Gopal: Essex County is the model he wants for Monmouth County

These men want to turn Monmouth County into South Essex County. CD-4 Candidate Ruben Scolavino, Larry Luttrell, Senator Cory Booker, Joe Grillo, Congressman Frank Pallone, NJ Democratic Chairman John Currie and Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal.

These men want to turn Monmouth County into South Essex County.
CD-4 Candidate Ruben Scolavino, Larry Luttrell, Senator Cory Booker, Joe Grillo, Congressman Frank Pallone, NJ Democratic Chairman John Currie and Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal.  photo via facebook

Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal said that Essex County’s Government is the model he hopes to impose on Monmouth County should he ever win control of the Board of Freeholders.

Gopal and his freeholder candidates Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo ventured north to Essex this week, hat in hand for money to fund their quest to transform Monmouth into South Essex, according to a report on PolitickerNJ.

“They have done an extraordinary job in Essex County as far as managing a county government, and it’s all Democratic,” Gopal said. “It’s a model for Monmouth to hope to achieve one day.”

Let’s take a look at what that means.

Density and Development vs Open Space

Essex County has a population of 783,969 people, according to the 2010 US Census, living on 126 square miles of land with 3 square miles of water within the county.  That’s 6,077 people per square mile.

Monmouth County has a population of 630,380 people living on 469 square miles of land. There are 197 square miles of water; rivers and lakes in Monmouth. The ocean and bay are not measured for density purposes. That’s 946 people per square mile.

Imagine a Monmouth County with a population density 6.42 times the current density.

Red Bank and Long Branch are less densely populated than Essex County, on average.

Government Spending and Taxes

Essex doesn’t disclose its 2014 budget on its county website.  In 2013 the Essex County Government spent $772,533,117.  That’s $985 per person. That’s $2,723 per household.

Monmouth County is spending $100,000 less in 2014 than they spent in 2013.  The 2014 Monmouth budget is $12.5 million less than the 2010 budget.  The 2010 budget was written when the Democrats last controlled the Freeholder Board.  They increased spending by $5.9 million in the one year they controlled the board out of the last two decades. That is a prelude to what will happen if Gopal ever gets his way for Monmouth County.

Comparing apples to apples, the Monmouth County budget in 2013 was $481,000,000. That’s $763 per person, 23% less than Essex, per person.That’s $2,145 per household, 22% lower per household than Essex.

Government Employment

Essex County is governed by 10 elected officials; a county executive and 9 freeholders. Monmouth County is governed by 5 freeholders.

Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr earns a salary of $153,831.  He is also collecting a pension of $68,861 per year for that job because of a loophole in the law that allows for elected officials to “retire” for pension purposes but continue to hold office and collect their salaries.

According to The Star Ledger the average compensation for an Essex County freeholder is $79,893.  The average compensation for a Monmouth County freeholder is $27,400.

Essex County’s government employed 3,337 people in 2013, according to Data Universe. Monmouth County employed 2,443 people.

When all but federal levels of government are considered, i.e., municipal, county, state, schools and agencies, there are 33,530 people on the government payroll in Essex County.  In Monmouth County, 23,314 people work for the government.

Bond Ratings

Essex County has a AA bond rating.  Monmouth County has a AAA bond rating.  What difference does that make?  Roughly $3,500 per million borrowed per year in interest costs.

So, Vin Gopal’s and his candidates’ vision for Monmouth County is higher density and bigger and more expensive government.

At his Essex fundraiser Gopal said, “Somehow, every time somebody moves from Essex to Monmouth, they change their voter registration to Republican, but they’re already Democrats. We need to remind people where they’re from…”

Monmouth Republican Chairman Shaun Golden agrees and he wants to remind them why they left. In a statement emailed to MMM about Gopal’s vision for Monmouth County, Golden said:

“Monmouth county is recognized as a most desirable place to live, work and
vacation, thanks to years of fiscally responsible Republican government, which
has resulted in 4 straight years of no county property tax increases, spending
reduced to pre-2008 levels, a triple AAA bond rating and the best county
schools and parks in the State. It’s no mystery as to why folks from Essex move
here and change their registration from Democrat to Republican. People come here
to escape the poor policies of Democrats. Vin Gopal and his inexperienced county
candidates want to bring Essex-style taxes, runaway spending and party boss
politics to Monmouth. That is why they need to go to Essex county to raise
money – they have no support for their campaign and can’t raise money here.”


Gopal’s Monmouth Democratic Party has consistently accused Monmouth County Republicans of baseless ethical violations.

Last year, Luttrell, his wife and mother-in-law formed an entity called R.A.G.E (Residents Against Government Exploitation) for the purpose of filing a law suit against Monmouth County to void the Farmland Preservation acquisition of Burke Farm from Andrew Lucas. The raging Luttrells, in an attempt to use the courts for political purposes, claimed in their suit that Burry had a conflict of interest when she voted in favor of preserving the farmland.  Judge Lawrence A Lawson dismissed the suit on summary judgement.

Monmouth County Freeholder Candidate Larry Luttrell RAGING with a model in Atlantic City in February, 2013. facebook photo

Monmouth County Freeholder Candidate Larry Luttrell RAGING with a model in Atlantic City in February, 2013. facebook photo

This year Gopal’s boys (why can’t Gopal’s Monmouth Dems nominate women?  Maybe that will be a future story.) have fabricated an issue regarding Burry’s 2011 campaign treasurer.  Bill Bucco earns $50,000 doing two administrative jobs for Monmouth County; Adjuster and Acting Assisting Director of Addiction Services. He is strictly an administrator, but because one of his jobs is in the Addiction Services Division, Gopal, Luttrell and Grillo attempted to confuse the public and the press into thinking his job was either a health care or law enforcement job by claiming his work was being done at the expense of combating the heroin epidemic.

Gopal, Grillo and Luttrell each had wonderful things to say about Essex County when they visited collecting money and resumes this week.  They had nothing to say about the genuine cesspool of double and triple dippers working for Essex County like Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver and Senator Nina Gil. They had nothing to say about DiVincenzo taking a pension while still working the same job he “retired” from. They had nothing to say about DiVincenzo using his campaign account for golf games and trips to Puerto Rico.  They had nothing to say about Cory Booker’s hand picked administrator of the Newark Water Authority using the authority’s coffers as a personal piggy bank.

Posted: September 20th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP, Vin Gopal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

20 Comments on “Gopal: Essex County is the model he wants for Monmouth County”

  1. JRSMITH said at 11:05 am on September 20th, 2014:

    Haters gonna hate.Thats all this site is Hate towards Democrats but it is coasting you money art. Why didn’t you do this when Vic was the Chairman?

  2. Art Gallagher said at 11:23 am on September 20th, 2014:,

    No hate here. Hate is demonstrated with the vile comments that come from your IP address that I’m more and more frequently deleting lately,

    I didn’t report that Vic wanted to turn Monmouth County into Essex County because he never said that.

    I didn’t report that Vic fabricated ethics charges because he never did.

    Vic is a gentleman of integrity. He never accused someone of being a fugitive who wasn’t.

    I didn’t report that Vic wasted the taxpayers money with frivolous lawsuits because he never did that.

    Vic stood up to Frank Pallone and Jon Corzine and fought to fill Monmouth County jobs with Monmouth County residents.

    Rather than take dirty out of county money with strings attached, Vic wrote his own checks.

  3. Ernesto said at 11:41 am on September 20th, 2014:

    Great article Art. The Democrats in NJ are shameless. Your facts shed light on how delusional, hypocritical, reckless and foolish Vin Gopal and his entire party are. Monmouth County is run excellently. Why would we want to run it into the ground?

  4. JRSMITH said at 11:48 am on September 20th, 2014:

    This site does nothing but call Democrats names. That’s hate Art. Why don’t you stop making your party out to be saints. fyi you do not like what I have to say I don’t care.Vin is a good man.

  5. JRSMITH said at 11:51 am on September 20th, 2014:

    PS Look at some of the Republican money.

  6. Art Gallagher said at 11:57 am on September 20th, 2014:

    Vin is a good man.

    I used to think so too.

  7. Dirk Diggler said at 12:25 pm on September 20th, 2014:

    Essex County is a Dictatorship. The County Executive controls the County Chairman (a County Employee of course), who awards the party line to Freeholders that do his bidding (as per the Executive), and since the electorate of Essex are Lemmings, winning the Primary is tantamount to winning the election. That is why the Freeholder Board is nothing more than Joe D.’s rubber stamp.

    Don’t give me that Essex is all Democratic bullsh*t!

  8. @ JRSmith said at 2:33 pm on September 20th, 2014:


    JrSmith. What a hypocrite. You are the definition of hate here on the blog, taking the conversations down in to the mud every time.

    The only thing you’re good for is cannon fodder for laughs. You know, you don’t have to visit here if you don’t like the topics, slant or conversation.

    But you come here to intentionally blow things.up and distract with your childish antics.

  9. Boss Gopal? said at 3:57 pm on September 20th, 2014:

    The last thing we need is Newark – style boss politics and corruption. Higher taxes, more murders…what’s not to desire in Essex County, Vin?

  10. Knight said at 6:30 pm on September 20th, 2014:

    Wanting to run Monmouth County like Essex County is like a women holding the elevator door for Ray Rice.

  11. Mike Harmon said at 7:21 pm on September 20th, 2014:

    “They have done an extraordinary job in Essex County as far as managing a county government, and it’s all Democratic,” Gopal said. “It’s a model for Monmouth to hope to achieve one day.”

    It is scary when the Ds speak about their true plans for Monmouth. Fantastic article contrasting the pathetic and corrupt democrat machine’s vision for Monmouth County by the numbers including density, bond rating, number of employees and budgets.

    There is another issue – quality of life. Parks, libraries, excellent Monmouth County vocational schools and community college, preserved farms, sensible zoning, safe towns, beaches, clean rivers, very reasonable county taxes and excellent County government.

    Gopal talks about the people moving from Essex to Monmouth so there are some smart people there. In fact, I was born in St. Michael’s in Newark (Essex County seat) where my mom was an emergency room nurse and my dad and his family were well entrenched for generations at PSE&G.

    My family fled the heart of Essex like refugees for the better schools, greener environment, safer towns and leaps-and-bounds improvement in the quality of life found in Monmouth.

    Relatives moved to western Essex and the once beautiful and bucolic, Roseland. Relatives lived adjacent to Becker Farm with its famous train ride. My cousins all worked there. The democrats could not pave those farms over and cut the trees down fast enough. Now everyone in my family is out of Essex.

    Yes we were all democrats with portraits of John F Kennedy hanging in our living rooms. Over the years the constantly-moving-left democrat party pushed us out along with our values which include hard work, honesty, education and thrift.

    Yet we found a home with the Monmouth County Republicans who shared our values.

    Freeholders Burry and Rich are carrying on the Republican tradition of improving quality of life of Monmouth County residents at an affordable cost.

    Just remember Monmouth County is truly a treasure, a treasure the democrats wish to pillage and plunder like so many of their model cities: Newark (Essex) , East Orange (Essex) Patterson, Camden, Atlantic City and Trenton.

    Gopal should lead the way and be one of the first to move from Monmouth to his beloved Essex.

  12. We should said at 9:47 am on September 21st, 2014:

    start a “send them back fund.” Yes, our demographics are changing-therefore, it is our job to see that they do not succeed, ever, in transforming us into Essex South..

  13. Gerry Scharfenberger said at 10:15 am on September 21st, 2014:

    If there is any doubt that Art Gallagher is one of the most insightful, prominent political commentators in New Jersey today, this article should erase it. Superbly researched and clearly presented showing how well Republicans have done running the Monmouth County and what is looming should the unthinkable happen under Democrat control. This should be the core message of every Republican campaign in Monmouth County. Folks, be sure to pass the link to this article far and wide.

  14. Name (required)Jim Giannell said at 1:23 pm on September 21st, 2014:

    Gerry, you are correct. I always tell everyone that I get my news from “More Monmouth Musings”. I know its researched, accurate.’ and reliable.

    Monmouth Co Republicans need to brag a little more about their accomplishments over the years. The three AAA Bond ratings basically indicate that we are tied for #1 as the best managed County in the Country. Republican philosophy has developed the County in a manner where we are highly rated in just about every quality of life category

  15. Jim Granelli said at 6:23 pm on September 21st, 2014:

    Away for the weekend, finally had a chance to look at this. IMHO, this article should be “Game, Set & Match,” Democrats Lose. AGAIN.

    However, there is sad news. The Essex County Democrats have already grabbed a foothold in our county. More on that intriguing issue over the next few months.

  16. Victim of Monmouth County Corruption said at 10:33 pm on September 21st, 2014:

    No place is more corrupt than Monmouth County, NJ. A NYC native,I’ve never seen the likes. I don’t believe the Dems can do the job ie. Corzine, who appointed Judge Escandon. Disgracefull.

  17. trouble in marlboro said at 8:22 am on September 22nd, 2014:

    do i have to keep telling you all that the dems are growing in power, because the repubs allowed hornick to put his foot in the door, with the help of the disgraced law firm of de cotis. they wheel money in from bergen and middlesex, to run his campaigns. and now jon hornick is running around monmouth county etc. filling county committee, and finding candidates to run against this well run county and towns. he just sent a mailer out in marlboro endorsing these two no loads, with no vision. just look at marlboro, johnny had the same crooks that put up all the bill boards on the turnpike, do it in marlboro. he also is over developing the town at a fantastic rate. look at camelot the development on 79, he and his gang gave kaplan builders a sweet heart deal. they allowed kaplan to do a pilot program, where kaplan only pays 400,000 dollars for the next 20yrs total in taxes. will lets do the math, it costs 13,000 a student to put a child though school, the school dist, just came out with a total expected enrollment for that development of 206 children , so the town will be losing almost 2.3 million dollars in taxes. look into the connection of hornick and kaplan. it goes way back to when daddy was running the town. so all you have to do is come to marlboro and see first hand what johnny and the dem machine are doing to just one town. god help us if they get their meat hooks in the county. johnny has already brought essex, middlesex, and bergen county to marlboro, please don’t let it happen to the rest of the county. thank you.

  18. Knight said at 10:34 am on September 22nd, 2014:

    “There is another issue – quality of life. Parks, libraries, excellent Monmouth County vocational schools and community college, preserved farms, sensible zoning, safe towns, beaches, clean rivers, very reasonable county taxes and excellent County government.”…..Liberals never let facts get in the way of their twisted logic.

  19. Gee said at 6:21 pm on September 29th, 2014:

    I wonder if Vinny Gopal wants to use Bergen County as a model for Monmouth County as well.


    The Maxster

  20. Well said at 10:31 am on October 4th, 2014:

    Gopal is off to a good start with a candidate who has actually been arrested.