By Bill Cleary
CHEER-Public works/highway department employees responsible for clearing the snow off the roads did a great job following the December snow storm. This includes those who work for Gloucester City, Brooklawn, Bellmawr, Mt. Ephraim, Audubon, Westville and throughout South Jersey.
JEER-The City of Gloucester City is increasing the fine for not removing snow/ice from your sidewalk from $25 to $30. Yet days after the recent December snow storm you could still find sidewalks that surround City playgrounds and parks covered with the white stuff. New Years Eve the sidewalk in front of the PAL building on Brown Street was a sheet of ice. If the City is going to fine the public for not shoveling their walks then they should set a better example.
JEER-Council members along with professional municipal employees should be able to answer a question from a resident at a public forum in a civil tone. Raising ones voice and shouting at someone just because you don’t like the individual or the question is simply wrong and disrespectful. Are you so above the people you serve that you forget where you came from? Simply put, if you can’t answer the resident’s question in a civil tone then don’t say anything at all.
CHEER-”We would like to publicly thank Patrolman Wall and the Gloucester City Police Department for checking on our store late at night an making sure everything is secure. It is nice to know that you are watching out for us.” ~Joe and Shirley Bramble, Brambles Cold Cuts
CHEER-Following the Atlantic Street home fire this past month the Gloucester City Irish Society donated $1000 to help the families who loss their possessions as a result of the fire. Clothes and toys were also donated to the families from Bayers Tavern. Who says Gloucester City doesn’t look out for their own! ~Joe Murphy
KUDOS to all the businesses, organizations and residents throughout the area that continually give of their time and money to help make Christmas a little bit happier for those less fortunate.
CHEER-To Kellie and Gary Troxell for their contributions to our community. Troxie's is a relative newcomer to Gloucester City and thus far they've had a "bring in a coat get a free bowl of soup" event as well as a Giving Tree. Gary has helped me with the ins and outs of business here and he and Kellie have been true friends throughout my husband's illness. ~Dawn Watson
CHEER-Glad to see the abandoned Xtra Gas Station at Black Horse Pike and Browning Road, Bellmawr is being demolished. Great improvement. Kudos go out to several other Bellmawr businesses for sprucing up their appearances such as Ed’s Carpet Shop, Bellmawr News.
JEER-To the NJ Civil Service system that allows a tenure employee to be absent from work without an approved excuse and still have the right to a hearing before the Department of Community Affairs. Former Gloucester City Municipal Clerk Paul Kain who was fired by the City in July 2009 for being absent 120 days is seeking his job back. City Solicitor John Kearney said, “This is another example of our absurd system and how good intentioned ideas can go astray. Protecting career public servants from political pressure has been turned into making it difficult to remove the incompetent” The December 21 mediation session failed to settle the dispute between the City and Kain. A hearing will be held in Trenton on Feb. 15. Kain is also seeking a financial settlement from the City.
JEER-The 111th Congress will be known as one of the worst elected bodies in this country’s history. Why both Parties played their political games in 2009-10 the populace had to deal with an unemployment rate that remained above 9 percent. Over the same period home foreclosure's hit an all time high, the wars raged on in Afghanistan and Iraq. When now-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D–CA) was sworn in as Speaker on January 4, 2007, the national debt stood at $8.67 trillion. By the time Pelosi surrendered the gavel to the new Speaker John Boehner (R–OH) the national debt stood at $14.01 trillion. When a child born today takes his or her first breath, he or she already owes the government $40,000 as a per capita share of federal debt.
JEER-Another year has passed and members of Gloucester City council continue to accept free health care for themselves and their families paid for by the taxpayers. If they already have insurance they are reimbursed. It cost taxpayers approximately $83,000 annually for this perk.The position of mayor and council member is a thankless job. They give up a lot of their free time to attend meetings. But they knew this when they ran for office. They are accepting paid health care for a job that is part-time, which they volunteered to do. This is the third or fourth time we have asked council to end this practice. If you want to be paid more money for being mayor or council member then pass a resolution increasing your salaries. In these tough economic times when you are asking city employees to sacrifice you should set the example.
If you have a cheer or jeer for the January column send it to BillGCN@verizon.net