Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Eugene Walsh, Ex-Freeholder

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Eugene Walsh, Ex-Freeholder

Article excerpt

Eugene Walsh, who as an outspoken young Democrat served one term on the Bergen County Freeholder Board -- and voted to create Bergen Community College -- died Friday. He was 83 and a resident of Washington Township.

Politically active in Englewood in the early 1960s, Mr. Walsh won election as a freeholder in 1964, swept along in the Democratic tsunami that earned President Lyndon Johnson four more years. The Record reported that Mr. Walsh, at 32, was believed to be the youngest county freeholder in New Jersey history.

The freeholder vote establishing a county community college in Paramus occurred in 1965. Mr. Walsh had argued against another potential site for the school, near Campgaw Mountain, saying the lack of a direct road link would inconvenience students from southeastern Bergen.

Despite his youth, Mr. Walsh was hardly a shy freeholder. He accused Republicans of ignoring the Democrats' budget-reducing motions and clashed with the GOP freeholder director, Robert Olsen. In October 1965, Mr. Walsh noted that Democrats found that the county consistently paid 30 percent more for bologna, bacon, salami and frankfurters than the supermarket price and accused Olsen of obscuring waste and inefficiency in the Purchasing Department. "What special butchering, handling, fat-trimming and boning out did Mr. Olsen get?" he asked.

Later that month, Mr. Walsh objected to an Olsen campaign letter bearing a county postage meter stamp.

Olsen fired back, saying Mr. Walsh's official trip to Florida to inspect incineration plants was instigated by personal business involving a death in his family. Mr. Walsh said Olsen's charges were untruthful and despicable.

During his 1967 reelection bid, some Republicans accused Mr. Walsh of a conflict of interest for holding both the freeholder job and a $12,000-a-year position as management consultant for the state Sales Tax Bureau. …

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