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CP Editorial: Trenton Plays Politics with Local Aid, Affects Political Races at Residents’ Expense

January 5, 2010

From today’s Courier Post editorial:

[Extraordinary aid, formerly known as discretionary aid is] supposed to go to towns facing sudden, unexpected fiscal crises. But the same towns tend to get the aid year after year. So it’s not exactly being doled out according to its written purpose.

For example, Gloucester Township will get $250,000 this year in extraordinary aid. It got nothing from the [Department of Community Affairs] last year — the year Republican Mayor Cindy Rau-Hatton was up for re-election. Before that, the township regularly got $500,000 to $900,000 a year in extraordinary aid….

Joseph Monzo, a former administrator of the Division of Local Government Services in the DCA told the Courier-Post in November that all awards of extraordinary aid don’t fall under dire fiscal crisis and that politics can be involved in selecting which towns get funds.

Monzo:

“A lot of it is political. I’m not letting the cat out of the bag by saying that.”

I suppose it goes without saying that lobbyist-Mayor Dave Mayer can thank his friends in Trenton for helping in his election this past November at the expense of Gloucester Township families. “You’re either part of his machine, or you get crushed by it.”

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