Thomas "Hopeless" Hartman has finally performed a bona fide public service for Barnegat Township. In a pathetic monologue replete with choked-back crocodile tears, Hopeless announced he is dropping off the ballot for the November election.
ET had a ringside seat for this nauseating spectacle this past Monday at town hall. There he was, poor Hopeless claiming that "health reasons" were the cause for his decision. And while ET would never exploit the medical concerns of any human being, we are not buying Hartman's transparent excuse. One member of our consortium had a double mastectomy, underwent five months of chemotherapy and still remained at her elected post. Another served his city well and stood for two successful reelections despite a battle with prostate cancer. Feeling sorry for one's self is not something ET has any tolerance for. Especially when it is perpetrated by a public official who is a first class bum.
ET has come to acquire several valuable sources of information. And two of those sources confirm that Hartman was read the riot act by a bag man sent by the Ocean County Republican bosses in Toms River. Hell, it was easy to convince Hopeless to follow orders. It was this same political whore house that rescued the possibly incompetent Hartman and gave him a county job after Hopeless was canned by two private sector employers in less than thirteen months. Hartman either dances to their music or the orchestra stops playing and he is back on the bricks.
What legacy does Hopeless Hartman leave behind? Did Hartman help bring some relief to overburdened taxpayers by working to reduce taxes like good Republicans should?
Hell no. This bum and his Republican cohorts Melchiondo and Cirulli brought to town a tax reassessment company that crippled Barnegat with the largest tax increase in our town's history.
And that is only one line-item of dozens of acts of mismanagement, abuse of power and other skullduggery.
ET could fill ten columns with Thomas Hartman's misdeeds. Costly misdeeds that hit every Barnegat taxpayer smack dab in the pocketbook. Misdeeds that made it impossible for some residents to take a vacation, fix up their home or give their kids decent holiday presents. Misdeeds that served to discourage merchants from opening up shop in 08005 and drove others out of business. Misdeeds that are directly responsible for the many homes that were abandoned by our neighbors who just could not afford the taxes.
Thomas Hartman is a person who never should have been in public office to begin with. When he won election it was by the smallest of margins. And he won not because he was the better candidate, Hopeless won because the opposing candidate was a bigger bozo than him and ran a campaign that was ineffective.
Thomas Hartman had no problem supporting the bigotry of Alphonse "Big Al" Cirulli when it came to denying constituents the simple nicety of a ceremony of civil union. Hartman clung tight to scripture and poisoned the good book with cleverly disguised hatred and wickedness. His example to young people was one of evil, duplicity and prejudice.
2008 was destined to be the year of Hartman's defrocking. The county bosses knew that. Even the local bag man of the Barnegat Republican Club discreetly voiced his often-ignored opinion that Hartman needed to go. The cigar smoking, beer guzzling and girl-chasing thugs who have a stranglehold on county government knew that they were about to lose the cash cow of 08005. Everything from the township attorney to the engineer and township administrator were at risk. Ain't none of 'em losing one red cent to protect Thomas Hartman. So much for honor among thieves!
ET has zero respect for Hopeless Hartman. We have watched his condescending attitude towards his constituents. We saw his callous apathy over the two arduous years he was mayor. And we saw him destroy several fabrics of tradition that once served to galvanize communities within our town.
What bothered us the most was Hartman's phony displays of emotion when he mentioned his "dedication" or his own family. When in the very next breath he caused intense emotional pain to other families. His act of desecrating Barnegat's Heritage Day was a prime example of just what a two-faced weasel he could be.
Thomas Hartman had one love. And that was Thomas Hartman. His ego hypnotized him into believing he was an effective public servant. The only thing Hartman ever served were his own self-interests. Hell, remember how he canonized the school district when he did not even have enough faith in our teachers to send his own kids to public school? Remember how he failed to abstain from voting on an approval for a new business even though he later acknowledged he had a conflict of interest?
There will be those who criticize ET for ranking out Hartman the way we have done in this column. While ET respects your right to your opinion, we could care less. Hartman's deplorable record speaks for itself. The indelible stain of his numerous screw ups will continue to cost taxpayers for decades to follow. Hartman does not merit praise or thanks. Thomas Hartman is not an elected official our town should be proud of. ET hopes the memories of townspeople will long remember how Thomas Hartman hurt their quality of life.
Hartman's time in office is best summed up by taking off the sympathy-laden rose colored glasses and realizing that it is not about what Thomas Hartman did FOR Barnegat. It is about what Thomas Hartman did TO Barnegat.
Don't let the door hit you in the caboose on the way out.