County Appointees hold press briefing behind backs of Freeholders
Yesterday morning a Watchdog post revealed how three county appointees, led by County Administrator John Eskilson, sold the Sussex solar scam to the Freeholder Board back in 2011. In what could be described as a reaction to that revelation, the County Administrator called a meeting of the press to sell the deal to settle the solar scam wearing the same rose-colored glasses he used to sell the scam in the first place.
In 2011, Eskilson used the old "we'll miss an opportunity of a lifetime" trick and now he's using "the sky is falling" if we don't. Always the same rush, rush, hurry, hurry, to roll the Board. If this was a corporation, there'd be a shareholders revolt. But this is a county and the taxpayers are easier to bend over.
Eskilson didn't invite any of the Freeholders to his press conference, which was clearly intended to roll the press and get them to put media pressure on elected Freeholders to pass the settlement deal. Since when did John Eskilson morph from an appointed County Administrator into an elected County Executive?
Since when does a county employee use his office to beat the elected representatives of the people into voting on a settlement the public hasn't had an opportunity to review? That's right, the settlement is on the table, Eskilson knows what it says, he has bullied the Freeholders into keeping quiet about it with threats (executive session), but the public isn't allowed to know what it says until after it is approved.
This situation is just like the vote on ObamaCare and Eskilson is Nancy Pelosi telling her members "you got to vote on it before you can read it."
Why does Eskilson oppose letting the taxpayers read the whole unabridged settlement before having to pay for it?
Eskilson is opposed on this by three of the five Freeholder Board members. Freeholder Director Phil Crabb said in the New Jersey Herald that he wanted the settlement made public so the taxpayers could read it before a vote was taken. Freeholders George Graham and Gail Phoebus have been working tirelessly on behalf of the taxpayers' right to know. They have called for full transparency before the vote and for investigations on how we got in this mess in the first place.
Eskilson's refusal to allow the public their right to know can be reversed by these three freeholders and we urge Freeholders Rich Vohden and Dennis Mudrick, who is up for re-election this year, to join them.
Too Bad Sussex County isn't in Malaysia
Get a load of this gem:
"Earlier this afternoon bids were received for the Sussex County/Morris County Improvement Authority Solar Initiative. A single bid was submitted by the partnership of Sunlight General Capital and Power Partners/Mastec. A second bidder arrived after bids were opened and was not accepted (Based upon the voluntary withdrawal by the second bidder, it is highly likely that their bid exceeded that of Sunlight General)."
It is from an email sent out in October 2011 by a top county official. A top appointed official.
Some people put down third world countries but we found one that has a high standard of ethics that some here in New Jersey could learn a thing or two or three from.