Burlco Freeholder Candidates Spar Over Hospital Sale

The Republicans have controlled the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders for more than two decades.  But they lost exclusivity on the board four years ago when the Democrats captured two seats.   

Obama was at the top of the ticket back then, and his bid for reelection is giving local Democrats fresh hope they again can win two seats on the board. 

 The race for two seats on the five-member board has centered on the controversial sale of a county-run hospital for the poor, cost overruns, and fiscal responsibility.

The GOP incumbents tout their record, saying they have been part of an all-Republican board that cut $25 million in spending, sold Buttonwood Hospital to stem an operating deficit, and kept taxes from rising.  

Their Democratic challengers, however, say the sale of the 100-year-old Buttonwood could have prevented with better management.  They also say the incumbents spent millions to expand the library, build a new fairgrounds, and renovate buildings, while increasing debt.