Tom Catley was elected to serve as mayor of Neptune at the annual New Year's Day meeting in an action which broke from township tradition.
Catley, who is beginning the last year of his three-year term, was elected by the Township Committee to serve as mayor for the second consecutive year. The committee traditionally chooses a new mayor each year from the sitting committee members. The last time a mayor served two consecutive years was almost 20 years ago when Jack Mancino served.
Because of Catley's hands-on involvement, however, in the on-going Strategic Revitalization Plan, committee members decided to keep him in the leadership role for another year.
Only newly-installed Committeeman Randy Bishop voted against the action, saying he did so as a "protest vote" because he disagrees with Catley's position on redevelopment.
"It is not a vote against the individual," Bishop said," but against the direction the I see the township going."
Bishop, a Democrat, does not support the Republican-controlled committee's stand on eminent domain in the revitalization area in midtown.
Richard Iadanza was chosen to serve as deputy mayor and police commissioner for the second year.
Bishop was sworn in to his first three-year term and his running mate Committeeman James Manning Jr. was sworn in to his fourth term.
Patricia Monroe, a Democrat, who did not run for re-election in November, was named as the township's Intergovernmental Liaison to Revitalization. Catley said Monroe was a good choice the new volunteer position because of her work with the revitalization plan.
Monroe left the committee after serving 15 years.
Dubbed affectionately "the Iron Lady" by Ocean Grove resident Heintz Weck, Monroe was instrumental in establishing the township's recreation SNERP program as well as its drug alliance and revitalization plan.
In naming her to the volunteer position Catley told the audience much of what residents see in the township is due to her work.
"From the revitalization of midtown to the drug alliance program, Pat always knew where she wanted to lead Neptune Township," Catley said. "She has taught me many lessons about being effective in public life. You always knew where you stood with her. Once Pat made a decision she didn't change her mind. Neptune is a better place due to her. I find myself feeling sad to see her go.
"In 1989 this teacher decided to run for Township Committee. No one gave her much of a chance. She proved everyone wrong."
Blanche Jones, who served with Monroe on the Municipal Drug Alliance, described her as "Once, twice, three times a lady," and presented her with flowers.
Janet Kortenhaus, one of the unsuccessful Republican candidates in the November election, served with Monroe on the Board of Adjustment. She presented her with a bouquet of yellow roses, for friendship, she said.
"We wish you well for many years to come," Kortenhaus said.
Monroe thanked her supporters, family and Democratic leader Ed Reilly for their help over the years.
"I look forward to working with the revitalization...and with the input from everyone we will get Neptune to where it should be," she said.
In other appointments, Donald Beekman was re-appointed township attorney, John Mennie, judge and Gerald J. Freda township engineer.