County incompetence causes big problems for Bethel

The county’s largest food-bank, Bethel Development Corp (BDC) located in Millville, is in dire straights due to gross negligence on the part of the county. One has to wonder if another supposed charitable organization of dubious credibility is somehow behind this.

BD, under the direction of Rev. Charles Wilkins, is one of those faith based organizations that operates mostly under the radar, seeking to serve the community rather than jumping up and speechifying any time the media is near. I know Wilkins personally, and have volunteered for the soup kitchen several times. His dedication to the local community has taken families off of welfare, helped kids that had no future go to college (in one instance, he was the impetus to help the first two in a family to even complete high school continue on to college) and runs a full service One-Stop program. In short, this is no scam artist looking to create six-figure jobs for friends and family like another organization located in Bridgeton.

Bethel like the other charitable organizations receives the bulk of its funding through the county. Cumberland County personnel informed these organizations that they would be able to apply for the grants via the county website. Naively believing in the competence and integrity of the people that sent the letter, Bethel decided to apply online rather than waste paper.

Long story short, the county changed its mind and decided to only allow paper submissions. And then, to add to the problem, they failed to notify Bethel Development Corp, and instead sent notification to Bethel AME Church, which is a completely different entity. The County KNOWS this, and so the only conclusion I can come to is that there is some hanky-panky going on in order to divert more funds to another agency, one that spends millions on inflated salaries rather than helping people.

To make matters worse, it seems that Dave Mulford lied, and in doing so called Reverend Wilkins a liar.

Mulford emphatically denied the packet was ever on the county website.

“I feel as though people are besmirching myself and those in my office,” said Mulford, in response. “It’s not true — the packet was never made available on the county website.”

At that, Wilkins stood and brandished a letter, mailed to him by Mulford’s office, which pointed Bethel toward the county website to make its proposal submissions.

“You called the wrong reverend a liar,” he exclaimed.

It is time to hold the people responsible for this act of utter incompetence responsible. In the private sector they would be reprimanded at the very least. I submit that with this display of utter incompetence they should be relieved of their positions, and jobs given to people that actually want to work for a living.

At the very least, the county must make amends and correct for their mistake. BDC is one of the local organizations that is responsible in the handling of funds, and that always submits paperwork on time, and filled out completely and accurately. And, they have accountability, unlike Gateway who took almost a quarter of a million when MWatch first started, and still have not accounted for the bulk of that money.

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6 Responses to County incompetence causes big problems for Bethel

  1. CBKennedy says:

    Who is David Mulford?? I don’t remember seeing that name too much in past articles, any backstory please?

  2. WuLi says:

    Dave Mulford is Director of Purchasing for the county. I suppose I should temper my criticism, I have never met him, and the main article is based on news stories and second hand recounts.

    Purchasing agents, when doing their jobs correctly, will be the target of misdirected ire all too often.

    However, speaking of ire – mine is raised when I see citizens on the receiving end of public abuse. It was the demeaning behavior of Lou Magazzu and Dr. Joe Riley towards Linda Forbes during an ill-fated freeholder meeting that was the impetus behind this website.

    I am sure that Dave was doing his job, abiding by the letter of the law in denying Bethel the grant money that makes this a story. And he has no other choice than to do his job.

    However, and I will admit that maybe my tinfoil hat is on too tight, it seems suspicious that an upstanding citizen and a person that I know and respect was apparently accused of lying.

    I have, as I stated, volunteered at Bethel. A majority of the clientele are elderly. they rely on the soup kitchen and food bank to help stretch their social security checks, and ensures that they get several balanced meals a week.

  3. CBKennedy says:

    @WuLi— thanks, if he is one of Maguzzu’s hand picked placements he may not be the best candidate for the position—it has happened before with Magazzu having incompetent political allies in positions, or just weak willed incompetents. If I understand correctly, documentation is one of the most important aspects of the bid process—it helps ensure fairness an some form of objectivity, depending on the bid process (IFB or RFP). If Mulford has lapses or gaps in this documentation or application of the bid process—i.e. One person submits electronially, others by paper…it may be cause for concern, fairness should be tantamount in all bid processes—but especially with public money, Wilkins should protest….

    As far as Riley & Maguzzu are concerned, can’t expect too much from such self-important,vain types without any humility— maybe they were just coming off a bender after drinking that swill that Riley & wife consider wine…..

  4. ??????? says:

    Didn’t I read that Mulford was replaced at the last meeting?

  5. Wuli when I see chuches with Development corporation it always throws up a red flag. Look what happened a few years back with shiloh Baptist Development Corportation. They received a loan from the ccdc never paid on it and was given a pardon on it. I have alot of went on there that I had looked up when we had a radio talk show. These guys get on boards and are able to get what ever they need. I hope you are rite on this one my friend.

  6. Anthony says:

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    Thus far, the most interesting participant in an otherwise uninteresting Republican presidential primary field has been the only other man in the New York City metro area who enjoys confrontation as much as Governor Christie: Donald Trump.
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    The bottom line? Donald Trump may not even run for president, but he could win if this isn’t a marketing gimmick; after all, who would’ve thought that a community organizing one-term senator from Chicago could get himself into the White House? The American electorate remains volatile, and the GOP field is still extremely weak. The Donald is shrewd and he undoubtedly recognizes a historic opening here… or at least an excellent opportunity to push his brand. It also think it goes without saying that he would be a better leader than his prospective opponent. I think most vertebrates fit into that category!
    But before he can seriously compete for this New Jersey voter’s support, he would have to convincingly explain the nature of his intimate affiliation with New Jersey’s most ethically-challenged party boss. I would suggest that all of our readers adopt the same skeptical approach!
    Norcross also attended Trump’s third wedding and, way back in 2003, lobbied behind the scenes for a new “casino tax” that was allegedly designed to disproportionately burden Trump’s more profitable Atlantic City competitors. They even went house shopping together in Florida! More recently, Norcross and other state Dem bosses seriously considered Randal Pinkett, a former contestant on Trump’s “The Apprentice” reality show, to run for lieutenant governor in 2009 with then-Governor Jon Corzine. Nevermind that Pinkett had zero political or governing experience. Trump was willing to vouch for him and his buddy Norcross’s word goes a long way in New Jersey’s halls of power.
    The bottom line? Donald Trump may not even run for president, but he could win if this isn’t a marketing gimmick; after all, who would’ve thought that a community organizing one-term senator from Chicago could get himself into the White House? The American electorate remains volatile, and the GOP field is still extremely weak. The Donald is shrewd and he undoubtedly recognizes a historic opening here… or at least an excellent opportunity to push his brand. It also think it goes without saying that he would be a better leader than his prospective opponent. I think most vertebrates fit into that category!
    But before he can seriously compete for this New Jersey voter’s support, he would have to convincingly explain the nature of his intimate affiliation with New Jersey’s most ethically-challenged party boss. I would suggest that all of our readers adopt the same skeptical approach!

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