Long Branch City Clerks: Some History
“A direct link between residents and their local government.”
—Long Branch Daily Record
The first Long Branch municipal clerk was R. Jerome Van Brunt, who held the post for nearly 20 years before being politically ousted in December 1902. A Long Branch native, he also served as the Oceanic fire chief and was city tax collector. He died in April 1915.
The first “City” Clerk — elected to the post in 1903 just as Long Branch was incorporated as a city — was Bryant Baxter Newcomb. He’d hold the post until he became the city’s mayor from 1912 to 1916. Born in Vineland, NJ in August 1867, Newcomb graduated from Chattle High School and would become a newsman — serving as business manager for the Long Branch Daily Record for over 30 years. In 1918, he was elected as a Republican to the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders and served until 1933 (the last decade he was Director). He was hit and killed by a taxi on Broadway in front of the Garfield-Grant Hotel in February 1945.
Irene A. Joline is the longest serving city clerk, holding the important office from 1989 to 2010. Her 20 years of service was all under one mayor, Adam Schneider (who held the office from 1990 to 2018).
“The city clerk is custodian of all the official records — licenses, leases, and minutes of all meetings of all official bodies,” according to the Long Branch Daily Record in August 1932. The annual salary for Long Branch city clerk was set at $1,800 for 30 years, according to the Asbury Park Press, until city commissioners raised it to $2,800 in 1948. By 1963, the clerk’s pay was $6,800. In 1974 it was $12,500. A half century later, it took $250,000 in salaries to run the office.
Long Branch City Clerks
• Heather Capone (2021-Present)
• Jeffrey Jotz (2020-2021)
• Kathy L. Schmelz (2011-2020)
• Irene A. Joline (1989-2010)
• Jennie C. DeFazio (1974-1988)
• Sanita J. Camassa (1956-1973)
• J. Arthur Wooding (1936-1956)
• Frank A. Brazo (1932-1936)
• Mervin G. Hughes (1932)
• Harold N. West (1930-1931)
• George L. Green (1929-1930)
• Benjamin C. Van Tine (1928-1929)
• Mortimer R. DeRoche (1924-1928)
• Frank C. Quinn (1922-1924)
• Elmer F. Lawyer (1920-1922)
• Alonzo D. Sherman (1916-1920)
• Winfield R. Warwick (1912-1916)
• Bryant B. Newcomb (1903-1912)
• R. Jerome Van Brunt (1883-1902)
Note: This list was compiled by scanning the digital archives of the area’s local newspapers going back nearly 150 years. For certain, it contains errors and omissions. The city clerk’s office keeps no official list of who served or when. Others with better information are welcome to reach out — HERE.
• Long Branch City Hall Images — HERE
• Long Branch: Keys to the City — HERE