That John Curley is shaking things up in Freehold should be no surprise to anyone. His tactics (detractors would say antics) are perfectly consistent with his past performance as a councilman in Red Bank and perfectly consistent with his performance on the campaign trail during the two previous elections. We got the Freeholder we nominated twice and elected on the second try. We didn’t get a collegial compromising team player. We got a maverick fighting Irishman. We got a loose cannon minority of one who doesn’t care whose toes he steps on or whose feelings he hurts.
Yet, even some of Curley’s strongest supporters are acting surprised, encouraging him to tone it down or making excuses for him.
“John is used to being in the minority, I need to talk to him,” one supporter said. He’s heard that before.
“I don’t disagree with what he’s trying to do, but I wish he’d tone it down and do it behind closed doors,” said another. Anyone who has seen Curley behind closed doors knows that the performances we are seeing in public is John toned down.
That is who we elected.
Curley may be crazy. Crazy like a fox. He knows he can’t negotiate the spending cuts he’s calling for behind closed doors.
Like the mavericks that preceded him on the Freeholder Board, Amy Handlin and Anna Little, Curley knows how to use the press and public opinion to forward his agenda.
Curley is always going to be outspoken and outrageous. That is who he is. He is not always going to be right, but in the case of the current county budget being considered, he is right.
We have more government than we can afford in New Jersey. Even in AAA rated Monmouth County. Even in Middletown, Highlands, Wall, Howell and insert the name of your town here.
Governor Christie is going to introduce a state budget next week that is likely to be shockingly painful in the cuts he calls for. I hope it is. We have more government than we can afford. We need to do the same in Monmouth County and in our hometowns. We can’t do more with less. We just need to do less. We need a cultural shift.
Taxpayers are already getting by with less, making painful choices and changing our lifestyles. We will accept less government services in exchange for more money to pay our mortgages and take care of our families.
Monmouth County and insert the name of your town and school board here must not raise property taxes this year. Even keeping taxes flat is too much.
Cut, cut, cut spending. Then cut it some more. A $10+ million or $7+ million tax increase on the county level is unacceptable. Anything other than a tax decrease is unacceptable.