The Freeholder meeting this past Tuesday was lively, if nothing else. The two big issues of course were the sale of the Manor and the $800,000 for emergency road repairs. And Jane Jannarone is reinforcing our perception that she really lacks a clue. I have always maintained that she isn’t the coldest six-pack in the fridge, Tuesday’s meeting nailed it.
According to the Press of AC:
The $800,000 comes from a capital improvement fund, and includes about $500,000 that was to be spent on the controversial construction of a chapel at the Cumberland County Veterans’ Cemetery in Hopewell Township. The $800,000 was never officially allocated for any projects, as the freeholders took final action on the necessary ordinance a day earlier than the 20 days required by state law. The mistake occurred because of what county officials called a clerical error.
Jane Janarone repeatedly proved that she either does not understand the law, or that she is refusing to abide by the lawful duties of her office by upholding the law. She stated that she doesn’t understand what “difference one day makes” regarding the ordinance. Jane, I will type this slowly so that maybe you can understand. It doesn’t matter whether you think one day makes a difference – it is the law. When you took your oath of office, and when you agreed to abide by the County Ethics Code, you agreed to uphold the law. Instead, you publicly flaunt your contempt for the law.
One can only wonder how many other laws Jane doesn’t think apply to her and her cohorts?
The county is going to see a tax increase this year. The summer brought severe storms and flooding, and the season doesn’t appear to be giving us any breaks as it wanes. We have seen millions of dollars in damage to a county road system that according to Lou Magazzu suffers from decades of neglect. Of course, he was in charge during this neglect.
The Freeholders managed to scrape up $800,000 from different uncritical funds to begin emergency repairs. This money will reportedly be replaced by FEMA funds. Instead of using this money to offset the tax increase, Jannarone is pushing for an ordinance that would mandate the money be used for the Veteran’s Chapel.
Personally, if this were the 1950’s and the country was financially stable and we had money falling out of our pockets and we could afford to build and maintain this chapel, I would not have that much of a problem with it. But we are facing tax increases by the cities, townships and county. Our unemployment is in the double digits. Paychecks have decreased and families are now taking home considerably less this year then they did five, ten years ago. Taxes continually take a bigger bite out of the budget, costs of housing have increased, fees for everything from vehicle registration to licensing the family dog have gone up – and Jane wants to use this money not to offset taxes.
There has been absolutely no discussion on who will pick up the tab to maintain the building, the cost of utilities, security, and staff. All of this will add costs above and beyond the half a million they want to use to build it. And seriously, does anybody really think it will come in on budget? Will it be built to the same standards as the addition to the county courthouse? We hope and pray NOT!
On Oct 18, 2011 the Freeholders are holding a “work session”. Watch out as they push through a resolution that would force this money into a pet project – a feel-good project whose intent is only to attempt to buy votes right before the election. If integrity and honesty have anything to do with this current administration, as public servants and not overlords, these Freeholders should instead place the Chapel on a voter referendum. Allow the taxpayers to decide if they want to finance a building that will serve only a very few on the one side of the county, but neglect the many veterans on the east side of the county.