Dunkin’s Quandary

Yesterday I called for Dunkins to resign as Freeholder, considering the conflict he faces with the upcoming election. Hopefully the NJ Board of Elections will catch wind of this unethical move by Dunkins and the CCDO.

As reported in the AC Press yesterday:

On Aug. 16, Cumberland County Assistant County Counsel Kim Procopio wrote in a letter to Cumberland County Counsel Brendan Kavanagh that whoever is appointed to fill Magazzu’s seat – in this case, Thomas – does so on in interim basis “until the general election is held in November.”

“Following certification of that election, the person elected to the unexpired term is immediately sworn in and takes office,” Procopio wrote. “Unlike those persons elected for a full term, the person elected to the unexpired term does not await the reorganization meeting to take their seat.”

Dunkins said that, should he win, it is his understanding that he would not be sworn in to the last year of Magazzu’s seat until the freeholder board’s January reorganization meeting. Thomas will continue serving on an interim basis until that time, he said.

Our local papers have ignored this conflict. Perhaps they are as ignorant of the election as the CCDO hopes most voters are.  This weekend I enjoyed a cigar and drinks on the back deck with my friend Haystacks Calhoun. We discussed Dunkin’s situation at length. His assessment is as follows:

I think there are two separate freeholder elections this year. In one, Whelan, Musso and Surace run against Farabella, Gonzalez and Taylor, with the top three vote getters being elected to full terms. In the other race, Dunkins is running against Gruccio, with the top vote getter being elected to the unexpired portion of Magazzu’s old seat.

Were Dunkins to beat Gruccio — a big if in my view — then he is in the dilemma of being elected to a freeholder seat while holding another freeholder seat. I suspect he will avoid a legal snag by simply resigning his current freeholder seat before being sworn in to his new freeholder seat. Thus, he would effectively switch to Charlie Thomas’s current seat, while his seat would remain vacant until the reorganization in January. It’s disingenuous for sure but I suspect it will pass legal muster. It would indeed mean the Ds give up a seat, leaving the board at 3 Ds-3 Rs until reorganization, when the board will go back to seven.

I suspect Dunkins cannot legally run for Magazzu’s seat while he currently holds his own seat. For Dunkins to be legally on the ballot, he should have resigned his current seat prior to running for a concurrent seat. Hopefully there will be complaints filed with the election board concerning this admittedly puzzling move by the CCDO.

I fail to understand the logic behind it, other than to be spoilers come November. Do they fear that they will lose seats and control, and are using this as a method to at the very least stalemate the Freeholder Board for a couple of months? That can be the only outcome with the current situation, even if they sweep. If they win all seats, Dunkins will be forced to immediately resign his current seat as Freeholder to be sworn in the day after election for Lou Magazzu’s vacant seat. Now you have a deadlock of three to three with an empty seat. Are they then planning to appoint Charlie Thomas again, to that seat for the remainder of the year?

And if that is the ulterior motive, then this is an affront to every taxpayer in the county that deserves to have the representation that they vote for. They have played fast and loose with the rules this entire season. First they hold a primary where the winner, Jane Jannarone turns around and quits, so that they can bring in Surace. Then Dunkins lies and says he is quitting so that he can spend time with his family and church, and turns around and runs for a seat that he already holds. Is this the sort ofleadership we want in the county? With our standing of being one of the most corrupt counties in the state, and most certainly the poorest county and continually getting poorer, we see the direct results of the CCDO control of this county for over three decades.

It is time to elect leaders that will give our jobs to Cumberland County residents, and not to Salem, Gloucester and Camden County benefactors.


7 Responses to Dunkin’s Quandary

  1. I said along they don’t listen to the lawyers they hire. Who pays for it? Us the tax payers. So for you Democrats who want to get this county back on track vote Republican in November. What really bothers me is that County Council has no back bone to correct the problems. SHAME ON YOU.

  2. baba says:

    I wouldn’t say we are so corrupt. Maybe average corruption at best. Cumberland doesn’t have much to fight over. For example, this election is, at best, a boobie prize for the winner, What good is the position? The short answer is a pathetic pay, lots of grief and the ability to steer influence and contracts to your friends. Whether Dem or Repub, the job is nothing without the influence peddling. Show me one group of D’s or R’s that didn’t use their power.

    Who will get to be County Lawyer if the R’s take over?
    Who will Head up the CCIA
    How about Under Sheriffs
    Which Consultants will be hired, over and over again>

    Get real boys. Throwing the bums out for a new set of bums is old news.

  3. baba says:

    I forgot to add Who will get the banking, the monster fees for bonds, the insurance, the plumbing maintenance, road contracts, asphalt, salt. new vehicle contract, Advertising. etc etc etc

  4. Baba say; I think you are dead wrong. The Sheriff will have someone he knows and can, count on to do the job rite. That would be one under sheriff and get rid of that other new position. The head of the ccia would go to the best qualified person. That would come from people who applied with resames. Now you know as far as county lawyer it is an R who helps in the party but I assure you it will be better than what we have now. The rest has to go out for bid. I will bet the ranch on it they will use more Cumberland County businesses who’s bid come in at an affordable price. You really sound like a person who was an employee of the county at one time. Maybe you can help by getting qualified people to run, be part of the solution and not the problem.

  5. baba says:

    Alex, you may be right about the sheriff and county counsel but do you really expect all of the perks to go to low bidder regardless of party?

  6. WuLi says:

    @baba – I expect the bids to go to the most qualified low bidder regardless of affiliation. I expect our elected leaders to work in the best interest of the taxpayers at all times.

    Am I dreaming – perhaps, but as long as there are people that will speak out and make it known whenever favoritism occurs, we have a chance.

    Unfortunately, the local press REFUSES to make an issue when out of county businesses are awarded – the media refused to report when Comtec was denied a contract, and local job were lost so that a Norcross Cherry Hill company could gain. In the end, this not only cost jobs, but the taxpayers had to ante up and pay the damages and legal costs when Comtec rightfully took the issue to court.

  7. baba says:

    Yes you are dreaming, but don’t we all ? How about that Cavanaugh ? Is he the dumbest Dem ever ? What was he thinking when he issued that Dunkins memo? Where is Lou when you need him ?

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