Back to the freeholders' meeting room

Gov.-elect Chris Christie will be in Morristown next Wednesday night to swear in three recently re-elected freeholders _ Bill Chegwidden, Gene Feyl and John Murphy.

Wonder if Christie will remind Chegwidden that he (Christie) is against dual office holding. Chegwidden is also mayor of Wharton…

That aside, it should be a fun time for Christie to return to see the board on which he got his political start 15 years ago.


About fsnowflack
Fred Snowflack was editorial page editor and a political columnist for the Daily Record of Morristown for almost 12 years. He has won numerous awards for editorial and column writing from the New Jersey Press Association and has written a blog on county and state politics for the last three years. He lives in Ledgewood in Morris County.

17 Responses to Back to the freeholders' meeting room

  1. SolomonDrek says:

    “That aside, it should be a fun time for Christie to return to see the board on which he got his political start 15 years ago.”

    Wasn’t that about the same time Christie considered running as a Democraqt for John Dorsey’s Senate seat?

  2. Hogwash 11 says:

    Chegwidden is also a teacher and one has to wonder how you teach a class when you are off two or three times a week being a Mayor or a Freeholder. Triple dipping what a wonderful place to live, is NJ.

  3. Hogwash is right; good point

  4. chubbypaul says:

    Snowman, you gotta start actually writing some good stuff. How do I get a job like yours? Let me guess, tomorrow you are gonna write about your cats being so cute or something?

  5. Morris Optimist says:

    Perhaps you don’t understand what Snowflack does with this political blog. He does a fine job of mixing the news of Morris County in with national and statewide news to create items of interest. The fact that he keeps the postings short is a big plus for me. I just can’t be bothered to read the blogs of people who go on paragraph after paragraph. His postings are designed to create discussions, and to encourage people to focus on various happenings in our area. And if he does mention anything personal, he does it in passing, never as the main topic. Keep up the good work, Fred!

    As to Christie returning to the Freeholder Board, let’s not forget that his time on the board was marked with grandstanding, controversy, in-fighting, lawsuits, and anger on both sides of the board. He lost the election when he ran for a second term because people were so fed up with him. I’m sure he’ll be laughing up his sleeve about his political comeback the whole time he’s there on Wednesday.

  6. Kevin Nedd says:

    He shouldn’t laugh too hard. In 2013 he will be judged by the same standard as his predecessor; meaning if properly taxes are now lower than they are now he will be thrown out on his hind pots.

  7. Kevin Nedd says:


    ..meaning if properly taxes are NOT lower than they are now he will be thrown out on his hind pots.

  8. P says:

    Property taxes will NOT be lower in 2013 unless NJ passes a law that 1.) Eliminates staff, and staff increases, for the next four years at all levels of government; AND 2.) all public employees are required to pick up a growing percentage of their health care costs. Absent BOTH, property taxes are going up, the only questions is by what percent.

    Corzine has left a disaster for Christie to tackle. The current and anticipated budget deficits will result in significant cuts in state aid to municipalities and school districts. Given current employee contracts, keeping average local tax levy increases below 3% will be a miracle. Even at a 4% increase it will require a serious cutback in local services.

    As for Chegwidden, Christie should remind him that four years ago he promised to not be a dual office holder by the end of his first term. He needs to keep that promise, although I’d prefer that he limit himself to one government paid job/position – teacher/mayor/freeholder – pick one. He didn’t get my vote last year, and he won’t in the future unless that’s resolved.


  9. Kevin Nedd says:


    Sounds like some serious GOP backtracking. This is what Christie told us during the campaign and what his campaign website still says:

    “New Jersey has the highest tax burden in the country and it’s getting worse – the latest Corzine budget just raised taxes by another $1.2 billion.

    Highlights from Chris’ plan to cut our taxes:

    •Provide Property Tax Relief
    •Reduce New Jersey’s Income Tax
    ◦Across the board cut for all taxpayers
    ◦Additional cut or credit for NJ-based small businesses
    •Reduce the Corporate Business Tax Rate
    •Eliminate the double taxation on New Jersey’s S-Corporations”

    These are Christie’s promises. Just like Corzine, he will be judged on results (lower taxes), not legislation.

  10. P says:

    I don’t speak for the governor, nor the GOP. But I do understand what drives local property taxes – staff costs, and they aren’t going down, nor holding steady. And I didn’t vote for Christie because I believed he would lower my property taxes. I voted for him because I believed he had a better chance of holding the increase down. Corzine was a miserable failure and had to go.

    But while you are reminding everyone of promise, how about Obama’s promise to hold the health care negotiations on C-SPAN? Now that the Democrats are flying into WDC to secretly negotiate HCR, why aren’t you imploring the man you promoted last year to keep his promise? You love to call Republicans hypocrites, but I don’t see you policing your own party. I believe that is also the definition of hypocrisy.

    P.S. I didn’t expect the legislature to pass any law prohibiting the ability of public sector unions from continuing to pillage and rape NJ. But nothing short of it will stop the growth of all taxes in NJ.

  11. P says:

    as a follow-on to my comments about what drives taxes (above), here’s an update from a lefty’s lefty, Willie Brown of CA –

    Fourth item down –

    If we as a state want to make a New Year’s resolution, I suggest taking a good look at the California we have created. From our out-of-sync tax system to our out-of-control civil service, it’s time for politicians to begin an honest dialogue about what we’ve become.

    Take the civil service.

    The system was set up so politicians like me couldn’t come in and fire the people (relatives) hired by the guy they beat and replace them with their own friends and relatives.

    Over the years, however, the civil service system has changed from one that protects jobs to one that runs the show.

    The deal used to be that civil servants were paid less than private sector workers in exchange for an understanding that they had job security for life.

    But we politicians, pushed by our friends in labor, gradually expanded pay and benefits to private-sector levels while keeping the job protections and layering on incredibly generous retirement packages that pay ex-workers almost as much as current workers.

    Talking about this is politically unpopular and potentially even career suicide for most officeholders. But at some point, someone is going to have to get honest about the fact that 80 percent of the state, county and city budget deficits are due to employee costs.

    Either we do something about it at the ballot box, or a judge will do something about in Bankruptcy Court. And if you think I’m kidding, just look at Vallejo.

  12. Kevin Nedd says:

    Christie promised to lower taxes, period. The fact that someone may have voted for him for other reasons does not make him less accountable for the promise he made as a candidate.

    Having served in public office I can say without hesitation that I honored all of my campaign promises. If you find one that I broke let me know. So I am no ones hypocrite.

    As for health care, I don’t think the CSPAN pledge applied to final conference negotiations between the chambers of Congress once bills had been passed. So I don’t take issue on this.

  13. P says:

    Can you identify where in the recording of the multiple promises that Obama made for a fully transparent process, with negotiations to be broadcast live on C-SPAN, that he qualified his promise by saying “oh, but not the final negotiations when we really work out how we will be screwing the American people for generations to come”?

    Obama is a hypocrite, and anyone who supported him and refuses to denounce him for his hypocrisy is one as well. It’s even worse when you fabric info about his “pledge.” It was short, clear and repeated so many times it became a mantra.

    And if we can’t trust him on something as simple, yet important, as this, why should we trust him on anything? ed. note – can some one remind me where we heard that before . . . oh yeah, it was Mr. Nedd

    One other question – Can we assume that you didn’t vote for Corzine because he broke his “I’ll increase property tax rebates by 10% per year each of the four years that I’m governor?” I didn’t think so. Glad to see that you are consistent in your standards for Democrats and Republicans.

    P.S. I have no idea what you promised or delivered, but I really like that “decreasing increases” line. One question – What was the rate of growth of your operating expense budget each of the three years?

  14. Kevin Nedd says:


    These are my final comments on this topic within this forum.

    I don’t need to refer to recordings as on at least two occasions I was in the audience when the President made this pledge., which at the time was in the context of preventing back room deals with lobbyist and special interest who by their very nature are not obligated to put the best interest of the American people ahead of the entities that hire them. So again, I have no issue with no CSPAN access to a group of Congressman negotiating the final details from two bills that were fully debated on CSPAN. In terms of the President’s credibility, if you wish to keep a score card and vote based on how well he adheres to every promise, that’s your prerogative. I take a more holistic approach with the understanding some promises are going to be kept and some are not. That is the nature of politics. The bottom line for me is he moving the country forward in a way I support. For me the answer is absolutely.

    I voted for Corzine because he was the first and only NJ governor to impose a cap on school and municipal tax levies. This had a significant impact of reducing the growth of cumulative property taxes during his tenure when compared to the growth rates before he took office. My website contains a chart proving this:
    I look forward to charting Christie’s record 4 years from now.

    As for my record on taxes, in the year I ran (2005) the local all-GOP committee imposed an 11.1% tax increase. In 2006 the increase was reduced to 4.1%. I voted no on this budget because I had called for a 5% reduction in the tax rate based on the irresponsible increase of he prior year and had vowed to vote no on the budget if it did not meet this criteria. Despite my presenting a viable plan to achieve my 5% decrease target, I was out voted by the GOP 4-1. Pledge honored. For the years 2007 and 2008 I had pledged not to vote for a budget containing a tax increase that exceeded the Social Security COLA in those years. The COLAs were 3.3% (2007) and 2.3% (2008). The tax increases were 3.2% (2007) and 2.3% (2008). Pledged honored. In 2009, under the all-GOP committee, tax growth skyrocketed by 60% to 3.7%. This after three consecutive annual declines.

    I only have figures for total expenditures and increase/decrease percentages were as follows:

    2006…..7% (the year I voted no)
    2009…..5.0% (GOP resumed full control of the committee)

  15. P says:

    Nedd – Good idea on giving up while you’re behind. As my daddy always told me, “When you’re in a hole, stop digging.”

    However, everyone knows that Obama lied to us about transparent negotiations. Wonder how many more senators and congresspersons will be getting sweat-heart deals for their states, districts and favorite lobbyists! That’s what Obama’s C-SPAN promise was supposed to forestall. In reality, he’s just another Chicago pol.

    I find it interesting that for Obama & Corzine you take a “holistic” view of their record and promises, but for Christie it’s “keep you promise of property taxes or you are outtahere.” I still call that hypocrisy.

    Thanks for the info on the tax & expense info. I find that politicians love to focus on just the tax rate but I’d rather see all the numbers and decide if reducing the rate, or the rate of increase, was a result of real fiscal discipline or just gimmicks like raiding the general surplus or other one shots.

  16. P says:

    One other editing note – Your tax chart should read Voters’, not Voter’s; unless you believe that there’s only one voter (you?) who is remorseful. 😉

  17. Kevin Nedd says:


    The expense growth numbers I provided clearly show the decline in tax increases was the result of the former as opposed to the latter, which greatly contributed to the 2005 (all-GOP imposed) 11.1% tax increase.

    Thanks for visiting the site. Your suggested edit has been incorporated.

    While I enjoyed my time on the committee, the voters of my township are deserving of the government they elected and higher taxes that resulted from their choice.

    Be well.

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