Daily Archives: October 28, 2011

Letter: Blame mayor, GOP rule for tax hikes in Middletown, New Jersey

The letter below was written by Linda Baum and appears online today at the Asbury Park Press:

The letter “Fiscal discipline puts Middletown on track” (Oct. 21) implies residents should be concerned about the leadership of Democratic representatives who have consistently voted against the tax hikes and irresponsible pet projects that are a heavy burden on Middletown residents.

Democrats didn’t raise municipal property taxes more than 22 percent in three years. Tony Fiore did.

Republicans have held a majority on the Township Committee for decades and therefore can’t blame anyone else for the mess they’ve made. Mayor Fiore helped to create many of the problems we now face.

No one would argue that these are difficult times, but the economic climate cannot be blamed for the result of so many years of mismanagement. Our taxes went up every year, long before the downturn.

Fiore acts as if conforming to a tax cap is the goal. It’s a ceiling, and there are many ways around it, such as taking $750,000 over the last two years from the Sewerage Authority, which can raise our sewer fees to recoup without any annoying tax cap to worry about. Let’s not forget last year’s 13.4 percent municipal tax increase, which blew well past the cap and required a state waiver.

Further, the $4 million reduction in this year’s budget isn’t the spending cut Fiore would like everyone to believe. The budget reduction results mainly from the disappearance of surplus revenue.

Most of those reserves went to pay for tax appeals, which could have been avoided had there been more attention to fair distribution of revenues over the years. That’s the very foundation of municipal government and speaks of the real problem — an absence of foresight and planning.

Residents deserve much better.

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Filed under Asbury Park Press, letter to the editor, Linda Baum, Middletown Township Committee, Republican Majority, tax hikes

River Plaza Crime Spree

Dear Middletown Mike,
I wanted to let you know about a little crime spree that happened last night and early this morning In River Plaza.
Last night at 3:30 am a resident surprised a burglar in his house at 49 Hubbard Ave. He scared the intruder off and called the police.
Then a house 4 doors down the street was visited and stuff was stolen on the back porch. The burglar then went to our neighbors at 9 Hubbard Ave. The car and house keys were stolen and the back door on the porch was propped open.
Finally the burglar arrived at our house at 386 West Front Street. He pushed his way into our house through an air conditioner and stole money from my purse and car keys that were on the counter in the kitchen. He then went back through the window and drove off with one of our cars. Our neighbors heard the car alarm go off at 5:45am, which was quickly silenced.
My hats are off to the Middletown Police who arrived promptly when called, and the detective arrived shortly thereafter. They handled everything very professionally. My concern is for our neighbors and neighborhood. They should be alerted so they can take their own precautions. I wish the no one in our neighborhood should have to go through the experience we have.

Pat & Andy Walsh
West Front St.
Red Bank

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