Cardone to close his Hallmark store to better devote time to Monroe supervisor role

| 22 Mar 2018 | 04:20

    By Nancy Kriz
    — Monroe Town Supervisor Tony Cardone is closing the Hallmark store he and his wife have owned for the last 30 years in mid-April, allowing him to fully devote his time to his role as town supervisor while focusing on his family.
    Cardone made his announcement early Monday on Facebook, using the social media outlet to reach out to as many people as quickly as possible.
    "Since being elected, it's my responsibility to be responsible to the taxpayers," Cardone said. "They're the ones who supported us during the past two elections. I've been in the office 30 to 35 hours a week and that's not enough for me. I would like to be there 40 to 50 hours a week at a minimum, and more when needed."
    The store is located in the Stop&Shop Plaza off Route 17M.
    While Cardone said he's tried to sell the business over the last two and a half years, the decision to finally close Fran's Hallmark, which he and his wife purchased in March 1988, began in earnest last December. That's when Cardone said he spent yet another Christmas season realizing the holiday wasn't as joyful for him as he would have liked it to be because of all the hours he needed to be at the store.
    "After Valentine's Day, I decided I needed to enjoy our lives," Cardone said. "My wife and I wanted to make our lives simpler and I wanted to totally focus on the supervisor position. It's been difficult juggling the two and not having someone as a full-time manager for the store, which is really what I was. It became a burden. That's not to say my staff isn't wonderful, they're phenomenal."
    In addition to simplifying life and focusing on family, Cardone said he wants to ensure his full attention is getting Monroe back "to where it was."
    "I think I will be better prepared for some of the things that are coming down the pike," he said. "There's an extensive amount of reading that's required. I also feel I need to be available to the public and if I'm at the store, I'm not readily available."
    Current big issues include the purchase of Temple Eitz Chaim - where town offices are currently located, the process of turning the Monroe Theater into a break even or profitable operation and water district issues.
    "We're on the cusp of a lot of things in Monroe," Cardone said, noting there are many more equally important issues. "Now, I won't have to worry about schedules in two spots, I only need to worry about scheduling for the town of Monroe."
    Cardone expects the store's last few weeks to be quite busy, with shoppers looking for closeout sales.
    And, he said, he'll definitely miss having the store support the many charitable organizations and groups it has through the years with the many sponsorships and donations made to support their causes.
    There's also one thing he stressed to Monroe residents:
    "This is the dawn of my career - not the sunset."