Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon called for fiscal accountability in Newark this week. You wouldn’t have known that unless you read The Star Ledger. The
Asbury Park Press, the newspaper/pay site that covers O’Scanlon’s Monmouth County district missed it.
At issue is the $24 million in state aid that Newark is “due” this year, after the state taxpayers kicked in $32 million to Newark’s budget last year, in the face of blatant waste on the part of Mayor Cory Booker and the city council.
Booker squandered $3.7 million in legal and consulting fees in a fight with the New Jersey Devils hockey team over revenue sharing. Booker lost the fight, which even The Star Ledger says was a waste and should have been settled, and vowed to spend more—O’Scanlon says $1 million more, The Ledger says $100 thousand more—in appealing the ruling that favored The Devils. As the ruling stands, Newark owes the Devils $600 thousand.
Newark’s city council is disgrace. A “gaggle of blowhards,” Ledger editor Tom Moran calls them, who “awards itself the highest salaries in the state, along with a free car.” Newark’s city council is paid six times more than Jersey City’s city council, according to Moran. $3.45 million in salaries paid to the Newark city council in 2011.
Also at issue is that the overpaid council has yet to pass their budget that was due in February. Yet, they want the $24 million from Jersey taxpayers.
According to The Ledger, O’Scanlon said,
“Cory Booker is fighting an expensive personal vendetta with one hand while he has the other hand out expecting state aid”
“As the ranking Republican member of the Assembly Budget Committee, I cannot, in good conscience, imagine handing Newark another $24 million when the mayor is continuing to rack up legal fees and costs for litigation that could have been settled months ago,” O’Scanlon said. “The state should not be in the habit of bailing out towns and cities that are unwilling to help themselves.”
Moran, The Ledger’s editorial page editor, responded to O’Scanlon’s rebuke of Booker, with a racially charged column under his own byline, From a perch in the suburbs, a cheap shot at cities.
As if $24 million, or $32 million, or $3.7 million or $3.45 million is cheap.Art Gallagher | Filed under: Cory Booker, Declan O'Scanlon, Newark | Tags: Asbury Park Press, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, Cory Booker, DCA, Declan O'Scanlon, Department of Community Affairs, New Jersey Devils, Race, Racism, Racist, The Star Ledger, Tom Moran | 19 Comments »