The New Jersey Hills Media ran a story over the weekend researched and written by Kathy Shwiff emphasizing that the Republican Freeholder Heather Darling, the Hills Media’s chosen candidate, had raised $7,000 more money as of the October reporting deadline than Democratic Freeholder candidate Dr. Rozella G. Clyde.
An Oct. 26 editorial also concluded that, “Heather Darling’s considerable experience on Roxbury Township boards and commissions, as well as her years of involvement in community activities make her highly qualified to join the Morris County Freeholder Board.”
The questions these positions raise, which is echoed by pundits around the country who equate the ability to raise money and some experience on local elected boards, is that they are “game changers.”
We urge the voters to weigh several other considerations. Is the ability to raise money, or the way one has effectively used the money raised, the more important factor? Do we really need another Freeholder whose experience and perspectives are already well represented on the board? In this global economy is local experience the most effective growth measurement? Should under-represented areas of the county, like the Southeastern corner, where the Chathams are located, also have a voice on the board?
Of the two candidates vying for the seat on the Morris County Freeholder board, which factors hold more weight, the views and vision they advance for county development or the places they have lived?
Yes, Ms. Darling has served Roxbury Township on boards and commissions and the service Dr. Clyde brings to the table has been mostly achieved outside of Morris County. It is, however important to weigh those experiences and visions as part of your Nov. 7 decision.
Dr. Clyde’s 42 years of experience as a Law Related Educational administrator and practitioner may have occurred in New York City public schools, and her expertise may have been honed addressing the needs of inner city youth and educational professionals, but these are legal experiences. The creation of educational programs requires expertise quite similar to that used by the County Freeholders.
Dr. Clyde first came to Morris County in 1970 to marry her first husband, William Kirchgaessner, Esq. Her husband’s parents lived in Denville, and after they moved to New York City, Dr. Clyde and her first husband spent every weekend for 15 years living in Denville. They spent 10 years litigating a real estate dispute concerning a conflicted boundary line on that property. Dr. Clyde’s legal experience spanned that time because, while an attorney, her first husband was blind, so Dr. Clyde served as his primary reader, scribe and advisor.
Dr. Clyde came back to Morris County 5 years ago after retiring from the NYC public schools. At that time, Dr. Clyde and her current husband, James Clyde, created an educational consulting firm, Clydeoscope Educational Consultants, LLC. The Clydes were host families over those 5 years for 30 international EF (English First) students, sharing their home and Morris County life.
Clydeoscope LLC laid the foundation and facilitated a program where Drew University students traveled to Italy to study Sustainable Development. Dr. Clyde has been a contributing member of the Chatham community across those 5 years, regularly providing a vocal perspective at Chatham borough council meetings, singing in the St. Patrick church choir and serving as an elected member of the Chatham Democratic Committee.
What most distinguishes Dr. Clyde from Ms. Darling are their views for the future of Morris County. Ms. Darling wants to bring big businesses back to Morris County, but has shared no description of how she would do so, or what impact those businesses would have on the economic and social environment.
Dr. Clyde wants to grow businesses through the development of our unique resources in a sustainable manner. She wants to first develop a convention industry, as a way to generate interest in business growth. The resources already exist in Morris County to create this program.
Dr. Clyde supports Freeholder Myers’ Strategic Development Plan, and she wants to coordinate sane housing and shared practices between municipalities. If the goal is to bring in companies from outside of Morris County, then wouldn’t expertise developing programs with these types of businesses make a difference?
Dr. Clyde has also spent considerable time over the past year working with new Democratic Municipal Committees, local candidates and grass roots organizations expanding the Democratic process and developing the Democratic Party base.
Let us consider the type of future we want for Morris County as we make our choice. Perhaps it is time to “Put an Educator on the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders.” If you agree, then please vote for Dr. Rozella G. Clyde on Nov. 7!