Audrey Ignatoff
There are two elephants in the room with Governor Christie
By Audrey Ignatoff
April 26, 2013

It is no doubt that Governor Christie is very popular because he has done a good job on many fronts, including helping New Jersey recover from Hurricane Sandy, and dealing with widespread corruption. However, his critical vulnerability in the upcoming election is the continued unemployment rate of 9%, one of the highest rates in the nation. His opponent, State Senator Barbara Buono, may pose a significant threat to him due to this issue. Many of our young people will not find suitable employment and will not be able to pay back college loans, pay their bills, move out, get good health insurance, or even collect social security if this trend continues. Many more are suffering the consequences of unemployment or underemployment. Thus, the Governor has to take the proper action regarding the unemployment situation to hold onto his position of power.

While it is true that the Governor can't create jobs in the private sector, he can look into enforcing the equal opportunity employment laws within institutions receiving state and federal funds, such as colleges, universities, government agencies, many non-profit organizations, and companies with state contracts. When a job is advertised, many people apply, and get their hopes up about finally obtaining employment. However, something seems to be amiss in New Jersey. When an unqualified person is chosen for a job despite hundreds or thousands of applicants with superior qualifications, no one seems to notice. However, I have made a study of this trend, and have taken notice. Thus, the first elephant in the room is the lack of jobs, and the second elephant is the fact that many of the very few jobs that are available are going to less qualified applicants.

An example of this has come to my attention when I found out that a position in the Media Department of Mercer County Community College for an audio video technician in 2009 went to a person with a BA in History, despite people applying who had degrees in Television Production and BA's in Communication, etc. In addition, no one in the department holds a BA degree, but only an Associates degree, including the Director. At Rider University, a man with no college degree holds a position in their Media Services Department as an Audio Video Technician, while many others applied with various degrees.

A young man who failed to get even an interview for a job that he was well qualified for after three attempts at Mercer County Community College brought this matter to my attention. Not only did he have an AAS in Television Production, a BA in Communications with honors, several thousand video shoots with many movies and television programs in international distribution with a respected educational distributor.

An employee of the Media Department at Mercer County Community College told him that there was a "finder's fee" to get a job. The same employee also told me that he got his job before it was even advertised. This brings up the questions as to who is getting the "finder's fee and if anyone on the inside is also getting a kickback to give the job to a particular candidate over others. My investigation was triggered by a variety of anti Semitic remarks made to this young man, which originally led him to believe that he may have been discriminated against because of his religion. However, upon further analysis, I feel that the discrimination was not really based on religion, but the ability to pay a fee and be trusted not to tell about it. I brought these matters up to the administration of both institutions with no satisfactory answers, and then, even went to the Inspector General of Mercer County. Again, there was no real investigation, and the matter was considered "closed."

It appears that many positions are being "sold" before they are advertised in the Garden State, and it is the Governor's responsibility to stop this very destructive practice. All it would take is a review of the resumes that were sent in for particular jobs and compare the qualifications of the people who were chosen for these positions. People have spent time, money, and effort on getting an education, and can't get a job in their field, while others with lesser or no qualifications, degrees, or work product are successful candidates. If Buono has a plan to solve this, she may easily win the election, despite the Governor's present popularity. Thus, the Governor has to deal with matters of unemployment, and corruption: stealing the few jobs that are available and selling them to the highest bidder.

Of course, many arrests have to be made, which may also mean more job vacancies for the honest and hard working people of New Jersey. Many mayors, senators, school superintendents, etc. have already been charged and/or convicted with bribery, kickbacks, money laundering, etc. In New Jersey, these practices have been "business as usual" for way too long, and it's time to stop this on all levels by the Governor right now, or let his opponent try.

© Audrey Ignatoff


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Audrey Ignatoff

Audrey Ignatoff is the president of Senior Arts and Systems, a consulting company in health care and geriatrics... (more)


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