To the editor,
I am writing from the point of view of a young voter as well as someone who has grown up in this lovely town we call Atlantic Highlands. When I was just five years old, my father Lou Fligor made the decision to run for council under the Atlantic Highlands GOP, or better known as the Republicans. Starting out he was the Gas Company Watchdog for the contamination and clean up for Fireman’s Field as well as various other places that continue on today almost twenty years later, among many other things he has done during his terms. When he first decided to run for office I had no idea really what that meant being as young as I was. However, now at twenty-one years old I’ve gotten wiser to how the games are played and how politics exactly works. I realize in many instances young adults like myself, would like to have that privilege rather than voting blindly in any election. I’ve seen everything from the campaigning, to the speeches, to the debates, to being slandered by people who my family and I thought were once close friends. All of this I can excuse because being in politics and holding a political position it is bound to happen. When you don’t listen to a certain voice, which thinks they have an exorbitant amount of power, they tend to write you off for having your own opinions. But, I digress.
There is one person whom I have known personally and politically for the last twenty years, and has not been influenced by Jane Frotton. In fact, he was almost passed up for the role of Mayor by Jane to run Jack Archibald, who lost the term before to Peter Donoghue. However, he told her that he would run as an Independent if Jane did not run him, and knew he could beat Jack hands down. As a matter of fact, he became mayor for two whole terms. I would like to introduce to you to, Mr. Fred Rast, our wonderful Mayor for the last eight years. Over the last eight years, he along with the Atlantic Highlands Community Events Committee, of which my family and I have had the privilege of serving on, has successfully donated over one hundred and twenty thousand dollars to various organizations from The Atlantic Highlands Historical Society to the Atlantic Highlands Fire Department. Mr. Rast also supports our business district and wants Atlantic Highlands to grow and prosper to be the wonderful town it always was and will be.
However, with the new prospects for candidacy for the Republican ticket, I often wonder if we can throw them back and find new. On the town level, I have known Jack and although France and Jim are rather new to the game, Jack is not. I know most would say I am biased because my father ran against Jack in the primary earlier this year and lost. But, I have news for you, I am my own mind, I have seen what goes on and have served on committees with Jack (for a few months anyway). Earlier this year I had served on the Atlantic Highlands Recreation Committee with Jack and he has only showed up for a handful of meetings and they are once a month.
Typically, the stipulation for any person serving on a committee is if you miss three consecutive meetings you get a warning of replacement. If you continue to miss meetings they further move to replace you on that committee. From what I have seen first hand, Mr. Archibald would miss two meetings and attend one so technically he falls under that “If you miss three meetings rule”, as well as showing up late for various meetings. His excuse being that “He was on the boat from NYC” or “He had another meeting to go to”. Mr. Archibald also voted against the nationally accredited organizations, better known as the Boy and Girl Scouts, to prevent them from camping in Lenape Woods, thus proving he does not support the future youth of our town. Seeing as this letter might make it to the public, let me ask you this – is this what we really want? Mr. Rast was always seen on First Avenue, he cared about the future of this town and the kids that live in it. Are we going to have four years of another do nothing mayor, and if I recall correctly, much like the Mike Harmon days, where if I stand up and speak in a meeting is he going to roll his eyes at me? I know as a young voter as well as a woman facing marriage, buying a house, having kids, paying taxes, so on and so forth, I would like a mayor that I can sit down and have a chat with about the issues over a cup of coffee. Not someone that’s going to ignore me if I have an issue.
I am a fourth generation resident here and I am very deeply concerned for the future of our town if Mr. Archibald gets in as mayor. I am concerned because on more than one occasion that I have sat in on a council meeting, I have observed Ms. Jane Frotton on her phone and signaling Mr. Archibald to look at his cellular device. Another question I would like to ask the public is, do we want a mayor that can’t answer questions for himself? I know as a young voter, I do not. Also, I would like to point out how immature the situation with Ms. Frotton is because of the fact that I personally witnessed and reported her for taking a picture of a fellow resident about to vote, and she proceeded to show it off to other people in the room, which then resulted in her being removed from the premises. These people my dear friends, could be the future of our town.
Please, think long and hard about your decision and the future of our town on November 3rd, 2015.
Atlantic Highlands, NJ