Heart In South Amboy

Though I am currently in Washington, DC, most of you know that wherever my country has called me to serve, my heart is always back in South Amboy. Many have called or e-mailed me to seek my thoughts on the upcoming election in South Amboy.

Until recently, I had sought to keep my thoughts private, but because of actions by one mayoral candidate, I have decided to publicly announce my support for Council President Fred Henry. I have known Fred for almost two decades.


We have been teammates on the ball field, the City Council and the Redevelopment Agency. Together, we have worked with the administration and the rest of the council with the common goal of making our great city a better place to live for all. I support Fred to become the next mayor of South Amboy, because I think he personifies the essence of South Amboy.

He is a quiet man, but his passion for our town is intense. He has worked diligently and thoughtfully to represent the people of South Amboy. Through his efforts, the City of South Amboy has undergone a transformation from the PCP capital of the state to once again be known as the Gateway to the Shore; from a town infamously known as having the most bars per capita, to again being the “Pleasant Little City.”

As Council President, he has helped South Amboy weather the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. While no one, including me, likes to have a tax increase, I know that without Fred’s efforts, and those of the council and administration, things could have been a lot worse.

I also know that after every storm, there is a recovery, and Fred has the experience and the skill set required to lead our great city through these turbulent waters towards that harbor of revitalization. I am saddened to see that one of Fred’s opponents has once again taken the campaign into the gutter, like she did four years ago.

While I wholeheartedly respect that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, they are not entitled to their own set of facts, and Fred’s opponent cannot back up any of her allegations with fact or figures. In truth, the public record proves her wrong every time!

What she also fails to realize is that every time she makes one of her wild allegations, she hurts our town and its residents as well. Like you and me, Fred loves South Amboy. In these uncertain times, it is critical that the person at the helm has not only the knowledge and experience, but the compassion and understanding to be the city’s chief executive.

I know Fred, and I am certain that Fred, along with Joe Connors, Mickey Gross and Don Applegate, are the right choice on November 2nd.

John F. O’Connell
Washington, DC

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