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Friday, April 17, 2009

Camden Politics

I posted an article from the Inquirer about the Police and Fire Union personnel who are protesting the Camden COO's leadership. Judge Davis is a convenient target for whatever people don't like. He has all the authority and power, so why not blame him? The Unions feel they have a responsibility to stand for their members and protest changes they don't like. My union does the same thing. I don't always agree, but see the value of collective action.

But the problems of Camden are not the result of Judge Davis. He is just the foil in this tragedy. It is laughable that council reps complain about his dictatorial rule. They do nothing but hold press conferences. Our current mayor is practically a parody of the problems in this city government. The Judge has final say over every decision and dollar spent in the city. So what does the Mayor actually do? I also understand there is a business manager for the city - something akin to a city manager. I can only imagine what this person does as there is never anything reported about his or her activity.

One thing is for certain...people think the services in the city are poor, the condition of the city is poor, and there are no explanations for why things don't get done. Is it bad management? Is it poor employees? Is it a lack of accountability? I think the pols here feel that they are secure in their positions and don't have to answer to anyone. As long as the public accepts this, there will be no change. I suppose the community is beat down from the long siege of poverty, unemployment, crime, and other maladies. But Camden has a spirit and it rises every so often. Maybe it will rise to make the city better. I hope so.

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