Tuesday, December 29, 2009


With John D'Amico's undying interest in renaming our state's 21 Boards of Chosen Freeholders, the vast editorial staff here at the Monmouth County Republican Blog thought we would look at what other states call their county legislatures.

County Commissioners may be found in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia (Georgia has a phenomenon in some counties calles a "Sole Commissioner", where the governing body consists of only one commissioner - right up Flippy's alley.), Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Kentucky counties are governed by a Fiscal Court, consisting of a County Judge/Executive and either the Justices of the Peace or County Commissioners.

6 states; Arizona, California, Iowa, Mississippi, Virginia and Wisconsin call it the Board of Supervisors. Hawai'i used to have County Supervisors, but it now has County Mayors and County Councils. There are no municipal governments in Hawai'i. South Carolina has County Councils.

New York counties are run by a County Legislature, except the five counties making up New York City, which are merged with the city government.

Maryland has County Commissioners in 16 of 23 counties; the others are governed by a County Council. Illinois counties are governed by a County Board, whose members are called Board Members, except for Cook County, which calls them County Commissioners. And Nebraska has some counties with County Commissioners and others with a Board of Supervisors. Go figure!

Indiana has a system of two boards per county. The County Council is the legislative branch, and a Board of Commissioners, a collective executive body, carries out the legislation of the Council.

Two of our neighbor Delaware's three counties are governed by a County Council; the third is governed by a Levy Court, whose members are called Levy Court Commissioners. All of Delaware's counties once operated under the Levy Court system.

Vermont's counties exist as judicial vicinages only; other functions are performed by local or state government. Connecticut and Rhode Island have nothing; having abolished counties decades ago.

Alaska calls its counties Boroughs, and they are governed by a Borough Mayor and Borough Assembly.

Louisiana calls its counties Parishes, most of which are governed by a Police Jury. Others use the Council - President form (with the President equivalent to a County Executive and the Council as the legislative body), and the Council - Manager form (where an elected council appoints a manager).

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


We've previously reported on how County Commissioner (neƩ Freeholder) John D'Amico, Jr. (a/k/a Flippy) wants to change the title of Freeholder to County Commissioner. Well, he's back at it.
Last night the Board of Chosen Freeholders, in a strict party line vote (with Director Barbara McMorrow coming down squarely on the left), approved a resolution "recommending substitution of the term 'Commissioner' for the term 'Freeholder' in Statutes pertaining to County Government".
This lame piece of left-wing, PC crap has some real doozies of reasons why the title should be changed. Here's the text:


WHEREAS, county government in New Jersey has grown in importance and scope, handling regional needs and problems in the areas of health, human services, law enforcement, regulatory compliance, court and jail facilities, emergency management, vocational and post-secondary education, solid waste disposal, recycling, water supply, storm water and wastewater management, environmental protection, libraries, parks, planning, consumer affairs, economic development, community development, fair housing, employment, agriculture, tourism, transportation, roads, bridges, public works, and many other areas.; and

WHEREAS, the citizens of New Jersey need to have a clearer understanding of the nature and functions of county government because far too many county residents do not realize that they are constituents of their Boards of Freeholders, and they are unaware of the services and programs provided by county government; and

WHEREAS, in Monmouth County, in addition to being mystified by the use of the phrase "Boards of Chosen Freeholders" to describe the governing body of the county, many county residents believe that they cannot vote for a candidate for "Freeholder" because they do not live in Freehold Township or in the Borough of Freehold; and

WHEREAS, the term "Freeholder" is a feudal anachronism, having originated in Medieval England to designate a free white male who owned an estate or land free and clear for an indefinite period of time, as opposed to a tenant or serf; and

WHEREAS, the term "Freeholder" is incompatible with our advanced democratic form of government that welcomes the participation of citizens who do not own real property, as well as women and persons of diverse racial and ancestral origin; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey is the only state that retains the title of "Freeholder", which is equivalent to "County Commissioner" in other states; and

WHEREAS, county government in New Jersey operates under the commission form of government, with each Freeholder being assigned responsibility for particular departments and functions;

NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved that the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders urges the New Jersey Legislature and Governor to substitute the title of "Commissioner" for "Freeholder" in the statutes pertaining to county government in order to facilitate public understanding of the role and importance of county government and the responsibilities of its elected governing officials.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a certified copy of this resolution shall be sent to Governor Jon S. Corzine, Governor-Elect Christopher J. Christie, the President of the New Jersey State Senate, the Speaker of the New Jersey Assembly, all State Legislators representing legislative districts in
Monmouth County, the New Jersey Association of Counties, and the Boards of Chosen Freeholders of all of the counties in New Jersey.

Really something, huh? First of all, the way you reform supposedly anachronistic institutions is not by changing the name, it is by changing the substance of the institution. As such, Monmouth County has elected African-Americans as well as women to the board; indeed, this and previous years have had female majorities. In colonial times, public officials were often subjected to a religious test to ensure that they belonged to the established, Protestant church. Monmouth's board has had both Jewish and Gentile as well as Protestant and Catholic members. Neighboring Burlington County recently had an African-American Republican Freeholder Director. Those living centuries ago would never have dreamed that institutions would change so.
Thus, the term "freeholder" has evolved from its original, narrow meaning to encompass the modern county governing bodies of today.
As to the resolution's assertion that "New Jersey is the only state that retains the title of 'Freeholder'", this blog has pointed out that Washington State also uses the "freeholder" title, albeit for a different office. So, if Flippy (who usually talks out of his ass) gets his way, only Washington State will have freeholders!
Republican Freeholders Lillian Burry and Rob Clifton were absolutely right to vote no on this drivel. With all that is going on these days, both the Board of Freeholders and the State Legislature have more important things to take up their time.
This crap should be repealed by the new board. The 2010 Organization Meeting on January 7th can't come fast enough.