3 PROMOTED TO NEW POSTS IN POLICE DEPARTMENT

Mayor John G. Ducey is proud to announce the promotion of Brick Township Lieutenant David Forrester to the rank of Captain, Sergeant Henry Drew to the rank of Lieutenant and Patrolman Austin Kenny to the rank of Sergeant. Mayor Ducey administered the oath of their ranks at the December 5 Council meeting.

“These three men are all exceptional law enforcement officers. These promotions are well-deserved and I am confident that they will each continue to succeed in their new roles,” said Mayor Ducey. “It was an honor to be able to promote them and I wish Captain Forrester, Lieutenant Drew and Sergeant Kenny continued success.”

Capt. Forrester

Captain David Forrester has been a member of the BTPD since February 1996. Captain Forrester has served in several capacities during his service. He has served in the patrol division, on the SERT Team, Detective Bureau, as a school resource officer, in the   Professional Standards Unit and Internal Affairs, among others. Captain Forrester is a 1991 graduate of Brick Township High School. He is a 1997 graduate of the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and earned his Master’s Degree in Administrative Science from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Captain Forrester also retired as a Major from the New Jersey Air National Guard after 24 years of service. Captain Forrester has been assigned to the Community Policing Division as the Division Commander.

Lt. Drew

Lieutenant Henry Drew has been a member of the BTPD since January 1995. He is a 1989 graduate of Brick Memorial High School and a 1993 graduate of Kean College. Lt. Drew began his career in the Operations Division. He served on the Ocean County Narcotics Strike Force from 2004 – 2006 and was in the BTPD Drug Enforcement Unit. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in October 2007. He has served in the Community Policing and Investigations Divisions.

Sgt. Kenny

Sergeant Austin Kenny has been a member of the BTPD since August 2005. He is a 2003 graduate of Brick Memorial High School. Prior to joining the BTPD, he worked as a Special Police Officer in Point Pleasant Beach from 2003-2005. Sergeant Kenny has served as a Field Training Officer, on the BTPD Marine Unit and Honor Guard. Sgt. Kenny attended the first BTPD Police Camp in 1997 and served as a member of the Brick Police Explorers from 1999 – 2003.

The promotions were necessitated by the retirement of BTPD Captain Timothy Boyle who retired December 1 after twenty-four years of service and were done in accordance with civil service requirements.

MAYOR AND COUNCIL HONOR POLICE DEPARTMENT FOR RECEIVING AWARD

Mayor John Ducey and the Township Council honored the Brick Township Police Department on receiving the 2017 New Jersey EMS Award for the town’s Blue HART Program at the December 5 Council Meeting. The award was given during the New Jersey Statewide Conference on EMS in November.

“This award is a testament to the dedication of our Police Department and EMS personnel in the fight against heroin and opioid addiction,” said Mayor Ducey. “They are on the front line of this crisis and every day they are out there working to save lives. This award is recognition of those efforts.”

The Blue HART (Heroin Addiction Recovery and Treatment) Program was started in January. Through this program, addicts and substance abusers who want help can present themselves at the Brick Township Police Department where they will be transported to a treatment evaluation facility without the threat of charges or incarceration.

Since the program began, over 200 addicts have been placed into treatment.

Fighting the opioid crisis has been a top priority of Mayor Ducey, the Township Council and the Police Department. In addition to the Blue HART Program, the township has taken several steps to combat the crisis. These include:

  • Reinstatement of BMAC (Brick Municipal Anti-Drug Coalition) and it has focused on educating the community about opioids.
  • Aggressive campaign to encourage and educate about the proper disposal of unused or unwanted prescription drugs.
  • Creation of an ordinance that holds landlords responsible for repeated criminal behavior of tenants.
  • Hiring a retired police officer to address code enforcement issues in problem areas of town.

According to the Brick Township Police Department, the township has seen a significant reduction in overdoses and deaths this year.

If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid or heroin addiction and would like to seek help through the HARP Program, visit the Brick Township Police Department on any Thursday. There is no fee for people who seek help through the HARP Program.

MAYOR SEEKS CITIZENS INTERESTED IN SERVING ON BOARDS AND COMMITTEES

Any citizen interested on serving as a member on one of the township’s various boards or committees should send an email with a resume and cover letter to Mayor John Ducey before or on Thursday, December 14.

“These boards not only play an important role in shaping our community, they offer citizens the opportunity to give back and help move Brick Township forward,” said Mayor Ducey. “I encourage any person interested in serving our community to send their resume to my office this week. Every person will be considered and we will make every effort to make sure everyone who would like to serve has the opportunity to do so.”

There are upcoming appointments available for the following boards/committees:

  • Environmental Commission – is responsible for the protection, development and use of natural resources, including water resources located within the township.
  • Brick Township Housing Authority – The Brick Housing Authority administers both a public housing and Section 8 housing voucher program.
  • Historic Preservation Commission – works to encourage the use, restoration and preservation of historic structures in Brick Township.
  • Sustainable Brick – works with the township staff to create and support policies, events and activities that support and encourage sustainability.
  • Board of Adjustment – primary function is to review and decide on applications for a variance.
  • Ethics Committee – receives and reviews ethical questions or complaints alleging that the conduct of any local government officer or employee serving the municipality is in conflict with the Code of Conduct, or applicable ethical standard.
  • Brick Township Municipal Utilities Authority – The BTMUA is responsible for delivering clean, safe potable water and reliable sewage collection services to customers.

“Anyone interested in serving should send their resume with a cover letter by December 14 to make sure they are considered,” said Mayor Ducey.

Resumes and cover letters should be emailed to mayor@twp.brick.nj.us no later than 5pm on December 14. While efforts will be made to place citizens on requested boards, it will not be possible in all instances due to availability.

MAYOR DUCEY WINS AWARD FOR FACEBOOK LIVE SESSIONS

Mayor John G. Ducey is proud to announce that his Facebook Live initiative was awarded the Best Special/Innovative Media Award in the 2017 Municipal Public Information Contest sponsored by the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, Rutgers Center for Government Services and the New Jersey Municipal Management Association. The award was given at the New Jersey League of Municipalities Conference in Atlantic City.

Mayor John G. Ducey accepts the award at the NJ League of Municipalities Conference in Atlantic City.

“We have worked hard to create an open and transparent town hall. Using Facebook Live to hear directly from residents and engage them in a dialogue about Brick is a continuation of those efforts,” said Mayor Ducey. “It is an honor to be recognized for our efforts to keep the citizens informed and engaged.”

Brick Township’s award was for Class C Municipalities, which for the purpose of the contest are the 130 municipalities with more than 20,000 residents.

Facebook Live is a free live-streaming service offered by Facebook. It allows users to live-stream content. Mayor Ducey began using Facebook Live in December 2016 and since then has hosted 20 sessions. During each session, Mayor Ducey answers questions submitted during the broadcast by viewers.

“I would like to thank all the residents who watch the Facebook Live and ask questions. These sessions don’t work without you,” said Mayor Ducey.

Each session is archived and available for viewing on-demand. The videos of the sessions have been viewed over 59,000 times cumulatively.

This is the third time in four years that Brick Township has been named an award recipient in the contest. In 2014, the Township won the Best Special/Innovative Award for Talking Brick with Mayor Ducey and in 2016 the Township was awarded Best Web/Social Media.

The next Facebook Live with Mayor Ducey session will take place on Tuesday, November 21 at 11am. You do not have to be a Facebook user to watch however, if you would like to ask a question, you do have to be a registered Facebook user. Visit Brick Township’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BrickTwpNJGovernment to learn more or to view past sessions.

COUNCILWOMAN HONORED FOR HER BATTLE VERSUS CANCER

Brick Township Councilwoman Marianna Pontoriero was awarded the Patient Courage Award by the Mayors Committee on Life Sciences at the Monday, November 13 Council Meeting.

Councilwoman Marianna Pontoriero addresses the audience at the November 13 Council meeting.

The Patient Courage Award is presented to remarkable individuals who have triumphed over adversity despite difficulties due to a serious or chronic disease.  Councilwoman Pontoriero was diagnosed with oral cavity cancer – a rare and debilitating form of head and neck cancer – in February 2017.  She has continued to serve the public while battling the cancer.

“I am in awe every single day of Marianna’s courage and strength in her battle against cancer,” said Mayor John G. Ducey who nominated Councilwoman Pontoriero for the award.  “Through all of the challenges she has faced since her diagnosis and the start of her treatment, she has continued to serve the community.  Not only that, she has worked to support and advocate for other people suffering from cancer.  She has been and continues to be an inspiration to us all and she is more than deserving of this award.”

Marianna Pontoriero, who is an attorney, has served on the Township Council since January 2014.  On November 7, she easily won re-election and received the most votes on any council candidate on the ballot.

In addition to her serving on the Council, Marianna is active in several charitable organizations including Ocean Harbor House, where she serves on the Board of Directors.  Marianna and her wife Crystal have been foster parents for over 10 years and have three young children.

Mayor Ducey honored Councilwoman Pontoriero at the meeting with a Mayoral proclamation designating Friday, November 17 as Councilwoman Marianna Pontoriero Day in the Township of Brick.

MAYOR DUCEY HONORS AWARD WINNING EMPLOYEES

Mayor John G. Ducey honored Municipal Engineer Elissa Commins and Engineering Division employee Russell Harris for their recently being named recipients of awards from the New Jersey Association of Floodplain Managers. Mayor Ducey honored them at the November 13, 2017 Council Meeting and proclaimed a day in each of their honor.

Elissa Commins received the organization’s 2017 Floodplain Management Leadership Award and Russell Harris was named recipient of their 2017 Outstanding Local Floodplain Management Official Award.

Elissa Commins (center) receives her proclamation from Mayor Ducey (r) and is joined by Council President Art Halloran.

“We are very fortunate to have Elissa and Russell on the township staff. They are hard-working, dedicated and knowledgeable employees and they are an asset to our community,” said Mayor Ducey. “They put in countless hours to help Brick Township get in the Community Rating System and we are thrilled that they were recognized for their efforts.”

Elissa and Russell were both instrumental in the township’s acceptance into the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System. The National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System was implemented in 1990 as a voluntary program for recognizing and encouraging community floodplain management activities exceeding the minimizing NFIP standards. Under the CRS, flood insurance premiums rates are discounted to required community actions that reduce flood damage to insurable properties, strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP and encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management.

Russell Harris (center) with his Mayoral Proclamation.

As part the township’s efforts to get accepted into the CRS, the Engineer Department staff – led by Elissa and Russell – contacted the owners of 665 non-compliant structures in Brick Township, hosted workshops to provide assistance on mitigation of non-compliant structures, and conducted field inspections to encourage compliance as required in order for the Township to be eligible for the Program.

Acceptance into the CRS means that residents who have to pay flood insurance will see discounts on their premiums. The cumulative savings is $657,914 with an average of $200 per policy.

In honor of their awards and in recognition of their dedication and exemplary work, Mayor Ducey proclaimed November 14, 2017 as Elissa Commins Day and November 15, 2017 as Russell Harris Day in the Township of Brick.

NEW TEEN CENTER OPENED IN BRICK TOWNSHIP

Mayor John G. Ducey will be joined by Township Council members, township officials and community members at the ribbon cutting of the Lounge 270 Teen Center in the Brick Township Civic Plaza on Thursday, November 2.

“One of my goals as Mayor was to create a place for the young people of our community to call their own.  Today, I am proud to say that we are doing just that,” said Mayor Ducey.  “The Lounge 270 Teen Center will provide a place for our teens to gather and spend time with their peers.”

Lounge 270 is the first municipally-run teen facility in Brick Township’s history.  The teen center will be open on Thursdays from 2pm – 10pm and there is no admission fee.  The lounge will be staffed by Recreation Staff members during these regular hours.

The lounge has furniture, computers, televisions, video game systems and more.  Mayor Ducey has sought input from young people through his Brick Youth initiative on what they wanted the lounge to be.

“I have been working with Brick Youth and Coordinator Colleen Kahl to learn from young people themselves what they want at Lounge 270 and in the community,” said Mayor Ducey.  “We will continue to engage our young people and let them help us make this a better community for teenagers.”

Lounge 270 was funded through a $20,000 grant awarded by the Ocean Partnership for Children.  Councilwoman Andrea Zapcic and Township Assistant Planner Tara Paxton were instrumental in the township’s receiving the grant.

Any young person wishing to visit Lounge 270 will be given a free membership card.  The card will be scanned upon entering and leaving the lounge.  Membership cards will be available at the lounge and at the Brick Township Recreation Department.

In addition to the regular Thursday hours, Lounge 270 will be open for special events for teens.  Scheduled events include the following:

  • Coffeehouse – Sunday, November 5, 7pm-9pm
  • French Fry Contest – Saturday, November 18, 7pm-9pm
  • Holiday Movie Marathon – Thursday, December 14, 2pm – 9pm
  • Holiday Karaoke Coffee House – Thursday, December 21, 7pm – 9pm
  • Winter Break Video Game Competition – Thursday, December 28, 2pm – 6pm
  • New Year New You Goal Setting – Saturday, January 6, 2pm – 4pm

Anyone who wishes to follow what’s happening at Lounge 270 and other news, events and programs for young people can follow the Brick Youth Facebook page (www.facebook.com/BrickYouth).

NEW HANK WALTONOWSKI PARK OPENED TO PUBLIC

Mayor Ducey, Council Members and citizens cutting the ribbon!

On Thursday, November 2, Mayor John G. Ducey, Township Council members and community members cut the ribbon to the renovated Hank Waltonowski Park and officially opened the park to the public. It was the fifth park improvement project completed during Mayor Ducey’s term.

“One of my favorite things about being Mayor is being able to make a positive impact on our community by improving public areas and parks. These improved parks make such a difference in their neighborhoods,” said Mayor Ducey. “When you can take a park that has been ignored for decades and create a safe, modern and beautiful park and playground, it changes the entire neighborhood. You can see it on the faces of the people enjoying the new parks. We have seen it repeatedly over the past four years and we are happy that we are finally able to open the renovated Hank Waltonowski Park.”

The Hank Waltonowski Park is located on Ashwood Road in the Birchwood Park residential development. The improved park includes two (2) basketball courts, a playground for ages 2-5, a playground for ages 5-12, a softball/baseball field, a gazebo and a walking trail. The park also has landscaping, benches, a retention basin and a bicycle rack. The entire park is ADA-compliant.

The cost of the renovation is $1,228,513. The winning bid was submitted by Precise Construction of Freehold. Precise Construction previously completed the Herberstville and Angela Hibbard Park renovations. CME Associates designed the park and are serving as the consulting engineers on the project. The Township has applied for Green Acres funding to offset the cost of this and other park projects.

The park was named in memory of Hank Waltonowski, a Brick Township Public Works employee who was killed in a work accident in 1996.

The next park scheduled to be improved is the Bernard J. Cooke Park in the Parkway Pines residential area. The renovation of Bayside and Cedar Bridge Manor parks are expected to follow. Previous renovation projects during Mayor Ducey’s term include the Windward Beach playgrounds, Herbertsville Park (formerly Colorado Park), Lake Riviera Park and Angela Hibbard Park.

BRICK TOWNSHIP TO FILE LAWSUIT AGAINST OPIOID MANUFACTURERS

Mayor John Ducey announced that the Township will be filing a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers, based on the companies’ misrepresentations to medical providers and patients of the dangers of opioid painkillers. The Mayor has engaged the national law firm of Motley Rice, LLC to represent the Township in the lawsuit. Under the terms of the agreement, the law firm will not receive any payment from the Township but will instead take a percentage of any recovery from the drug manufacturers. The Township Council is expected to approve the agreement at its meeting on Tuesday.

“While we will continue our efforts to attack the heroin problem through treatment and aggressive law enforcement,” said Ducey, “we also will hold the manufacturers accountable for telling doctors and patients that opioids are not addictive. They know that’s not true.”

Ducey noted that drug overdoses in Brick have steadily increased, from 69 in 2014 to 212 in 2016. The number of overdoses so far this year is 92, which is significantly down from this same time last year. This is a direct result of the Police Department’s efforts on education, enforcement and rehabilitation through the Blue HARP (Heroin Addiction Response Program). The police have set up a drug enforcement unit to pursue dealers, while a community policing unit educates children and the public about the dangers of opioid use.

Ducey said, “We need to use every option at our disposal to fight this horrific battle. I am pleased that Motley Rice will bring its national legal expertise to our town, at no cost to our residents.”

Council President Arthur Halloran said, “The Council joins the mayor in this effort against the opioid manufacturers. These drugs have unfortunately destroyed many lives across our nation and right here in Brick.”

“We will continue this fight against heroin and opioid drugs for as long as it takes,” said Mayor Ducey. “This lawsuit is an important step in the effort to end this scourge.”

BRICK WRESTLING CLUB REGISTRATION BEGINS OCTOBER 2

The Brick Wrestling Club is the newest youth sports program offered by the Brick Township Recreation Program. The BWC is open to Brick youth in grades K through 8. Registration for the first season of the BWC begins on October 2.

“Our community has a tradition of success on the wrestling mat. The Brick Wrestling Club will give the next generation of our high school wrestlers their start towards adding to that tradition. We are thrilled that this exciting program is now under the umbrella of our Recreation Department and are confident that it will be a success,” said Mayor John G. Ducey.

The head coach of the BWC will be Dan O’Cone. Coach O’Cone served as the Head Coach of the Brick Memorial High School Mustangs Wrestling Team from 2007-2013 and led them to a record of 147-32 in that time. His teams won 3 NJSIAA Group State Championships, 4 sectional championships and 2 Shore Conference Championships. Wrestlers on his teams won 32 district championships and 7 regional titles. He coached 11 NJSIAA individual state placewinners and 2 NJSIAA State Champions.

Coach O’Cone will be assisted by wrestling alumni from both Brick Memorial High School and Brick Township High School.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Coach O’Cone leading the Brick Wrestling Club. His accomplishments speak for themselves and to have a coach of his caliber is a great thing for our community,” said Mayor Ducey.

The BWC will have a travel team and a recreation team. The travel team will compete in the Jersey Shore League. Practices and home meets will be held at Veterans Memorial Middle School.

The season runs from November 7 (travel team) and November 27 (rec team) through February 2018.

Travel team fees are $130 per wrestler and include a BWC singlet to keep, sweatshirt and shorts. Recreation team fees are $110 per wrestler and include loaner singlet, sweatshirt and shorts.

Registration begins October 2. You can register in person at the Brick Township Recreation Office, Monday through Friday, 7:30am – 4pm or online at parksandrecreation.bricktownship.net. There will be a mandatory meeting for parents on Wednesday, November 1 at 6:30pm.

For more information call 732-262-1165.