Sam Fiocchi sent this to me and requested that it be placed on The Watch.
A new year, same song
On January 14th, I attended the first Freeholder meeting for Cumberland County to a room full of people, interested in the new budget shortfall and the effects of such on Cumberland Manor, the county’s nursing facility. It was pointed out at the meeting that the Manor is on of the few departments in the county that actually brings in money whereas the other departments just cost the taxpayers. Albeit it runs at a deficit, it still is a huge contributor to the county budget but additionally it provides jobs for many people and their goods and services are hopefully purchased from county based vendors thereby adding to the local economy.
But while the focus of the attention was on the Manor, newly elected Freeholder Sheppard (the voice of reason on the Board) suggested there be an independent audit of ALL departments in the county to ascertain where savings could be had. It is extremely important that the auditor come from outside the county government so as to give an honest and fair assessment of where positive changes can be made.
Nelson Thompson’s response was, “how much does this cost?’. Isn’t that the same as going to your friend and saying “I’m not feeling well”, your friend doesn’t know what’s wrong but is surely sympathetic. I would go see a doctor and maybe run some tests, I am not going to ask the doctor, “how much are the tests?”
The people of Cumberland County should know where and how their tax money is being spent and an audit will provide that to the Freeholder board and citizens of Cumberland County. I was prepared to ask the Freeholder board myself but in line with past tradition, the regular meeting was changed to the evening prior. Just like last year, meetings changed to suit the Freeholders not the citizens. I guess too many people attended the last meeting.