ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ - The following is the New Year's message delivered by Mayor Fred Rast III at the Atlantic Highlands Borough reorganization meeting, January 1, 2015:
I feel troubled and afraid of the future!
As I look into the beautiful faces of my grandchildren, I wonder what is in store for them in the future? We live in an environment where so many of our USA citizens, continually do everything they can to detract from our country’s greatness. They constantly find fault in the USA and praise the rest of the world. They blame us, “The USA” for the world’s ills, when the truth is, that we as Americans, do more for the rest of humanity, then any other nation.
The United States I grew up in, does not exist anymore! It started to decline in the 60’s, when people who believed more in their personal pleasures and free lifestyle, made it fashionable to hold up Hollywood and Sports figures, as well as some foreign leaders, as their Heroes. They continually condemned and criticized our Military, Law Enforcement and Our Country as a whole. Unfortunately not all USA Detractors from that tragic point in History, changed as they got older! Many became members of our Government and some became Elected Officials. Many of them encourage our youth to continue to rundown our nation. They put their pleasures first, before their County and Community. They look down on people who are religious, who are community volunteers and those who are of middle or lower income.
In my opinion, every citizen should give back to his or her community as a volunteer, not for money or glory but for our survival!
Today’s “Political Correct Extremists”, have taught people to blame anything but one’s own actions for their conduct!
When a person takes a gun and kills people, it is not their fault, it is the gun manufacturer’s fault, for making the gun.
I will not personally and will not stand for other elected officials, to micro-manage the operations of our town. The professionals we have, at all levels of our town’s operation, know better than I do, how to do their job.
We are now a Mayor and Council for all citizens, no longer representing a political party but representing all citizens.
We will do everything in our power to enhance First Avenue and Home-based businesses, so that they can provide more local jobs, continue to pay taxes and proved services locally, so that our residents need not travel, to get life’s needs. Remember if commercial ratables are successful, it reduces the property taxes homeowners have to pay!
Atlantic Highlands through beautification projects, advertising projects and a cooperative effort between the Chamber of Commerce, Arts Council and other groups who have our community at heart, make this a great place to live.
Atlantic Highlands must remain a town where anyone, of any race, creed, religion, nation origin or personal beliefs, can walk our streets safely and unmolested. The only people who should fear our town’s streets, must be people who wish to do our citizen’s harm! Towards such goals I will be encouraging Public Safety projects as needed!
You may have recognized what I just said, I know most of you agree with what I said today and these are direct quotes from my first speech as your Mayor January 1st, 2008.
Unfortunately our country is in worse shape than it was in January 2008. Racial divides have reverted to the 1960’s.
Those responsible for troubles in the 60’s are once again responsible for today’s troubles.
The difference now is that those troublemakers of the 60’s are now elected officials of Congress, US Senate, Judicial and Executive Branches of the US government.
Thankfully our small community, in our beautiful county of Monmouth, has for the most part, remained unchangeable by the radical 60’s people.
We as a community, Atlantic Highlands, Highlands, parts of Middletown and our other Bayshore towns, have remained being a community that keeps political interference, racial divides, lack of respect for our fellow man to an absolute minimum. This is why our community remains as an oasis of good, for people to raise their families and live “the good life”.
During my life as a local Police Officer and Soldier, I found that even in the 60’s, we in this immediate area, continued to live in harmony. Our people stood together as “good neighbors” and protected each other. We rejected the outside troublemakers who tried to tear our community apart. Our church leaders from all denominations spoke out against those few troublemakers who tried to interject their hatred into our people.
Our town has been so lucky to have “good people” who respect one another in every way. The closeness of our community’s people is directly due to us working together, raising families together, and many of us, attending the same schools. Our inter marriages, have strengthened our ties. Our small town values, small town Policing and our volunteer organizations filled with great role models have made this the greatest place to live.
As elected officials, we have in most instances, kept true to “our code”. “Once elected “ you are elected to protect, defend and serve all our citizens, regardless if they are of different political parties or are people who don’t agree with our style of governing.
Further we need to remember that “government has no money” – all money comes from productive citizens who pay their fair share to keep government running. Money has to be spent wisely to ensure our “quality of life”.
Yes, I will characterize the past 7 years as very successful. We have finished more projects, than most communities get done in 30+ years.
Keep in mind that we have completed more projects, saved more money for our citizens and enhanced our lifestyle, all while going through very rough times.
The economy “tanked”, we have experienced 4 or 5 earthquakes, one of which was over 5.4 Richter Scale. We had Nor Easters, Hurricane Irene, Tropical Cyclone Sandy, landslides and some of the worst snow storms in years. However, we have kept the spirit of Atlantic Highlands alive.
I have been blessed to have been the Elected Mayor for these past 7 plus years, especially with exactly the same council members.
As I have always said, I am a conservative, independent thinking republican, who is moderate on many social issues, which are based on human dignity and my personal belief that all men are created equally and must be dealt with equally.
I have often said I believe in term limits, 8 years as Mayor, in my opinion is enough. One needs to make way for others to hold political offices. However, we have obligations to ensure that our replacement keeps up the good work needed to protect our community and the lifestyle of all our citizens.
I will not run again in 2015, for Mayor. However I will remain an active part of our community. I will make sure that whomever I endorse for Mayor, will be the best choice for our town, our lifestyle and all of our citizens!
I feel that the new Mayor must be someone who works night and day for our community, regardless if they are running for election or not.
My replacement for Mayor, must be someone who is experienced, who is electable and one who is not directed in his actions by outside influences from people who only concern themselves with politics. I want the next Mayor to be someone who will be available and totally supportive of our entire Bayshore Community. We all have an obligation to hold all elected official accountable! We must use all of our efforts to change our United States and take it back, to the strong nation it once was.
Thank you all for the past years of support. God Bless you, your families, our town and county and the United States of America.