The July 22 letter by Jorge Gomez touting Mayor Nick Sacco’s administration makes great fictional reading but barely touches on the truth of how Sacco governs our town.
The letter written by a county employee Jorge E. Gomez is an apparent attempt by Sacco’s highly paid, taxpayer-funded Public Relations department to try to beat back all the negative publicity that the Sacco administration has been getting lately.
Let’s review some of recent “accomplishments” of the administration:
The town’s Department of Public Works is under investigation by the State Attorney General’s Office and a Grand Jury is being empanelled to consider bringing criminal charges. In what seems to me like an effort to cover up the potential wrongdoing and stop the investigation from touching Sacco, the town commissioners hired eight law firms to represent the town workers at taxpayer expense. According to published reports, some workers are now afraid to talk to the investigators.
The administration’s so called pro-business approach that Mr. Gomez raves about is nothing more than an overdevelopment stampede that has ruined neighborhoods, snarled traffic and made Tonnelle Avenue one of the most dangerous roads in the region. While embracing all this development, the Sacco administration has been giving enormous tax breaks to developers.
The lack of transparency and spending restraint by the administration is almost nonexistent. Meeting agendas were never posted online until two months ago and that was only after numerous complaints by a citizen’s organization. But instead of posting detailed agendas online, the town provides skimpy information that informs no one of what will actually occur at town commission meetings, which are held at 11 a.m. to purposely reduce attendance.
The commissioners approve hundreds of thousands of dollars of spending each meeting with no discussion or explanation about what they are spending the public’s money on. At one recent meeting, Business Administrator Chris Pianese, when pressed by a member of the public about what was on the bill list, responded by saying “do you expect us to know everything we vote on.” Yes Business Adminstrator, we do.
A recent report by the State Comptroller Matthew Boxer on the abuse of the state pension system by outside professionals, such as attorneys who are illegally enrolled in the system, listed the township of North Bergen and the North Bergen Board of Education as possible wrongdoers.
And very recently, scores of senior citizens living in Cullum Towers senior housing complex were forced to endure inhumane conditions in a recent heat wave as their air conditioning was made inoperable by contractors hired by the North Bergen Housing Authority. Some of the elderly were forced to go to the hospital. And all the residents were advised to buy new air conditioners – at their own expense because of the Housing Authority’s renovations. Mayor Sacco said nothing.
Space does not allow me to go on, but there is plenty more I can say that refutes Mr. Gomez’s contention that the Sacco administration is doing a good job managing the town. The administration is doing a good job at hiding the truth from the public and spending the taxpayer’s money on their friends and allies – that’s about it.