Ocean Township Deputy Mayor William J. Garofalo, who has spent almost 20 years serving his community, will be stepping down from the governing body at the end of this month.
“It has been a real pleasure to serve Ocean Township. Through my past work I have been involved in many municipalities in the state and Ocean is a real gem. It is one of the best and efficient towns I have ever come across,” he said.
And while the council’s Dec. 29 meeting will be his last, Garofalo said its time to move on.
“I just want to spend more time with my family and do some interesting things with my wife that we have put off for years,” he said.
Garofalo, 65, graduated from Monmouth College in 1973 and became a history teacher at Monmouth Regional High School. He went on to work for the state Department of Community Affairs as an investigator and then became the CFO/Administrator for Manchester and Matawan. He officially retired seven years ago but still acts as the treasurer of the New Jersey Sustainable Joint Energy Fund and is involved in the Ocean County Joint Insurance fund.
He has been on the Township Council since July 1, 2007 and is currently its Deputy Mayor. Before that he also served for nine years on the local Board of Education and is a past president.
“My only regret is the time that my public service has taken away from my wife and family and it’s time to make that up. I have plans to travel,” he said.
And while Garofalo, who has lived in the township for 31 years, said he will miss the council, he feels that now is the right time for him to step down.
“(Mayor) Christopher Siciliano has such a great vision for the township and I will always be there if he needs help from me. I am very confident and satisfied with the way the town is going under Chris’s leadership. It has been a real pleasure for me to help mentor him with my knowledge in municipal government and he’s going do a wonderful job for the town,” he said.
Siciliano said that Garofalo had mentioned previously that he will probably be leaving his term early but that his leaving will still be a big loss to the council and the township.
“But you are never ready for it when it actually happens and you don’t want to believe it. It’s a shame because you seldom get somebody with his type of background. I go to him for advice all of the time and he was a good resource that we could always tap into,” he said.
“He is really terrific. He is level-headed and very knowledgeable about how a town runs. He had all of the assets and he could have easily been mayor of any town in this state. We were fortunate to have him and it will be a tough job to replace him,” he said.
Township Clerk Vincent Buttiglieri said that the council will now advertise that there is a position available on the council and take resumes from people interested in serving.
“The council will then conduct interviews and appoint a replacement. That replacement will then have to run to fill out Garofalo’s unexpired term in the 2017 general election. His seat expires in June, 2019,” Buttiglieri said.
Garofalo’s resignation officially takes place at midnight, Dec. 31 but his replacement will probably not be seated at the council’s Jan. 1reorganization meeting.
“But hopefully we will appoint somebody by our second meeting in January,” Siciliano said.
Garofalo has also served on the township’s Planning Board, its Municipal Drug Alliance, and coached Little League. He is also a member of the St. Anslems Roman Catholic Church Finance Committee.