News Transcript News Briefs, Jan. 13


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Six men have been hired by Freehold Township and have joined the ranks of the Freehold Township Police Department.

During a Township Committee meeting on Dec. 2, the oath of office was administered to Alexander Conoshenti, Rocco Hernandez, Matthew Horvath, Nicholas Mezzacappa, Erik Stumpf and Justin Purves.

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Municipal officials said the appointment of the new patrol officers follows the retirement of veteran officers from the Freehold Township police force.

According to the 2020 municipal budget, Freehold Township is budgeted for 76 police officers, including superior officers (sergeants, lieutenants, captains, chief). The police officers’ salaries and wages account for about $12.9 million (30.5%) of Freehold Township’s $42.7 million budget.


The Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District Board of Education held its 2021 reorganization meeting on Jan. 5. The winning candidates from the Nov. 3 election took the oath of office and began serving their terms.

John D’Amato joined the board and began a three-year term. Incumbents Dotty Porcaro and Ryan Urgo retained their seats and began serving three-year terms. Incumbent Brian Graime retained his seat and began serving a one-year term.

Joanne Schechter nominated Porcaro to continue serving as the board’s president and Porcaro was elected in a 9-0 vote. The president’s term is for one year. Gerald Bruno nominated Graime to serve as vice president and Graime was elected in a 9-0 vote. The vice president’s term is for one year.

Superintendent of Schools John J. Marciante Jr. reported that after school resumed with fully remote instruction on Jan. 4 following the winter break during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, students would begin to attend classes in a hybrid model of in-person and remote instruction beginning on Jan. 7. Students whose parents have selected a fully remote instructional model would remain in that program.

Marciante said he has no date or data which indicate when all students in the district will be permitted to return to a five-day-a-week, full-time in-person schedule in a school.

“Parents are all over the place” regarding whether the schools should be open or closed, the superintendent said.


The members of the Freehold Township K-8 School District Board of Education have voted to keep the individuals who served as president and vice president of the board during 2020 in place for 2021.

The board held its annual reorganization meeting on Jan. 2 and the three winning candidates from the Nov. 3 election – incumbents Michael Amoroso and Michelle Lambert, and newcomer Mary Thomann – were sworn in to begin serving three-year terms.

Amoroso joined the board in 2011 and Lambert joined the board in 2010.

After all members were seated, the board held elections for the positions of president and vice president. Lambert, who served as president in 2020, was elected by her colleagues to continue serving as president in 2021.

Jennifer Patten, who served as vice president in 2020, was nominated to hold the position for 2021 and was elected by her fellow board members. Patten has been a board member since 2012.

Lambert, Patten, Amoroso and Thomann are joined on the school board by Debra Costanza, Mary Cozzolino, Kay Poklemba-Holtz, Elena O’Sullivan and Kerry Vendittoli.


Marlboro Police Chief Peter Pezzullo has announced the hiring of four new police officers. Mayor Jonathan Hornik swore in the officers during a ceremony at Marlboro Town Hall on Jan. 4.

Hired were John Maloney, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who recently worked as a communications operator at Rutgers University Police Department and is a former member of the Marlboro Police Explorers; Ryan Stapleton, a graduate of William Paterson University who most recently worked as a Class II Special Law Enforcement Officer (SLEO) for the Belmar Police Department; Derek Ball, who was working as a Class II SLEO in Marlboro and is a former member of the Marlboro Police Explorers and is a current member of the Marlboro Fire Company; and Joseph Torres, a graduate of the University of Tampa who worked as a lifeguard captain (seasonally) for Bradley Beach and as a swimming instructor at the YMCA in Shrewsbury.

Municipal officials said Maloney and Torres will immediately begin their training at the Monmouth County Police Academy, Freehold Township, with a scheduled graduation in May. Stapleton and Ball will immediately begin working with certified field training officers.

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