Kudos to Dustin Racioppi of redbankgreen.com for taking the initiative to follow up on my blog post as to why Wednesday night’s special budget meeting was cancelled.
It seems that Dustin must have contacted Gerry Scharfenberger sometime yesterday to ask why the meeting was cancelled. He must have gotten an earful out of Gerry because he got enough information out of him to write a very flattering column that seems to imply that from Gerry’s perspective, everything is wonderful and residents shouldn’t worry about the Township’s finances because his new buddies in Trenton will bail Middletown out of the big money pit it finds itself at the bottom of. As you read the column, it is evident that Gerry gave him every excuse in the book that he could think of as to why the budget hasn’t been presented already.
First, it was that Middletown didn’t have a CFO for several months (which was your own fault Gerry for not actively seeking one), then it was having to concentrate on the failed school budget. But officially it was because of a lack of a quorum Wednesday night that the meeting was cancelled.
That’s cool, but didn’t anyone know before hand that a quorum was not possible for Wednesday night? Did the Town Administrator just schedule a last minute special meeting to introduce thebudget without checking with members of the committee first? It’s a little fishy if you ask me.
Not to worry though, it happens to turn out to be a good thing that the meeting was cancelled according to Gerry. You see, by waiting for a couple of weeks for the possibility of his buddies in Trenton to bail him out, Middletown could magically save money by screwing recent retirees out of their pension and health benefits. And if Middletown can somehow opt-out of its civil service agreements, with a little help from the Governor and Gerry’s good buddy Robert Cezch (you remember him, former Township Administrator) who is the new CEO of the NJ Civil Service Commission, then Middletown will no longer have to play by the rules and hire cronies and friends to fill open positions through out the workforce, essentially creating patronage positions at every level of township operations.
But of course Gerry doesn’t address that the proposed budget that was going to be introduced contained a 15% tax increase, which if introduced before the June 8th Primary would have been political suicide for him.
Face it Gerry, waiting for your good buddy Governor Christie to bail your ass out of a $5 million budget deficit isn’t going to happen anytime soon. You and your republican friends have been mismanaging Middletown for years and it seems that you can never anticipate or see the warning signs of trouble even as the financial woos have mounted steadily over the past 5 years which have lead to increases of more than 16% in the municipal tax rate in that time.
Every day that you waste waiting for someone else to fix Middletown’s financial mess Gerry, another dollar wasted that could have been saved. Time is slipping away, Middletown is now 6 months into the fiscal year without a budget, temporary appropriations only compound to problem becuase Middletown is spending money that it does not have. You should have learned a lesson from last year when the budget ended with a $1.3 million deficit that needed to be rolled over into FY 2010.
Isn’t about time that you admit your mistakes and short comings instead of trying to lay blame on other and give people the false hope and information in your attempts at making yourself look better? How about finally agreeing to implementing a financial advisory board or commission to help right the cart, being your always so blind that you can never see the forest through the trees?