Category Archives: Trenton Democrats

Before Pointing Fingers At Corzine and Trenton, Scharfenberger Needs To Take A Look In the Mirror

As everyone knows Middletown’s illustrious Deputy Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger, has a real knack for writing letters, he is really quite proficient at it as a matter of fact, his latest appeared recently in the Atlantic Highlands Herald.
As usual, Gerry points fingers at Governor Corzine and the Democratc in Trenton and blames them for all Middletown’s woes. Gerry conveniently forgets that many of the State’s problems started when the republicans controlled the Statehouse.
In his letter, he rants on about how the Governor and the Trenton Democrats are driving people and businesses from the State with high taxes and uncontrollable spending eventhough this years proposed State budget is almost $5 billion less than last years.
Instead of being so qwick to point a finger, Gerry Sharfenberger need to take a long look in the mirror because he and the Middletown GOPer’s could learn a few things about budgeting from the Governor. In tough economic times you need to decrease spending and make hard choices which is exaclty what the Governor and the Democrats in Trenton have done, not burry your head in the sand, point fingers and propose no solutions.
To show how silly and assinine Sharfenberger’s letter is, I replaced his references to Corzine, theTrenton Democrats and taxes with Middletown, the Republican majority and the current financial fiasco Middletown finds itself in today.
I would say 90% of the below rewrite is Scharfenberger’s words, 10% are my injections. After reading compare it to Gerry’s orginal and let me know what you think:
As the recession in Middletown continues to deepen, it appears that Deputy Mayor Scharfenberger and the majority in Middletown, are oblivious to the struggling economy and the difficulties faced by local residents.

The latest attack on the community is a proposed 9.2% tax increase to make up for a $2.5 million budget shortfall. This will devastate residents and ultimately drive the population at large to live elsewhere. At a time when New Jersey has one of the highest property tax rates in the nation and families are being forced out of the state in droves by ever-increasing fees and over-regulation, the Republican majority is heaping even more tax demands on local residents.

With home values down across the board, homeowners will have no choice but to appeal their tax bills when the recent re-evaluation is finally certified. Either way, the already overburdened Middletown homeowner loses.

A strong commercial tax base is critical to local municipalities to keep property taxes low and people employed. If the Deputy Mayor and the republican majority in Middletown wanted to jump start the local economy, they would not have rezoned hundreds of acres of commercial property along the route 35 and 36 corridor in recent years to residential and passed anti-business ordinances that eliminate the possibility of major retailers setting up shop in town.

Middletown needs to cut tens of thousands of dollars in wasteful, unnecessary government spending to re-energize local businesses and property owners, not drive them out of town.

Unfortunately, it appears that higher taxes and increased spending is simply the vision that Deputy Mayor Scharfenberger and his majority have for Middletown. Sadly, the term “Republican” from these elected officials is just a metaphor for bigger government, increased spending, and higher taxes to pay for it all.


Filed under Atlantic Highlands Herald, Gerry Scharfenberger, Governor Corzine, Middletown, property taxes, Trenton Democrats

Gerry, The Want To Be Assemblyman, Sure Does Love To Write Letters

Gerry Scharfenberger, the Middletown GOP deputy-mayor, sure does love to write letters to the editor.

The “Want to be Assemblyman” has a penchant, a real knack so to speak, for the written word. 
It is a bit unfortunate though that most of what he writes about are gross exaggerations or half truths.  If you paid much attention to him or his letters, you’d think that all of Middletown’s problems were caused by Democrats in Trenton and the only way to fix Middletown was to get rid of  Governor Jon Corzine and all those terrible, liberal,unfunded mandate happy democrats.
It doesn’t seem to matter to him that most of todays problems started with Christie Whitman when his beloved Republicans controlled Trenton and it also doesn’t matter that none of his letters offer solutions or tell us how he would fix a problem, they are just rants about how the democrats are the problem.
His latest letter was posted at the Atlantic Highlands Herald this past Friday, it’s more of the same rhetoric  that we’ve come to expect out of him, blame,blame,blame and no solutions.
So I was quite happy to see that Pat Walsh decided to take on Gerry’s letter on her Middletown Musings blog.  She did a good job so I have decided to copy and post it her blog entry here with Pat Walsh’s comments in blue. :
There goes Gerry again, who hasn’t met an adjective he doesn’t like. He pounds his usual themes always concluding that the problem is OVER THERE… He never seems to get that he has a responsibility in this as a township committee member. Bloated government… what about two township lawyers in one year? 9But for Gerry the issue is personal, if Chris Christie succeeds then Gerry plans to move up to the legislature. Sorry Middletown, then we will have three legislators who have brought ZERO dollars back to our town.

Reversing Course on Bloated State Government

For the second year in a row, Governor Corzine has delivered a crushing blow to Middletown by proposing another enormous cut in municipal aid. (2%) It should be noted that the very term “municipal aid” is actually a misnomer. In reality, this is money sent to Trenton by Middletown residents in the form of income taxes, sales taxes, corporate taxes and any number of other fees and taxes. The tiny portion of the money that is returned to Middletown and other suburban towns helps pay for essential services and infrastructure maintenance. As a result of this punitive move by the governor, the pressure on local property taxes intensifies exponentially.

COMMENT: The crushing blow to taxpayer’s is the addition of a second lawyer to the township budget, the purchase of a new township property adding to our already bloated debt service, The hiring of a lobbyist at 60K, bonding for the Shadow Lake project only to admit that it will never get off the ground becuase the plan was flawed. Gerry, like his favorite candidate CC seems to have forgotten about the 7.6 Billion dollar hole in the budget created by the recession. just a hint, essential services do not include hiring all your GOP cronies to the Sewerage Authority with free health benefits and pensions. The only reason the tax pressure has intensified exponetially is that the GOP committee members can stop spending money.

What is most frustrating is that the governor has chosen to preserve billion dollar, elective spending programs such as COAH, schools construction, universal pre-school, Abbott funding, FMLA and aid to distressed cities, among others. The latter saw a staggering $127 million sent to Union City, Jersey City, Camden, Newark, Paterson, Asbury Park and Bridgeton in 2008. With the current economic situation and suburban towns struggling to maintain basic services, it is patently unfair for the state to take even more of our tax dollars to fund these programs.

COMMENT: Hey Gerry, Let’s just guess what happens if even one municipality goes under? The bonding rating for all would increase exponentially putting asll towns in even worse shape. It is patently unfair that you will take 6 months to produce a budget, which you have already spent 40% of before you even start making cuts, while democrats are struggling to find areas of the budget to save the taxpayers money’

To make matters worse, the governor has burdened Middletown with millions of dollars in unfunded mandates, which are state-ordered spending decrees with no state funding to meet the mandate. This places suburban towns in the precarious position of putting the health, safety and quality of life of every taxpayer in jeopardy through Draconian budget cuts to try and offset the loss of municipal aid that is, simply put, the residents’ own money to begin with.

COMMENT: The reason Middletown finds itself is a precarious state has something to do with the draconian spending that the GOP has hoisted upon us. Lats years increase alone was 7.1%and even with the new tax rate I bet Middletown will participate in the Pension Deferral program even though none of its legislators voted for it. That means that the decrease we might have seen in our taxes next year due to a decrease in the amount of Debt Service will disappear.

Clearly, New Jersey cannot continue down this road of skyrocketing taxation and wasteful spending on ill-advised government programs. Our only hope is for every taxpayer to make their voices heard this November and reverse the course of our current unsustainable, bloated state government.

COMMENT: Clearly Middletown cannot continue down the road od skyrocketing tax increases imposed on us by GOP governmentusing our precious tax dollars on wasteful spending like two township attorneys.( one of whom only recently came off the cushy Sewerage Authority.) The unsustainable and bloated local government has to change it ways or be replaced. Clearly Gerry needs to start taking responsibility for his own decisions that have left Middletown with hugh tax increases.

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Filed under Atlantic Highlands Herald, COAH, Gerry Scharfenberger, Gov. Jon Corzine, Middletown, Middletown Musings, New Jersey, Patricia Walsh, Trenton Democrats, unfunded mandates

Corzine To Restore Property Tax Deductions For Those Earning Up To $150K

I have many friends on the social networking site Facebook, one of which is Jon Corzine, when I logged onto my account I noticed the following entry from the Governor:

Jon Corzine is restoring property tax deductions for taxpayers earning up to $150k. With this revision 84% of taxpayers can claim the deduction.”

This was a smart move, taking away the property tax deduction for those making less the $75K a year, in order to balance this years budget would have been the equivalent of Jim Florio’s tax on toilet in the early 90’s.  It could have sparked a real revolt.

In the current economic mess we find ourselves in today, New Jersey residents already pay the highest property taxes in the country, to take away both their tax deduction and rebates for property taxes would most likely be political suicide for the Governor and Democrats in Trenton.  

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Filed under Facebook, Gov. Jon Corzine, New Jersey, property tax deductions, property tax rebates, toilet paper, Trenton Democrats