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.