Last week at the monthly Township committee workshop meeting, Gerry Scharfenberger and the GOP majority expressed once again how the Township does not need to set up a “Finance Committee” to oversee the budget process. They went as far as having Township Attorney #2, Brian Nelson, “research” the structure of the township’s governing body in order to justify the rejection of the Finance Committee.
Nelson said that he spent some time looking through the governance by-laws of the Township and came to the conclusion that a Finance Committee would be against the Township’s charter because it would take powers away from the Administrator and Township Committee.
That is total BS if you ask me.
Gerry and his GOP buddies feel that everything is great with the way the township puts together the budget. He works very hard at it and would not want to give up any control over the process, it is very effective, He says. After all Middletown does have a Double AA bond rating and gets kudos from the League of Municipalities for how the budget is constructed, so why change? Simple, it is broken.
A 25% increase in taxes for the last four years
A 9.2% (possibly higher) tax increase for this year’s budget
Asking permission from the State to go $2 million dollars over the $4% cap budget cap
2 Township Attorney’s salary’s
Deferring this year’s Pension payments for 15 years
Building a budget when you have “no short term and long term projections that took into account this economy.”
The way that Gerry and the boys (sorry Pam) put together a budget is not very efficient or effective and it needs to change. The proposed Finance Committee would look at the budget and give recommendations throughout the year not just during budget time. The Committee would act as an advisory board to the township and would be an effective tool to ferret out wasteful spending in order to save the tax payers money.
The audio clip below is from the June 1st workshop meeting it is Gerry Scharfenberger’s reasoning behind not supporting a Finance Committee