This is about more than “misusing public money”. This is abuse of power and betrayal of public trust. For years,, the highly paid employees of the Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) systematically used their positions, staff, and public money to lie to the public, expand budgets and power, bully critics, and snuff out competitors. Its wind turbines and recycling are a scam, it spends a fortune on “public relations” to win political support. It indoctrinates our public school students to support higher taxes and electric bills. It’s time for County Executive Dennis Levinson and the County Commissioners to step up and bring this rogue agency under control.
Below is Press of Atlantic City “Our View” of August 25, 2021: Click here for link to full article. ACUA campaign misuses public money | Editorial | pressofatlanticcity.com
ACUA campaign misuses public money
The intergovernmental fight over a planned transfer station for construction debris in Pleasantville has gotten a little too interesting.
The Atlantic County Utilities Authority took the extraordinary step of mounting a political campaign against Pleasantville’s support for the project. That prompted a county commissioner to denounce the campaign and question using public money for it.
ACUA Executive Director Rick Dovey stood by his campaign. The disputed “Stop the Dump” signs he has put up across Pleasantville have disappeared, reappeared and then disappeared again. The local government workers have an advantage in that part of the fight. The ACUA’s slick “Stop the Dump” website, though, is beyond countermeasures.
The ACUA’s campaign against the actions of Pleasantville government, however, is wrong. Dovey has called it merely an effort to inform the public. That’s nonsense. His calling the project a “dump” is false and inflammatory. He of all people knows that there are many trash transfer stations in the world and they’re just places trash is gathered for transport.
The various parts of government at all levels have plenty of opportunities to make their cases and settle their disputes without wasting public money on campaigns against each other. Since much of government consists of coming to terms with other parts of government, the means for doing so are long-established.
This needs to be a bright line that frustrated officials won’t cross. Otherwise, the public will be paying to be afflicted with political signs and advocacy websites for ever-more issues on which state, counties and municipalities disagree.
What the county and state can consider about such a proposal is unclear. Its potential to raise municipal trash service rates may be enough to reject it. Private entities aren’t allowed to skim valuable aluminum from the flow of recyclables to the county, so an argument could be made they shouldn’t be allowed to take valuable construction debris if that raises costs to the general public.
We trust those yet to consider this project won’t be swayed either for or against it by the ACUA’s ill-founded campaign in Pleasantville.
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Seth Grossman, Executive Director