It’s nice to know that the Township of Middletown pays attention to this blog.
Why do I assume that this press release was a direct response to my posts? Because on Thursday and Friday of last week, the days that the posts appear on MiddletownMike, the blog received several hits from township computers before the press release appeared sometime Friday afternoon. So being that this blog is so well read down at Town Hall, allow me to comment on a few of the points addressed in the press release.
The revenue loss stems primarily from reductions in state aid, permit fees and interest earned on bank deposits.
Middletown lost $180,000 in state aid this year and yes permit fees are down due to the economy. Construction jobs are down, people are out of work, parking at the train station is off 20% or more, and people just cannot afford to spend money at this time. Surely, this can’t add up to $2.4M. Could other sources include the $980k gap created by the sale of our cell tower revenues last year?
Now the mayor is leaving it up to the residents to figure out what services they want to do without. Is this what was meant when she campaigned in November on putting the taxpayer first? I thought that someone ran for public office to represent the people, not leave it up to the people to decide what to do. This is a prime example of a total lack of leadership. A real leader would look at the cold hard facts and decide what is best for the taxpayer, not leave it up to them to decide.
Middletown needs new way to generate revenue. The day of subsidizing programs with taxpayer dollars must end. Programs need to be self-supporting, like the Swim & Tennis Club that almost pays for itself. Or, the Arts Center that costs over $20k per month for utilities to control a moisture problem and operates at $300,000 loss per year. There are scientists that are trying to figure out what a black hole is, all they need to do is come to Middletown and look into facilities such as these and watch the money disappear before their eyes in disbelief.
50% of FY 2009’s budget has already been spent, how do the Middletown GOP plan on plugging a $2.4 million hole in the budget when half of it is already spent? This budget deficit should not have come as a suprise to anyone, this shortfall is the same amount that the township needed fill last year with one shot revenue gimmicks such as sell off the cell phone towers mentioned earlier.
Face it Middletown, the GOP refuses to make hard decisions and would rather blame others for their bad planning. We will be stuck with a 9.2% tax increase no matter what Mayor Pam or Deputy-dog Gerry says, just like last year.
Keep in mind come November, Democrats Patrick Short and Sean Byrnes have been warning everyone that this day was coming unless prudent steps were taken early on during budget meetings. It is unfortunate that there warning have again been ignored by the majority party in town.
There is much more to comment on, but I’ll leave those comments for another post.