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Hot on the heels of his $5 million miniature golf course Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo has embarked on another taxpayer funded boondoggle. This time it's $4 million to build a restaurant in South Mountain Reservation.
That's right, the government is going into the restaurant business, and they're doing it with our money. But have no fear! They've enlisted multi-millionaire restauranteur and developer Tim McLoone to run it. McLoone is "iconic" in Asbury Park, NJ where he turned a run-down HoJo's into a seaside hot spot.
So why is the government funding McLoone's latest venture? Joe DiVincenzo's meglomania, that's why. "Joe D" as he likes to be called is the Robert Byrd of North Jersey. No onramp, court house, outhouse, boathouse, or cathouse is complete without his "iconic" presence, passing out tax dollars like candy to get his name and picture in the paper.
He's got a "vision", a plan to create a "destination" at the South Mountain Recreational Complex. Safari-themed mini golf and fancy restaurants are only a small part of his grand scheme.
Left unsaid is how anyone around here can afford to patronize these white elephants considering how year in and year out "Joe D" ratchets up the county tax rate putting the squeeze on those of us who actually work for a living.
He's running for an unprecedented 3rd term too, just so he can complete the rape of the county coffers he began as soon as he was sworn in back in 2003. Essex County is $1 billion dollars in debt, when can we expect the spending spree to stop? Can you say "never"? Not spending money is one thing that Joe DiVincenzo has never contemplated.
You'd think that given Joe D's record there would be a credible candidate (or 2) running against him. But this is "blue-er than blue" Essex County, long time bastion of old fashioned Democratic party machine politics. The Republican candidate is, get this, a guy who works for Joe D. Like seriously, nobody's-ever-heard-of-him-before Herbert Glenn is the best challenger the GOP could come up with?
Then there's independent candidate Marilynn English. Some of my Tea Party friends are backing her. And she comes across as perfectly sane right up to the point where she veers off the rails by refusing to acknowledge the menace inherent in the exploding infestation of white-tail deer overrunning our neighborhoods. Her "deer-hugger" platform is a non-starter for me.
You know what I want? I want to see somebody run on the platform of completely eliminating county government. Shut it down and sell it off. No more golf courses (we've got 4, plus the mini golf extravaganza). No more hockey arenas or fancy flower gardens or county rent-a-cops either.
And we certaily don't need any more boondoggle public works projects of questionable value financed with sweetheart deals at the taxpayers' expense.
End county government. You know you want to.
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