So many mistakes; no wonder taxes have increased year after year after year
By William E. Cleary Sr.
GLOUCESTER CITY NJ (April 15, 2007)--Watching the Channel 19 broadcast of the March Gloucester City council meeting I am amazed how the "Lame-Duck" incumbents (Loebell, Kaye, and Kormann) tried to defend their practice of giving some city employees longevity pay increases and vacation bonuses.
For years certain employees have been receiving vacations bonuses of between four and nine percent. Do the math; a vacation bonus for some supervisors at the tune of $9,000 or more would be quite possible.
Research by Councilman Jay Brophy revealed that practice was done away with years ago by the majority of communities in the state.
The outgoing office holders said those employees should continue to receive the perk. The hell with the residents, Kaye, Kormann and Loebell, voted "No" against the City's new spending plan. In doing so they endangered Council's chance of obtaining extraordinary aid from the State.
It is evident the "Lame-Ducks" still don't understand that their way of doing things is over. Instead of acknowledging they were wrong they remain bold and argumentative.
I just don't understand their logic?
As the hidden deals from the past are made public you would think they along with those who told them how to vote would want to fade away.
Nevertheless it has become apparent over the past 10 years or more Gloucester City has been run by incompetent people.
In January it was discover the $425,000 spent to purchase the old Dooley property with plans to turn the building into a seafood restaurant was a bogus election promise. The incumbents were asked to produce a written agreement between the City and the restaurant owner. They admitted there wasn't one! see story
By the way, Reel Fish Seafood, the company supposedly going to run the restaurant is out of business.
The Dooley building was run-down. The owner should have been told before it was sold he would have to bring it up to code. After the deal was completed the City found the building was beyond repair. Demolition cost, $35,000.
It gets worst.
We were just informed that in 2005 the City received a $400,000 state grant to construct a senior citizens community building. Why wasn't the $400,000 used when it was received in 2005? Why didn't the City Administrator, the past Mayor or somebody on council make mention of it? Was the money misplaced?
When the "New" Democrats arrived in January they immediately began to work on finding a place for the senior citizens utilizing the $400,000 grant. Good thing. The grant expires this year.
Need another example?
At the March meeting Councilman Marchese said because of lack of management by the previous administration (s) $1 million in grants for our community were lost in 2006. The reason, the time to use the money expired.
The Finance Chairman also said the previous administration (s) mismanaged the City's Bond Debt which is presently $13 million. The City needs a new Water Treatment Plant, cost of $10 million. "This will increase the bond debt to $23 million a figure that is entirely too high. "
There is still more.
In 2006 the City purchased a semi-detached property in the unit block of Burlington Street. No one told the City Water Works Department. The pipes broke during the winter flooding the basement. Extensive water damage was caused to the City property and the adjoining property. The cost to taxpayers is unknown.
We all remember how the plans for the $3 million City Marina was revealed right before the mayor election a couple years back. What we didn't know until recently was the city was sued by one of the contractors. A settlement was reached last year at a cost to taxpayers in the amount of $260,000. The law firm of Parker McCay, who employed former City Solicitor Jim Maley got paid $300,000 plus.
Sitting by watching all this happen apparently without a "peep" were the "Lame-Duck Threesome".
What other secrets have been hidden from the public? One can only guess? I am willing to bet more will be uncovered. How about you?