Monday, March 31, 2008

Town Meeting

By now I suspect most of you are aware that NJ is in serious financial trouble. The governor has offered some plans to address the issue that have not been well received and with good reason as far as I am concerned.

One such proposal eliminates state funding for small municipalities. For those municipalities with 5,000 residents or less, all funding will be cut. This means that under this proposal we in Flemington will lose about $276,000 of state funding. The gov’s rationale for cutting funding to small municipalities is that they can reduce expenses by sharing services such as schools, etc. which Flemington already shares with Raritan Township.

I challenge the governor’s justifications on several fronts. First, I am skeptical that Flemington and like municipalities are less fiscally efficient than Newark, Trenton and Camden, for example, shared services notwithstanding. These cities, peppered with heavy party boss affiliations, need to have their budgets thoroughly reviewed and reined in with an eye to achieving more frugality. Second, there is waste in Trenton that flaunts an arrogance of power directed at the taxpayer and his hard earned money. And I have spoken about this before. It seems unprincipled to cut our funds or tax us further while those in the big leagues are virtually pillaging our coffers. Just how much are taxpayers supposed to subsidize here? Last, is this even legal? Are we, in small municipalities, being given equal protection under the law?

Typically, such cuts are addressed by a cut in services and/or an increase in taxes. But of course none of these alternatives have been discussed yet here in the Boro. This coming Wednesday, April 2, Boro council is holding a meeting at the American Legion on Route 31 at 7 PM. I hope you will attend and learn what the council is doing to address our situation as well as to voice your concerns.

This meeting was again announced in the recent Boro newsletter. BTW: isn’t it terrific, the new format of the newsletter put out by Boro council? It is informative and well presented. Congrats to the council and, editor, Councilwoman Brooke Liebowitz, on a fine publication. I urge you all to grab a cup of coffee and read it. It is well worth your while.

The views expressed on this blog are solely those of the author.

Stay tuned.

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