Carteret Does Need A Full-Time Mayor

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Before I deconstruct Mr. Failace’s August 13, 2010 response to my editorial, I must say it is an honor to have the ex-mayor of Carteret so fervidly object to my points discussed. In his long-winded editorial, Mr. Failace took the hapless reader for a trip down his distorted perception of the world.

It should be noted that the purpose of my initial editorial was to compel Republican Candidate for Mayor Ken Freeman to provide a coherent campaign platform without the fear and distractions, which Republicans are so accustomed to spew. After five months of campaigning, Mr. Freeman is still an unknown figure whose policies are yet to be disclosed. The residents of Carteret deserve to know what plans, if any, Mr. Freeman hopes to put in place. Let me say, candidly, informing us of your menacing predictions of the future is not a campaign platform. Furthermore, it would serve the Republicans best if they ceased to scare the residents of Carteret.

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Even though Mr. Freeman refuses to provide a manifesto, we can safely predict what kind of Mayor he will become simply by examining his chief advisor’s term in office, namely Ex-Mayor James A. Failace. Mr. Failace is currently the Chairman of the Carteret Republican Party.

Mr. Failace, like Mr. Freeman, states elected officials “feel no pain” in this difficult time. The residents of Carteret should ask themselves: Who are these pretentious hopefuls to judge others? Who are they to suggest that our elected officials do not empathize with their constituents? Mr. Failace’s acrimonious rhetoric should be directed to those who caused our economy to falter, not Mayor Dan Reiman. Again, let us put our emotions aside and be reasonable. Mr. Failace, perhaps it is best that you stop sticking your head out the window while screaming that “you are mad as hell” because it is that type of behavior, the lack of civility, which impedes a constructive dialogue.

Allow me to reiterate my argument: Before Mayor Dan Reiman was elected, Carteret was at the mercy of part-time Mayors. In his editorial, Mr. Failace’s reasoning to reduce the Mayor’s wage goes something like this: Since many of the ideas and initiatives were on the drawing board when part-time Mayor Sica was elected, they are Mayor Sica’s accomplishments not Mayor Reiman’s; thus, a part-time Mayor is suffice. It is a clever argument, but nonetheless flawed.

To make my response clear, the readers should ask themselves a few questions: If someone invents a flying car, do we give credit to the person who imagined it or to the person who took the effort to materialize it? Do we give credit to someone who talks the talk, or to the person who walks the walk? In other words, even though the rebirth of Carteret was on the drawing board many years ago, it became a reality under Mayor Dan Reiman’s administration. As a result of having being a full-time mayor, and thus being able to focus on governing, Mayor Dan Reiman was able to materialize some of the great ideas his predecessors could not. Mayor Reiman deserves the credit for taking the time and effort to complete projects long neglected by others.

Ironically, the part-time wage was not enough for Mr. Failace himself. When Mr. Failace was Mayor, Carteret suffered from dreadful congestion at the Turnpike Entrance. The official attendance records of Turnpike Authority meetings concerning plans to reduce traffic congestion at Interchange 12 reveal that on June 7, 2001, August 17, 2001, December 5, 2001 and April 11, 2002 Mayor Failace failed to be present. But is it really a surprise that a part-time Mayor failed to attend critical meetings?

Furthermore, Mayor Failace also transferred $500,000 in state funds away from our beloved waterfront project that was initiated by former Mayor Pete Sica. But is it really a surprise Mayor Failace had no time to seek grants and appropriations and instead took money away from our waterfront project? If Mr. Failace was a full-time Mayor, maybe Carteret could have progressed sooner. The reality is Mr. Failace was a part-time Mayor who took money away from our beloved projects and failed to be there for Carteret when it counted most.

In Mr. Failace’s self-aggrandizing editorial, he ignominiously attempts to blur the line of Mr. Sica’s administration with his and takes credit for projects completed under Mayor Dan Reiman. Fortunately, Ex-Mayor Failace isn’t running for office again, but his close friend is. This election, we have an unknown, quiet, and cynical Republican Candidate for Mayor, and his name is Ken Freeman.

The people of Carteret only need to look around for ample evidence that Mayor Dan Reiman merits another term. Look at the renovated parks and Turnpike Exchange, the grand waterfront, the many flag raisings, diverse festivals, and senior services. All of those initiatives are a small fraction of the progress Carteret has experienced under Mayor Dan Reiman. While Mr. Failace and Mr. Freeman are yelling outside their window, Mayor Dan Reiman is out and about confidently leading Carteret to a bright and prosperous future.

Jose Ortiz
Carteret


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