A Different Brand of Politics

rich20photoBy Gary Rich, Monmouth County Deputy Freeholder Director


Art Gallagher thinks I’m a winner. Well, sort of. And while I appreciate the (backhanded) compliment, I’d like to pose a few items of food for thought.

Maybe, just maybe, voters really are tired of the game playing and posturing that exists in much of politics. (I think voters across the county sent that message pretty loud and clear with their votes this Tuesday.)

Maybe all they really want is for us to get back to the business of working on the issues that affect them.

Maybe they don’t care how many hands we have shaken or how many babies have been kissed. Maybe they see through that.

Maybe that’s why—despite suffering “from a perception within the Party’s leadership that [I have] skated by on the backs of others” (a perception that Art clearly seems all too eager to perpetuate)—I have now TWICE been the top vote-getter in each of my races for County Freeholder. (FOUR TIMES if you add my convention victory in March and June’s Primary Election.)

Based on this performance, isn’t it interesting then that the post-election rhetoric is “Here’s what’s wrong with Gary Rich’s style”?

Yes, I DO have a different style than most politicians. I’m not blustery. I don’t need to pound my fist on the table to make my point.

I don’t attend every event or make promises to everyone I meet just because it’s what they want to hear and for that moment I’ll be perceived as having swooped in to save the day.

Real leadership, the kind that makes you “a leader among leaders,” is about building trust and lasting relationships. That’s what matters to the average voter and that’s what I’m about.

If it’s true that a perception really does exist within the party leadership that there isn’t room for my style in politics, maybe it’s time to rethink that idea. Voters certainly seem to have.


Posted: November 7th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Elections, Gary Rich, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

10 Comments on “A Different Brand of Politics”

  1. Jim Granelli said at 6:21 pm on November 7th, 2014:

    Shades of the fable, “The Turtle & The Hare,” there is also a “studied approach” to many things.

  2. mlaffey said at 6:42 pm on November 7th, 2014:

    I Love this guy.

  3. TheDigger said at 8:58 pm on November 7th, 2014:

    Art, Gary was the top vote getter for Freeholder.

  4. You go, said at 9:46 pm on November 7th, 2014:

    Mr.Deputy. Thanks for being the freeholder we need right now!

  5. Astraea said at 7:01 am on November 8th, 2014:

    It’s a miracle that so many good people are still willing to put themselves out there, to run government at any level .. when they see how much effort it takes to get elected, and the emotional stress to which they’re subjected, with that “wonderful” 20/20 hindsight opponents have!

  6. Bob English said at 7:13 am on November 8th, 2014:

    What ever happened this year to winning gracefully? MMM coverage of the Burry/Rich ticket was 99.9% positive so its amusing to read his personal complaints “that Art clearly seems all too eager to perpetuate.”

    Just goes to show that no good deed goes unpunished.

  7. Liar Bob said at 9:17 am on November 8th, 2014:

    Still making up issues, Bob? tell the lie about veterans not having photo id again and how its the Republicans fault, that one is at least funny.

  8. Bob English said at 9:25 am on November 8th, 2014:

    @Liar Bob…you know a person has nothing to say and lost the argument when they cant address the topic at hand (which was a very tongue in check remark) and instead chooses to be a coward and hide like a little girl behind some made up chicken shit name….more good reason for Art to require that people use their real names when posting to weed out the cowards who don’t have the guts to stand behind what they post……and not that you could care less, but many seniors (including veterans) do not have the types of valid/current photo id’s that are now required by several states

  9. Mike Harmon said at 10:07 am on November 8th, 2014:

    Nothing good happens without fiscal health and the CAR ( Credibility, Accountability and Responsibility). Freeholder Gary Rich brings it all. Congrats Feeholder Rich!

    Here is the complete pre-election “letter to the editor” I wrote which appeared in various forms due to edits). I am a park and open space guy but do have many other interests. It is long so forgive me.

    To the Editor:
    In 1609, as the Henry Hudson’s ship the Half Moon sailed north along the coast and entered the Raritan Bay, the crew marveled at the natural beauty of landscape and rivers inspiring crewmember Robert Juet to write in ship’s journal “This is a very good Land to fall with, and a pleasant Land to see”.

    That first bucolic vision of Monmouth County has been a constant reminder to our Monmouth County Freeholders who have created, supported and implemented a strategic plan that calls for the preservation and protection of our open space and waterfront access while establishing and maintaining one of the finest County parks in the nation.

    Since her election to the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders in 2005 (and for many years before) Freeholder Director Lillian Burry has been the front-line leader of Monmouth County’s open space mission. Freeholder Burry’s passion and commitment to open space and our parks has inspired us and the entire Freeholder Board.

    It is about the quality of life in Monmouth County, where we live. Open space costs money and funds for preservation compete with other needs.

    An economic downturn and Sandy cause unprecedented fiscal pressure on Monmouth. Enter Freeholder Gary Rich just when we need him. Freeholder Rich is an expert in efficiency and fiscal management with a commitment to maximizing the taxpayer’s bang for the buck.

    Some of Freeholder Rich’s contributions include managing the fiscal reins of government during the ongoing Sandy crisis and recommitting the county to reviewing and implementing the strategic plan.

    Freeholder Rich has urged and demanded that all departments be more efficient and “do more with less”, resulting in a zero-increase to the tax levy for the last three years.

    A relatively new and fabulous project, the Swimming and Navesink River Greenway, encompasses Tinton Falls, Colts Neck, Middletown, Shrewsbury, Red Bank, Fair Haven and Rumson.

    A combination of municipal cooperation and grant projects, outright riverfront land purchases have addressed our many neighbors who have embraced kayaking, crew boats, canoeing, paddle boarding and access to the river.

    Other greenways experiencing expansion under the direction of Freeholders Burry, Rich, Arnone, Curley and DeMisa include: Shark River Park, Manasquan River Greenway, Metedeconk Greeway, the Crosswicks Creek Greenway and Bear Swamp in Howell.

    In the northwest corner of Monmouth, Monmouth County is in the process of piecing together parcels of property that will become a premier regional park embraced by residents of Keyport, Matawan Aberdeen and Marlboro.

    The residents of this densely populated area have embraced the plan.

    In Long Branch and Asbury Park and along our coast, the Freeholders have opened new doors and dialogues in renewed efforts to provide parks and open space and recreation programs in our densely populated urban areas.

    There are challenges in some coastal areas including limited public beach access, perceived needs for both preservation and ratables and mixed messages from local officials with different but legitimate differences of opinions about priorities.

    Yet the Monmouth County Freeholders have still provided municipal grants, new urban recreation programs and have kept the dialogues going on potential parks and beach access and level of County participation.

    Finally, Freeholder Burry and Freeholders commitment to salvage some good from the crushing economic blow of the federal closing of Fort Monmouth including the retention of the golf course, the construction of Commvault Corporate Headquarters which retains jobs and the repurposing of the fabulous Fort Monmouth Recreation Center from military to civilian use.

    As a lifelong proponent of open space and beach and waterfront access, I have had the privilege of serving as a Monmouth County Park Commissioner for twenty five years.

    Over that time I have met many thousands of people who take pride in our park system. Sure many have suggestions and requests or new programs but almost unanimously people are patting us on the back and saying “good job and keep it up”.

    While the staff of the MCPS, the Recreation Commissioners and the Monmouth County Freeholders graciously accept the compliments, fundamental lessons to remember include high expectations, perpetual commitment to improvements and efficiency and above all serving Monmouth County citizens and our 5 million yearly visitors, 365 days a year. The parks never close and our Monmouth

    County Freeholders never seem to stop working on our behalf.

    While we have much success there is always more work to do. Monmouth County is a work in process.

    To continue that progress, I urge the readers to support and vote for Freeholder Lillian Burry and Freeholder Gary Rich.

    Mike Harmon is a Monmouth County Park Commissioner for the last twenty five years, a former Mayor and Councilman in Atlantic Highlands and a CPA and forensic accountant.

  10. Tim H said at 1:07 pm on November 9th, 2014:

    There is in fact a storm coming. Bobby Walsh is planning to take on Mr. Curly. Bobby plans to seize the recent stupid moved by Curly who worked with the D’s to try and unseat Gary and Liliane. Not a smart move by ol’ John. Bobby’s play is he is just as flamboyant as Curly but would never break rank; so the party gets a fireball who is sworn to the R cause. Smart move by Bobby. Expect to see blood in the water after Christmas and remember the Chairman owes Bobby for dumping Bennett in favor of him so watch as the Chairman dumps Curly. Then Curly runs as a D and wins!