Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Who's the Overseer of the Overseer?

A while back, City Attorney Edward Kologi described himself as the overseer of the City's law department.   Mayor Gerounka is asking that the part-time attorneys account for their time.  Attorney Kologi, according to one news article, disputes the Mayor's request and responded by stating:  "Most respectfully, the policy you are seeking to implement falls under the jurisdiction of the Council, not the Mayor,” wrote Kologi. “…current procedures will remain in force and effect.”

Under the current procedure, what we have are two politically connected assistant attorneys being held accountable to no one other than Kologi, another politically connected attorney. These three attorneys, between salaries and benefits, cost taxpayers over a quarter of a million dollars a year.  Makes sense?

To allow one department to monitor itself is absurd no matter how long that practice has been allowed to go on.  According to Linden's Charter:  "The Mayor shall supervise the official acts of the City employees and report derelictions of duty to the Council". 

Based on Attorney Kologi's assertion that the law department is not accountable to the Mayor, the Mayor cannot perform his duties to the City nor to its taxpayers.  In fact, I'd argue that the Mayor himself is being forced to commit a dereliction of his own duty under the current scenario. 

Today we will learn of painful cuts coming out of Trenton. Municipal and school aid will be slashed. Governor Christie, since taking office, has vetoed many suspicious spending practices throughout various boards and authorities around the State to curb wasteful spending in an attempt to end the "anything goes" way of doing business with taxpayer dollars.  Linden should be doing the same and follow the Governor's lead.

The Governor's budget address can be viewed here at 1:00 p.m.  http://www.njn.net/ 

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