“I am not running to align myself with anyone, or any political faction. I am running to represent the people of Union County. I have zero interest in forming friendships with greedy and corrupt people. I am running for freeholder to let some sunlight in on the budget appropriation process, to call out crooked deals, handouts to the private sector, and wasteful spending.”https://union.njprogressives.com/justinohea
Here’s why we enthusiastically endorse Justin O’Hea for Union County Freeholder:
Contract Vetting: I will rigorously review all county contracts to make sure they reflect fiscal responsibility and the values of constituents.
Comment: We always have to look at the fine print, being diligent in researching county contracts to avoid corruption, self-dealing, cronyism, and fraud.
Pay to Play: I will not exchange professional service contracts for donations to my campaign or the campaigns of my friends/allies. When possible, I will open contracts up for a competitive bidding process, instead of automatically renewing last year’s contract.
Comment: Pay to play needs to be eliminated in its entirety from county and state politics. Period.
Professionalism: I will commit my time and energy to full length meetings that make information accessible to the public. I will not support rushing through an abbreviated consent agenda.
Comment: Making meetings more accessible, with the information put in simplified terms, and released earlier to the public is part of our campaign positions.
Meeting location: I believe meetings should rotate throughout the county in order to make attendance more feasible for residents of all municipalities.
Comment: This is a no brainer. They should be accessible to public transit as well.
Meeting structure: I believe the bulk of the meeting should focus on county business rather than award ceremonies or speeches.
Meeting accessibility: I support using technology to make meeting attendance more accessible for residents, via recording or live-streaming of meetings or other remote attendance options.
Comment: People should be able to remotely connect if they are home-bound, disabled, or have limited transportation.
Information reporting: I support easily accessible online meeting agendas and minutes. I support user-friendly budgets so residents can easily see how public funds are allocated. I support user friendly agendas that include explainers about resolutions being voted on.
Comment: This is part of our campaign platform. Yes!
The “county line” in primary election ballots: Realizing that being placed in a preferential ballot position hinges on freeholder candidates and that the county line is misleading and manipulative to voters, I will take a firm stand against the county line and advocate for a bubble ballot as is used in every other state and in some counties in NJ.
Comment: This is one of the main reasons we are all running. Eliminating the line is first and foremost.
Responsible County Entity Oversight: I will work to ensure that the county entities I oversee — libraries, parks, technical schools, community colleges, correction facilities, infrastructure — are safe, professionally staffed and appropriately funded.
Comment: Understaffing is chronic across the state, putting our workforce under inappropriate and constant pressure. It also leads to accidents and burnout. We need to do our best to take care of our public servants.
Appointments to Boards, Authorities and Commissions: I will appoint people with diverse perspectives to boards, authorities and committees, opening up government for greater participation, rather than selecting the well-connected. Because new ideas and voices are important, I will seek out new residents to fill these board positions rather than having the same individuals serve for decades.
Comment: This is another problem that plagues county government. We need to keep cycling people through in order to have fresh ideas, and to innovate on ways to make our county better.
More information about Justin O’Hea:
Education: Diploma, Roselle Park High School, Bachelor of Science, Psychology E. Stroudsburg University, MSW Social Work, Kean University, now I am an LCSW.
Current Occupation: Social worker, and union local president.
Public/party service: I was the head of the Committee on Political Education for 5 years for the largest public sector healthcare professionals local in NJ. I knocked doors and canvassed for candidates all over Northern/Central Jersey, ran and participated in town halls, donated to many campaigns, and lobbied across the state including in Trenton. I do lots of activism and advocacy work as well.