Howell councilman will chair business recovery task force

HOWELL – Councilman Thomas Russo will chair a business recovery task force whose members will look for ways to help business owners in Howell recover from the economic effects of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.

In May, Russo, who is an attorney with the firm of Schibell and Mennie LLC, suggested a public-private partnership that would work to increase economic activity in a safe and responsible way when restrictions that were enacted at the onset of the health crisis are removed.

Gov. Phil Murphy has started to lift restrictions under which Garden State businesses have been operating since mid-March.

During a Township Council meeting on June 9, members of the governing body voted to appoint members to the business recovery task force.

Russo will chair the panel and will be joined by Jeffrey Basset, owner of Chick-fil-A, Howell; Steve Friedman, owner of ProCare Rehabilitation, Howell; chiropractor Dr. Dan Cardellichio; Tom Comer, president of the Howell Chamber of Commerce; William Stahnten, vice president of Certified Auto Mall, Howell; Planning Board member Robert Seaman; and Councilwoman Pamela Richmond.

“I am really excited to get this task force off the ground and eager to get to work. A huge thank you to all those who offered to be a part of the team,” Russo said.

“I am confident this group will play a major role in helping to get our local economy rolling again. I encourage all those who have applied, and members of the public, to attend our upcoming meetings and continue to share your ideas with the team,” Russo said.

He thanked everyone who expressed interest in joining the business recovery task force and suggested that they should be involved even if they were not appointed.

“I think this is going to be a productive board and I sincerely mean that everyone who put in an application, you have an open invitation to attend these meetings, to be a part of them. I hate turning away volunteers, but I ask you to come to the meetings, which will be open to the public,” Russo said.