History was made yesterday afternoon with the unanimous selection of Lillian Beneforti Burry as the first woman to serve as Director of the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders. She is also the first Italian - American to lead the Board.
Director Burry's selection also puts to rest fears that her predecessor as director, Bill Barham, would continue to hold the post in a Larrisonian imperial directorship.
Rob Clifton, who was reelected at the last election, will be deputy director for 2008.
The Asbury Park Press article is here; in the hard copy of the paper an editorial decision was made to place the article not only "below the fold", but at the very bottom of the page. For all their crying about Bill Barham's second year as Director last year, I guess an actual change in the directorship is not really newsworthy in their eyes.
A big thank you to Bill Barham for his service as director for the past two years. This blog has sometimes been critical of Bill, but director is a tough job and we thank him for his time. We also thank Highlands Mayor Anna Little for her service as a freeholder during the same time. During her term on the Board, she was subjected to vitriolic attacks from a faction within our own party, the ultimate source of which is yet to be exposed. Freeholder Little handled these attacks with class and aplomb, and I'm sure we have not heard the last of Anna Little.
The Monmouth County Republican Blog wishes Director Burry, Deputy Director Clifton and the entire Board of Chosen Freeholders the best of luck in 2008!
Many of you have been following the news coverage of the dispute between the Board of Chosen Freeholders and the County Board of Elections vis-à-vis who has the authority to hire Election Board staff. (Here and here.)
We hate to say we told you so, but we told you so. Back in 2005, then-County Chairman Fred Niemann decided that he would make changes on the County Board. He began by replacing Commissioner Robin Lemesevski of Freehold Township with Howell Municipal Chair Norine Kelly. He followed up in 2006 by replacing Election Board Chairman Barbara Muzetska with Karen Haines of Middletown, his county headquarters office manager.
This threw the seniority on the Board to the Democrats, led by Leah Falk of Aberdeen Township. We now have the dispute leading into the February 5th Super Duper Tuesday Presidential Primary.
Giving the issue the flavor of The Jerry Springer Show is a near Rasta-esque comment by loose-cannon Chairman Adam Puharic publicly bashing an applicant for one of the positions to be filled, and by currency bashing the Board of Freeholders for recommending the applicant. This is standard Puharic policy, making foes where friends used to be, and it appears to go back to his days as a Municipal Chair, when he chose to use his power as Chairman to punish dissent, instead of healing, bringing people together, and fostering debate without resentment. Since becoming chairman, Adam has unnecessarily alienated many, including a former freeholder, at least two out of the three remaining Republican freeholders, the past sheriff and others.
We now come back to candidate screening, which may have the chairman really cycling up to a crescendo. Read Art Gallagher's analysis at More Monmouth Musings.
Have a nice weekend!