Egg Harbor Twp – Atlantic County Freeholder-At-Large candidate Manny Aponte today issued a challenge to his opponent to take a position and stick with it.

?It would be nice to see Alisa Cooper take a stand on an issue with some conviction, rather than bend to pressure and fold so easily,? said Aponte.

Aponte was referring to Alisa Cooper?s flip-flop on her recent votes to approve $40 million in county spending, after previously calling for a public referendum on the issue. The measure Cooper supported will finance renovations to the Atlantic County Institute of Technology.

?Cooper had an opportunity to put the fate of a tax increase directly in the people?s hands via referendum,? Aponte stated. ?But Cooper removed that choice after being approached by the unions and changed her vote.? The fundamental right of a taxpayer is paramount and changing your belief due to outside influence is repulsive.

Aponte framed Cooper?s decision as one which was made to cater to certain special interests at the expense of the publics. He said it?s a well known fact that Cooper was approached by the unions and changed her position for future considerations – essentially putting her vote up for sale.

?Alisa Cooper changed her vote and put her own personal political interests before those of the people she claims to represent,? said Aponte. ?The unions will benefit from this development, but taxpayers will suffer, thanks to Cooper.? As a financial professional I have a fiduciary responsibly to my clients and Ms. Cooper has the same responsibility when managing taxpayer?s funds.

It should be noted that as recently as July 1st, four Freeholders – including Cooper – voted to send the project to a public referendum. Cooper herself noted the large sum of money involved along with the struggling economy as reasons to support a referendum, but changed her vote, and the measure was passed without any taxpayer input.

?Referendum is the most direct way for residents to take an active role in shaping the nature of our county through consensus decision-making and should have been given a chance,? remarked Aponte. ?Instead of a lesson on civic accountability we got a lesson in backdoor politics.?

?This is politics as usual for her, but for us, its politics at its worst.?


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