#b#Second Thoughts On Charity Review#/b#

I would like to respectfully disagree with Irwin Stoolmacher’s assertion in his December 23 op ed in U.S. 1 that additional evaluation tools are required to ensure that my charitable dollars are being put to good use. For me, the metrics available through the websites he references are quite sufficient to provide confidence that a charity’s management is not taking an exorbitant percentage of donations, that their salaries are comparable to similar positions in for-profit businesses, and that my money is being spent as advertised; i.e. I’m not unknowingly supporting Planned Parenthood with a contribution to breast cancer research.

It strikes me that evaluating qualitative measures such as “stewardship” and “transparency” contributes to the very kind of politicization that Mr. Stoolmacher claims to oppose. The only entity empowered to remove a charity’s non-profit status is the IRS, and recent examples have illustrated how political that process has become. The only thing that will be accomplished by another layer of oversight is an increase in compliance costs for charities, and a corresponding reduction in the funds that reach those in need.

Bill McJames

Monmouth Junction

#b#More Change Set For Clerk’s Office#/b#

On January 1 I officially began my third term as Mercer County Clerk. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the voters of Mercer County for re-electing me to continue to serve another term.

I am truly humbled and grateful by the confidence you have placed in me throughout every municipality in Mercer County. I believe it reflects the hard work and achievement we’ve made in transforming the Mercer County Clerk’s Office into a modern, efficient, service-oriented office.

I have always believed that public tax dollars should pay for good government service. At the County Clerk’s Office that has meant keeping up with new technology, and by providing fast and efficient customer service — with a smile. So I thank my excellent team as well.

In this next term I will continue to lead the Clerk’s office as we face new challenges. This month the Mercer County Clerk’s Office is being relocated to 240 West State Street in Trenton, as the Mercer Improvement Authority performs renovations to the Courthouse Annex, our permanent location. I look forward to leading the office through the relocation, and renovation of our permanent space, which are necessary for building safety.

I will also continue to scan older books and maps into searchable formats for online users, and will work on making these records accessible by GIS and mobile devices.

Paula Sollami Covello

Mercer County Clerk

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