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3/5/2011 - Freeholders Oppose Closing Developmental Center

Freeholders Vow to Fight Governor’s Plan to Close Developmental Center

The leaders of Cumberland County’s Board of Chosen Freeholders are demanding that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie reverse his budget proposal to close the Vineland Developmental Center.

Freeholder Director William F. Whelan and Deputy Director James A. Dunkins expressed outrage over the Governor’s budget cutting plan that would eliminate more than 1,000 jobs in a county with the second highest unemployment rate in New Jersey.

Director William F. Whelan
Director William F. Whelan
It’s disgraceful that the governor would consciously create a plan that would increase poverty in what is arguably the poorest county in the state,” said Whelan. “If he needs to close a facility, why not choose one in a region where the impact would be less devastating.”

The Developmental Center is one of the County’s largest employers, providing hundreds of modest paying, low skilled jobs. “These are nearly impossible jobs to replace,” said Dunkins. “It seems like the governor is targeting hard working low income people. If we lose these positions, the ripple effect on the county’s economy will be crippling.”

Whelan and Dunkins are equally concerned about the hundreds of residents at the Center who depend on the specialized care they receive there. “How can you close a facility with no plan for the patients” asked Dunkins?

The two Freeholders say they will introduce a resolution demanding action from our legislators to oppose the plan.