weber.

In his mayoral remarks, Buontempo said, “(Voters) have honored me three times by electing me to the Township Committee. Today, I am further honored to be asked by my fellow committeemen and committeewoman to serve a second term as Holmdel’s mayor.

“Rocco, Kathy, Tom, Prakash, thank you. I am truly grateful for your confidence in me both as a committeeman and as mayor. I will always strive to be responsible and creative, a shepherd of our township’s resources.

“ … I’m very proud of what our government has been able to accomplish over the last several years, including the reclamation and repurposing of the Bell Works campus … The installation of our beautiful new library and learning center (at Bell Works), and several infrastructure improvements projects we have undertaken.

“ … (This includes) upgrades to our township’s first response capabilities, the purchase of Holmdel’s first new fire truck in over two decades, our new emergency radio system, battery powered stretchers for our first aid squad and our recreational improvements. We have accomplished all this without increasing the tax burden on Holmdel’s homeowners and businesses. I’m especially proud of that.

“I think I can speak for the entire committee when I express the hope and goal of securing Holmdel’s future in a fiscally responsible manner, and to ensure that our township remains one of the most prosperous and attractive communities in all of New Jersey,” Buontempo said.

During her comments, Weber asked the committee members to amend the rules of order at their meetings. The proposed rules of order were outlined in a resolution the committee members were being asked to consider.

Weber suggested that public comment on agenda items should be welcome at the beginning of a meeting, before the committee members vote on the agenda items.

On a roll call vote, all five officials voted “yes” to amend the rules of order. Members of the public applauded the committee’s action.

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