The News ran this citizen editorial by David Mazur recently, and I felt it was appropriate to the forum.
By David W. Mazur
Special to The News
At last one of the appointed positions for the department heads in Cumberland County has been chosen. At this rate it will be two years before the six needed positions will be all filled.
A candidate has been finally put into a 911 chief position. But it comes at the expense of a lot of rumbling and bickering by the Cumberland County freeholder board.
Bickering over a $65,000 job — are you kidding me? This comes after the freeholders privatized Cumberland Manor nursing home. How about being $10 million in debt that the freeholders have and losing $4 million more in surplus money? How would anyone want that on their resume? I know I would not want it on mine.
Then we have the next item of business on the freeholder agenda — to sell the county landfill. The goose that laid the golden egg. Oh, I almost forgot $2.5 million for that shuttle service. Those freeholders are worried about hiring somebody for a $65,000-a-year job?
Freeholders seem to want to go all over the country to find the very best personnel for these department head positions. The freeholders have forgotten that their main goal is to look out for the citizens of Cumberland County — that’s what they were elected to do. By not hiring somebody in the county it stops the economic wheel from moving. The way the freeholders are spending our money they cannot afford to stop that wheel from moving.
Let’s look at the 911 department head that the freeholders bickered over — Mr. William Gonzalez. Mr. Gonzalez was or still is a Vineland volunteer firefighter. I can remember when I was a volunteer firefighter. I just come out of the firefighter academy that same night there was a house fire and the home structure was totally involved.
Whatever I learned at the academy I must have forgotten because along with another firefighter we rushed into the building as a man was yelling “my son is inside, my son is inside.” As we entered the building there was some kind of explosion. Next thing I knew I was outside the building and my helmet was about 15 feet off my head. Early that next morning, I remember that I was using a pick with a long handle on it when I came across the body. Have you ever seen a human brain boiling, I have. It’s the color blue that I have never seen before and I never want to see again. How about human flesh burning?
So some government officials are going to tell me that Mr. Gonzalez is not deserving of a position as 911 department chief? Give me a break, this is not kindergarten. How about asking Mr. Gonzalez’s family what their feelings were when he went on a fire call not knowing if he was coming back home or not.
We might be on different sides of the fence politically, but for community service Mr. Gonzalez is a person of character and class. If I was looking for a neighbor to move next to me, he would be the one that I would want because he would help me. It takes a certain kind of individual to fight fires and to risk their life — a man of honor.
I would be the first one to shake his hand and say to him, you deserved that job based off of his community service.
David W. Mazur is a Vineland resident.