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Beck Discovers Story of One Town's 'Declaration of Independence


"We are Vernon citizens who have had enough!"

Glenn Beck clearly works hard to make sure that each segment of his GBTV show ranks high in measures of quality and content. But you can tell when he classifies a topic as a "must watch" segment. There are two such clips in this post.

Consider this a story of a destiny reclaimed. One town, best by squabbles and scandals, rises up to chart a new and very American course.

Until November 2010, Vernon Township, New Jersey did not have a Mayor. Instead, the town functioned under the Faulkner Act – a "council-manager" – form of government. Under this system council members perform the town's necessary administrative functions, with one council member serving either as an appointed (by the council members) or elected "mayor." Effectively this individual is a figurehead and does not possess actual veto power. In addition, the council usually hires a "manager" to serve as the town's chief executive. Typically, the result is a recipe for confusion, corruption and government inefficiency.

Interestingly enough, in Vernon’s case the majority of its residents happened to be conservative, effectively eliminating Independents and Democrats from having any say in their local government. As it were, Vernon, NJ essentially operated as a single party township.

The tipping point for residents came when the sleepy town's government scandals, in-fighting and inefficiency became regular occurrences, often featured in local and national newspapers. It was then, in the fall of 2010, that the people of Vernon had had enough, and decided to toss out their entire local government, replacing it with a Mayor-Council form of government, where the Mayor is directly elected by the voters. The townsfolk, among other factors, cited the Declaration of Independence as their inspiration for changing their little town for the better.

The following excerpt was taken from "Change Vernon's Government" Facebook page from 2010:

In August 2010, 3,721 citizens of Vernon Township said that they have had enough, and they want to put a question on referendum to change their form of government. Vote "YES" on the November 2, 2010 referendum.

Our mission is to change our form of government in Vernon, N.J. to a government that is more accountable directly to the voters. We have had enough mismanagement, wasteful spending, poor planning, and incompetencein our township and want to restore integrity to our township government by having the ability to directly vote for our mayor, something we do not currently have the right to do. We are fed up with the stranglehold and unwholesome control the same group of partisan politicians have had on our town, constantly putting us in the headlines with embarrassment, corruption, mismanagement, and inappropriate interference in our town government and municipal operations. We want to elect qualified non-partisan candidates to our governing body.

Sound familiar?


So did the town ever get to elect their real mayor? Watch the GBTV clips below to see what the people of Vernon did:

Bold emphasis added by The Blaze.

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