Wow! What a Ride!
The 1st Year in Review
Author Hunter Thompson is the writer of my favorite quote of all time: He certainly had his share of personal issues but once wrote:
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”
Now that certainly would have described some of my trips to Key West during the past years, but I never would have thought that quote would cover an entire year of my life.
You all know the story by now. I was supposed to be in a quiet corner of the NJ State PBA office, answering your pension questions and doing the pension seminar road show. I enjoyed the work and would have been happy to finish out my career there. Things happen in life that we aren’t always expecting. Needless to say, I wasn’t expecting to be sitting at the president’s desk. But I’m certainly glad it happened that way.
“Wow! What a ride!” certainly sums up our first year. It seems like Marc and I just hit the ground a few weeks ago. We started in July of 2014, and we were immediately hit with two tragic line-of-duty deaths and a governor that was intent on disrespecting a slain teacher’s life and the honorable work of teachers, firefighters and police officers that constructed a playground in Long Beach Island in her honor. For the record, we kept him off the playground that day. We also made a pledge to our membership to meet every single legislator in six months.
We knew how important it was to reconnect in Trenton after some very disappointing years from many of our legislators. We soon realized it would take more like a year and we are only about a dozen short as of today, but we will be done very soon. Our governor has kept us busy doing everything but making good decisions for our state. The pension debacle has compounded; he is pushing police consolidation as the miracle cure for New Jersey policing and commissioned the pension roadmap that led nowhere good for those of us in PFRS. I’ve only scratched the surface of our first year, but I know much more will be covered in this issue.
For those that believed in us and showed up for us this past year when we needed you, I offer you a very sincere “THANK YOU!” For those who haven’t yet, we still need your help. Trenton Day 2 is in the works, and we have one hell of a big election coming up this November.
For the kind words everywhere we go, trust me…it really is appreciated. Our successes have certainly outweighed our disappointments, and I’m sure year two will also be full of curve balls, speed bumps and a lot of great successes too.
God-willing, I will be sitting at the same desk next year, reflecting on year two and thinking “Wow! What a ride!”