Tuesday, December 23, 2008


"You heard it right: If you want to work in Monmouth County, you have to ask Union County first."
...Freeholder Robert D. Clifton

SITYS. See, I Told You So.
Readers of this blog will know that for the last few years I have been writing about the Monmouth County Democrats' connections with Camden and Union Counties.
It's come full circle.
In my last post I revealed how County Commissioner-elect Amy Mallet, a George Norcross acolyte, had received a contribution of thousands of dollars from a Camden County assemblyman. Now it comes out that they have asked Assemblyman Joe Cryan (D-Union), a wheeling supporter of theirs, to help them in filling at least four top appointments in county government.
Let's take a look at the county. Back in the days of Director Harry Larrison, positions were filled based upon party loyalty, as well as personal fealty to Harry. Often a job would go to members of a local governing body so as to augment their pension. We had people like Ray O'Grady (Middletown Township Committee), Tom Broderick (Marlboro Township Committee), and Tony Palughi (Long Branch City Council), as well as others. County Commissioner John "Flippy" D'Amico voted for Palughi based on a blank application.
Since the Bid Rig days, with new Republican freeholders, the county has attempted to get away from that. Department heads are now chosen based on their resumé. Often people who have worked their way up from entry level are now promoted from within, as in the HIghway and Bridge departments.
Recently, the Republican freeholders were criticized for turning over hiring authority to County Administrator Robert Czech. Democrats, with the assistance of the Asbury Park Press, accused them of attempting to "burrow in" GOP loyalists. It now looks as if the freeholders were more interested in preserving the reforms of the past four years and protect the Monmouth County taxpayer from outside Democratic interests.

As Freeholder Clifton said: "That tells us that not only are the Democrats eager to begin instituting an expensive and outdated patronage system here in Monmouth County, it appears they are looking in to burrow in these loyalists with civil service titles as quickly as possible."

Get ready for a long, bumpy ride, campers. This could get ugly. Fast.

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