The following was sent to us this afternoon.
While searching for why we, the citizens in Cumberland County, received no federal stimulus dollars I found a website that provided some very useful information. To quote:
“We were extremely disappointed to learn in March that Cumberland County – New Jersey’s poorest county – was to receive no money from the state’s share of $894 million in transportation funding from the federal economic stimulus package.
This was an inexplicable decision, and we weren’t going to accept it.
This decision treated Cumberland County unfairly, and we found it hard to believe no Cumberland County projects were among the 55 chosen to receive nearly $1 billion. That’s a lot of money. Surely there was room for Cumberland County.
It was particularly baffling considering how Cumberland County has one of New Jersey’s highest unemployment rates – topping 10 percent – and one of the federal stimulus package’s main goals is to create jobs.
To put it simply, this decision was unacceptable . . . ”
Who wrote that? None other than our first district Democrat Assemblyman Matt Milam. What does this tell you about the leadership and direction in our first district and in Cumberland County?
Cumberland County is part of the first and third legislative districts. We have two Democrat Senators, four Democrat Assemblymen, a Freeholder board comprised of seven Democrats not to mention our Democrat governor and a Democrat inspired stimulus program from the Democrat controlled United States Congress and yet Cumberland County, the poorest county in the state, gets NOTHING.
I can’t imagine a clearer demonstration of the lack of leadership and vision that the Democrat controlled Freeholders have for our county. The current Freeholder director, Lou Magazzu has steadfastly claimed that we received no stimulus dollars because those dollars were earmarked for urban areas with populations of at least 200,000 people. That is simply not true. How did Salem County get money? That’s right. Salem county, with fewer people than Cumberland received stimulus dollars. You don’t have to take my word for it (and you should not take Lou Magazzu’s word for it. Just go to www.staterecovery.org or to www.fhwa.dot.gov/economicrecovery/guidance.htm. See for yourself. You are being lied to.
The truth is that of the $652 million, only $175 million was restricted to those areas with populations of 200,000 or greater. This means that there was still over $450 million available for counties like Salem and Cumberland. Part of the requirement to receive those funds was that there be “shovel ready” projects to spend them on. Salem County was ready. Cape May County was ready. Gloucester County was ready. But our leadership in Cumberland county was not. They had exactly ZERO projects ready and so we received exactly ZERO dollars.
Instead of getting federal stimulus dollars to help our County with new projects, Cumberland County is spending our own money to fix the debacle at the County Court House which is draped in “diapers” to prevent pieces of the façade from falling off and surrounded in sandbags to prevent more flooding. We are also spending tax dollars on the $4.5 million dollars that our county paid for illegal strip searches at the prison and the $18 million dollars in the 2010 budget for a new administration building. Do you remember any discussion of the need for an $18 million dollar administration building for county government? I don’t. I remember the Lou Magazzu trying to get rid of Prosecutor Casella because he had the audacity to demand adequate facilities to conduct his essential operations. The Court agreed with the Prosecutor and ordered the County to comply and Lou Magazzu threw a hissy fit. But spend $18 million on a building for him and that’s fine.
Do you really need more examples of why a 7 member Democrat Freeholder Board is a bad idea? I don’t think so. One party rule has dismally failed the County. It’s time for a change. Make that change by electing me, Rick Tonetta and Tom Sheppard as Freeholders.
Republican Freeholder Candidate