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Bergen County government: Ins and outs

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

EDITORIAL : With a new Bergen County executive in charge, appointments by the previous administration to an agency plagued by scandal have been rejected — and a legal fight is expected.


Only weeks into office, Kathleen Donovan has vetoed two appointments to the county’s chief funding agency — as well as a contract extension for its deputy director.

The appointments to the Bergen County Improvement Authority by the man she ousted from office, Dennis McNerney, were made barely two weeks before his term was up.

This is where your tax dollars go: One administration tries to gives its cronies in, while another looks to boot them out to make room for their own. And who foots the legal bill?

Jerry DeMarco Publisher/Editor


Donovan wants to nix McNerney’s appointment of Dumont Mayor Matthew McHale as the BCIA’s executive director, as well as the extention of Little Ferry Mayor Mauro Raguseo as its deputy director and the hiring of a former McNerney aide to a position at Bergen Regional Medical Center.

The former chairman and former commissioner of the BCIA, Peter J. O’Malley, was named last summer in a a 68-count federal mortgage fraud indictment returned against him and a partner of his Ridgewood firm.

Now, Democrats are claiming Donovan didn’t order the rejections in the state-allotted time period. So instead of a discussion about the qualifications of those appointed, we now have a mud fight.

Think about it: You’ve been defeated, it’s time to move on — but, just before you leave, you stack the deck with your friends.

Now go back to your true positions as taxpayers: Either way, you can’t win. Either you’re stuck with flunkies or you have to pay through the nose to have them removed — only to be replaced by equally unqualified people from the other party.

Oh, and by the way: McNerney is already set up with a job at Bergen Community College. Nothing you can do about that.

Of $50 million worth of bonds sold  by the Bergen County Improvement Authority during its biggest year, more than half went toward the purchase of a building in the Meadowlands — a campus McNerney is being given the keys to.

The swelling of staff comes scant months after BCC cut hours for students with work-study jobs, citing budgetary concerns.

Whether the feds consider further scrutiny of the college necessary remains to be seen.

This is why CLIFFVIEW PILOT doesn’t cover politics. No matter which end you come in from, it still stinks.

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