Tom De Martini
Hometown: Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., but consider Middletown, N.J. in Monmouth County my hometown. That's where I grew up.
Birthday: July 20
Marital Status: Married my wife Mary on April 10, 2010.
Professional Background: Began my journalistic career as a high school senior in the sports department of the Asbury Park Press at the New Jersey shore. My journalistic experience is diverse. I covered the financial markets in New York for Dow Jones Newswires and the now-defunct Bridge Information Systems for more than eight years. I've worked and written in various capacities for the Newark Star-Ledger, the Bergen Record and several defunct publications (do you see a trend here?) including the Woodbridge News-Tribune and Cable World magazine. I've covered horse racing for 16 years on a freelance basis for Kentucky-based industry publications. My most recent experience before joining Patch was at The Morning Call, serving as an editor for (the defunct) Chronicles weeklies, as a staff writer and a freelance municipal and sports reporter.
High School/College: A total New Jersey education, graduating from Middletown North High School and Glassboro State College, now known as Rowan University.
Hobbies: Cooking. I love to prepare meals. Summer at the Jersey Shore. Horse racing at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J. for however long it lasts, which may not be very long. The N.Y. Mets, the N.Y. Giants and the N.Y. Rangers. Exploring the Philadelphia Art Museum with my wife Mary and step-daughter Kristen. I like to play poker when visiting Atlantic City and Las Vegas, but I'm a fish.
Favorite flicks: The Godfather I and II. Goodfellas. The Paper. Let it Ride. Heartbreak Ridge. Rounders. Morning Glory.
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Okay, I'm back….
Journalism: I believe in old-school journalism. Report the facts and report them correctly without sensationalism. Be a watchdog, but detached -- don't allow personal feelings to influence reporting. Be tough, but fair. Take time to investigate thoroughly. Be tactful. Listen well. Allow people to tell their side of the story, but don't wither under pressure from anyone who wants to spin. Patience and dogged determination serves journalists well. Never show allegiance to any team when sports reporting. There really is no cheering in the press box.
How would you describe your political beliefs? Conservative.
Registered with a certain party? Republican.
Religion: Lapsed Roman Catholic.
What do you think are the most important issues facing the community?
How the current state of the economy affects the lives of everyone from property and school taxes to sewer and refuse bills. The cost of everything increases, but people's paychecks largely stay the same -- or get smaller. How do we as a community deal with that? How will local government and school boards, given the economy, squeeze every penny from budgets and stop waste in an effort to minimize tax increases. How will libraries, parks and other community resources be funded in the future under such austere cirumstances? We need to find ways to increase local employment and stop laying off talented teachers. What's happened to the casino monies that were supposedly targeted for municipalities and education?
Where do you stand on each of these issues?
We'll never have to stop paying property and school taxes, but some formula needs creation in Pennsylvania to stop the runaway train of taxing and spending before state and local deficits become as large as they've become in New Jersey.