Monday, February 20, 2012

Shut Up and Pay

What do you do when the citizenry keeps voting down tax increases? Take away their right to vote.

That’s exactly what the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School Board did this month when it voted to move school elections to November.

From now on, so long as school tax increases are kept under 2%, residents will no longer have the right to vote on the budget. Doesn’t take a genius to guess how much the school administration plans to raise taxes each year. No doubt the teachers union will be licking their chops. The district bloat can rest easy as well since the Sword of Damocles is no longer hanging over their heads to cut the fat.

According to School Board President Kenny, “When a very, very fiscally responsible and conservative budget is not passed in an election by a small group of people who may be entrenched or have other interests, we may not be able to serve the very students we are charged to serve.” I guess he’s already forgotten the Barza years.

Or maybe the board thinks a 2% annual increase is reasonable. For the average homeowner, that’ll be about a hundred-dollar increase each year on top of municipal, county, state, federal, plus a host of increases from government fees and regulations.

Over a ten-year period, that’s a $5,500 take from the average homeowner.
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Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Year Ahead

This year, the big news will be the upcoming presidential election. In local news, we’re not expecting much change and that would be sad because Aberdeen could be so much more. Here is a list of indicators to see if there will be any positive developments in town.

Town Budget
I have high expectations for Holly Reycraft. She has a well-deserved reputation for competence, integrity, and dedication. As interim town manager, she made improvements to the budget, implemented the new employee health plan, and brought order to the township operations. However, she’s still working for a town council that is deeply immersed in pay-to-play.

As soon as the new councilmembers were seated, their first order of business was the roads program, which is often code for CME, the pimps bankrolling the Aberdeen Democrats’ election campaigns. And then there was the gift to Coppola & Coppola, another reliable contributor, to do another study on the train station project that we’ve been hearing about for a decade.

So, look at spending and the tax levy. Taxes have a habit of jumping during the off-election years and we’ll see if that trend continues this year.
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