Union County Freeholder Debate 5/29/19

There was a gathering in Plainfield yesterday to which the League of Women Voters (LWV)  invited nine Democrat freeholder candidates in the June 4 primary in anticipation of a debate. According to an eye witness (Bruce Paterson) here is what took place.

Two freeholder candidates showed up: Tony Esposito from Roselle and Jack Molenaar from Fanwood. No incumbents (it was rumored that they sent their regrets ahead of time) and nobody from line C.

Approximately 65 people were in the audience with folding chairs set up for around 200 people.  The duCret School & LWV were gracious. Coffee and lots of tasty cookies were available.  Index cards were available with pens to write and turn in any questions the audience had. 

After a call by the LWV for all candidate attendees to step up only those two Column B candidates did. It was then sadly that the LWV ruled per their bylaws it was not a quorum so she stepped down from being moderator and passed it off to an administrator from the duCret School.  It was then deemed just a “meet & greet” and not a debate.  The LWV said it should not be taped but one person had a setup and said it was streaming live.  I saw a Westfield Leader stringer there and I did an audio for my archive.
There were  7 audience questions asked:
  1. Freeholder Kim Moulded father’s political donations appear to pose a conflict and her relatives have contracts with Union County government. Do you or your relatives have financial connections to county government?
  2. Is the tax distribution strata fair?
  3. What is the #1 issue facing the county?
  4. What can Union County government do about our recycling issues?
  5. Elizabeth recently faced issues of racism in their police department. How can this racism be settled countywide
  6. To Jack Molenaar: What can be done further on our state’s affordable housing issue?
  7. What can the county do about improving the infrastructure in Plainfield?
Jack and Tony were knowledgeable (not as deep as the incumbents would have shown) and used examples when needed (ie. Tony discussing the Mind & Body program failure of the county and assemblyman Holley).  Jack was affable and humorous at times and actually said the county is corrupt a couple of times. Tony actually brought up that he had sued UC, the UCIA and the Roselle BOE on the Mind & Body Complex fiasco. They handled themselves well.
My 3 questions were all passed over. Maybe it was my scribbling or too intense if they read the questions before the debate.
  1.  Regarding the county manager, why was he appointed when he lives in Woodbridge and the county bylaws specifically state the county manager must live in Union County?
  2.  Why are there so many challengers for the democrat primary freeholder and committee person positions?
  3. Is there a need to clean up Union County government of tax money waste, abuse, and pay-to-play?
It was about an hour long and at 8pm the Plainfield Council candidates’ debate took over.

3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by bpaterson on May 30, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    heres a little forgotten youtube vignette of the 2009 FH debate for the november election-a good example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPZQbIeumho


  2. Here is the taping that was authorized to film


  3. Posted by readslikeamafiabook on May 31, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    Incumbents didn’t show up? Why not? It’s in the bag with Elizabeth, Linden, Plainfield, Roselle, Roselle Park low i.q. voters


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