Did Finch Live Up to His Word?

While researching something for a different piece altogether, I ran across an article by Jason Laday. It was written the day Millville Commissioner Dale Finch was sworn into office in May. Finch is quoted as saying:

“Instead of reappointing them [city prosecutor and defender] for a year beginning today, why not make the appointments follow the calendar year,” he said in the midst of a lengthy list of resolutions to fill various city positions. “This way, you can evaluate their performance more easily because you can have time to observe them while in office.”

Given that Commissioner Finch voted to replace the prosecutor and the defender, would it not be fair for the public to learn of the evaluation process Commissioner Finch applied to the decision he made?

All the public learned is that Finch thinks the new prosecutor is “smart and intelligent”.

Obviously, a public evaluation of an employee is problematic given Rice. Yet, one should learn that the “evaluation” that was promised was conducted and that the “evaluation” was such that a new prosecutor would improve Millville. We didn’t get that. What we got was a partisan vote for a political ally. That is hardly endearing.

Did Commissioner Finch live up to his word to evaluate the positions? Or did he merely buy time to play politics?

Also blogged on this date . . .

5 thoughts on “Did Finch Live Up to His Word?”

  1. Good point. It is worth asking if the change in the term proposed by Finch (from May 2010 to December 2009) was simply to speed up the process of getting new people in. If it were for the reasons he mentioned, then why were the positions of prosecutor and public defender singled out from the many other appointed positions? One thing I don’t understand is why some of these appointed positions, like the prosecutor and public defender, are obviously more political, with different people cycling in and out, while other appointed positions never change personnel. For example, Millville’s Municipal Attorney/Solicitor has been Richard McCarthy and its City Clerk/Administrator Lewis Thompson for as long as I can remember (30 years or so?). These positions are costly, according to the published City Commission minutes for 2009, McCarthy has billed the City over $195,000 so far this year. Thompson’s positions are salaried. When a term is near expiration, why not send put them out for competitive bids with RFPs as opposed to re-appointing the same people year after year? Other towns in New Jersey do just that (see http://www.laurelsprings-nj.com/download.php?view.56).

  2. Face it both McCarthy and Thompson are in with the boys club. They might have some “dirt” or know why actions at the Dec 1st meeting went on. I await Jan 2010 for the other “shoes” to drop and find new jobs…

  3. Another question. Back in May 2008, Commissioner Derella made the following comment regarding Jim Swift’s appointment as public defender: “Quickly, Mr. Swift has done a very good, a tremendous job as our Public Defender. I just have a concern, he runs a very successful law firm, he’s also again, as I stated done an outstanding job as our public defender, but he has thrown his hat into the ring to run for public office and I just think that may be a conflict, so I’m going to be voting no, not because of his performance, but just I think that creates a conflict.” If throwing one’s hat into the political arena creates a conflict, why then did he vote for Van Embden, who also recently ran for public office (Clerk)?

  4. I’m assuming you are quoting the Commission minutes. It would be handy to have a link to them. Doing so provides validity to the quotation.

    As to Derella’s comment, if accurate, it just supports what everyone, regardless of party, sides, allegiances, etc. know: the vote was purely political. To argue otherwise is mere folly.

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