After over 40 years observing, studying and serving on
the political stage I am disturbed by what I see going on in politics today. Back
in 1980 when first elected in South Belmar (now Lake Como) I can’t remember the
intrusion of politicians (Federal, State or County) in our day to day lives
like I see today.
What bothers me most about today seems to be a lack of
understanding from citizens of how politics really work. Real politics, not fantasy promises.
InsiderNJ.com is reporting that an anonymous Monmouth County source has said that Freeholder Gary Rich will not be running for re-election in November.
“Chairman Shaun Golden sat down with Rich last night to tell him the organization is going in another direction and Rich opted not to fight,” the site reported their source said.
MMM has confirmed that Golden and Rich met yesterday, but it is not clear if Golden is pushing Rich out or if the two term Freeholder is leaving on his own volition. Rich has been giving mixed signals about his intentions; he has told people he is running, but he has not raised any money nor attended any political events recently. He has left at least two Freeholder meetings early since the first of the year. Neither Golden or Rich have responded messages seeking confirmation of their meeting’s content and tone.
With all the vitriol surrounding this year’s Presidential election, it would be easy for voters to believe that the disfunction of Washington extends down to all levels of government. Fortunately for the residents of Monmouth County, that assumption couldn’t be further from accurate.
Over the last several years, the all-Republican Freeholder Board in Monmouth County has delivered year after year of the highest caliber of government services, while maintaining the utmost attention to fiscal responsibility. It is no coincidence that Monmouth County is one of only 33 counties in the country to hold a AAA bond rating from all three rating agencies, a distinction we have now held for 18 years in a row. From 2012 through 2014, the current Freeholder Board held the County tax levy flat while simultaneously cutting millions of dollars in operating costs from the County budget.
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.)
The 2014 Monmouth County election is in the books.
After the most intense campaign in memory funded by out of county Democrats, Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal has nothing but IOUs to show for his duplicitous efforts.
There are literally hundreds of winners in this campaign county wide. From candidates making their first bid for elected office, to the seasoned pros defending their records, to the selfless volunteers who knocked on doors and made over 50,000 phone calls to voters. We congratulate the entire Monmouth Republican team.
On every championship team there are stars who get the accolades on behalf of the entire team. Here are five special mentions from this hard fought victory:
The top Winners of the Battle for Monmouth:
Lillian G. Burry. Burry has been elected county-wide 4 times. Three of those four elections were hard fought. None had the benefit of up ballot coattails. In 2005 she prevailed despite the anti-Republican sentiment generated by Operation Bid Rig. In 2008, Burry prevailed as the top vote getter over the Obama wave that saw an unprecedented Democratic turnout. The low turnout race of 2011 was relatively easy. In the campaign that just concluded, Burry’s integrity was maliciously maligned by Gopal and his henchmen armed with hundreds of thousands of Democratic money wheeled into the county from Trenton, Essex, Hudson, Union and Middlesex counties.
Burry stood tall and fought hard. She is a proven winner, in politics and life. A role model for women and men, Burry embraces the toughest challenges and prevails with honor.
Shaun Golden. Already a rising star after his huge reelection victory as Monmouth County Sheriff in 2013, Golden risked his career in taking on Chairman John Bennett last spring in-order to lead beyond the status quo .
Bennett boasted of his fundraising prowess in his campaign to retain the Chairmanship, but left Golden with an overdrawn check book on June 10.
Undaunted, Bennett’s turd was just another challenge for Golden to overcome.
Shaun has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in the face of adversity by doing what he said he would do. He assembled a strong team by appointing an unprecedented four Regional Vice Chairs. He empowered municipal Party leaders and candidates, expanded the Party’s demographic diversity, established a strong social media presence and fed the rank and file when they came out to work. He raised money and got the job done without wasteful spending. When all the money is counted the Democrats will have outspent the Republicans 3 or 4 to 1.
If the hapless NJGOP is ever to gain traction in the State, it will take a leader like Shaun Golden to make it happen.
Freeholder Tom Arnone, Director Lillian Burry, Deputy Director Gary Rich and Freeholder Serena DiMaso. file photo
MARLBORO, NJ – Monmouth County’s Department of Public Works and Engineering is working to address traffic concerns on Newman Springs Road (CR 520), at the intersections of State Route 79 and Wyncrest Road.
“The intersection of Route 79 and CR 520 is operated by the State, but since CR 520 is a County road, I have asked the County’s engineering staff to study the traffic at the State controlled intersection,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Gary J. Rich, Sr. “The County Engineer has sent a letter to the State detailing the results of their studies and suggested improvements.”
The letter requests that the NJ DOT perform an evaluation of current traffic conditions and implement measures to improve traffic flow and safety at the intersection.
“Currently, there is no lead left turn signal onto CR 520,” said Thomas A. Arnone, liaison to the Department of Public Works and Engineering. “This causes traffic delays during peak travel times as drivers attempt to turn left onto CR 520 from State Route 79. We are seeking relief for our motorists.”
A second intersection in Marlboro currently being reviewed by the County is CR 520 at Wyncrest Road.
Gary Rich, Deputy Director, Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders
The hardest thing about being in politics is the politics. Truthfully, it’s not something I have much of a tolerance for. I’m an ideas man. I see a problem and I want to fix it. I like logic and honesty, which may sound like an odd thing to have to say, but you’d be surprised how many people these days seem to lack both completely or just don’t have the time for them. What I don’t have time for is games—they serve no one and they have no place in serving the public.
People today are looking for real leadership—maybe in part because it seems to be so sorely lacking from so many politicians or would-be politicians at all levels of our government. The people we serve need substance. Not empty accusations. Not grandstanding for the sake of show. Not whining about problems without offering solutions. And not making up facts when the mood strikes.
The truth is, in Monmouth County we’re providing that leadership. We’re making the tough decisions. We’re partnering with our municipalities to fix problems. And we’re getting things done.