Friday, April 30, 2010

More "Darkside" Lies!

A letter appearing in yesterday's OT contains yet another "Darkside" lie:
"Spending in our K-8 schools is above the rate of inflation at a time many of our citizens have lost their jobs and their incomes and their property values have declined."
Anyone with the intelligence to look at the K-8 budget would easily see it reflects a $2.0M or 4.5% spending DECLINE over the prior year.

Lies don't become true just because they appear in letters to the editor for three consecutive weeks.

Another Ken Short "Darkside" Lie!

In yesterday's OT, the following statement is attributed to Mayor Ken Short:
“I know we have done our due diligence,” said Mayor Kenneth Short. “We did it by not just worrying about this year. In the years past, we’ve made some decisions that come back to bite us in the years after. This budget does not do that.” Instead, it leaves 60 percent of the 2009 surplus intact. Short said the committee could have saved an additional $20,000 for every 1 percent additional surplus used. “We’ve been down that road. This puts us in a better position for next year,” he said.
Sounds good doesn't it? Unfortunately it just another one of Ken Short's lies as this year's municipal budget will use 60% of the current surplus as "anticipate revenue", leaving only 40% of the surplus "intact". Why would Ken Short lie about something that could be so easily verified?

Makes you wonder if he is just incompetent or is there some sort of pathology at play?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Nice try...but not good enough!

This article on the municipal budget contains yet another inaccurate statement on this year’s local tax increase of 2.74%.

"The tax increase would be the lowest the township has seen in six years."

WRONG! While this year's local tax increase isn't bad, it doesn't trump 2008's local tax increase of 2.34%, when yours truly was finance chair.

Monday, April 26, 2010

More Darkside Lies!

Seems the "Darkside" has recruited yet another moron to spread its lies. Someone should inform Mr. Inghrim we have two school districts, one for grades K-8 and another for grades 9-12 that we share with the Mendham and Chester. The "five" schools he references must include WMC, which none of the children in the K-8 district attend. This leaves only four buildings serving a projected 2725 Regular and Special Ed K-8 students in 2010-2011.

We don't need to close a school; instead we need folks like Mr. Inghrim to use their brain and stop drinking "Darkside" Kool-aid.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

DR Slams Weasels

Seems Fred Snowflack (Daily Record) and I are on the same page when it comes to how governing bodies should handle defeated school budgets.  Too bad our "weasels" have opted to hire a "consultant" to the job they were elected to perform, despite having three former BOE members within their ranks.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Stoneless Weasels

The Township Committee's decision to hire an outside contractor to review the failed WTBOE budget, despite the presence of three former board members on our "governing body" raises two important questions:

1) Will the contractor's report be made public BEFORE the makes its final recommendation? I sure hope so. I will be filing a OPRA request for a copy of the report soon as it is issued to the Committee. Since it is being paid for with public funds, it should be made available without delay.

2) Given the contractor is only providing a "comparables" analysis and not a line item forensic spending analysis, what happens if WTBOE spending turns out to be LESS than what other towns of similar demographics spend?

On a personal note, given the clear mandate expressed by the public, I think it is high time the Township Committee live up to its “conservative” touting and cut at least $2 million dollars from the WTBOE. This will lead to increased class sizes, the elimination of courtesy busing, the full elimination of sports and club activities, and a whole host of painful cuts. It’s time the resident of Washington Township got what they voted for, right?

I just wish this committee had the "stones" to make the cuts outright and not hide behind the skirt of some outside contractor, because I don't recall seeing "contractor" on the ballot!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

School Budgets Defeated!

With school budgets for the Washington Township District and West Morris Regional District handily defeated after today's election, Township "darksiders" are no doubt in their glory now that their lies and distortions have finally paid off.

The spotlight now shifts to the Township Committee to recommend changes to these budgets. Having pre contracted with an "independent" consultant, committeemen like Howard Popper are now on the hook to deliver results to ideologues like Jeff Koch (aka Scott Doucher) who once boasted of Howard's eagerness to cut the school budget.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gentlemen...start your engines!

With the candidate filing deadline behind us, we have old and new blood vying for seats on the Township Committee.

On the Democrat side only newcomer Rich Welch has thrown his hat in the ring.

On the GOP side, incumbents Howard "Lower Taxes Now" Popper and James "Where's my $7K" LiaBraaten will be joined by newcomer David Kennedy.  The Republican primary could be interesting given the shortcomings of the two incumbents. The outcome may hinge on how much Kennedy chooses to remind the public of just how little either of his opponents have actually accomplished in their roles as elected officials in Washington Township.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Dow Clears Another Hurdle in Long Run

In the early months of the Obama presidency, an often heard from local GOP operative was complaining about the performance of the stock market. Here's a little something he can chew on along with his shoe.

Friday, April 9, 2010


So Mayor Ken Short thinks "Democrats should complain less and help the township more."

Does he also think national Republicans should complain less and help the country more?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A rare moment of clarity!

Mayor Ken Short did make one statement last evening that made perfect sense while attempting to blame me for the township's current budget predicament:

"Mr. Nedd, if you hadn't cut the reserve for uncollectable taxes by $700K, we wouldn't be in this situation right now!"

HELLO! Prior to my reducing this "reserve" from $1.9M to $1.2M, past Republican Washington Township Committees depended on the $700K or so (in excess of our actual uncollectable tax risk) to fund frivolous spending.

With their slush fund now gone, Mayor Short and his GOP comrades actually have to do some work to balance the budget. It’s quite fun to watch!

As Ronald Reagan always said, “Starve the beast!”

Ken's SHORTcomings

During last evening’s budget meeting, Mayor Ken Short said the township has "cut more than $1 million dollars from last year's spending". He repeats the claim in this morning's Observer Tribune. As a taxpayer, I wish it were true. Unfortunately it's just another one of Mayor Ken Short's bold face lies, which he remarkably manages to say with a straight face.

Here are the facts. Last year's (2009) budget contained $16,674,090 in spending. The lastest 2010 budget proposal as of  the 7th of April contains 16,435,724 in spending. The difference is $238,366. Far less than the "one million dollars" Mayor Ken Short is rambling about.

After witnessing firsthand Mayor Short's performance last evening where he consistently mixed up numbers and could not remember figures at several points during the meeting, I am beginning to think his shortcomings may be tied to senility, pathological lying, or a combination of both.

U.S. and Russia Sign Nuclear Arms Pact

Another historic achievement by our president!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A "slithery" move by the Township Committee

During this evening's Budget Meeting the Township Committee agreed to vote next week on a resolution to hire an outside accounting firm to perform an "operational review" the WTBOE and/or WMRHSD school budgets should they fail on April 20th. As Vice Mayor Howard Popper explained, this would not be a forensic analysis, but instead a comparison of our school(s) budgets against similar districts with demographics similar to ours. According to current WTBOE member Pete Graziano, the County already does this in their mandatory review. While the Committee’s political intention qualifies as a cowardly act, it is especially egregious under the current circumstances as we currently have 3 former WTBOE members serving on the Committee. You would think with all their "prior BOE experience", they could save taxpayers the $12K the Committee plans to pay outsiders who essentially would repeat what the county has already done for free.  Now that the "cat is out the bag", Howard should warn the accounting firm it's only a matter of time before John Krickus hits them up for a campaign contribution!

A Job Well Done!

Washington Township's K-8 District's 2010-2011 proposed budget is $1.6 MILLION LOWER than its 2009-2010 budget ($42.2M compared to $43.8M). We are one of the few districts in the state that has had a DECREASE in their budget each of the last two years.

Here is a copy of the board's 2010-2011 budget presentation and the complete advertised budget.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Another Pathetic Ken Short Lie!

In last week's Observer Tribune, Mayor Ken Short continued his lying ways in stating, "We're not going to take the Kevin Nedd approach of paying interest on a credit card". Apparently he was referring to a previous municipal budget when I supposedly cut a debt payment as low as possible. I guess this sounds good as a deceptive local GOP talking point, but unfortunately (for Mayor Short) the facts show otherwise.

In 2008, I recommended a $60K reduction in the payment of Bond Anticipated Notes and Capital Notes to partially offset a $187K reduction in municipal state aid. However, in the following year (2009), an all GOP township committee, under Mayor Ken Short's leadership, further reduced the payment of Bond Anticipated Notes and Capital Notes by an additional $70K. To be fair, in 2009, the township received a cut in municipal state as well. But it was only $41K.

Aside from the obvious hypocrisy, the real question Mayor Short needs to ask himself is why in 2009, it was necessary to cut an additional $70K from a line item he associates with "paying interest on a credit card", when municipal state aid only dropped by $41K?

Kind of sucks when the facts get in the way of a good lie, huh Ken?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Ignorance is bliss...

I am sure Leta Davis thought she was doing what was in the best interest of her child when she penned this OT letter. But often ignorance is bliss, as within her letter, Ms. Davis claims "there is real waste in our budget, but we have not seen the fine details of the budget and won’t until after it is submitted to the county."  OK? How does Ms. Davis know there is "waste" in a budget she have not seen?  By the way, the WTBOE presented its budget during a public hearing, held on March 27th, 5 days prior to Ms Davis' letter being published in the OT. The budget is also posted online, well in advance of the upcoming April 20th election.

By law, school districts are prohibited from conducting public hearings on their budget until after it has been approved by the county. If the BOE can't conduct a public hearing on the budget, it should not be putting out "work-in-progress" versions it can't officially comment on. This ensures only the resulting "advertised" version is floating around in the public domain prior to the April 20th vote. If you want an example of what can go wrong when someone uses unauthorized versions to "spread the word", talk to former WTBOE member James Harmon, who admittedly "got the numbers mixed up" when he wrote a letter based on a version of the budget other than the official advertised version.

So my question to Ms. Davis is simple. Now that you have hopefully seen the advertised budget, where is the "real waste" you claim is in it?

Friday, April 2, 2010

This is what "Change" looks like!

Today's job numbers clearly show we are much better than we were on the day George W. Bush's left office. Enough said?

Monthly US Job Losses/Gains