An open letter to Raritan Township Mayor Jeff Kuhl
I won’t predicate this letter by saying I voted for you because I didn’t. To be truthful I campaigned vigorously against you but it really wasn’t against you, it was against the Republican party. I don’t believe any party on the municipal, county, state or federal level should have total control. A majority is one thing, total control is a different animal.
Sir John Dalberg Acton said ”Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are always bad men.” This is evident when you look back at Committeewoman Karen Gilbert’s ethical slips made when she was Mayor by having the township employ her son for the summer and then compounding it by failing to report it on her ethics disclosure. Then we have Committeeman Mike Mangin, who is also a fireman, who failed to recuse himself when money was appropriated (and I agree needed) to purchase a new command vehicle, which is in direct violation of state statute.
It is not the severity of the violations it is the fact that they occurred. What aren’t we aware of? This is what happens when there is nobody watching. The only person that had a conscience was run off of the Committee on a rail, by his own party.
I believe that the two, or more, party system was designed to provide checks and balances and when you have one party on the municipal and county level there are no checks and balances. No one is watching to make sure all the constituents are represented. Again, it is not a matter of majority it is making sure that someone is watching to help keep the elected representatives honest. It is making sure they don’t lose their moral and ethical compass.
I have to admit that the Committee seems to be a bit kinder and gentler now that as Mayor you have reined in Mr. "my way or the highway I’ll decide what goes in the minutes" Mangin and Committeeman Lou Reiner, who at times has displayed as much finesse and courtesy as a box of rocks.
However, I will reiterate: We need a two-party government and I will, along with others, continue to campaign vigorously to get Democrats elected to the Committee and the County Freeholder board. That inlcudes Sharon Winnick for Raritan Township Committee; Savet Rosenblum and Natalie Ferry for Hunterdon County Freeholder; and Dominick Puzio for Hunterdon County Sheriff.