NEWS, SPORTS, COMMENTARY, POLITICS for Gloucester City and the Surrounding Areas of South Jersey and Philadelphia

American Legion World Series (Game Two): After Giving Up 2, Brooklawn's Bats Get Hot

The Story Behind The Story: We Are Not Allowed To Know

GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ (August 10, 2023)--Over the past year or so, we have been hearing about the fire department's new Swift Water equipment.  When investigating, the company's catalog showed a lot of costly equipment.  The first question is, "Do we need this equipment?"  Do other fire companies in the area have the equipment they could bring to Gloucester City in the event of an emergency?  Remember, during the last two incidences involving water rescues, the Gloucester City fire department was the last to arrive.  Surrounding towns got there first.
During the water rescue between Gloucester City and Brooklawn, we were told that Gloucester City had to bring its Swift Water equipment. It goes without saying that time is of the essence during a drowning call. And, if it takes so long to assemble the kit, do we really need it?
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Unidentified firemen posing with some of the Swiftwater rescue equipment (photo from Battalion 51 Facebook page
 Wanting to know what the taxpayers have every right to know, Cleary's Notebook (CNBNews) submitted an OPRA request, asking for receipts for what appear to be rubber boats, trailers, water and ice rescue kits, tools and equipment, ropes and kits, gears, helmets, vests, gloves, shoes, flares and the number of each which were ordered.  An example of what was sent is shown below.
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YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW-Above is one of the nine documents that CNBNews received in answer to their OPRA request. Why would Vanessa Little, the Gloucester City Custodian of Records, redact the identity of the 14 purchased products of this page? We calculated the amount of the unidentified products total $22,309.94  
Now that we have no idea where our tax dollars are going, there is another question.  What is the connection between Gloucester City's and Westville's Fire Departments?  On the next sheet we, again, can't know what was purchased but we know it was purchased from Amazon, on a Visa card ending in 1497 and shipped to Westville.
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In less than a year, we have seen a fireman set another's pants on fire; a theft of city property from the Department of Public Works; the City Administrator lying to one of us, saying that the theft was under investigation while the representative for the Camden County Prosecutor's Office saying the trial had ended and the case was closed.  These examples are just the beginning; three families hold 32 city jobs, at least three of those employees hold two positions at the same time; a lawsuit of $10.5 million; sloppy work from a contractor who was paid $500,000 to leave potholes in city streets and the City Administrator saying the only credit card used in the theft of city property was Home Depot but everyone knows that Home Depot doesn't sell tires.  Obviously, there is a Visa with a number ending in 1497.
A friend said, "There's nothing you can do; that's just the way government works." 
Think for a minute; the politicians in Camden City said something similar - until the State took over the city.  The politicians in Atlantic City said that - until the State took over the city. 
Can the State take over Gloucester City?  I guess we'll have to wait and see.