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.