Flashback! Fall 2015 — Freeholder Candidate Ira Marks Questioned Transparency of County During Campaign

Questions asked by GOP Freeholder Candidate were ignored by media

Mr. Marks was listed as a top NJ CPA in New Jersey Monthly magazine in January 2015. He was denied direct answers to many questionable items contained in the 2015 Mercer County Budget.  

“ I asked for the information by telephone, email, via an OPRA request and in two separate direct appeals to the Freeholder Board at meetings. Despite this effort, my requests were denied” Marks pointed out.

“During my many years as an auditor in both public and private accounting it is almost a certainty that when accountable parties refuse to answer direct questions, the accountable parties are hiding something.”

“ Here are the key questions that I asked”:

• I asked why 18 major expense categories went up a total of $ 4.6 million in a year- they refused to answer this question directly.

• I asked for a compilation of debt service costs by category and a schedule showing the annual maturity for each category– they refused to answer this question directly

• I asked about the bank of monies available to be used to reduce taxes for County taxpayers and the strategy of when to utilize this bank of money- they refused to answer this question directly

• I asked about the apparent underfunding of the compensated absence liability by almost $10 million- they refused to answer this question directly.

• I asked why the Inspector General’s position was eliminated in 2015- they refused to answer this question directly

• I asked why lease rental payments declined by over $ 5 million from the prior year- they refused to answer this question directly.

• I asked why payment on bond principal increased by almost $ 5 million- they refused to answer this question directly.

• I asked why interest on notes declined by just under $ 2 million- they refused to answer this question directly.

• I asked why emergency authorizations declined by over $ 1.4 million- they refused to answer this question directly.

• I asked to see a budget document that provides explanations for variances and other important budget information and they said such a document exists but that it was only to be viewed by management.


“Back in 2001 I attended a dozen Freeholder meetings. At that time the County Executive was Republican Bob Prunetti and the all Democratic Freeholder Board was chaired by Brian Hughes” Marks continued.

“ Many of the meetings were disrupted by cries from Brian Hughes and the other Democratic Freeholders complaining to John Ricci ( Chief of Staff ) that Prunetti was not answering their questions and keeping information from them. In fact the situation got so bad that the Democratic Freeholders hired their own attorney. That’s right, the taxpayers of Mercer County were paying for one County Counsel who reported to Prunetti and another County Counsel who reported to the Freeholder Board.”

“Now that the Freeholders have been in power for 12 years, they have all done a 180 degree turn and have let the power get to their heads. They have no problem now ignoring my budget questions and hiding behind their power positions. What am I supposed to do, hire my own attorney to get the answers that I need?”

 

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@MercerGOP tweeted this page. 2016-02-26 23:34:42 -0500
Flashback! Fall 2015 — Freeholder Candidate Ira Marks Questioned Transparency of County During Campaign http://www.mercergop.com/flashback_fall_2015_freeholder_candidate_ira_marks_questioned_transparency_of_county_during_campaign?recruiter_id=2

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