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VIDEO: County Approves Lucas Farmland Preservation

The mayor's application will now move on to the state for approval, but the ethical nature of the transaction remains in question.

Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas’s  farmland preservation application was unanimously advanced by Monmouth County Agriculture Development Board on June 1. James Stuart, who appraised the land in March 2010, recused himself from the vote. The application will now go on to the State Agriculture Development Board for approval.

The room was filled with Lucas’s supporters, which included Freeholder Lillian Burry and outspoken resident Rhonda Chodosh who openly lent their support to the mayor. Manalapan Township Committeeman Don Holland also attended the meeting, as well as Lucas’s wife who stood by her husband’s side as he addressed the board.

Lucas apologized to the MCADB and Stuart for the “political rancor” and negative backlash that they have received in the last few weeks over his application. He pointed the blame at his “Critics in Chief”— presumably Freeholder Amy Mallet and Township Committeewomen Michelle Roth who have been vocal about their opposition towards Lucas' farm application. Lucas also said that the general public has an ignorance about how the farmland preservation process works, a statement which Freeholder Burry also made.

Lucas also addressed the complaint that a “Critic in Chief” filed against him by the DEP which was remediated. In a previous e-mail to Patch, Roth said she knows nothing about that investigation.  

Practical Thinker July 01, 2011 at 07:27 PM
Joe McCarthy has the nerve to chuckle at Freeholder Mallet's letter of opposition to Lucas' farmland preservation, and toss it aside and say , well let's get on with what we are going to do anyway...then Lucas is handshaking and back-patting the voting members on his way out...body language, facial expressions and the like speak volumes...the Good Old Boys Club of the Monmouth GOP has infested every level of County government for too long - This whole "deal" SCREAMS of the backroom politics that gave former Governor Whitman's AUNT that huge chunk of change for her farmland - remember that folks? That was right before she raided the Public Employees Pension Funds to "balance the Budget" and invested huge amounts of what those employees contributed- into the stock market and then watched the matket tank...Pub Emps have always and continue to pay every week into their retirement funds...it was the STATE who defaulted on payments for YEARS...now they pay more and oh yeah, that millionaire's tax that will never happen - bet the MCADB Board members are breathing a HUGE sigh of relief...

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