Temproary Budget, Department Assignments top Freeholder Meeting

The News of Cumberland County reported on the recent county restructuring.

In the last of two reorganization meetings, the Cumberland County freeholders on Thursday divvied up department assignments and passed a temporary 2012 budget of $44.2 million to keep the county operating through March.

This budget is temporary, taking the county through March, when the real budget is supposed to be approved. Under Magazzu and Whelan and company, the budget was never approved on time. Chances are, with new leadership, this years will still miss deadline. The problem is that every department head works against the best interests of taxpayers, screaming and kicking and crying about how they need every extra dime rather than working steadfastly in trying to find areas where cuts can be made without sacrificing performance.

The department assignments, and the party of each of the members, are:

• Public Property and Personnel
Sam Fiocchi (R), chair
Carl Kirstein (R)
Tom Sheppard (R).

• Finance
Sheppard (R), chair
Kirstein (R)
Bill Whelan (D).

• Public Works
Tony Surace (D), chair
Fiocchi (R)
Mary Gruccio (R).

• Public Affairs, Culture and History
Gruccio (R), chair
Surace (D)
Carol Musso (D).

• Health
Musso (D), chair
Surace (D)
Whelan (D).

• Public Safety
Whelan (D), chair
Fiocchi (R)
Gruccio (R).

• Agriculture
Sheppard (R), chair
Musso (D)
Surace (D).

If there was any doubt that the Bridgeton News is totally biased completely in favor of the Democratic leadership, the article today proved it. The article is titled: “Cumberland County freeholders pass $44.2 M temporary budget for 2012, assign department heads“. The story covered both issues fairly. But then the writer could not resist taking a pot shot at the Republicans and ended with four paragraphs that had nothing to do with the freeholder reorganization meeting.

One issue that did not come up during the meeting was the apparent lack of communication between members of the freeholder board concerning professional staff appointments.

The county on Wednesday issued a public notice stating the freeholders will meet Thursday, Jan. 12, to discuss and possibly vote on department positions “including but not limited to” director of public safety, director of the office on aging, director of public works, Cumberland Area Transit System (CATS) division head and county mental health division head.

Bill Whelan is crying and throwing a fit because the current party in charge didn’t clear their every move with him first. However, this hypocrite never once raised any question when Lou Magazzu blindsided the Republican minority on a regular basis.  If he had spoken up previously when the shoe was on the other foot, I would cut him some slack. He is merely trying to make a wild fire out of a little smoke, and this proves him to be as churlish as Magazzu ever was. Bill, it is time to move on.  And Jason, I like you, but it is time to stop editorializing. Leave that to Jack Hummel.

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