The Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce will present it’s 2015 Public Official Carousel Award to Board of Education member Barbara Lesinski.
The award, which is given for outstanding service to the community by a public official, will be presented at the Chamber’s annual Carousel Awards Dinner at the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel on Fri., May 8. The theme of this year’s gala is “The Love Boat. Come Aboard We’re Expecting You.” Lesinski is currently a member of the Asbury Park Board of Education, but her service to the city of Asbury Park has spanned three decades as an employee as well as numerous elected, appointed and volunteer positions.
Raised in Matawan, Lesinski and her twin sister, Patricia (Tee), have been residents of Asbury Park since 1985 when they pooled their resources and purchased a house together. Lesinski was elected to the Board of Education in 2007 and served as president in 2010, losing a bid for re-election. She was then appointed to the board and subsequently re-elected in 2012.
Lesinski cites the hiring of a new superintendent, Dr. Lamont Repollet in 2014 following an 18-month search as a significant accomplishment.
“A new beginning for the school system,” she said.
The hiring puts the district on the path for a turnaround, a goal she says will be “difficult, but is not impossible.” With 2,000 students and 500 in pre-school, Lesinski says the Asbury Park School system is small enough to make it happen. One of Lesinski’s goals is to keep the pre-school students in the public school system through elementary, middle and high school to eventually graduate from Asbury Park High School.
Lesinski spent 17 years as a city police dispatcher, from 1994 to 2011 when the dispatchers were laid off and the service was turned over to the county Sheriff’s Department. She was also on the Housing Authority for four years, was its Acting Executive Director when an Executive Director was hired and a $900,000 deficit was erased. She says that moment was a bright spot for the city.
She also helped organize a Neighborhood Watch in northeast Asbury Park, was a member of the Citizen’s on Patrol (COP) program, started both the local National Night Out and Make a Difference Day. She is currently on the committee monitoring the Sunset Avenue Bridge replacement project.
Tickets for the May 8 Carousel Awards Dinner are on sale from the Chamber of Commerce for $135, tables of ten for $1,350. Cocktails from 6 PM to 7:30 followed by the awards ceremony, dinner and dancing. RSVP to info@AsburyParkChamber.com or call the Chamber at 732-775-7676.