"Fixed costs (salaries, health benefits, utilities, and pensions) all rise substantially each year."
To anyone who has taken an accounting course, it's no secret salaries and utilities are not "fixed costs". Nor are they categorized that way in the municipal budget. They are in fact variable costs. Had Howard Popper bothered to look at the "FIX, OE, SW" tab of the 2009 Municipal Budget spreadsheet, provided by the Township CFO after each budget meeting, he would see "fixed costs" defined as:
Beginning in 2006, the growth of these "fixed costs" has actually declined "substantially". It appears Howard's comment is not surprisingly, wrong.