Once upon a time Andrew Lucas, R, the Mayor of Manalapan, acquired controlling interest in a failed real estate development company. The company had one valuable asset – a farm in Manalapan located next door to Mr. Lucas’.
John Kennedy famously, said “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” George H. W. Bush, like many Republicans of his generation, often spoke of “Service.” President Kennedy was eloquent, but it seems to me that he and the first President Bush were talking about the same thing.
Mr. Lucas answered the question, “I can give you the development rights to this failed development of 8 homes, for $1.152 Million.”
I understand the rationale for open space preservation and farmland preservation. Without farms we don’t eat. Without open space, we have no place to hike, to experience the natural world and to understand ourselves within it.
The Manalapan Township Committee – all Republican – once voted to place the Lucas Farm into Farmland Preservation. The Board of Freeholders voted to allow the deal to go forward. Amy Mallet, then the only Democrat on the board, voted against it. Rob Clifton, a Republican, then on the Board of Freeholders, today on the Assembly representing the 12 District, voted in favor of buying the Lucas Farm.
It’s written about in more detail on Monmouth Musings.
Incredible as it may seem, Mr. Lucas is still on the Manalapan Township Committee. The Lucas Farm Deal seems to be dividing the Republicans on the Manalapan Township Committee and the Republicans on the Board of Freeholders.
Personally I agree with Freeholder John Curley (R) who said
“If elected officials want to apply for government money for their properties, they should resign from office. We should not be using the positions the voters entrusted us with to enrich ourselves.
“Andrew Lucas has not been forthcoming about the details of his purchase of this property.”
“The freeholders will not approve this purchase.”
I hope he’s right and the Freeholders don’t approve the purchase. I would also like to see some Democrats on both the Manalapan Township Committee and on the Board of Freeholders of Monmouth County, as well as in the Senate and Assembly representing the 12 District.
Disclosure: I live in Manalapan, I’m opposed to the Lucas deal, and I’ve been asked to run for Assembly against Rob Clifton and Ron Dancer. And if you think I’ll be using their votes against Mr. Clifton and Mr. Dancer … you’re right. Because we can judge politicians by what they say and what they do. And Politics is too important to be left to the politicians.