Morning News Digest: August 2, 2010

Follow PolitickerNJ on Twitter and Facebook Fans at the Meadowlands Baffled by a State Plan  Yes, it was his 52nd

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Fans at the Meadowlands Baffled by a State Plan 

Yes, it was his 52nd birthday, and he had just won $102.50 on Elusive Desire in the third race on Friday, so it figured that Bill Robol would be in a good mood. But aside from all that, he wondered, on a clear night, the Manhattan skyline twinkling in the distance beyond the merry monstrosity that is the stalled Xanadu project, what could be better than a summer night at the Meadowlands Racetrack. (Applebome, New York Times)

In case you missed it…

Keeping up with Jones: Paterson mayor says city ‘turned the corner’ on old political infrastructure

 Mayor Jeff Jones walks through his second floor City Hall digs, which right now are barren as Paterson transitions from eight years of Joey Torres to the nascent stages of the Jones era. Men in hospital scrubs paint the walls, and to hear Jones tell it as he heads for the street, this won’t be the only house-cleaning. State elected officials, lawyers, consultants, party Rolodex bigwigs who shop their high-priced wares from town to town: the mayor says he’s putting all of them on notice. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) 

 Dem Committeeman tells Wisniewski that party chairman can’t serve two masters

 Identifying what he sees as Democratic State Chairman John Wisniewski’s hamstrung role at the front of a party in turmoil, a committeeman from Somerset wants fellow members to consider a bylaw that would prevent an elected official from also serving as a member of the state party committee. The suggestion by Joel L. Shain of Bernardsville came in the form of a letter to the party after a direct appeal to Wisniewski of Sayreville, who also serves as a 19th District assemblyman. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) 

Audit assails troubled Bergen agency for lax controls

 A Bergen County agency under federal scrutiny for its alleged role in a consumer mortgage scam was lacking in key financial safeguards and routine bookkeeping practices as it directed multimillion-dollar public projects, according to an independent audit. Auditors found that officials at the Bergen County Improvement Authority neither reviewed delinquent accounts nor tried to collect them. The same officials failed to properly keep track of fees collected from truckers who dumped construction debris and other unwanted fill at the controversial Overpeck County Park project. (Pillets, The Record)

 From the Back Room 

 Get in my belly! 

In a rare occasion of one town requesting to be subsumed by another, Merchantville, all three-fifths of a square-mile of it, wants to merge with Cherry Hill, reports of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Petitions for the merger were gathered in Merchantville due to its untenable budgetary issues. Mayors for both towns have agreed to a $100,000 feasibility study. (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ) 


 Stile: Sarlo insists he’s not afraid of Ferriero 

The Bergen Democrat most worried about a possible return of now-cleared former party Chairman Joe Ferriero is Sen. Paul Sarlo of the South Bergen-centric 36th Legislative District. Sarlo, whose improbable rise to the Senate leadership from the tiny, politically marginal town of Wood-Ridge was nurtured and guided by Ferriero, is on Ferriero’s short list for payback, many party observers contend. (Stile, The Record) 

Riordan: In Cherry Hill’s west, Merchantville merger welcome

 The notion of merging Merchantville and Cherry Hill doesn’t seem so far-fetched to Nancy Cosme. She can look out her window and see what such a municipal marriage would look like. “In my house, I belong to Cherry Hill,” says Cosme, a 46-year-old elementary schoolteacher who lives on the township’s far, far, far west side. “But my garage is in Merchantville.” (Riordan, Inquirer) 

Ingle: Clean the rats’ nest out of DRPA 

Government authorities were created to park political hacks and operators on the public payroll but out of reach of ordinary taxpayers who finance them, as well as to get around the state’s borrowing laws. Think plantations of greed overseen by party bosses. (Ingle, Gannett) 

 Stile: Dethroned Bergen Democratic leader may be itching to reclaim his empire 

Joe Ferriero was perfectly willing Thursday to let his lawyer do the talking for him — until he was asked about a possible return to the political life. “I’m not going to talk about it right now,” he said, minutes after a federal judge tossed out the corruption case that toppled the once-imperious party leader whose influence dominated Bergen County politics and shaped county government, ultimately affecting the day-to-day lives of people here. (Stile, The Record)

Morning News Digest: August 2, 2010