I received an email from an ardent supporter with their thoughts on today’s news – and some new items that haven’t made the newspapers yet. I hope I do justice, I am still trying to talk them into becoming a contributor to the Watch full time. I am paraphrasing and elaborating on their post. This person is an ardent Democrat, and long time environmentalist.
Jeff Van Drew blocked (or Sweeney blocked for Van Drew) the appointment of Larry Niles to the Pinelands Commission. Larry Niles is a scientist who has devoted his life to the bayshore region of our state and wider global environmental concerns. If appointed, Larry would have given up time to attend the meetings, represented us well and truly made a difference in the future of the Pinelands and NJ……for no compensation. I thought how lucky we were to have been able to have him represent us. Then Van Drew stopped it.
When you look at all the disgusting political appts. approved in Corzine’s last days, it’s hard to find the logic. Wonder who will get the nod now?
I have to admit that I don’t know much about Niles. Some sources say he is along time insider. Van Drew seems to be saying we need to loosen up restriction in the Pinelands – is that code for the neo-Democrats fast-tracking for developers? Maybe someone with more knowledge of the Pinelands could chime in?
Personally, I tend to favor property owners rights, especially f they were unfortunate enough to own land only to have their right to build a house on their land restricted. I am always suspicious of the “spotted owl” or “tree frog” arguments. However, we certainly do not need wanton build-out over the precious resource which includes the largest continuous plot of open space between Richmond and Boston and the fresh water aquifer that provides a good portion of the state with drinking water.
The articles today on the CCIA in the papers were incredible. Steve Wymbs ran the CCIA for 15 years with no problem and was always ready to help Lou with his budget deficits. Now Steve is gone and the CCIA can’t function ? Don Rainear, Joe Veight and Clair Miller could care less about the running of the CCIA and have no idea how to do it. Veight explains he wasn’t told of Atlantic County’s potential pull out of our landfill. I read about it months ago in the Press.
The Atlantic County deal pulling out was big news. If Veight didn’t know about that, then that is proof that he is totally incompetent. As a board member Veight has a duty to know the financial condition of the authority as well as current events that would affect the authority. He was probably too busy being a slumlord to be concerned with actually doing his job.
And then, to hear Bill Whelan say we have to pay more attention to it and maybe not bond for more cells. Six months ago, Whelan was proudly proclaiming it was a terrific time to bond and we were so fortunate the CCIA was able to do it without the county backing now. He really is in a cloud.
Again, as Freeholder and the man that ran on his credentials as a financial whiz, Bill is disappointing. I had hoped for more out of him. The majority of the CCIA board consists of Lou’s lackeys. The director ran day-to-day operations, but the board was privy to all information. And somehow this eluded big Lou? That makes as mush sense as Lou not knowing about the $4-8 Million budget shortfall that he announced immediately after being reelected.
Soon to be announced. Newly appointed CCIA board member Jose Velez is given the job at Social Services thanks to Joe Pepitone and Jane Jannarone forcing it, for about $80,000. More money than the previous lawyer, Jennifer Webb-McCrae. Now Veight and Velez are beholden to Lou for employment, and Al Kelley relies on Lou to steer grants his way. So much for an independent CCIA authority.
Wait – are you saying that the failed judge Velez is not taking the same $62,400 a year that Webb-McRae took? He is taking a 20% increase, much more than the “greedy” $75,000 that Lou is always talking about? And this is for a part time job? Are you saying that the man that can not stay employed was given a plum job by Lou Magazzu that pays $85.00 an hour when the county is facing 13% unemployment? Are you claiming that an incompetent person is getting this position merely for being a loyalist to Lou at the same time that Lou is threatening to lay of and furlough low level county employees?
If you were planning on attending the Freeholder meeting tomorrow, it’s been moved to tonight. It seems Lou couldn’t make the meeting tomorrow and the others are not competent enough to meet without him. It should be interesting. Wonder if they will discuss the chapel (whatever happened to the chapel?); Todd Edwards attendance at CCUA? Vine Street School renovations. The county’s award winning website still has no agenda for tonight online and hasn’t posted meeting minutes for over a month. Useless.
Once again we come to the ever-changing Freeholder meetings. The City of Millville holds city commission meetings every two weeks. The schedule is decided a year in advance, and the meetings occur on time. The Millville city commissioners take their jobs seriously, and arrange their schedules around the meetings. If the Mayor is not available due to other commitments, the commissioners meet anyway. They don’t need the mayor to hold their hands.
Is it too much to ask that Lou arrange his schedule around the freeholder agenda rather than otherwise? What is so important that he cannot perform his duty? If he cannot make it, there are still six freeholders to run the meeting.
Ah – but he cannot trust them to carry out his agenda without being under his watchful eye. It is unforgivable that not only was the meeting moved at the last minute in a transparent attempt to confuse the public that might be interested in attending, but also that the freeholders have refused to post the agenda on the $40,000 website.
We have to wonder just what nonsense Lou is trying to ram through without the public knowing about it?