County Manager Needs a Reminder

There is something terribly wrong going on here in Union County. When did it become acceptable for county employees to be abusive toward the public? Just when did the county manager, who in actuality is nothing more than a hired hand like any other CEO or COO of a corporation, become endowed with the right to publicly malign share holders, in his case taxpayers, and get away with it?

County Manager, George Devanney, was appointed to his position by virtue it appears of nothing more than his family ties, he is the nephew of State Senator and self proclaimed political power broker Raymond Lesniack. Devanney came into his position ill prepared to manage the daily operations of a 3,000 plus employee operation that spends over one million dollars a day. From a professional perspective Devanney’s experience from his prior positions would have left him far too light to qualify for anything even remotely similar in the private sector. And further, based on his performance the past couple of years it can be said that he has been learning by doing made evident by his errors and bumbling in many areas especially that of Public Relations. Unfortunately the management of county government does not readily lend itself to a trial and error “on the job training” arrangement, as there is just too much at stake.

Devanney is fortunate that he has had the deputy county manager at his disposal to lean on; most assuredly Elizabeth Genevich is probably his greatest asset and one can only surmise that she has had to rescue his posterior from time to time, simply because she is more capable than he. .A genuinely caring person Genevich is one of the bright stars of Union County government. Woefully her talents have been overshadowed by Devanney’s bravado. She has proven herself to be more than a capable administrator and leader when she has had to hold up the tent in Devanney’s absences. Because of her professional demeanor she has commanded and received the public’s respect, too bad the number one guy cannot take a cue or two from her.

Recently, he was caught in a non-truth by a respected newspaper writer covering the closing of a county golf course. When questioned about how certain regulations would apply to this particular public land use he appeared to out right fabricate an answer. But we should remember that here in NJ it not against the law for a public official or employee to tell a lie to the public as long as they are not giving sworn testimony. In this case the county Director of Public Information attempted to execute a save and flatly denied that Devanney said what he said and there is not a thing anyone can do about it. But what Devanney cannot deny is what he has said at Freeholder meetings and what has been captured on tape and preserved on the internet where it can hideout seemingly forever.

Everyone knows someone like George Devanney, someone who always has to have the last word, someone who has something to say about everyone and everything and someone who just cannot control the urge to speak out regardless of where they are, what has been said and who is speaking. To “hear” him in action one simply can click on the following link and view the Union County Freeholder meetings on tape. Devanney is the little voice in the background taunting some citizen speakers as they return to their seats after sharing their concerns, or more frequently being critical of the board. These criticisms don’t sit well with the county manager who will blurt out the first thing that comes to mind or most recently an inaccuracy regarding a citizen’s personal affairs. He has been known to attempt to drown out the speaker with laughter or other juvenile noises. He is out of line, speaking out of turn and certainly out of control on a regular basis deserving a reprimand from the higher ups.

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders cannot possibly believe that he does anything good for their image or of county government for that matter and continually giving him raises and allowing him to publicly defame those who disagree with the board is not doing anyone any good. And if it is true, as has been rumored, that Uncle Ray Lesniack is grooming his nephew for higher office in the future he may wish to take a closer look at how this guy handles himself when dealing with the general public. His behavior in public is an embarrassment to all who pay his salary and can only be described as nothing more than that of a common street thug.

County Manager Needs a Reminder