Daily Archives: June 1, 2010

Comment of the Week

The following comment was posted yesterday by an anonymous person to the post titled “Middletown school board to vote on final spending plan”. I thought that it was good enough to be considered comment of the week thus far and shared here on the main page.

The county superintendent has said that any further administrative cuts will jeopardize the district’s ability to provide an adequate education and may put the safety of the students at risk. Karen has said the same thing. Who has more knowledge about educating our children, the mayor or the educators?

When Vinnie Brand heard the email from the county superintendent read at the meeting the other night he said that he disagreed with the county superintendent and that he didn’t care what other towns are doing that we should do it better.

This guy is a pretty fast study. Wednesday was the second BOE meeting he has attended in his entire life and he already knows more than our superintendent and the county superintendent about acceptable student to administrator ratios. He said that we should cut 3 administrators as the TC suggested, even though the TC numbers had no basis in reality due to their total lack of understanding regarding the way the district operates.

Middletown has gotten what it wished for. We now have 3 new members on the board who apparently are so concerned about doing the bidding of the Township Committee that they are willing to compromise the safety of the students in order to save the taxpayers a few dollars.

Because the TC did not realize that the tenured administrators will have to be employed somewhere in the district, they grossly overstated the savings to the taxpayers. Instead of the $390,000 that they claimed would be saved by eliminating 3 administrators, the actual savings would be more like $50,000. In other words, for less than $1 per person a year for every person living in Middletown, Vinnie and his friends are willing to ignore the warnings of professional educators and compromise the safety of our students.

We now have inexperienced, uninformed and misguided people deciding the future of the districts educational process. They are ignoring the code of ethics for BOE members which states that they are to make their decisions based on what is best for the children. They appear to be making decisions based on political affiliations and aspirations.

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Filed under budget cuts, Comment of the Week, Middeltown Board of Education, Middeltown Township, Superintendent Karen Bilbao, Vinnie Brand

Middletown To Introduce Budget Wednesday; Is A 15% Tax Increase Possible?

According to Middletown Township’s website the Township Committee will hold a special meeting on June 2, 2010 at 7 p.m for the purpose of introducing the 2010 Municipal, Utility and Solid Waste Budgets. The meeting will be held at the Middletown Arts Center, 36 Church Street, Middletown.

I am not making this up, I hear that the Municipal Budget looks pretty ugly and could contain a possible tax increase of 15% or more. But don’t fret just yet, there is also a good possibility that the meeting will be postponed due to scheduling conflicts amongst committee members, a quorum may not be possible for Wednesday night.

But if the meeting does go on as scheduled, how could Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger and Deputy Mayor Tony Fiore even consider voting to introduce a budget with such a tax increase?
After all of his posturing and grandstanding about Governor Christie and his “Tool Box” while attempting to follow the lead of the governor by demonizing Middeltown’s teachers and cutting the already defeated Board of Education budget by an additional $2 million dollars, after $11 million had already been stripped away from it by the governor, Scharfenberger would be foolish to think that residents would ever take him serious again on budget issues.
If this budget is introduced as is, the Middletown GOP will finally be seen as the tax and spenders that they really are. Remember last year Gerry and his friends raised the tax rate by 5.2% which pushed the tax rate up 16% over the past 4 years, can Middletown afford that kind of tax increase in just one year? I think not!
If this 15% figure is true (which it could be true due to the $5 million budget defect that exists) then Scharfenberger, Township Administrator Tony Mercantante and our new CFO Nick Transente will have some explaining to do and will have to come up with some very good answers as to why they weren’t able to keep the increase close to Christie’s proposed budget cap.

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Filed under Arts Center, budget deficit, budget meeting, Gerry Scharfenberger, Middletown Board of Education, Middletown Township Committee, municipal tax rates, Nick Transente, Tony Mercantante