A former homicide detective from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office who is well-known in Brick for his work coaching football has started a last-minute write-in campaign to win a seat on the Brick Township Board of Education.
Joseph Aulisi said he intended to formally run on the ballot for a seat on the board this year, but missed the deadline since he had never run for office before. After controversies began to surround two candidates this week, he said, the idea to run a write-in campaign was born.
“I have two children in the schools, one in Brick Memorial and one in Brick Township, and my family all went through the Brick school system,” he said. “I coach with the kids and I see how everything is going down. I’m not happy with the administration.”
Aulisi, who was a member of the 1974 championship Brick football team and has stayed involved in the program ever since, said if elected, he will focus on improving facilities and favor hiring from within. He will also bring his 23 years’ experience as a detective to flush out “where the money is going,” he said.
“I would take a very hard look at the budget and a very, very hard look at where the money is going,” he said. “Why do we have so much dead weight sitting around?”
A priority, he said, will be ensuring the district’s spending will go toward programs and facilities that will directly affect students, rather than layers of management and administration.
“I go into Brick High School, and the floors are the same ones I walked on in 1975,” he said. “The lockers look the same too. When we go to some of these other schools, I always wonder why they’re so much cleaner and nicer. Some of them are just as old as ours.”
Aulisi said his mother served on the school board in the 1970s. His wife, who previously served as a probation officer, is a student assistance counselor in the Toms River school district, dealing with drug and mental health issues on a daily basis.
“I understand budget cuts and that the district will be losing money – all these odds and ends,” he said. “But I want to take care of the kids. I want to make sure they have the best education they can get.”
“This town used to be so tight,” he continued, and said beside his role as an assistant football coach, he is fully retired and available to put the time in to serve Brick students. “We have people here who know the kids, know the schools and even grew up in this area.”