Monroe Township is a “blue” town – one of the many in Middlesex County. I know that many registered voters select only the candidates for their party line, regardless of any other information available about them. However, the public really needs to know about the candidates that may represent them.
Because in some cases, our politicians seem content to serve their OWN interests at the EXPENSE of the taxpayers who elected him to office.
For anyone who is blissfully unaware of the recent tax increases in our township, here is a quick summary: Mayor Richard Pucci ignored the 2% property tax cap (which certainly got Governor Chris Christie’s attention) and residents received tax bills that were significantly augmented to cover three years’ worth of tax appeals that were paid out. It was suspicious, Save Jerseyans, because most appeals were filed by senior citizens, the largest demographic in Monroe.
Coincidentally, they also happen to make up the largest Democratic group of residents as well.
Or is it really a coincidence?
Let’s also take the example of the Middlesex County Improvement Authority (MCIA). We have been hearing a lot about this agency as of late.
Why? Well, primarily because Mayor Pucci is also the Executive Director of the authority, and he and several others were reportedly paid some pretty handsome incentive bonuses based on subjective and “vague criteria — such as “has solid understanding of the job” and “maintains proper appearance” — or, in the case of Pucci, was based on a monthly verbal evaluation with Roseman, the board chairman,” according to NJ.com.
Wow. I’d like to take those objectives to my boss and appeal for that kind of cash just for looking presentable at the office!
Then, there is the “donations.”
According to PolitickerNJ.com, vendors holding contracts with the MCIA have donated HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of dollars to county and local Democratic organizations, as well as to a number of political action committees (PACs) – all of which hold alleged ties to Mayor Pucci.
No, this is not illegal behavior, Save Jerseyans, but it does lay the groundwork for a huge conflict of interest. The person who determines which vendors get contracts is the same person who is the biggest beneficiary of funds – for his campaigns and for the campaigns of his allies. It is completely inappropriate and harmful to democracy. And the residents of Monroe Township deserve a mayor who places his or her focus on the betterment of THEIR lives and homes instead of focusing on his own party’s well-being.