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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.

Jennifer April 19, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Sorry to disagree, but i don't think it is cowardly not to disclose your full name. There is too much vitriol on this board, and it is you in particular who makes me most glad to only give part of a name. I remember you once asking someone to reveal their identity so you could " see where they live" yikes, no thanks.
Carol Beckenstein April 19, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Jennifer, you misconstrued my wishing to know someone's identity to make it look as if I would stalk someone, when I was simply wondering if the person in question even lived in Homdel. You, like Nick J., can be however libelous and venomous as you wish when you hide yourself from your neighbors, I guess. In reading your statements, occasionally, I have found your information bigoted and bogus. If I knew who you were, believe me, I would have no interest in being anywhere near you, so get over yourself.
Eve April 19, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Carol, for a lot of people it does make sense not to disclose their full identity in the pubic forum. People have various jobs and careers, and leaving an electronic trace under their own name is often not an option. Believe me, I live in Holmdel for many years and care about my town, and so does, probably, the absolute majority of other people on this forum.
Gen. Jack D. Ripper April 20, 2012 at 01:46 AM
So I guess, by Nick J's "thinking", if the mayor, in the spirit of non-partisanship, appoints someone from the opposite party to a position, that person is obligated not to run for the TC---not only against the mayor, but against anyone of the same party. Crafty move by the mayor to appoint a potentially strong candidate, thereby neutralizing him as a potential candidate! Too bad this brilliant move failed due to Levinson's "sleazy" character. (Presumably the absurdity of this "theory" is self-evident...)
Nick J. April 20, 2012 at 02:56 AM
Very well said Eve. People's careers can be jepardized by a simple Google search of their name....I'm not wiling to put my career on the line just to keep Tony Orsini in line. So Carol, glad to see you back blogging after you stuck your foot in your mouth (see above). Too bad Mr. Levinson doesn't have the qualities in the candidate you're looking for....of course you had no response, but I didn't forget! And my pal Tony, still dodges the fact that his family sold open space in northern Holmdel to TD Bank...what a shame. I guess I would be embarrased as well. And Tony, be specific about the surpluses that you Dems left. According to my research, we are paying more in debt service for open space than what the open space tax generates.....That's irresponsible of your Democratic administration to do this. That's one example of a deficit Tony...but I realize you and your partisans are not numbers people. Cluck, cluck Tony.
Carol Beckenstein April 20, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Of course, Eve, it is not necessary to give one's identity to express one's opinion, here. But, what would YOU call people who remain anonymous yet make personal attacks on those who do not? If you have a better word than "cowards" I would be happy to know what it is.
Eve April 20, 2012 at 11:46 AM
Carol, this is a nature of this forum's discussions... I do not think that there is an ethical obligation for those of us who choose to remain semi-anonymous to be super-nice to those who choose to post under their full names. It is easy for a heated argument to become personal, and we just have to live with it, I guess.
Tony Orsini April 20, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Wrong, Jennifer: if I ever referred to "where someone lived" it was in the context of proximity to Lucent or Cross Farm, not what you represented. Considering the damage to my property and signs, apparently THEY know where I live.
Tony Orsini April 20, 2012 at 12:25 PM
I think Carol's comments are referring the the folks who are lobbing bombs, mud pies and lies via personal attacks and hiding behind a pseudonym. Being on the WRONG sides of the issues, this is what is done per the Karl Rove playbook. I don't mind drawing the fire and could care less what reprehensible people think of me. Objective people will see this for what it is, and see them for what they are.
Jennifer April 20, 2012 at 12:47 PM
You may believe that you are not a stalker, but I don't need to trust your opinion of yourself. As long as it is allowable to withhold my full identity on this board, I reserve my right to do so and your opinion of those who do is not relevant. I am extremely uncomfortable with the " where do you live" line, even if it is to ascertain whether or not someone is impacted by a certain proposal, be it sewering or development. And Tony, I was not talking to you, so unless Carol and you are one and the same, zip it.
Jennifer April 20, 2012 at 12:53 PM
And I don't believe I am bigoted, but that doesn't stop you from saying it. I believe that I refrain from personal attacks. I may present two facts and draw an inference with which you do not agree, but I have never called anyone a bigot or a coward.
Tony Orsini April 20, 2012 at 12:55 PM
You would have to be an idiot thinking where the TD Bank is, there was open space. There were 2 houses there, "Nick." It was a residential area sandwiched by commercial development. Expalin to me HOW that was "open space." BTW I recused myself from that issue. Would you benefit financially if your wife's uncle and cousin sold their homes? Those are the FACTS, Nick: you got nothing but a false, reckless accusation. Keep ME in line? You flatter youself, so typically megalomaniacal (Pat?). In a war of words you're toting a popgun that shoots mud.
Jennifer April 20, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Nick, it was his family, not him.
Jennifer April 20, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Never personally attacked anyone, yet you have called me a coward because you didn't like my comments on Lucent.
Jennifer April 20, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Tony I was talking to Carol.
Tony Orsini April 20, 2012 at 12:59 PM
That's OK, Jen. I stand corrected.
Jennifer April 20, 2012 at 01:00 PM
You will always see bad guys lurking if you always see the " other " side as the "wrong" side.
Tony Orsini April 20, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Good reset.
Jennifer April 20, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Jeff, I haven't seen any evidence that disclosing one's full name prevents leads to more civil discourse. I have seen plenty of name-calling by people using their full names. Like I said, I don't need to trust their own opinion of what they would do with the information. It is allowable to post under a pseudonym or partial name, and I am a little bit afraid of some of these posters. That doesn't mean I should not be allowed to contribute. I try to keep it civil. I hope everyone else will try harder, too.
Tony Orsini April 20, 2012 at 01:17 PM
And Jen, I don't need to demonize those I disagree with. They demonize themselves by their actions. If I criticize them on the issues and they rebut with personal attacks, how valid are my critiques and indefensible is their position? Remember: THEY WILL NOT DEBATE US.
Eve April 20, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Ow, honestly, Karl Rove? Let's not get paranoid here...
Nick J. April 20, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Enough said. On to the next topic please.
Thomas Scarano April 20, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Bring on the chicken suit Tony
Tony Orsini April 20, 2012 at 03:03 PM
You got it, Tom! Good to hear from you again!
Tony Orsini April 20, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Eve, sadly I am not overstating. If you were a candidate, you would understand what you would be subjected to, which is why many folks who would make decent candidates demur. Only the brave...
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 (Editor) 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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