To the Editor:
Once again, the Hunterdon County Freeholders put on their political dog and pony show by conducting their meetings in our town halls rather than in Flemington. In a recent TAPinto article, Freeholder Director Suzanne Lagay is quoted:
“We believe it opens up the County government to the public more. Normally, we have seen a good turnout of residents for these meetings.”
But these meetings, like all Freeholder meetings, are held at 5:30 p.m. – “the usual time for Freeholder meetings.” It’s impossible to take Ms. Lagay seriously. Most people aren’t even off work at 5:30 p.m. and so can’t attend Freeholder meetings regardless of where they are held.
I don’t know one municipal government public meeting that starts before 7 p.m., in respect of the fact that most people can’t make a meeting at 5:30 p.m. People are too busy working so they can pay the county taxes the Freeholders spend. The Freeholders have routinely made self-serving, preposterous excuses for the impossible time of their meetings. But no meeting can be truly “public” if it is intentionally scheduled to avoid the participation of the public.
Ms. Lagay’s statement is little more than a political advertisement for a product that’s not really available to you in your town – or anywhere else. Lagay and Freeholders Matt Holt, John Lanza are already on the record refusing to post the recordings of their public meetings online – so we know it’s not really about the time. Lagay and her buddies don’t want you to hear their meetings: They cite “security concerns” as a convenient excuse.
Isn’t it time all Freeholder candidates were held to account on this score? I challenge every single one of them, Republican and Democrat and Independent, to commit to holding all Freeholder meetings at 7 or later to make it easy for the public to actually attend. This includes Republicans John Lanza and Zachary Rich, and Democrats Savet Rosenblum and Natalie Ferry. If we don’t hear this commitment from you, why would we elect you?
Suzanne Lagay’s insipid political pablum about “open government” is an insult to every one of her constituents. The tacit approval of all the other Freeholders – and freeholder candidates – tells Hunterdon taxpayers all we need to know about our county government. The Freeholders are so corrupt that the best they can do is “hide in plain sight” – coming soon to your town at 5:30 p.m.!
Nick Corcodilos, former mayor