Category Archives: Lillian Burry

APP Editorial: Shameful start out of the box

Here is an editorial that the Asbury Park Press has gotten right and if you read the comment posted by readers afterwards, they all seem to agree:

The new 5-0 Republican majority on the Monmouth County freeholder board got off to a disgraceful start this week: Its first order of business was rescinding its tough 2008 pay-to-play campaign finance restrictions. Welcome back to the world of one-party rule.

The old ground rules, passed in response to Operation Bid Rig, a sting targeting money laundering and political corruption that led to the arrests of 13 politicians in the county in 2005, was a huge step in putting an end to the sort of legal bribery that allowed graft to flow freely.

The freeholders now seem to believe that graft and corruption are a thing of the past. Either that or they want to cement their one-party grip on the board, briefly lost the past few years, by ensuring campaign contributors are aptly rewarded when it comes time to handing out contracts.

Under the previous rules, individual contributions were capped at $300, while a firm’s contribution was limited to $2,600. Candidates could not accept a contribution from another county’s political party in excess of $2,600 per election.

Now that those rules have been rescinded, the board will be guided by the state’s lenient “fair and open” bidding process for counties and municipalities, which state Comptroller Matthew Boxer has said is anything but.

In a commentary in the Press last year, Boxer wrote, “The pay-to-play law presents few, if any, real obstacles to local government entities seeking to reward politically favored vendors with public contracts … a series of fatal flaws have essentially rendered the pay-to-play law meaningless at the local government level.”

What reason did the freeholders offer for changing their minds? Freeholder Lillian Burry, who voted for the tougher pay-to-play regulations in 2008, said they made sense then: “It appeared at the time to be a very necessary thing for us to do,” Burry said.

But now? Burry says the 2008 rules may be “too harsh” and proved “very confusing to the professionals.”

The freeholders apparently would have us believe that the people who want to do business with Monmouth County were absolutely flummoxed by the 2008 county standard, and could not fathom the differences between the county’s rules and the “fair and open” process.

If the freeholders adequately educated potential contract bidders to those differences and they still couldn’t get it, those aren’t the sort of people the county should be hiring in the first place.

What is clear is the freeholders’ action was shameless. They should reinstate the tougher pay-to-play rules. If they don’t, citizens should express their disgust at the polls.

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Filed under Asbury Park Press, editorial, Lillian Burry, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Operation Bid Rig, pay-to-play

Freeholder Amy Mallet; Brookdale Board of Trustees Needs Turnover

11/3/11 –

Today the Asbury Park Press printed an editorial titled “No New Terms for Two Trustees“. They were referring to the fact that two individuals on the Board of Trustees at Brookdale Community College have terms that are expiring soon. It is up to the Board of Chosen Freeholders to renew their terms for another four years or choose to replace them with other candidates.

It is my position to replace all members of the board who allowed the rubber stamping of contracts and budgets to pass with such minimal review. Freeholder Burry sees it differently… and her point of view is described by the APP as “mystifying”. Quoting directly from the press:
Burry said, “It’s so easy to get emotional and say, ‘throw all the bums out.’ That’s not emotion. That is simply common sense.”

Common sense also tells us that Freeholder Burry is not looking out for the best interests of Monmouth County. Until recently the attorney who represented Brookdale was, at the same time, Freeholder Burry’s campaign treasurer. It’s clear where her allegiance is… mine is to the people of Monmouth County.

I have been promoting term limits for Monmouth County’s seven autonomous boards, including Brookdale’s Board of Trustees. There are many organizations from churches to Girl Scouts to hospitals that have term limits for their boards. It promotes a healthy turnover and fresh ideas… it is simply common sense!

With the election coming this Tuesday, November 8, I hope you remember this when you go to the polls. Please cast your votes for my running mate, Bill Shea, and me so we can stand up for your needs. We put “People Before Politics”!

Sincerely,
Freeholder Amy Mallet

p.s. If you would like to see the editorial click here.

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Filed under Asbury Park Press, Board of Trustees, Brookdale Community College, Freeholder Amy Mallet, Lillian Burry, term limits

>Ever Wonder Why Lillian Burry Maintains Her Silence On Resignations?

>Yesterday’s editorial in the Asbury Park Press questioned why the Brookdale College Board of Trustees didn’t do a better job of scrutinizing the expenses of former college President Peter Burnham and once again calls for the resignation of the Board President Howard Birdsall and Board Attorney John M. Cantalupo.

Birdsall and Cantalupo have both arrogantly ignored numerous requests from Freeholders Amy Mallet and John Curley, the Asbury Park Press and others to resign. So why haven’t they felt it necessary to admit a certain degree of fault in this scandal and heed the call to step down? It could be argued rather successfully that both looked the other way when others told them of Burnham’s improprieties.
It is also rather curious why the grand-dame of the Monmouth County Freeholder Board, Lillian Burry, hasn’t spoken out and demanded Birdsall and Cantalupo step down. After all, Burry was criticized for not speaking out sooner on the Burnham situation when the first allegations of improprieties surfaced against him.
Why is that do you think?
It couldn’t have anything to do with the fact the John M. Cantalupo is a close personal friend of Burry’s and has been acting as her Campaign Treasurer over the years, could it? Let’s think about it for a second, who was negotiating the terms Peter Burnham’s Brookdale contracts over the years, it was Cantalupo. Given Cantalupo’s status as personal friend and campaign treasurer, I find it hard to believe that Burry had no idea of over the years, what was contained in Burnham’s employment contracts.
And what about Howard Birdsall and his company, Birdsall Service Group ? Both are so intertwined within Monmouth County through political donations and public contracts, that Lillian Burry must feels it’s not in her best interest to speak out publicly against Birdsall
It’s for these reasons and others why it is so important to impose term limits on those that serve on volunteer boards and commissions in Monmouth County as Freeholder Mallet proposed last month but had her proposal voted down by her Republican colleagues on the Freeholder Board.
As stated in the APP editorial, it’s time for Birdsall and Cantalupo to accept part of the blame for the Burnham scandal and step down from the Brookdale Community College Board of Trustees.

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Filed under Amy Mallet, Asbury Park Press, Birdsall Service Group, Board of Chosen Freeholders, Board of Trustees, Brookdale Community College, Howard Birdsall, John M. Cantalupa, Lillian Burry, Peter Burnham