I received the following letter from Middletown resident Paul Jansen:
In our current economic crisis, everyone is suffering, with tens of thousands of job losses and pay freezes nationwide. When times are tough, our elected representatives must make difficult decisions by taking the finances of our towns seriously and helping those who need the most help — the taxpayers.
What better way to lead in these trying times than by setting a good example and taking charge of what they were elected to do? I applaud the Middletown Township Committee for deciding to forgo its pay. It should go one step further by eliminating the stipend and health benefits of all committee appointees, particularly sewer authority members.
The committee also should ask all appointed professionals, such as lawyers and engineers, to accept a reduction in the contracts that were negotiated in December. This is being suggested by committeemen Patrick Short and Sean Byrnes.
Some say Short and Byrnes criticize insignificant savings, when in reality they are looking to find significant savings in items that are not self-funded.
Homeowners and taxpayers deserve a committee that is going to set the tone for a responsible township budget. This is not happening, and more than 20 percent of this year’s budget has already been spent.
Short and Byrnes are the kind of positive, creative thinkers required to lead our town. They are putting the taxpayer first by looking for ways to allow them to keep more of what they earn.
Paul J. Jansen