Lou should cut perks for part-timers

This letter that I penned will be in tomorrow’s News of Cumberland County:

Lou Magazzu ran for office boasting that he was fiscally responsible and had lowered property taxes. Of course we all know that nobody in the county saw their taxes decrease. Under Lou’s tenure, the county saw property taxes almost double in six years. We also saw county spending double.

The election is over and all of a sudden Lou acts surprised that the county is now facing an $8 million shortfall. Does he expect us to believe that he had no clue about the financial condition of the county?

If so, then he is admitting that he is incompetent and unfit to serve as freeholder director.
Lou claims that “several options” are being considered. Here is one option that Lou has refused to entertain, even though it has been brought to his attention repeatedly.

The county needs to eliminate the $20,000 health coverage perks for all part-time employees and all appointed board positions. Yes, every employee that has health coverage in the county costs the taxpayers $20,000. This figure is from Lou Magazzu’s own mouth at the candidates’ forum prior to the election.

If you work part time in the private sector you are not entitled to any benefits. If you work for the county, you apparently are entitled to all of the benefits enjoyed by full-time employees.

Board members of the Cumberland County Utilities Authority (CCUA) are required sit at 12 meetings a year, and get $3,000 plus the $20,000 health benefits package for their family. Some fail to attend even two meetings a year. Talk about no-show jobs.

I don’t know how many part-time employees we have in the county, but there are nine board members on the CCUA alone. That would equate into potential $180,000 savings by eliminating this costly and entirely political perk. There are seven freeholders — that is another $140,000 savings. After all, they were elected to serve the community, not to personally profit off of our backs.

It is time to demand that Lou show us action and not just lip service. Take the appropriate action, cut unnecessary perks, stop political favoritism, and show the taxpayers a real cut in the taxes they pay. Stop the phony numbers game.

Carl B. Johnson


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