The Press of Atlantic City reported that the counties involved in the SJEDD are on the hook for the debts accrued under the gross mismanagement by the former leadership.
Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Salem county taxpayers will pay the bill for the indiscretions of the South Jersey Economic Development District.
More than $1 million in debt resulting primarily from the financial mismanagement of the NextGen Aviation Research and Technology Park, the district’s member counties have been told that, legally, they cannot walk away from the agency’s financial obligations even if they choose to dissolve it.
Perhaps this news will give Bill Whelan the support he needs to impose the tax increases he is chomping at the bit to levy on residents. Atlantic County did the proper thing by quitting the district when they realized there were financial indiscretions – unfortunately doing the right thing still doesn’t get them off the hook. Lou Magazzu was on the board, and it is not surprising that he never noticed anything improper. However, Bill Whelan, too, sat on the board and has stated publicly that he did have concerns about the leadership. Of course, he made these statement only after the fact, when the Press broke the story. I would expect a bank manager who ran for office touting his fiscal acumen to have taken more forceful action. Instead, he remained silent when it mattered most, and left taxpayers responsible for the bill.