Monmouth County Freeholder Gary Rich announced today that he will not seek a third term on the Board.
Rich released the following statement to MMM:
“For the last 6 years I have had the privilege of working with an extraordinary team of professionals who are committed to protecting and improving the quality of life for their 660,000 neighbors. My service on the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders has been one of the highlights of my professional career.
While during those six years, my fellow Freeholders and I have faced extraordinary challenges and yet were able to accomplish the revitalization of Fort Monmouth, and the repairing and upgrading of our road and bridge network along with many more ongoing accomplishments.
“By staying true to my conservative principles and being unyielding in my commitment to providing excellence in government to the people of Monmouth County, we have come through with flying colors. I could not be prouder of the record I share with my fellow Freeholders and all of the employees of Monmouth County. As the Freeholder liaison for finance we have reduced annual spending in County Government by almost $50 million dollars and that we have kept the County’s portion of property tax bills at the same level it was in 2010. Lots of politicians promise to reduce spending and taxes. Here in Monmouth County we’ve done it. We’ve done it while improving our level of service and maintaining our best in the nation AAA bond rating.
“Yet, a recent promotion in my full time position with a Fortune 500 Company that will include additional travel has led me to make a very difficult decision. After much deliberation and conversations with my family I will not be running for re- election. However, I look forward to finding a role in public service.
“I would like to thank Chairman Shaun Golden as I have worked through this difficult decision. I deeply appreciate the support of my fellow Freeholders—especially my running mate, the legendary Lillian Burry. I am deeply appreciative of all of Monmouth County’s great employees.
“My deepest gratitude goes out to the people of Monmouth County who have entrusted me with the awesome privilege and responsibility of serving on the governing body of the greatest place to call home.”
Monmouth County GOP Chairman Shaun Golden said,”Freeholder Gary Rich is an important member of our team who has served the people of Monmouth County, and Spring Lake before becoming a Freeholder, with honor and distinction. I view his decision not to seek reelection,as changing positions on the team, not a withdrawal from the team.”
“Gary has been a consistent conservative voice on the dias,” Golden continued. “All of us in Monmouth County and the Monmouth County GOP owe Gary Rich a debt of gratitude for his service. We wish him and his family nothing but the best and look forward to the day that he returns to the arena.”
Rich’s running mate, Freeholder Director Lillian Burry said, “Gary is a man of great character who has earned my utmost respect. In my opinion, he has been the most stable, trustworthy and predictable member of the Freeholder Board. As the liaison for finance, Gary’s work has been critical to our success in reducing spending and keeping taxes flat.”
Freeholder Serena DiMaso said, “Gary Rich is a great friend and a fine human being who loves Monmouth County. He has been a tremendous asset to the Freeholder Board, bringing a strong business background and pragmatic approach to problem solving. I know he will continue to serve his community and our county in whatever path he takes next.”
Freeholder Tom Arnone said, “It has been an honor to serve with Gary Rich for the last six years. His involvement with the budget, as liasion to the Department of Finance, has been instrumental to our success in reducing spending and holding the line on taxes. Gary has been a consistent voice for the continuation of county services while reducing spending. I wish him well with his promotion and look forward to his future involvement.”
Freeholder John Curley has not yet responded to a request for comment. This post will be updated when he responds.