One of the men who was integral to the design for the current plans to redevelop Fort Monmouth will retire next month.
Frank Cosentino, an employee of the state's Economic Development Authority and the former executive director of the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Planning Authority was acknowledged Wednesday for his efforts to join the communities surrounding the fort in the redevelopment process. Currently Cosentino is the director of plans and programs at the authority's successor, the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority , a state run board.
It was at Wednesday's FMERA meeting that Executive Director Bruce Steadman announced Cosentino's retirement, calling him a "man of character."
"To talk about his efforts over the last several years," Steadman said, "would take more than a short meeting to outline."
Steadman said that among Cosentino's credits for his time serving on both boards, it was his "foresight, integrity, personality and obvious sucess as a husband and a father," that made an impression on him.
"He's a hell of a guy and we're going to miss him," he said.
Oceanport Mayor Michael Mahon also took the time to give Cosentino accolades for his work in the early planning days for Fort Monmouth's redevelopment, calling him, in a word, "genuine."
"What you did in community outreach, going from community to community and group by group, was exceptional. You deserve high praise for that," Mahon said.
Prior to his work in the fort redevelopment, the West Point and Rutgers University graduate spent 18 years at Fidelity Land Management, a company that developed, managed and maintained retail and commercial recreational properties.
After he received a standing ovation from the board and audience, Cosentino told the group that when he came to FMERPA he didn't know what to expect, but that, "it felt right."
"I dedicated myself to integrity and transparency," he said, "and we did that."
"I set out to work on a collaborative approach to working with the community," he said, "and I want you to know, it was a labor of love."