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Guest Informer

of Political Patronage

by www.ApatheticVoter.com

Two years after questions were raised about the practice of political patronage at New Jersey’s largest sewerage authority, the number of employees has grown astronomically at the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners (PVSC), by adding friends and family of people with political clout. The PVSC, which serves 1.5 million customers and more than 4,000 businesses, ballooned its budget from $100 million in 2001 to over $122 million today, and its payroll has grown by 50 employees since 2003 to an alarming level of 690 employees, far more than at comparable facilities managed by private firms. Many Democrats, who were aligned with disgraced ex-Governor James McGreevey, have shared in the booty as well, being hired as “consultants” to the tune of $6,000 per month or for legal work costing millions of dollars per year. The agency is not accountable to state review and has not had an audited financial statement in two years. The major difference between a state run facility and a privately run facility is a privately run facility must make a profit or go out of business. Its not unknown but much more difficult for the CEO to pad the payroll with his friends or relatives, for after all, he or she answers to a board of directors. Government agencies can simply keep increasing the budget forcing other municipalities that utilize their services to pick up the tab. If the state were smart, it should auction off the sewerage facilities by selling to the highest bidder. Not only would the state potentially realize hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars from the transaction, they should see lower costs through competition and the elimination of millions of dollars spent on political patronage jobs

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