Friday, March 19, 2010

Middletown Budget Outlook: UG-LY

Middletown Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger told a neighborhood meeting at the Middletown Arts Center that the township is losing $1.3 million in state funding and that the budget outlook is worse than imagined, according to a report on RedBankGreen.

Scharfenberger asked the residents to stay informed and to offer ideas to raise revenues and reduce costs in the $62 million budget.

MMM has a large Middletown readership. A township committee member or 5 are known to stop by from time to time. Feel free to make non-snarking recommendations in the comments.

Middletown is the best managed large municipality in New Jersey. It has an opportunity in this budget cycle to set an example to all towns throughout the state who are all facing declines in revenue. Throughout NJ, even in the well managed towns, we have more government that we can afford.

Scharfenberger said that a tax increase and layoffs would be a last resort. I ask him to to take a tax increase off the table. Negotiate contract give backs to avoid layoffs if possible. Privatize services for savings where possible...there are a lot of Middletown area landscapers looking for work...some of whom are already on the township payroll in other functions and maintaining properties on the side.

Consult with smaller towns who have been living without state funding for years to see what cuts they have implemented.

A 5% across the board cut is over $3 million in savings. It won't be pretty. It will be UG-LY, but find a way to get in done without raising taxes.


Anonymous said...

"Middletown is the best managed large municipality in NJ." For one of the worste run and most corrupt states in the country is that really saying much? You can cut 20% from the best run town and not feel any pain, provided you get rid of the dead weight and political patronage appointed professionals. We will see if the people of this State are really ready to cut the excessive and wasteful government at every level. Doubtful but give Christie credit he has thrown down the guantlet!

Anonymous said...

Well, put a link to the budget, and maybe then people can make suggestions.

Anonymous said...

It does not have to be Ugly as long as they cut the right areas. It will tell us just how well managed they are. Taxpayers should not suffer, there are plenty of overpaid employees that can easily be cut. Curious to see where they cut.

Anonymous said...

Tell them to cut the waste on unnecessaary lawsuits.Stop doing studies that are unusually high. Cut out the extra road employees that stand around watching others work. Cut full-time jobs and make them part-time, plenty of areas you can do this in. Demand accountability from employees and administration. Be honest! that alone will save millions.