When I first heard about the dangerous and harmful proposal for a crematorium along Oak Hill Road, I knew that there was not much time to act. The Planning Board hearing was scheduled for March 20th, and the clock was ticking. I made some phone calls, created an online petition and started to recruit others to assist in the fight, but there clearly was not enough time to accomplish everything needed to prevent this threat from being built. I reflected and compared this fight to RAGE’s victory over the JCP&L’s proposal for 200-foot powerlines along the North Jersey Coast Line. As a leader with RAGE, I quickly realized that there were some similarities and differences. For example, just like the MCRP, a crematorium would not be built if thousands of people were aware of, and opposed to this dangerous project. Also, it was very obvious that local community groups and elected officials needed to be opposed to the crematorium in order to prevent its construction.
But, there was one large difference between the fight against a local cemetery to build a crematorium and a multi-billion dollar corporation looking to construct ten miles of 200 foot monopoles along a rail line. At first, I did not believe that retaining of legal representation was needed or required to stop a crematorium. With just a few weeks before the Planning Board hearing, I thought that spending our time creating a website, sending out emails, distributing flyers and engaging local stakeholders was a much better use of time than interviewing lawyers and creating fund raisers to pay for a retainer. As March 20th came closer, it was clear that I knew very little about zoning laws, planning board policies and procedures of a hearing at a planning board.
It was time to talk to a lawyer. I asked several people for their opinion and there was only one name mentioned every time. Ron Gasiorowski. With several decades of experience in local zoning and planning challenges, it was very clear from the first meeting that there was only one option, hiring Mr. Gasiorowski. He was already very familiar with the issues and parties involved and he quickly created a plan to stop the crematorium from being built. His services were retained and he helped in obtaining the injunction on the March 20th Planning Board Hearing.
Now that we have some time, the efforts of the Leadership Team have somewhat shifted, but we still stay determined on stopping the construction of a crematorium in Middletown, regardless of the location. Recently, people have been asking “who is on the leadership team?” Well, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce some of the members. This will be brief, as we will post pictures and more detailed biographies on our website.
I would like to introduce myself and the other leaders of Stop Fairview Crematorium. First, I am Andy Clark, and with my wife Kelly and our two sons, Patrick and Brendan, we very much love living in Middletown. I teach AP European History and AP Seminar at Bridgewater-Raritan High School and earned my MA in History from Rutgers in 2009. I was one of the leaders of RAGE, focusing on Organizational Outreach and helping out with fundraising. For this fight, I have been working on Outreach, Legal Strategy and Political Affairs.
Richard Tarabour, is a lifelong Middletown resident. He, and his wife Diane, have been living on Ivy Hill Road for the past 28 years. Rich graduated from Christian Brothers Academy, Alfred University with a BS in Environmental Science, and he has earned two Master’s Degrees in Computer Science and Business Administration. Rich has worked for the EPA, where he assisted in cleaning up the aftermath of the Chemical Control Corporation superfund site in Elizabeth, NJ. Rich has spent the majority of his working career in the Information Technologies area. Rich’s focus in the Fair View Crematorium fight has been research and working with our legal team.
Patrice and her Husband, Peter, moved to Colts Glen with their two children, Madeline and Louis, in 1996. They went through the Middletown school system, off to college and now live way too far away for her liking. You may have seen Patrice and Peter walking or running around the neighborhood in the early hours of the morning or in the evening. She’s completed 3 marathons and may have one left in her. After graduating from Montclair State University, she attended The Columbus School of Law at Catholic University, in Washington, D.C., graduating in 1986 and married the same year. She worked in NYC, until she started her private law practice. She retired from practicing law after 32 years to pursue her passion for baking. She’s enrolled in the Baking and Pastry certificate program at Brookdale Community College and is currently on leave of absence to help care for her Mom. Patrice has assisted with the legal strategy and neighborhood outreach.
Steve Lunanova was born and raised in Middletown, after college, he lived for the next few years in Red Bank. While there, he started his career in accounting, obtained a CPA and a Masters in Taxation from Seton Hall University. It is also there he met his wife, Kristin. They got married and moved to Hazlet and soon started a family. Steve is a father two girls, Sabrina and Audrina. They then moved to Middletown in 2012. Steve was the Treasurer for RAGE and assisted with the Legal Strategy against the MCRP. He also volunteers his time with Middletown Soccer Club and Infinite Love for Kids Fighting Cancer. In the Stop Fairview Crematorium fight, he is the Treasurer and helps with Legal Strategy.
Regina Mackiewicz has called Middletown home since 1990. Her career as a Computer Professional has employed her at companies across multiple industries such as telecommunications, the Federal Government, Life Sciences and multiple financials firms. She has been volunteering with the Boy Scouts of America since 2004. She began her scouting career as Den Leader and Cubmaster with the Cub Scouts. A few years later she was the founding Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 42 for 5 years. Currently she is an Assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 88 in Port Monmouth. She has also volunteered her time and talent in other local communities such as the MCSPCA in Eatontown, sea grass planting in Sea Bright and countless service hours during the days immediately after Super Storm Sandy hit our area in 2012. In 2017 Regina started the Facebook Group Stop Fairview Crematorium to bring awareness to the community about the toxic plan. The resident action movement has grown considerably due to the number of residents who have joined the fight.
Kim & her husband, Mike, have lived in Middletown for 16 years along with their 2 daughters. She attended Middletown High School South & Monmouth University where she earned a BA in Psychology. She has worked in the Music Business as an artist manager for 25 years. She has actively fundraised for the National MS Society for 18 years. She has actively volunteered in her children’s’ schools & has been the technology chairperson for younger daughter’s school PTA for 7 years & Corresponding Secretary for her older daughter’s school PFA for 2 years. She is also the co-chair for Granny’s Attic Craft Show. She was an executive committee member of Jersey Rising (post Sandy disaster relief organization), and a core Leader for RAGE. Her primary role is digital strategy and communications for Stop Fairview.
Sharon Zeveney is a lifelong resident who moved into her home as a child and is now, along with her husband of 19 years, raising their 3 children here in this wonderful community. She graduated Red Bank Catholic high school in 1995 and studied Graphic Design at Stockton University. She is now a full-time working mom, leading a team of design and marketing professionals as a Creative Director, helping brands and people make a meaningful impact. In the Stop FairView fight, she is responsible for design support and community outreach. She stands up to fight against this because she loves this area and cares about protecting our families, our home values, and the future of Middletown’s quality of life for generations to come.
Julian Eyles has lived in Middletown since 2014 with his wife Nikki and two boys Nate and Spencer. He grew up in the UK and graduated from Stirling University and Strathclyde Graduate Business School, with degrees in Economics and Business IT Systems. He married Nikki in 2011, and they lived together in London before returning to the US in 2014. He works in IT for a financial services firm, and when he isn’t playing outside with his boys, he will be mountain biking and watching Game of Thrones. Julian has helped with e-mail and website management.