To the Editor:
I attended the freeholder meeting in support of E. Marie Hayes when she was censured. I went because I have known Hayes for many years, and could not believe they would openly condemn her like that.
I believed this was a political rouse by her running mate to get her to drop out of the upcoming election because she was starting to raise questions about some of the decisions being made by the board. God forbid you go against the party.
However, when, during the meeting and in an open forum, the freeholder director and Hayes started with accusations against each other of behind the scenes impropriety and calls of more investigations, both internally and by the state ethics board, it became apparent to me that the accusations may have some validity.
Now, a lawsuit is brought by the county administrator. It is obvious to me that there is a systemic problem on the board.
Most people don’t seem to know or care how our tax dollars are being spent, but I will try to give you a brief rundown of what I have come to learn by just looking up the information in the public records section on both the county and Herald websites.
There are 13 politically connected people who work in county administrative positions, some with less than five years working for the county. In two years (2017 and 2018), they accumulatively have received a quarter million in pay increases. That's just under a $20,000 increase per person in two years.
Are any of you regular tax-paying citizens seeing pay increases like this? I know plenty of county workers who have worked 20-plus years for the county and can’t get a promotion, let alone a raise like that. I understand “to the victor go the spoils,” but really?
The county has spent millions over budget on the new county jail, central dispatch and Townsend's Inlet Bridge. The bridge delays not only disrupted the normal life of those citizens, but impacted the response of first responders and none of them seemed to care.
Regarding the recent Kmart project, the architect won his bid that was “not to exceed the amount of the bid,” just to get another $150,000 a month later. No questions asked.
The millions being spent from the open space fund to assist in the building of the proposed pools in Lower Township and Sea Isle City are funds that could be used to give us, taxpayers, a tax break, but instead they continue to raise our taxes, a penny here and a penny there so they think we won’t feel the pinch.
It’s time for a change. The current board is not capable of making sound decisions anymore. It’s time to bring some checks and balances to the free-spending freeholder board and give us, taxpayers, a break. That's why I am voting for Liz Casey and Joyce Gould.