$275,000 and some change, my fellow Flemingtonians, that is the figure Mayor Hauck and Councilwoman Erica Edwards, after attending a meeting with other municipal leaders last week on this very issue, indicated at the Boro council last night that Flemington is slated to lose under the proposed budget cuts. Being a municipality under 5,000, we in Flemington are to get NO state funding this year if Governor Corzine’s budget proposal is allowed to stand. Zip, nada, nothing, zero, zilch. *( See correction below).
The governor, arguing that such a move will enhance the use of shared services, is almost insulting to me. Are we to believe that Flemington and Raritan for example operate with less efficiency than Newark, Camden and Trenton? We have a splendid shared school district and they have that fiscal nightmare of irresponsibility known as Abbott. Yet that money pit for billions of dollars is not under the microscope. Why is not Trenton et al being forced to economize? Too many party bosses with too much strength there, perhaps?
Don’t be fooled. There are plenty of ways to start to reduce NJ spending other than taking our state aid. Again, I ask you to take some time and cruise this site. http://www.njassemblyrepublicans.com/pages/table/fiscal/wasters.htm
“The Soprano State” by Bob Ingle that sold out by the end of the first day it hit the stands is back in the bookstores. Here too you will be educated on waste and corruption in NJ. See also http://thesopranostate.com/index.htm
In view of this prospective loss of state funds, the Boro budget has not yet been finalized. Boro council is hoping to set up a special town meeting in very early April for us to address this major blow to our Flemington budget. Of course, I will keep you updated on this meeting.
At this stage of the game, I cannot imagine that there is a citizen of the Garden State, soon to lose its Department of Agriculture ironically under this vindictive proposal, who is unaware of the overspending in Trenton these last few years. Yet “the in your face attitude” of Governor Corzine, still giving judges raises and pushing to increase paid family leave as if we could afford these upgrades, belies any serious ethical attempt to bail NJ out of the fiscal mess Trenton has made.
My fellow Flemingtonians I have formally studied all kinds of theories in ethics and there is not a one that morally justifies Corzine taking away our funding while he does not address the overspending and corruption at the center of this budget problem. And he is not doing so to date. I can make numerous arguments though as to why what he and his supporters are doing is unethical. But really so can you.
If we small municipalities allow Trenton to skim off the cream, keep our money to indulge its extravagant lifestyle with abandon, do you think we will have an easy time of it getting our state aid restored once we lose it? How long will small municipalities be deprived of funding, 75 years?
Stop the spending, double dipping. Dismantle the outrageous “perks for pals” lifestyle that is endemic to Trenton. http://www.nj.com/news/bythenumbers/ ( Click on "Public Payrolls" by muncipalities). Upbraid the frivolous spending identified on the above- mentioned Republican website. After this is accomplished, then the governor might start to offer non- punitive and evenhanded proposals for paying down the debt that will not continue mushroom because the root causes have been uprooted.
We are, I believe, a reasonable people but we must also take responsibility to stop this pillaging of our coffers. I am a child of the ‘60’s. People power works. Our collective voice cannot be ignored.
Should Governor Corzine stubbornly continue on this unreasonable path, we ought to recall him from office for dereliction of duty. We citizens are entitled to responsible behavior from our governor, not punishment for demanding that Trenton clean up its act. As our state’s chief executive officer, he should lead the way.
* As per comments posted today by Linda Mastellone, on Wednesday, March 5 ,Councilwomen Erica Edwards and Linda Mastellone attended the NJ League of Municipalities Meeting on budget cuts for small municipalities. At Boro council Monday, it was my understanding that Councilwomen Erica Edwards and Mayor Hauck attended this type of meeting given the unified response to my question about a specific figure asked during work session. I did not understand that Councilwoman Edwards and Mastellone went to this meeting. I regret the error.