When I sat down to write a “Dear Editor” letter this week about the ills of the all Democratic Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders I could not get the natural disaster taking place in Texas out of my mind’s eye. Suddenly the antics of the board do not seem all that important, their continuous missteps both intentional and not don’t command the attention that they did last week or the week before. 

Deciding not to look at documents, minutes or the budget my attention was instead voluntarily captured by the pictures on my television screen. The scenes of people being rescued from rising flood waters by boat, air and motor vehicles made my heart hurt as one could see their flood drowned homes in the background. Knowing that all they would have was what they were able to carry out in a trash bag or two should make all of us realize how very lucky we have been.   Most of us will never actually experience this kind of tragedy in our life-times.

As a mayor who was pelted with a tropical storm, hurricane, blizzard and mild earth quake during my term I can imagine what those charged with governmental responsibility are feeling right now. Though Garwood has just under 3,000 residents and the city of Houston has millions the responsibility for human life is the same.  I know that the mayor prayed not only for guidance from above but also to possess the ability to carry out the duties of the job effectively. Their shoulders are strong and I know that they will make the right choices under terrible circumstances. 

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We all need to take a look around at the towns we live in and visualize them under five to seven feet of dirty contaminated water. We should all ponder what would we feel if there was nothing left to go back to if our beloved downtown was gone never to be the same again. That is what is happening in Texas on such a massive scale it is mind boggling. We all know our priority would be to keep our family safe out of harm’s way we would all do whatever it took. It is events like this that makes taking down statues, protesting over a word or two that someone said or what shoes the First Lady was wearing onto Marine One that are proved to be unimportant. 

My prayers and love go out to the good people of Texas and Louisiana as they endure the trials of this especially difficult time in their lives. 

Patricia Quattrocchi
Former  Mayor, Borough of Garwood