TINTON FALLS — Councilman John Manginelli has been elected by his fellow members of the Borough Council to serve as council president for 2023 in Tinton Falls.
The council held its reorganization meeting on Jan. 3 in the municipal building.
After Councilman Dr. Lawrence Dobrin nominated Manginelli for the position of council president, Councilwoman Risa Clay, Councilman Michael Nesci, Dobrin and Manginelli voted “yes.”
Councilwoman Tracy Buckley, who served as council president in 2022, abstained from the vote without comment.
“I am humbled and flattered I have been selected,” Manginelli said. “I want to take this time to thank Miss Buckley for the fantastic job she did.”
Buckley then nominated Clay to serve as deputy council president. A unanimous vote by the five council members confirmed Clay’s election to the position for 2023.
Manginelli and Clay were sworn in to their leadership positions on the governing body by state Sen. Vin Gopal (D-Monmouth).
There was no municipal election in Tinton Falls in November. There will be a municipal election this year. The terms held by Buckley, Clay and Nesci will expire on Dec. 31.
The terms held by Manginelli and Dobrin will end on Dec. 31, 2025.
In other business during the reorganization meeting, Gopal presented a proclamation and announced that on Feb. 2, the state Senate will pay tribute and show its gratitude for the service of Tinton Falls Mayor Vito Perillo at the State House in Trenton.
Gopal said according to the Senate’s records, Perillo, 98, who is serving his second four-year term as mayor, is the oldest mayor in the United States.
“What is incredible about Vito is that he got elected in his 90’s,” Gopal said. “His service to his country is an inspiration as a World War II veteran.”
The proclamation will place Perillo in the state’s permanent records and history books, Gopal added.
Manginelli thanked Perillo for his service and said, “Don’t forget he is a World War II Navy veteran who fought in the last major battle in the Pacific.”
Perillo thanked Gopal for his kind words and requested an invitation to the Senate session at which he will be recognized. He thanked Buckley for her time and service as the council president.
In other action, the following individuals were appointed to the Planning Board: Daniel Romanov (one-year term); Councilman Michael Nesci (one-year term); Joel Natter (three-year term); and William F. Holobowski (two-year term).
Three individuals were nominated to the Historic Preservation Commission: Cooper Lewis (four-year term); Stacey Slowinski (four-year term); and David Tripold (two-year term as an alternate member).
Buckley recognized the borough’s emergency services personnel and reminded residents they may volunteer for local EMS squads or fire companies.
“They provide a vital service,” she said of those organizations.
When the meeting was opened to public comment, Gopal provided an update regarding what he said was the ongoing issue of car theft and vehicle break-ins in the Willowbrook neighborhood. He said one resident has been a victim three times.
Gopal said Police Chief Michael Delucia set up a monthly Zoom meeting to discuss the issue and invited residents of the neighborhood to attend.
Resident Joe Fama told the mayor and council members, “There were three (incidents) again over the New Year’s holiday, where intruders were caught on camera trying to enter vehicles on driveways.”
Fama asked for an update on the planned hiring of additional patrol officers for the Tinton Falls Police Department. He said the positions have been funded in the municipal budget.
Borough Administrator Charles Terefenko said officials are in the process of hiring officers and are also planning to hire several special law enforcement officers (part-time) to augment the police force.
When Fama asked for a timeline as to when patrol officers would be added to the force, Perillo said, “We will hire them when the police department and the police chief say we need them.”
Tinton Falls has 43 patrol officers. The council members recently adopted an ordinance that permits that number to increase to 48 patrol officers.
Nancyanne Fama, a former councilwoman, spoke on the same issue and said, “We are unsafe in our community. We cannot wait to have these thieves come into our development, trying the car doors, trying the backyard doors. We are just waiting for the moment that someone gets hurt.”