Free citizens don’t fight City Hall. . .

By Seth Grossman.?

Submitted to the Current Newspapers of Atlantic County for publication on December 6, 2006.
???????????? If you don?t like what your government is doing, you can change it.? But only if you learn some important facts and skills, and are willing to give up some of your time and money.??? Most people don?t.? They spend far more time checking ads, cutting coupons, and shopping around to buy a $500 TV, than to get involved in electing officials who will cost far more in taxes and high prices.
??????????? But every now and then, some people take the time and trouble to learn, and do? sacrifice their time and money to give us better government.?? If you want more people to do that, you must understand and appreciate what they do for you.?? You should also invest some of YOUR time and money to renew and preserve our wonderful system of liberty in your town.
??????????? Last year, Anthony Pullella, owner of the Laguna Grill in Brigantine could not understand why taxes kept going up, when so many families with kids were leaving the island.?? Pullella studied newspaper articles, went to council meetings, and looked up public records.? When he offered suggestions for improvement, he was? rejected and ridiculed by City Hall.?? So Pullella fought back and became a candidate for city council.
??????????? Pullella many mistakes.? He ran as an independent in a November election against incumbent Republicans.? He should have run as a Democrat.?? If he wanted to stay a Republican, he should have run in the June primary.??? Pullella ran alone, while his opponent formed a three member ticket.??? Pullella did not get his campaign together until after the summer.? But in spite of all this, Pullella only lost by 407 votes, 1,794 to 1,387.?? If Pullella runs again, I would not bet against him.
??????????? At the other end of Atlantic County was Frank Craig of Weymouth Township, an owner of a large engineering testing company.?? As with Pullella in Brigantine, Frank Craig was unhappy with government in his township.?? Like Pullella, Craig began attending meetings at the Township Municipal Building and looking at public records.?? Eventually he decided to run for a seat on? the three member Township Committee.
??????????? But Frank Craig of Weymouth did not run alone as an independent.??? Although he was registered as a Republican, Craig changed his party affiliation and ran as a team with other Democrats in the November 2005 election.?? And Craig took advice from those who ran for office before, and planned and budgeted his campaign many months in advance.??? As a result, Frank Craig won the election one year ago.
After the election, Frank Craig worked closely with both the one Democrat and one Republican on the Township Committee to make some significant changes.? The Township Committee put its employee pay practices in line with what private business did.? This not only saved taxpayers money, but it began a new policy of treating ?Public Servants? like everyone else in the Township.?????????????
But the most dramatic change since the election of Frank Craig was this year’s school budget.?? When citizens? vote down a school budget, it is reviewed by township council or committee.?? In most cases, the local officials bow to heavy pressure from school officials, parents, and teachers, and approve the full budget.? But the Weymouth, Township Committee held the line and cut $80,000.??? This reduced the tax rate of every property in the Township by ten cents per hundred of assessment.?? School officials and the NJEA Teachers Union were unrelenting.?? They packed the school gymnasium with tearful students and parents who were told that vital programs and teaching positions would be eliminated.? But the Weymouth Township Committee held firm.? The budget was cut, and not a single school program or employee was eliminated.??? The school officials had padded their budget well, and the Weymouth schools lost nothing but fat.
Niccolo Machiavelli, said 500 years ago that in politics, it is better to be feared than to be loved.?? If you want to be respected as a citizen, you must be feared by those who represent you in government.? At 6PM on Monday, December 11, Frank Craig of Weymouth Township will share his experiences and invite you to do what he did, at the dinner meeting of at the Athena Diner, 1515 New Road in Northfield.? All who believe that New Jersey’s motto has relevance today are welcome to attend.?? There is no admission charge other than to order dinner at regular menu prices.
For more information, visit or contact Somers Point attorney Seth Grossman at?

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