2006-10-19 / Front Page
Joseph Aretino Broad Street
Because he knows Fort Monmouth inside and out, Eatontown Borough Council candidate Joseph Aretino believes he can contribute ideas to the reuse plan for the closing U.S. Army base.
Currently employed with Karrar, a Shrewsbury-based contractor specializing in rapid response, Aretino says he has been on post every workday since September 2003, when he joined that firm.
Before taking the job as facilities manager with Karrar, Aretino was employed by the federal government for 22 years as the security and facilities director of the fort's software engineering center, retiring in April 2003.
"I've been involved with the fort since 1981," said Aretino, a borough resident since 1980 who is running as a Republican.
If elected, Aretino says that he hopes to create a "cooperative atmosphere" between the borough government and the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Planning Authority (FMERPA), the public-private panel overseeing future uses of the base after it shuts down in 2011.
The borough government needs to assist FMERPA by protecting not only Eatontown's interests, but those of the entire region that will sustain economic losses after Fort Monmouth closes, Aretino said.
The town should endeavor to use the fort's existing buildings to attract private industry specializing in research and development and in robotics, biochemical and medical technology, said Aretino, who also supports re-employing the base's work force in those interests.
Property taxes and the results of last year's revaluation need to be addressed, Aretino said.
"Since the revaluation, I've seen more 'for sale' signs than ever before," Aretino said. "It's an atrocity. We've had a huge increase in taxes."
A proponent of sharing services, Aretino would like to see the council as well as both the Eatontown Board of Education and the Monmouth Regional Board of Education pare back expenses.
Action taken by the sitting six-member council, composed entirely of Democrats, to trim $125,000 from both district's budgets, even after they were rejected in April by voters, was not enough to relieve taxpayers of their burdens, he said.
"It's not just about cutting a few pennies and then approving a [school] budget that people didn't want in the first place," Aretino said.
One-party rule by a council that does not question its Democratic mayor must be broken up, to encourage discussion on important issues, Aretino said.
"I can present a different view," Aretino said.
A member of the board of directors for Monmouth County Big Brothers & Big Sisters, Aretino has also served on the borough planning board and on its traffic advisory board.