Where were the watchdogs in Clark?

It has been a while since I submitted a letter to the editor but I had an angle and the Star Ledger decided to print it yesterday (second letter here) even using my links.

Concerning the editorial “A culture of racist corruption in Clark Township”:

Yes, the Clark governing body should be called out for paying $400,000 in hush money to a whistleblower to keep secretly recorded racist comments by Mayor Sal Bonaccorso and two police officers hidden. However, from personal experience with scores of Clark residents, I do not see the town as racist. I see the people as betrayed, including by the media.

If your editorial is correct and the $400,000 payment was unanimously approved by the council in February 2020, based on the agenda from that meeting, Clark residents were told they were approving a “program of revaluation of real property in, by and for the township.” It should have raised an alarm that this was an “emergency” appropriation that, according to the township’s chief financial officer at the time, “might not be necessary” — but there was nobody to question it then or to report on it later.

The vast majority of the people of Clark that I know are friendly, welcoming people who are not racist in any way and and will do what is right if told the truth. Unfortunately, the mechanism for disseminating truth is apparently flawed in Clark, in Union County, and in most of this state.

John Bury, Kenilworth

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by qpat00 on April 5, 2022 at 10:37 am

    Actually, the union county govt is the model of the corrupted system for other public entities to follow if they elect such. UC sets the bar on deviousness; any action locally can be traced back to how the county does it. And even with watchdogs like you John and the countywatchers on top and aware, answers are still avoided sadly. Example towards this Clark issue: The union county freeholders introduced a reso #2015-615 authorizing settlement paying out taxpayer monies of $335,000 to a Brown suit vs UC, et als and Rayford as an ancillary suit. Two residents at that 7/16/2015 freeholder meeting (myself being one) went up to the mike and asked to plese explain this payout since its our money they are paying. We were totally ignored. It was only for the grace of The Star Ledger, and 1 or 2 other media that dug into this and exposed that this payout was going toward a victim in an accident that then-sheriff Cryan caused driving home somewhere on a saturday morning in a county car that he was not supposed to be using then since non-work related. Excuse-sun was in his eyes. The countywatchers subsequently reviewed the weather and it was overcast that morning. The countywatchers covered this in their own follow-up article. ……….As the county govt goes, so goes the towns…………..

    Reply

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