Friday, May 2, 2008
Edgewater Park Stealth Budget Meeting
Sorry about the break in the posting but I have been away. Lots going on.
I got back and looked at my back issues of the BCT, this took little time because the local stories are almost non-existent except for stories on Burlington City, and saw the Public Notice for a Edgewater Park Twp. budget meeting to be held on Tuesday, May 1st. Now I must admit that I didn't see anything wrong with this, and assumed (you know what they say about assuming) that the meeting was for next Tuesday (May 6th) and planed to attend Tuesday. I received a phone call from a neighbor about a flier that was delivered by township employees, asking that residents attend the budget meeting scheduled for last night (Thursday May 1st), and to speak up about the cuts in service.
I have to wonder if the wrong day listed in the BCT wasn't deliberate. The township committee almost always meets on Tuesdays and have held prior budget meetings on Tuesdays. What a clever way to keep the public confused and uninformed. Thanks to the employees who took the time to deliver the budget flier people did attend.
Other rumors, the school district is being told that the township's trash hauler, will no longer pick up the schools trash as part of the municipal trash pick-up. This means that the school district will need to add this cost to their budget, and will probably pay more for the service because the township probably gets a volume discount for this service from the trash company. By doing this the township committee looks like they are reducing cost, but in reality we taxpayers will pay more because the additional cost to the schools will be paid by us taxpayers. Mayor Hall, Donna Atzert, Jim Daly and Tom Pullion know this because Mayor Halls husband was the Business Manager for the school district, Donna Atzert was on the School Board, Jim Daly's wife is on the School Board and Tom Pullion also served on the School Board.
The School district also is being asked to have their maintenance employees cut the grass on the recreation fields, because of the proposed layoffs of township Street Dept. employees. This additional cost to the schools will be paid for out of our school tax. Because the majority of School Board members are Democratic County Committee members who run the local party, they know that this action will help the Five O controlled Township Committee look like they are cutting cost and since the school budget passed this year, there will be no backlash to the schools.
I think that township committee needs to explain what happened to the plus $250,ooo dollars they received last year for the sale of township owned land. This money would offset the proposed reduction of state aid. What did they do with it? They also need to explain why Township Committee authorized the installation of new rugs, the painting of the Municipal Building, and the purchase of new furniture and computers, when they knew that the state was going to cut aid this year. The township committee also needs to explain why they are kicking the Sewer Authority out of the Municipal Building and losing the $12,000K in rent that the Authority paid to the township. This loss represents 1/2 cent per $100 dollars of assessment.
We need answer to these questions, before the township committee starts laying off employees. It is easy to do this because most of the employees do not live in Edgewater Park and township committee will not be effected politically.
Township Committee and Administrator, your chickens have come home to roost, your past spending and tax abatement give-a-ways are now affecting our employees, their families as well as the taxpayers of Edgewater Park. Yes the state is to blame for the cutback in state aid but you knew this had to happen and you used the rainy day surpluses that we used to have in Edgewater Park.
To the voters who are not necessarily taxpayers, these are the people who you have elected several times now. Are you going to continue to reward them with your vote? I hope not because they do not deserve it. The proof of their incompetence, mismanagement and arrogance, is with the last several years of large tax increases we have endured. This is your reward for your voting loyalty.
The Edgewater Park Reporter