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Camden County & South Jersey Democrats in the news:

Camden County & South Jersey Democrats in the news:

Are you interested in running for office in Camden County?

We are now seeking potential candidates for the Camden County Clerk position. We are looking for people with a commitment to public service, an interest in helping our community through tough times, and a willingness to roll up their sleeves and go to work for residents across the county. The person chosen will be a county-wide candidate on the ballot this year.

If you would like to be considered for the position, please send a cover letter and resume to christy@ccdems.org or (856) 424-5511 (fax). The deadline for nominations is Friday, February 6th at 5pm.

Courier Post agrees with County's effort to curb spending

Camco smart to try to freeze salaries
Courier Post Editorial
Sunday, February 1, 2009

Reduced tax revenue means the payroll has to be cut.

Tax revenues are down because taxpayers are losing their jobs and their homes. And they definitely aren't spending as much.

Just as Gov. Jon Corzine is right to seek wage freezes for state government workers, so too are Camden County officials right to seek pay freezes for county government workers.

Suspending raises is a much more forgiving way of dealing with a shortfall than unpaid furloughs or mass layoffs. Public employees ought to realize that. No one wants to lose their job at a time like this.

Freezing wages is an option Camden County should move toward, the state should move toward and other governments across New Jersey should move toward. The cost of government must be reduced immediately.

Gloucester Township Dems endorse Dave Mayer for Mayor

Democrats back Mayer for Gloucester Township mayor
January 23, 2009

Former Assemblyman David Mayer won the endorsement of the Gloucester Township Democrats to be their candidate for Mayor against Republican incumbent Cindy Rau-Hatton.

Mayer, 41, was elected to the State Assembly in 2001 and re-elected in 2003 and 2005. He did not seek re-election to a fourth term in 2007. A former Chief of Staff to the Camden County Clerk and District Director for U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews, Mayer served as a Gloucester Township Councilman in 2002 and 2003.

Incumbent Councilmen Daniel Hutchison and Frank Schmidt will run on the Democratic ticket. A third candidate has not yet been selected. Hutchison was elected on a ticket with Rau-Hatton two years ago.

Rau-Hatton was elected in 2006, winning a May non-partisan election. Voters subsequently approved a referendum that made Gloucester Township municipal elections partisan, so the mayoral post is now up in November 2009, instead of May 2010.

Rau-Hatton is the highest-ranking Republican elected official in Camden County. Gloucester Township, with a population of 64,300, is the 18th largest municipality in the state. Of the state's 25 biggest towns, only seven have Republican mayors: Toms River, Hamilton, Clifton, Brick, Middletown, Gloucester Township, and Franklin. The mayor of Franklin, Brian Levine, is mulling a bid for the 2009 Republican nomination for Governor.

Editor can be reached via email at editor@politicsnj.com.

Assemblyman Greenwald fights for reform

Group homes make moral, economic sense
The Star-Ledger Editorial Board
January 26, 2009 5:47AM

Financially, it's a no-brainer. But this isn't only an economic issue, it's a moral issue, too.

Assemblyman Louis Greenwald has introduced a bold bill to close five of the state's seven developmental centers and disperse most of the 2,861 residents into the community, to group homes or independent living with support services.

For decades, New Jersey has warehoused many of its developmentally disabled, tucked them into beds, given them three square meals and board games, and decided that was good enough -- even though research says most, if not all, would enjoy a better life among the rest of us. They are promised a better tomorrow, then stuck on a waiting list for community living that has doubled
in the past decade.

Greenwald's bill (A3625) would allow individuals with developmental disabilities, their families and doctors to decide what's best -- a move into the community or a room in a center. Either way, funding would follow them.

Greenwald's bill answers the major concerns of its detractors. If it turns out more than two centers are needed for more severely disabled individuals who want -- or need -- to remain institutionalized, additional centers will remain open. And most jobs won't be lost. Center employees, like others in this fluid economy, would be retrained, so they can provide services in the community.

Finding enough housing and fighting fear and NIMBY will prove challenging, but nothing that concentrated effort couldn't overcome. Sure, the time frame is aggressive, but the bill will get the state moving in the right direction.

When public policy wastes millions of dollars, it's bad policy. When that policy also prevents people from reaching their full potential, or needlessly separates them from those who love them, it's inexcusable.