Jordan Maskowitz has been named the new mayor of Manalapan Township for 2014. Susan Cohen nominated Maskowitz for the position after she declined a nomination for herself made by Committeeman Ryan Green to run a third term as mayor. In a 4-1 vote, Maskowitz was elected mayor by the Township Committee; Green was the one dissenting vote.
Green said that he did not believe Maskowitz is fit to be mayor, stating “I believe that the mayor should be held to the highest standards when it comes to the law, and Mr. Maskowitz does not pass that test.”
Green evidenced this statement by saying that he believes Maskowitz violated the Open Public Meetings Act, which requires a governing body to provide advance notice to the public before a majority of the body can discuss public business. Green said he has over 50 emails that Maskowitz sent to other committee members in an attempt to converse about Township issues outside of a publicly noticed meeting. Township Attorney Roger McLaughlin will review the emails before they are sent over to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
Maskowitz defended himself by saying that the emails Green was referencing were contract related and not in related to the Open Public Meetings Act.
Green also said that he had the full support of the Township Committee to serve as mayor in 2014 before he contacted the state about ethical questions he had regarding the Township Committee’s handling of the agreement with the First Aid Squad. This agreement allows the Englishtown-Manalapan First Aid Squad to form a not-for-profit corporation in order to possibly hire paid emergency medical technicians in the future.
According to Green, his action caused the State Department of Community Affairs to intervene and make significant changes to the agreement. Maskowitz, on the other hand, said that the Township Committee had advised the administrator to send the agreement to the state for review before Green contacted them.
In other reorganizational news, Committeeman Jack McNaboe was elected Deputy Mayor for 2014. McNaboe was officially sworn into office for his one year term, which he gained in the November election. Maskowitz and new Committeewoman Maryann Musich were also sworn into office at the beginning of the meeting for their subsequent three year terms.