Saturday, October 31, 2009


In what has to be his biggest and most egregious LIE to date, Mayor Ken Short allowed the Morris County Republican Committee to send out this mailer claiming he held "average tax increases to less than 2% per year."

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.

WSJ takes Christie to task on property taxes.

Even the conservative leaning Wall Street Journal doesn't think Christe has the "right stuff" when it comes to dealing with property taxes. Not a good sign.

Been there...done that!

Here is a gem of a story on part time elected public officials using taxpayer money for their health benefits. Up until 2007, we had the same problem in Washington Township where some local elected Republican officials, including current Mayor Ken Short took full health benefits paid for by taxpayers. In Short's case his benefits cost taxpayers over $50,000 before I put a stop to it by moving us out of the State Health Plan to a commercial plan, which at the time was cheaper. Unlike the State Plan, the commercial plan required an opt-in vote by ordinance for Short to continue receiving benefits. He didn't have the political guts to formally call for a vote to use taxpayer money for his personal healthcare.

Last year, the township returned to the State Plan for cost savings. Thank goodness the threat of a voter backlash has kept Short from again digging into the our pockets for his healthcare even though by law he could do what the Freeloaders, I mean Freeholders are doing without a formal vote.

Liz Cheney, have you no shame?

The video below is the clearest and most insulting example of Republican hypocrisy I have come across in quite some time.

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

Washington Township GOP sinks to a new low...

You would think a 5 to 2 voter registration edge would be enough for Washington Township GOP operatives to feel good about their chances next week.  Obviously this isn't the case as they recently sent the following message to Democratic Township Committee Candidate Harlin Parker.

"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.

Why we need health care reform.

According the OT, in a year where the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is negative, our local township officials are patting themselves on the back for holding the growth of health care costs for 2010 to only 8%. This is a perfect example of why we so desperately need health care reform…with a public option. By the way, for 2009, health care costs for the township increased only 0.8% over 2008.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Corzine vs. Christie

Here is a great side-by-side comparison of Corzine and Christie from the NYT. Notice how Christie is already backing away from his campaign promises. 

Having honored every one of my campaign pledges, I can tell you Christie doesn't have the right stuff.

A logical case for Parker/Price.

Since 2001, Ken Short and Bill Roehrich have served our township as elected officials. Short on the Township Committee, and until recently, Roehrich on the K-8 WTBOE. While I may not agree with many of their fiscal decisions, as a former elected official, I appreciate their willingness to stand up and publicly serve our township. One thing I learned during my tenure is how your record follows you. Good, bad, or ugly it’s your record and for Short and Roehrich the record is quite clear. They voted 15 times to increase the total property tax levy by a combined $12.7 million. This is not a criticism, just a verifiable statement of fact.

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.

US Economy Expands for the First Time in a Year.

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. economy grew in the third quarter for the first time in more than a year, propelled by stimulus-driven gains in consumer spending and home building.

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

Get your tickets!

Tickets for this Sunday's Corzine/Obama rally at the Rock (Prudential Center) in Newark are now available.

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.

Corzine up by 5!

A new Quinnipiac University poll has Corzine pulling away from Christie in the final week of the campaign by 5 points with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percent.  Here is what Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, had to say about the race.

"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

In there anything Ken Short won't say?

Last week's OT article "Committee race affected by Nedd, Short feuding" contains a new Ken Short low, when he claims I "spent down the entire surplus".

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.

Caught in a Big Fat Lie!

Here's what New Jersey Gubernatorial Candidate Chris Christie had to say on "Fox & Friend's" this morning:

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

A remarkable story comes to the big screen...

In a break from politics, here's a trailer for a new movie, "The Blind Side". Based on the book by Michael Lewis, the movie depicts the remarkable true story of Michael Oher, a homeless African-American youngster from a broken home, taken in by the Touhys, a well-to-do white family who help him fulfill his potential and become an All-American offensive left tackle and a first round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, selected by the Baltimore Ravens.

I remember reading about Michael in a NYT Magazine article back in 2006.

The movie opens on November 20th.

Rush get's punked!

Here's the buzz on how Rush Limbaugh got punked on the air.

It doesn't get any better than this!

Corzine up by nine?

A new Suffolk University (Boston) poll has Governor Corzine leading Chris Christie by 9 points?  This could be an early indication of a rout. The margin of error on the study of 400 is +/- 5 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The case for Corzine.

With the election about a week away, perhaps it time to put all the campaign spin aside and look at the facts. For many voters, the number one issue in this election is property taxes, as it probably should be. So let’s look at Corzine's record on property taxes which have increased statewide from $13.0 billion in 1998 to $23.2 billion in 2008. 2009 numbers are not yet available.

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.

Source: New Jersey Division of Local Services

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

Big "O" is coming back!

More proof  a certain local GOP operative has no clue what he's talking about - the Corzine campaign today announced two November 1, 2009 New Jersey campaign visits by President Barack Obama on behalf of Governor Jon Corzine.

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?

RCP Poll Average has Corzine ahead!

After what seems like an endless campaign, for the first time, Real Clear Politics has Governor Corzine ahead of Chris Christie in its RCP Poll Average.

The trend does not bode well for Christie who seems to be fading.

One Voice...

Corzine makes his move...

With a little over a week to go, a new poll published by the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling (Rutgers) has Corzine opening up a 39% to 36% lead over Christie.  Daggett's numbers are now up to 20%, which is clearly a problem for Christie since his numbers are dropping and Corzine's are holding steady.

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.

The First Family's New Portrait

"The most famous celebrity photographer in America did a photo shoot with the most celebrated family in America. Here's the new family portrait of the Obamas, released Friday by the White House. Annie Leibovitz, renowned for her work with Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair, took it in early September. (Yes, she's the one in dire financial straits that could lead to bankruptcy; no, this doesn't change her bottom line necessarily -- she didn't take a fee from the White House for her work.)"

Written by Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts of the Washington Post

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Another "truth challenged" local GOP mayor...

In a letter in today’s OT, former Mendham Township Mayor Richard Krieg is quoted as saying the following with respect to dispatch contract negotiations held back in 2006:
“We were extremely taken aback by Mr. Nedd’s arrogant approach to the entire negotiation process. Our side came into the discussion confident that we would work things out as reasonable people. We found that we simply could not deal with Mr. Nedd on a professional basis, and we wound up moving our business away from Washington Township because of it.”

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

Big "O" in the house!

A local Republican wannabe operative recently said, "it’s so bad for Corzine here in NJ that Obama won't come here and make a campaign appearance for Corzine". To this person’s chagrin, the president will stump for Corzine later today at the Fairleigh Dickinson Hackensack campus. Yours truly will be there. If the GOPer who made this ridiculous statement would like to go, I think I can swing an extra ticket.

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

Chris Christie's ethical lapses.

Funny how the qualities that launched Chris Christie's campaign for governor are the same ones being questioned in the final weeks of the campaign. According to this NYT article, the chickens have clearly come home to roost.

Post Correction!

During the public comment portion of last week's Township Committee Work Session, I incorrectly stated Committeeman Bill Roehrich had, as a member of the WTBOE, voted 7 times to increase the school property tax levy by $10.3 million. He has voted only 6 times to increase the school property tax levy by $8.6 million.

I have corrected the figures in earlier postings.

My apologies to Bill.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Finally...a real debate!

On October 21, 2009 the four Township Committee candidates will be featured in a live debate to be held at the LVMS Library beginning at 7:00 PM. The candidates will take questions from a media panel consisting of Bob Thomas of the Observer Tribune, Joyce Estes of WRNJ Radio, and Fred Snowflack of the Daily Record. In addition, the candidates will take questions from the audience.

Here is my question for Short & Roehrich:

Both of you proudly call yourselves "fiscal conservatives". Yet over the past nine years, the two of you have cast a total of 15 budget votes in favor of higher property taxes to the tune of $12.7 million, including the largest municipal tax increase ($1 million) and the largest school tax increase ($2.2 million) in the history of the township. Why should the hard working taxpayers of Washington Township vote for you when you have imposed $12.7 million in higher taxes?

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

The free market works!

Anyone who knows me has a pretty good idea where to find me on any given Sunday in the Fall as my love of the NFL and my beloved Washington Redskins is no secret. So it's no surprize I might have a thought or two on Rush Limbaugh being dropped from an investment bid to purchase the St. Louis Rams. After pursuing Limbaugh as a minority investor, the group determined Limbaugh's documented history of racially charged commentary may not be in the best interest of their bid.

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

Obama to Critics: "Grab a Mop!"

In addition to his role as President, Barack Obama is also the undisputed leader of the Democrat Party. Last night he gave a speech to the DNC in CA.  Here is a portion of his remarks where he challenges his critics to help clean up the mess mostly created by their policies.

Standing by my words...

This morning I received a harshly worded email from a resident challenging me to provide an example where Mayor Ken Short lied, cheated, or attempted to deceive.

Fair enough.

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

What's my motivation?

Earlier today, I was asked by someone who knows me pretty well, what was my motivation for confronting Ken Short last evening? Was I planning another run at public office and thus trying to score points? Or was I trying to protect my personal legacy as a committeeman? This is an excellent and fair question. My first response was to say I absolutely have no desire to serve in elected public office again. With that admission out of the way, my motivation is simple. Given all I have learned about Ken Short, having served with him for 3 years on the Committee, my issue is simply one of honor.

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.

0% COLA in 2010

The Social Security Administration today announced a 2010 Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) of 0% for Social Security recepients. In response to this news, Township Committee candidates Harlin Parker and Jody Price have vowed not to vote for a 2010 municipal budget containing a tax increase exceeding 0%. In other words, they will not vote to increase your muncipal tax bill in 2010. Period.

Harlin and Jody's reasoning is simple...we shouldn't ask more from fixed income seniors if they have no way of paying for it.

This is in stark contrast Ken Short who increased municipal taxes by 11.1% in 2005 and has yet to vow to never do it again.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ken and Bill...Perfect together!

It’s no doubt the most important issue facing Washington Township voters is property taxes. As the general election nears, voters need to take a hard look at the "tax and spend" records of Ken Short and Bill Roehrich who have served on our Township Committee and District School Board, respectively since 2001.

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!

Ken Short can't handle the truth...

Armed with the information contained in the post above, I posed a question to Mayor Short during this evening's Township Committee Work Session on a comment he made in an October 2008 OT letter and how it reconciled with his "tax and spend" record noted in my prior post. His rambling answer was beyond embarrassing as he went off on several tangents and had to rely on Committeemen Popper and Harmon passing him notes on what to say. At one point Short went down the path of trying to blame me for raiding the reserve for uncollected taxes in 2006 and using the money to pay for excess spending. It must have been a surprise when I reminded him, I was the only committeeman to vote "No" on the 2006 municipal budget and that reducing the reserve by $710K to match our actual tax collection risk was a good thing for taxpayers.

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:
  1. 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!
  2. 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.
Short even went as far as to try and back peddle by suggesting he may not have made the October 2008 comment. I then provided him a copy of his remarks. Baffled, Short was unable to answer how his comment didn't apply to his and Bill Roehrich's record of adding $12.7 million to our property tax burden. Having made my point, I walked out of the meeting as Short continued on with more excuses. A few minutes later I received a text message from someone still in the meeting indicating Short was clearly angry and rattled during our exchange, but had calmed down since.

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.

Another example of Ken Short's dishonesty...

In my "public comment" exchange with our esteem Mayor last evening, Ken Short referenced my 2005 Take Five pledge and declared I did not lived up to it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here is the original wording of my Take Five pledge:

"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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

Change is coming...

With all appropriate congressional committees having moved on health care reform, an unprecedented milestone for this presidency, those who say this White House "hasn't accomplished anything" really need to get a clue.

Change is coming...and here's what it looks like:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Only $190K to go!

Congrats to the Township for signing an agreement with Tewksbury allowing them to lease our court facilities for $10,000 a year. With the Township Committee having botched our dispatch arrangement with the Chesters that would have brought in $200K in interLocal revenue next year, this new agreement means taxpayers are only on the hook for $190K in loss revenue due to the Committee's inability to hold on to funds that will be sorely missed in 2010.

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

Reaction to Obama's Nobel Peace Prize

As predicted, the reaction to President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize has been all over the map. Here is an excellent opinion piece appearing in today's Daily Record that sums up my thoughts exactly.

Obama recognized for what he's trying to do


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

Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

In an announcement that will surely have the far right in a tizzy, President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize today, in a surprise pick from the Norwegian Nobel Committee that cited the president's creation of a "new climate in international politics" and his work on nuclear disarmament.

Here is video of the announcement:

In the words of Jay-Z, "who's gonna run this town tonight..."

Thursday, October 8, 2009

How soon they forget...

It seems Republicans across the country are crying foul over a campaign ad that appears to take a shot at Chris Christie's weight.

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.

Talk about slim pickings...

As was reported in today's online edition of the Observer Tribune, "three Republican candidates has been nominated by the Township Republican Committee to fill the vacancy created with the resignation of long-time Committee member Tracy Tobin in late September."

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?

  1. 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?

  2. 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?

  3. Ms. Zarillo, what foreign country can you see from your house?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

CBO Says Senate Health Bill Would Expand Coverage, Reduce Deficit

A health-care reform bill drafted by the Senate Finance Committee would expand health coverage to nearly 30 million Americans who currently lack insurance and would meet President Obama's goal of reducing the federal budget deficit by 2019, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

More good polling for Democrats!

According to a new AP poll, President Obama's approval rating shot up 5 points from September to 56% as people "feel better about his handling of the economy and his proposed health care overhaul."

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.

Corzine pulls ahead!

After being down as much as 15 points over the summer, a new FDU poll has Democratic Governor Jon Corzine pulling ahead of Republican Chris Christie by a 44% - 43% margin. While the race is still very close, the trend is now in Corzine's favor. NJ voters are reacting to Christie's debate performance which showed him to be as qualified for governor as Sarah Palin was to be the VP.

With less than 30 days to go, it's time for the Corzine campaign to turn on the afterburners!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Conservatives root against the USA?

Many decent Americans were appalled by the total lack of patriotism displayed by a group of "conservatives" attending the American for Prosperity’s Defending the American Dream Summit in Virgina last week. They were reacting to the news of Chicago being eliminated in the first round of Olympic host bidding. This will go down as an act that went too far. Take a look:

While "conservatives" have every right to hate on Obama, openly rooting for America to "lose" sounds like treason.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ken Short thinks WT taxpayers are stupid.

In this OT article, Mayor Ken Short makes another absurd statement on the township imposing $3,200 fine on West Morris Central High School:

"We just want folks to fix the systems. I kind of agree about the fines, it is just taking taxpayer money from the left pocket to the right pocket."

As usual Ken Short, is dead wrong. By imposing these fines, he isn't moving existing revenue from one pocket to another, he is in fact generating new revenue that otherwise would have remained in our pockets. Does he really think we are that stupid?

An empty suit...

The reviews of Chris Christie's performance at this week's debate are in and not surprisingly, he came across as an empty suit.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Senate Finance Committee: Health Care Bill

After consideration of more than 500 amendments, the Senate Finance Committee has just posted the latest version of its proposed health care legislation, America’s Healthy Future Act. Those of you looking for a little weekend diversion can find it here (PDF).

Next up: the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation weigh in with cost estimates, after which the committee will vote.

What about us?

According to this DR article, five Morris County municipalities have applied for Sustainable Jersey Certification. As often as we've heard our township committeemen crow how Washington Township is a leader in open space and "going green", one can't help but wonder why we weren't one of the townships mentioned.

Bottom Line: This is another example of a lack of leadership in Mayor Short's increasingly incompetent administration.