No one Freeholder should have too much power

I have to side with Bill Whelan on this argument.

The Cumberland County freeholders on Tuesday tabled a resolution changing how the county, sheriff’s department and county library take on new hires due to Freeholder Bill Whelan’s worry that future decisions could be vetoed by a single freeholder.

Bill Whelan should be more than familiar with the dangers of one Freeholder holding absolute power.  When Lou Magazzu was Chair of  the CCDO as well as Freeholder Director, nobody dared cross him for fear of retribution.

But bygones being what they are, let’s dwell on the present.  Whelan says, correctly:

“I’m just worried that it gives veto power to one freeholder, who isn’t the freeholder director, over the liaison,” said Whelan. “I was under the impression that all of the freeholders were equals.

Of course, Bill held no such reservations earlier this year when the same system was in place, but we won’t delve into past hypocrisy. At least this time, Bill is on the money. And the  Republican majority would do well to listen – that majority will not last – not in Cumberland County. If they insist on giving a lone Freeholder absolute power of veto, while they may get their way on the Library, it will definitely come back to bite them in the seat of the pants in the future.

It is better to forge a bipartisan working relationship with the opposing party. With Lou gone, they have a better chance of success.  However, don’t believe that Whelan is a nice guy – he is as much a snake in the grass as Lou ever was. And with Doug Long behind him, the CCDO has a more insidious leader than Lou ever was. Long is smarter than Lou, and will achieve the same ends without drawing the ire of his own party.


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