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Public Safety in Camden County.

January 22, 2011

The following is an op-ed piece by Gloucester City Republican Wil Levins.

The basic purpose of our democratically elected governments (Local, County, State and Federal) has three mandates:  Establish order, create and maintain laws with the consent of the governed and provide a defensible frame-work for a free society to prosper.  Our current governments have gone well beyond their basic purpose.  For far too long we assumed government had been conducting itself with our best interests and so many of us were willing to be taxed more to help those in need while creating a better society.  Sadly, the truth we are facing today is that our governments, unchecked especially over the last decade, are wildly inefficient and corrupt with patronage, even remaining so until they have run out of resources and must give up on their mandated purposes.

Ceaselessly expanding governments demand perpetually higher taxes to operate until eventually, as we have seen during this economic crisis, the governed become unable and unwilling to pay higher rates.  To offset this failure, the answer from many was to simply increase debt and spending while taxing the rich more instead of holding government accountable.  However, when citizens and businesses became frustrated and decide to leave, as seen in New Jersey over this past decade, we that remained then had to shoulder more of the burden in an endless cycle of higher rates and economic exodus.   The concepts of thrift, efficiency, responsibility and limited government are not just simply a political rallying cry but should have been, and know must become, the basis from which we demand our governments to operate.   These concepts are not republican or democratic; they are a simple harsh reality and were abused by both. 

It was almost a utopian idea to expect our leaders to stay within the original framework government was established upon but now we are left with a public less protected due to our representative’s failings.  If they had prioritized and budgeted appropriately, this current situation would never have come to pass.  Now, as police officers across the state are being told to turnover their credentials and take their place among the unemployed, what will our leaders say about their records in office to a pubic less protected by the most significant mandate of government? 

If we do not remove from office all incumbent elected officials who have conducted themselves outside the standards of fiscally responsible, efficient governance than it is we who have only ourselves to blame and should receive the consequences of our failure to act.

My thoughts go out to the many proud officers who find themselves now abandoned.  Thank you for your service to our communities.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 22, 2011 10:35 am

    I agree whole heartedly. Any Independent business owner, like myself, can understand, if you give something away, it must be paid for by some one…unfortunately, our government cannot understand the concept that we business and family members have to live by….and it’s called “living within your means”….the government was not suppose to be the ” bee all and end all and provide all to everyone”….the citizenry was suppose to “take care of themselves” and “their own family” and not expect a “government agency” to do it for them. The “Give away” of welfare, extended unemployment, free health care, and the raising of taxes, have take away the “incentive of Americans to work and provide for themselves”. We must cut all government in Federal, State and local by 30% and lower the REalestate Tax Base so elderly people who have “paid off their mortgages” (but can’t afford their Realestate Taxes) can keep their homes, and provide a stable base for our communitites. Carole Moore, Owner The Organic Green Cafe at Whitebriar Bed &Breakfast, Edgewater Park, N.J. 08010—609-871-9555

  2. January 22, 2011 10:37 am

    Mr. Levins has very succinctly summarized the dilemna and presented the situation with a viable solution to be enacted at the ballot box. The domination of one polotical party for too long is an unhealthy trend and has lead to lethargy and apathy. The “Machine Politics” of Camden County must be disassembled nut by nut, bolt by bolt until all the gears are laid aside and the political fields are green and healthy again. Mr. Levins is a breath of fresh air on the polital scene in our county and I, for one, hope to hear much more of him in years to come.

  3. Steven Lever permalink
    January 22, 2011 12:10 pm

    Very well put. Now that the problem is, once again, well articulated, it is time to concentrate on solutions. At the top of the list must be, without hesitation or apology, the complete removal of public employee unions.

    Nobody anywhere can make a coherent or logical case for the need of employees of government to belong to a union. Unionization of public employees is the lynch pin of cronyism and corruption. Pure pay-back to union bosses for their political support. It is the unions who have driven up costs and driven down service. Instead of compromising on anything, they willfully and happily sacrifice people. Both their members and those who rely on union members’ services, (Police, Fire, Teachers, etc.).

    My grandfather built the NYC subway system. He fought for unionization because it was necessary then. Dangerous conditions and poor wages made labor unions necessary and useful. Can anyone tell me what dangerous conditions and low wages are being forced on government office workers or teachers in Cherry Hill, Camden County, Trenton or Washington? And if your answer includes anything about inner-city school teachers, please then ask yourself who created those conditions. The answer is corrupt politicians and unions.

  4. steve permalink
    January 26, 2011 5:43 am

    The burden of the states financial failure should not be placed on the shoulders of public safety employees. Their burden is heavy enough. Thank you for remembering who holds this state together.

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