Monday, April 09, 2007

CURMUDGEONLY COUNTY COUNSEL CARTON: A CONUNDRUM

UPDATE!
Carton will keep his job.


The question has been raised as to whether Malcolm Carton, the curmudgeonly County Counsel will become an issue in this year's campaign.
He already is an issue, and has been for quite some time. One commenter on this blog characterized him last year as, "someone of questionable legal ability, who is a political liability and has the personality of a cranky nasty old man."
Will the Democrats use him as an issue, though? It's more complicated than that. You see, Freeholder Robert Clifton, the only Republican incumbent board member running this year, voted against Carton's appointment last August. Republican Freeholder Anna Little, who would have been Clifton's running mate this year but for the machinations of County GOP Chairman Adam Puharic, also voted no. Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas, an unsuccessful GOP freeholder candidate last year, had stated that he too would have voted no, had he been on the Board at the time. County Clerk Claire French has had problems dealing with Carton. Marlboro Township Committeeman Jeff Cantor, Clifton's running mate for freeholder, remains an unknown quantity on this issue, as does Monmouth Beach Commissioner Kim Guadagno, our candidate for sheriff (Who will face a primary opponent.). As the County Counsel is a freeholders' appointment, the County Clerk and Sheriff have no vote in the matter.
Presumably, the Democrats would stand poised to make Carton an issue nonetheless, but herein lies the conundrum: John D'Amico, who will lead the Dems' freeholder ticket this year, not only voted for Carton's appointment back in 1988 when D'Amico was a freeholder, he actually sponsored the resolution! Freeholder John "Well Done" Villapiano, now the Democratic candidate for State Senate in the 11th District, provided the second.
Now, it would be one thing if the appointment was a slam-dunk, with all three Republicans voting for Carton, but the only Republican voting for him was Director Harry Larrison; Freeholder Tom Powers voted no and Freeholder Ted Narozanick abstained. Many Republicans were outraged at the time, and it cast quite a pall over the reception after the reorganization meeting.
So will Malcolm be an issue this year? A lot will depend upon what happens at Thursday's (April 12th) Freeholder's meeting, where Freeholder Little's complaint will be taken up for further action.

1 comment:

William H Seward said...

1988 was a long time ago. If Carton is still on the job, he will be an issue.