Governor’s platform for reform must be effectuated

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Governor Christie has offended many factions of constituents.  However, his platform  to rid NJ of corruption is honorable and non-controversial. Christie’s convictions for legal, ethical,  moral and transparent  government are a cause for celebration.

The  scandals  in his  wildlife agency are case in point.  The Division of  Fish and Wildlife  (DFW) was appropriated  $2 million for the charge of  nonlethal bear management (’06 – 09).  Investigations exposed this money was egregiously wasted on the division’s biased mission to gain  another recreational bear hunt.

One investigation showed that the Bureau of Law Enforcement received $625,000 and additional staff and resources , to enforce  the bear feeding ban law, NJSA 23:2A-14.  During those years, it wrote 21,463 total summonses but only 9 on the feeding ban law.

The DFW’s  compilation and reports of bear complaints  revealed activities  that grievously  breach scientific  research protocol.  It presented inflated bear complaints after later adding complaints from 17 additional  police departments.  It carried  a 3000% increase in  complaint duplicates, all surrendered as legitimate complaints.  It added a second agency to collect and categorize complaints without standardization.

Illegal behaviors include long-term violations of the Open Public Meetings Act, even after 2008 when it was clarified that the Fish Game Council was compelled to comply with  this law.  Since 1998, the division was derelict  to comply with N.J.S.A.  23:2-2  for  annual accountability reports– another insult to open government.  And, there continues to be severely flawed  content in its current bear management policy.

In addition to illegal behaviors, investigations revealed  insubordination, economic wastefulness, unethical activities, unscientific practices, dereliction of duties and others.

The behaviors of the state’s wildlife management  defy all that the governor advocates in his platform for propriety in government.  Christie should  embrace the watchdogs who support his advocacy.  Governor Christie must demonstrate that if  his  platform  for legal, moral and ethical  government is to be believed.. no government agency  can be exempt.

The author is a member of the Bear Education and Resource Group

Governor’s platform for reform must be  effectuated