In his own words: Solar was Crabb's idea.
Just whose idea was the Solar scheme that has gone spectacularly bust and had to be bailed out by borrowing taxpayers' money?
Under considerable heat for being one of three county bureaucrats on the committee that sold the project to the entire Board, County Administrator John Eskilson is telling anyone who will listen that it was Rich Zeoli and Phil Crabb -- both Directors of the Freeholder Board at key points in the process -- who brought the project to Sussex County, courtesy of Zeoli's political connections in Morris County.
That sounds about right, but then we came across this.
It is April 2011. Two of the Freeholders have been on the Board for less than four months. Freeholder Phil Crabb is a senior member of the Board and the others look to him for direction. This is Freeholder Crabb, talking about the Solar scheme:
"This appropriation is a small sum when you consider the long term energy savings that could result from the program."
"The solar developers that take on the projects will own the equipment and sell the power generated to the town or school at a reduced rate while reaping the benefits of state and federal sustainable energy incentives."
"Participating municipalities and school districts do not invest any money in the installation. Rather, the (Morris County) Improvement Authority provides low-cost loans to the developer through its public authority to sell bonds. These loans are then used by the developer to install the solar facilities."
What is left out is the part about the taxpayers of Sussex County being on the hook for the bonds that funded the "low-cost loans" to developers. Oh, and also the fact that a lot of politically connected lawyers and consultants got paid millions of taxpayers' money. So Phil Crabb -- an experienced member on the Freeholder Board -- was also its biggest cheerleader for the Solar scheme.
Instead of leading the newcomers on the Board and asking tough questions, Crabb was too busy being a pop-pom boy for the solar scammers.