What A way For Bergen County Dems To End The Year! Big headlines in The Record about McNerney and two of his top aides getting big salary increases! Seems that “our” County Executive gave up $10,000 of his salary (originally $134,617) as a “gesture”, since budget problems required furloughs for rank and file county workers during 20010. So the Democrats lost anyway. I campaigned for Dennis and the Democratic Freeholders, and now I’m embarrassed by him and, therefore, by my party and my own participation in his campaign.
According to The Record, Dennis’ $10,000 “gift” to the taxpayers of Bergen County was somehow restored to his salary on December 14th along with raises for his two “top” aides, Brian Hague from Middlesex County and Lynne Hurwiitz, the Municipal Chair of Hackensack. Brian received a “promotion” his last two weeks in office along with a raise of $17,000 and Lynne was also “promoted with a raise of more thant $22,000”. And to add to my own feeling of dismay, Mr. McNerney “didn’t even know about” these raises (including his own) until a reporter called him. How pathetic an answer!
We, Democrats – and they are mostly responsible hardworking officials – owe an apology to the taxpayers of Bergen for this unseemly behavior on the part of our top county official. This column will serve as my personal apology for the time and effort I put in to Dennis McNerney’s campaign and to the residents of Bergen County for this travesty.
“I’m going to return it – probably” saiid Mr. McNerney. And if he does, along with the unseemly raises to the “top aides”, I will apologize for my apology! I would also ask the incoming County Executive Kathe Donovan, to investigate exactly how raises are granted in Bergen County without the County Executive even “knowing about them”. Interesting!
Speaking of the new County Executive, she is coming in to office with enormous good willl. I hope her actions will always justify that confidence. However, her first two appointments for County Administrator and Chief of Staff went to two Fair Lawn councilmembers. Without passing judgment on their qualifications, I do believe their service on the Council should end pretty quickly. It is difficult to avoid problems when trying to serve two constituencies like this. Their terms of office do not end until 2013, so I hope they will be asked to resign well before then.
Sorry for spending so much time on politics in my own County of Bergen, but these actions required some extra spotlight.
Taking Christie to task… below the fold.
Back to Trenton & our Governor. We are anxiously awaiting news if he plans to sign the Anti-bullying bill as well as the Women’s Health/Family Planning bill. The latter will cost the State nothing and in fact will generate federal funds to help offset any costs. The funds do not go directly to any of the family planning clinics. They do put more folks under Medicaid insurance though. The only two Republicans who voted for this sensible “no brainer” were my colleagues in the Senate, Jennifer Beck and Diane Allen. I hope they ask their caucus members, why the lack of support? OK Governor Christie, we are aslo awaiting the release of the donors to Reform New Jersey Now – that “Issue Advocacy” group so closely associated with you!
And so as we approach the last week of 2010, I know we all have much for which to give thanks! For me, it’s starting a new year still filled with the passion (and hopefully the energy) to continue fighting for the values we all share. I give thanks for the close circle of friends who constantly encourage me. I am thankful for my Democratic colleagues in the Senate who usually support “most” of the issues I put forth. I am thankful that we have wonderful Senators on the other side of the aisle like Senators Allen and Beck. Most of all, I give thanks for my wonderful family who allow me to love them unconditionally and return that love in so many ways. May you all enjoy a new year filled with liife, passion and love!
Keep your voices heard!