Saturday, October 31, 2009
Nothing could be further from the truth as listed below are the exact municipal tax increases Ken Short voted in favor of during his 9 years in office, based on tax rates provided by the Morris County Board of Taxation. In addition, the accuracy of these percentages and the overall 2001-2009 average tax increase has been confirmed by Township CFO Kevin Lifer.
2009 - 3.85%
2008 - 2.34%
2007 - 3.51%
2006 - 4.43%
2005 - 11.1%
2004 - 0.86%
2003 - 2.66%
2002 - -0.22%
2001 - 2.96%
It doesn't take rocket science to sum these percentages, divide by nine and realize the average is 3.50% or 75% higher than the 2% average stated in the mailer.
These figures do not include the municipal open space tax which has its own unique tax rate. If municipal open space taxes are taken into account, the average annual combined municipal tax increase is 3.4%.
I have sent Mayor Ken Short copies of the CERTIFICATION SCHEDULE OF THE GENERAL TAX RATE via his township email address for the years 2001 to 2008. I have also sent him a copy of a MS Excel spreadsheet containing the tax rates. This way Short can’t make his usual “I don’t have the figures in front of me" excuse. Mayor Short has all the information he needs before him to come clean on this false "average tax increases to less than 2% per year" claim.
As a veteran, and in memory of my late father, a 20 year USAF retiree, my advice to Liz Cheney is to simply shut up and be thankful to those of us who served even though our names weren’t called.
Friday, October 30, 2009
"Long Valley is going to get a wakeup call next week in the mail. Seems like Nedd puppet H. Parker had a brutal divorce in his past that he doesn't like to talk about..."Unfortunately, this is just another example of how low Ken Short's supporters will go to ensure he is re-elected. Shame on Ken Short for allowing them to reach this new low in our town.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Looking ahead, the question before voters is what will Short and Roehrich do in the future? Based on what we learned in the fable about the scorpion and frog, let’s assume Short and Roehrich are what their record says they are, which most likely means a vote for them will result in a municipal tax increase in 2010.
Harlin Parker and Jody Price offer a simple alternative to a Short/Roehrich municipal tax increase in 2010. In response to the recently announced 0% Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment, Parker and Price have stated unequivocally they will vote “NO” on the 2010 municipal budget if it contains a tax increase of any kind. This means no municipal tax increase, no municipal open space tax increase, no new usage fees (field or otherwise); period. In other words, a vote for Parker/Price won’t cost you an additional dime in municipal taxes in 2010, over what you paid in 2009.
Think about this for a moment. How often do you have the chance to vote against a municipal tax increase? Mind you, this is not a repeat of the unattainable promise of “lower taxes now”, but instead a common sense approach that will force meaningful spending cuts in a year when many of our seniors will see no increase in their fixed incomes.
So when you go to the polls next Tuesday, don’t think of a vote for Parker/Price in terms of partisan politics; but instead think of it as a vote against another municipal tax increase our seniors can’t afford.
Bottom line: While there is still plenty of work to do on the economy, we are a lot better off than we were on the day GWB left office.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tickets are for general admission and do not guarantee you entrance. The event is first-come first serve. Once the venue reaches capacity, you will not be permitted to enter, so the campaign urges you to arrive early. Doors will open at 11:30AM.
"You could see it coming. Gov. Jon Corzine's numbers crept steadily up and Christopher Christie's steadily shrank and now, for the first time, we have Corzine ahead," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
The timing could not be better for Corzine as he has extended his lead at RCP as well.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
To set the record straight, on January 1, 2006, my first day as a committeeman, the township surplus stood at $4.0 million. On December 31, 2008, my last day as a committeeman, the surplus stood at $2.6 million. It's all here in black & white (page 2). How Ken Short can make such a bogus claim, which his own budget data debunks, defies common sense.
Bottom line: After presiding over 2005's 11.1% municipal tax increase, the largest in township history, Mayor Ken Short will say anything to get re-elected.
Here is what Rafael Vasquez, the Elizabeth Police Officer who responded to the scene of the accident, wrote in his offical report:
Veh #1 [Christie] states he was traveling west on Murray St. and was lost. He reached Chilton St. The light was red so he inched forward attempting to make a right on red but never saw the one-way traffic sign. He then stopped upon observing oncoming traffic, Veh #2 [Mendonca] also braked. The motorcycle fell on its side and slid into his vehicle. Veh #2 states he was traveling on Chilton St. when Veh #1 turned in front of him.Looks to me like Republican Chris Christie has been caught in a big fat lie (no pun intended).
Monday, October 26, 2009
I remember reading about Michael in a NYT Magazine article back in 2006.
The movie opens on November 20th.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
These sound like big numbers, and they are. But in terms of Corzine's performance it is only fair to judge him on the change occurring on his watch. In 2005 the year prior to Corzine assuming office, municipalities across the state collected $19.5 billion in property taxes. Last year they collected $23.2 billion. How has this increase compared to what's occured in the past? Are property tax increases growing faster than before or are they declining? To answer this question we need to examine the following chart showing the growth of property taxes on an annual basis.
With Corzine assuming the governorship in 2006 and though his enactment of tax levy caps, which took effect in 2007, it is clear he has done more to reign in property tax growth than any governor in the last eight years. Chances are 2009 figures will prove this point even further.
Bottom line: For all the talk about what Corzine hasn't done...he's actually done more to assist school districts, counties, and municipalities reign in the growth of property taxes than any NJ governor to date.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Susquehanna Bank Center - Camden, New Jersey
Prudential Center - Newark, New Jersey
This of course raises a question? Where are all the top dog national Republican visits to New Jersey? Has Christie's slide in the polls made him a liabilty?
Earlier this week, I had a friendly conversation with one of our committeemen who thought Daggett's rise was to Corzine's detriment. That does not appear to be the case. The followng political ad is another telling indicator of who is Daggett is hurting most.
The question for Christie is how is he going to cut taxes? The most efficient method would be to eliminate "home rule" throughtout the state and consolidate the delivery of education and public services at the county level. With some folks in Mendham (Christie's home town) already complaining about the financial arrangement of the WMRHSD, you know this won't be happening anytime soon.
Written by Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts of the Washington Post
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Let me start off my response to this ridiculous statement by saying good riddance. Mayor Krieg could not "deal" with me because I was not willing to allow his township to continue ripping off Washington Township taxpayers the way it did before I got involved in the “negotiations” when Washington Township taxpayers footed 57% of the bill despite only using 35% of the services rendered. What Mayor Craig found so appalling was the concept of Mendham paying its fair share. A share the Chesters were more than willing to pay under the same exact contract terms. Funny how the Chesters didn’t complain about my “approach” when they signed on for another two years. But then again the Chesters didn’t demand Washington Township taxpayers foot a $300K bill for a tower Mendham wanted on their property the way Mayor Craig did. I wonder why these details were left out of the Mayor Kreig's quote?
Bottom Line: When it came to negotiating with the Mayor Kriegs of the world, I chose to be "arrogant" and protective of the economic best interests of my taxpayers, than agreeable and downright stupid.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Update: Having attended 4 live Obama events (including the inauguration) this was by far the best run event yet. There were about 3,500 people in attendance. Two things struck me as I surveyed the crowd and witnessed its reaction to the 44th President of the United States: 1) the diversity of the crowd was amazing...young, old, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Indian, you name it. 2) The look of pure joy and excitement on the faces of the college kids when Obama took the stage.
After the rally, I stopped by the LVMS to catch the tail end of the Washington Township Committee debate. There were about 40 people in attendance and not a single person of color until I walked in the room. To say it was quite a contrast is an understatement. In many ways the lack of diversity in attendees mimics the existing Township Committee in terms of it being all Republican, which as you can see from the chart on the left, hasn’t been good for our wallets!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I have corrected the figures in earlier postings.
My apologies to Bill.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Maybe this time Ken Short will answer my question instead of attacking my voting record, which consists of one "No" vote and two "Yes" votes that increased property taxes by a mere $847 thousand when compared to the $12.7 million property tax increases imposed by Short and his running mate, Bill Roehrich.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
For me, this all boils down to the market. The same market conservatives constantly preach about as the foundation of our freedom and liberty is the same market that dropped Limbaugh PRIOR to the bid's submission to the NFL. In other words, the NFL didn't reject Rush, his own investment partners did.
Isn't this what capitalism is all about? Letting market forces dictate who wins and who loses.
Friday, October 16, 2009
In the final sentence of an article in yesterday's Observer Tribune, Ken Short states the following in reference to the 2009 municipal budget:
"Last year was our most difficult year, but we reduced spending by 5 percent"
The reporter, who wrote the article, has verified this is exactly what Mayor Short said.
What makes this statement a lie or an attempt to deceive, is the simple verifiable fact the 2009 Washington Township Municipal Budget (page 4) contained a spending INCREASE of $273,090 or 1.6% over the prior year.
I rest my case.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Having graduated from a service academy some 25 years ago, I still instinctive judge people by whether or not they could live up to the following honor code:
A person will neither lie, cheat, steal, nor attempt to deceive.
I have no reason to suspect Ken Short has ever stolen anything. I can't say the same with respect to the other qualities specified within the code.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Back in 2001, when Ken and Bill began their service, the total annual property tax levy for Washington Township was $40.3 million. It now stands at $64.4 million, an increase of $24.1 million in just 9 years.
As a committeeman, Ken Short voted 9 times to increase our annual tax levies by $4.1 million; Committeeman and ex-board of education member Bill Roehrich voted 6 times to tack on a whopping $8.6 million. Together their 15 votes account for $12.7 million, more than half the $24.1 million increase in our property tax bills since 2001.
So, the next time a local Republican tries to blame Trenton for our high property taxes, tell them the problem is much closer to home and that Einstein got it right!
In full disclosure, during my entire 3 year term, I cast two votes that accounted for an increase of $874 thousand to our annual property tax levy. For this Ken Short stated I was "no friend of the taxpayer" in an October 2008 letter to the OT. Implicitly, this accusation must mean he and Bill are friends of the taxpayer.
If Ken and Bill are our "friends", it's hard to imagine having enemies!
Short even tried his typical blame game of naming the schools as the culprit until he was reminded by Bill Roehrich, his running mate who until yesterday sat on the school board, WTBOE taxes were already accounted for in the $12.7 million figure mentioned (duh!). After realizing he look like fool...Short tried two other bogus claims:
- I put the township at risk by reducing the uncollected tax reserve to its proper funding level of $1.2 million as opposed to the $1.9 million figure used by prior committees to gouge taxpayers of an extra $700K in taxes each year. The proper $1.2 million figure is derived from a then $60 million total tax collection liability and a 2% noncollectable rate. Do the math Mr. Short!
- I stopped principal debt service payments on outstanding bonds when I recommended reducing a 2008 $1.4 million debt service payment by $37K to help offset a $197K reduction in state aid. In a classic case of blatant hypocrisy, in Ken Short's all-GOP 2009 budget, debt service was reduced by an additional $82K from the prior year.
I have submitted an OPRA request for a recording of our exchange and will post it as soon as I receive it.
Bottom Line: As opposed to writing a letter to the OT complaining about Short's comments, I confronted him during "public comment" and asked him to reconcile his word with his own "tax and spend" record. Even with his GOP colleagues passing him notes, Short could not man up with a decent answer.
"I will only vote in favor of a municipal budget that complies with the local tax rate provisions specified in TAKE FIVE, calling for a five percent municipal tax cut in 2006 and caps related to the annual Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) in the years going forward. "
So now let's examine what actually happened:
- In 2006, despite my best efforts to work with Republicans, they introduced and adopted a budget containing a 4.07% municipal tax increase. In honoring my Take Five pledge, the record clearly shows I voted "NO" on both the introduction (Resolution R-66-06) and adoption (Resolution R-82-06) of this budget.
- In 2007, the SSA COLA was 3.3%. The 2007 municipal budget contained a tax increase of 3.2%. I voted "YES" for this budget as it clearly met my stated pledge.
- In 2008, the SSA COLA was 2.3%. The 2008 municipal budget contained a tax increase of 2.3%. I voted "YES" for this budget as it clearly met my stated pledge.
So for Mayor Ken Short to now publicly claim I did not keep my pledge is simply dishonest, disingenuous and unfortunately, what I have come to expect of him.
In contrast, last year I received an email from Eric Frenchman who had been informed by a GOP operative that I had broken my pledge. Eric stated that while he had no plans of voting for me, he wanted to know if I had been a man of my word. I respected Eric for his honest inquiry and responded with the information above. He wrote back acknowledging my keeping of my word and wished me luck.
To this day, despite my teasing Eric for having never voted in a school election prior to running for a seat on the BOE, I have the greatest respect for him, even though we have our partisan differences. By the way, he still owes me lunch!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Having predicted this year's trend reversing municipal tax increase, based on known commitments, shrinking revenues, and a dwindling surplus, I can say in all confidence, taxpayers should be prepared for a huge tax increase in 2010!
Monday, October 12, 2009
Obama recognized for what he's trying to do
By DeWAYNE WICKHAM
It should have come as no surprise that Barack Obama was especially deferential in acknowledging receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize.
"I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations," he said Friday in a hurried appearance before the White House press corps and a national television audience.
"To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who've been honored by this prize — men and women who've inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace," the president said.
His humble response is understandable.
So, too, at first blush, is the criticism of those who question what Obama did to earn such a high honor. After all, he was just a freshly-minted president, only 11 days in office, when the nomination deadline for this year's prize closed. If the Norwegian Nobel Committee had adhered to its selection rules, its pick of Obama wouldn't pass the laugh test. But the people who manage the committee's affairs wisely decided to look beyond the Feb. 1 filing deadline to find this year's winner.
In the eight months since he moved into the Oval Office, Obama has tried to make the world a more peaceful place than the one he inherited. He stepped up U.S. efforts to keep North Korea and Iran from developing nuclear weapons. He's pushed to empty out the cells of the military prison at Guantanamo Bay. And he's tried to convince the Muslim world and leaders of African nations that American hegemony in those regions is a thing of the past.
"I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition," Obama said in a June speech in Cairo.
A month later in Ghana, the president told that country's parliament: "America will not seek to impose any system of government on any other nation — the essential truth of democracy is that each nation determines its own destiny.
"Obama's critics have dismissed all of this as just talk. They say his words have not been produced many results - not yet, at least.
Obama clearly is being cited for what he is trying to do. And that's as it should be.
In his 1895 will, Alfred Nobel said the Peace Prize he endowed should go "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses.
"The Nobel Committee appears to have acted in accord with his wishes when it announced it was giving Obama its Peace Prize "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.
"That's a fitting recognition of the tireless work Obama has done to make this world a better place.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Here is video of the announcement:
In the words of Jay-Z, "who's gonna run this town tonight..."
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Personally, I would have more sympathy had Republicans been equally upset over this ad, run against a black US Senate candidate back in 1990.
In case you are wondering, Ted Kennedy never sponsored a "racial quota" law.
While it's no surprise William "Million Dollar Bill" Roehrich made the cut, the inclusion of Jim LiaBraaten and Sandy Zarillo is quite telling in terms of the depth (or lack there of) of moderate GOP voices in Washington Township. I mean really folks, LiaBratten still owes taxpayers over seven thousand dollars for his ill advised, bogus ethics complaint against a former high school BOE member and Zarillo, when she isn't attending Sean Hannity's "Freedom" concerts, makes Sarah Palin seem like a Harvard graduate.
What are the odds the Township Committee will ask these questions during next week's interviews?
- Mr. Roehrich, in 2004 as President of the WTBOE you championed a school budget with a tax levy increase of $2.2 million, the largest in the history of our township. Yet on numerous occasions, you have referred to yourself as a "fiscal conservative". How do you reconcile your words with your demonstrated tax and spend record?
- Mr. LiaBraaten, after losing a bid for a seat on the high school BOE, you filed a complaint with the school ethics commission against the winning candidate that was subsequently thrown out. In accordance with policy, the BOE provided a legal defense against your complaint that ultimately cost taxpayers over seven thousand dollars. What efforts have you made towards restitution to the hard working taxpayers of Washington Township, Mendham, and the Chesters?
- Ms. Zarillo, what foreign country can you see from your house?
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Support for the war in Afghanistan has declined, the poll said Tuesday. Approval of Obama's handling of it is holding steady — in contrast to his gains in other areas — as he considers a big troop increase there.
With less than 30 days to go, it's time for the Corzine campaign to turn on the afterburners!
Monday, October 5, 2009
While "conservatives" have every right to hate on Obama, openly rooting for America to "lose" sounds like treason.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Bottom Line: This is another example of a lack of leadership in Mayor Short's increasingly incompetent administration.