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Politics as Usual in Camden, for Dana Redd

February 4, 2010

It should come as no surprise that newly-elected Camden Mayor Dana Redd would revert to the taxpayer-funded wasteful ways she learned during her short stint Trenton and as a component of the failed leadership that has crippled the city.

A report that Redd’s “efforts to more than double the allowed salaries for her aides,” has drawn statewide attention and criticism in the midst of the city’s state oversight that was phased out during the lame-duck session.

Noted Republican budget officer Senator Tony Bucco:

“The new law crippled the governor’s ability to exercise oversight over the hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money pumped into Camden each year. In the Senate, Democrat legislators passed this law over unanimous Republican opposition even though nearly all money spent by the city of Camden comes from state aid, not local taxes.

“The history of Camden’s local government has been one of unbelievably lax accountability, deficit spending and corruption. It is appalling that my Democrat colleagues have given the officials of this mismanaged city the right to thumb their noses at the hard-working taxpayers who pay Camden’s bills year after year after year.”

According to the Courier Post, Bucco “planned to introduce a bill that would require cities to address problems found by state auditors before being approved for special state aid, something that Camden has neglected to do for years.” Instead, the city has managed to get “$67 million in special aid this year that former Gov. Jon S. Corzine’s appointees approved just before Christie took office… up $11 million, or 7 percent, from the amount the city received last year.”

Even Governor Christie has weighed in on the issue:

“I’ve said over time that municipalities need to understand that we’re operating in a new world, and Camden should not feel as if they’re an island oasis in that world.  [The mayor] needs to think long and hard about the decisions she’s making.”

The Governor is correct in that the Mayor needs to put more thought into making decisions that affect not just the city, but the state as a whole. Perhaps the real point is that voters need to realize that just because the faces of their leaders have changed, doesn’t mean their politics have. Bucco’s comments on the city’s failed leadership are on point. Residents in Camden deserve real action and real change, and should not sit idly by while like-minded officials do little to reverse the negative trends done in the city’s communities, and, rather, concern themselves with taking care of their friends with high paying public jobs.

One Comment leave one →
  1. marie permalink
    February 4, 2010 10:09 pm’s all about hiring folks who will do the job only if the reward is right! What…no sense of pride in bringing a dying city back to life? No commitment to wanting to do a great job because the outcome would benefit so many? Are there no qualified candidates who will do an effective job and be well compensated and satisfied at that? Must it be…we gotta bribe people to get them on board with us…we gotta get folks where it’s most effective, padding their purses?? Change…change …the only change I note is what’s jingling in the pockets of the folks at the helm in Camden.

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