That Time Camden County Improvement Authority Gave The State Waterfront Property For $1 And Then The State Gave The Same Property To A Developer For $1

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What do you do when you’re cleaning out files and find a piece of research that you couldn’t use during a campaign because you had a seriously flawed candidate? If you’re the co-host of a weekly radio show with a blog, you write about it.

And, when that piece of research involves a piece of waterfront property in the City of Camden at a time when big tax incentives and tearing down minor league baseball stadiums are in the news that piece of research becomes interesting.

The whole affair is a bit convoluted, but it all begins with the City of Camden vacating, as seen in the Camden City Planning Board Agenda of January 12, 2006, a paper street, Marina Drive, that sat in the middle of a part of the old surface parking lot near Campbell’s Field, where the Camden Riversharks played minor league baseball. It just so happens this piece of parking lot happens to be in the middle of the building project for the new Camden Tower.

After Marina Drive was vacated it appears, based on Quitclaim Deeds, the Camden County Improvement Authority transferred waterfront property that included the paper street Marina Drive in the City of Camden to The New Jersey Economic Development Authority for “the sum of ONE and 00/100 Dollars ($1.00)” on June 16, 2016.

And it gets better! On November 28, 2016 The New Jersey Economic Development Authority transferred the property via a Quitclaim Deed to “Camden Town Center, LLC, a New Jersey limited liability company, whose address is c/o Liberty Property Limited Partnership, 1628 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103.”

I could be wrong, but this appears to be quite the sweetheart deal. As I understand it, typically when developers are faced with a similar situation they purchase the property at market rate or have the municipality condemn it so it can be acquired through eminent domain. Obviously, none of that happened in this situation.

To add insult to injury it appears the Delaware River Port Authority folks were a lot smarter than the folks at the Camden County Improvement Authority or The New Jersey Economic Development Authority. They finally dumped their TRAM over the Delaware River by selling property.

So, there you have it folks. Read the documents and weep because it appears the sweetheart deals on the Camden waterfront involve more than tax incentives.

Flawed Politicians, Is There Something In The Water In Camden County?

Four flawed Camden County politicians

Four flawed Camden County politicians

What do former Assemblyman Arthur Barclay, Haddon Township Commissioner Paul Dougherty, Voorhees Township Deputy Mayor Jason Ravitz and freeholder candidate Vincent Squire have in common? One would guess, given the admittedly partisan slant of this blog, the answer is all are Democrats and that would be untrue. Squire is a Republican. Despite popular belief, at The Bob & Steve Show, we do call out Republicans when they are wrong. 

What these four have in common is they are all Camden County politicians who have had some sort of “issue” with law enforcement within the past year. Every single one of these men are likely to make the first annual Bob & Steve Show Naughty and Nice List coming in December.

 Barclay, you may recall, was arrested on assault charges and eventually resigned.

 Dougherty was involved in a hit and run accident and Haddon Township residents have alleged he was seen drinking at a Township sponsored event.

Ravitz, thanks to the great David Wildstein at the New Jersey Globe, we have learned has had at least two incidents involving drinking and local police. The first incident at Ott’s Tavern and the second at an Applebee’s. I quit drinking over two years ago and was no stranger to a bar fight, but seriously, who the hell gets into a bar fight at Applebee’s? Not even I was that big an ass!

Last on the list is Squire who was disavowed by the Camden County Republican Party after it was learned he has a current second-degree assault charge filed against him by his own son, which is pending in Superior Court.

Three Democrats and one Republican politician, all from Camden County with “issues” with law enforcement in Camden County. There is one big difference in how these politicians’ respective parties have handled the “issues.”

Camden County Republicans, upon learning of their candidate’s flaws, asked Squire to drop out of the race, when he refused Republicans publicly disavowed him.

Camden County Democrats appear to be fine with their flawed candidates. The Barclay incident was kept hidden from the public for 11 days. Democrats didn’t utter a word about the incident until he resigned and it’s been reported he still has a $60,000/year county job. The Dougherty incident was kept quiet for two weeks. Finally, there are the two incidents involving Ravitz, one from August 2017 and one earlier this year. Not a peep from county Democrats.

One thing that is obvious is that in Camden County Republicans are willing to clean their own house, in public if it comes to it, the Democrats, no so much. It’s as if Democrats in that county circle the wagons around their flawed politicians.

Maybe Camden County Democrats could learn by the example of CCGOP Chairman Rich Ambrosino and do some internal house cleaning. If they don’t state Senator Jim Beach, the county’s Democratic party chairman might join these four flawed candidate on The Bob & Steve Show’s Naughty and Nice List in December.