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Camden County Freeholder Shares an Inner Thought

January 7, 2010

Ed McDonnell

This past Tuesday the Camden County Freeholders held their annual reorganization.   It was the usual freeholder event where nothing controversial gets said and those in attendance are not given any insight into how our government is working or not working.  

With little fanfare Louis Capelli was unanimously re-elected freeholder director.  Unfortunately, there was no action regarding any issues of interests to the residents of the county.   The privatization of the jail was not discussed and the freeholder’s strategy to lower property  taxes did not make the agenda either.  

Former Freeholder - Joe Roberts

As to be expected many Camden County Democrats attended this very ceremonial meeting.  There was an agenda item offered by a very special guest.  Soon to be former Assembly Speaker, and former Camden County Freeholder, Joe Roberts, did offer an important  agenda item for the freeholder board. 

“What I want to know is when I left here a long time ago, there were pictures of all the former freeholder-directors on this wall,” said Roberts, 57, who is retiring next week. “This should be part of your agenda for the coming year — find those pictures. There’s probably a picture of me when I had hair.” 

Well that is something the residents of Camden County really need a picture gallery of past freeholders.  Maybe the freeholders could sell tickets to the exhibit to raise revenue for the county.  That Joe Roberts, always quick with a progressive idea.  His leadership will be sorely missed in the Assembly next year. 

However, the best moment of the day came from Freeholder Edward McDonnell after he was sworn in as deputy director.  According to a Courier Post report, McDonnell said, 

“I long for the day when we say, “There’s enough money, we’re OK, we can give raises and institute some new programs.” 

Apparently Freeholder McDonnell is chomping at the bit to spend tax payer money on raises and new programs.  It is a pity that economy has gotten in the way of his spending.  I wonder if the raises would have been for the correction officers at the county jail.  I think most correction officers would be happy to just keep their jobs. 

Here is a novel suggestion for Ed McDonnell; stop spending money, forget about “new programs”, put people first, and give the taxpayers a break.

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