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Monday, November 5, 2007

Freeholder Race: Once-in-a-lifetime twofer

Plainfielders have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at the polls tomorrow: a chance to elect TWO Plainfielders to the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, to serve concurrently.

Current Freeholder and former City Council member Adrian Mapp is in Column 'C' as an independent running under the 'Clean Up Government' slogan.

Current City Council President Rayland Van Blake, the nominee of the Union County Democratic organization, is in Column 'A'.

Here's the trick: You can vote for both.

Many of the thousands of people who supported Al McWilliams and the 'New Democrats' when they first put Rayland Van Blake on the political map in 2002 have felt themselves in a quandary as the political ground shifted beneath their feet.

Adrian Mapp, also a part of the 'New Democrats' team, won election to the Freeholder Board three years ago. Since then, the County Democratic organization has withdrawn its support of Mapp (for a reaction to his treatment by his fellow Freeholders, see my post "$7M BUF bond may leave Plainfield on the hook").

As Freeholder, Mapp has proposed that the current election of all nine Freeholders as 'at-large' members -- meaning they each are elected by all the County's voters -- be replaced by a system of six districts with one Freeholder each, and three at-large Freeholders.

This is a quite sensible proposal, in my humble opinion, but the Union County Dem organization is dead set against it.

Why? For openers, it would most certainly break the headlock Dems currently have on ALL the seats (and have had since 1998), most likely opening up a few seats to Republicans and making for a much livelier -- and perhaps less profitable for vendor/contributors -- scene at the County level.

So, they get their wish and we will vote for three at-large candidates tomorrow.

Two of whom can be Plainfielders: Adrian Mapp AND Rayland Van Blake.

Van Blake is a shoo-in, and Mapp can win with everyone's support.

What's not to like about that?

The Union County Dem organization can perhaps learn from the words attributed to St. Catherine: "Be careful what you pray for, as you may get it."

-- Dan Damon