Scharfenberger: Proposal to change ‘Freeholder’ to ‘Commissioner’ is wasteful unfunded mandate

By Monmouth County Freeholder Gerry Scharfenberger, PhD

The proposal to change the title “Freeholder” to “Commissioner” is an affront to every taxpayer in this state.

New Jersey residents are being suffocated by an onerous property tax system, companies like Gerber are leaving the state and taking hundreds of jobs with them, a host of taxes are being raised or created and this is what the legislature is wasting its time on?  If this ridiculous proposal goes through, it will cost the counties tens of thousands of dollars to change letterhead, stationery, signage – not to mention the reams of documents in which the term freeholder is embedded. 

Any legislator who supports this bill should be ashamed of themselves for foisting yet another unfunded mandate on New Jersey that will have zero benefit for the long suffering New Jersey taxpayer.  It is also a direct attack on our traditions and history.  For over 300 years, the term has been used to the complaint of no one.  Now, all of a sudden it is offensive and must be censored.  This costly silliness in the name of political correctness must be stopped, and the assault on the New Jersey taxpayer ended once and for all.

Posted: May 25th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County News, Opinion | Tags: , , , | 19 Comments »

19 Comments on “Scharfenberger: Proposal to change ‘Freeholder’ to ‘Commissioner’ is wasteful unfunded mandate”

  1. Exactly! said at 1:39 pm on May 25th, 2018:

    Am tired of the recycled, worn-out argument which libs use to get in another class warfare attempt. More division we don’t need. Plus, why dumb down the county governing bodies’ title when Parks, authorities, and other boards in this state often go by “ commissioner?” Leave it alone, and try cutting taxes and filling pot holes, for Pete’s sake!

  2. Proud Republican said at 2:16 pm on May 25th, 2018:

    Art – please be sure to publish the names of every one of the numbskulls who vote in favor of this

  3. Hey Gerry said at 2:32 pm on May 25th, 2018:

    The bill passed the Senate 27-4 and Monmouth Republicans Sam Thompson and Bob Singer voted for it along with Leader Tom Kean. Gerry maybe you should chat with them first about being ashamed?

    The Prime sponsors of the bill in the assembly and senate are conservative republicans.

  4. Marlboro Male said at 3:58 pm on May 25th, 2018:

    Thank you freeholder for being a voice of reason in this blue state cesspool

  5. Um said at 6:07 pm on May 25th, 2018:

    a dem didn’t sponsor this bill, but hey why ruin a good narrative?

  6. Marlboro Male said at 6:24 pm on May 25th, 2018:

    Correction “Um” Vin Gopal was a sponsor

  7. Primary Sponsor said at 7:13 pm on May 25th, 2018:

    is Joseph Pennacchio, a Republican from Morris County.

  8. You may find said at 8:00 am on May 26th, 2018:

    that often, legislators who know very little about county government,( the most responsive level , imho,) have not served in it, and/ or, are just grabbing onto the rich/ poor argument on the origin of the title. It is clear that any citizen today can run/ get elected Freeholder in their county, so that point is moot. Silly waste of office of legislative services, and those legislators’ time, and therefore, our money’s time!

  9. No one said at 8:28 am on May 26th, 2018:

    Is disputing who was behind it. Its members from both parties. All that means is that there are idiots on both sides of the aisle. The fact remains that this is a stupid idea and should be shot down right away.

  10. No one said at 8:30 am on May 26th, 2018:

    Is disputing who is behind this. All it means is that there are idiots on both sides of the aisle. The fact remains that it is a stupid idea and should be shot down right away.

  11. Tim H said at 9:43 am on May 26th, 2018:

    It does not have to cost a dime. You phase in the new name over a period of a few years. No need to make it a turn-key change where you have to re-print. Say for 3-tears its Freeholder-Commissioner. Afte3 3 years then its official. “Freeholder” is a dopey name and people have no idea what it is. A County Commissioner at least will make it easier to understand. This is not a big deal, should cost zero if done smartly (like when a business phases out a product over time) and Jerry looks like a real dope himself for calling shame to his own leadership and other R’s. Nice guy but not ready for prime time. He’s a policy wonk that needs to be behind the scenes in a leading staff role; not the guy out front. Just sayin.

  12. Proud Republican said at 12:30 pm on May 26th, 2018:

    Ok folks there you have it. If Tim H thinks something is good, think the opposite – it’s usually a bad idea. No one knows what a commissioner, or a director, or an alderman, or anything else for that matter is unless it is taught to them. If the schools did their job and taught Civics the way they should these local offices would be part of the consciousness of the community. Changing the name of an office that has been in place since early in our history is plain and simple a dumb idea. Thanks Tim H once again for showing which side of the issue is correct

  13. Nailed it again, Proud, said at 2:38 pm on May 26th, 2018:

    maybe you could run for County Freeholder sometime: I’d vote for ya! 😉Totally agree the education fiasco has neglected/ ruined one of our most fundamental and uniting subjects: civics and US history and government. We won’t get loyalty and respect from the next generation,if they aren’t taught it🇺🇸

  14. Tim H said at 2:48 pm on May 26th, 2018:

    Completely disagree. If we called say a Mayor the Constable, would we not be doing people a disservice? Maybe you like trying to use named to keep people in the dark. I guarantee you if you did a poll of Monmouth County residents and asked “what’s a freeholder” hey would have no idea. Commissioner is a far more common term. And just because it’s been called this for 150+ years does not make it right. The confederate flag hung over state capitals in the south for years and they were finally just taken down. So thank you actually for proving you are for the status quo and keeping people in the dark. Very sad.

  15. What’s in a name? said at 3:30 pm on May 26th, 2018:

    As we debate a “title,” for 5 people, I can guarantee you that several hundred thousand Monmouth residents know well,what the County Parks are, the County Fair is, what the County libraries, police and fire academies, and the county vo- tech schools are, what the County College, jail, and landfill are- and use the services of dozens of programs, administrated by hundreds of dedicated county employees. As previously stated, in NJ, as in many states, county governments do the most, so, we can hardly say we keep people “in the dark.” The towns also now use dozens of shared services provided by the county, to keep their local expenses lower- it is clear that, whatever we call the elected body, it is a great county we want to keep great.

  16. Thank you said at 3:42 pm on May 26th, 2018:

    Thank you, thank you freeholder Scharfenberger for being a breath of common sense fresh air. I almlst fell off my chair when I heard about this. People like me are being forced out of this state and our legislators are spending their energy on this meaningless stuff. T

    This is why New Jersey is on its deathbed

  17. @Tim H said at 6:22 pm on May 26th, 2018:

    Would love to know what your expertise is that you can determine who is ready for Primetime and who isn’t. From what I know the guy was a very successful mayor for years before becoming a Freeholder and built Middletown into one of the best towns in the state. He always seems to say what the rest of us are thinking. Could use more of him in government

  18. Lincroft Lou said at 5:59 pm on May 27th, 2018:

    As others said, the bill was primarily sponsored by a Republican Senator, Joseph Pennacchio, as well as others such as Gopal.

    The term “Freeholder” is confusing for those in Monmouth and I do feel another term could be used to better describe their job. As Proud Republican said, schools should do a much better job teaching civics.

    Each individual county should be able to pick, as the bill originally stated. From a practical standpoint I can see the merits of this bill, but changing it due to political correctness is just dumb.

  19. Proud Republican said at 8:42 pm on May 27th, 2018:

    LL – the reasons given to change the name are so incredibly miniscule, it’s hard to believe we’re even talking about it. Like the naming of a state dirt, this stupid idea should go down with a “thank God they didn’t go forward with that” ending.