For Immediate Publication
JULY 7, 2008
POC: James Grenafege
Middletown Democrat for Township Committee
MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP (MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ): According to Middletown Democrat for Township Committee Jim Grenafege, the formation of the Middletown Blue Ribbon Budget Commission is an important part of his strategy to repair the municipal budget process.
“One of the things I believe in is that there is tremendous amount of talent in the community: Not just talent from a potential perspective, but talent that has been developed. If appropriately invited to take part in the governmental process, top corporate leaders in this community will participate,” Grenafege said.
The retired human resources executive holds a Master’s Degree in counseling from Montclair State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Johns Hopkins University. After 26 years as a corporate manager, Grenafege said business has taught him that inclusiveness and constructive input from top executives are vital in presiding over any large corporation.
As a result, Grenafege is proposing that an all-volunteer committee be convened comprised of leading corporate CEOs, COOs, Accountants, Engineers and Finance professionals that will lend their experience to the community.
“I want to be a consensus builder, along with fellow elected officials in this township, to create a better, more common sense government that is cost efficient and fiscally responsible,” Grenafege said.
The candidate, “You can look inward for inspiration and for decisions, but being elected on the governing body is really about community. All of this community is not involved in Middletown, and I think that is because it really isn’t invited to do so. I want to invite this community back to its own Town Hall.”
Grenafege said that, at the Committee meetings, it is clear there isn’t the level of receptivity for public participation that could be there. “There are people showing up for very specific reasons to the committee sessions, but there isn’t a wide sense of community,” he said.
Grenafege said he intends to begin the process of re-inviting the community back to its own government with the Blue Ribbon Commission, but the more important work starts after that.
“Creating a common sense, workable and prudent town budget is the most important thing officials do, but the next job is to get back in touch with Middletown and all of its communities and get a firm hold of what the residents of Middletown want – not just a few political leaders. It is time for town officials to stop speaking in the monologue and start listening again.”