Assemblyman: Changes needed at residential health facility

Staff Writer

MANALAPAN — The living conditions at a residential healthcare facility in Manalapan have prompted a state legislator to say he will take action to address the situation.

Assemblyman Robert Clifton (R-Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex, Burlington), whose district includes Manalapan, said he will draft legislation which will seek to make changes to current statutes regarding inspections at residential healthcare facilities.

Clifton’s chief of staff, Thomas Mann, said the assemblyman has been trying to determine what has been occurring at the Marianne Manor, Route 33 near Woodward Road, for some time.

Marianne Manor is a licensed residential healthcare facility operated by the state. A representative of the facility could not be reached for comment.

According to a press release from Clifton, attendees at a recent meeting at which the situation was discussed included New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Charles Richman, Manalapan Deputy Mayor Mary Ann Musich, Township Committeewoman Susan Cohen, Police Chief Chris Marsala, Manalapan Health Officer Dave Richardson, and neighbors, health care providers and representatives from local businesses.

“The pedestrian fatality in August was obviously a high-profile case, but we have been working with the township in attempt to get together for quite some time,” Mann said.

He was referring to an incident that occurred just after 10 p.m. Aug. 25, when Edward Mack, 60, a resident of Marianne Manor, was struck by a vehicle as he was standing in the right lane of Route 33 eastbound near the state highway’s intersection with Woodward Road.

Police said Mack was struck by a 2009 Jeep that was being driven by a female resident of Matawan. Mack was transported to CentraState Medical Center, Freehold Township, where he was pronounced dead at 11 p.m.

And, on Oct. 22, 2014, Richard Cashwell Jr., 67, a resident of Marianne Manor, was struck by a vehicle and killed as he attempted to cross Route 33 on foot, also near Woodward Road.

In recent years, a Walgreens pharmacy, a CVS pharmacy and a Wawa convenience store have opened at the intersection of Route 33 and Woodward Road. Manalapan residents have reported seeing pedestrians on a regular basis in the vicinity of the intersection. There are no sidewalks along Route 33.

Richardson said Marianne Manor is approved to house 55 residents. In July, 51 residents were living there.

Cohen said the residents of Marianne Manor are allowed to come and go as they please. They receive room and board at the facility.

Referring to inspections of the facility, Clifton said, “The problem is that when an inspection is scheduled, Marianne Manor officials make sure the facility is up to code. If a deficiency is noted, they promise to rectify it, but when the inspectors leave and no one is watching, the conditions severely deteriorate, compromising the safety and health of residents, staff and the surrounding community.”

“We are currently working with a regulation handbook which the Marianne Manor has to abide by,” Mann said. “It covers all aspects of maintaining a residential healthcare facility.”

In the press release, Clifton said he will draft legislation that would change when inspections are conducted, how they are conducted and which state agency is best equipped to conduct the inspections.

Mann said some existing regulations are out of date and need to be updated to address what is occurring at residential healthcare facilities. He said legislation could address the staff, cleanliness and monitoring of these types of facilities.

— Contact P.J. Candido at