Daily Archives: August 6, 2010

Scharfy Tries To Deflect Blame For 41.9% 5 Year Tax Increase Away From Himself By Blaming School System

As I was surfing around the web, I stopped by the website for the RedBankGreen.com and found the latest article posted by Dustin Racioppi titled MAKE ALL PAY FOR SCHOOL, MAYOR SAYS

It seems as though Middletown’s appointed mayor Gerry Scharfenberger, has this rather novel but highly unoriginal idea to help unburden tax payers by having the Township Attorney draft a meaningless resolution asking his buddy the Governor, to increase the sales tax by 1% and use the money to offset property taxes by using the revenue to pay for school funding.
He is qouted as saying that “Everybody sort of commiserates, (and thinks) this could be a great thing…It’s something that’s got to come, because we can’t just keep burdening taxpayers.”
Wow, Scharfy has become quit the Progressive hasn’t he?
If Scharfenberger had proposed this idea earlier in the year, before he jumped onto the governor’s bandwagon by attacking teachers and the Middletown school system and blaming them as the reason for driving the local tax rate up through the stratosphere, I very well may have given him kudos for think outside the box, even though he has no idea how the money would be dispersed once it was gathered by the State.
Unfortunately that is not the case.
This latest headline grabbing scheme seems to be more intended to deflect criticism away from his personal record of raising local taxes by 41.9% over the 5 years that he has served on the Township Committee (3 of those years as Mayor) if the currently proposed Township budget, which includes a 14% spending increase, that is also 8 months late, is adopted at the next Township meeting on August 16th.
I guess he figures that if he can raise the evil spectre of the Middletown Board of Education, by pointing out that ~60% of local tax bills go to support the education system, people will forget his tax and spend record on the municipal portion of those tax bill.
Scharfy seems to thinks that it would be OK to continue raising the municipal tax rate, if only somehow, those in Trenton could take care of educating Middletown’s kids.
That sounds unrealistic, instead how about focusing on the proposed 14% tax increase that he supports, by trying to cut spending rather than writing resolutions that fall within the jurisdiction of the State Legislature.


Filed under Gerry Scharfenberger, Gov. Chris Christie, Middletown Board of Education, RedBankGreen.com, sales tax, tax increase, Trenton

Holt Hosts Forum for NJ Veterans

Thursday, 05 August 2010

U.S. Representative Rush Holt Wednesday hosted a forum for hundreds of Central New Jersey veterans. With the participation of officials from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Holt addressed veterans concerns about health care, the GI Bill, veterans employment, and other issues.

A recording of last night’s teleforum can be accessed at http://holt.house.gov/images/stories/holtru16.wav

“Our country was founded by citizen-soldiers and it is because of work that you have done that has kept us free. I’m certainly working every day to ensure that you get the health care, the education benefits, and the other things that are due to you. And they are due to you because of a national promise,” Holt said.

Among the issues Holt discussed was his work to improve military suicide prevention efforts. Earlier this year, the House passed Holt’s initiative to fill a void in the military’s suicide prevention efforts among members of the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). Holt introduced legislation named in memory of Sergeant Coleman Bean, an East Brunswick man who took his own life after serving two tours in Iraq. Unlike their active duty counterparts or those normally assigned to existing Guard and Reserve units, members of the IRR and those designated as IMAs normally are only assigned to units upon mobilization. In between deployments, they lack direct, easy access to the kinds of suicide prevention services and support structures available to active duty troops – a deficiency my bill seeks to fix. Under the House-passed bill, someone from the Department of Defense would be required to check on reserves regularly and to ensure their needs are being met. Senator Lautenberg has introduced companion legislation on the Senate side.

In addition, Holt succeeded in including an amendment in the House-passed funding bill for the Department of Veterans Affairs directing the Secretary of the VA to spend $20 million for suicide prevention outreach, both through direct advertising and on online social media like Facebook and Twitter.

The same funding bill, which the Senate must approve, provides $50.6 billion in advance funding for the following fiscal year. For years, Holt had heard from veterans and their doctors that the VA was running out of money months before the end of the fiscal year. The bill would help ensure no shortfalls.

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Filed under Congressman Rush Holt, Health Care, NJ Veterans, US Department of Veterans Affairs

Commentary: Let’s Be Honest

By Tom Wiley

For to long NJ Officials from both parties have borrowed, bonded and stole from taxpayers. Whether it’s the Transportation Trust Fund or the Pension fund neither party tells the truth; That they are to blame. Case in point:

1) Pensions, yes, it is underfunded but, why? The public employees have been making their payments every payday and in fact during the Whitman years they paid even more into yet, Yet, The Governor is blaming the public workers and trying to punish them by not giving what they have earned.

2) Transportation Trust Fund: It to is broke, Why ?? Past Governors bonded against future revenues and now bills are due, the State gas tax will only go to pay the debt. This is insanity and not honest. The gas tax is a permanent funding source yet, the State screwed it up by bonding future revenues that went where???

3) Unemployment fund: See above… same story different fund.

When you are elected you are supposed to represent the people of NJ and not your party or your next election. Our Governor now is punishing public employees and blaming them for NJ financial mess with privatization and layoffs? Be honest, who will benefit from Privatization? Republican lawyers who donated to the party or past officials like GOP congressman Zimmer? Be honest, If the Government of NJ was honest we would still be in financial trouble because it is a recession but, it wouldn’t be as bad as it is, if the People who sit under the gold dome practiced integrity and honesty for the people of NJ, not their own self interests.

Basically, honor and truth is what’s wrong with Trenton. The system is not be perfect but, at least the people of this state would have some honesty.

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Filed under honesty and integrity, New Jersey, Tom Wiley, transportation fund, Trenton, unemployment fund