Dear TAP M/SH Editor,

Election after election, we watch and we wait for someone who in essence would take our breath away. Someone who would give us the right signals that they were on our side, that they would recognize what was important to us as voters; more importantly, that they would listen to our needs and take action when necessary to protect us as a people.

We’ve read of so many in history that were politicians who have fought the great wars to maintain our freedoms. Abraham Lincoln fought to abolish slavery. Ronald Reagan worked to restore our nation’s economy. Many who have made it to the ballot to try to make where we live great again, but somewhere through our voting and debate watching we have forgotten that there may be political leadership at the local level who is willing to not just represent the people, but be a part of the people.

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The ideology of voting to the left or to the right has become less of a trend in politics. Being a Democrat or Republican may not have the same meaning in governing. We find that many who are democrats are thinking like republicans, otherwise known as blue democrats, and republicans who think like democrats. The way that a political candidate thinks is making it necessary for the voter to become aware of a person’s character as opposed to party lines. George Washington was a strong advocate against running under a political party. What has become a usual way of leadership in government has begun a new transition, as a younger generation in government is developing.

In the Essex County Fourth Freeholder district, we as a voting body have a freeholder that thinks highly about the needs of his district. Since 2011, the Fourth Freeholder district has experienced a new type of leadership emerging. One that embraces a leader who votes with the question in mind: “Is this right for the people?” That leader for Essex County has been Freeholder Leonard M. Luciano. With a constant and compassionate advocate for the people of the Fourth Freeholder district, he has worked to maintain the health of his communities. He has proven himself to be a leader of trust in the following ways:

  1. Fair and Objective. A good political leader does not take what is similar to his views as facts and base his decisions, but instead relies on his own judgments to come up with resolutions;
  2. Serves Society. A good leader stands above any political views and is independent of any attachment to a specific agenda. His personal beliefs become his private matters and he learns to leave them out the door once he steps into a leadership role;
  3. Good Intentions. A good leader has been able to move above and beyond any egoistic and primitive need for power, attention, or establishing his personal agendas and works with the intention of good-for-all;
  4. Measurable Goals and Outcomes. A good leader is focused and does not get distracted. His goals, whether small or large, are reasonable and achievable and are directed towards the long term results not quick and temporary fixes that may backfire;
  5. Encourages and Responsible for Actions. A good leader helps people understand that they are accountable for their society and its outcome and teaches them to make compromises and responsible choices. He does not support a sense of self-serving entitlement that has gone too far and is counter-productive for the society as a whole;
  6. Ethics over Being Politically Correct. A good leader understands that in order for the whole society to be a functional and healthy one, some adjustments need to be made and people need to learn to give some in order to gain some;
  7. Realistic Promises. A good leader makes a sustainable promise and is a man of his words;
  8. Thinks globally, Acts Locally. He realizes that in order for us to live in prosperity as a powerful and blessed country, reasonable steps need to be taken to make sure others achieve the same goals. He is aware that with power comes responsibility;
  9. Personal Responsibility. A good leader is secure enough to take personal responsibility when one is needed. In other words, a good political leader has an internal locus of control while he is aware of the effects of the external forces;
  10. Remains Human. A good political leader has a healthy emotional IQ and has learned to move above his emotions, conditionings, and his fixations to specific outcomes to think logically. He is rational and in control of his emotions and when the public is going through the emotional roller coaster, he is there to guide them through it;
  11. A Curious mind. A good leader is thirsty for factual, expert oriented and unbiased knowledge all the time and on all levels; and
  12. Collaborator. A leader that can be trusted does not take others down for him to go up. He is more of a collaborator than a competitor. He tries to build bridges rather than destroy them. He is a natural mediator rather than one that creates conflict, tension, and separation.

Krishan Meetoo once said that: “each is a journey of adventure, as we endeavor to understand the problem and whom we are fighting for." We have found such leadership and ability to problem solve within the Essex County Fourth Freeholder district. There is a man who is symbolic to the characteristics of Martin Luther King, Jr., Franklin Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln, through his ability to have an undeterred commitment to serving the people. As a communicator, listener, and visionary, we have a freeholder who is a leader who embodies the attributes of leadership absent in many fields today. His ability to communicate an unwavering commitment to a higher purpose is astonishing, and has and continues to do so, without compromising his values or the well-being of the people that he serves. Something that is unheard of in government today.

 

Cristina Guarneri

Verona, NJ