>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.

20 Comments

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

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

  1. >Someone might be interested in Resolution 11-127 which is listed on the agenda for the TC's meeting on APril 4. It is for a "Corrective ACtion Plan, that has been recommended by the township's auditor. At the very end of the 2009 audit, the following statement is from Ernst and Young, and I quote:"The Township did not accurately maintain a general ledger that was reconciled to the Township's underlying records in order to properly account for and report financial transactions. The following items were specifically identified:Significant debt transactions were not recorded in the general ledger; blaance sheet accounts were not reconciled to supporting documentation and underlying records; numerous mispostings of transactions were identified; interfund activity was not properly tracked throughout the year. Maybe someone posted this when the audit came out. I just tracked it down when I saw tonight's resolution on the agenda.

  2. >Figures don't lie but LIARS FIGURE!!Hold onto your wallets eveyone….the SPIN BEGINS !!!!!Five forked tongues wagging and a fabrication of the truth for sure.

  3. >What "spin" Mike? The numbers are what they are.Of course you're not happy with the budget, right? I mean, you want taxes to go up more because you want no layoffs.Or do you somehow magically want no layoffs, no concessions from the unions on health care costs, high payments for tax appeals AND taxes to go down?That's only possible if someone discovers a pot of gold in the archives or if the town plays and wins the lottery.Can you tell us where you find fault in these numbers?

  4. >Anon 5:19,That's for the heads up.Can you imagine all of these irregularities coming from a budget that the League of Municipalities holds up to others as being a model for others to copy?

  5. >No wonder this motley crew never wanted a finance committee!!!This town needs a FORENSIC AUDIT NOW !What's the matter with the town's administrator ?Guess taking care of finances by "osmosis" may have a more sinister definition.

  6. >Anon April 4, 5:15 p.m.Is this the same audit that Mr Sentembreno used to justify the township committee demand for approximately $1.5 million in excess library funds?If it is, then this auditor, who recommends a correctrive action plan, uncovered significant irregularities in the same material used to justify the money demand of taxpayer dollars that Setembreno carried and vocalized to the library trusties

  7. >Time for the authorities to investigate… Irregularities or outright hanky panky ???This crew has been taught to lie and cheat…..maybe it's worse than even that !!

  8. >I went to last nights budget presentation and I will have more to say about it later, but what everyone should know is that the increase in taxes for FY 2011 is 2.99% not 1.6 like the TC wants us to believe.They will tell you that they stayed under the 2% cap as mandated, technically they did if you consider the exceptions to the cap. But even then they would no thane been able to come in under the cap with out the separate line item now given to the Library. When you take out the Library's budge from the TC's the cap number drops drastically.

  9. >Mike, your figuring is off.Having the Library as a separate line budget makes it HARDER for the town to reach the 2% cap.If the amount to be raised by the Library is included with the municipal budget it is allowed to increase by 2%. Taken out, it also takes out the exact same amount in revenue, so it means the town has to find 2% of the Library budget MORE in order to meet the cap.

  10. >Anon 7:46I'm not so sure about that and I don't have the figures in front of me to give you the proper analysis at the moment. With out the library figured into the equation, the Township needs to raise $42+ million through taxation, with the library it's $46+ million.From what I have read the purpose for giving libraries separate line items is to show residents how much of their taxes go to support the library.The Middletown library "pays" the Township to handle it's payroll and benefits therefore I believe it is a neutral exchange.

  11. >Why don't you be a man and just admit this budget was nothing close to what you expected? If anyone is looking to put "spin" on the story, it seems to be you. I see a lot of straw grasping going on.

  12. >Anon 8:43,The only ones putting spin on the budget are those that run the Township.All I or anyone else wants is an honest accounting of what our taxes will be. Come out and say that Middletown's municipal tax rate will be more than 2% when other exempt items are included. Don't hide behind a technicallity and insist that you are in full compliance with the law, which you very much should be. Honesty and transparency is what's called for anything else is deception by omission.

  13. >Mike,For the 8:43 poster to question your manhood is classic of the sleazy slime in government in Middletown today.Thank you,Mike, for all your endeavors to keep the public aware of what is going on today in this town.After the spin these integrity compromised characters put on everything,who in the world would trust them about anything. Now with these five clowns and "their" lawyer every action of this TC is conducted in the "dark"! Maybe even under a rock.GOD HELP MIDDLETOWN !!!

  14. >This whole bunch is intellectually dishonest. Every last one of them and just what is wrong with the Administrator ?We pay him somewhere around $125,000 a year and honesty,at the very least, should be expected from him. The taxpayers in this township deserve the truth if there is anyone in administration capable of telling the truth. DOUBTFUL !

  15. >Mike -You said you were there last night, but you also say you want "is an honest accounting of what our taxes will be. Come out and say that Middletown's municipal tax rate will be more than 2% when other exempt items are included." THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT THE CFO SAID IN HIS PRESENTATION!The total proposed tax increase for 2011 is 2.99%. After items excluded by law from the 2% cap, this budget meets the mandated cap requirements, in full compliance with the law.Where do you see "dishonesty" of "spin?"

  16. >Anon 12:32,I got there late last night, I saw the last few slides of Trasente's presenation, but had the handout in my hands. I heard and saw what Trasente said.The problem is Fiore, Brightbill, Scharfenberger and Settembrino (Massell wasn't there)didn't acknowledge it and wont acknowledge it. As far as they are concerned the tax increase falls under the mandated 2% cap, end of story. They will continually fight and stand their ground by saying the tax increase is only 1.6%, just as they did last year when they tried to spin a 14% municipal tax increase by saying it was only a 2.4% increase to the total tax bill.

  17. >Ever expecting the truth out of these intellectually and ethically bankruptindividuals is a waste of time.Call for a forensic audit of township finances and send FIORE and BRIGHTBILL down the road in November. Elect somebody who is honest and these two do not meet that standard nor do the other two either.

  18. >Mike, why don't you just tell Anon8:43AM that black is white so she can get some sleep.

  19. >I looked at the salary guide listed on the Twp. website, Ordinance No. 2011-3027, and saw:Management Specialist (DPW) $ 53,198Management Specialist (Police) $ 50,000 Management Specialist (MIS) $ 51,478 Management Specialist (MIS) $ 70,000What is a management specialist and why do we need them? Don't we have enough managers in the various departments? Why does MIS need 2? Is the work they do the work that should be done by supervisors? or is this just another way to hire political cronies?

  20. >Check out the employee list and see who holds these positions. Sometimes the very people in these positions tells a great deal about whether it's a political appointment.The taxpayers in Middletown cannot afford the patronage doled out to the cronies of the thugs in government in this town currently, e.g. "bonuses" for a job a person is well paid to do. What is the real reason for these rewards??? In today's economic circumstances, patronage of any description should not be tolerated!

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