This letter appeared in the Asbury Park Press over the weekend:
In seeing campaign signs for freeholders Lillian Burry and Gary Rich, I noticed their disingenuous slogan “Proven Leaders.”
When actions were taken on the freeholder board in 2009 to establish a county ethics board for addressing residents’ complaints, Burry opposed it in favor of self-policing.
She led the pack during some of Brookdale Community College’s darkest days. Year after year, Burry rubber-stamped funding requests with no questions asked.
During the first freeholder meeting after I left office in 2012, Rich seconded a motion in which the all-Republican board unanimously passed a resolution rescinding the county’s toughened pay-to-play laws. They wasted no time weakening the rules for political campaign contributions.
When a vote was taken in 2011 to approve a sitting mayor’s recently purchased 97-acre parcel of land for a taxpayer-funded open space grant, I was the lone freeholder to vote no. In 2013, both Burry and Rich voted to allocate $1.2 million to this mayor, Andrew Lucas of Manalapan, in exchange for preserving it as a farm (after he hosted a fundraiser for their previous campaign).
Later, an investigation by federal officials resulted in a jury trial handing down an 11-count conviction of Lucas based on illegal activities in acquiring the funding for the property. This year, Burry and Rich supported a resolution stating that public officials cannot participate in this publicly funded program. Really?
The residents of Monmouth County deserve proven leaders more than self-serving platitudes. Actions speak louder than words. On Nov. 4, reject the incumbents and vote for Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo for freeholder.
Amy A. Mallet
Former Monmouth County freeholder