HOLMDEL — Brian Foster, a Republican candidate who is seeking a three-year term on the Holmdel Township Committee in the Nov. 8 election, has been appointed to fill a vacant seat on the governing body.
Foster was appointed to his seat on the committee during a meeting on Sept. 27 in a 2-0 vote from committeemen D.J. Luccarelli and Rocco Impreveduto. Mayor Greg Buontempo was absent from the meeting.
Luccarelli ran the meeting in Buontempo’s absence.
Foster succeeds Prakash Santhana, who resigned from the Township Committee on Sept. 16. Santhana said a change in his work situation necessitated his resignation as an elected official and his withdrawal from the upcoming municipal election.
With Foster’s appointment, the five-member Township Committee still remains one member short. Committeewoman Cathy Weber resigned from the governing body several months ago when she moved out of Holmdel and Buontempo, Santhana, Luccarelli and Impreveduto did not appoint a successor for her.
In the Nov. 8 election, two three-year terms on the governing body will be on the ballot. The candidates seeking the terms are Foster and his Republican running mate Kimberley LaMountain, and independent candidates Rajesh Mohan and Julie Roth.
Following Luccarelli and Impreveduto’s vote to appoint him to the open seat, Foster was administered the oath of office by municipal clerk Wendy Patrovich and immediately took his seat on the dais.
Luccarelli welcomed Foster and said, “It was unprecedented to have only three people (on the Township Committee). This (appointment) will help in times of conflict and scheduling.”
Township Attorney Michael Collins said having four members on the committee is important because without four members, Holmdel’s elected officials would not be able to adopt bond ordinances or make budget transfers as 2022 nears its conclusion.
Collins said the adoption of bond ordinances and the approval of budget transfers requires four affirmative votes, meaning Buontempo, Impreveduto, Luccareilli and Foster would all have to vote “yes” in order to complete those financial actions.
After Foster was seated, a motion was made to appoint Luccarelli as the new deputy mayor, succeeding Santhana in that position.
Impreveduto, Foster and Luccarelli voted “yes” on the motion and Luccarelli will serve as deputy mayor for the remainder of the year.
During his first remarks as a committeeman, Foster said, “I am excited to be part of the Township Committee and to move Holmdel forward in a positive direction.”
He said he is looking forward to the Nov. 8 election and to having a chance to win a three-year term on the governing body.
Foster said he has lived in Holmdel for 10 years and has served on the Planning Board, as a youth sports coach, he has been involved with Special Olympics and he served on the Holmdel Public Schools Board of Education.
“I believe in giving back to the town,” he said.
When a resident expressed concern that Foster’s appointment was not listed on the Sept. 27 agenda which was made public prior to the meeting, Collins said committee members are permitted to put forth an item of business during a meeting and to act on that item, even if that item of business was not listed on the agenda that was released prior to the meeting.
In other business, Luccarelli, Impreveduto and Foster voted to appoint Capt. Frank Allocco as Holmdel’s new police chief.
Allocco has been serving as acting police chief since March 1 following the retirement of Police Chief John Mioduszewski. Allocco’s appointment as police chief is retroactive to March 1.
Luccarelli addressed Allocco and said, “Thank you for all that you do. (The promotion) is well deserved and we are looking forward to your formal swearing in ceremony.”
According to Allocco’s employment contract, his salary from March 1, 2022 through Feb. 28, 2023 will be $194,929; from March 1, 2023 through Feb. 29, 2024 his salary will be $201,264; from March 1, 2024 through Feb. 28, 2025 his salary will be $208,308; from March 1, 2025 through Feb. 28, 2026 his salary will be $215,078; and from March 1, 2026 through Feb. 28, 2027 his salary will be $222,606.
Also, according to the contract, Allocco “may only perform outside employment such as a consultant or teacher as long as such work does not interfere with the requirements and duties of the job as police chief. Any such outside employment shall be subject to the approval of the Township Committee.”
Allocco will be required to work at least 40 hours per week and will not be eligible for overtime or comp time, according to his contract.