There is no question that much work is needed to fix our crumbling roads, bridges, and watercourses. That work, undertaken with Federal Dollars, means jobs for the region – unlike certain so-called “private concerns” that bring in “jobbers”, rather than jobs.
An expansion of efforts in the arena of environmental abatements, certainly a need in parts of this district, including out on the grounds of the JBMDL, would mean long-term job creation. Couple those issues with necessary flood control efforts along the Eastern edge of this district, and road and bridge repairs and maintenance of navigable waterways means more jobs – good-paying jobs – and, yes, UNION jobs.
We especially need to expand local opportunities in alternative energy strategies, and those enterprises bring a large number of short-term and many long-term jobs into the region.
The miles and miles of roads in need of resurfacing and repair, and of drainage and storm-water systems in need of reconstruction, further add to a need for infrastructure investment by the Federal Government. The health of Barnegat Bay and the Kirkwood/Cohansey Aquifer depends on these needed repairs.
Our present Republican Congressman has had 18 months to deliver promised job growth, and has accomplished only that an unnecessary gas pipeline may be built with exceptions to the laws that protect our environment and require a taking of public land by a private concern – all of which costs are being passed to the rate-payers along the route, who derive no benefit from the project, and of which many are potentially placed in harm’s way by its construction.
Consumers along the route, who, again, derive no benefit in service from this boondoggle, can expect increases of up to 24% OR MORE in their gas bills.**
He can’t be so oblivious that he is unaware of all these issues – and he’s not. He’s SUPPORTING the pipeline and compressor station, in spite of the obvious public sentiment against them – so much so that he has actually proposed legislation to deem the pipeline an issue of “National Security”.
Don’t take MY word for it – read HIS press releases on the subject…don’t do it on a full stomach, however.
The only reason he hasn’t supported the positive projects above is he hasn’t figured out how he and his cronies can get paid from them, yet.
Calvin Coolidge wrote that “The business of America IS BUSINESS” – and, while that may be true, without roads and bridges, businesses can’t CONDUCT business…and the quality of life for those in the communities served by this district suffers. Perhaps the most obvious ‘CASE IN POINT’ would be the Centerton Bridge, a structure of such historic significance that it appears on the Burlington County SEAL.
The bridge is presently closed, and creates a local hardship for those wishing to cross the Rancocas River safely and conveniently, so that they may visit the many stores, restaurants, and other venues on the opposite shore.
I am pleased that the County Engineer Report – which I will attach here later – proposes a new bridge, and I am not even entirely astonished at the cost projection of 21.9 million. It is an intensive project, and the “approaches” modifications and demolition are each full jobs in and of themselves. Rarely will you find me satisfied with a cost projection, but this is in alignment with some of the estimates we have reviewed, also. (Comparisons to similar project costs)
Better roads, better, cheaper utilities, and a thriving economy will help encourage even further re-investment in the community – and, if we do these things, we can and will see growth, again.
There is much to be done in Burlington and Ocean County – and much of what is required falls squarely on the shoulders of the Federal Government’s burdens. It will be my job to see that the work needed is funded, and funded FULLY, so that we can move forward in an environment conducive to the creation of new jobs, and the expansion of our local economy.
“When you can’t find Opportunity – CREATE IT!” – FJL
Frederick John LaVergne – Democrat for Congress
** Watch out, folks – looks like the “R” Freeholders are trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes with a utility-slamming scheme where you must “opt out”, rather than “opt in”…Yes, we’re all over that.
Watch for http://optoutburlington.org and http://optoutocean.org for the forms to deny them the right to switch your energy providers for “some as-yet undisclosed consideration”.
Remember Phone Service “Slamming”? Well, it’s back, but now it’s not multi-level marketers playing games…it’s the Freeholders, including the one who wants to be YOUR SURROGATE.