Freeholder John D’Amico may have something to show for during his term in office, thanks to his close ties to Trenton Democrats.
Flippy, as he is affectionately referred to behind his back by everyone at the Hall of Records and on Republican leaning blogs, because of his ever changing positions, really doesn’t have much to run on as he asks voters for another three year term this fall. His attempt to transform Monmouth County into Bergen County with beaches and to increase the size of Monmouth County government so that he could hire friends of Joe Cryan to high paid low responsibility jobs was thwarted during the one year the Democrats had the majority in Freehold because former Freeholder Barbara McMorrow was more interested in doing the right thing for the taxpayers than she was in doing what she was told by the bosses.
D’Amico’s signature issues for his term as Freeholder were to be creating the office of County Inspector General, a new level of bureaucracy to do what the Freeholders and the Prosecutors office should already be doing and changing the name “Freeholder” to “County Commissioner.”
Fortunately, the Inspector General idea didn’t go anywhere. But now, thanks to Senate President Stephen Sweeney, Flippy might get his wish for a business card that says “County Commissioner” instead of “Freeholder.”
Sweeney is sponsoring legislation that would change “board of chosen freeholders” to “board of county commissioners” and “chosen freeholder” to “county commissioner” in new sections of law and revisions to current law. The proposed legislation would also require counties to change the terms on their websites.
Won’t that improve the quality of your life? Won’t that make New Jersey a better place to live? I wonder how much it will cost for this legislation to make its way through the legislature to the Governor’s desk. I wonder how much it would cost to implement should it become law. Hold off on ordering new stationary.
New Jersey is the only state with the office called Freeholder. D’Amico wants it changed so that when he travels on the taxpayers dime to national and regional conferences of county office holders he doesn’t have to explain what a Freeholder is. Democrats have said that they want to retire the name because it is antiquated and hearkens back to a day when only white men who owned land free and clear, Freeholders, could be elected to the Board of Chosen Freeholders.
While we’re at it maybe we should reconsider the names of other offices too.
Depending on their form of government, municipalities either have councils or committees. It should really be one or the other or another name all together. Another name is probably better because there are councils and committees in government that are not governing bodies of towns. In Chicago these office holders are called Aldermen. That doesn’t work any more than Freeholder does, maybe its worse because it is gender specific.
The office of Senator dates back to the Roman Empire. Thanks to the Star Wars movies we know the office will endure for many millenniums into the future, so it would really be a waste of time to change that one.
What about “Vice?” We have a Vice President. The Navy has Vice Admirals. But “vice” means activity that is immoral or degrading, like you would find people seeking in the Adult Services section. Clearly we should change the name of those offices. I mean if we can’t use the terms “idiot” or “retarded” in our laws, certainly we should not be calling such powerful people Vice. What should call them instead?
Chris Christie is the first Governor that I can remember that actually governs. Let’s leave that one alone until he becomes President.
This could go on and on and on. I don’t see the point in changing the names of these offices. What difference does it really make? After all is said and done, we are still going to call D’Amico “Flippy.”