Freeholder candidates go for tea

The 11 candidates for three Morris County freeholder nominations dropped by a Morris Tea Party group Tuesday night for a discussion of issues … My colleague Mike Daigle attended and here are some of his observations ..

In a concession to the audience, many of the candidates — legitimately or not — were tripping over themselves sliding to the right to display their patriotic and liberty-loving chops.

 The format was a little odd. Each candidate or team of running mates was given a private audience  while the other candidates  were sequestered in the cellar-level bar.

Questions from the 30 or so attendees focused on issues of a state or national nature — illegal immigration, and the controversial Arizona law just passed that gives police officers the ability to question a person’s immigration status — oppressive government interference in citizens’ daily lives, and in the workings of the business community, especially the GOP’s favorite punching bag, the  state Department of Environmental Protection, and the party’s second favorite target, the Highlands Act, and eventually a topic the freeholders actually have a hand in directing, taxation.

Ann Grossi, the Parsippany Councilwoman  running as a team with John Krickus of Washington Township and businessman Tom Mastrangelo, said in response to the question about what they would do about illegal immigration, said she favored “building a wall,” and then said she filed an ordinance in Parsippany to address overcrowded housing.  

It was not a night for subtle answers: When Freeholder Jack Schrier explained that as an administrative body, the county freeholders can not change state or national immigration law, but the county jail works with the federal office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement to enforce the nation’s laws, the answer was met with general silence. (The sad thing may have been that the crowd failed to understand that Schrier was 100 percent correct).

Later, the questioner asked the next group to answer the same question with the preface that “the incumbents refused to answer the question.’’

Also when challenger Christine Myers of Mendham Township said she favored the intent of the Highlands Act to protect watershed areas and the region’s water supply, but opposed the way the law was implemented and the apparent inability to reimburse property owners, she was sharply questioned , “So you oppose it?’’, Myers said .”yes.”

It was a with us or against us kind of night.

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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.

2 Responses to Freeholder candidates go for tea

  1. Tea Party voter says:

    “Cabana said county government in New Jersey is an administrative form of government which in Morris County oversees the jail, County College of Morris, the school of technology, human services and welfare, among other services.”

    DR 5-19-2010

    This guy needs to go back to law school…not an administrative form of gov’t. He needs to read the statute. It is a unit of local government

    What is County Government?

    In New Jersey the county serves as the middle level of government between the state and federal governments and the municipality. It traces its origin to British settlers to the new world who brought with them the concept of the county as a unit of local government and with it the idea that only “freeholders” – those who owned land free of any debt – were eligible to vote and hold public office.

    The functions of county government are divided into two distinct types: mandatory functions the county must perform, and permissive functions the county may carry out in compliance with state law.
    The five mandatory areas of responsibility are the courts and law enforcement, welfare, education, roads, and the conduct of elections. Permissive areas include parks and recreation, libraries, planning and development of certain social services.

    MC Web Site

  2. Ken Bank says:

    I wonder if the 30 or so TNuts in attendance would be so worked up about immigration if they were coming from Sweden instead of Mexico.

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