Marilynn English, a Verona resident who ran unsuccessfully for Essex County executive last November, has thrown her hat into the ring for the freeholder election this year. English, who garnered just over 3% of the vote last year on a shoestring campaign, is running as an “at-large” candidate. Five members of the nine-person board represent districts, the other four are no so tied.
The freeholder post is a remnant of New Jersey’s colonial past and its role differs from county to county. In Essex County, the Board of Chosen Freeholders is intended to have something of an oversight role, doing things like reviewing the county budget. English, who has long opposed the county’s deer hunt, ran for county executive on a platform critical of its spending. English says she is running as an independent so as not to compete with Cedar Grove Councilman Joseph Chiusolo, the Republican candidate for District 4, which encompasses Verona.
“Since the FREE deer hunt,” English said by e-mail, “which, based on my records has cost us almost $1 million and continues to grow, and through my many OPRA [Open Public Records Act] requests, I uncovered massive amounts of bond debt incurred by the current administration and approved by the entirely Democratic freeholder board without studies or discussion. This bond debt will be saddled on our youth and continue to increase if we don’t stop it now.”
Also running in the November 8 election is Leonard M. Luciano of West Caldwell. In August, he was appointed to the freeholder board to fill the unexpired term of Linda Lordi Cavanaugh, a lawyer who retired to return to private practice in Roseland.