Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Lou Magazzu has been very quiet lately. It is completely out of character for him to miss any opportunity to have his picture plastered in the newspapers; I wonder what is in the air? In today’s News of Cumberland County Lou allows lackey Jane Jannarone to announce that the freeholders are going to vote on an “absence policy”.

Cumberland County freeholders may vote Thursday on a new attendance policy for people serving on freeholder-appointed boards and commissions, according to Freeholder Jane Jannarone.

Jannarone said that the policy is the result of a situation with Cumberland County Utilities Authority Commissioner Todd Edwards, who missed eight out of 12 of the CCUA’s monthly meetings in 2009.

Freeholders have yet to decide whether his absences were excused or unexcused.

“Basically, the new policy has in there that if you miss three consecutive meetings … unexcused … or if you miss so many meetings during the year, you have to put into writing why you were absent. If the absences are not excused, it puts your position in jeopardy,” she said Friday. “It gives examples of what is excused: maternity leave and things like that … sickness, emergency situations.”

I have several problems with the looseness of the new policy which is only a tad better than having no policy at all. I first problem is WHY did Lou Magazzu allow these boards to not have an attendance policy? I have served on many boards and committee, and sit on several  presently – The RRCA, DaVinci Art Alliance, Weed and Seed Steering Committee, AHOME, the Millville Republican Organization, Citizen-Police Advisory Council – and one thing every single board and committee had in common was an attendance policy.

It is going to take three missed meetings in a row to require action? Huh? Are you telling me that a person can refuse to attend meetings for three months, make up a reason and still be PAID to sit on a committee such as the CCUA?  It seems that someone like Todd Edwards is smart enough o figure out how to abuse the system, and will attend every other meeting, still getting paid for not showing up to work! Three meetings is 25% of the entire time required to sit on a board such as the CCUA that meets once a month. What would happen if you missed one out of every four days of work? But Lou Magazzu and his merry band of losers seem to think that this is all right.

I like where Jane says, “or if you miss so many meetings” – that is a quantifiable objective! Please Jane, would you expound a bit on what “so many meetings” is? Is is eight out of twelve? How about five or six, I understand that many of the CCUA and CCIA members miss that many.

I have voluntarily resigned from some boards because I knew that I could not give them the attention they deserved, and would not be able to re-arrange my schedule to accommodate and make every meeting. It is time that the losers that are getting taxpayer subsidized perks recuse themselves if they are not going to make even a modicum of effort to attend meetings that until now were not even mandatory.

Maternity – a pregnant woman can use that as an excuse to miss nine months of meetings and still collect a salary and taxpayer funded health benefits? She is sitting in a chair at a table for heaven’s sakes! Unless a doctor orders that she be bedridden for health reasons, pregnancy does not fall into the category of a disability!

As with all things that have the Magazzu stamp of approval, this policy is nothing but a sham, it is a feel-good policy that serves one purpose, only to make the public think that the freeholders are actually doing something to address a serious issue without changing the status quo.

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4 Responses to Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

  1. Grumpy Liberal says:

    Jane is the WORST!! What a lacky. Can’t wait to see her run on her record…then again she will just kiss the brass ring of Lou!

  2. Demo Joe says:

    Interesting as to how wide spread the attendance problem is. Review this excerpt from the “Lou Chronicles Part 3.

    41. Another Lou friend, Don Olbrich, former city councilman in Bridgeton, has been hired by Nelson Thompson and Lou as head of the county’s Road Department. To make room for Olbrich, a former union member, who rose through the ranks to this position, was fired (ok, suggested he retire). However, Olbrich’s salary will be about $30,000 to $40,000 more than this previous person. Olbrich had been appointed earlier to the Cumberland County Utilities Authority – a move that kept him in the government pension system. While at the CCUA, Olbrich’s attendance was about 7 of 12 meetings last year (although he did accept the entire paycheck). Now, if Olbrich retires in three years, his pension will be about $40,000 plus, instead of the $5,000 the taxpayers would have paid if he had retired before accepting the Roads job. Why would the Freeholders hire a person for almost $100,000, who has no experience, and cannot help with the engineering to have road projects shovel-ready for federal or state funding?

  3. Curious says:

    Demo Joe tell me it ain’t so. Nelson Thompson would fire a union guy for a no show political hack?
    Is that the same Nelson Thompson who helped appoint Don Rainear to the ccia? The Rainear who was put there to kill a $23 million dollar project? A project that had a project labor agreement so his union buddies would get all the work?
    Now they get nothing?
    Tell me it ain’t so Joe.:(

  4. Bobble Head Watcher says:

    What is the policy if Magazzu told Edwards not to attend the meetings till he cleared up his drug charges? Inquiring minds want to know.

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