HOLMDEL – Committeeman Gregory Buontempo will serve as Holmdel’s mayor for 2021 following his election to that one-year position during the Jan. 5 reorganization meeting of the Township Committee.
In Holmdel’s form of government, residents do not directly elect the mayor. Each January, the five committee members select one person on the governing body to serve as mayor for the year.
As the meeting began, Buontempo was sworn in to begin serving his fourth three-year term on the Township Committee by state Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (R-Monmouth). Buontempo was then sworn in as mayor by state Sen. Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth).
Looking forward to 2021, Buontempo said, “Under the Holmdel Forward Initiative, we will begin to recover from the devastating effects of COVID-19, continue to increase transparency and efficiency, and improve the quality of life of our residents.
“We will continue to keep health and safety our paramount concern. Holmdel, like the rest of the world, has battled against COVID-19 and we will continue to do our part. We hosted a successful local testing event in December and we will host another free testing event on Jan. 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“We are continuing our efforts on improving transparency and efficiency. We are excited to announce the township’s new Instagram and Twitter accounts. We want to be sure everyone is receiving clear and reliable information.
“We have had success with our Facebook page on sharing information on COVID-19 and we will continue to do so while also sharing Holmdel’s history, township events and important updates affecting our community,” the mayor said.
“This year we are exploring more ways to preserve more open space and to continue to provide more outdoor opportunity for residents, including Alex’s Paw Park, a new dog park opening at Bayonet Farm.
“We are observing other potential properties to acquire for the purposes of open space (preservation). We look forward to keeping our character as an open space community,” Buontempo said.
During the reorganization meeting, Domenico Luccarelli was sworn in to begin serving his first three-year term on the Township Committee and Committeewoman Cathy Weber was elected to serve as deputy mayor for 2021.
Buontempo, who served as mayor during 2020, reflected on the past year, saying, “Over the past year, I was inspired by our citizens’ interest and participation in Holmdel’s township government.
“I am especially grateful to those who gave and continue to give their time and talents to Holmdel. These are individuals who serve on boards and committees, and volunteer to help improve the quality of life in the town.
“Despite the many challenges the previous year threw at us, Holmdel did not miss a beat. Our police department, fire company and first aid squad continued to protect our residents without hesitation. I cannot thank each and every one of you enough for the service and sacrifice you give to our town.
“We moved our services to online portals, making access easy for residents. We completed the baseball turf field project at Phillips Park, broke ground on the new firehouse, paved more roads than ever before, made our technology and emergency services more resilient, and for the second year in a row we did this without raising municipal taxes,” Buontempo said.
The following appointments were made to the Planning Board: Township Committeeman Prakash Santhana (one-year term); Joyce Polusas (four-year term); Ron Emma (two-year term); Jeff Ackerman (one-year term); and Scott Silberman (one-year term as the mayor’s designee for 2021).
The following appointments were made to the Zoning Board of Adjustment: Jerry Buffalino (four-year term); Francine Campis (four-year term); Surekha Collur (two-year term); and Irfan Lateef (one-year term).