Tri-Town News news briefs, Dec. 1


Two current members of the Howell K-8 School District Board of Education and a former member of the board were elected to three-year terms in the 2021 general election.

According to election results posted online by the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office, incumbent board members Jennifer Okerson and MaryRose Malley were re-elected with 11,516 and 11,242 votes, respectively. Former board member Stephen M. Levine will return to the board after receiving 11,253 votes.

Board member Dr. Scott Jeffrey did not seek re-election.

Okerson, Malley and Levine were the only candidates whose names appeared on the ballot, as they were the only residents who filed nominating petitions to run for the board.

Late in the election season, residents Ray Cortez, Ian Nadel and Joseph Mauer announced they were running a write-in campaign in a bid to win seats on the school board.

The county clerk’s office reported that 3,173 write-in votes were cast in Howell, but did not report the names of the individuals who received the votes. The write-in votes were not enough to change the outcome of the election.

The 2021 general election was conducted with vote by mail ballots; with early in-person voting on nine days in late October; and with in-person voting on Election Day, Nov. 2.


Members of the Jackson Township Council have passed a resolution which supports the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Fund’s acquisition of an 8.5-acre property on Progress Place. The tract will be preserved as open space.

Progress Place is off of Cedar Swamp Road in Jackson.

Township Council President Andrew Kern, Vice President Martin Flemming, Councilman Alexander Sauickie, Councilman Stephen Chisholm and Councilman Nino Borelli took the action during a meeting on Nov. 23.

Sauickie thanked Flemming, who serves on the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Fund Advisory Committee.

“Certainly, (Flemming) represents all of the people in Ocean County, but he always ensures he is representing Jackson on that board. With this resolution we are preserving 8.5 acres of land through the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Program, so (the cost) does not even come out of township funds,” Sauickie said.

According to Ocean County’s website, “the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Program was established to acquire and maintain environmentally sensitive lands, natural areas or open spaces that would generally remain in their natural state and for the preservation of farmland.

“The objective of the program is to establish a system of protected lands which, in combination with the Farmland Preservation Program, enhance the quality of life in Ocean County by helping to maintain the county’s rural characteristics; protecting critical environmental resources and water supply; maintaining and enhancing active agriculture; and buffering areas that are not compatible with development,” according to the description of the program.


Center Players will present a live radio play, “The Bishop’s Wife,” at Center Playhouse, 35 South St., Freehold Borough, from Dec. 3-12. The script is adapted by Dave McGrath and is based on the 1936 novel of the same name by Robert Nathan.

Dejected by his efforts to raise money to build a cathedral, Bishop Henry Brougham beseeches heaven for guidance and is visited immediately by Dudley, who claims to be an angel, according to a press release.

Henry is skeptical, then annoyed, when Dudley ingratiates himself into the household as his assistant, and worse, wins the attentions of Henry’s long-suffering and kindly wife. When Dudley continues to intervene in Henry’s struggles, the bishop decides to challenge heaven.

As a radio play, the actors will be costumed, but will have scripts in hand. McGrath, who most recently directed “Dial M for Murder” at the playhouse in 2019, will also direct this production.

Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets
are priced from $25 to $28. Visit or call 732-462-9093. All
patrons must wear a mask while inside the playhouse and must show proof of
COVID vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within two days of entering the


Are you an artist in search of a display venue? Do you have a collection of themed artifacts? Do friends marvel at knickknacks in your home? Share them with your neighbors at the Ocean County Library Jackson Branch.

The Jackson Branch is organizing its art and collectible displays for 2022, and welcomes painters and collectors to adorn its walls, cabinets and meeting room space, according to a press release.

Patrons and visitors are regularly treated to canvases of watercolor, pen-and-ink, charcoal, acrylic, oil, and mixed-media renditions of landscapes, seascapes, wildlife, celebrity caricatures and original works from the traditional to the avant-garde.

Collections that have populated the branch’s display cases include artifacts related to the
motion picture “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” Queen Elizabeth tea sets, antique toys
and telephones, Pysanky decorated Easter eggs, figurines, pottery and more, according to the press release.

Individuals who would like their art or their collection to be featured may visit the Jackson Branch, 2 Jackson Drive, or call 732-928-4400. The library is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.