By Art Gallagher
The Asbury Park Press is peddling a story about Eatontown Mayor Dennis Connelly’s recent employment as the manager of the Motor Vehicle Commission office in Freehold. But other than a gadfly’s complaint about the position being a patronage job, The Asbury Park Press did not back up their sensational headline, Concern raised over Eatontown mayor’s new job, with any concerns.
What is the concern? It is a patronage job. If a Democrat is elected governor next year, Connelly, a Republican, will be out of the job. A Democrat will be appointed to that job. Will The Asbury Park Press be concerned then?
Connelly did not try to hide that he had taken a job with MVC. He announced it on facebook.
Last year, Freehold Borough Councilman Kevin Kane was a Democratic candidate for County Clerk. He got trounced by Clerk Christine Hanlon, the incumbent Republican. Four months later Kane landed a $65,000 per year job for Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop. Kane is boosting his pension credits from being a part time councilman with his new job. The Asbury Press did not express any concern about Kane’s new job. The Jersey Jounal/NJ.com was concerned.
Jeff Cantor, the Democrat candidate for Monmouth County Sheriff will probably land a patronage job within six months of losing to Sheriff Shaun Golden on November 8. Cantor, a councilman in Marlboro, has been trying to land a patronage job for years. But he hasn’t earned enough “patronage credits” because he switched teams. Cantor ran for Freeholder as a Republican in 2006 and lost. He became a Democrat in 2009 and had to start kissing a whole new group of asses. Now, like Kane did last year, Cantor is taking one for the team against an incredibly qualified and popular incumbent in Golden.
The same is true for Democrat Surrogate candidate Vincent Solomeno. He needs a job. He’d be happy for sure he defeats Surrogate Rosemarie Peters for a quasi-judicial position that he has absolutely no qualifications for other than being old enough to run and living in Monmouth County. He doesn’t expect to win. He expects to have a job in Jersey City, Trenton, Newark or with a Democrat friendly non-profit organization next year.
Connelly is not running for anything this year. The Asbury Park Press is shaming him because Eatontown approved The Kushner Companies plans to redevelop Monmouth Mall. Now, had Connelly taken a job from Kushner, that would be a concern. He didn’t. He took a modest job at MVC.
If The Asbury Park Press wants to be concerned about a Monmouth County mayor, they should join MMM in looking into Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty who happens to be running for freeholder. The Courts have declared that Doherty violated Belmar voters’ civil rights at least three times in the last year. Doherty and the Belmar Council denied a liquor license transfer to a local business after they had already given zoning approval to build the place. It is probably a coincidence that the owner of the business successfully opposed legislation that Doherty was pushing for campaign contributors in Trenton. Yeah, right. There’s that helicopter landing Doherty arranged for a campaign donor in July. Doherty’s wife, Maggie Moran, has had business relationships with companies doing business with Belmar. The Doherty-Morans bought a $1.4 million dollar house last Spring and have a million dollar mortgage.
There are a lot of legitimate concerns about Doherty. Dennis Connelly? Not so much.
If The Asbury Park Press is concerned about the patronage system, the pension system, the education system or any of the other many dysfunctional systems of New Jersey’s government, I’d be right with them. But to use their newspaper and website to create a baseless controversy to forward a NIMBY gadfly’s agenda is shameful.