FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
DODD ADMINISTRATION BACKS DOWN ON “PATH TO PROGRESS” RESOLUTION AMIDST STRONG OPPOSITION
DOVER, NJ – The Dodd Administration continues to show its true colors by bringing forth a Resolution in support of the New Jersey Economic and Fiscal Responsibility Policy Group’s “Path to Progress” and placing it on the agenda for last night’s Board of Aldermen meeting. However, in a change of direction after public outcry, Mayor James P. Dodd pulled the resolution (123-2019).
Regardless, the public had questions about how the Resolution got placed on the Agenda in the first place. In late 2018, Ordinance 15-2018 gave Mayor Dodd sole discretion to determine every agenda item for meetings of the Board of Aldermen. So, either the Administration’s intent was to support Senator Sweeney’s proposal, or they have a practice of putting items on the Agenda without fully researching or understanding them. Dodd stated during the meeting that he did not know enough about the proposed resolution. Both propositions are disturbing.
Still, a looming question is why Dodd, who claims union membership and to be a long-time supporter of unions, would even consider a resolution that undermines collective bargaining rights. The Path to Progress plan proposes to alleviate New Jersey’s deep financial woes by hoisting them on to the already overburdened backs of our state’s working families. Specifically, this plan would, yet again, gut state employees’ pensions and health insurance.
Alderwomen Blackman (3rd) and Wittner (1st) along with Aldermen Quinones (2nd) and Valencia (4th) strongly oppose the resolution and are thrilled the Dodd Administration backed down and ultimately withdrew it for consideration at last night’s meeting. However, they are ready to speak out against it should it reappear on the Agenda in the future.
Alderwoman and Democratic mayoral candidate Carolyn Blackman stated, “This resolution supports a plan that neither benefits the people of Dover nor the people of the State of New Jersey. To the contrary, our teachers and other public employees will be devastated by it. Our children will also be hurt because we will lose highly qualified candidates for teaching and caretaking roles. We will also not be able to attract high value candidates for teaching and other positions. Our children deserve better.”
Karol Ruiz, a Dover resident and co-chair of Wind of the Spirit, said “Senator Sweeney’s so-called ‘Path to Progress’ means progress for the state’s corporate millionaires, NOT for Dover’s working class and middle-class residents. This is an attempt to solve the state’s financial problems on the backs of our working-class residents. Its adoption would decimate public sector employees’ pensions and health insurance, and rob our public workers of their collective-bargaining rights. Healthcare is a human right, but Sweeney’s plan treats it as a luxury.”
Alderwoman Wittner stated, “It is outrageous that this resolution made it onto the agenda when, over the past three months, my colleagues and I have submitted for the board’s consideration, progressive pieces of legislation that actually help working families; yet, none of those have been put forth for public hearing and voting. I demand that the Mayor advise us as to when our proposals will see the light of day.”
The proposed legislation that have not been placed on any agendas for public hearing or voting include:
· The Open Government and Transparency Act, sponsored by Alderwoman Sandra Wittner and submitted 2/26/19
· The Wage Theft Act, sponsored by Alderwoman Carolyn Blackman and submitted 2/26/19
· The Project Labor Agreement Act, sponsored by Alderwoman Carolyn Blackman and submitted 4/19/19
· Resolution Formally Censuring the Mayor (for his outrageous conduct on 11/4/18), sponsored by Alderman Humberto Quinones and submitted on 2/26/19
· Responsible Bidder Resolution, sponsored by Alderwoman Carolyn Blackman and submitted on 4/19/19