Monday, July 23, 2012

Senor Emil "Do the Right Thing" Ferlicchi retiring?!? - say it ain't so!

On tonight’s agenda for the Board of Mythomania’s Action meeting is something that’s important to highlight and say a few words about. Seems my buddy, Emil “Do the Right Thing” Ferlicchi is retiring after some 42 years of service to the School District and the people of Downtown Edison. Quite an amazing accomplishment for one’s life in and of itself - not to mention that along the way, the positive impact he has had in the lives of his students and to those he represented as President of the ETEA.

Now, you can say a lot of things about Senor Ferlicchi when it comes to his role as President of the ETEA (and, as you can see above, I affectionately have). His tag line “Do the Right Thing” is a classic Ferlicchi moment whether he was addressing the Board at a BoE meeting or the Edison Council during a defeated budget hearing. Others include the time-honored tradition of “It’s all about the Kids” whether he was selling a budget or bond referendum and let’s not forget that plea he always made when school budgets were defeated – “We need our fair share of state aid!” Funny, he never made that plea when budgets passed! But I digress, so let’s move on.

Then there are all those other names that were used to describe Senor Ferlicchi depending on whatever actions he was taking. He was part of the “Three Amigos” with Dickinson & DiMuzio when it came to budgets, bond referendums and collective bargaining agreements. For years, he was the “Clean-up batter” at Board meetings where Dickinson would let him speak last after everyone else had spoken. He would then offer a different opinion on whatever was said and no one was allowed to respond. And finally, who could forget he was ”Best-est Buddies” with Dickinson & DiMuzio for years.

Now, all of this is not to say that as ETEA President, he didn’t do an excellent job for his membership. One look at the collective bargaining agreements he was able to get for his membership will show you otherwise. Those were some of the most generous contracts that I’ve ever seen in this state. His membership owes him a great deal for his service and raising the scale here in Downtown Edison – as much as I may have cringed when reading them.

So, the best example to give to sum up his role as the ETEA President can be taken from a past Board meeting. After he had spoken, I followed him and said to Dickinson - you know, he’s good, he’s very good and if I didn’t know better, I’d actually believe him!

Point being, he was an excellent spokesperson and political force for his union. If you’re honest with yourself, you have to give credit where credit is due – no matter how much you may have disagreed with Senor Ferlicchi.

So, Kudos to You Senor Ferlicchi for doing an outstanding job in your stewardship role of the ETEA!

Even more important to me was his role as a teacher. You see, I know something about his teaching ability. He was my daughter’s 5th grade teacher many years ago. Not only does she remember him and what she learned from him but always tells me to this day - be Nice to Senor Ferlicchi – and don’t be picking on him! Now, if you knew my daughter – you’d recognize this represents the high esteem she holds for Senor Ferlicchi to this day.

Now, maybe it’s me, but spending a lifetime educating our Kids and turning empty minds into open minds is what it’s all about and, no doubt, his greatest gift to the people of Edison – and for that Senor Ferlicchi, I commend you and personally thank you.

I know your next “Grand” journey down the road of life will be even more fulfilling.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Edison's Board of Mythomania & Your Property Tax Bill

Well, if you took a look at your recently arrived 2012 Final/2013 Preliminary Tax Bill, this year's honor for the most egregious treatment of the residents of Downtown Edison goes to your friends and mine over there on Mythomania Lane. Hey, somebody's gotta win every year!

If you look at the bill, the total tax rate (which includes Municipal, County & School taxes) - you find the CY 2012 rate is $4.729 per hundred of assessed value. This is up 4.9 Cents over last year's $4.680.

If you look further, you'll find that while the Board of Mythomania gets 56% of the taxes you will pay in Downtown Edison for 2012 - this year they get top honors for creating the largest portion of your tax increase, a whopping 88%.

So, for every $1 you pay for increased taxes in 2012 - 88 Cents of it goes over to Mythomania Lane. But lets face it, they're really in dire need of money over there - with a $212.2 million budget that included a $7.2 million increase in Spending funded by hoarded taxpayer-relief money ($13.5 million over the last two years), they could use every penny they can get.

While the %'s of your total tax bill in CY 2012 that goes to the Municipal, County & School District taxing entities stayed approximately the same as last year - only the Municipal & County sides made an effort to reduce their % tax increases during these difficult times. But hey, Not the The Board of Mythomania. It does what it always does - Spends..Spends...Spends with little recognition of the stakeholders that pay the bills and for sure a tad bit short on the use of fiscal restraint.

When it comes to the Board of Mythomania - remember some thingies - (1.) there's a reason they're affectionately known as the 'Board of Mythomania', (2.) a reduction in an increase or proposed increase is not a savings to the taxpayers anywhere else other than on Mythomania Lane, (3.) re-purposing is just a fancy word for saying they'll spend every penny they can get our hands on - taxpayer interests aside and, (4) what politicians call a clever misdirection of the truth to achieve a greater good - others simply call a lie.

And you thought that $212.2 million School Budget for 2012-13 with a tax rate of $2.668, which was up 4.9 Cents over last year was the best-est ever budget to come to Downtown Edison in years.

Anyhoo, here's some thingies on the tax rate to look at:

And some history of the total tax rate:

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Edison Property Tax Bills are Out-a-Mundo!

Well, guess what came in the mail today - your friend and mine, the local property tax bill for Downtown Edison for Calendar Year 2012 and Preliminary 2013. You remember this bill which includes the Municipal, County & School taxes.

So, let's see what going on in this year's bill. The total property taxes are $4.729 (per '00 of assessed value), which is up 4.9 cents or approximately 1.1% over last year's $4.680.

The Municipal tax rate (including the Library) is down approximately one-half cent. If you're in the District 1 Garbage District, you get a slight decrease too. The total Municipal taxes are $1.328, which is slightly down from last year's $1.333.

Kudos to the Municipal side of town for keeping the tax rate flat in these difficult times.

On the County side, the County tax is $0.671, which is up 1.4 Cents or 2.1% over last year's $0.657. The County Open Space tax is $.062, which is down from last year's $.065. So, in total the County tax this year is $0.733, which is up 1.1 Cent or 1.5% over last year's $0.722. But hey, at least it wasn't like last year's increase of 7.5 Cents or 11.6%!

Finally, we have the School tax of $2.668, which is up 4.3 Cents or 1.6% over last year's $2.625. Hmm.. just think what would of happened here if my friends over there on Mythomania Lane didn't increase Spending by $7.5 million and use our taxpayer relief money to cover it - and, adding insult to injury, leaving us with a tax hike to cover the shortfall in the ratables and to pay for the second half of Fiscal Year 2011-12! Wasn't that nice of them?

Anyhoo, if you want to know what your new tax increase is - just take your home's assessed value and divide it by 100 - then, multiply that number by tax increase of 4.9 Cents (.049). Recognize that 88% of your tax increase comes from the School Tax, 22% from the County Tax and -10% from the Municipal Tax.

Here's some schedules which shows you all this info:

As always, anyone who wants these files, just drop me a note.