A friend offers thoughts on the CCIA and Rainear

A friend of mine – one with a lot of insider knowledge – regularly offers me an insider’s view on county politics. Sometimes I just have to totally plagiarize their emails, because they are so succinct. So the following is almost not quite verbatim, I embellished here and there…

Don Rainear is not qualified to assess the status and future of the CCIA. The Democrats created a position of deputy director of the DRBA (Delaware River and Bay Authority) just for Don because he needed a job. He did such a splendid job that he was asked to leave by Sweeney, and acording to rumor, Corzine.

They also asked Gary Simmerman to leave, but you’ll have to ask Simmerman for that story.

The DRBA is a tribute to political patronage. The authority spends money with no restraint, or regard to fiscal responsibility. To their (and Rainear’s) discredit, the DRBA runs the Cape May Lewes Ferry at a deficit. If that were not bad enough, they also give tons of money to friends’ organizations (Gov. Christie spotted that!) and are going to raise the bridge tolls over the Delaware once again in June to a total of $5. Not exactly a training ground for a CCIA director… unless you are working for Lou Magazzu!

Recently, Gov. Christie returned their budget to them to redo because of the blatant and unrepentant waste. When Rainear was let go by the DRBA, Sweeney had to give him something. Why? Because he is an ardent and loyal “D”, and regardless of his qualifications, a job had to be found.  Doug Van Sant was moved to the Vineland DMV (Div. of Motor Vehicles) and Sweeney handed Don Rainear the Bridgeton agency until there was a vacancy (accurately foretold last year by MagazzuWatch) in the CCIA.

Now you must consider that Don Rainear lives in Cape May County. I have stated repeatedly that Lou Magazzu has no loyalty to Cumberland county, and is happy as a lark to pump our money out of town!

Someone recently mentioned on the Watch that Rainear was the last good mayor in Bridgeton.

.. excuse me – I am still laughing hysterically. Did you know that soda really hurts when it squirts out of your nose?

Mm-kay – so back to Mayor Rainear. He was involved in the defunct Bridgeton Redevelopment agency, the failed Bridgeton Port fiasco, and creating the unmanageable historic district. Bridgeton has wonderful historic treasures, but for heaven’s sake not the whole town! While mayor, Rainear’s friends were the only ones making money, while the city suffered.

Back to the CCIA. The authority has been continually evolving because of changes in state law. Initially,every county was required to have a landfill and could only take trash from intown; then the boundaries were opened to others; then recycling was rewarded, and then downgraded; and now it seems everyone will be going back to using their own landfill. During all these changes, the CCIA board and administration had adjusted successfully. It’s not a surprise that the flow to the landfill will be going down with the new regulations, and usually when that happens the fees rise for a while until things settle down or new regulations are imposed. It’s all part of the process.

But back to the problem (Rainear/Magazzu). If the CCIA board and the freeholders really wanted to know the details on the CCIA, they would call for an independent audit either by a state agency, or by a consultant who had never contributed to a political party (might be hard to find such a person!). That really is the problem. They gave a friend $130,000 to stand up and say things that they want you to hear rather than solve the problem. And, the problem still needs solving.


8 Responses to A friend offers thoughts on the CCIA and Rainear

  1. whatup says:

    Perhaps you should make some new friends. Friends with factual information not rumor and innuendos. Don Rainear was an outstanding mayor for Bridgeton as most people from that side of the County will tell you. Secondly Rainear according to all reports resigned from the DRBA were he was also lauded for his good work. Gary Simmerman has impeccable credentials but was not reappointed to the DRBA. My guess is that if you were to ask Simmerman about Rainear he would tell you that he was an outstanding Mayor and a very capable Deputy Director at the DRBA. Of course that perhaps wouldn’t serve your purpose of dragging down an outstanding public official whom you have admittedly NEVER met.

  2. Whoknew says:

    Whatup Says, you must be living in the Twi-light zone to believe Don was such an outstanding mayor. He moved out of town after he crippled it. But King Louie makes sure he takes care of him as well as Clair Miller, Todd Edwards, Donald Olbrich, Dale Finch, and many more. Stay tuned: King Lou’s not done paying off with plum jobs and appointments to his cronies.

  3. whatup says:

    Obviously you are in the minority since Rainear was elected as a 4 term Mayor serving 16 years. He could have continued serving the city even longer since he was according to those who lived in the city perhaps the best Mayor Bridgeton has ever seen.

  4. millvillemagnus says:

    Yeah, and Bridgeton today is testimony to Rainear’s success.

  5. whatup says:

    No it’s a testimony to those incapable Mayors who followed him in office. Most of the old Bridgeton people I know have wished the Don Rainear would return to the office of Mayor. Seems Bridgeton has been on a decline since he left office almost 20 years ago.

  6. WuLi says:

    Actually everybody I talk to is glad Rainear is out of Bridgeton.

    How stupid – to pass laws prohibiting building owners from renting out the upstairs as living space, hence helping merchants actually afford to stay downtown!

    Compare Bridgeton’s downtown to Millville, where occupancy increases annually, where the upstairs apartments are sought after accommodations (Joe Savaro of the race track rented one of these apartments – and business owners are able to subsidize their income and hence maintain occupied buildings.

  7. Lucky the Dog says:

    Just what Bridgeton needs, more apartments !

  8. WuLi says:

    Lucky – for the most part you are right – B’ton has a ratio of rentals to owner-occupied units that is so lopsided, the city might never be able to dig its way out. However, quality rentals are a necessity. And Millville has demonstrated that when businesses are allowed to rent apartments, they screen their tenants properly, and rent to quality tenants.

    This all depends, of course, on having quality businesses below – if the businesses in your business district are ghetto in nature, then the rentals will probably reflect that.

    However, to deny struggling businesses the right to subsidize their building expenses ultimately has a negative impact on the downtown as a whole. B’ton is a Main Street participant, and allowing owners to rent is certainly going to be one of the recommendations.

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