By Don Galante, Little Silver Councilman
Can we take a minute to contemplate what’s been unfolding in our community with this upcoming Primary election and consider how it highlights the very definition of community service? We see a veteran Mayor who has donated 12 years of his time researching topics so he can make responsible, educated decisions to benefit his community and never looking for any credit for doing so. We see a leader who has been endorsed by every other sitting person on the Governing Body, all the employees of the Borough, a number of state and County elected Officials, members of both political parties, a number of volunteer organizations in our town and so many other informed members of our community. I personally have been fortunate to serve on Town Council, putting me in a position to sit next to Bob for this entire journey and watch his efforts to improve facilities, services and the quality of life in our incredible community.
When our family moved into this community 33 years ago it wasn’t like it is today; things were good, but improvements and opportunities were available and needed to be acted on. That has happened and continues to happen in a responsible and prudent process, where we put concepts on the table, debate them, and act in the best interest of our community. That is how Little Silver has avoided substantial tax increases at the Borough level. We have found ways to continue to improve lifestyle and maintain minimal cost increases to our constituents. We have also partnered with our Volunteer Fire and EMS, as well as our school districts to efficiently improve facilities used by them, without putting pressure on their budgets. This has all happened under the watchful eye of our sitting Mayor Bob Neff, not an easy task.
So why do I bring this up to you today? It is because our Mayor, who has worked diligently to improve our quality of life is being challenged by an inexperienced person who has focused for two years on positioning himself to wear the badge of Mayor, but not understand the job. I can say this because I have also worked with this individual and have been dismayed by his lack of responsibility and his lack of respect of others. I have seen his total disregard for budgets and absolute focus on self-promotion. I have watched him manipulate his way into anything that will move his cause forward.
I bring this to your attention for no reason other than that I care about our community and I have the background to talk extensively about what Bob Neff has accomplished in contrast to the other candidate. I have worked with both. I have no other reason to write on this topic other than my family’s plans to continue to live in Little Silver and enjoy its many attributes.
So, as I think about the contrast between these two candidates for the Republican nomination, it makes me think about the Republican Party (the Party of Lincoln) and why I align myself with it. I believe in this Country and the people in our community, and it bothers me that the other candidate for Mayor, for all his rhetoric, has never mentioned those values once. He is only using the Party to move his agenda forward, a disturbing trait. Last year he purposefully ran to gain a position on the Republican County Committee in Little Silver and recruited others to unseat long standing Republican members in our community. This was done for the sole purpose of gaining enough votes to have himself nominated to the position of Mayoral candidate for the Republican ticket, a deceitful strategy when it comes to Republican values, ideals and morals. He took an oath to support the decisions of the Committee in supporting those nominated, but he has not done so. That strategy failed. Think about how he has used the people and the organizations of Little Silver, whether it is the Fire Department, Red Bank Regional or numerous other fund-raising entities. His intentions are self-serving and not based in the cause of service to community.
The core beliefs of the Republican Party are centered on the idea that each person is responsible for his or her own place within society. The party believes that the government’s role is to enable the people to secure the benefits of society for themselves, their families, and for those unable to do so for themselves. Republicans believe in limiting the government’s intervention in the work of the individual towards prosperity. The government should only intervene when society cannot function at the level of the individual. This also means that the party believes in keeping the government as close to the individual as possible, and focused mainly on the state and community level, not centered at a federal level.
Lincoln in his lyceum address of 1838 spoke of the biggest threat to our nation coming from within when an individual with an agenda based solely on gaining power can climb the tower of a political body by misleading and using the public. Then and only then is our Union, or community in this case, at risk.
We all must consider what is best for our town and on June 4th, that will mean a vote for proven leadership. Vote Bob Neff on June 4th and adhere to our Republican values and listen to our great past leader Abraham Lincoln.