Former Jackson Mayor, Prosector, FBI Agent to Run for Ocean County Freeholder
Toms River–Last week, Ocean County Democrats announced Ocean County Freeholder candidates George Cevasco and Bonnie Verga. On Monday, the Democrats announced former Jackson Mayor Joseph Grisanti and Beachwood realtor Patricia Barndt would be the pair running against Republican incumbents John C. Bartlett and Gerry P. Little.
Grisanti, a lawyer in Brick is a Jackson Township resident and former Mayor of the township. Grisanti was elected to the Jackson Township Committee in 1998 after serving one year as a member of the Jackson School District Board of Education.
He won reelection in 2001. After serving two terms as councilman in Jackson, Grisanti was defeated by Mark Seda in 2004. Eventually, Mark Seda went on to become Jackson’s first voter elected Mayor and subsequently resigned in the face of a voter recall in 2009.
Grisanti carried the momentum of lowering taxes with him into the 2001 election, along with his recreational achievements within the township. “We were able to end 10 years of one party control in Jackson and in our term we were able to reduce taxes for three years,” Grisanti said. ”We ended backroom policy making and expanded recreation in Jackson in a time when the township was growing.”
Grisanti helped spearhead the improvements at Jackson Township’s Justice Complex, now one of the premier youth sports facilities in Ocean County. The improvements included installing artificial turf on the sports fields to reduce long term maintenance and care costs, the construction of the original Jackson skate park and the roller hockey rink.
Now a practicing attorney in Brick Township, Grisanti hopes his experience and credentials speak for themselves. He was a First Lieutenant in the United States Army Reserves and served as a special agent in the FBI Criminal Reactive Unit, a division responsible for investigating white collar crimes.
He has a Juris Doctor degree from St. Johns University and has served as municipal prosecutor for Brick, Howell and Berkeley Townships.
Grisanti’s campaign could be good news for residents of Jackson Township, the largest township by size in the county with a population of 54,000 residents and a sizable senior population.
“Jackson has always been the forgotten child with the county,” Grisanti said.
The democratic ticket in 2012 is a step in the right direction for Democrats who, in 2011, ran Michele Rosen in a campaign that was doomed for failure before it was even launched. It seems like the Democrats are finally serious about trying to win a freeholder election in a county that has been under the longtime control of Republicans.
It’s a fact Grisanti says he’s well aware of. ”We always try to win,” he said of the road the lies ahead of him and running mate Patricia Barndt.