Daily Archives: April 4, 2011

>Let The Spin Begin: Press Release In Advance Of Budget Introduction Issued By Middletown Committee

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In advance of tonights budget introduction by the Middletown Township Committee, the follwoing press release was issued a short while ago, all I can say is let the spinning begin. It seems that only in Middletown can the municipal budget be cut by nearly $4 million but the amount need to be raise through taxation increases by $1.58million. I guess I should be glad though, could you imagine what the tax increase could have been if the Township Committee didn’t adhere to the Governor’s mandate to stay under the 2% cap?…

MIDDLETOWN – The Middletown Township Committee anticipates introducing its 2011 municipal budget that is $3.87 million (5.9%) less than the Township’s 2010 budget.

“Middletown’s proposed municipal budget is very austere and in full conformance with the new 2% cap levy law despite the Legislature’s continued failure to enact the Governor’s tool kit reforms that would empower the Township to make further cuts,” said Middletown Mayor Tony Fiore.

“We are hopeful to continue to rein in spending through ongoing negotiations with the Township’s collective bargaining units with a focus on decreasing the Township’s health care costs.” “Cuts in the proposed budget include the layoffs of 26 employees, including 10 police officers, and the third consecutive year of salary freezes for the Township’s managerial employees,” continued Fiore.

“Middletown will continue to focus on core governmental functions while seeking other ways to continue to reduce costs though interlocal agreements and the Township’s solar initiative that is currently under way.”

Proposed Budget Data and Facts

  • The proposed 2011 municipal budget is $61,114,285 compared to the adopted 2010 budget that was $64,979,576.
  • The proposed budget represents an actual decrease in spending of $3,865,291 (5.9%) from the 2010 budget.
  • The largest cost drivers offsetting the Township’s $3.87 million in budget cuts are tax appeal refunds, State-mandated pension contribution increases of 22%, and costs associated with deferred charges due to numerous retirements last year.
  • The proposed 2011 budget anticipates an increase in the total tax levy of $1,357,855 which complies with the new 2% cap levy law and will cost the average Middletown homeowner approximately $5 per month.
  • The municipal budget makes up only approximately 22% of the average property tax bill, the remaining portion relates to the school and county tax levies.

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Filed under 2% cap, budget introduction, Governor Christie, Middletown Township Committee, press release, Spin, Tony Fiore

>Middletown Budget Introduction and Public Hearing For New Salary (Bonus) Ordinance On Tonight’s Agenda

>During tonight’s Middletown Township monthly workshop meeting, two items are on the agenda that should be of interest to residents, the Township spending plan for 2011 will be introduced and Ordinance 2011-3027 will be given it’s public hearing.

The Township Committee, unlike prior years, will not host a special meeting tonight for the introduction of the Township’s proposed FY2011. Instead the introduction will be part of tonight’s workshop meeting and will limit resident comments and questions until the “Public Comments” portion of the meeting at end of the night.

After the budget introduction a public hearing is scheduled to take place on Ordinance 2011-3027 – the “Ordinance Amending Management Salaries and Non-Union Employees for 2011- Revised”, A.K.A “the Bonus” ordinance. For those that are not familiar this ordinance , this is the controversial ordinance that will authorize $20,000 worth of bonuses (or Stipends as mayor Fiore has now been calling them) to Middletown’s Tax Assessor Charles Heck and his assistant for work they did preparing for the Townships’ recent reassessment which was conducted by Reality Appraisal. This ordinance is scheduled for adoption at the next Township Committee on April 18th, so now is the time to speak out against it.

The meeting is expected to start at 8pm in the small conference room off the Clerk’s Office at Town Hall, so it would be wise to show-up early in case there is a large crowd interested in hearing the details behind this years budget or the proposed salary ordinance. Hopefully though, if that is the case and a large number of indiviuals show-up the meeting will be moved to the larger Court Room.

I hope to see you there.

Here is a link to tonight’s meeting agenda

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Filed under bonuses, budget introduction, budget resolution, Charles Heck, Middletown Township Committee, proposed budget, workshop meeting