July 15, 2006

Rank and File Workers are Smokescreen for Rampant Patronage

In December 2000, Worall newspapers reported “The Union County Improvement Authority has a new executive director: Charlotte DeFilippo, chairwoman of the Union County Democratic Committee.”

DeFilippo replaced Doug Placa, who was then Angie Devanney’s husband. Angie is now married to the county manager. Placa was the UCIA’s first executive director, appointed in February 1999 at an annual part-time salary of $40,000. The position was turned full-time when DeFilippo was appointed and the salary was set at 104,000. DeFillipo’s current salary is $132,910 up almost $100,000 since she took over.

Worrall reported in 2000 “There’s no way that job warrants $104,000 a year, said Wayne Smith, the lone Republican on the nine-member UCIA board.” He called it a blatant patronage job that does not even warrant $40,000 a year. The UCIA is doing a lot for the county but this is typical patronage and the UCIA really plays patronage to the fullest extent. He was the lone dissenter in a 7-1 vote to replace the part-time financial administrator with a full-time executive director.

Formerly the township clerk in Hillside, where she also is Democratic chairwoman, DeFilippo has worked for the county since Democrats took control of the freeholder board in 1998. She was a management specialist in welfare, a civil service position, with an annual salary of approximately $75,000.

In an editorial published in Worrall last week DeFilippo writes that public employees are being made scapegoats because of the perception among the public that they have overly luxurious pension packages.

Union County employee records show that in 2000, 868 employees made over $50,000. Today that number has almost doubled to 1,530 employees. In 2000, 29 employees made over $100,000. Today that number has almost tripled to 74. 542 Union County Employees have the same surnames as elected Democrat Officials.

It isn’t the rank-and-file that infuriates good-government watchers. What people are furious about are the politicos like DeFilippo who are abusing the system. They are using the workers as a smoke screen. She writes of rank-and-file employees as if she is one of them. Even more deceitful, she claims to be the defender of them - and more, calls herself a "Democrat."

What New Jersey needs is for people to stop blindly following a political party. So called Democrats like DeFilippo are making fools of the rank-and-file worker and are using them to the hilt. It’s the rank-and-file that are being taxed out of their homes to pay the patronage salaries and perks of the DeFillipos of New Jersey.