This year we have seen a lot of changes in the Democratic leadership in Cumberland County. Some are not so good, especially the naming of Doug Long as co-chair of the party. He appears to be even more of a bully than Lou Magazzu ever was, going so far to challenge the first amendment rights of bloggers with a frivolous civil lawsuit.
Lou Magazzu was first asked to step down as Freeholder Director by the Camden machine, according to our sources. It was certainly not in character for him to voluntarily relinquish power. Shortly afterward, he was made to step down as Chair of the CCDO so that Camden pawns could be put into place. As bad as Magazzu was,he was too self-serving to please Norcross. He was, again according to the political rumor mill, too unpredictable for Camden County’s tastes. It is even possible that his name was becoming more of a distraction, thanks in part to this website, and causing political donations to fall off.
Finally, Lou resigned from politics in disgrace. At that point, the founders of this site had planned to allow it to lapse. Job done, we thought. It didn’t take long (no pun intended) to see that Long and Balicki were as destructive a force to our local community as Magazzu’s regime ever was. in fact, they are more dedicated to shipping our jobs and money to Camden than Lou ever was. And this past election proved they were willing to stoop to any level to maintain an absolute iron grip on the throat of this county.
Bill Whealn remains in power, a man hand-picked by Magazzu to the Freeholder board. And as much as he claims he fought tooth and nail against Magazzu, his voting record does not back up his shallow claims. In addition, there are too many appointments in various county positions that have carried over from the Magazzu regime, and I doubt Whelan was the balls to do the right thing.
With the election, the power balance changed hands for at least one year. However, the fact is that Cumberland County is an entrenched Democrat stronghold – there are too many people on the take to ever see any long term change. In order to balance the budget and not raise taxes, the Republicans will have to take the brunt of many unpopular decisions. Everybody out there wants to see cuts in government spending, but every single one will rale and scream if their particular program is cut.
The OEM and 911 Call Center are in the midst of scandal, facing several federal investigations that are costing Cumberland County taxpayers thousands to defend. If successful, the plaintiffs will benefit to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars – guess who pays? Bill Whelan and James Dunkins motioned and seconded to hire the person that is in the middle of this quagmire.
Many of these higher level employees fails to work 40-hour weeks, and take day trips on county time. It seems to me these positions should and could easily be filled by qualified candidates rather than friends and relatives.
So the job of this website is not over. We will be watching every Freeholder, and do our best to report when qualified candidates are passed over in favor of political sycophants, regardless of party affiliation. We will hold Tony Surace’s feet to the fire when we see any favoritism benefiting Salmon Ventures Ltd. or the big-money energy concerns that SVL represent.
With Musso on the board, it looks like Tri-County, now called Gateway, will still have hands out and pockets open for county taxpayer money for programs with which there is absolutely no accountability. Perhaps with the change in leadership, investigations and audits can be performed to find out what actually did happen to the $225,000 that was dumped into Al Kelly’s wallet for after school programs. Joe Riley and Lou Magazzu promised that a regular accounting would be done. They lied, and nobody knows what happened to that money. If they do know, they aren’t telling.
So that is the reason for the name change, Lou Magazzu is no longer a player. he is doing his energy thing, apparently partner with a company that is under investigation in various states and on the verge of losing it’s license in others. Hey, at least he is not in Cumberland County, destroying or attempting to destroy people’s livelihoods.
But why MWatch? Most of our long time readers use that as an abbreviation of the site name. We (the founders and insiders) also use it. The site is a regular destination, and it would be virtually impossible to move it or change it completely without causing a lot of confusion. And don’t worry, when I get some free time I will work on changing the header to something with a little more dazzle.