Recently there was a shakeup in Ocean County as long-time political leader George Gilmore returned to the chairman's job at the county GOP.

Although the media likes to cloud his return to power by leading with past stories about legal trouble and an eventual pardon by President Trump, those of us close to the county and the players know that this is a significant positive shift.

The fact that the elites in the GOP tried everything to stop the chairman's triumphant return is telling.

George Gilmore represents the party of average people. People who want to create a true opposition to the Democratic majority in our state.

A man who is not beholden to the back-room money bundlers. A populist in every sense who is not afraid to be honest and direct.

As someone who is diggin' in, this was a huge victory for common sense.

George Gilmore in 2018
George Gilmore in 2018 (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

With Gilmore at the helm, the process for selecting candidates will be more open and competitive with no "done deals" before the committee votes. This movement toward fairness and transparency is spreading to the county government.

George was bold enough to call out the county commissioners on a backroom plan to force County Administrator Carl Block to step down.

George Gilmore
George Gilmore (Stephanie Faughnan, Jersey Shore Online)

The problem is that, according to public records, at least one commissioner said publicly that they were not looking at hiring anyone but privately were holding meetings with likely replacements including a handwritten note claiming that another candidate was a good fit for the job.

So which is it? It's a seemingly small issue, but given that these jobs tend to be political appointments without regard for skills and leadership, taxpayers could end up the big losers with the county's near half a billion-dollar budget.

The current administrator is doing a fantastic job by all accounts even from the sneaky commissioners allegedly trying to sack him.

Perhaps the most troubling part of this is the fact that one commissioner publicly stated, according to the meeting transcript, that they were not interviewing replacements but then a copy of a handwritten note emerged showing that there was a clear push to replace the current guy.

Read the Meeting Minutes here: Meeting Minutes Page 22-30

So why the sneakiness? Why the pushback? As we always say in Jersey, follow the money and the jobs.

Growing up, I learned that there was only one rule in NJ politics, "jobs for OUR guys." The power brokers wield power, jobs and money and in exchange they get to select the nominees.

Stay tuned for more on the battle to restore economic and civil liberty to NJ.

My friend Jack Zisa was re-elected in Bergen and is on a similar path to empower average people. Across the state, the system is still broken but thankfully in at least two counties, we're seeing a return to common sense.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

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