Category Archives: special budget meeting

It’s Your Town – Newsletter Volume 3, Issue 14- 7/13/11: 2011 Budget Adoption

There was a special Middletown Township Committee meeting on Wednesday, July 13,2011 to adopted the FY2011 Township budget. The Committee held a Public Hearing to amend the municipal budget before adoption, after which the Committee voted to adopt a budget for the 2011 calendar year. You can read all about it in the new edition of It’s Your Town newsletter

This was another quick meeting with no comments from the Committee members except for Mayor Fiore, who said he was very proud of the budget produced this year.

To say that there was a handful of residents in attendance is an over statement, if you took out the reporters that were there only less than 10 people showed up. Do you think the 5pm starting time had anything to do with this? Something as important as a budget adoption could have waited until this evening when Middletown holds it regular monthly meeting in the court room.

Included in this budget is a property tax increase of about 3% over the 2010 increase of 13.85%.

It was stated that quarterly tax bills that reflect the new tax rate should be mailed out in about a week or so after the budget adoption, so you can expect your bills anytime now.

You can read this edition of It’s Your Town newsletter and see a copy of the 2011 adopted Middletown Budget….Here

Once you read the news letter and take a look at the budget, you’ll then be prepared to ask a few questions tonight if you are planning to attend the regular Township meeting at 8pm tonight at Town Hall.
Two things in the budget that quickly stood out to me were interest payments on bond debt, which has increased by nearly $400K over last year and the lack of an adequate surplus of funds built into this years budget. Surplus funds in this years budget have been diminished to $600K , which is extremely low, In years past that number has been as high as $4M. Last years surplus was over $1M and by the end of the FY 2010 it had been exhausted.
By the end of the year will the Township need to borrow money from the 2012 budget to make up for a shortfall as they had had to do at the end of 2009?

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Filed under bond debt, budget adoption, interest payments, Its Your Town, Middletown Township Committee, Newsletter, resolutions and ordinances, special budget meeting, surplus funds

>It’s Your Town Newsletter Volumn 2, Issue 19, 9/7/10; Budget Adoption Meeting

>There were two Middletown Township Committee meetings that took place Tuesday night 9/7/10. This edition of It’s Your Town Newsletter contains information from the first and most important meeting, the budget adoption meeting, where the 2010 budget was finally voted on.

Attached you will find meeting agendas, the resolution that amended the budget that was introduced in June and a copy of the final amended budget.

The second newsletter that covers the main Middletown Township Meeting will be published and available shortly.

Read the newsletter >>> Here

If you would like to have this newsletter sent directly to your inbox send your request to

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Filed under budget adoption, Its Your Town, Middletown Township Committee, Newsletter, resolutions and ordinances, special budget meeting

>Middletown Passes $64.6 Million Budget Supported by 13.4% Tax Increase

>All you need to know about Tuesday night’s Middletown Township Committee Special Budget Adoption Meeting is that the $64.6M, 2010 Municipal Budget, with its 13.4% tax hike, was adopted by a 4-1 vote. The lone dissenting vote was place by Democratic Committeeman Sean Byrnes.

Here are the simple facts as presented by the Asbury Park Press:

“…The Township Committee adopted Tuesday a $64.6 million municipal budget for 2010 that requires the average homeowner to pay an additional $207.

The $64,574,697 spending plan is $2,768,979, or 4.5 percent, higher than last year’s budget. The amount to be raised by taxes is $45,349,478, up $5,348,365, or 13.4 percent, from the 2009 tax levy….

…The municipal tax rate jumps from 35 cents per $100 of assessed value to 39.75 cents, up 13.6 percent. The average property owner with a home assessed at $435,000 will pay $1,729, up nearly $207, or 13.6 percent, to support the municipal portion of the tax bill….”

I would like to hear from all of those Middletown Republicans that support this budget. It will be interesting to hear how they spin this one.

You can read the whole article as written by Nina Rizzo >>> Here


Filed under 4% budget cap, Asbury Park Press, Middletown, Sean F. Byrnes, special budget meeting, tax increase

>It’s Your Town Newsletter Volumn 2, Issue 18, 8/30/10; Special Budget Meeting

This edition of It’s Your Town Newsletter covers the special budget meeting of the Middletown Township NJ Committee that was held on August 30th 2010 during the power outage. The purpose of this meeing was to introduce amendments to the Township’s 2010 budget so that it can be finally voted on at the next township meeting on September 7th 2010 .

This years budget will include an 11.8% increase in the amount raised by propery taxes to support our town. You can read the details in the newsletter >>>> Here

In case you were wondering why the meeting took place during a power outage when thousands of people were throughout Monmouth County and Middletown were stuck and unable to drive around, the Township has generators to power Town Hall so police and emergency personnel can still function. So there was no need on the Township’s part to postpone the meeting.

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Filed under Its Your Town, Middletown NJ, Middletown Township Committee, Newsletter, special budget meeting, tax increase

>Middletown Special Budget Meeting: 15 Minutes Will Getcha 11.79% Municipal Tax Increase

>I wasn’t able to make it to last nights special budget introduction meeting in Middletown, I had a prior commitment that I needed to attend. However, even if I had been able to attend I may not have gotten there in time anyway, by all accounts the meeting lasted only 15 minutes. It was called to order at exactly 6pm and was over by 6:15pm, I’m told.

Given the fact that there was a major power outage just prior to the start of the meeting, which made traveling the roads nightmarish for many, it is outrageous to think that the Township would not have held up the meeting for a short while to allow people to get to Town Hall in order to hear the presentation of the amended Municipal Budget.

But I guess when you have to announce something as painful as a 11.79% increase to the municipal tax rate the sooner that you can get the meeting over with the better.

From what I have been told by a few that were in attendance, it was like mayor Gerry Scharfenberger, Town Administrator Tony Mercantante and CFO Nick Trasente had this big secret to keep. None of the 3 wanted to directly answer questions about the resolution that was introduced for the purpose of amending the proposed budget, which originally had called for a 13.87% tax increase.

When asked directly, by what percentage the tax increase to the Municipal budget was going to be, Scharfenberger kept responding “2.9%” (which has been Scharfy’s standard line). The question was repeated a few more times for clarification at which point Nick Trasente stepped in and told the questioners that the information was in the resolution document and that they were still making adjustments before the budget would be formally introduced on Sept. 7th at the next meeting (Township Workshop meeting).

At that point the meeting ended abruptly some 15 minutes after it started.

You can see the resolution for yourself >>> Here

The major change proposed to the budget is that the Township will be collecting an additional $5.3M from property taxes instead of $5.5M that was proposed earlier. So the Municipal tax rate will be increasing by 11.79% instead of 13.87% and most certainly NOT the 2.9% that Scharfenberger wants all to believe.
I hope to have audio of the meeting soon so that I can hear for myself what took place. When I have the audio I’ll post it here on the blog for others to listen to also.

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Filed under budget resolution, Gerry Scharfenberger, Middletown, Nick Trasente, special budget meeting, tax increase, Tony Mercantante

>It’s Official, Special Budget Meeting Scheduled For Monday In Middletown

>It’s Official! Monday night August 30th during a special meeting of the Middletown Township Committee, the Township operating budget will be introduced to the public.

The following announcement was posted on the Township’s website:

August 30, 2010 Special Meeting

Notice is hereby given that an “Open Public Meeting” of the Township Committee of the Township of Middletown is hereby scheduled for:

Date: Monday, August 30, 2010

Time 6:00 PM Budget Meeting

Place: Middletown Town Hall

Conference Room
One Kings Highway
Middletown, NJ 07748

Introduction of Amendment to the 2010 Municipal Budget (Public Hearing to be held September 7, 2010 at a Regularly Scheduled Workshop Meeting)

These items are subject to change, information will be updated on our website.

I would expect the meeting to be short in length with not much oppertunity for the public to make comments – that will have to wait until the workshop meeting on Sept. 7th.

That however, shouldn’t be a reason for interested parties to stay home. This meeting is of significant importance to residents who feel that they are being taxed out of their homes by the Republicans that sit in the majority on the committee, the new tax rate will be announce and residents will then be able to figure out what their property taxes for 2010 will end up being.

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Filed under Middletown, special budget meeting, Taxes

Hold Onto Your Wallets, Middletown To Introduce Budget That Includes a 12.2% Tax Increase

Hold onto your purse strings and wallets ladies and gentleman, I got my hands on the proposed 2010 Middletown Municipal Budget before its introduction and as we have been saying for a long time now, it isn’t pretty!

The budget that will be introduced during the Special Budget Introduction Meeting tonight at 7pm will total nearly $65M and will reflect a spending increase over last years budget of 4.9%, it calls for a 12.2% tax increase that will raise $5.55M to fund it!

As I said it isn’t pretty, I spent a few hours reviewing it after I requested a copy of it from Committeeman Sean Byrnes, who was nice enough to forward it to me in advance of the budget meeting. In the email that accompanied the budget Byrnes wrote:
“…much of this was foreseeable, pension increase $1.8M, payback $800k from 2009, salary increases $1.5M, health care increase $1.6M, these total over $6.0M. No surprise. We knew this in 2009 and yet they refused all my recommendations including fixed fee legal retainer, bidding out engineering work, cutting Middletown matters, cutting Middletown day, contracting out leaf and brush, consolidating maintenance and refusing finance cmte. Even now we should be assuming the governors tool chest will pass and we should be planning accordingly…”

Why the big increase, what are the driving forces behind the budget? In addition to what Sean Byrnes stated, nearly every appropriation line item in the budget saw an increase of some kind even though most revenues streams dried up.
Not surprisingly, after the mayor took such a public stance against the MTEA after April’s defeat of the school budget, taking his lead from Governor Christie and insisting that the teachers accept a wage freeze and contribute to their health benefits, the largest overall increase in the budget after the increase to the health and pension funds were Salaries and Wages paid out to employees who will enjoy an 8.9% increase over last year!
If you doubt what I say, you can print out a copy for yourself >>> Here and see for yourself.
If you plan on attending the budget introduction meeting bring a copy of the budget with you, along with your questions in order to ask the mayor why he and others on the Township Committee have done such a poor job in preparing for and planning this budget. If they would have heeded Sean Byrnes and former Committeeman Patrick Short’s advice over the past year and leading up to the introduction of this budget, the situation we find ourselves in today may not have been so costly to residents.


Filed under budget deficit, Budget Shortfall, Middletown Township, Patrick Short, Sean F. Byrnes, special budget meeting, tax increase, tax revenues

Middletown Schedules Second Attempt For Budget Introduction Monday Night

Posted on it’s website earlier today, Middletown announced that there will be Special Meeting of the Township Committee, Monday June 21, 2010, 7:00 PM Town Hall Main Meeting Room, for the purpose of the Introduction of Municipal Budget.

This will be the second attempt at introducing the township budget to the public. The first meeting you will recall that was scheduled for June 2nd, had to be officially postponed due to the lack of an available quorum of committee members. Unofficially it was rumored, the real reason for the cancellation was due to the lack of support to introduce a budget that contained a 15% tax increase prior to the June 8th Primary where the mayor was facing a primary challenger.
As it so happens, Monday night is also when the regularly scheduled monthly Township Committee meeting takes place. It will be interesting to see if the Township releases the budget resolution along with the meeting agenda and other resolutions for the night, on the township website before 7 PM Monday.
Back before the June 2nd Budget Introduction Meeting was cancelled, the Township Committee and Administrator caught flack from residents for their lack of transparency when they decided not to post the budget resolution online before the meeting.
Hopefully this time they will learn from their earlier mistake and post the resolution online prior to introduction, so that residents have an opportunity to see what it contains and how it will effect them so that they can question how and where their tax dollars will be spent for the rest of the year.

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Filed under budget resolution, Introduction, Middletown Township Committee, special budget meeting

Complete Audio From Middletown Special Budget Meeting 7/13/09

I haven’t had time as of yet to break down the audio from Monday nights special budget meeting in Middletown.

I intend to isolate comments and questions for easier listen, but until I make time to do it I thought that it would be both informative and interesting to hear the meeting in it’s entirety, all 2 and a half hours, as it happened.

The listener can fast forward or rewind as they wish. If you have any questions leave a comment and I’ll answer the best I can.

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Filed under Middletown NJ, Middletown Township Committee, special budget meeting