Beyond GeneratorGate


Apparently some government employees around the state made use of taxpayer-bought generators to help get through super-storm Sandy.  In Union County the prosecutor is investigating.  But there is a bigger issue here.

I can see a DPW worker or a freeholder ‘borrowing’ a generator that’s just sitting there but the real scandal has to be why these generators get purchased in the first place if, when we have a ‘storm of the century’ with record outage-lengths, they are available for ‘borrowing.’  What was the motivation for purchasing them?  And not just generators, what about….

  • Extra police officers who need to be hired if only on the chance they could prevent one crime.
  • Pensions and lifetime health benefits that need to be provided to attract the best people.
  • Cars, blackberries, catered meetings, and various perks government workers get to supposedly be more efficient.

Can anyone on the outside (including most elected officials) argue that these things are really unnecessary or wasteful? Shouldn’t we trust the judgment of the professionals and insiders regarding what their needs are for government to operate effectively?  Generatorgate seems to indicate not.
For those interested in a summary of generatorgate in Union County:

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For those who want to speculate:

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Javagold on December 1, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    thats the correct question…..if the PUBLIC didnt need/use them during a ’500 year’ storm…..then why are they even bought in the first place……

    Another question, how is that so many public leeches from different areas of state , felt it OK to “borrow”

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH !

    Reply

  2. Posted by Anonymous on December 1, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Why is it the public employees fault? The politicians have the power, not the people.

    Reply

    • Good point though slightly disingenuous since often it’s the public employees who (through their ‘support’ both financial and as campaign staff) get to choose who gets elected and the politicians they favor are those who are the most vain, callow or inept for easy manipulation. Because of an electoral process that doesn’t make candidate failings obvious relying instead on posters and ads that cost money and allow for offices to be purchased a prerequisite for obtaining many elected positions is to be ill-equipped or averse to handling the job, thus ceding real power to public employees or those leeches who trade ‘support’ for no-bid contracts.

      Reply

  3. Posted by Anonymous on December 4, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    I am a police officer who not only did not borrow a generator but condemn those who did. There is absolutely no excuse for it. However, I also fall into the category of not having a dept issued cellphone as do almost all of my co workers. One must be careful though not to use a personal phone in the performance of your duties as it then becomes discoverable for the defense. All your calls do. As for cars, we do not have anyone on our force who takes a car home. And I honestly can’t remember the last time I had a catered meal on the public’s dime. I am not looking for one either by the way, I will feed myself. Although I must admit, the town did buy us all coffee mugs in appreciation of our work during Sandy. Yay!! Again, keep the mugs and just say Thank you guys, well done. Or I can even handle saying nothing,

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on December 4, 2012 at 2:48 pm

      So are you patting yourself on the back for being honest. Why should we expect less?

      We’ve sunk to pretty low expectations when not being dishonest is the standard for being commended.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on December 4, 2012 at 4:55 pm

        Wrong TL. I was simply stating that I don’t approve of using a town generator and that I along with virtually all of my co-workers don’t get the perks John referred to in his post. No, that is reserved for political hacks. The commending was in fact for the job done in the hurricane(in lieu of the coffee mugs)not for “not being dishonest” which in fact means that you are honest. No, all I expect for that is for someone to think of me as a fair and honest human being based on my track record. You, sir, evidentally like to see nothing but the negative!!

        Reply

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