Interesting theory – but wrong!

RD Owens has an amusing, if incorrect – theory on the current CCIA fiasco.

With the ouster of Steve Wymbs from the Cumberland County Improvement Authority, we are now hearing the “true” story of the CCIA. It will be spun in Freeholder Director Lou Magazzu’s favor.

Bob is very conservative, he comes by this trait honestly, and this philosophy tends to color his arguments. I won’t argue political philosophy here, or touch on his statements such as:

But this is Magazzu’s government. A dump should not be a multi-million dollar grant-issuing machine. It should be a location that collects trash. When government gets involved and has a dump floating debt to fund political favors, that is when a dump leaves its mission.

In New Jersey, the way to get around the public having any say in public debt is to authorize authorities and agencies to have bond writing abilities.

Owens is overly simplistic in his description and analysis – he sees black and white, with no shades of gray, let alone any room for color. We could discuss the benefits versus the drawbacks to using the surplus of the CCIA – a surplus gained from charging the lowest tipping fees in the region thus saving our own residents money as well as the profit from taking trash from other counties and bringing their money into our county – to benefit worthy projects, including giving money back to the county to offset our tax rate. But that is best left to political pundits arguing tenets rather than pure facts.

Bob’s mistake is in believing that once a person is associated with Magazzu, that Magazzu is loyal to them. Magazzu will use people for his own purpose and then stab them in the back, or discard them after his purpose has been served. To Magazzu, people are worth only the services they can provide to him. Once their usefulness has been exceeded, they will be cast aside. Just ask Robert O’Donnell.

The connection drawn by Owens between Magazzu and the Levoy is off base. It is an easy error if you are an outsider looking in, but utterly incorrect. In fact, Magazzu would like nothing better than for the Levoy to fail. Barring that, he will work to ensure that his own Vineland Landis Theater opens first. Remember – Lou’s NACo slush fund was the recipient of a donation from the non-profit Landis Theater. If you have nothing to give to Lou, it is apparent that he has nothing to give you in return.


12 Responses to Interesting theory – but wrong!

  1. […] For this I will be castigated. […]

  2. HLampart says:

    But yet the Levoy received $1,000,000 and will reportedly receive a waiver for its own tipping fees, whereas the Landis received nada, and paid its tipping fees. I guess I am the outsider looking in.

  3. Calhoun says:

    This has been an interesting discussion. I basically agree with Owens in that the CCIA should not be in the grant business, even when this money goes to worthy causes. Having said that I also have no problem with CCIA operating with a large surplus.

    Ordinarily, my position would be that the CCIA should not run a surplus, a surplus indicating that its tipping fees are too high and that they should be lowered, thus putting that money back into the pockets of private citizens and companies.

    (This is my position with Millville water and sewerage authority. Recently, Millville raised the water and sewer rates to fund upgrades. They did so even though they had been running surpluses in this budget line for years. Rather than lower the rate or allow the surpluses to accrue and thus fund future upgrades without the need for increased fees, the City has been transferring that money to the general fund to keep tax increases lower. This is just plain wrong because a subset of Millville’s citizens — those that use city water and sewer — are disproportionately contributing to the general fund, while also not allowing this money to be retained for future upgrades. This unfairnes did not stop Commissioners Derella and Finch from having city officials give a a big presentation on the need for the increase in fees to fund needed upgrades last November! I will be blunt, Derella’s and Finch’s actions are disingenuous and unethical.)

    The CCIA situation is different because it accepts out of County waste, thus changing the calculus, such that it should run a surplus since it services more than just the County. However, I don’t approve of the CCIA being in charge of these funds because it allows this largesse to be doled out by an unelected board of individuals. Ideally, the surplus should be transferred to the County and dealt with there. This gives the public some say in the matter at least in that they have elective power over the freeholders.

    The conundrum here is that we have an ethically challenged freeholder director, whom I would prefer not have more money at his discretion for slush fund tomfoolery. Thus, I was content to have Wymbs dole out the dough, even if it was a less than an ideal situation. Now that we have Lou’s Moes, Larrys, and Curlys running the CCIA it matters little whether the CCIA or the County deal with the CCIA money — Lou will now direct things regardless.

    So, in a perfect world we have a CCIA that turns over its surplus to the freeholders, who then uses it wisely for the maximum benefit of its citizens. However, in the world of Magazzu-led Cumberland County, this money will no doubt find its way to Lou’s loyalists irrespective of whether it comes directly from the CCIA or the County. Let’s all hope that the tonnage out there keeps slipping and thus preventing those surpluses that Lou would like to get his paws on.

    As an aside, with the death of J.D. Salinger (R.D. has already touched on J.D.’s death), I suspect many of us have been thinking of “The Catcher in the Rye”. I can’t help but think of Holden’s ideas on “phonies”, and how everytime I meet one of Lou’s allies, I always think “Geez, what a phony”.

    I also got to thinking about how great it would be to have Edgar Marsalla from “Catcher” attend the Freeholder meetings and use his talent when Lou is saying something particularly “phony”. For those who don’t remember Marsala, read the passage at the end of my post. Who’s with me? Let’s spread the word and get the County’s best Edgar Marsalla at the those freeholder meetings to blow the roof off the place.

    Edgar Marsalla passage from “Catcher”: “I lived in the Ossenburger Memorial Wing of the new dorms…It was named after this guy Ossenburger that went to Pencey. He made a pot of dough in the undertaking business after he got out of Pencey. What he did, he started these undertaking parlors all over the country that you could get members of your family buried for about five bucks apiece. You should see old Ossenburger. He probably just shoves them in a sack and dumps them in the river.

    Anyway, he gave Pencey a pile of dough, and they named our wing after him. The first football game of the year, he came up to school in this big goddam Cadillac, and we all had to stand up in the grandstand and give him a locomotive – that’s a cheer. Then, the next morning, in chapel, he made a speech that lasted about ten hours. He started off with about fifty corny jokes, just to show us what a regular guy he was. Very big deal. Then he started telling us how he was never ashamed, when he was in some kind of trouble or something, to get right down on his knees and pray to God. He told us we should always pray to God – talk to Him and all – wherever we were. He told us we ought to think of Jesus as our buddy and all. He said he talked to Jesus all the time. Even when he was driving his car. That killed me. I can just see the big phony bastard shifting into first gear and asking Jesus to send him a few more stiffs.

    The only good part of his speech was right in the middle of it. He was telling us all about what a swell guy he was, what a hot-shot and all, then all of a sudden this guy sitting in the row in front of me, Edgar Marsalla, laid this terrific fart. It was a very crude thing to do, in chapel and all, but it was also quite amusing. Old Marsalla. He damn near blew the roof off. Hardly anybody laughed out loud, and old Ossenburger made out like he didn’t even hear it, but old Thurmer, the headmaster, was sitting right next to him on the rostrum and all, and you could tell he heard it. Boy, was he sore..”

  4. WuLi says:

    As usual, Calhoun, you are dead nuts on.

    Salinger’s death (here was a man that enjoyed anonymity so much that many people suspected he was already deceased) caused me to search through our (Liz and my) extensive library in search of The Catcher in the Rye – I found the dogeared paperback copy (printed 1964, and it was right next to Ellroy’s L.A. Confidential) and decided that it is time to refresh my memory of this classic. I might just sip some Blackbush as I sit down and crack the covers…

  5. Snafu Boy says:

    I am just curious why Lou promoted Lauren while at the same time tried to scuttle the progress at the Levoy. Did Lou have anything to do with the choice of Ogren as the construction mgr?? Were they picked cause due to a family relationship. The more you know the more smelly it gets

  6. WuLi says:

    As I said before – Lou is a Vineland boy – Vineland before Millville or any other city or twp. Take a look at the people behind the Landis Ave renovations – enough said. Landis Theater comes first, Levoy gets sacrificed.

    As far as the prosecutor position – I was told point blank that part of the arrangement was done merely to piss me off, and that Lou was behind it. Lou didn’t care who got what as long as Jim Swift got screwed (Jim Quinn said at the commission meeting he wanted to keep Millville people int he job at the same time he fired one Millville person and replaced him with a Cape May person) and Brock stayed put (Lou told Lauren, according to her conversation with me, that Lou wanted Brock to stay to piss me off).

    I am sure you know more about Lauren and Ogren than I do, I only met him a few times – seems like a helluva nice guy. I understand that Ogren was one of the contractors involved in the Court House – you know, the one with the plastic drapes all around it… but I will leave that to people that know more about what really happened than I.

  7. Calhoun says:

    Re-reading “Catcher” while sipping some Black Bush sounds like a perfect plan for a snowy Saturday afternoon. I too may sample sample some Black Bush this afternoon, if I don’t give in and open a bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape I have that’s been tempting me all day.

  8. Guess-Who says:

    The $1,000,000.00 that C.C.I.A. Provided from their Budget for the City of Millville & the Sewer Project out by the Race Track(I believe that was the original request for this money from C.C.I.A.;correct me If I am wrong).

    Do you know if this money was Appropriated to the City of Millville for this project or Did they (City of Millville,NJ) have the Funds already Transferred into the City’s Account before the Levoy Received the One Million Dollar Forgivable Loan?

    Who gave the $1,000,000.00 to the LEVOY C.C.I.A. or Millville?
    That is just some of the QUESTIONS that will Need to be Answered.

    If it was only Appropriated it Never should have left the C.C.I.A. Accounts,Right or at least NOT until there was a Final Approval for the Project?

    If the Project was Canceled the $1,000,000.00 then should have been RETURNED to C.C.I.A Accounts if Millville did NOT need IT for the Original Use of the Funds.

    Checks & Balance make the County a Better Place

  9. ignatz says:

    widely publicized that millville requested that the $1 mil from ccia be removed from the original request to upgrade the roads to the motorsports park. also publicized that ccia wrote the check to millville for them to convey to the levoy. so it is millville itself that gave the $1 mil to the levoy…all covered by the local press

  10. Guess-Who says:

    You are Wrong, It was the C.C.I.A. Board that Transferred or OK the Funds to the Levoy.

    Where is the Proof of the Money Actually being Placed in the City of Millville Account & then Transferred by the City of Millville to the Levoy Theater Account?

    How many times has C.C.I.A. Doled-Out a Forgivable Loan/Grant or whatever you want to call them.
    Doesn’t Forgivable or Grant mean IT doesn’t need to be PAID-BACK!
    Well $1,000,000.00 is a lot of Money to just Forgo & we know that 2 of these were made & APPROVED by the Board at C.C.I.A.; where most of Lou’s appointments were/are sitting.
    The claim they Didn’t KNOW will NOT work should this be Used for Spin on this Matter.

    Don’t believe everything the Paper says unless they have the Proof & Facts to back their Claims.
    If they are taking someones WORD & NOT L{.}{.}King for the FACTS then they are being a Dis-Service to Our Community.

    Reporting Isn’t easy at All, Everyone you Interview wants to Control or Dominate you.
    It is easy to believe what you’re told at Face Value & leave the TRUTH untold by NOT Investigating.

    It is a Challenge this Community has to ACCEPT if we are going to end the Fact of being the POOREST County in the State of NJ.

    Unemployment is pushing 15% Here in CC.,NJ

    Does Anyone Really know what the Actual Numbers are of Individuals that either are NOT L{.}{.}King for Work or their Unemployment Benefits have Completely EXPIRED or the Worker can’t Find Full Time Employment & has to accept only Part-Time WORK?
    Those Numbers are more than likely in the upper teens or could even be around 20% if NOT higher.

    Tough Questions are AWAITING these Freeholders & Plenty of Other Cumberland County Officials Elected & Appointed,These Facts are Stubborn Things.

    Checks and Balance make the County a Better Place

  11. Lucky the Dog says:

    Remi, your posts give me a headache!

    The CCIA funds are to Millville. Millville asked for permission to re-direct them to the Levoy. Millville reportedly is paying interest at a low rate and the loan is forgiven over some period of years. It gets smaller every year. The CCIA actually gets income, or a partial return of cash, over those years.

    Maybe this site should go back to dealing with real problems like how Lou managed to make it snow again, the bastard.

  12. Grinch says:

    Lou Made it snow? I am sick and tired of him messing up my weekends. When are we going to get some of that good Camden weather?

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