CurleyburryIn the driver’s seat: John Curley and his running mate, as seen at Red Bank’s Centennial Parade in May.

The Asbury Park Press editorial page has thrown its weight behind former Red Bank Councilman John Curley in his race for Freeholder.

Along with his Republican running mate, incumbent Freeholder Director Lillian Burry, Curley hopes to halt gains by Democrats, long the minority party on the board. A dual win by the Democrats would give them a 4-1 majority.

Today’s editorial says “voters would be better served by retaining the 3-2 Republican majority.”

From the endorsement:

Curley would be a valuable addition to the board. He is a fiscal conservative, a strong proponent of pay-to-play reform and a staunch advocate of transparency in government. He had an outstanding record of constituent service in Red Bank and he understands government spending cannot be kept in check without keeping employee union contracts under control — a point that continues to elude too many public officials. Holding the line in negotiations will be particularly important next year with several union contracts expiring, including that of the corrections officers.

The Democratic candidates are Amy Mallet, a local businesswoman who lost an Assembly bid in the 12th District last year, and Glenn Mason, president of the Hazlet school board and a retired law enforcement officer. Both have less to offer than Burry and Curley.

There is more work to be done on the freeholder board. It needs to conduct its meetings in the evenings, when more members of the public can attend. It needs to bid on professional services, particularly engineering and all types of insurance. And it needs to bring down legal costs. Having said that, the board has come a long way in the past two years. This year, it has worked well under Burry’s direction and would work even better under the watchful eye of Curley.

Curley, whose Red Bank council term was to have ended this year, moved to Middletown and resigned from the council in July.

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