County's choice of teen pregnancy program raises questions
Last week, Cumberland County Freeholder Director Lou Magazzu garnered attention by his public finger-pointing tirade (now on YouTube) accusing Millville resident and Democratic stalwart Mark Krull of being a Republican spy.
The next day, Lou's behavior was even more bizarre. He accepted an award for his response to the county's teen pregnancy crisis. The odd thing is, Lou has done nothing on behalf of teen pregnancy prevention other than promising the agency that gave him the award (Community Health Care Inc.) $100,000 in no-bid funding from the county for a teen pregnancy program.
The proposed award raises a number of questions.
The freeholders' response is to fund a program that is going to help mothers communicate with their daughters and offer services to improve girls' self-esteem. It offers workshops that include "role playing, theatrical skits, and dinner-date package incentives and giveaways." Who is going to hold Community Health Care accountable for this program's effectiveness in preventing teen pregnancies, and how will effectiveness be measured?
And, once again, why is Community Health Care uniquely equipped to conduct this social services program, when its primary mission is health services delivery?
I put these questions out in public because I believe the county's taxpayers deserve answers.
But even with satisfactory answers to these questions, Lou Magazzu's acceptance of an award recognizing all he has done to prevent teen pregnancy is especially ironic, given his apparent lack of interest in a report on teen pregnancy in Cumberland County presented to the freeholders earlier this year.
The icy reception and two-minute time period Magazzu, who was then freeholder director, granted for presentation of the report spoke volumes.
Linda Forbes is a Millville resident.