So now we know what tonight’s circus is in aid of…
Politics. Real scumbag politics. The kind that masquerades as self-righteousness when it is really only about self-dealing.
It turns out that for some time now, SCCC Trustee Howard Burrell has been discussing and planning a comeback political career. Trustee Burrell was a Democrat Freeholder until he was defeated for re-election in 2002 by 4,000 votes. Sussex County Democrat Committee Chairwoman Katie Rotondi and Murphy county coordinator Leslie Huhn are both Burrell backers.
We understood why Democrats like Dan Perez and Lorraine Parker wanted to hold an anti-Trump rally disguised as a special public meeting of the SCCC trustees, but we couldn’t figure out why SCCC Board Chairman Bill Curcio went along with it. Now we know.
SCCC Trustee Howard Burrell managed Democrat Dan Perez’ 2017 Freeholder race against Republican Freeholder Director Herb Yardley. Perez lost by 7,000 votes. Now Perez is returning the favor and supporting Burrell.
The SCCC Board of Trustees dumped a Sussex County firm as its attorney and hired the Union County Democrat machine firm of former State Senator Ray Lesniak. So it is official. The facts surrounding this appointment are shocking and will be dealt with in length but suffice to say that Ray Lesniak was a big defender of the corrupt practice of pay-to-play.
So now we know why some players on the SCCC Board of Trustees have dragged their colleague of seven years through the dirt for something he’s apologized for again and again…
Politics. Dirtbag politics. The kind of politics that sacrifices human decency, forgiveness, and pity for self-advancement.
Sussex County Community College isn’t supposed to be about politics. The SCCC Board of Trustees aren’t supposed to create venues by which to hang one trustee so that another can launch his political comeback campaign.
In fact, using SCCC facilities for partisan political purposes is explicitly against the rules of the Internal Revenue Service. The process by which an executive session of the Board was called (a trustee is not “personnel” and no lawsuit has been filed by any party) and a public meeting held could pose legal hurdles for the SCCC.
Curiously, Howard Burrell launched his original political career 30 years ago in the midst of the same rhetoric being used by some Democrats today… accusing anyone they don’t like of “racism” and “bigotry” while they push legislation that even most Democrats say is anti-Semitic. It seems some Democrats have learned nothing in 30 years.
Also worth noting are the assurances made by Trustee Burrell to the Freeholder Board at the time of his appointment just last year. Burrell’s appointment had been held up by an earlier Freeholder Board over concerns that he would use his position on the SCCC Board of Trustees as a springboard to political office. The current Freeholder Board appointed him after being assured that politics would not be part of it. This has obviously turned out not to be the case and Trustee Burrell will have some explaining to do.
It looks like former Freeholder Carl Lazzaro was right about Howard Burrell and Watchdog was wrong to have advocated for Burrell’s appointment to the SCCC Board of Trustees. We admit our mistake.