As a candidate for Union County Freeholder, I recently walked door to door in Hillside, where I met a young women and heard her story about the purchase of her home.   She and her husband acquired the home in that neighborhood so they would be within walking distance of their Temple. She told me that all three of her children were in private school and that her real estate taxes were about $10,500  which is about AVERAGE for Union County residents! 

"Every month" she said "we struggle to pay our bills. I am happy to pay my real estate taxes because I believe that I am helping others in the county who are less fortunate than me."  At this point her voice dropped and what she said next demonstrated what is wrong with the current Freeholder Board.  "But when I read that the county spent millions and millions of dollars to build a clubhouse:  I say exactly who are the Freeholders helping?"

 Last Saturday I went door to door in a neighborhood where I used to live, Elizabeth.   Knocked on a door of a senior citizen. He said, "Last 20 years, Real Estate Taxes have been increasing faster than the return on my savings. My fear is that I will run out of money, because of property taxes. I am too old to move,  I hope I die before I run out of money!"

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The Democrat Freeholder Board claims that they are there to protect Working People and the Middle Class. Yet every year they find a new project that 'needs' to be built and results in higher and higher taxes. Over the last 20 years incomes in Union County are up about 10%. Over that same period of time, county property taxes are up 120%.  Under the Democrat Freeholders, people have less money to spend on their children's education,  less money saved for retirement, and  less money to enjoy their golden years.  

How does this help the middle class in Union County?

Cost go up every year, but when taxes are rising faster than incomes, the Democrat Freeholders prove themselves out of touch by failing to have respect for our earnings and continue to use our credit cards on new projects.   Just recently they decided to build a new stadium in Rahway despite the fact that thousands of residents in the area urged them not to.   Next  year this will result in higher taxes yet again, another middle class family will have to figure out how to tighten their belt once again and who exactly are we helping with this stadium?

Rene Dierkes, 

Republican Candidate for Union County Freeholder on Column A

Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015. You can learn more about Rene Dierkes (Mountainside) and his two running mates, Rich Fortunato (Scotch Plains) and Joe Bonilla (Union) by visiting  For more information, contact John Malone at (908) 514-8356.