Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson and the three Republican candidates for the County Board of Freeholders said today that ?by admitting that he had no idea how the county tax rate was established, Democrat county executive candidate Sheriff Jim McGettigan effectively removed himself from any serious consideration for the executive post.?
Levinson, along with at-large freeholder candidate Joe McDevitt, District 4 candidate Rich Dase and District 1 candidate John Bettis, said developing the county budget and the tax rate used to support it ?are the most important tasks facing the executive and freeholder board and McGettigan?s admitted ignorance of the process demonstrates he does not have the ability to serve in the post.?
The Republican team referred to McGettigan?s response to a question about the how the tax rate was calculated during a recent candidates? forum, saying that he never answered the question directly, first dodging it to disguise his lack of knowledge, before admitting he didn?t know.
?He finally conceded he had no idea how the rate was calculated, even though he?s based his campaign on criticism of Levinson and the Freeholder board for failing to control the rate,? the Republicans said. ?In short, he?s criticizing someone for something he admits he knows absolutely nothing about. Why?s he even running when he?s so clearly unqualified to serve??
?He?s attacked what he alleged was overspending and, when it was pointed out that his fellow Democrats on the Board have consistently supported the budgets, he said they?d been tricked into voting for it,? they said.
?For the record, the county tax rate is at its lowest point in history and the current county executive and Freeholder Board have received the compliments of independent auditors for their fiscal responsibility and sound budget practices,? the GOP candidates said. ?When we are elected to the board, we intend to work to maintain and build on this record.?
McGettigan, on the other hand, has already said he does not know the size of his own department?s budget — estimating it at $3 million when in reality it is $10 million — and, after attacking the attorney hired to represent his own department, said he didn?t know he?d been retained.
?Members of the Freeholder Board must work closely and effectively with the County Executive to assure that the taxpayers of Atlantic County are served by elected officials who are knowledgeable, who understand the responsibilities of the office, and who always place them first,? they said. ?McGettigan?s already admitted he is none of these things.?