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A Watchdog Required

The monopoly Republican Freeholder Board needs a watchdog.

I would like to thank the over four hundred Democrats from every Town and District in Monmouth County who nominated me at the convention this past Saturday to run for Monmouth County Freeholder in the November election.

The monopoly control of any political body by one political party is not healthy and leads, inevitably, to corruption. The Republicans now have an unchallenged and unhealthy monopoly on the Freeholder Board. And they have tried to abuse that advantage for the benefit of their friends. A Democratic watchdog is minimally required to provide necessary sunlight and oversight on their actions.

Here are some examples. The current Lucas land deal is the latest Board scandal. But when it first came up for a Freeholder vote several years ago, the only Freeholder who voted against it was the only Democrat, Amy Mallet. If not for Amy, this sleazy deal might have slipped by without notice. Then, once Amy left the Board, the Republican monopoly voted quickly to repeal its ‘pay for play’ ethical prohibitions. And it was the Democrats that pointed out the long term misfeasance in the Republican Monmouth County Clerk’s office regarding voter ballot positioning.

The duty of the minority party is to be a watchdog on the majority.

Here are some abilities I can bring to the role of resident watchdog on the Freeholder Board.

On the current Freeholders Board we have a landscaper, a car dealer, a salesman, a real estate agent, and a lawyer. These are all fine professions and small businesses to be represented on the Board. But none of these members are educated or experienced on the accounting, finance, or management skills needed to monitor the half billion dollar enterprise which is Monmouth County.   

I have a degree in finance and an advanced degree in accounting and law and I was an auditor with the largest accounting firms in the world. And I know about monitoring government agencies. I performed special audits of the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) here in New Jersey and of the Board of Education in New York City. Both of those audits uncovered real problems in those agencies.

I also know about controlling large organization as well as small. I served as a controller of a subsidiary of a New York Stock Exchange company. And, besides starting my own small business, I managed multi-billion dollar businesses for American Express- one of the most well managed companies in the world.

In short, I will bring important, necessary, and missing education, experience, and management skills to the Freeholder Board.  These are abilities that will help the Board and county agencies and make me a formidable watchdog for the residents of Monmouth County.

I seek your support for this important role.

Brian Froelich

Candidate for Monmouth County Freeholder

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

anonymous March 01, 2013 at 01:07 PM
Mr. Froelich, Your are correct. There is a need for the minority party to serve as a "watchdog" over the shenanigans of the majority party in power. But why stop with the Lucas land deal? We can go back to Operation Bid Rig in it's various phases. The most recent phase starring convicted fraudster Solomon Dwek, and his giving campaign money to quite a few politicians in this county. What was the quid pro quo? Another festering corruption case is the Sheriff's Department pension scam (see below). All Freeholders are aware of it; however, they choose to do nothing about it. The Freeholders are the funding mechanism of the sheriff's department--they should threaten to reduce funding until an independent investigation is completed. http://newjersey.watchdog.org/2011/10/10/the-golden-age-of-double-dipping-in-monmouth-county/
Andres Simonson March 01, 2013 at 05:11 PM
Brian Froelich makes some good points regarding one-party monopoly of a political body. Bravo. Now, if he truly believes this, would he be interested in openly endorsing the Republican candidates in the Red Bank Council elections where we have the same exact situation he describes as unhealthy and a recipe for corruption? In other words, what of the shoe on the other foot? I realize the Red Bank candidates have not been vetted yet, but for argument’s sake, let’s assume they will be as highly qualified for the position as he obviously is for his. What do you think Brian – any comment for the record? (And in anticipation, please don’t cop out by saying you’re not from Red Bank and therefore cannot comment. You are running for County office of which Red Bank is a part, and considering the platform you published, I think the question is fair game).
Brian M. Hanlon March 01, 2013 at 06:08 PM
Look foward to Mr. Froelich's response to Andres remarks, whom I agree with.... Red Bank is a very cool & special town with so much wonderful diversity, with exception of politics AND with politics in Red Bank it's diversity by appointment & perception...
Brian Froelich, Freeholder Candidate March 01, 2013 at 09:17 PM
I'll let each Freeholder, Town Council, and other (both Democrats and Republican) candidate stand on their record and credentials, as I stand on mine. I trust Monmouth, Red Bank, and other voters to make good decisions based on the people, facts, and issues involved. I have no intention of analyzing and/or commenting on the hundreds of individual races, candidates, towns, etc involved in this election.
anonymous March 01, 2013 at 10:23 PM
Mr. Simonson, Mr. Froelich is concentrated on the Freeholder race. Why don't you support your local candidate to do the same as Mr. Froelich is doing: namely, get opposition members elected to keep an eye on the majority party.
Andres Simonson March 02, 2013 at 06:00 PM
Thanks for replying Mr. Froelich - it is appreciated. Your point is taken about the individuality of each race and I clearly wasn't asking you to analyze them all. But, I think you dodged a fair question given your stated platform -- that "monopoly control of ANY political body" is bad. All I was trying to do was gauge whether your stance is opportunistic for your particular race, or whether it should truly apply in all cases, as you state. That was all. Look forward to following the race.
Andres Simonson March 02, 2013 at 06:07 PM
Mr. or Mrs. or Ms. anonymous, I understand the hierarchy of government from town to county. And thank you, I think I will support my local candidates. No offense, but please read my reply to Mr. Froelich to see why I think it was a fair question. It's a long way to November... but I guess the arrival of silly season corresponds with the return of the robins in these parts.
Brian Froelich, Freeholder Candidate March 02, 2013 at 09:07 PM
Andres, your question was fair and reasonable. I just don't want to get focused onto any of the thousand other issues that don't relate directly to the important issues involved in the Freeholder race. I appreciate your question and your interest- in both Monmouth County and Red Bank matters.
Lawrence J. Furman March 03, 2013 at 11:00 AM
The Lucas Deal: Republican politicians giving a Republican politician and fundraiser $1.2 Million of taxpayer money. The campaigns of two of the politicians who voted in favor - Madam Freeholder Burry and Manalapan Mayor Cohen benefited from Lucas fundraising activities. A third politician, Manapan Committee Rep Don Holland benefits because the value of his farm increases because the Lucas farm will never be developed. The citizens of Monmouth and Manalapan are like one big happy family. The taxpayers are like Cinderella; the Republicans are like her sisters and her mother.
Amy Seeley March 05, 2013 at 08:01 PM
It doesnt matter. If the democrats were in charge they would be doing the same thing. Republicans and democrats are exactly the same. They are all corrupt. The party not in power only vries because they are not getting the hand outs. Look at the corrupt kenyan running washington and all of his deals. Do you think rahm emmanuel and val jarrett would be employed much less in the white house if not for the kenyan?
Brian Froelich, Freeholder Candidate March 06, 2013 at 02:39 AM
@Seeley, Your comments are not worthy of thoughtful or serious response.
George Clark March 06, 2013 at 03:09 AM
its time for us to put the number of the beast upon us all. Its quite apparent that cash trades hands too easily and we can not be trusted because of our whorish greedy nature,. so, if we kids can't play nicely and share with others it shall all be taken away, yes, even your beloved toys, lol. we'll have to monitor everybody's net worth and take away our power to corrupt others with it. so there. barcodes in all our foreheads just as the goood book says.
Phillip Jack Brooks March 06, 2013 at 04:40 PM
Amy does have a valid point. All politicians are corrupt. And BF - this isnt twitter - you can leave out the @ sign. You are showing your age. At least you arent using hashtags inappropriately.
john jay March 06, 2013 at 05:50 PM
Wow. Hey marylou, another candidate for a tin foil hat. At the rate the bureaucracy (a/k/a government) is growing, it won't matter who is in the governor's office or WH. We will have ceded our freedom to unelected "officials" who are not accountable to anyone. I don't know if the only purpose a minority member of an elected board can serve is that of white knight (Democrat) fighting against the evil majority (Republicans). This statement rings of just more party propaganda. What about having an agenda of your own?
Brian Froelich, Freeholder Candidate March 06, 2013 at 08:26 PM
James, It is easy to be cynical and throw stones. It takes a little more work to actually be involved First, Freeholders aren’t unelected or unaccountable and they are spending your/our money. They are elected (or unelected!) directly by Monmouth county voters. Second, pointing out majority impropriety is not the only purpose of the minority – but it is an important one. Without citizen interest and oversight the government really would be unaccountable.
Phillip Jack Brooks March 06, 2013 at 08:31 PM
John jay, publissus - another new name huh.
Jim Sage March 07, 2013 at 07:08 PM
Mr. Froelich, There has been a large county financial scandal that has not been reported by the local papers, nor addressed by county policitians. I have posted it below. Would you demand a independent counsel for this situation? And would this be one of your campaign platforms to see this gets investigated? http://newjersey.watchdog.org/2013/01/07/7154/
Brian Froelich, Freeholder Candidate March 07, 2013 at 07:29 PM
I am generally familiar with the stories and, on the face of them, they indicate outrageous abuse of the pension system that is already under pressure and that Christie and others has pledged to improve. An independent counsel appointment would be the reasonable thing to do and the Freeholders should be pressing the issue. But, since it involves some of their own, that is not going to happen with a monopoly Republican Board. This is another good example of why a minority watchdog is necessary on this Freeholder Board.
Irina March 08, 2013 at 01:02 AM
well said Amy!!!
Lawrence J. Furman March 08, 2013 at 05:18 AM
President Reagan said "The Nine most frightening words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" When you believe that, and it is Republican dogma, you believe that government is inherently corrupt. And if you believe government is inherently corrupt, and you are in government --- you must have your hand out. Democrats, and thinking conservatives, understand that there are certain roles that the government must play - defining the law, enforcing the law, securing the community, the state, and the nation, educating our children, etc.
Lawrence J. Furman March 08, 2013 at 05:31 AM
So on the national level we see the Sequester. The Republicans refuse to raise taxes, would rather lay off or furlough FBI agents and Air Traffic Controllers. On the local level we see privatized prisons like Community Educations Centers, which allow violent felons to, in terms Romney would use, "Self-Pardon" events like the Guadagno Pension deal and things like the Lucas Land deal. Meanwhile, as the politicians get dirtier and dirtier the citizens just get more and more cynical. Politics is too important to be left to the politicians.
Lark Evor March 08, 2013 at 12:30 PM
And then there are the people like larry furman that believe the soviet era propaganda that the liberal media and white house put out. After the sequester, this fiscal year's federal budget ($3.553 trillion) will still be larger than last year's ($3.538 trillion). Last year, the border was patrolled, emergency responders arrived when called, and airplanes left on time and landed safely. the Department of Transportation. Its budget last year was $75 billion; this year it is $89 billion. If Mr. LaHood believes he should start accumulating his $600 million in sequester savings by furloughing air-traffic controllers, the House Transportation Committee can ask why he didn't begin by cutting expenditures like Alaska sightseeing trains ($72 million), old-fashioned trolleys in Missouri ($22 million plus) and sidewalks to nowhere in Florida ($1.1 million)? These were all Department of Transportation outlays identified by Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn last October.
Lisa March 08, 2013 at 01:48 PM
Mr. Froelich, congratulations on your decision to run for Monmouth Freeholder. I hope you will take advantage of this Patch column to present an in-depth view of each area of county business and how you'd tackle the issues and challenges of each. That would be great for me to read all about. Thanks.
Sue March 08, 2013 at 01:51 PM
Erroneous flood zone maps, overkill house-raising mandates and exorbitant annual insurance costs... FEMA wants NJ to bail it out of its Katrina debt! Join our fight -- come to a 1-hour meeting Sat. March 9th, 3 PM, at Silverton First Aid Squad, 86 Maine St., Toms River (all towns welcome). Info at StopFemaNow.com and Facebook.com/StopFemaNow. Save our Shore Communities!
john jay March 08, 2013 at 02:00 PM
This article doesn't belong in Local Voices - this is straight political propaganda. Talk about being easy to throw stones instead of having original ideas. Ok, we get you position Mr. Froelich - all Republicans are "bad" and all Democrats are "good." What is YOUR agenda. How to spend OUR money? How about how to SAVE our money.
Brian Froelich, Freeholder Candidate March 08, 2013 at 03:14 PM
I didn't say, or even suggest, that all Repubs are bad or that all Dem are good. I am saying that these specific people, who happen to be Republicans, have blatantly violated the public trust. It isn't unusual when you give a group long term monopoly for them to take things for granted and for corruption to creep in. And the Monmouth County Republicans have had control for 30 years. Voters will make the call on who they trust in November.
john jay March 08, 2013 at 05:23 PM
Mr. Froelich - Um, you should read your article again. Among other blatantly Republican bashing statements is: "The Republicans now have an unchallenged and unhealthy monopoly on the Freeholder Board. And they have tried to abuse that advantage for the benefit of their friends. A Democratic watchdog is minimally required to provide necessary sunlight and oversight on their actions." Strong stuff. Don't go hyper technical with the semantics. You are a Democrat and you want Democrats in power, and you are entitled to that position. I just wonder if the Democrats had the monopoly and you were on the board if you'd be hankering for a Republican "Watchdog"?
Fred Stone March 08, 2013 at 05:50 PM
i'd have been hankering for a republican watchdog, back in the 60s when i was a rockefeller republican. now, to be a republican, you have to believe the earth is flat and that the founding fathers wanted every lunatic to own a few assault weapons.
Brian Froelich, Freeholder Candidate March 08, 2013 at 06:10 PM
James. I think you need to read the post again. I am blaming/bashing the specific Republicans involved here for the acts committed here and now- not all Republicans always. And if the Dems had monopoly control and had committed these kind of public breaches, I’m sure that you and others would rightfully be complaining (regardless of what I did or didn’t say.) I am a citizen first and foremost and I want honest, effective government- not semantics. FYI, I have worked against dishonest politicans before- of both parties.
Lawrence J. Furman March 09, 2013 at 12:28 PM
Good government is not a Democratic or Republican issue. Neither is corruption. No party has a monopoly on idealism or cynicism, honesty or corruption. As I see it, citizens and those we elect to represent us need to focus on facts and ideas that can be tested and verified. We need to keep an eye on our representatives, both to keep them honest, and also to keep them focused on doing what's best for the future.

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