Monmouth County will be losing an outstanding leader when Claire French retires this March. She has been the county clerk for many years and has always handled the position with class and dignity.
Being clerk is a difficult balancing act of getting elected in a partisan election, then having to work with other elected officials (of similar and different political parties) in partisan elections every year. French had the right temperament for this position, and she made sure her office followed her lead.
As a Democratic mayor, I have had instances where I asked for guidance, and needed assistance from the clerk and her office staff. She was always very cordial, professional and responsive to my needs and concerns. She exemplifies what it means for Republicans and Democrats to work together.
I sincerely hope that the person chosen to fill this position by Gov. Chris Christie will have the same commitment to bipartisan public service that French showed over the course of her tenure.