Middletown residents Sean Byrnes and Jeana Sager ran unopposed in the June 2019 Democratic primary for the two Township Committee seats on the ballot this year (the seats currently held by Rick Hibell and Kevin Settembrino). The general election is on November 5, 2019.
The Middletown Township Committee is a 5-member body. All members are elected from the township at large, each for a term of 3 years. Elections are staggered such that at most 2 seats are up for election each year. Middletown does not have an elected mayor; rather, one of the Committee members serves as mayor each year.
About our Township Committee candidates:
After graduating from Red Bank Regional High School, I attended the United States Coast Guard Academy and received a bachelor of science degree in Government. During my military service, I also graduated from the Coast Guard’s Maritime Law Enforcement School. I received my law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.
I am dedicated to service. I retired from the United States Coast Guard as a Commander after 22 years of service. Over the years, my duties have included serving as an Operations Officer on Coast Guard Cutter Gentian, preparation of operating budgets for Coast Guard units, serving as a staff attorney, and most recently as an Assistant Chief of Staff for the Coast Guard in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.
In the past, I have served as a Committeeman of the Middletown Township Committee. I served on the Red Bank Board of Education, Red Bank River Center and as a founding Board Trustee with the Parker Clinic. I served five years as Chairman of the Board of the Red Bank Branch of the YMCA, and two years as their Chief Volunteer Officer. I have coached basketball and soccer in Red Bank and Middletown. I also serve as a Eucharistic minister and lector at the Church of St. Leo the Great, Lincroft.
I opened my own general law practice in 2004, and currently am partner with the firm Byrnes O’Hern & Heugle, LLP, in Red Bank. Previously, I was a partner in the Red Bank law firm of McKenna, DuPont, Higgins & Byrnes. I have also worked as a trial lawyer for McCarter & English, Newark, and as the Prosecutor in Atlantic Highlands.
I currently live in Middletown with my wife, Anne Clabby Byrnes, and our five children.
After receiving my Bachelors degree from Emerson College in Boston, I worked as an assignment editor and general assignment reporter for various national television affiliates in the New England area. My work was specifically geared towards topics of human rights and public policy.
In the past I have served as a Committeewoman in Jersey City, NJ where I brought communities together and made it my top priority to include all voices in community action. Additionally, I have served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children (CASA), where I co-developed and presented original material advocating for the preservation of birth parent rights and highlighting the importance of keeping families together as opposed to severing parental rights and removing children from their homes.
In 2014, I helped start a 501(c) 3 Non Governmental Organization (NGO) based in Asbury Park, Help Not Handcuffs, Inc. Our organization advocates for humane drug policy and addresses human rights violations. My position as Board Member and Trustee has allowed me to engage governments on all levels, from local to global. We recently brought Portuguese Drug Czar, Dr. João Goulão to Asbury Park to highlight and learn from his successes fighting the opioid crisis in his country.
I am a mother of three teenagers residing in Middletown, NJ and completing my Masters degree in Public Policy at Monmouth University. Beyond my deep commitment to my advocacy work and my children, I have been in the aviation industry for over 25 years serving In-Flight operations in management and leadership initiatives. I am a figure skating coach at Jersey Shore Arena in Wall, NJ where I teach Learn to Skate programs to young adults and children.
My commitment to community service and humane policy initiatives stems from a migrant experience. My family immigrated to the United States from Greece. As a child I was exposed to the tremendous challenges that migrant populations face. We struggled to learn English and gain financial stability while enduring incredible stigma and marginalization. Today these experiences frame my advocacy work in human rights as well as my unwavering commitment to improve the greater good for all populations.