MIDDLETOWN – As part of township’s annual organization day, Committeewoman Stephanie C. Murray was selected to serve as mayor and Committeeman Kevin M. Settembrino as deputy mayor for 2014.
Murray noted Middletown’s goals and priorities for the year include our continued recovery from Super Storm Sandy, and a renewed call to action against rising flood insurance premiums in unaffected areas such as Ideal Beach. There also will be a focus on technology that advances the relationship residents have the township. Plans to unveil a mobile app and develop an online records archive are in the works. Middletown will also take a step back in time to mark the 350th anniversary of its settlement in 1664. A series of Middletown 350 events are planned this year to mark the milestone.
“Our spirit of community, love of our home, and believing in something more than ourselves is a testament to who we are, a tribute to our heritage, and evidence of the inherent goodness in our residents. Together, as one, we will move forward into our 350th year, without compromising the integrity of the things we value, as we create our own legacy,” Murray said.
She is the fifth woman to serve as Middletown’s mayor. She also serves as chairwoman of the Middletown 350 Celebration Committee.
The selection of the 2014 mayor and deputy mayor came after Committeeman Kevin M Settembrino accepted the oath of office to serve his second consecutive three-year term on the Township Committee and Committeeman Gerard P. Scharfenberger, Ph.D. his third-consecutive term. Oaths of office were issued to the mayor, deputy mayor and the newly elected committeemen by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.
The members of the 2014 Township Committee are: Mayor Stephanie C. Murray, Deputy Mayor Kevin M. Settembrino, Committeeman Anthony P. Fiore, Committeeman Stephen G. Massell and Committeeman Gerard P. Scharfenberger, Ph.D.
A police officer, Jason Mcallister Andrews, accepted the oath of office during the annual meeting administered by Murray, making him the newest member of the Middletown Police Department. Andrews was a life-long resident of Atlantic Highlands before recently moving to Middletown with his wife Meagan. He was previously employed by the Stockton Police Department.
Middletown’s fire chiefs marked their appointments with oaths of office as well. They are: Fire Chief Peter Laimann, Deputy Chief Chief Rick W. Hibell and First Assistant John Gorsenger, Jr., Second Assistant Anthony Citarella and Third Assistant Ryan Clarke.
Many volunteers turned out to accept oaths of office to serve on the township’s boards, committees and commissions. There are more than 20 township boards, committees and commissions. Each group focuses on different aspects of the community and works to enhance Middletown’s quality of life. Residents are appointed to these positions by the township committee
Among the 2013 accomplishments referenced by committee members included Super Storm Sandy response and recovery efforts, approval of the long-awaited federal Bayshore Flood Control project, savings realized from single stream recycling, plans to construct a new natural gas facility at no cost to taxpayers, construction of two multi-use sports fields in partnership with the board of education and having a website that was named best in the state by the Monmouth Polling Institute.
Middletown also welcomed new businesses in 2013, most notably the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The center will take up residence in the vacant Lucent building on Red Hill Road and bring nearly $180,000 in tax revenues and create nearly 300 high-paying jobs. Other projects of note included the BBMK medical building on Route 35 and Ice-World, a state-of-the-art ice skating rink that is part of the privately-owned Middletown Swim Club Complex.
Middletown’s annual organization day was held Jan. 4 at Town Hall. The invocation was offered by the Rev. Joseph E. Hein from Westminster Presbyterian Church of Middletown.