Cumberland GOP Challengers Condemn Incumbent Democrats’ Plan to Defund the Jail
GOP: 11th hour about-face wastes tax dollars, kills local jobs and threatens public safety
(Vineland, July 22, 2020) – In the wake of a Press of Atlantic City report that incumbent Cumberland Democrats want to defund the already-started, $65 million project to build a new, state-of-the-art jail in Cumberland County and replace it with a community center, GOP challengers for Sheriff and Freeholder today warned of dire consequences for the county’s economy and public safety.
The GOP challengers noted that aside from the astronomical cost to taxpayers caused by abandoning the jail project, the Democrats move is clear evidence that they are beginning to embrace radical plans to defund law enforcement and public safety.
“From so-called bail reform, to abolishing ICE, to now defunding police and jails, the modern-day Democratic Party is increasingly out of the mainstream,” said GOP Sheriff’s candidate Michael Donato, who retired as a lieutenant from the Prosecutor’s Office. “This jail project was good for the safety of our community and the well-being of our corrections officers who are currently forced to work in a jail that is obsolete.”
The GOP Freeholder candidates called the move a waste of taxpayer dollars and a prime example of the failed leadership and abysmal planning of the longtime Democrat-controlled board.
“Pulling the plug on a project that the county freeholder board has budgeted for, and already invested millions of dollars in, is simply poor financial planning,” said Freeholder candidate Victoria Lods. “This type of financial carelessness begs the question, what other ways are the stewards of our county tax dollars wasting our money? The irresponsible spending of hard earned, taxpayer dollars at the county level needs to stop.”
“The fact that the incumbent Democrats want to pour tens of millions of dollars into erecting a Taj Mahal community center next door to a state prison tells you all you need to know about why we need a change in Cumberland County,” said Freeholder candidate Darwin Cooper. “If voters are looking for a reason why we need fresh ideas and new leadership in county government, this boondoggle would be Exhibit A.”
“I know how to run a business, and this is not how you do it,” said Freeholder candidate Tony Romero, owner of Budget Muffler and Car Care Center in Vineland. “This is like taking out a home equity loan to renovate your house, and then using the money to go on vacation instead.”