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CNBNews Op-Ed: The Downward Spiral of Camden City Continues

 

by  Scot DeCristofaro

This morning I started hearing reports of problems in Camden with their water. By Images-2this afternoon I was reading about and tonight it is on the local evening news. Water is in very short supply RIGHT NOW in Camden. Water is very critical on days like this, but in Camden it also has an added importance: putting out fires! Forget for a second the Riversharks game had to be cancelled, fires are a legitimate concern for both the residents AND THE POLICE, FIRE, EMS personnel/public servants.  

Right now the People in Camden have to boil their water AND worry if there will be enough to put out a fire that may pop up while they are sleeping…..or while they are at work…..or while they are caring to an elderly neighbor during this heat. But that’s not all that’s going on in Camden.

This same week, as in now, we also read about the Norcrat Freeholders announce a $30 million dollar park project, we also read about a critical overpass in Camden still broken from January.  Despite the Camden residents being promised in January that the Baird Boulevard Overpass would be fixed, as of today it is not. As a result kids must cross Route 30 or not attend their summer activities. Folks can’t get to work or help out friends. Access to an overpass in Camden has a whole different meaning to someone without access to transportation. Why stop there.

Also this week we learned about the failing schools in Camden. Of course we all read about the $243,000 per year Camden superintendent, Dr. Bessie LaFrae Young, who was booted out after five years on the job as a failed leader. We also read just this week about the failures of the DRPA to enact reforms that have been sitting for two years. Or how about countywide police/fire/ems takeover being shoved down our throats without any facts, which happens to be consistent with another takeover, the Rutgers-Rowan merger.

I could go on about the conflicts, the corruption, the dual office holding, the waste/fraud and abuse.  It seems it would be a very daunting task to simply find the time to connect the dots, list all of the questionable activity and behavior and otherwise spend the time to simply document and organize the examples of greed, incompetence, deal making and senselessness that lead and define both our politics and public policy. The decisions made by those in power and the BILLIONS WASTED and misappropriated is, at best, evil.

My question to you is: WHY IS THE OPPOSTION SEEMINGLY JUST SITTING AROUND? Where are the press releases? Where is the organized public relation attack? Where are the leaders of the Camden County GOP coming together and speaking in a united voice and paving the way for our candidates? Where is the constant, relentless, unyielding barrage of press releases, press conferences, letters to the editor, etc? I know many who have been putting in their time and serving their communities with passion and patriotism, talented volunteers who have been kicked around, lied about and thrown to the side. I’ll bet if these people were welcomed in the party the Norcrats would be responding and reacting well implemented strategies and tactics by now.  

The system of electing leaders is a system designed and based on the “competition of the strongest and best ideas” as defined by The People and expressed in their vote.  It takes talent, passion, dedication, selflessness and honor to be a leader in this cutthroat of cutthroat leagues we all play in.  Most of The People I know are in it out of duty & honor; yet as I look around and evaluate the rhetoric for others, it simply has never added up to duty & honor.  In other words, LEADERSHIP is a CONTEST that should inspire, engage and provide growth and opportunity, and I have yet to see the rhetoric of the so called leaders match with the reality of today.

 

If it did match, if they were truly leaders, we would have seen a flurry of press releases, YouTube Press Conferences, demands for accountability and transparency for the Norcrats. At least throw us a bone and send an email summarizing the horrendous news.  The rhetoric simply does not meet the reality of trying, attempting, making progress, etc.       

 

Instead what we live with in Camden County is a system of "Political Capitalism" in which The People are pawns & the system is corrupted to benefit the controlling career politicians and their minions. And both sides do it. "Getting Involved" is code word for "help ME win so I can keep MY job, further MY agenda and help MY minions".  It has become ME, ME, ME, MINE, MINE, MINE.....what's in it for ME, ME, ME!!! This is where the term ESTABLISHMENT comes from.

 

As a result of the digression of the political culture around here, each year the lies go a little further, the truth gets stretched and redefined, and after a while, there is no such thing as the truth. The truth was buried long ago and replaced with the deliberate, technically legal, carefully worded statement in the shape of an opinion.

 

Today, even those involved in one of the two main political parties, are fed half truths, spin and complete misrepresentation of what is the ACTUAL ENTIRE STORY. And the template becomes the truth because the popular expert, the smart one, the highly esteemed thinker said it was the case. In other words, OBJECTIVITY is pushed aside and replaced with personal agendas based on shallow greed & blind ambition. Some refer this as living with zombies.

 

We are facing incredible, jaw dropping news that is SPOON FED to us. Any reasonable leader of the political opposition would being actively engaged in a campaign now. With social media, YouTube as well as access to all kinds of public activities, meeting and events, it’s not hard to reach people and drill the message home. Leadership starts at the top, period. When Shelly Adler announced her candidacy for Congress, where was the CCGOP press release or Cherry Hill GOP Committee releasing her record on voting for tax hikes while on Cherry Hill Council? When Bob Menendez kicked off his reelection campaign in Gloucester Township, where was the Gloucester Township GOP Committee or the county chair releasing a statement of facts on the miserable conditions within Gloucester Twp and CamCo as a result of his votes while in the Senate? They were nowhere to be found, and these are the easy, no brainer things to do!

 

When I look around right now, it seems things have only gotten worse. They have gotten worse because the “me…me…me” crowd bullied and outnumber the “honor, duty, For God & Country” crowd. The only thing that has changed is the mere color of the lipstick on the pig. This is my home, the land where my lifes history resides and I’ll be damned if anyone stands in the way of making this a better region for my children and friends.

 

I just want you all to know I’m still concerned, I’m still passionate, I’m still wishing and desiring for a better tomorrow. I’m focused on making a difference and doing so in productive, creative and positive ways. We must stick together, it is a calling to deny, push back and defeat the rotten nature of wicked men/women in high places who are focused on selfishness and greed instead of providing and serving OUR FELLOW CITIZENS.  

 

To those who have been concerned, committed time and personal treasury and property to doing the right thing, thank you…You will always have my admiration. To those straddling the fence and make excused as others in charge “tickle your ear”, cut it out….just pick a side.

 

I know many of you don’t want to hear it, but hang in….find a way to work smarter….use your resources wisely because as I see it, we are the last true defense!

 

With Every Good Wish,

God Bless,

Cheers,

Scot

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