Tri-Town News news briefs, March 3

Howell Township Council members have appointed Susan Minock as the new municipal clerk for a term of three years, effective Feb. 24.

Minock was previously working as Howell’s deputy clerk.

Mayor Theresa Berger, Deputy Mayor Thomas Russo, Councilwoman Evelyn O’Donnell and Councilman John Bonevich voted “yes” to authorize Minock’s appointment during a meeting on Feb. 23. Councilwoman Pamela Richmond was absent from the meeting.

Municipal officials said Allison Ciranni, who was appointed Howell’s municipal clerk in January 2020, notified the governing body that due to personal reasons, she was unable to continue working as the municipal clerk. Ciranni has been transferred to the position of deputy clerk.


New Jersey Youth Soccer continued its virtual celebration of the 33rd annual NJYS Awards Presented by RWJBarnabas Health, officially announcing Marisa Brandon as a 2020 NJYS Youth Referee of the Year.

Since the age of 4, Marisa has been involved with soccer. In addition to refereeing, she played competitively until her senior year of high school and also spent time coaching young athletes with disabilities, according to a press release. Her passion for refereeing comes from her love of teaching others the laws of the game.

Within her community, Marisa has contributed hundreds of community service hours through her involvement with the Howell Police Explorers, the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps, the Howell Police Athletic League and the Girl Scouts of America, according to the press release.

Marisa will pursue a career in law enforcement. Later this year she will begin studying at Norwich University and plans to continue refereeing when she can.


Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon is advising all registered voters that the upcoming April 20 fire district elections will be conducted in the normal course per New Jersey law. The following towns will hold fire district elections on April 20: Howell.

The election will have in-person voting at polling locations with the use of voting
machines. The option to receive a mail-in ballot is also available if a voter does not wish to vote in person, according to Hanlon.

Vote by mail ballot applications may be downloaded from the Monmouth County Elections
Website,, or on the free Monmouth County Votes Mobile App.
Voters can also call the Clerk of Elections Office at 732-431-7790 to request an application.


Center Players Dessert Theater continues its online programming with An Evening of Short Films, streaming March 12 at 8 p.m. A question and answer session with the directors and cast members will follow this free event.

The theme of the evening is connection, or the lack thereof, either due to technology or COVID-19. The films scheduled to be screened include: “Misconnected,” directed by Michael Tota of Jackson; “Acoustic Space,” directed by Anthony Marinelli of Manalapan; “Mugging … the Art of Social Distancing,” directed by Dave McGrath of Long Branch; and “Smile,” directed by Jeff Musillo of Brooklyn, N.Y.

Registration via email is required to access this event:

Registration information can also be found at and on


A new executive board for the historic Strand Theater, a nonprofit at 400 Clifton Ave., Lakewood, was recently elected for a one-year term.

Amy Freeman of Plumsted Township, a special education teacher, will serve as president. Andrei Jackamets of Howell, the owner of Andrei Jackamets Photography, is vice president; Karen Stafford-Smith of Jackson, a retired teacher, is treasurer; and Ervin Oross of Mantoloking is secretary, according to a press release.

“Our beloved Strand Theater, the cultural center of Ocean County, finds itself in a time of both recovery and resilience,” Freeman said. “Despite barriers and the realities of the pandemic, our focus remains intact. Our shows and performances that once were, will be again. Our goal is to continue to move upward while we plan and strategize for survival in a post-COVID world.”

The 2021-22 board members are Jeffrey Gerstenblatt, Howell, Law Office of Jeffrey H. Gerstenblatt, Lakewood; Glenn Harrison, Glenn Harrison Law Office, Lakewood; David Kapulsky, Freehold, financial professional for Prudential; Fran Kirschner, Lakewood, owner of Frantasy Enterprises, public relations firm;

And, Gene Mele, Whiting, retired building mechanic for N.Y. Telephone Company; Jon Petz, co-owner of the instrument repair and maintenance company Tek-Net, Lakewood; Steve Reinman, executive director, Lakewood Industrial Commission;

Also, Sam Soprano, Jackson, financial consultant, C&A Financial Group, Wall Township; Gary Schiavone, Point Pleasant, retired New York City Transit Director Transportation, Safety and Training; Debbie Roeder Shaw, Whiting, self-employed licensed massage therapist; and Craig Theibault, Lakewood.