Councilman Mooney answers his critics

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To the editor:

Recent letters criticizing my candidacy for Galloway Township Council are factually inaccurate and calculated to mislead the electorate.

 

New Jersey’s pension laws prohibit re-enrollment by retirees holding another governmental position. Therefore, I am neither eligible, nor am I re-enrolled into the pension system. I do not receive health benefits from the township. I pay over $8,200 per year toward my healthcare costs, plus deductibles and co-pays.

The 2013 budget includes a prediction of layoffs. I asked council to join me in reducing our compensation to $1 per year and $1.50 for the mayor, an aggregate savings of approximately $72,000. I took this step with the intent to potentially prevent the layoff of one of our public safety officers. I understand the current compensation does not come close to covering the out-of-pocket expenses related to service as a member of council, but these times call for austerity and shared sacrifice.

 I was berated, insulted and criticized for not “clearing” the proposal with the mayor prior to introduction; curiously, I find new business on the dais for action at each meeting. My motion failed to gain a second and the proposal failed. I sent the township clerk a letter waiving my 2013 compensation if layoffs are required. My decisions are based upon my oath to the people and not on popularity.

My critics suggest my appointment to police chief was based on politics. They don’t tell you that I took a competitive civil service examination for the police chief position and finished No. 1 on the certification list. I dedicated nearly 35 years of my life and worked my way up through the ranks in the police department.

My critics would have you believe that I took an unwarranted payout from Atlantic City. They don’t tell you I agreed to “cap” my accumulated leave at a lower rate to save the city money. They don’t tell you that in the 1970s local governments offered this benefit as a contractual incentive to reduce the use of sick leave and avoid overtime costs.

My litigation doesn’t involve Galloway, but speaks for itself. Mayor Langford targeted me for layoff and demotion then appointed and paid an “acting police chief” despite his assertion that a police chief was redundant and unnecessary with a public safety director in place. That same public safety director was caught double-dipping the pension system and had to resign.

Remember that Langford ordered the police K-9 units off the street for a full year without just cause, an act that not only jeopardized public safety in Atlantic City, but also in surrounding communities impacted by the loss of mutual aid. Forget that the county prosecutor intervened in at least five matters involving Langford’s interference with the day-to-day operations of the police department, including refusal to permit police patrols in casino/hotel garages. Forget that Langford’s pattern of interference with the former police chief also resulted in litigation and significant legal costs. Forget that Langford’s hand-picked supervisor of the $12 million All Wars Veterans’ Building was sentenced as a persistent offender to 40 years in prison for selling narcotics. Ignore Gov. Christie’s blunt assessment that, “The mayor (Langford) there has failed, and he’s impossible to work with in any significant way.”

I am a New Jersey certified public manager, a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Leadership Seminar, and a graduate of the West Point Command and Leadership Program. I have the leadership skills, budget knowledge and crisis management experience to help Galloway Township in these difficult financial times. I am a 24-year Galloway resident who volunteered with our youth sports programs and I am active in my church. I am willing to dedicate my time and effort to ensure that we stabilize our township budget and protect the future of Galloway.

John J. Mooney III

Council Member

Galloway Township

 


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