Michael Bernstein has been a Howell resident since 2004. He is married with one child. He is the president of the Ramtown Manor Homeowners Association. Michael is running for Council as the Howell First Republican candidate in the 2022 election.
Kathleen Novak has been a Howell resident since 1984. She is married with one child. She serves on Howell’s Lake Restoration and Wildlife Management Committee and is a lifetime member of the Howell Heritage and Historical Society.
Marc Parisi has been a Howell resident since 2014. He is married with three children. He currently serves on the Freehold Regional High School District Board of Education and formerly served on the Howell Shade Tree Commission.
Ira Thor has been a Howell resident since 2011. He is married with three children. He is currently serving his second term on the Howell Township Public School District Board of Education.
Dawn Van Brunt has been a Howell resident since 1999. She is married with two children. She is the founder of Howell for Open Land and Preservation of the Environment and formerly served on the Howell Shade Tree Commission.
(Seated L-R, Dawn Van Brunt, Michael Bernstein, Marc Parisi, Kathi Novak, Ira Thor)
Howell Township has a Council-Manager form of government, commonly referred to as the Faulkner Act. Our Council has five members and every two years either two or three seats are up for election. Howell holds partisan elections, which means candidates run as affiliated with one of the two major political parties: Republican or Democrat. All Council members serve four-year terms. Our Mayor is one of the five Council members and has limited authority beyond that of the other Council members.
Council's role is limited to legislative duties, meaning they make laws and set policy. Council hires a Manager who runs the day-to-day operations of the town. Council appoints a municipal clerk, a tax assessor, and has a role in the selection of the township attorney. Council also appoints residents to serve on the Planning and Zoning Boards. These residents have an important responsibility in approving or denying applications for development.
It is a popular misconception our town is run by the Mayor. This is not true in our form of government. Our town is run by a Manager who is hired by Council. The Manager oversees all department heads and personnel. The Manager prepares the municipal budget that is approved by Council. The Manager must attend all Council meetings and typically participates in discussion with Council, but has no vote. The Manager serves at the pleasure of Council and may be removed by a majority vote at any time.
Another way to understand our form of government is this. The Manager is the President. The Council is Congress. The Mayor is the Speaker of the House.