Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Political Sun Sets on DeMarco
Apparently Burlington County Republicans were a bit stunned by losing the County Surrogate seat in November. When long-time Freeholder and LBI beach shop owner Vince Farias was rebuffed in his attempt to add the Surrogate position to his Freeholder spot in a blatant pension double-dipping maneuver, apparently the Burlington County Big Red Machine got the people's message. Yesterday, an unknown Moorestown attorney, John Comegno II, took over as Chair of the Burlington County Bridge Commission, one of the political plum jobs in the county. The position was previously held by former Chatsworth cranberry baron Garfield DeMarco. DeMarco, who sold his massive cranberry holdings to an environmental group in 2003, is a legendary figure in NJ and Burlington County politics, where he has long been a power broker. His dismissal by the Freeholders marks the surrender of his last official political office. Comegno will have his hands full. He takes over a place with no Executive Director, filled with patronage jobs, and beset with scandal. NOTE: The photo above is actually a December, 2006 shot of the sun going down over Demarco's former cranberry bogs along Route 563 in Chatsworth.