Friday, February 16, 2018

Union County Dems Need a Leader, Not a Boss

The competition for the next chairperson of the Union County Democratic Committee has some positives once you look beyond the usual politicking.  My view is that each of the three candidates brings a refreshing and less traditional style to politics.  Yes Nick Scutari was associated with the previous chairpersons who did operate from the "boss" model of government that has not served New Jersey well.  But Nick was a supporter of Al McWilliams when the "boss" basically cut Al off at the knees politically.  Bosses expect loyalty above integrity and that time must not have been easy for Nick.

Colleen Mahr as Mayor of Fanwood has been a friend to Plainfield through her Raritan Valley Rail Line advocacy and the contract for PMUA services that increases employment of Plainfield residents.

I am voting for Nick Scutari. He is in the best position to help Plainfield and he has shown himself to be an independent thinker in the state legislature. But I will feel good regardless of who comes out on top when county committee men and women cast their votes for county chairperson on February 21.  I believe that both of these candidates would bring positive energy and a more inclusive style to the Union County Democratic Party.  We need it. 

We also need to get beyond the perception that county government is run by a boss.  This perception is based on experience and wont be changed easily.  But a vote by secret ballot for county chair will go a long way to mending the past.  Too bad we are leaving this decision up to a judge.

Regardless of what happens on February 21, I urge the county committee leadership to do a complete review of the by-laws towards increasing transparency and inclusion.  And the new leadership would do well to find an important leadership role for the third candidate for county chair: Anthony Salters.  He is a long shot but his message is respectful of the democratic process and positive.