EDITORIAL: Support Republican incumbents in Somerset County
Somerset County residents will elect two members to the freeholder board this year.

Seeking office are two incumbent Republicans, Patrick Scaglione of Bridgewater and Mark Caliguire of Montgomery, and Democratic challengers Sara Sooy of Bernardsville and Shanel Robinson of Franklin.

We appreciate the energy and enthusiasm the Democrats bring to the contest. Both are articulate elected officials in their respective hometowns. They are calling for more transparency and diversity on the freeholder board, two goals we strongly support.

We also back some of their initiatives, such as providing video from freeholder meetings, something that is done regularly and fairly inexpensively these days in many local municipalities. We don’t understand the objections to this idea.

Unfortunately, the Democrats lacked details on other key issues when interviewed by this newspaper. They were critical of the county budget and finances, including the rental of Natirar in Peapack-Gladstone, but offered no numbers or solid alternatives when asked. Similarly, they cite a “patch work strategy” for repairing county roads and bridges without providing specifics.

Meanwhile, the Republicans offer years of experience on the board and have a solid working knowledge of all county operations.

Both also have strong professional backgrounds and volunteer records, and rose to the board after extensive service in municipal government.

The board seems to work well together and has made some promising initiatives in recent years, such as a shared financial deal with neighboring Hunterdon County to house its prisoners in Somerville, and now a plan to transition the county’s vehicle fleet to electric.

We agree that the board should have more transparency, but can find no real fault with the performance of the two longtime incumbents.

On Nov. 6, vote for Caliguire and Scaglione for Somerset County Freeholder.

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