I attended the Freeholder meeting last Thursday night. I arrived just in time to be told the Freeholders took a recess for a closed session and would be back. We waited almost two hours for them to reconvene. Still, the members of the public stuck it out to have their turn to speak. By the second half of the open meeting only 6 of the 9 Freeholders were there.  

The public spoke and it was contentious all around. The Freeholders most liked to tout the success of Musicfest.  Fine, can we move on? Is this really the business of government to run a 5 day rock concert in the middle of September when the school year is just beginning and most of us are focusing on other things? We will never get a true accounting of what Musicfest cost.

That night, my point to the Freeholders was to stop the unnecessary spending. Foreclosures are at a frighteningly high level and climbing. In Elizabeth, 15-20% of homes are in foreclosure.  The Numbers in Hillside, Linden, Union, Plainfield, Roselle are also very disheartening. I asked if they cutting back for what appears to be an even worse 2011? The answer was, incredibly, well - we just collect the money from the municipalities. Yes that’s right, the Freeholders apparently feel we can deplete our surplus,  jeopardize our bond ratings, lay off essential workers to pay their bills.

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It is time to end one party domination. It isn’t working. 

Ellen Dickson is a Republican candidate for Union County Freeholder.