By John Sorce |
COLTS NECK – A standing-room crowd of about 200 friends, family and community members packed the Colts Neck Court House as the township’s governing body held its 2018 reorganization meeting on Saturday afternoon.
Five new members were sworn into office, including J.P. Bartolomeo, who was introduced as the town’s new mayor.
Bartolomeo will also be joined by Deputy Mayor Thomas Orgo, who was also re-elected as a committeeman. Also sworn in as committeemen on Jan. 6 were Frank Rizzuto and Michael Viola.
“Ever since I moved my family to Colts Neck in 2008, I truly fell in love with the town,” Bartolomeo said. “It’s beautiful, it’s green, it’s open, it’s not overpopulated and honestly, it’s the true American dream.”
Formerly of Bayonne, Bartolomeo said he wants to see Colts Neck residents getting to know each other better.
“In Bayonne, when you sneeze, the person next door says God bless you,” Bartolomeo said as the crowd chuckled.
He stated that while Colts Neck does not have a town center, the court house, which residents have dubbed “the core site,” was recently given a facelift and looks great. As a result, more people in the community are spending time outdoors at the town hall.
They have installed a walking path thanks to an open space grant from the county freeholders. Last year, Mayor Russell Macnow made progress on road improvement projects and, with the help of generous donors, embarked on a multipurpose field project.
This year, Bartolomeo mentioned he would like to direct tax dollars towards the Department of Public Works, referencing the department is in need of help and will work with fellow committeemen to spend tax dollars there.
Another project Bartolomeo said he hopes to start as mayor is the Colts Neck Cohesion Initiative. “This goes back to the way I felt when I first got here,” Bartolomeo said. “I just didn’t know a lot of people. And unless you are involved with sports that your children play, it is difficult in town to meet someone because a lot of times, you just don’t know who your neighbors are next to you.”
Bartolomeo also went on record in saying that at least one of the following events will happen in Colts Neck this year: Music in the Park on a Friday evening, in which residents are encouraged to bring a picnic basket and blanket, their family, bicycles, and pets; Movie in the Park, which would be similar to Music in the Park; and an inaugural 5K called “The Barthouse 5K,” which will not be for fundraising, but rather a Colts Neck sponsored event for the people of Colts Neck.
One more initiative Bartolomeo discussed was the Colts Neck Country Weekend, which he described as “Frosty’s Country Christmas at Montrose School.
“I would like to have all the windows painted before this happens so we can award our window painter at the tree lighting with Santa Claus, and we’re going to get him here in a different mode of transportation.
“These are just some of the initiatives that I want to deploy,” Bartolomeo continued. “I’m always open to suggestions. I believe this is a phenomenal town that does not need to change. It does need to evolve, and that’s why we’re doing these DPW projects. However, instead of walking past someone and putting your head down, I’d rather you walk passed someone and say hello.”
This article was first published in the Jan. 11-18, 2018 print edition of the Two River Times.
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