Continuing to Serve Our Members
On Thursday, August 25, at the 34th Biennial Convention in Cambridge, Maryland, the New Jersey FOP delegates voted to re-elect me to another two-year term as president of the State Lodge. This would never have become reality without the constant backing of my family, friends and supporters within the State Lodge. I am absolutely humbled to serve our 13,000 members and will do everything in my power to do so with distinction and honor. I would also like to congratulate my entire Executive Board on their re-election to their current positions. I look forward to all of us working together as a team for you over the next two years.
After returning from the Convention, the Executive Board got right back to business. On September 16, I attended the National FOP Board of Directors Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee. At the meeting, a vote was taken to decide the National FOP endorsement for the upcoming presidential election. To obtain the NFOP endorsement, a candidate must receive at least two-thirds of the votes from the State Lodges. The results were 39 for Trump, zero for Clinton and five for no endorsement. Thus, the National FOP endorses Donald Trump for president of the United States in 2016.
On the local front, State Senate President Steve Sweeney refused to post the constitutional amendment bill in the Senate for a vote. It should be noted that we had a strong majority in the Senate and it would have passed without a problem. The Senate president’s refusal to post this bill made it impossible for the constitutional amendment to get on the ballot in November. This action took away the right of the citizens of New Jersey to vote on this important issue, the right that democracy gives them. Just remember, through his actions this State Senate president has again, as with Chapter 78, stopped the chances for proper funding of our pensions in New Jersey. I am delighted to advise you that Senator Sweeney has decided not to run for governor in 2017, a position he wanted badly. I guess he realized that his popularity with fellow Democrats, teachers and our organization has fallen off so much that he has no chance to be governor.
We continue to investigate the separation of our pension plan from the state-run pension. There have been some issues about equal representation on the board, timing with a new governor coming on in 2017, and the sponsor of the bill. The four public safety units will continue working on this to see if we can come up with a better system, improving what we have with the state or pulling out and running our own.
In closing, I would like to warn all our brothers and sisters in blue to watch one another’s backs. The law enforcement community is under attack — we saw it in Dallas and Baton Rouge, losing eight heroes in 10 days. Please be careful out there; our main goal is to return home to our families after a day of work.