Sunday, June 24, 2012
Backroom deals and uninformed voting continue to rule in June.
The end of June is the worst time in Trenton. It is rivaled only by the end of a legislative session in January, though the shenanigans that happen in the lame duck session generally don’t involve the spending of billions of the people’s tax dollars. The games that began last week in the State House, and will continue this week, are textbook displays of political partisanship, backroom deals and poor public policy making, not to mention a disregard for people. Take, for instance, last Monday’s Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee hearing. The committee set a start time of 9:30 a.m. and the room was packed as there were 21 bills on the agenda. Some of those bills were very controversial, and others in various stages of un-readiness: …
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Sewer utility superintendent says sewer plant construction project is almost finished.
Work on the sewer plant upgrade project now underway at the Edwards Road site is 95 percent complete. That's according to Parsippany Sanitary Sewer Utility Superintendent Phil Bober, who went before Township Council Saturday morning to discuss his department's budget requests for 2012-13. According to Bober, the project is running on schedule and he expects work on the plant upgrade to be completed after May 1. "Fingers crossed," he said. Work on the new incinerator itself, a separate project, begins later this year, according to Business Administrator Jasmine Lim. The target date for the equipment to be ready to go online is sometime in 2014. There are reports of a potential problem with Synagro, the company contracted to do the work and …
Monday, April 2, 2012
Police requests were reconsidered at final public hearing on municipal spending plan
The Parsippany Township Council, usually reliably unified in its decision-making, engaged in lively debate during the final public hearing on the proposed $61.7 million budget for 2012-13. The agenda for the Saturday morning Town Hall gathering focused on administration department plus golf and sewer utility expenses, but the most contentious discussion came when Mayor James Barberio reopened Tuesday's discussion of the police budget. Council Vice President Vincent Ferrara and members John Cesaro and Paul Carifi Jr. were especially vocal in suggesting various nips and tucks that could be made to the spending plan. On the issue of police staffing, Ferrara took a hard line. The councilman said he had "trouble" with Parsippany Police …
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Newest freeholder votes no on first budget.
The Morris County Board of Freeholders adopted a 2012 $317 million budget Wednesday that calls for a half-cent property tax increase. The budget sets the tax rate at 21.9 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. That does not include school and municipal taxes, which are set separately. The freeholders previously shaved one-quarter cent off the open space tax. The budget was passed by a 6-to-1 margin, with the newest freeholder, William “Hank” Lyon of Montville, casting the sole “no” vote. “When I ran last year I said I’d cut taxes,’ he said. The project that concerned him the most is the new county emergency management center under construction in Parsippany. The freeholders' own news release on the budget is as follows: The Morris County …
Thursday, March 1, 2012
The budget represents a 2.74 percent tax levy increase over last year's budget. The public will be able to voice its opinion March 29.
The Parsippany Board of Education approved its preliminary budget for the 2012-2013 school year at a special meeting Tuesday night convened specifically for that topic. By approving, the members set the maximum amount the budget can be, although it can still be reduced or adjusted before it is adopted. Before discussion began, Superintendent LeRoy Seitz explained that he was asking the board to approve a budget of more than $128 million at an increase of 2.74 percent with a tax levy revenue increase of more than $3 million over the 2011-2012 budget. This would cost the average homeowner about $114.69 in taxes. This amount is slightly increased from the previous generations of the proposed budget over the last few months – the most …
Monday, February 27, 2012
State aid is up for schools and flat for municipalities, but despite Gov. Christie's generosity, it's still less than before he took office.
Gov. Chris Christie’s budget announcement last week had relatively good news for local officials. Relatively. Aid to schools would rise an average of 9 percent throughout Morris County under the governor’s budget proposal. Every district in Morris would get more state aid in the coming year, with increases ranging from 1 percent in Lincoln Park to 34.7 percent in Mendham Township, which just happens to be Christie’s hometown. The only aid decrease nearby is in Hopatcong, which would lose 6.4 percent of its aid, or $764,000, although there are some even bigger decreases elsewhere in the state: Wildwood Crest, Monmouth Regional and Seaside Park are among those facing double-digit cuts in aid. Any increase in aid is, of course, good news. But…
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Township will receive $4,550,201, the same it received in fiscal year 2011-12.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Parsippany will receive the same amount of municipal aid it received in the last fiscal year, according to numbers released by the state on Thursday. The township will see $4,550,201 for the 2012-13 budget year, the same amount received in 2011-12. The flat funding is consistent throughout the state, with every Morris County municipality receiving the same funding it saw last fiscal year. Of the 39 municipalities listed in the county, Parsippany is earmarked to receive the most in aid. The Morris subdivisions receiving the least amount of state aid are Victory Gardens Borough ($73,706) and Chester Borough ($146,071).
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Democratic nominee for the Morris County Board of Freeholders speaks against a tax increase the body is considering.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Morris County’s Board of Freeholders is currently considering a tax increase in the second half of 2011 or steep budget cuts for 2012. Board finance subcommittee chairperson Margaret Nordstrom’s panel has suggested a solution that has to infuriate every hardworking resident of Morris County: increase taxes by 1.92 percent and cut services to find a needed $3 million for operating costs. What makes this approach especially reprehensible and unwise is that the Morris County budget has a $19.2 million surplus. Why would anyone suggest increasing taxes with a $19.2 million surplus? It’s time for Morris County residents to say, “Enough is enough.” The tax rate has increased every year for the past decade in the county. The increase from 2000…
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Third and final installment of Parsippany Patch's frugal advice for new moms
This the third a series of articles for new moms. In Week 1, we discussed where to find deals on diapers. In Week 2, we discussed deals on food (breastpumps, bottles, formula and baby food). This final article of the series is all about clothing, because babies are born naked, but it's simply indecent to make them stay that way. When I was a kid, my mom always had new clothes stored away for us in the attic that were retrieved when the size and season were right. Shopping the end of season sales saves substantial money, as a T-shirt in early June can cost $15, whereas in late July or August you can buy it for under $5. Savings of greater than 75 percent are not uncommon, if you follow my 3S rules: 1. Shop end-of-season sales 2. Size up …
Monday, June 27, 2011
The state's fiscal mess is mostly not their fault.
Over the last few weeks, the battle over New Jersey public employee pensions and health benefits has been fierce. Last week, the workers wound up the losers. The issues often are portrayed as simple ones—the unions are bullies who strong-armed state or local employers to get cushy perks for their members, or the governor and Legislature are the bullies stealing hard won benefits and collective bargaining rights from poor workers. It’s actually much more complicated than that. Way back 20 or 30 years ago, there was pretty much no doubt that New Jersey’s public workers on a whole were low-paid compared with people in the private sector. If you went to work in a public job, it was for the benefits, particularly for a good pension. Then came …