The Elements of Leadership

BY: SALVATORE PIZZURO

Leadership constitutes a responsibility, not a privilege. With that responsibility, a leader must make decisions based on the welfare of those he/she represents; the personal power of the leader should never be a concept within the various elements that create leadership. Thus, the current events that surround the Bergen County Democratic Organization boggle the imagination.

As a member of the County Committee, I attended a Convention last winter, during which we were supposed to nominate a Freeholder candidate. I arrived more than two hours before the voting procedure was to be closed, only to learn that Chairman Ferriero had arbitrarily closed the voting only fifteen minutes after it had begun. This outrageous breach of the Democratic procedure was intolerable. As a result, I vowed to never again serve as a County Committeeman as long as Mr. Ferriero or his henchmen served in leadership positions. Consequently, I did not run for reelection and my voting district remains unrepresented.

Now, in January 2009, I learn that Mr. Ferriero, who was indicted and subsequently went on a leave of absence many months ago, has reappeared in an official capacity in order to fire an attorney. It is beyond any imagined belief that Mr. Ferriero could demonstrate such arrogance and contempt for the wishes of the Democratic Committee. This only affirms my belief that he was never interested in the welfare of the Democratic Party, but only in his own personal power.

The American approach to politics, for so long based on a two party system, is dependent upon a true democratic process in order to serve the public good. Whether Republican or Democrat, the party worker is engaged in an activity as part of a team that operates from the consensus of all members. The very concept of a dictatorship emanating from the leadership ultimately destroys any possibility of noble service. This is especially true when the dictatorship-like actions of the leadership is designed to serve the leaders, and not the party, the members, or society at large.

Recent political posts suggest that there will be no competition for the handpicked successor who will be elected at the County Convention on January 22nd (before this op. ed. piece will be printed). Possible candidates have since withdrawn, leaving the BCDO membership with no opportunity to engage in a democratic process. This is quite a coup for a Chairman who has been indicted and asked to resign by the Governor, no less.

I will remain a registered Democrat and will speak out on issues that impact on all residents of Bergen County and New Jersey. Nevertheless, I refuse to be associated with the sickness that emerges from the BCDO, given the current leadership. No individual associated with Mr. Ferriero should even consider a leadership position with the Party. As for Mr. Ferriero, if he truly is concerned about the welfare of the Party, he should simply go away quietly and never be heard from again.

Dr. Salvatore Pizzuro (Ed.D.), Disability Policy Specialist; Learning Consultant; Transition Specialist;
Parent/Family Advocate; Resigned Bergen County Democratic Committeeman – East Rutherford

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