Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Where is the Report?

How much longer will the Township take to comply with my OPRA request for all written and electronic communications pertaining to their handling of the failed 2010-2011 school budget? This includes the final report of Wiss & Company, which was hired to audit the budget at a cost of $7,000. $7,000 put up by the taxpayers of Washington Township.

Why does Jim Harmon think it's sufficient to provide the BOE with his summarized findings as opposed to the auditor's official report? It's been 8 full days since the Committee rendered its decision on a $1M cut. Why isn't the report available? How could the Committee have recommended over $1M in cuts without a full report from the auditor? The Committee's incompetence in providing the report is growing day by day.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Another Darkside Lie!

Based on misleading information provided to the Daily Record by members of the Darkside, it would seem the 2010 Washington Township municipal budget reflects a 20 percent reduction in across-the-board operating costs, union concessions in health care costs and staff reductions. It would be nice if this were true, because it isn't. Operating costs were only cut by 11%, not the 20% Mayor Ken Short promised at the beginning of the process.

Also, the budget was not trimmed by $1.1 million as claimed. It was only trimmed by $370K verses last year.

Lastly, by raising taxes by 2.6% as opposed to meeting the 0% tax increased target, which the Republican Committeemen stated at the first budget meeting, this is yet another Short administration failure.

When will Ken Short's "Darkside" lies end?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Darkside Lie of the Day II!

David X. Johnson, the newest Darksider to hit the scene, equals Lotito's lying ways when he claims on his blog how the auditor’s function was to provide advice and input to the committee, not to provide a written report. 

The Township Committee's own resolution, authorizing the auditor, contains the following language:
WHEREAS, it may be necessary to obtain certain professional analytical services to assist with the review of documents provided by the Washington Township Board of Education or the West Morris Regional High School Board related to the 2010 – 2011 School Budget, if defeated; to make related inquiries of the Washington Township Board of Education and the Washington Township Public Schools or the West Morris Regional High School Board of Education; to make written recommendations to the Township identifying areas in the 2010 – 2011 budget which may need to be adjusted; and to assist the Township in the preparation of a resolution fixing the 2010 – 2011 tax levy;
What part of the word "written" does David X. Johnson not understand?  And since pubic funds ($7K) were used to pay for this auditor, the public has the right to see what was "written".

As I stated before, an OPRA request for a "written report" is still pending.  In addition, a second request is pending for all communications between the township and the auditor and for all communications between committeemen pertaining to the BOE budget.

They can run, but they can't hide. Stay tuned!

Update:  Dave has made considerable "alterations" to his original posting.  The damage control backtracking has begun!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A new low for Popper...

It seems GOP operative Tom Lotito called the Roxbury police department on behalf of the "Howard Popper Team" looking for information on fellow Republican candidate David Kennedy, and that the campaign (Jim Harmon, Campaign Mgr.) subsequently filed an OPRA request for Mr. Kennedy's record. I understand Lotito's request was caught on tape and the cops who have heard it throughout the county are not happy.

What's next, Kennedy’s birth certificate to see if he is a legal resident?

This just shows how Howard Popper will do anything to get re-elected.

Grow a pair...

It seems my last few postings petaining to members of the Darkside have generated a surge in blog hits.  In addtion, I have received quite a few "anonymous" comments, which by rule I don't post. If you don't have the balls to put your name on what you write, it won't get published.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Darkside Lie of the Day!

On his website, Tom Lotitio makes the following bogus claim:
"...the Washington Township Committee cut the K-8 school tax levy $1,025,000. In order to meet this number Mayor Ken Short recommended that the teachers and administration would have to contribute 1.5 % to their health benefits and agree to a one year wage freeze."
If Tom could comprehend the actual resolution which outlines the specific cuts, he would realize his statement is nothing more than a typical (and expected) Darkside lie; as the committee did not recommend a 1.5% contribution towards health benefits and a one year salary wage (increase) freeze in order to meet the $1,025,000 figure. These were part of an additional non-binding TC recommendation having nothing to do with the $1,025,000 figure. Anyone who could read would have been able to understand this. But hey, what can you expect from a guy who tunes pianos for a living?

Talk about justice!

Here is what happen when the bottom fell out for one of Washington Township's most notorous political operatives. 

He went from owning this:

To renting this:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A predictible hyprocrite?

No explanation required!

More Darkside Thinking...

In his latest diatribe to the OT, Tom Lotito asks how Township Committee Republican Primary candidate Dave Kennedy, a retired 25 year Roxbury police officer, "could sit across the table and ask for concessions on benefits he himself enjoys".  Maybe someone should clue Tom in on the simple fact Mr. Kennedy earned both his benefits and his right to run for Committee by putting his life on the line every single day of his 25 year career as a law enforcement officer.  I guess in Tom Lotito's "Darkside" world, Mr. Kennedy's public service isn't quite as noble as tuning pianos.

Popper's sad SOS for help.

You would think after serving three years on the Township Committee, Howard Popper wouldn't have to send an email pleading his so called "supporters" to write letters to the OT on his behalf.  Letters he plans to embelish anyway.  I guess this is necessary when your list of actual accomplishments is paper thin.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Township Committee Cuts $1.025 Million from School Budget!

After reviewing the failed 2010-2011 Washington Township K-8 District School budget, the Township Committee has decided to cut $1.025 million from the original $31,490,197 tax levy. The cuts are primarily aimed at administrative positions including the Assistant Superintendent.

On another note, still no response on my OPRA request for a copy of the auditor's final report. An additional request has been submitted asking for a copy of all written and electronic correspondence between the auditor and the Township of Washington (township employees and Committee members).

Friday, May 14, 2010

All Hat and No Cattle

Yesterday's OT contained two letters (1 & 2) that tell all we need to know about Committeeman Howard Popper. He is all "hat and no cattle." I say this because both letters talk about Howard's membership within various organizations, but neither letter lists a single tangible ACCOMPLISHMENT he can attest to.

Also, being part of a committee that imposed a 2.7% tax increase in a year where the Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) is ZERO isn’t anything to brag about either.

Why aren't the writers of these letters telling us how Howard Popper lived up to his campaign promises of "Lower Taxes Now" or the creation of a “local ethics board”? The fact is they can't because Howard didn't deliver on any of his campaign promises.

But let's not kid ourselves; chances are Howard Popper will get reelected due to the sole fact he is a Republican. But then again a ham sandwich, running on the GOP ticket, could get elected in this town as well.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tonight's Township Committee WTBOE Budget Meeting

A first of its kind, tonight’s "public" forum on the defeated WTBOE budget was well attended and represented the best in terms of our community with all comments appearing to be said with positive intent. But then again two of our most notorious "Darksiders" chose not to speak. They instead sat silent in the front row. Halleluiah!

I asked a question as to whether or not my recent OPRA request would be honored. I am seeking a copy of the final report prepared by the auditor hired by the Township Committee to review the failed WTBOE at a cost of $7,000. If it is made available, I will post it online.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Rec is the man!

Congrats to Michael Rec on being selected as the new WTBOE President for the 2010-2011 school year. For the past three years, Michael has served as Finance Chair where he produced school budgets where spending declines in each of the past three years. I have known Mike for over 17 years as he is a Columbia B School classmate.

Kudos are also in order for outgoing President Michelle Skurchak, who along with Michael, set a new standard for board leadership.