Be careful of folks spreading b.s. about Clerk/ Sheriff

County Clerk Jeff Parrott and Sheriff Mike Strada are both reformers who have reorganized their departments, cut spending, increased revenues, and saved taxpayers millions.  Over the past few years, certain freeholders have attempted to mess with their offices which are – by design and by law – INDEPENDENT of the Freeholders who, as we have seen time and time again, have enough to do to keep from messing up what they’re in charge of. 

But that hasn’t prevented them from casting a jealous eye at two departments that are reducing staffing while increasing revenue to the taxpayers (Also-Known-As “property tax relief”).  The opportunities by the Board to slip in a favored employee or two are great, but have been resolutely resisted by Parrott and Strada.   

And so it seems that those certain someones on the Board have leaned on the county’s largest (?) newspaper to stir the pot and lay out some propaganda with which to smear our Clerk and Sheriff.  After all, the Board and the newspaper share the same lawyer. 

Take the Clerk’s office as a for instance.  At a Board meeting earlier this summer, one of the Freeholders crowed and scratched like some bellicose rooster.  He was on and on about a word he had just discovered, called “breakage.” 

He was so fond of the word that he used it over and over again… whether it was the appropriate word or not.  He liked the sound of the word. It made a pleasant, romantic sound, not unlike the word “garbage.”  But there you are.

What he was actually talking about was people.  Good people who work for the county’s taxpayers and who are earning for the taxpayers from their good work hundreds of thousands in revenue that wasn’t there before – revenue that is going back to the county as property tax relief.  If only those certain members of the Board will allow it, not spend it, on shit like lawyers studies, at over $8,000 a page… to tell us silly stuff that we already know. 

Under Jeff Parrott, the Clerk’s office has cut its staff and has not hired extra staff – even when two employees became seriously ill and could not work. Instead, their duties were split up and reassigned to those remaining staff.  And they still handled more documents, collected more fees, and earned more revenue for the County and property tax relief for the taxpayers. So one would think that, having come out so far ahead, nobody would begrudge those hard working employees (who made do with less staff and covered for their two grievously ill compatriots) a small bonus in their pay packets, by way of a thank you. 

Oh, but that’s where our rooster comes in.  “It’s breakage” he snorts!  Of course, it’s not “breakage” when they spend a half million on a no-bid contract for a friend who produces a thin report that isn’t worth the paper to wipe your bunghole with.  “Why that thar is goooood gov’ment,” says the rooster.

So let’s be very wary about a rooster who crows to distract us from the real issues facing the county’s taxpayers.