March 01, 2007

I’ve got some nerve

In her closing comments during the last Freeholder meeting, Freeholer Chairwoman Bette Jean Kowalski remarked that she took notes of a comment I made during a meeting in the past and accused me of having stated “I’m going to bring you down”. She then went on to accuse me of practicing partisan politics.

Freeholder’s often use their closing comments to bully residents. It takes some nerve for a resident, who oftentimes is at a meeting alone with no friends in the room, to stand at the podium in front of the dais and express how they feel about the incompetent, corrupt, mismanaged county government to the nine freeholders and Senator Raymond Lesniak’s nephew. Over the years I’ve seen freeholders react to speakers by making stupid faces, laughing, reading a newspaper, or even getting up and walking out of the room.

There are also dozens of county employee’s in the room, some of which also laugh and make rude comments or noises during a residents allotted 5 minutes to address the board, as well as during the meeting. I know I’ve hit a nerve when I have nasty comments thrown at me by employees at the elevator when leaving a meeting. The immature and insecure always need to have the last word. This is my chance to laugh at them, they are so pathetic.

There are also county police in the room ready to drag you out on a moments notice from the hierarchy of county government. Believe me I know.

YOUR TIME IS UP! Freeholders called the cops to take County Watcher Tina Renna away when she went a minute over time discussing the boy the county government allowed to die.

Bullies are cowards. If the freeholders had an ounce of the guts that a resident needs to address them, they would make their comments to a speaker while they are still at the podium therefore, able to defend themselves. They would also straighten out their employees and have them behave in a professional manner during public meetings and in public buildings, at the very least. Alas, why else would they need these employees if not to harass residents who dare to question the Union County Democrat machine, which is what the Board of Chosen Freeholders represent in reality.

Freeholder Kowalski misquoted me. Given the county’s recent public relations push to discredit the work of the Union County Watchdog Association by labeling our work as being political and carried out by just myself, and since the public isn’t allowed to defend themselves from closing comments made by a freeholder, I was compelled to write the local newspapers to clarify what I said.

It just so happens that the Westfield Leader had reported almost exactly what I said in their November 15, 2006 issue.

….During the public part of the meeting, Cranford resident Tina Renna, president of the Union County Watchdog Association, commented on the recent Union County freeholder campaign, which was won by incumbents Mr. Mirabella, Deborah Scanlon and Chester Holmes.

“For the past four years I have been paying attention, you [have been] elected by the same margins. This isn’t because the majority of Union County residents are voting for you, it is because the majority of Union County residents aren’t voting,” Mrs. Renna said in a prepared statement.

She referenced the Democratic freeholders “longstanding practice of spending upwards of $250,000 [from taxes] on supporting incumbent freeholders right before the election. This comes in the form of mailers and commercials.”

She said that money could have been better spent helping an organization like the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless.

“I have made it my mission to make sure that your regime goes down in history with the likes of (former 30-year Jersey City mayor) Frank Hague,” Mrs. Renna said, drawing laughter from a number of freeholders…..

I hope Freeholder Kowalski took better notes of all my comments that evening. Particularly the part about the Freeholders using tax dollars to promote their campaigns.

Kowalski is up for re-election this year and she can put a stop this abuse of the public trust. She can “Bring it down” so to speak. But that would take some guts and I don’t think any one of them have an ounce of it. If they did they wouldn’t be sitting up their doing a powerbroker's bidding.

The Westfield Leader left out a part of my Frank Hague comment. I believe I closed by stating that the freeholders actions and inactions have made my mission very easy. I don't recall them laughing at that.