Politics is in essence meant to achieve order, voices to heard and balances in power to ensure stability. There are aspects of politics that include the known unsavory. There are those that bully and show unkindness, that one would hope a child would never learn or know, but it is a part of political life. It is natural to want to give, to improve, to hope for the future and listen and work or enhancement of the present. It is a battle to thrive when faced with those that do not have the same appreciated moral compass. Leadership is at its best when there is the presence of grace in hardships, strength in mistreatment, and intelligence and your beliefs guiding every decision.
As the Freeholder Director of Salem County I essentially oversee much of the government in all its forms, from landfill meetings discussing charges on the weight of waste to election meetings discussing appropriate polling places and training to meetings on budgets, audits, and salaries. This job is wonderful for anyone who truly loves politics as all aspects are covered, but with the caveat that one realizes that this job is a 24 hour, 7 day a week commitment to the community. Easily three nights a week, I do not return until well after dinner and the weekends are words stacked on my calendar of events not to be missed from raising spirit to helping fundraisers.
I am in politics for the county, the community, my family, and for my son and his future. I grew up in this county it is beautiful. It endless acres of crops and farms, and a simplicity that I appreciate increasingly with each passing year. There is the core of Salem County found in the fact that honor boxes outside farms and honey sheds simply leave the price and a note. One night I could see the gentleman swinging his honor box happily walking up the field into his home with the money left by unseen people to pay for what he had carefully set out for the day, and it is that sight that one cherishes. It was a vision that I recall when I work each day for this county. It was a vision of happiness, of hard work, of honesty and joy in the day.
My now two year old, wakes me up every morning well before the sun has thought to rise,and it is a blessing. I spend time with him, an I am allowed the peace to think of the morning, the day and the future. I have not always had an easy path to success in leadership. A woman, with an almost two month old son who takes office and now is the head of the county does not generally have a golden path lined out before her. It is often a challenge of diplomacy which I firmly believe in, to unite to have people realize where the common good is to start with and work for.
There is a realization that forward is the only acceptable movement for improvement and communication the skill to most hone. There are so many meetings around the county, state and country that are all intricate to improving my county. For those in office I urge you to go. Gain ideas and a broader prospective. Nothing is accomplished by sitting in the same rooms speaking with the same people about the same ideas. Politics requires activity of the person, of the mind, of allowance for growth and new ideas to improve the future of the ensuing next generation who deserve safety, jobs, quality health care and the access and circumstances to succeed in the opportunities they dream.