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Committeeman Larry Fink Will Not Seek Re-Election; 2 Dems, 2 Republicans Will Run

The race is on. Two seats on the Republican-dominated Township Committee are up for election in November.

With two Holmdel Township Committee seats up for grabs on Nov. 6 and four candidates throwing their hats in the ring, Democrats and Republicans are preparing for a contest.

Township Committeeman Larry Fink, a 12-year veteran of the governing body, former mayor, and the sole Democrat on the 5-member governing body, is not seeking re-election. "I want to spend more time with my other passions: my job -- which is land preservation -- scouting, my family. I've decided its time to let other people carry the ball forward," he said Tuesday.

His three year term, and the unexpired one-year term left vacant by Republican Freeholder Serena DiMaso are now in play in a year marked by contentious debate over how to grapple with a $2 million budget gap, protest rallies over the sale of public land, and public meetings that grew so large that people stood for hours to participate.

On Monday, petitions were filed by four candidates to run for the two offices in the June primary, said Township Clerk Maureen Doloughty. Holmdel Democrats will be represented by residents Mark Levinson and Lawrence Luttrell. The Holmdel Republicans will be represented by Tom Critelli and Township Committeeman Joseph Ponisi. Ponisi joined the dais in January when DiMaso left.

Fink said Levinson and Luttrell are "both talented and capable people" and that they share his commitment to fiscal restraint and protecting the beauty of Holmdel. "We need their help at this critical time to keep municipal spending in check and to ensure that the redevelopment of the Lucent property enhances our community and does not damage the environment," Fink said.

Mark Levinson, of Willowbrook Road in Holmdel, has his own consulting company, ML Consulting. "With Mark’s experience and keen business sense he can help put Holmdel back on track making wise decisions and restoring fiscal integrity," said Holmdel Democrat Municipal Chair Tony Orsini. "He has over 20 years executive experience overseeing and maximizing business opportunities through negotiation and resource development. He has more than 25 years experience in cost analysis, project management, process identification and development specializing in start up business operations."

Levinson will run against Ponisi for the 1-year unexpired Township Committee seat vacated by DiMaso. Ponisi has worked for 25 years in municipal bonds, primarily as a financial analyst with GE Capital. He serves on the Finance Committee.

Luttrell practices law in Holmdel and lives on Briarhill Road. According to a press release, he graduated from the University of Miami in 1995 and was a member of the 1991 NCAA Division I Champion Miami Hurricanes (1991-1995). He was also a member of the Phi Delta Phi Honor Society. Luttrell graduated from St. Thomas University School of Law in 1998 and interned for the Hon. John Ricciardi, Superior Court of NJ, Monmouth County. From 1999-2002 he was Assistant Municipal Prosecutor in Hoboken. He recently worked gratis for Sandy Hook activists and were successful in stopping a development planned by Sandy Hook Partners represented by Hill-Wallack law firm.

He will be running against Thomas Critelli for the 3 year committee seat being vacated by 12 year Committeeman Larry Fink, say Democrats. Critelli, who is new to township politics, is president of Danitom Development, a homebuilder and property development company.

Levinson and Luttrell both opposed the sale of Cross Farm and other land in Holmdel as a way to fix the town's large budget deficit, said Orsini. "They both understand that selling public land would not solve the underlying problem that we are spending too much given the poor economy, and that it would deprive us and future generations of the farms and forests that many people over decades worked tirelessly to preserve."

Messages seeking comment have been left for Holmdel Republican Party members, including Holmdel Republican Municipal Chair Marcy McMullen.

Carol Beckenstein April 20, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Hey, Tom...I have been thinking about you and hope your brave son is out of harms way. Jennifer, I stand by my statement; your comments have shown bigotry and have been bogus, especially your hysterical predictions re: Lucent and the former purchasers, Somerset. In addition, your purposeful misinterpretation of something I wrote very casually makes you (to put it as politely as possible) most disingenuous, I refuse to have further discourse with you or Nick J. Nick J,, you do have a good sense of humor and are intelligent, much like my friend, Tony Orsini. But you really do not know much about Holmdel. Again, Reader, ALWAYS beware of what these nameless people write. Keep on keeping on, Tony. You were a great Township Committeeman and you continue to serve Holmdel with distinction. The rest of you, buh-bye.
Nick J. April 20, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Well I was hoping we were done, but I guess not. Carol, you seem like a nice lady, but aligning yourself with Tony Orsini is not a good thing. The Democratic ticket would be much better served with him not involved in the process. I'm sorry that you don't see the knife Orsini uses to divide this town, but that's all he is good for. But Tony you're right, the election is not about you but the direction that Holmdel is headed and I think the town is headed in the right direction...from a financial perspective as well as a development perspective, with Lucent right on the horizon.
Jennifer April 20, 2012 at 05:36 PM
Ok Carol, I see you will never agree with me. But maybe you can agree that calling someone a coward is name-calling. Maybe you can agree that calling someone a bigot, or a comment bigotted, or hysterical, is name calling. You are judging my concerns to be invalid, in your view, hysterical, so you call me whatever you like. That is name calling. That is why I don't think putting your full name out there is really a safeguard against intemperate language. At every turn of this conversation, I have had many words pop into my head that I did not write down, because I do NOT wish to hurl invective. Please try to see, I am not calling you any names. You have called me some. I choose to remain private because I can, and this page should only be about civil discourse, not about character assassination. I can avoid using abusive or offensive language, but I cannot help it if you find my views offensive. It is up to you whether you can allow someone to disagree with you without making them into a villiain or an ignoramus. I would think that an open-minded person would allow that other points of view can be valid.
Tony Orsini April 20, 2012 at 08:10 PM
"super nice?" Wow is THAT an overstatement. True, we can either have an elevated conversation or bare fist it which would not inform anyone and be self serving. For those on the short side of info and the issues, the latter may be the only option.
Christina Johnson April 20, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Holmdel Patch values all your feedback on the stories and issues of the day. But in the spirit of Holmdel Community Day scheduled for this weekend, commenting on this particular story should end here. I welcome you to stop by the Patch table at Cross Farm Park and chat with me, the editor, in person. See you there!

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