The following letter appears online today at the Asbury Park Press:
In his Oct. 21 letter, “Real solutions to problems put Middletown on right track,” Mayor Anthony Fiore admitted that Middletown government is derailed. I could not agree more.
True to form, he falsely blames years of excessive spending, unnecessary bonding, escalating taxation and debt, all cradled in Republican mismanagement, on the Middletown Democrats who somehow magically made elected Republicans spend our tax dollars. This is just more empty rhetoric to go with decades of empty promises.
After Fiore strong-armed $500,000 from library funds, took $350,000 for the second year in a row from sewerage authority fees and used $1.3 million in public education funds, his so-called fiscal discipline required a 12 percent tax increase to cover $45 million of a $62 million budget. This lack of incumbent Republican fiscal discipline has Middletown looking at a projected $2 million shortfall for 2012.
Ask Mayor Fiore if he has a real solution. Past Republican practice points at raising taxes. During his term, he has contributed 22 percent to a 40 percent increase in taxes over the last five years. Past practice also points at adding to our $70 million debt, which has increased 66 percent over the same five years.
Finally, at least $2.4 million of $4 million in “cuts” claimed by Mayor Fiore were onetime nonrecurring expenses that were never part of the 2011 budget.
Put a stop to more than 30 years of poor fiscal policy and borrowing. Please help our community get back on track. Vote for James Grenafege and Carol Fowler.
Middletown Township Committee candidate