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Sunday, July 14, 2024

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From the Editor ~ Joe Zelnik 2/15/2006

By Rick Racela

“Broken record” is a method of getting your message through by repeating it, as many times as necessary.
We’ve all been there, one time or another.
Example: Daughter: I want to wear this top. Mother: You can’t; it’s cut too low.
Daughter: But I want to. Mother:  No, you can’t.
Daughter: But I really really want to.  Mother: No, you can’t.
Eventually, daughter changes tops.  Or runs away from home.
There is a surplus of broken record arguments in this county.
Broken record — the name comes from when a vinyl LP had a scratch that made it repeat one section of the record over and over — doesn’t always work.
Or at least it doesn’t always achieve results.
For example, I never miss an opportunity to tell the reader that the DRBA is doing nothing at the county airport and industrial park, which county government used to claim would be the salvation to the county’s lack of full-time jobs.
Do the freeholders pressure the DRBA? No. Do our DRBA representatives, Maureen Koebig and Niels Favre, pressure their agency? No.
I seldom miss an opportunity to tell you that U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo votes to reduce pro-grams for the poor while voting to cut taxes for the wealthy.
No one gives a hoot. In fact, the same week LoBiondo voted to cut funds for Medicare and Medicaid, state AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech of Ocean City said the union supports LoBiondo because he is “very decent to the working families of southern New Jersey.”
I guess the key word is “working.” People on Medicare and Medicaid aren’t.
Broken record seems to be doing nothing for County Prosecutor Robert Taylor and Free-holder-Director Dan Beyel.
Taylor says he needs a bunch of additional people to fight crime in this county and has made his case to the freeholders.  Beyel says Taylor hasn’t.
Taylor: Have so. Beyel: Have not.
Taylor:  Have so.  Beyel: Have not.
Now the way this is supposed to work is that Taylor will say, Oh, okay, I didn’t.  Or Beyel will say, Yeah, I guess you did.
Not gonna happen.
Sometimes this has to do with style of communicating.
Passive usually produces nothing except disappointment. Aggressive resorts to demands and insults and results in hurt feelings.  Assertive avoids those two extremes and sometimes works.
None of this would have any effect on Taylor and Beyel since they are not communicating to each other, only to the news media about each other.
Sometimes the answer is to lock two protagonists in a room until they agree. But in this case, probably only one would emerge.
There could be some surprises in store on this issue.
Freeholders Ralph Sheets and Ralph Bakley are ex-cops and it takes very little for them to side with law enforcement.  Freeholder Gerald Thornton has frequently made the case he’s never turned down the prosecutor and usually follows Sheets’ lead. Those were the three votes that gave the prosecutor funds for three new hires, of the 16 he requested.
Beyel, on the other hand, had only the vote of Leonard Desiderio against giving any new posi-tions to the prosecutor.  Why did Desiderio vote that way? Who knows? Maybe because he sits next to Beyel.
But Desiderio is a candidate for re-election this year. Is Democrat Taylor so smart that he is softening up Desiderio for the Democrat who will challenge him for freeholder?
Communication, I’m told, could have saved the Special Services School District’s Early In-tervention Program.  The problem, to put it bluntly, was the high cost for the senior staff mem-bers, once you factored in their top pay and benefits, their travel time, their rate of pay for work-ing in the summer, the fact that they were paid, but the state did not reimburse, when the chil-dren were not available.
It was a labor dispute, with children with disabilities in the middle.
Did the staff go to the administration and offer to make some sort of financial compromise to keep the program going?  Did the administration ask the staff to make some sort of financial compromise to keep the program going? Or was it another case of broken record?
We currently have the issue of two nonprofits practically neighbors on Route 9 in Court House with almost the identical purpose: medical care for the uninsured, underinsured and un-derserved.
Volunteers in Medicine of Cape May County is four years old, staffed by volunteers, financed by donations. Cape Community Health Center is two weeks old and financed by state-federal money, plus some fees.
There are believed to be 25,000 people in this county who need their services.
The two agencies are talking about how they can coexist, collaborate, “complement rather than complicate.”
Cape Community Health Center has the muscle, and the moolah, to go in very aggressively. It probably won’t. Patient needs, not egos, must be the prime concern for both agencies. No bro-ken record, please.

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