I served two terms as the Chairman of the Hunterdon County Democratic Party. I served 12 years ----four terms ----as a Councilman in Flemington, the County Seat of Hunterdon, one of the most Republican counties in the state. And I am in my ninth year as the Flemington Democratic Municipal Chair. As we have struggled bit by bit over the years, we have finally established a Democratic majority in town.
While Fiorello LaGuardia said that there is no Democratic or Republican way to fill a pothole---there are certain core differences between the parties, even with a task as mundane, as filling a pothole.
Who would be the labor that fills the pothole? Left to the Republicans, they would hire below minimum wage, non-union labor with no health care. Democrats would hire union labor, those who receive a livable wage, and guaranty health care.
How would the filling of the pothole be paid for? Left to the Republicans, they would have no problem bonding and bonding, rather than raise taxes to pay for the pothole being filled. Or they would administer a short-term one-shot gimmick to fill the pothole. Democrats would pay for the filling of the pothole as a current expense. And when Democrats, faced with such a current expense, sometimes are compelled to raise taxes to do so -----rather than burden future generations with debt for current expenses.
While most issues that confront local borough councils and township committees are ministerial and essentially do not require political decisions, some very important ones matter. How will the town revitalize the economic environment? Is budget process open and transparent? Is the legislative body open and transparent? Does the town use only union labor? These issues can regard the core differences in policy between the two parties.