UCCF 4/19/18: Politics IS Government in Union County

This is what I propose to say in Open Comments at tomorrow’s freeholder meeting:

After ten years of following government in Union County I conclude that politics IS government here and as such is a legitimate topic for discussion in this Open Comment period – as is nepotism which is something that the ACLU had to remind this board of back in 2009.

Decisions are made that nobody up there has the practical power to object to. Here is the process as I see it.

Anyone who wants public money, jobs, or contracts first goes through the Union County Democratic Committee who, in a one-party county, appoint people to this board who they expect to do what they are told. What you are being told to do is to rubber stamp contracts or projects that will benefits lawyers, engineering firms, and other service providers so they can in turn donate to the Union County Democratic Committee and individual candidates.

You are allowed freedom on issues that do not impact that flow of tax money, like mountain biking in Watchung Reservation, but are expected to approve even the most blatant boondoggles like the Roselle Mind & Body Complex which would have tripled Roselle’s debt for the benefit of connected firms and individuals as well as the Union County Improvement Authority which needs money to repay millions of dollars from a prior boondoggle, the solar panel fiasco.

Any one of you who steps out of line is endangering their slot on the party line. In the case of freeholder Jalloh it was likely his support of Colleen Mahr over Nicholas Scutari for the chairmanship of the Union County Democratic Committee that cost him his seat here but his failure to support the Roselle Mind & Body Complex likely also played a role.

I see only one way out of this corrosive cycle and that is to have an open and honest dialogue so that maybe enough people will understand what is really going on and take action to stop it.

If I get to this point I would finish up with:

Allowing me to say all this here is a good start.

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One response to this post.

  1. […] As of 2016, 1,375 defined benefit plans were insured under the PBGC multiemployer program with a total of about 10.5 million participants. The aggregate funded status of multiemployer plans as of 2014 was 49 percent, with total plan assets of about $468 billion and liabilities of about $963 billion. Among underfunded multiemployer plans, the 50 plans with the highest levels of underfunding accounted for about 54 percent of the total underfunding (about $307 billion in underfunding). As of September 30, 2017, PBGC’s multiemployer plan insurance program had total assets of about $2.3 billion and total liabilities of about $67 billion (including the present value of future nonrecoverable financial assistance provided to multiemployer plans), for a net negative position of about $65 billion, reflecting sharp increases in liabilities in recent years. (page 7) Now that the first part of tax season is over tomorrow I turn to a little watchdogging. […]

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