Barnegat Leader

New Mayor Cirulli Stressing Township Safety in Barnegat

Jan 23, 2019

As Barnegat Township’s mayor for 2019,  Alfonso Cirulli is putting a premium on Barnegat “being a safe place to live.”

“Ocean County, like many areas in the state, has an opioids crisis, and our police department will do what it can to drive drug dealers out of Barnegat,” he said.

Cirulli was handed the gavel at the New Year’s Day reorganization meeting. John Novak will serve as deputy mayor.

Also, Linda Kropf and Pasquale Pipi were sworn in as new committee members on the all-Republican panel. They were victorious in the November election and take over the seats of Frank Caputo and Joseph Lopes, who did not seek re-election.

Cirulli, 66, served on the committee from 2004 to 2012, and returned in late 2015 when he was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Martin Lisella, who resigned his seat upon being named township administrator.

Novak, 60, served on the township committee for a year in 2007 and returned in 2015. He served as mayor in 2016.

Cirulli said he is looking to introduce an ordinance lowering the curfew for minors from 11 p.m. to 10 p.m. he said it could be ready for introduction at the committee’s next meeting, on Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 10 a.m. He said the idea was suggested by a resident at a recent townwide Neighborhood Watch forum at the Lillian M. Dunfee Elementary School.

“Some people were concerned about vandalism,” the mayor said. “Then someone asked that maybe we should lower the curfew to 10. When the question was posed to the audience, three-quarters of the people were in favor of it.”

Cirulli said such a curfew would not affect juveniles who have to work at night.

“We’re looking to crack down on kids hanging out late at night,” he said. “The other night, there were reports of kids hanging out around 2 in the morning. That’s not good; that’s how crime problems can start. We want to come up with something fair for everyone.”

Novak said a major priority for 2019 is beginning the project for the new town hall, which would be built at its current location on West Bay Avenue.

“The police have shown esprit de corps despite having to report to work in a building in such terrible condition,” said Novak, who serves as as committee liaison to police, fire, first aid, emergency management and municipal court. “They outgrew that place decades ago, and it has gotten to point where something must be done.”

He also looks to see continual growth with more businesses opening at the Barnegat 67 development on Lighthouse Drive.

“It is going to be a great destination for shoppers,” he said. —E.E.

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