Category Archives: Richard Wright

With Middletown Budget Now Re-Introduced, CFO Richard Wright Resigns

Now that the proposed FY 2009 Middletown budget has be amended and re-introduced to residents by former CFO Bob Roth, who the township committee hired on May 18 as a consultant, to assist the township as it prepared its 2009 budget after Township CFO Richard Wright went on sick leave, comes word that Richard Wright has officially handed in his resignation.

Wright developed a mystery illness shortly after informing the Township Committee that he had made a clerical error which resulted in a $2.4 million hole in the budget back in early May, after it was introduced on April 20th and has been on sick leave ever since.

In earlier posts on the Middletown budget, I had stated that Richard Wright would never come back to work because in actuality the man was not sick and that in fact he had been fired.

The Republicans that control the township committee made a face saving deal with Wright, they constructed a story that had Wright coming down with some serious and somewhat chronic condition, which prohibited him from performing his duties as CFO and a had him take time off as sick leave, until a sufficiant about of time had passed (several weeks and the township budget re-presented) in which then would hand in his resignation.

The one thing that I have to say about this situations is this, for once the republicans in charges, in my opinion did something right and did not throw the man under the bus. From all accounts Richard Wright was a decent and likable guy who did a good and capable job. However, what got him in trouble with his bosses at times was his honesty at answering questions, he was too honest and clearly not practiced enough in the political ways of the Middeltown GOP.

After all this I hope that he lands on his feet and I wish him well in his future endeavors.

You can read the official version of his resignation HERE from the Asbury Park Press.

1 Comment

Filed under Bob Roth, Budget, Cheif Financial Officer, Middletown, resignation, Richard Wright

Update; Middletown Day 183 Without A Budget: Budget Meeting Scheduled

I have just received word that Middletown’s current budget fiasco may soon be over.

The Township Clerk has sent out a notice via email that The Township Committee will be holding a public hearing and vote on the Calender Year Budget for 2009 on Monday July 13th. The meeting will be in the court room and will begin at 7pm.

One of the more interesting pieces of information that I have heard concerning the budget today is that former Township CFO Bob Roth, who was brought in by the township to look over the budget mess left behind by Richard Wright has been that Roth has been digging through old bond issues looking for left over monies.

One such bond was issued in 2006, it provided a reserve for possible tax appeals. It has been languishing all these years unused or forgotten about.
Bob Roth was Township CFO for nearly 20 years before Richard Wright took over last year, it had been said about Roth that he was the most logical person to have look at the township’s books during this time of budgetary crisis because he would know “Where the bodies were buried“.
Well evidently he found at least 1 skeleton during his digging, the bond from 2006 that he uncovered is worth about $600,000 and when it is added the $85,000 worth of budget cuts that Wright identified earlier this year, you now have about $720,000 to go towards the $2.4 million budget shortfall.
This one shot windfall still leaves a gaping hole to of $1.68 million to plug and means that Middletown will still be looking at a tax increase of over 6% to close it.
Layoffs and furloughs may be looming as I stated in a earlier post.
Keep in mind that the Republican majority in Middletown have acted as though they were unconscious of current economic realities that effect our state and country and that Committeeman Pat Short began to demand budget action back in January.

1 Comment

Filed under Bob Roth, Budget, Budget Shortfall, Middletown, Patrick Short, Richard Wright

Middletown: Day 182 Without A Budget

Today July 1, 2009 marks the 182 day of the year. It also happens to be the 182 day of the year that Middletown has operated without a budget.

When will Middletown adopt its budget? Rumor has it that later this month the Township Committee will be rescheduling the May 20th budget hearing that was cancelled due to the sudden illness (termination) of Township CFO Richard Wright.

After months of telling the Township Committee that the budget was on target, Wright informed the committee just before the May 20th meeting that he had miss-calculated and that he was missing $2 million dollars. It was then announced that Wright was taking a leave of absence due to health reasons.
Former Township CFO Bob Roth was brought in to fix the mess that Wright had made and because of this the public budget hearing had been postponed indefinitely.
From what I have heard, the budget hearing will be scheduled sometime before the regularly schedule Township Committee meeting on July 20th.
This year’s proposed budget includes a 9.2% tax increase to cover a budget shortfall of over $2.4 million.
I have also been informed that because of the lateness of this year’s budget, estimated tax bills are now in the mail and should start showing up in resident’s mailboxes later this week or early next week.
Believe me; if this budget is not adopted soon utter chaos will break loose when it does.
First of all, it is unlikely that Middletown will get a waiver from the State in order to exceed the state budget cap increase of 4%.
That means in order to balance the budget nearly $3 million or more would need to be cut from the budget during the last 5 months of the year.
Layoffs and service cuts are looming large over the horizon, if people complained loudly about last year’s leaf pick-up they haven’t seen anything yet! Wait until they can’t pay their taxes on time or get needed permits for home improvements.
The Republican majority really screwed up the budget this year. If only they would have listened to Committeeman Sean Byrnes and formed a budget committee, they would have seen and anticipated this problem long ago before this situation got out of hand.

1 Comment

Filed under Bob Roth, Budget, Middletown, Richard Wright, Sean F. Byrnes

A Forensic Audit of The Books is Needed In Middletown

It is time for Middeltown to hire a non-partisan, outside accounting firm to do a complete and thorough forensic audit of the municipal budget.

Now I don’t know if this should be considered good news or bad news. I’ve been told by a person who works for the Township and wishes to remain anonymous because they are afraid of reprisal, that former township CFO Bob Roth, who has been temporarily retained by Middletown to take over for current CFO Richard Wright, who mysteriously had to take a leave of absence last month during a very critical time in the Township’s budget preparations, has miraculously found $2 million hidden within the townships books.

Richard Wright’s mystery illness has been speculated about for weeks now. People have questioned whether Wright is really sick or if he was fired by the township as incompetent for the way he handled himself during meetings and for the way he botched this year’s budget.

Wright had a problem with telling the truth when questioned in open meetings. He didn’t do a very good job deflecting probing questions from Patrick Short and Sean Brynes, the two Democrats that sit on the township committee as minority members, and this really frustrated and angered his Republican bosses. Wright had also been telling everyone that this year’s budget was right on schedule and with little surprises in store, a 9.2% tax increase to cover a $2.4 million shortfall which was proposed in April was expected.

However, early last month before the committee workshop meeting, Wright notified the Township Committee that he had screwed up and that over $2 million dollars was missing. It was after this revelation that Wright went missing and Patrick Short suggested retaining the services of former CFO Bob Roth.

Now what does all this mean? Quite frankly I am not sure as of yet because I have a few questions that I haven’t gotten answers to.

Does this mean that instead of the budget being short by more than $2.4 million it really isn’t? Does it mean that the proposed budget that was presented in April will not now need a 9.2% tax increase? And where did Bob Roth happen to find this hidden money, where did it come from?

It had been said of Roth, that it was no surprise that he found the missing fund because after all he was CFO for many years; he knows “were the bodies are buried”.

How much more money and missing funds can be discovered hidden with in the Township’s books? Could it be hundreds, thousands, or millions of dollars? Who knows, but it is time to find out!

1 Comment

Filed under Bob Roth, Budget, forensic audit, Middletown, Middletown Township Committee, Richard Wright

Middletown Budget Meeting Tonight: 9.2% Tax Increase To Be Voted On: UPDATE

Tonight’s Middletown Budget Meeting at Town Hall st to start at 8:00p has been cancelled with no word on when it will be re-scheduled.

The reason given for the postponement is the mysterious illness of CFO Richard Wright.
You can read about the detail of this postponement of the budget and it’s ramifications in today hard copy of the APP, the online story doesn’t give the whole story.
Read the online notice >>>Here

Leave a comment

Filed under budget meeting, illness, Middletown, postponement, Richard Wright, tax increase