Sunday
May202018

QUIZ: Which is more stupid? (1) Handing out raises when you are in the middle of contract negotiations...

The Freeholder Board majority who run Sussex County government is made up of Freeholder Boss George Graham, Freeholder Jonathan Rose, and Freeholder Carl Lazzaro.  In our opinion, they have done a lot of stupid things while running the county and they've let us down.  Heck, we once supported them, so we are really disappointed in their antics. 

Below are just a few of the stupid pranks they've pulled since taking over.  So here's our quiz for today:  Which do you think is the most stupid? 

(1) Handing out raises when you are in the middle of contract negotiations. 

On May 9, 2018, smack dab in the middle of negotiations with unions representing most of Sussex County's employees, these three knuckleheads pushed through pay raises for 50 employees -- some already earning six figures. 

(2) Hiring the same lawyer who signed-off on the solar project to "study" what went wrong with the solar project, in order to assign blame and take appropriate legal action. 

In 2016, one of the first things the three Freeholders (Graham-Rose-Lazzaro) did was to hand out a no-bid contract to the law firm that employed the former State Comptroller, whose office did the final approval and gave the go-ahead for the failed solar project that has cost Sussex County taxpayers over $23 million so far.  

To make matters worse, they said nothing when the former Comptroller himself conducted the interviews, wrote the report, and whitewashed his former office and everyone else.  

End result:  The "study" cost more than $8,000 a page (over $500,000 total).  No harm, no foul, no money back. 

(3) Taking a $2,000 campaign contribution from the bond attorney who failed to blow the whistle on the solar project and then hiring him back.  

It was the job of the bond attorney to protect Sussex County taxpayers and he didn't.  But after getting a $2,000 contribution from his law firm, the three knuckleheads hired him back. 

So which is the stupidest to you?

Send your responses to: info@sussexcountywatchdog.com 

Sunday
May202018

Freeholder Rose's re-launched Skylands blog backed Democrat candidates in 2017

The blog that tried to convince everyone that Assemblyman Parker Space is a racist last year is back...

The "Skylands" blog that did so much to try to elect three far-left Democrats to the Legislature last year by boycotting Space Farms and trashing Sussex County Republicans on behalf of the Murphy team.  They're baaack... 

The blog tries to portray itself as part a tea party group but has nothing to do with any tea party organization in Sussex County.  Instead, the blog promotes the county insider line as laid out by Freeholder Boss George Graham.

Last year the "Skylands" blog pushed for the election of liberal Democrat Dan Perez over Republican Herb Yardley.  The blog was there when Graham's pal Maria Alampi arranged for the anti-gun Perez to speak at the Sussex NRA dinner.

Now it's back... just in time to help with the re-election of Freeholders Jonathan Rose and Carl Lazzaro. 

The "Skylands" blog is affiliated with Freeholder Rose and his pal, Dick.  Cop-hater Dave Fanale recently joined the effort to re-elect Rose and Lazzaro.  It will be remembered that after the disgraced Fanale quit Franklin Council, he moved into Rose's house.  Add George Graham into that mix and you have quite the group.

Friday
May182018

FACT CHECK: First Rose-Lazzaro ad full of untruths

The first re-election ad put out by Freeholders Jonathan Rose and Carl Lazzaro is a doozy.  It appeared in some of the weekly newspapers and is noteworthy for the litany of untruths and outright lies it contains.

Here is a copy of the actual text...

We checked the FACTS and it isn't pretty:

(1) Transparency.  The Freeholder Board majority of Boss George Graham, Jonathan Rose, and Carl Lazzaro put together a so-called transparency committee made up of them and other county politicians... that's right, to judge the ethical problems of them and other county politicians.  Ridiculous!

(2) Predictable Taxes.  Yes, they are predictable in that county property taxes go up EVERY year. They outright lie when they claimed to keep tax increases "at or below the rate of inflation." Compare the annual inflation rates and the resulting tax increases for yourself...

YEAR              Annual Inflation Rate                    Property Tax Increase

2015                           0.1%                                                   4.2%

2016                           1.3%                                                   3.5%

2017                           2.1%                                                   2.9%

(3) Efficient Government.  Empire Building by Freeholder Boss George Graham has resulted in a lawsuit by Sussex County's Sheriff Mike Strada -- an attempt at keeping the Freeholders' from turning the Sheriff's department into a political patronage playpen for Graham and the boys.  And while Sheriff Strada is fighting for the integrity of his department and protecting his employees from harassment and molestation by county insiders, Graham and the boys handed out sweetheart-deal pay raises to 50 white-collar cronies.  They did this while telling every other county employee that they couldn't even have a cost-of-living adjustment -- and they did it in the middle of contract negotiations.  The Freeholders have destroyed the morale and efficiency of county government. 

(4) Solar Litigation.  Rose and Lazzaro joined Freeholder Graham in hiring back the lawyers responsible for the solar fiasco and the resulting debt and property tax hikes.  One lawyer they hired back as bond counsel after he gave a $2,000 campaign contribution to Graham.  The other they gave a no-bid contract to for a study of the solar mess -- which, of course, whitewashed his role and the role of the bond counsel. Under Rose and Lazzaro and Graham the solar mess has only gotten more messy -- and there is still no plan to get our money back! 

(5) Fix the Transportation Network.  At public appearances, Freeholder Rose has called for scrapping the planned rail line into Sussex County that legislators like Steve Oroho, Gail Phoebus, Parker Space, and Hal Wirths have long fought for.  Rose claims that the era of "driverless vehicles" is almost here and that we should wait for the future to arrive.  This is as pie-in-the-sky as is Freeholder Rose's support for legalizing marijuana sales in New Jersey in the middle of an opioid epidemic that is killing thousands.  Irresponsible. 

(6) Promote Tourism.  "Trails and bicycle lanes" won't bring people to Sussex County -- jobs and lower taxes will. Why can Warren County cut its county property taxes but Sussex County can't?  Maybe it's because Warren County's Freeholders don't borrow unless the voters say so... Maybe it's because Warren County has two less Freeholders than Sussex County does? 

Maybe it's time for Sussex County to make do with two less Freeholders?

Friday
May182018

"Skylands" blog that backed Democrat candidates in 2017 is back

The blog that tried to convince everyone that Assemblyman Parker Space is a racist last year is back...

The "Skylands" blog that did so much to try to elect three far-left Democrats to the Legislature last year by boycotting Space Farms and trashing Sussex County Republicans on behalf of the Murphy team.  They're baaack...

The blog tries to portray itself as part a tea party group but has nothing to do with any tea party organization in Sussex County.  Instead, the blog promotes the county insider line as laid out by Freeholder Boss George Graham. 

Last year the "Skylands" blog pushed for the election of liberal Democrat Dan Perez over Republican Herb Yardley.  The blog was there when Graham's pal Maria Alampi arranged for the anti-gun Perez to speak at the Sussex NRA dinner.

Now it's back... just in time to help with the re-election of Freeholders Jonathan Rose and Carl Lazzaro.  

Perhaps the "Skylands" blog is run from the basement of Freeholder Rose's computer business?  Maybe cop-hater Dave Fanale is involved?  After all, the disgraced Fanale did live with Freeholder Rose after he quit the Franklin Council.

Stay tuned...

Thursday
May172018

Freeholders gave raises to 50 insiders... stiffed regular workers

If you want to know why the county workers who plow the snow and fix the roads are so up in arms, consider this:  What were Freeholders Rose and Lazzaro thinking to be in the middle of contract negotiations with the county's blue-collar union workers, telling them you need to hold-the-line on spending, while handing out big raises to 50 of your white-collar cronies?   

Are these guys stupid, clueless, arrogant, or all three?

Actually, it is much simpler than that.  They do as Freeholder Boss George Graham tells them, and he is in the middle of doing some serious Empire Building.  Like taking over the Sheriff's Department, so he can turn it into the kind of patronage den they have back in Hudson County, where Graham, a former Democrat Party political consultant, ran campaigns for the Mayor of Bayonne and the like.

A recent letter from a reader explains it:

SOURCE: Freeholder Minutes, May 9, 2018

Now there is a justifiable anger from those county employees who have not been on the receiving end of the largesse of Freeholders Graham, Rose, and Lazzaro. For the first time in memory, the CWA employees union made an endorsement and endorsed their opponents. Such is the anger out there. 

It is clear that the three Freeholders have lost the moral high ground by handing out raises to their friends.  They cannot be agents for fiscal responsibility while they behave in such an irresponsible manner.  Perhaps two new freeholders, without the baggage of having taken care of their cronies, can argue on behalf of the taxpayers, for fiscal restraint, that we are all taxpayers and in this together?

Perhaps they can.  Because the incumbents certainly cannot.