Signs of Democratic Life in Bridgewater

Signs of Democratic life in Bridgewater.

Paul Amitrani almost wins.

Checking out the results on the internet Wednesday afternoon, I was suprised to see that Paul Amitrani almost beat Bob Albano for a seat on the Bridgewater Township Council. Pretty good! And much better than I expected, as I was filling in the little absentee ballot ovals for Paul and the Democratic team.

This year, I spent more time helping the Hillsborough Question 3 effort than in trying to promote the Democrats in Bridgewater. It has been hard to get people to listen to what I had to say. So after a while, I just stop saying to them.

I can remember a campaign meeting I attended in August, that felt like it was going to turn into a bickering session of someone else’s stupid ideas versus my good ones.

And after a while, you get tired of that.

If the Democrats were going to win in Bridgewater this year, the campaign had to start in March. It had to start with that now-famous front page picture in the Courier News. There had to be many issues raised all year long, and not just letters-to-the-editor. There also needed to be a ban-the-pay-to-play petition as part of the campaign (Bridgewater, as a Faulkner Act community, can do this. Hillsborough can’t.)

There needed to be an emphasis that although the Bridgewater Township Council currently is selected from different neighborhoods in Bridgewater, it does not accurately reflect the population of the township. Half the residents live South of Route 22, yet seldom get even two seats on Township Council. (Has this ever happened, in fact?)

Thank goodness we are not the embarrassment Hillsborough is, with its 80% 60% Italian Committee. (See earlier post this month about Pete Biondi’s possible biases and heavy-handed style of interfering with local politics. ) But we still don’t have a Township Council that reflects the true Bridgewater. One where half the population lives South of Route 22.

Bridgewater government STILL is based on a model, or idea, that the North-of-22 side are the “Wise Ones” who “know best” what is good for all the township.

The southern parts get the (empty) office parks, the strip malls, the car dealers on postage-stamp lots. The southern part gets to look like Edison, for the benefit of those living in Martinsville, Pluckemin, and the far corners of Country Club and Meadow Roads.

I don’t know where Paul’s strength came from this time around. But I suspect the voters South of Route 22 would have put both him and Joan Pritchard on the Council, except the North side once again overruled!

That wonderful all-at-large Township Council of ours, eh?

The rules are pre-arranged, so that it is impossible for you to ever win!