Letter: Holmdel Will Miss Larry Fink

Margaret Cluskey of Holmdel offers her thoughts on Fink's decision not to run again for a seat on the Township Committee.


I am sad that Holmdel Township Committeeman Larry Fink will not be seeking re-election next year.  I applaud Larry’s unwavering dedication to Holmdel for the past twelve years.

Larry, as the only Democrat, has often been a lone voice on the Republican-controlled Committee. He was instrumental in halting the majority’s recent proposal to sell preserved land at Cross Farms.

Over the years, he has pushed to trim our municipal budget in a responsible way.

Although many of his ideas were not heeded by the Republicans, some were adopted. Had they not been, our recent 10% municipal tax hike would have been much higher.

I am concerned that Larry’s imminent departure from the Committee can potentially give us a one-party governing body.

We will lose the different viewpoints from both parties that force discussion and strengthen our government.

That is why I am giving my vote to Democrats Larry Luttrell and Mark Levinson for Township Committee.

They have legal and business experience that will be beneficial to our town.  More important, they will bring the checks and balances that government always needs.

Both Larry Luttrell and Mark Levinson have large shoes to fill but I am confident they can do it.  

john cohn September 20, 2012 at 09:37 AM
Larry Fink and his democratic pals almost bankrupt this town . . depleting are overhead by buying up land at top dollor and letting the now rich people who sold it to him to still work it making them more money and the town gets nothing...he also drove businesses away that would give the townships people tax re-leaf .. yes you saved the land you saved the trees but look at your tax bill now ...
john boyd September 20, 2012 at 02:31 PM
What are you talking about Holmdel has been controled by the republicans for years. I think larry and the Dems controled the township for 2 or 3 years look at the budget and raise increase those years, I don't think you would be too happy. I am very happy with our present community leaders. Larry is a nice man and I applaud anyone who volenteers their time for the community. His position a s a former Mayor and committeman is to make suggestions and recommendations every committee person does that. FYI- Larry gave no more imput then any committeeman in saving Cross Farm. I was in attendance Were YOU. If so then your story above is misleading. Good Luck Larry you are a good person and thanks
Carol Beckenstein September 20, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Thanks to Larry Fink and a bi-partisan coalition of tax-paying residents, Holmdel has numerous open spaces preserved in perpetuity for us, our children, and generations to enjoy...everyday, forever. Larry's is a life well lived, and I appreciate his vision and leadership despite the many political attacks he has been forced to endure, like that of the author, above.
Mitchel Friedman September 20, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Are you blaming Larry for the telecom melt down that caused Lucent to be saved from bankruptcy and leaving us with vacant property? How much does Holmdel receive now in taxes from Acatel-Lucent? How many Holmdel tax payers were employed by Lucent.
Arthur Rittenhouse September 20, 2012 at 04:54 PM
I am sorry to hear of Larry Fink's leaving the Township Committee and wish him well. Committeeman Fink came and gave support to the Hendricks and Hendrickson Family Association and there ongoing project to restore the Hendrickson Family Burial Ground that was destroyed in late 2010. Legal acton and legislation is still ongoing and hopefully concluded in the near future.
Nick J. September 20, 2012 at 05:15 PM
It's time as a community that we move pass the damage caused by the Democrats when they were in control of Holmdel....we are still paying the price. Fink should stick to DEP issues, as clearly his expertise is not in government finance and we will get more of the same with the two Dems that are running. My tax dollars which should be going for police protection are being used to subsidize the purchases of open space bought by the Dems because the dedicated open space tax that we all pay does not generate sufficient tax dollars to pay the debt service on the bonds that were issued to buy that open space. Don't believe me, call Town Hall to confirm, as we are out by over $400,000 over the past two years. That money should have been used to lower my taxes, but because the Dems overspent on open space, it cant. That is mismanagement on the part of the Dems. I like the direction the Town is headed with the current administration and we will need the expertise that Critelli and Ponisi bring to the table....especially if something breaks on Lucent. Also, I went to the Rock Around the Park festival with my family last Friday night and the event was spectacular, as it was attended by over 1,000 mostly Holmdel residents. Thank-you Holmdel administration for putting this on.....it was nice to see the community come together like that.
john boyd September 20, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Well said Nick Ms. Beckenstein that wasn't a political attack. I like Larry I was just stating the obvious. Go back and check the records Why do Democrates always seem to get upset when Larry's name is mentioned as a mear mortal. Not the messiah
Nick J. September 20, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Mitch, I'm not sure that I understand your point. But Holmdel once received over $6 million from Lucent and now it is less than $1 million....we Holmdel taxpayers have had to make up the difference. And don't forget that the school district get about 65% of every tax dollar and while enrollment has decreased significantly over the past 5 years, their budget keeps growing....and that's a shame. Lastly, I truly appreciate what you give back to the community in free dental work....I applaud you on giving back to those less fortunate....more professionals should be as caring as yourself.
Carol Beckenstein September 20, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Sorry, Mr. Boyd, but my response crossed with yours and was meant for Mr. Cohn; you did not have to get nasty. No one thinks that Larry is "the messiah" but he is definitely an EXCEPTIONAL human being...and not only Democrats think that!
William Y September 20, 2012 at 07:38 PM
All the malcontents want to keep our open space and preserve the trees. What nerve. Right mayor? Once we get rid of our nemesis this town is gonna get paved over. We'll show them.
Nick J. September 20, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Carol, I agree with you that Larry is a very nice person, but that is where it ends. The public policy of our local Democrats has stalled commercial development in town, placing more of a tax burden on us homeowners. It is incredible to think that we could have had Chase's corporate headquarters in town, but they were chased away (no pun intended) by the Democrats....please refer to the famous "Chase Tract" as they like to call it. It was especially bad policy, as at the same time we were losing revenue from Lucent. We don't need people like this running our town. We need out of the box progressive thinkers like Critelli and Ponisi to help run Holmdel. Mr. Ponisi has already demonstrated his financial expertise as he helped to dig us out of a $3 million budget hole at the beginning of this year, without selling public land. This is the kind of financial expertise we need to run this town....and Mr. Critelli with his building expertise, will be an invaluable asset when Lucent begins to get developed. Unfortunately, the current slate of Democratic candidates offer no real solution to the primary issues facing our community.
Nathan Boulman September 20, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Nick you are right on point. To steal the Democrats own line, we need balance alright....a balance of residential and good commercial development. We homeowners have shouldered enough of the tax burden. Enough with the Fink/Orsini administration.
Carol Beckenstein September 21, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Nick J., Chase had decided to SELL their land, and NOT build "corporate headquarters" in the suburbs. You have no clue about the history of Holmdel, and what you have written here is a total distortion...once, again...
Lawrence W. Luttrell, Esq. September 21, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Thank you for your endorsement Ms. Cluskey. If elected I will do my best to keep your support and get this town back on track.
Nick J. September 21, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Carol, that's your spin on how things transpired. Here's the real truth....They left because of the uphill battle they would have had to fight with the Dems and the FOHOS people and I guess they decided it wasn't worth their trouble, so another community benefited from our loss. Yes they may have sold, but for the wrong reason. That would have been an outstanding ratable for this town, which also would have provided hundreds of high paying paying....but you fail to see that. We cant afford to have the same thing happen when Lucent gets developed....this town needs good commercial ratables to subsidize our property taxes and to provide good high paying jobs. And who is the best to achieve that...Critelli & Ponisi....certainly not somebody who is associated with any of your organizations.
Michael Nikolis September 21, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Mr. Fink deserves a round of applause for his dedication to Environmentalism and open space in Holmdel. Love him or hate him, he leaves an honest, consistent and reputable record for asking the tough questions when they needed to be asked. During a time when many area elected officials were being investigated for fraud or corruption Mr. Fink served as Mayor with honor.. When I first met Mr. Fink at the Hazlet train station at 6:15AM back in 2002 asking Holmdel residents what mattered to them the most, I did not see him as a Democrat or Republican, I saw him as some one who cares about the town he lives in and more importantly, as a conservationist with knowledge of the area. All the best in your new endeavors, Mr. Fink.
Nathan Boulman September 21, 2012 at 02:24 PM
As typical for the Democrats...Nothing on the specifics of what they intend to do if elected.
Nick J. September 21, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Mr. Nikolis, I agree with you about Larry's care for the environment. But as you note that was 10 years ago, Holmdel cannot afford more of the same policies....we desperately need a balance. The sale of F&F Nurseries which allowed the owners to farm there for free is just one example of bad public policy with no regards to the taxpayers of this town.
Richard ScottoLavino September 21, 2012 at 09:04 PM
I find it so bothersome when some can't even allow a man to be thanked for his years of service, free service to this town that can be so disrespectful. Firstly and Most importantly, I wish to thank Larry for his years of service and lend him great gratitude for the work he did, and at times tried to do. We are all in his debt. Now for those who wish to speak of budgets and what did and didn't happen, lets Have an open and true discussion. I was the person at teh meeting to save cross farm park property, and if you need to remember me i am the man who spoke for quite a while, with facts, numbers and all teh budgets for the last 10 years. I was teh one who explained teh real law about civil servants to teh town committe members. As for buying property this town paid very very little money for those properties, we had a bond issue that raises money each time you paid your taxes, and most property bought is covered in cost by outside donors, including but not limited to FOHOS, Baykeeper, GreenAcres and many others. The property bought is not a drain on teh town finances no matter what you were told.
Richard ScottoLavino September 21, 2012 at 09:06 PM
As for over spending, the largest increase and tehn mainted spending in the last 10 years was during the oversight of the republican majority here in holmdel. At that time run by Mayor Ditomasso. Since that time we have maintained a majority and then a supermajority on town council of republicans to where Larry felt it almost impossible to be heard. SInce that time we have overspent our budget 2006 till now. Along with that the lucent property and it's proposals and vendors have been under teh oversight of the repulican Majorityas well. If you speak to those vendors you will find that at many times they were not having a responcsive town council that helped them to solve issues and remediate probelms. So how is it possible that we overspent our budget and weren't aware of it until this year? Let me explain, the town council raised the use of an accounting principle that had been used in the past, but they significantly raised it's use to close the budget gaps in the first 2 years. At this point we couldn't close that gap with that accounting practice, so we started raiding the sewer fund, at this point to the tune of 2.5 million dollars(BTW over taxing people with sewers as not all of holmdel has them) and in the last 2 years, even that wouldn't cover or didn't have enough moeny, so we raided the pool fund. Any excess in either of those areas were exhausted until as the town administrato said in 2005," until the economy recovers and we can get larger ratables"
Richard ScottoLavino September 21, 2012 at 09:09 PM
SO many ask, what can be done? We need to reduce our spending to the amount of taxes that we bring in, We need to employ an austerity budget that will reduce services within our town, but must be done to spend what we take in, and not raid teh surpluses that are intended to improve and protect teh services of sewer and the pool. We certianly shouldn't be spending money on frivilous itmes like a botche court or 18K to buy cameras to install on police car to search for scofflaw cars. So please, next time people wish to ruin nothing but a thank you to a man who sweat and taoiled for this town... Please... Please,, make sure the facts are straight.
Richard ScottoLavino September 21, 2012 at 09:10 PM
THank you larry, we all will do what we can to make sure it happens.
Richard ScottoLavino September 21, 2012 at 09:13 PM
BTW as for your tax dollars being needed for police protection, I would whole heartedly agree, but we in town are SUpervisor heavy, we have a cheif, a captain, 5 leutenants, and somewhere between 8 and 10 argents, FOr a town with 36 officers, have 15 or more officers to oversee our town is a touch ridiculous and we would be better served to have an appropriate officer to parollman percentage and more feet on the ground as they say.
Richard ScottoLavino September 24, 2012 at 03:52 AM
I am so disgusted taht people feel it is appropriate to be anything but respectful here. Nick is it or shall i ask HMMM TOM... enough, Be respectful to the people of this town.. agree or disagree. Beyond that, if your going to be disrespectful.. Stand up, put your real and full name down and don't hide.
Richard ScottoLavino September 24, 2012 at 03:53 AM
Nathan, Like it or not, this was not the place to put political things, it was a place to that a man for his years of service, no matter what Nick .. Or Mr. Anonymous as we shall call him.
Richard ScottoLavino September 24, 2012 at 03:55 AM
Nick, If you would like ot have a full discussion on policies, Please let's do, Lets start with continued over spending for 6 years, with a full republican majority. Over spending and bleeding the pool club, teh sewer fund, using every penny of an interest payment allowed... ENough.. Stop talking 10 years ago, Or shall we talk about the republicans that were found to be corrupt and that is why the democrats won for a few years... Hmm or will we just forget that part of recent history.
Richard ScottoLavino September 24, 2012 at 03:56 AM
I agree, and no matter which side of the fence, it would be nie to see what teh candidates would have to say. Maybe they can be convinced to have a debate ad let teh public see the differences for themselves.
Richard ScottoLavino September 24, 2012 at 04:00 AM
Nick, I am not sure you understand the point. Where are teh tea party republicans screaming, We are bringing in 17 Million dollars for the town and spending 20 Million. We have been doing so for more then the last 5 years, Each of which has a republican majority. The Bayonet farm land is a treasure to ur town, our prooperty values, THose Fohos people you so distain have spent TOns of money upgrading that property to the point where the barns are Reserved for weddings almost every weekend. Please.. The facts, Just the facts. And that is my full real name there, Not a fake one.
Steve Strickland September 25, 2012 at 04:22 AM
Sleepy Holmdel had about 39 people on the Police payroll in 2011, all but 6 of whom made over $100k in salary. How many more of your tax dollars do you think need to go to Police protection? (from what?) I wish I had the PBA negotiating my salary contract... And lets put some facts out there. The Democrats had a majority on the TC during 2003-2005 and *my* municipal taxes went up 5%, 7%, and 2%. Republicans controlled the TC in 2002 and 2006-2012 and *my* muni taxes went up 19%, 3%, -1%, 5%, 11%,14%,5%, and 12.2%. But don't believe me, see what happened with *your* taxes. Then tell me who did a better job. PS In calculating the tax hike this year, remember to include the new County Health Tax that we pay because the town outsourced the health dept to the county. You'll get a 12.2% increase, not the widely-reported 10.2.


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