Dear Editor,

Edison Town Hall is apparently handing out consolation prizes like some cheesy TV game show, except they are using our tax dollars to do it. The latest prize is a $12,500 part-time job in the Mayor’s Office.

Mayor Tom Lankey hired Democrat Mahesh Bhagia on Aug. 13 as his constituent relations liaison to the town’s growing Asian-Indian population.

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With over 45 percent of Edison’s 102,000 residents being Asian, and most of those Asian-Indian immigrants, it’s understandable they could need help navigating township services.

Of course, we could say the same about other ethnic groups, or senior citizens, or people with disabilities. I doubt Mayor Lankey will also be catering to these special interests groups unless, of course, someone else needs a taxpayer-funded consolation prize.

Maybe our Mayor thought Mr. Bhagia – a vice president of the Indian Business Assocition (IBA) –  deserved a nice gift after local Democrats passed him over as a Council candidate, instead nominating Sampi “Sam” Joshi.

But, why didn’t Edison publicly announce this new job and take credit for benefiting our Asian Indian community?

Secrecy only breeds suspicion and raises questions: Does Mr. Bhagia have special qualification for this job? Has he worked in municipal government before? Does he also get tax-funded health coverage?

I cannot help to be skeptical whenever I see our tax dollars used to magically conjure up a job that did not exist before. This one just looks like another waste of our money.