November 26, 2007

Election time grant distribution show now available

At the October 11th freeholder meeting the annual election time ritual of the Open Space Trust Fund Grant distributions to municipalities was performed. Officials from 18 towns traversed to Elizabeth and paid homage to the freeholders for giving them back a fraction of the money their taxpayers paid into the fund. You can view the spectacle on our Veotag account HERE.

Although the county performs the grant distribution ceremony with lots of photo ops and press releases sent to the local media, they never mention how much towns have paid into the fund. Since the fund’s inception in 2001 municipalities have paid $58,565,562.02 into the fund and have collectively received back $10,165,402.84 in grants. You can view our spreadsheet HERE.

You can’t miss where this money has gone in your town. Municipalities have to sign an agreement with the county which includes agreeing to hang a “We’re connected to you!” sign pictured above. There is no stipulation in the agreement which states when you can take the sign down but you do have to agree to have the county install it “for you!” exactly where “they want it to hang!” You can view a agreement template HERE.

I wouldn’t mind the spectacle so much, if once in a while the freeholders would come down from their thrones and show a little humility. They should acknowledge that they get their money from the towns. If they want ceremonies like the annual Open Space Trust Fund ritual, to be fair, why not have all 21 mayors present the freeholders with blown up prop checks in the amount the towns sent the county that year? The freeholders would have to say thank you and give an explanation as to what they are spending your money on.

I’d purchase a ticket to see that show.

Previously reported:
Rocks in our heads
Trust fund grants show signs of propaganda