COLTS NECK, N.J. – It was a cold Saturday afternoon outside but warm inside the court house as Colts Neck elected officials, regional elected officials, volunteers, friends and family gathered to herald in the 2018 Colts Neck Township Committee.
Colts Neck is a close knit town of approximately 10,000 residents. It is known for its beauty, success, equestrian influence and a determination to remain as rural as possible. The country flavor is abundant.
The Reorganization Meeting began promptly at 4PM on January 6th, with the meeting called to order and a Salute to the Flag. The first order of business was a welcome by 2017 Mayor Russell Macnow. The invocation was led by Reverend Scott Brown. It was standing room only as the room was full with approximately two hundred local, county and state officials, family members, friends of the committee, Colts Neck residents and employees including police and fire. As the room filled there were many hugs, smiles and laughter. The positive energy and excitement in the room was palpable.
The first swearing in was for Committeeman Thomas Orgo on his re-election to another three year term. Orgo's young granddaugher held the bible for him as he was sworn in by Senator John O. Bennett, III, Esq. Bennett made gracious comments on the history of their families going far back in time together. "The Flock, Orgo, Campbell and Bennett families have gone back for many years so it is indeed an honor." Commiteeman Orgo was also elected and sworn in as Deputy Mayor:
Orgo says, "It's been six years when I stood here and thanked you for electing me to the Township Committee and here I stand on my last three year term. Hopefully I've been able to make a positive difference to better our town, and to keep Colts Neck a rural town. I know our new Mayor will do a great job."
Next, it was time for the swearing in of newly elected Committeeman Frank Rizzuto. He was sworn in by long time Colts Neck resident, former Colts Neck Committeewoman and Mayor, and current Freeholder Deputy Director Lillian Burry. Committeeman Rizzuto shared his appreciation to his family and the community and stated, "I would like to thank the Committee and the leadership of the Republican Party for having their faith in me." He noted the leadership of former Committeeman and Mayor Michael Fitzgerald, whose unexpired term he filled. Rizzuto indicated he would be running again this November.
Newly elected Committeeman Michael Viola was then sworn in to his first three year term of office.
Viola thanked everyone for their support then commented. "We live in a very unique place often referred to as an oasis or the jewel of Monmouth County. Know that I will do everything I can everyday to keep Colts Neck the best town to live in NJ."
J.P. Bartolomeo was elected by his peers to serve as Mayor for 2018. His swearing in is below:
According to Mayor Bartolomeo, in addition to continuing focus on the town's Department of Public Works (DPW), among many of the initiatives he is furthering are: The Colts Neck Cohesion Initiative, Music in the Park, Movies in the Park, Inaugural Farmhouse 5k, Exercising with the Mayor on Sunday Mornings at 8am and coordinating the town's traditional holiday events on the same weekend; "With the help of Tom Hennesy, the PTO, CNBA and of course the Historical Committee, we will have Frosty's Country Christmas at the Montrose School, the awarding of the annual holiday business window painting contest winner(s) announced, the tree lighting and Santa Clause all orchestrated to take place on the same weekend in 2018." (exact date TBD) The new Mayor finished his discussion with thanks and appreciation for his three sons, his father, other family members, friends, and gave his deepest thanks to the First Lady of Colts neck, his wife Kristin. "This is a wonderful town that does not need to change, just further evolve. We will focus on what we need to do together working with DPW and all of our departments in our great town of Colts Neck."
Freeholder Deputy Director Lillian Burry made a detailed dedication to 2017 Mayor Russell Macnow. "It is a pleasure to recognize Mayor Russell Macnow with a certification of appreciation for exemplary service and being a valued member of the community." She went on to declare January 6, 2018 as 'Russell Macnow Day" in all the county on behalf of the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
Former 2017 Mayor Russell Macnow commented before passing the gavel to the new Mayor, "I know JP as a guy that became a Committeeman for the right reasons...he really enjoys living here. He is always out and about. He is the kind of person that you want serving your town because he is always going to do the right thing for the town. He is the right man to have at the helm. He is the guy that is going to call you back, email you back and always be there for you." Bartolomeo then thanked Macnow for his many accomplishments, specifically highlighting Macnow's successful work on Colts Neck road improvements, and his work to ensure sound land use policies.
The new Mayor got down to business and moved through the agenda items. When the agenda was completed, Pastor Chris Durkin of Colts Neck Community Church gave the benediction receiving a warm response from the crowd as he reminded everyone that after they exercise with the Mayor on Sunday mornings, they are 'welcome to attend religious service at one of the three churches in town.'
The meeting concluded with Mayor Bartolomeo complimenting Lillian Burry mentioning that 'no one has worked harder for Colts Neck than Burry.' All of the duly appointed volunteers and members were called to the front of the room. When the crowd was gathered, Freeholder Deputy Director Lillian Burry began swearing in all of them together as a group. The meeting ended in the same spirit that it had began with laughter, smiles, hugs and excited chatter.
You can see a video here of the volunteer group being sworn in:
You can view the detailed agenda and related appointments here http://www.colts-neck.nj.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Reorg-2018-Agenda-Pkt.pdf
The next regular meeting of the Colts Neck Township Committee will be held on January 10, 2018 at 7:30 pm. at Town Hall, Colts Neck, NJ