Friday, April 23, 2010

Middletown Mayor Believes Salary Freeze Key To Addressing Taxpayer Concerns While Putting Students First

MIDDLETOWN – Upon receipt of the Middletown Township School District’s soundly rejected budget, Middletown Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger is immediately proposing a salary freeze as the only viable alternative to making significantly deeper cuts to the District’s rejected budget proposal.

“The voters have spoken loud and clear—they are demanding a salary freeze,” said Middletown Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger. “I am proposing to the Township Committee that it ask the teachers and their union to agree to a salary freeze.” If they will not share in this year’s sacrifices, we will have no alternative but to make comparable cuts to address an already overwhelming burden on the Township’s property taxpayers.”

“The school budget accounts for more than 60% of our property tax bills, and freezing salaries for one year would save approximately $3 million,” continued Scharfenberger. “Most importantly, a freeze will help save teaching jobs, therefore, letting taxpayers know that we and the teachers are putting the interests of our students first during these difficult economic times.”

“As the parent of a Middletown student and a recent graduate of our schools, I do not take this task lightly,” concluded Scharfenberger. “I look forward to working closely with the incumbent and newly elected school board members to increase cooperation and shared services between the school district and the township to save taxpayers money—not only in the school levy—but also as we work to address the Township’s significant budget shortfall in the near future.”

Mayor Scharfenberger is requesting Middletown teachers and unions make a decision by April 30th as the Township Committee will only have two weeks to determine where to recommend necessary cuts in the District’s rejected $140 million budget.

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bravo! Stand firm - pay freeze not just for teachers - but all school staff and administrators - and don't forget to freeze the "step increases" as well as the 1.5% health benefits cost sharing.

That will prove to everyone that the school staff do put our children first!

Of course, if they won't agree, then we all know what they are really about.

Anonymous said...

If BULLSHIT was money this mayor would be rich!!!

What about the HUGE deficit this TC has rolled up ??

What about the continuing absence of a municipal budget ??

Scharfenberger talks out of both sides of his mouth,lacking integrity and ethics.
All for political show because he faces the voters this fall.

God help the people of this community as long as this man serves !!!

Hypocrisy at it's pinnacle!!!

Anonymous said...

if you want a pay freeze for teachers, what about every public employee, including those at town hall?

Anonymous said...

I would like to commend the mayor for once again, showing tremendous leadership and vision when confronted with a problem. If the unions will agree to this proposal, everything will work out fine. ASounds like the ball is in their court. Also, the tone of anon 6:02's post sounds eerily like an individual who is angry with the town for having the audacity to allow Brookdale to exist and for actually allowing vehicles to drive on its roadways.

Anonymous said...

This man serving as mayor only displays any signs of representation when the people in this town back his a-- into a corner e.g. the turf field fiasco.

This diatribe is only an attempt at diverting the attention from the municipal deficit and the problems with the municipality's financial irresponsibility.

This mayor has a good deal of a problem with the truth.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

if you want a pay freeze for teachers, what about every public employee, including those at town hall?


If you read the mayor's post from a few weeks ago on this blog, that is exactly what he has called for. Scroll down to the 12-point plan. All very consistent.

Anonymous said...

"People who live in glass houses should not throw stones" !!!

Anonymous said...

Do we need a local police department or should we go to a county wide police force? Larger towns like Middletown could have local "precincts" or "station houses". I am not sure about the services; but it is getting to the point where we just can't afford what we want from government.

Part of the problem is ourselves, wanting services, and unions pricing their members out of the real world.

In this current economic climate, not just in New jersey, but around the USA and the world, all of us as families have had to tighten our belts.

Time for government to go on a diet.

Anonymous said...

Home rule is definitely a problem.

County wide school systems would cut the need for so many highly paid administrators. Police functions could easily be consolidated as in a system of precincts and do away with all those chiefs and deputy chiefs. Just look at all the communities going to a county wide dispatching system. It works . It'll work here just as it does in other states.

Just think of what that could do for pension and benefit costs in the public sector.

Change is coming because the taxpayers can't afford the current system .

The financial people claim this economy will not recover until at least 2016 and maybe later !!

Anonymous said...

Middletown is way bigger then every where else in Monmouth county. It has the largest population of any municipality around

If consolidation saved money wouldn't the taxes be lower in middletown then everywhere else.

Wouldn't the per student cost be lower then everybody else?

stopthesocialists said...

All the talk of consolidation sounds good, but keep in mind, bigger isn't always better. Just look at big cities like Trenton, Newark and Jersey City. They are huge and all spend way more per pupil than Middletown. Sharing services is an absolute must IF it saves money. There are times when it will not, or even cost more. Middletown schools can definitely do without many of the top administrators it has. Also, school nurses do not need their own secretaries. Unions must be brought under control - much of the latitude the BOE has is stifled by union demands. Efficiency is key. Just look at the municipal side of Middletown. I read where they have fewer workers per capita than almost anywhere in the state. According to the town website, they have about 98 or 100 cops and a population of around 69,000, but they have the lowest crime rate of any town in Monmouth and Ocean. That to me, is pretty darn lean and efficient. With that sort of management, maybe the school budget would benefit from having the town council look at their budget.

Anonymous said...

This transparent attempt to capitalize on the voter's anger at teachers and unions comes right from Christi's playbook and not from any leadership on the Mayor's part. How predictable!
The Mayor and Co. hasn't figured out their own budget and hasn't shown any leadership in the last 12months to try and minimize the painful actions they have to make now make with laying off over 40 municipal employees.
What was the majority doing but trying to spend a $2.5 mil bond for turf fields, when their priority should have been taking the necessary actions dealing with the township's certain budget deficit.
The Mayor and Co. didn't need a crystal ball to know that their tax revenues were going to be down while expenses were allowed to go up.
He finally admitted it was a "no brainer" in cancelling the turf fields after the Gov. reduced our state aid when it should have been a no brainer months ago.
There's no leadership on the part of Mayor Scharfenberger, just knee jerk reaction.

Snapping to attention! said...

gotta love the "me,too's" that are coming from all directions, now that taxpayers are waking up..look, we voters are wrong for not paying more attention for too long, but most of our so-called leaders are even more at fault, because it was just too easy to spend some people's money to make others happy, and keep themselves elected.. never was, but now am very much for term limits.. better that they only have a couple of terms each,to get into trouble in..it'd stop all their double-dipping, too, because they wouldn't be powerful long enough to connect, or be the king or queen to go to for the favors.. yeah, it's time, like with kids: give them enough rope, but when they hang themselves, and in this case, us, it's time to reign 'em in, then they should go away and we can try a new crop of geniuses, um, I mean "public servants"...: how transparent, these recent quick-fixes on the backs of the regular workers, rather than getting at the root of the problem: their damn spending habits, bonding, building, whether we want/need it or NOT!.. ( you know, those lovely new edifices that have the plaques with their names on them, for perpetuity?)...it's gotten so transparently disgusting, honestly!

Anonymous said...

Hey anon 7:03 - which failed Democrat candidate are you?

Anonymous said...

STS is up the mayor's rear, can't the people of this town see that? Get real.

What's in it for you,STS,huh ??

Anonymous said...

What makes anyone think that only "a failed Democrat" can see the problems in this town ??

The actions of this mayor and his cronies have cultivated plenty of enemies in recent years ..They reap what they sow !!!
Many republicans are disgusted and ashamed of this crop of bottom feeders !!

Anonymous said...

It's interesting and comical when comments which are sensible and truthful are viewed as being from failed Democrats. The only the thing the Dems have failed to do is win more seats on the TC. The Republicans have ruled this town for the last 25 years. In the last 10 they have failed miserably to govern fiscally with waste and mismanagement.
This Ind. would like to see a change come Nov. We need a better balance of ideas and that's not what is happening now.
The Republicans have had absolute power and can't blame their failures on anyone else.

Anonymous said...

This Republican agrees. Too much control, waste, poor priorities, poor planning.
Tired of it all. It's time for some new faces and new ideas.

Anonymous said...

This Republican agrees. Too much waste, poor priorities, poor planning. Very disappointed and tired of it all.
We need some new faces with new ideas.
Elected officials have to stop working for the party and work for the people who voted for you.
That's not happening now.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:33
My response was not posted earlier, but what makes you think I'm a Dem?
Sorry to disappoint, but I used to be a Rep and now am an Ind.
If the Dems did as lousy a job as the Republicans have in recent years I'd be on their back too!

Anonymous said...

Art - I have to laugh when the Dems come on to your blog and try to denigrate Middletown and its leadership. Notic how they never give any facts, or better yet, never dispute those that are laid out here. It's always the same old tired drivel. Here's a few facts. I've lived here long enough to remember when the Dems controlled Middletown. I remember the headline in the APP about the Dem TC - "A House in Disorder." Then we had a township administrator who actually quit citing the excessive demands of Dem chairman Joe Caliendo. More facts. Under Republican leadership, Middletown was named one of the country's top places to live. We have a world class library, arts center, parks system, thousands of acres of open space, a AA bond rating, and as one poster rightly pointed out - one of the lowest numbers of workers in the state and one of the lowest spending percentages per resident in the state. C'mon now - someone dispute those facts, and I'll join the Republican bashing motley crew of Democrats.!

Anonymous said...

Middletown was named to the top 100 places to live because of it's schools and the availability of the "arts"
Not because of the politics here.

THAT"S FOR SURE.

POLITICS HERE ROT!!!

And since the Republicans have been the MAJORITY for nearly 30 years, WHO CAN YOU BLAME FOR THAT ?????

It's time poster 2:48 realized all is NOT WELL with this town and the anger of many is at a boiling point in this community. A breath of FRESH AIR IS NEEDED and for the first time in years there is a contest ON THE REPUBLICAN TICKET IN THE PRIMARY.

Is that the democrats fault also???

The people are FED UP with this charade that passes for government in this township !!

It is not just the Democrats complaining on your blog,Art. It's the people of this town,many who are Republican and many who are Independent and most plenty disgusted.

Anonymous said...

Hey dems - face it - you got Shorted last year, the peppermint melted away three times (most recently last week), and Byrnes got burned last year.

The taxpayers are wise to your whining antics and bovine defecation.

Wake up and smell the coffee - we want smaller government - not your Obama nation!

Where in New Jersey do the dems run a town better than the Reps do in Middletown?

Anonymous said...

anon 8:34 just proved my point. Never any specifics, never a contradiction of facts. Frankly, that poster has at least four posts on this thread. She has an axe to grind with the township because they won't/can't prohibit vehicles from driving past her house. Simple as that. Art, could it be that the boiling point she is talking about is because last year, 43 out of 44 people swept up in a corruption sting were Dems, while Sharfenberger was named Public Official of the Year?

Anonymous said...

What are you smoking or what's in your coffee??

Face it, this town is fed up with the despicable treatment of the citizens of this town. The arrogance and disdain shown to the town's residents by the man sitting in the mayor's chair (by 4 votes,one his own ,BTW) is classic in this town these last couple of years.

This government has become a dictatorship in Middletown.

No respect shown to it's citizens if they oppose Scharfey's viewpoint. The only one he represents is himself,shadow government,and the bottom feeders of the reigning majority.

DISGUSTING!!!!

Anonymous said...

Poster 12:21----- Old cliches won't hide what's wrong in this town and there are no coattails to ride this fall !


If you think anyone who reads this blog often enough doesn't recognize the bullshit you spew STS, we do !! "Anonymous" doesn't hide the ridiculous redundancy!


Just what is your agenda anyway. What's in this for you?

You are irrelevant .

Anonymous said...

anon 6:53 and 7:12 - not quite sure why you split your posts into two separate, but anyway, again, no specifics - you are still angry that the town allows vehicles to drive down the street in front of your house and just feel the need to spout meaningless drivel. Again, can you dispute any of the FACTS that show how well Middletown is run?

Anonymous said...

If your interested in seeing the salaries of scool admins or teachers or any pulic employees for that matter. Do a google search for the Asbury Park Press' "data universe" and see why conservatives are screaming and why the old fashioned thoughts of "teachers dont make much money" is completely false in 2010 ! Its disgusting how much they make and performance doesnt matter.

Anonymous said...

The Mayor likes to bring up ancient history. Try living in 2010 and what you've messed up with your lack of leadership.
A town this size has a AA bond because we own so much property as leverage and our tax payers have had to endure tax increases of over 24% in the last 4 years to support that rating. To tout our park system is an embarrasment. Try looking at how we maintain them. Our wonderful Arts Center is a money pit costing us over $300a year just in utilities.
Spend, waste and mismangement!

Anonymous said...

Poster 8;40,

What are you talking about ?

Just look at the recent turf field fiasco.

Responsible government ?

A packed court room shows plenty wrong!!

Dump Scharfey signs all over town???

Plenty to do with incompetence.

Doesn't have anything to do with your nutty reply !

Anonymous said...

I thought so anon 9:46. It is quite sad to see someone so consumed with anger that you flail wildly trying to deride facts about the town that are irrefutable and commendable. I looked up the Money Magazine article - it cites Middletown's low crime rate, proximity to educational institutions (like the magnificent Brookdale) and wealth of cultural and leisure opportunities (like the parks you despise). Also, the AA bond rating, as anyone who knows financial matters will tell you, is the result of sound financial management. You see, those are facts - no hysteria, no rhetoric, no bluster - just facts.

Anonymous said...

That's over $30,000 in uilities and this TC majority wanted that arts center as their own private kind of club.. .remember the effort to allow alcohol there??

If anyone needs a history lesson it's this mayor !!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
That's over $30,000 in uilities and this TC majority wanted that arts center as their own private kind of club.. .remember the effort to allow alcohol there??

If anyone needs a history lesson it's this mayor !!


Now now, mustn't go into the realm of lying. As the parent of young children who have been to dozens of events and programs at the wonderful arts center, there was never a time when that facility was private and what's more, it was never intended to be, except, apparently, in your very overactive imagination. Again, very sad to see someone trying so excrutiatingly hard to manufacture fault, where in reality, success has reigned.

resident taxpayer said...

The arts center is an albatross that just costs this town money and operates at a deficit .That is a fact !!

It should be sold or leased in order to be operated at no cost to the taxpayer .

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:46. I'm sure you meant $300,000 per year is spent on untilities for the Art Center; that's a fact! How about mentioning the fact it was built on contaminated land. Again, poor planning and just plain irresponsible.
How about the $3 mil bond to clean up Shadow Lake that was never used?
Just one of many facts that the major and his clones will try and ignore and deflect.
People are paying attention this time around and the blah blah rhetoric ain't working.
I'm sure we'll see lots of great new ideas coming from the Mayor which of course he'll be taking the credit. Just look again at the public record and see who originated those ideas. Fact again, it was Short and Byrnes.
Gee Mr. Mayor, why do you think they're good ideas now? Could it be it's election time?
Don't underestimate your constituents. We see right through all the hypocracy. We don't get mad we get even. That's a fact.

Anonymous said...

Hey Barbara - answer the question -

Where in New Jersey do the dems run a town better than the Reps do in Middletown?

Sour grapes doesn't provide facts.

Anonymous said...

Hey Scharfy Barbie, sorry I'm not Barbara. Barbara who? I guess there are more than a few who don't agree with you and your Repulican clones. Maybe you have trouble reading and understanding or are probably just in denial, but I just listed a few facts that are a matter of public record.
Your facts happen to be a little out dated regarding Middletown's top 100 status. That was in 2006 when Tom Hall was Mayor. We've gone downhill ever since.
Again another fact.

Anonymous said...

Hey,Gerry, OLE boy....ever hear of LEGAL contracts. You're all "lawyered up " up there on the dais. Ask that character actor sitting there, that WAS NOT ELECTED TO SIT THERE, about the law and contracts.
He's supposed to have a degree in the law.

The republicans in this town today are a disgrace!!!

Anonymous said...

What was the result of the ethics complaint against Byrnes last year?

truthforachange said...

There you go again. Another political maneuver to try and discredit anyone who is a threat to you. When you can't deal with the issues just attack the opposition with complaints that have no basis.
You and your kind are famous for that. I'm sure you'll be coming up with some beauties this Nov, but the public wants to see solutions not BS

Anonymous said...

What does that comment have to do with the mayor's approach to a wage freeze and the teachers ??

This is exactly why the republicans in this town today are a disgrace!

Show us the company you keep and we will tell you what you mr mayor!!!

Anonymous said...

Good question anon 9:33 - anyone know the status of the complaint? From what I recall, it was pretty serious.

truthforachange said...

Getting back to the issues...When the mayor decides how much to cut from the school budget he should remember this: "Education costs money but ignorance costs much more"

Anonymous said...

Bring back Joan Smith and Tom Hall!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Getting back to the issues...When the mayor decides how much to cut from the school budget he should remember this: "Education costs money but ignorance costs much more"


What fortune cookie did you pull that one out of? Slow traffic day on Swimming River Road?

Anonymous said...

Just look at the source of the complaint and you can guess what it's all about.

Another endeavor by the bottom of the barrel republicans in town .

Is that what this majority party stands for?

Innuendo and character assassination does not address the issues. IT IS THE ISSUE!!!

Is this what the republicans in Middletown stand for today?? Appears that way.........
Ethically challenged and morally impoverished !

Anonymous said...

What the hell does the traffic on Swimming River Road have to do with educating our kids and the school issues ??

What rock did you crawl from under?

Anonymous said...

OMG, vitriol and venom from sore losers or wannabees.

Get a life - rid yourself of the internal hatred you are radiating. You might even feel better.

Anonymous said...

Don't complain about "Republicans" If "Democrats" had their way, there would be NO open space or parks, they'd sell it or build on it! You'll have huge taxes, and only teachers will live here. They will finally eat themselves alive...Beware what you ask for! Democrats will change the landscape of Middletown for sure! !Then you'll see your home value's go down like the Hindenburgh. The taxes will be so high that the home values would have to go way down in order for anyone to be able to afford to live here....Voter's beware!!

Anonymous said...

Bravo Mayor Scharfenberger !!! As a longstanding taxpayer of Middletown, I am tired of being held hostage to the Middletown Township Education Association. Perhaps the Mayor should recruit a non-partisan (parents, ex-students and taxpayers) citizens group who have had 20 years or more experience dealing with the Middletown Education system to conduct their own review of the entire district. Let the taxpayers and those educated in Middletown make the necessary choices to show the MTEA where the real waste of taxpayer funds exists! All teachers are not the problem (except in a very few cases). Problems exist in the excessive numbers of administrators who are over paid and perform inadequately. The majority of these administration positions should be eliminated and those positions that are spared the cuts should be streamlined and consolidated into more productive positions. That could save this township quite a few dollars ! Don't you think so?