For readers of this blog who do not know, I write a column that appears in the Monitor Newspapers called “Take it from me”. I have contributed several articles to the Monitor over the past few months, the lastest is in this weeks special election coverage edition and can be read below. It is my take on why you should elect Middletown Committeeman Sean F. Byrnes the next Monmouth County Freeholder.
I hope you find it interesting and informative enough to persaude your vote towards Sean Byrnes this coming Tuesday, Nov. 3rd :
With so much attention being paid to this year’s NJ Governors race between Jon Corzine and Chris Christie, other important races for political office throughout the state are being overshadowed, ignored and all but forgotten about by all except those who are seeking office. One such race happens to be for Monmouth County Freeholder.
In 2006, Barbara McMorrow was able to break the stranglehold that Republicans held in the county by becoming the first Democrat elected to the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders in over 20 years. Those of John D’Amico and Amy Mallet followed her election in 2007 & 2008, which turned over control of the county to democrats for the first time since 1986.
It looked as if Monmouth County would remain a “Blue” county for the foreseeable future, McMorrow was extremely popular and she was up for re-election this year. Republicans throughout the county did not want to run against her, due in part to her popularity. Then came news in late March that Freeholder McMorrow would not seek re-election this year due to illness. Democratic hearts sank while Republican hopes at recapturing the county swelled: the search for viable candidates on both sides started in earnest.
The best that the Monmouth GOP could come up with was republican retread John Curley, who lost last year’s election to Amy Mallet and who, as a councilman in Red Bank, resigned suddenly to move to Middletown citing high property taxes in Red Bank as one of his reasons.
Monmouth County Democrats chose a fresh, young face in Middletown’s Sean F. Byrnes to run against John Curley. And, as far as I’m concerned they made an excellent choice.
Byrnes grew up in Red Bank and graduated from Red Bank Regional High School before attending the US Coast Guard Academy, where he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Government. He retired from the Coast Guard after 22 years of service to our country as a Commander. While serving in the Coast Guard, Sean Byrnes went to night school and earned his Law Degree from Georgetown University.
Sean Byrnes has always had a strong believed in public service and throughout his life has placed a high priority on it. He has served as a member of the Red Bank board of education, Red Bank River Center and as a founding Board Trustee with the Parker Clinic. He served five years as Chairman of the Board of the Red Bank Branch of the YMCA, and two years as their Chief Volunteer Officer. He also serves as a minister and lector at the Church of St. Leo the Great, Lincroft.
In 2007, Sean garnered broad bipartisan support when he was elected to the Middletown Township Committee. In doing so, he became only the second Democratic elected in 18 years.
Since his election, Sean has focused on transparency in government, fiscal accountability and improved municipal governance. He drafted and secured passage of a resolution requiring all resolutions and ordinances to be posted on the Township website in advance of public meetings. He also voted against an ordinance that placed restrictions on the videotaping of Township meetings. Byrnes has repeatedly proposed resolutions to create a Finance Committee to begin the budget process well in advance of budget approval. And, introduced an ordinance to eliminate health benefits to Sewerage Authority Commissioners. To improve municipal governance in Middletown, Sean secured passage of a resolution establishing a Strategic Planning Committee and a Committee to implement the recently completed Recreation Master Plan.
Sean Byrnes is clearly the most qualified and best candidate to succeed Barbra McMorrow for Freeholder. His years of public service to our country, as well as our community, has prepared him well to represent the residents of Monmouth County as our next Freeholder.
Middletown’s loss will be Monmouth County’s gain.
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