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MARCH 2011 CHEERS AND JEERS

 

by Bill Cleary 

 

CHEER-The Brooklawn Board of Education approved the district’s 2011-2012 6a00d8341bf7d953ef0111688fb252970c-120wi budget of $5,087,799 at a public hearing on March 24. There will be no tax increase in the district. The district remains at the state minimum tax levy, which means that state law will not permit the Board to reduce taxes below this amount. 

 

CHEER-To Maryellen Crain, Timothy Alexander who won the Mount Ephraim Fire Prevention Poster Contest.

 

CHEER-Gloucester City Public Works Supervisor Steve Cianchetti announce in March that the branch, brush and soft vegetation will be combined into one recycling program. These items will all be collected on Wednesday of each week. Items included in this recycling program include: BRANCHES, BRUSH, GRASS, OTHER VEGETATIVE YARD WASTE and SMALL AMOUNTS OF LEAVES. It will no longer be necessary to call to arrange a special pickup for branches, unless you have a very large amount. Good Idea Steve!

 

JEER-The Gloucester Township Council refuses to add individual email addresses to their website in order to facilitate a better duologue with residents directly. Under the current system emails to the GT Council are collected by the Clerk's office, sent to the Solicitors office then to the council President for distribution to council members. Why would the town's lawyer need to review correspondence from constituents, why would citizens be denied a direct line of communication to those they elected to represent them.

 

JEER-Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. didn’t want to wait until leaving office to begin collecting his pension. So last August

the 58-year-old politician quietly put in his retirement papers and the pension started to flow. But he continues to serve in the same position, drawing a full salary and wielding influence from Newark to Trenton as he campaigns to reform the pension system. Due to a little-known loophole, DiVincenzo is one of the latest officials to collect a salary and pension for the same job. State law allows elected officials in the public employee and police pension systems to "retire" but keep working. He earned $153,207 last year in salary. Since August, he has tacked on a $5,738 monthly pension payment.

CHEER-To all the Crossing Guards through out the area who stand in the cold, snow, sleet and rain on a daily basis to make sure our children get to school safely every day.

 

JEER-Former Middlesex County Sheriff Joseph C. Spicuzzo was arrested on charges that he demanded bribes of up to $25,000 from individuals seeking employment or promotions in the sheriff’s office.  Spicuzzo, 65, of Helmetta, N.J., was charged by complaint with pattern of official misconduct and bribery, both second-degree offenses. The charges stem from an ongoing investigation by the New Jersey State Police Official Corruption Bureau

CHEER-The Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders introduced the county’s 2011 budget at their meeting last night that called for a $3.9 million reduction in taxes including a 1 cent cut in the county’s tax rate, reducing it to $0.50 down from $0.51.  Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger said the introduced budget will call for a $4.3 million reduction in spending from last year’s budget.

 

JEER-The Dayton Ohio City Civil Service Board and the U.S. Department of Justice have agreed on a lower passing score for the police recruit exam after it was rejected because not enough blacks passed the exam. The city lowered both written exams a combined 15 points that resulted in 258 more people passing the exam. “If you lower the score for any group of people, you're not getting the best qualified people for the job,” said a NACCP spokesperson.

JEER-Three years ago John Paff, of the NJ Libertarian Party/Open Government Advocacy Project filed a complaint against 19 Gloucester City officials for failing to file their Financial Disclosure Statements that were due to be filed by no later than April 30, 2008. Paff’s complaints were filed with the Local Finance Board, which is within the Department of Community Affairs, and which has the power to fine municipal officials who fail to file. As of March 12 of those officials still haven’t compiled with the law. They include, 

 

 Murphy, Ryan; Planning/Zoning Board

Smallock, Michael; Planning/Zoning Board

Wunsch, Frank; Planning/Zoning Board

Brandt, Jack; Planning/Zoning Board Alt.

Hagan; Colleen; Library Board

Kain, Mary Francis; Library Board

Gurick, Joanne B.; Library Board

Hartzel, Joseph; Board of Health

Gorman, Bernadette; Board of Health

Dobleman, Dan; Board of Health

Bonner, Michael; Board of Health Solicitor

Gorman, Kathy J.; Housing Authority

 

If you have a Cheer or Jeer for April’s column send it to [email protected] or the Gloucester City News PO Box 151, Gloucester City 08030


 

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