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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What has happened to a 'shovel ready' recovery?

The Foster's Daily Democrat took a closer look at a recently announced stimulus grant only to discover that 1) it's being used for a federal program that's been in existence for more than 10 years, and 2) the new jobs won't necessarily begin any time soon.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

An example of the misuse of federal stimulus money right here in the Seacoast was announced this week by the White House Office of the Vice President.

In a press release, Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder “announced $1 billion in grants to fund the hiring and rehiring of law enforcement officers all across the country under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.”

In the Seacoast that means $664,869 and three positions for the Rochester Police Department, $195,729 and one for Epping and $188,003 and one for Wakefield.
According to the press release, “These funds will provide 100 percent of the approved salary and benefits for these officers for three years.”

While the funding for these positions comes under the guise of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, it is really just more funding for the ongoing COPS program — not a new recovery oriented one.

The Community Oriented Policing Services program was created under the Clinton Administration as part of President Clinton's campaign promise to put more police on the streets.

But didn't President Obama promise to put money into “shovel ready” programs?
True, this round of grant funding was effective July 1, 2009, and would enable local departments to quickly rehire officers once they have accepted the funds. But it is also true the money does not have to be used immediately. (

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