Monday, December 30, 2013

Board of Mythomania Vacancy Appointment!

Well, according to the Board of Mythomania's website - those who wish to apply for appointment for the anticipated vacancy (due to Ms. Shah's election to the Township Council) must forward a letter of intent along with a resume by January 15, 2014. You can check their website for the details.

Now, let's hope they appoint someone who will actually do something about their failure to disclose all those unbudgeted heads they keep adding to the hopper - with Your tax dollars and without Your knowledge!

Friday, December 6, 2013

2013 Graduation Rates in Downtown Edison

Here's the data for Downtown Edison that was extracted from the NJ DOE website for the 2013 graduation rates. Total District was 93.90%; EHS 90.22% and JPS 97.29%. Complete list here.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Edison Board of Mythomania - Failure to Disclose 'Unbudgeted' Heads to Staff!?!

You know, it's one thing to ask my friends over there on Mythomania Lane to disclose to the residents all these 'unbudgeted' heads they've added over the years but quite another to be told they'll take it under consideration or they're working on it - and then do nothing about it.

That's just Not Nice!

Now, no one recognizes the need for fluidity in the hiring process throughout the school year more than me. No problem there. They do what they believe they have to do as reality rolls in. Problem comes in when they don't tell you what they did and hide it in their budgets you vote on every year.

By doing that, you don't get to have a say in the largest expenditure in the school budget or see the true growth of the staffing levels. If you knew they had already added 'unbudgeted' staff but were still asking for more - wouldn't you ask Why? And wouldn't you want some explanation for the 'unbudgeted' staff added?

So, take a look at their numbers on the staff growth in staff since I've been looking at it:

They've increased their staff by some 394 heads and you never ever saw it! That's a 22% increase in staff just from this hideous practice of not disclosing all these 'unbudgeted' heads in their budgets.

Now, I'm being overly generous here. I'm only talking about the net 'unbudgeted' heads against the total staffing in their budgets. If you look at the detail by position, you can see it's all over the place. For example, in the School Year 2012-13, they've added 7 heads ( 1 Reg. Nurse, 3 Guidance Counselors, 1 Secondary Supervisor, 1 Data System Analyst and 1 Lunch Aide). They've deleted 4 heads ( 1 Health Services Supervisor, 2 Occupational Therapists and 1 Principal) - for a net of 3 'unbudgeted' heads.

Here's where you can see it:


So, there's two things you want to take away from the above schedule:

  1. First, always keep the prior year budget you voted on and use that to compare to the prior year column in next year's budget. That's where you'll be able to see all the 'unbudgeted' heads added.
  2. Second, don't approve any new School Budgets until they begin to disclose to you what they're doing with Staffing and what they've already done.

Anyhoo, it's just Not Nice for this Board to continue to treat the residents of Downtown Edison with such disrespect - especially since it's not an unknown practice and it's our money they're playing with.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Board of Mythomania's - Staffing Shell Game alive & well?!?

You know, as long as the Board of Mythomania fails to report out staffing changes to their budget and continues to hide all those Unbudgeted changes by failing to disclose it in the budgets you're asked to vote on - and You allow them to continue doing it, then this hideous practice will continue:
Can you seriously believe they've added 394.3 unbudgeted people to the staff over the years and they didn't tell you and therefore you didn't get to see it in their budgets or have a say before you voted?? Believe it, it's true - their own numbers show it. They know it but do it anyway.

Here's what it looks like by year:
Now, don't be confused when they report out additions and deletions by name in their monthly agendas - they don't relate any of that to what's in their budget. It's just a hodgepodge of names.

Anyhoo, until You make them report out their staffing changes to budget and get back some control over the Out-of-Control $pending over there on Mythomania Lane, the largest portion of your tax dollars here in Downtown Edison will continue to go into that Bloated Pot of Money they call a School Budget.

But hey, at least we're comforted in the knowledge that the Edison Council looks at it every time a School Budget is defeated - with eyes wide shut!

Gotta like what goes on in Downtown Edison - unchecked!

Understanding How Your Property Tax Bill works in Downtown Edison

Here's something I put together that may or may not help you understand Your Property Tax Bill here in Downtown Edison. If it does, great - if not, feel free to ignore.

If this works, I'll add another one that will help you understand what causes the Property Tax Rate to change year-to-year.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Promotions & Lawsuit settlements - oh my!?!

Well, after reading the latest bit of Edison news here, there's only one way to describe the long-running dysfunctional politics here in Downtown Edison

JUST PLAIN UGLY

'Under the agreement, the officers and their lawyers will share just over $1 million, the township's labor attorney, Louis Rainone, confirmed. Edison has spent at least $250,000 to fight the various rollback lawsuits, with hundreds of thousands more in legal fees picked up by insurance, Rainone said.'

Joining in the frey is former Councilwomen Melissa Perilstein who chimes in with (referring to Mayor Ricigliano) 'It's business as usual' and 'She had a real opportunity to turn the tide on the unprofessional cycle that has plagued the department. It's a missed opportunity, and it's going to cost the township a fortune.'

With all due respect to Ms. Perilstein, it's hard to take her partisan comments too seriously - she was a staunch supporter on the Council for former Mayor Jun 'RForMe' Choi - and we all know about his tenure as mayor. As with her tenure on the Council - Beware the Perils of Perilstein!

Guess it's true what they say though - we get the the type of government we deserve here in Downtown Edison!

Anyhoo, serious problems require serious people to fix them - too bad there's a dire shortage of them here in Downtown Edison.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

EDO sweeps in Downtown Edison

Congratulations to the victors in yesterday's local election here in Downtown Edison. According to the SL reporting here, the results are as follows:

Mayor:
Lankey        8,021    39%
Ricigliano    5,497    27%
Gaspari        4,213    20%
Prasad          2,956    14%
Soni                  47      0%

Council:
Diehl           8,447     15%
Gomez        7,998      14%
Shah            7,842     14%
Resner         5,888     11%
Shukla         5,053       9%
Viruet          4,676        8%
Wan.            3,012       5%
S. Patel.       3,466       6%
Zuckerman  3,479       6%
M. Patel      2,120        4%
Nagel          1,971        4%
Doherty      2,044         4%


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013

No matter who Wins Edison Mayoral Election - we Lose!

You know, if we could combine the business & political acumen of Lankey, the intelligence and good sense of Dr. Prasad and the people skills of Ricigliano - we'd have the perfect Mayor here in Downtown Edison. But, unfortunately, we can't.

While each has admirable qualities and capabilities you'd like to see and alone would probably be a good choice - they come as part of a package deal.

With Mayor Ricigliano, you get the same people she surrounds herself with now - and that's not a good thing.

With Councilman Dr. Prasad, you get the Jun 'RForMe' Choi connection and the guy who turned 'Reform' into 'RForMe' and that's not a good thing.

With Councilman Lankey, you get what Ricigliano calls the 'Good Old Boys' connection - the old-guard Local Dem Party and we all know how the perils of one-party rule came to fruition under that bunch and that's not a good thing.

So, this election tomorrow isn't about Ricigliano, Lankey or Dr. Prasad - it's about what each brings along with them and, hence, it's about how the town will be run and who controls the township coffers.

Don't be misled by all the self-serving campaign flyers being put out there by these campaigns (see below).

First of all, no one who is part of the process now should be claiming greater accountability and efficiency if they get elected. It's an absurd claim and outright admission that they do nothing about it now as part of the governing body.

Second, don't be fooled by claims of everything done is for 'the people' when clearly things quite contrary were done.

Third, if the Republicans made a concerted effort they might of gained some attention but being 'masters of the obvious' without any discernible plans or solutions doesn't get very far.

Well, here we are - a no win situation if you want our local pols to look out for us, the people of Downtown Edison, and not their own political interests and agendas.

Anyhoo, elections are about winning - not the truth. So, we'll either have more of the same Dem Party in-fighting if Ricigliano wins, back to the 'Good old boys' control if Lankey wins or some more of Jun 'RForMe' direction if Dr. Prasad wins. Whichever way - we lose, and none of the serious issues facing this town are likely to be addressed and resolved.

Whether you see it or not, your only choice is who you prefer to be spending your money and how they spend it over the next four years. That's a tad bit sad for a town the size of Edison.

But hey, at least we're comforted in the knowledge that none of them has anything to say about that bastion of waste and inefficiency - the Board of Mythomania over there on Mythomania Lane!

Here's some of the flyers received; Top to bottom - Lankey for Mayor, Dr. Prasad for Mayor & Gaspari for Mayor. Guess it's easier to attack each other than provide real solutions.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Who do You like and Why - here in Downtown Edison?!?

Well, next Tuesday we get to go to the polls to elect a Mayor and three Council members here in Downtown Edison. I put up a poll so you can share who you think will be the next Mayor. We have the sitting Mayor, two sitting Councilmen and a former township employee vying for the spot - three Dems and one Republican. With apologies to Inder J. Soni (Houses Tax Break), an additional candidate for Mayor which I inadvertently left out of this post (11/2/13). Added a new poll to the right to include him. As of today, they were only 2 votes cast on the old poll and they were for Guy Gaspari.

Now that the 1 hour debates are over and campaign fliers are in full bloom - it's important to recognize that this is a very important election.

If you strip away all the political in-fighting, self-inflicted wounds, self-serving rhetoric, hyperbole and juxtapositions, who is the best candidate of the bunch and why? Who has the best ideas for the town to deal with the myriad of opportunities and problems facing us? What are the most important issues, did the candidates address them and who do you think has the best solutions?

To encourage a conversation on the candidates' position on these issues and the future of Edison, feel free to share your thoughts and comments here on what's most important to you, what are the most important issues that you see facing us and why you support any particular candidate and their slate.

Feel free to support whoever you want but share the reasons why. If you're a person like me who votes for people and not columns, feels free to split up the tickets. It will be helpful to all to hear differing opinions before stepping into the voting booth on November 5th.

Anyhoo, the only thing I ask is that you keep it civil, and stick to the issues and the candidates' positions on the issues.





Tuesday, October 22, 2013

WCTC's Edison Mayoral Debate!

Just an additional 1 hour debate hosted by WCTC on October 30th - you can find the info here.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Edison Mayoral Debate - October 24, 2013!?!

Well, looks like there's going to be a debate next Thursday at 7:00PM at Edison High School. According to the flyer, it's sponsored by the Edison Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the Edison School District and moderated by, Deborah Macmillan - League of Women Voters of New Jersey.

It's open to the Public and Pre-event questions are welcome - Email info@edisonchamber.com.

Confirmed candidates:
  1. Gaetano V. Gaspari (Republican)
  2. Thomas Lankey (Democrat)
  3. Mayor Antonia Ricigliano (Ricigliano 2013)
  4. Sudhanshu Prasad (Your Independent Voice)

The debate runs from 7:00 - 8:00PM and there's a Meet & Mingle with the Candidates from 8:00 - 8:30PM.

Now, I'm happy to see they're going to debate and to hear their views & plans to deal with both the problems & opportunities facing our town. Certainly, there are both.

However, herein lies the concern - with only a one hour debate with four candidates participating, that leaves only 15 minutes for each candidate to make his case and answer questions along with opening & closing remarks!

Just doesn't seem like there's ample time for them to get to their positions and plans on the substantive issues. I hope I'm wrong and that this isn't going to be just another 'Live' campaign flyer.

Anyhoo, you should attend if you can.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Local Dem-Party infighting here in Downtown Edison!?!

Well, it's the Silly season again here in Downtown Edison and I'm reminded of some of these thingies that go on (after reading this piece today in the Star Ledger), which place form over substance;

  • Elections are about Winning not the truth
  • Politics is political theater-the theater of the Absurd
  • Spin is all well and good, just as long as you don't believe it
  • Glossy campaign flyers so uninformative that they only make the Printers happy
  • Let's attack the Candidate rather than the Candidate's position on the issues
  • Dem-Party in-fighting benefits the few at the expense of all of us
Now, here's my point - ever since Jun 'RforMe' Choi knocked George Spadoro off in the primary a few years back, the people of this town have been treated to the worse of the worst in power grabbing that I have ever seen. And, it doesn't seem to be going away any time soon. 

Dem-Party Politics at it's worst that benefits the few at the expense of all of us. Who would of thought that the Perils of one-party government that have turned into reality over the years here in Downtown Edison would be trumped by the Perils of Dem-Party in-fighting?

A Dem Mayor and a Dem Council that live for blocking each others efforts, for one-upping each other every chance they get or for pulling every trick in the book to trip each other up and for what? 

How is it helpful to the people of this town when they spend all their time positioning themselves for and defending against each others' attacks? Aren't there some more serious issues going on in this town that need to be addressed and fixed? Don't see anyone describing the problematic issues that need to be addressed and how they're going to fix them.

Anyhoo, as for putting the 14 new firefighters on now, what's the freakin' problem? This is Edison! Ricigliano has the 'Bully Pulpit' and is taking advantage of it and Lankey is complaining about the timing of it. That's what they do in the Silly Season here in Downtown Edison. 

Of course, I did notice that they both agreed that it was necessary to add the 14 new firefighters but didn't notice anyone say how we're going to pay for it when the federal grant for 10 of the new firefighters expires at the end of 2015. Now, that's something that's more important to know than how the timing of these new hires worked out! 

You know, as a life-long Dem here in Downtown Edison, it's embarrassing to watch this stuff go on. It's time the Dem-Party Candidates put the real issues facing this town before the people and what their plans are to fix them - it's time to place substance over form, where all too often in the past, form has prevailed.

So, Mayor Ricigliano, Council Members Lankey & Prasad - who wants to step up to the plate?


Friday, September 13, 2013

Top 10 'Could be' Replies to Charlie's hacked email account!

10. Doc here - not now Charlie. Will get back to you after the election. Got enough problems going on here.

9. Rob 'March on Trenton' Karabinchak here - sorry Charlie, already spent that $100,000 to keep my single seat for a single year against that $3,000 republican challenge.

8. Mayor Ricigliano here - Hi Charlie, nice to hear from you.

7. Alvaro "KaraMia' Gomez here - Hi Charlie, will get back to you right after I check with Rob.

6. Bob 'See No Conflict' Diehl here - Hi Charlie, I still remember how you helped me out so I want to return the favor now. Will get back to you after I become Superintendent in Edison.

5. George Spadoro here - sorry Charlie, still remember that infamous 'I was for using that $10 million in surplus during the primary only to be against it after I lost the race.

4. Jun 'RForMe' Choi here - like to help but you can't do anything for me anymore.

3. Edison Light House Keeper here - sorry Charlie, I'm still looking for those $50 paver stones.

2. Oak Tree Pond Park Manager here - sorry Charlie, still busy cleaning up that $5.6 million piece of dirt & mud puddle called the Oak Tree Pond.

1. Clerk here - sorry Charlie, you can't Phone Home CT. It didn't work last time you tried while making Smores around the camp fire!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Yet another 'Un-enforcable Ordinance here in Downtown Edison?!?

Well, it looks like the Edison Township Council is finally putting up their version of what they'd like to see in police hiring and promotion criteria and procedures on tonight's agenda.

Hence O.1841-2013 - 'An Ordinance Revising Police Hiring And Promotions Criteria And Procedures.'

Now, maybe it's me, but I don't see this thing any anything more than political 'gamesmanship' by the Council in an election year. I just can't get past how they think they can legislate mayoral duties & responsibilities. Last I looked, the Faulkner act gives hiring and firing responsibilities to the Administration not the Council.

And if that's true, then how can they pass a local law that trumps state law??

So, what is this supposed to be? Yet another law passed by the Council that gets vetoed by the Mayor and then overridden by the Council - that's apparently not enforceable anyway??

Is this what our Democratic Republic here in Downtown Edison has come to - because they can't figure out a way to play nice with each other? I thought these people were supposed to represent our interests, not their own. It's certainly not in my interest for them to try and usurp each others duties and responsibilities. This stuff is just out-of-control and quite simply embarrassing.

Rather than going through each section of this ordinance, I'll just highlight a couple of thingies that concern me the most.

First and foremost, is Section 2-29.9(B) - 'The Mayor shall select the Chief of Police. In the event that a promotion to Chief of Police must take place in the final year of the Mayor's term, the Committee as described in 2-29.5(f)3 shall select the Chief of Police.'

And here's what 2-29.5(f)3 reads:

'In the selection of candidates to the rank of Sergeant the Mayor shall utilize the 'rule of three'. The three ranking candidates from the list established above shall be interviewed by the Mayor, the Chief of Police, or their designees, and a Retired Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey (hereinafter 'The Committee'). The Retired Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey shall be chosen by the Township Council. A reasonable fee may be paid to the Retired Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey. In the event a Retired Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey cannot be retained, the Township Council shall select a qualified replacement. At the time of the interview the candidate's personnel file shall be reviewed. The Committee shall select from the 3 candidates interviewed.

Really?!? So, the Mayor can no longer pick the Chief of Police - it has to be done by the 'Committee' - majority rules too. Doesn't it strike anyone how embarrassing this thing is? The Council thinks the Mayor shouldn't decide who should be Chief of Police so they want to form a Committee. A Committee that's made up of an outsider who's going to read three files and decide which of the three files is the best?!?  Aren't there more thingies that need to be considered than just what's in a person's file?

Further, I like Chief Bryan, always did - but is it really his or any other Chief's place to have a vote on who the next Chief is going to be, if that circumstance ever arose? No doubt, their opinion should be heard and considered but certainly not weighed equally on a majority-vote based decision.

This majority 'rule of three' is silly and just an attempt to usurp the responsibility and duty of the Mayor.

Finally, just one other section for now;
Section 2-29.2(7) on Entry level Criteria Established - 'Shall possess a minimum of sixty (60) credits from and accredited college or university. In lieu of the minimum of sixty (60) college credit requirement, an applicant (i) shall have completed two (2) years of active military service with an honorable discharge; or, (ii) shall be PTC (New Jersey Police Training Commission) certified and have been a police officer in good standing for a period of one (1) year.

Now, when you compare this with Section 2-29.3 Entry Level Officers, you'll find there appears to be an inconsistency in Option 1 and 2 in 2-29.3 (B) on the hiring procedures.

Anyhoo, there's more but I'm boring myself with this silliness. So, looks like the Edison Council will pass this ordinance and we'll most likely go through the veto and veto-override process and we'll have another local law on the books that won't be enforced. And how does that address the problems much less fix them?

Just kind of think you can't legislate yourself somebody else's job! The Mayor should do her job and the Council should do their job - and the voters will decide who is or isn't doing their job.









Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Just in passing - saw the Sentinel piece on Funding for Edison Schools

Just saw the above-mentioned piece, which you can read here. Not for nothing but what caught my eye was the rhetoric all around these grants. Normally, I wouldn't have said anything about this but we're talking about grants of $64,000 on a budget of some $213 million! Hold the press!!

Really?!?

A $10,000 grant, which will be allocated for staff salaries, for the Italian language program?

Now seriously, I'd be the last one to criticize teaching the Italian language but I always thought the focus and priority should be on helping those kids that really need our help - if the last NJ ASK scores are any indication (you can see what I mean in the December 9 post).

Now, I do see a grant for $52,490 for improving achievement levels in English, language arts and mathematics for students with disabilities. That's good but I hope there's more being done to help all our students who need the help.

"Superintendent of Schools Richard O'Malley said the grant money will be focused on two groups - African-Americans and students with disabilities at John Adams Middle school. The funds will provide professional development for the staff; technology to help student achievement; and a 'period zero' before and after school for areas in which students need assistance."

Really?!? That's good but what about Thomas Jefferson??


Anyhoo, let's hope that this year's scores are better than last year's and all this rhetoric results in some meaningful improvement in this school district for $213 million.



Saturday, July 27, 2013

Top 10 'New Rules' (with apologies to Bill Maher) for the Edison Council!

10. No Council Member can vote on an ordinance or resolution in the last year of their term, whether they seek re-election or not. Their votes will be cast by a retired Board of Education member, effective immediately.

9. All new hires can apply for any position in the township without any relevant qualifications or experience, effectively immediately.

8. All introduced council ordinances must be pre-approved by an apolitical person - the EDO Campaign Manager.

7. All Council sub-committees must have at least 1 citizen on it - from Metuchen.

6. Education is a No..No for any position in the township until such time as the Board of Education lets us back in.

5. Any Council Member who abstains on a vote must contribute $1 to Charlie Tomaro's  'I do more than any other Council Member' Abstention Fund.

4. Edison's 'Strong Mayor, Weak Council' form of government will cease to exist as soon as we move the Mayor's office to the basement.

3. All references to the word 'Politics' will be stricken from the EDO's by-laws, effective immediately.

2. All Council Members will now be addressed as Mayoral Members of the Edison Township Council, effective immediately.

1. When describing what happens when abnormal politics becomes the norm in a town, the rest of the state shall cease and desist from laughing and referring to it as 'The Edison Way', effectively immediately.

Edison Council's proposed amendment to police policy changes - looks transparent to me!?!

Saw the piece in the HNT here on the proposed Council amended police policy changes. Looks like it's going to get Council approval at the next meeting in August, so says Councilman Alvaro 'KaraMia" Gomez.

While I appreciate the paper covering the Council's amendment, it's always nice to see what it is they're talking about. So, I went to the town's website and looked at Wednesday's agenda where it was introduced - and this is what I saw:

Doesn't get any more clear than this. Guess it's on a need to see basis and we, the residents,  don't need to see it here in Downtown Edison. 

So, while the Council wants to play Mayor and the Mayor wants to ignore the Council, it's hard not to equate the political silliness going on in this town to this:

'Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." Groucho Marx

But hey, at least we're comforted in the knowledge that the Council is trying to take the 'politics' out of politics.

Oh boy...where hypocrisy rises to arrogance!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Edison Twsp. 2013 Property Tax Bills are Out!

Well, the 2013 Final/2014 Preliminary Tax Bills are out here in Downtown Edison. The total property tax rate for 2013 (includes Muni, County & School taxes) is $4.776 per hundred, which is up 4.7 Cents or 1% over last year's $4.729.

Of that 4.7 Cent increase - 3.6 Cents is due to the School Tax, 1.3 Cents is due to the County Taxes and the Muni had a reduction of 2/10's of a Cent.

So, if you live in that imaginary home assessed at $176,700, then your taxes will go up $83.05 in 2013, which consists of $63.61 for the School Tax, $22.97 for the County Taxes and a reduction of $3.53 for the Muni Taxes.

In other words, 76.6% of your tax increase is due to the School Tax, 27.7% due to the County Taxes and a reduction of 4.3% for the Muni taxes.

If you don't live in that imaginary home assessed at $176,700 - then take you home's assessed value divided by 100 and multiply that by .047 to get your total property tax increase for 2013 and .036, .013 and -.002 to get the portion attributable to the School tax, County Taxes and Muni Taxes, respectively.

Here's the breakdown-a-mundo by taxing entity:


Anyhoo, welcome to another year of Board of Mythomania driven tax increases here in Downtown Edison.

PS - I added a short demo explaining how the change in the tax rate works. You can find it here.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Really Councilman Alvaro 'KaraMia" Gomez - and this is helpful...How!?!

Just saw the piece in the SL - 'Edison councilman accuses mayor of political police promotions' here. Just typical of what goes on here in Downtown Edison.

You know, someone once quipped 'First you fix the problem, then you fix the blame.' Seems Karabinchak's Council side-kick is happy to take his turn at casting stones in this silly season.

Can you believe that one Edison politician is claiming another Edison Politician did something 'Political.' Shocking, isn't it?!?

Here's a couple of random thoughts; (1) someone give Senor Gomez some cheese to go with that Whine and, (2) serious problems need serious people to solve - and he's not on my comfort list of people to do it.

Anyhoo, makes you proud to be a Dem here in Downtown Edison, doesn't it?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Really - Russomanno out front for the Local Dem Party?!?

Just saw the piece in today's Star Ledger 'Campaign manager for Edison Dems questions mayor's ban on police donations.'

Maybe it's me but is Senor Russomanno now the spokesperson for the EDO?

Is his sage advice on the legality of banning police contributions in Downtown Edison really the Local Party's position? If so, where are the party leaders?

Perhaps most concerning is this line - 'It's not the money or the in-kind support a politician receives it's the conduct of those writing and receiving the money or support. No legislation or executive order can bind a person to morality.'

Really, it's not about the money - it's about the morality?!? What town does he live in?

Anyhoo, whether you're for or against this ban, one thing is for sure - hypocrisy knows no limit here in this one-party town.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Edison Council Follies - the disingenuous debate!?!

You know, it never ceases to amaze me how disrespectfully the all Dem-Council treats the residents and taxpayers here in Downtown Edison. Last night, I tried to watch some of Monday's Agenda meeting - hoping to hear about the Council Amendment to the $118.2 million Municipal Budget for 2013.

Not for nothing but it's already June and half the year is already over - if they wait any longer, we won't need a budget, we'll have the actual results! That's a tad bit sad but what did they say about their amendment to 2013 Budget?

Zilch, Nada, Nothing! It was listed on the agenda but they said nothing about it. Guess you had to be there on Monday to know what they did.

Anyhoo, we were treated to a 'Spirited Debate' on Council's role and responsibility for approving Library Board contracts. Apparently, Rob "March on Trenton" Karabinchak and his side-kick Alvaro "KaraMia" Gomez took exception to having to approve such a Library Board approved contract.

Senor Karabinchak went so far as to say he was pulling the resolution until he can get to the bottom of the matter. You Go Senor Karabinchak. And Senor Gomez, jumped right in arguing the process limits the Council's responsibility. It's all about the process, so they say.

So, is it that the Council doesn't know their own procedures or are they being asked to approve something they're not responsible for approving? Either way, it's all blah! blah!

Seems what they left out of their spirited debate is this tad bit of info - that the contract in question is for an award by the Library Board (not to exceed $6,300) for Lawn Services to Senor Anthony Russomanno.

You remember him, the campaign manager to the Local Dems here in Downtown Edison.

So, here's two things that should be done with this substance-lacking debate:

1. The Council Clerk should stash a bag full of Snickers on the dais for Karabinchak for every time he starts to lose an argument, and

2. The Council should stop with all the nonsense and just tell the residents who this contract was awarded to - whether they approve it or not.

Finally, it's hard to take Karabinchak & Gomez seriously - these are the same two people who adamantly said there was No Muni tax increase in 2011, when the tax bills were out and we already paid half the year's tax increase.

Oh yeah, guess who wasn't at that meeting for this 'Spirited Debate' - the Clerk, Senor Council Member Wayne Mascola (the Council Liaison to the Library Board) and Senor Tom Lankey (Chairman of the Council's Finance Committee). Guess it wasn't important that they try and make this meeting to engage in the debate. PS - I just heard why Council Member Mascola was not at the meeting. I wish him well and had I known, I wouldn't of included him above.

Don't you like being a Dem here in Downtown Edison and watching this stuff?

But hey, he's back:


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

2013 Edison Property Tax Bills!

Well, it's almost time for the 2013 Calendar Year Property Tax Bills to be showing up in a neighborhood near you here in Downtown Edison. Just a reminder of Your 2012 Calendar Year Tax Bill. This was what was on the 2012 Final/2013 Preliminary Tax Bill:



Just enter your Assessed Value and any Deductions above, if applicable, and you'll see what your tax bill looked like for the Calendar Year 2012. Remember this is what was billed so it shows the 3rd & 4th Qtr. for 2012 (with the tax increase) and the 1st & 2nd Qtr. for 2013, which is just one-half of Your 2012 Total Net Tax.

If you want to know what Your property tax increase was in 2012 - just subtract the 'Balance of the 2012 Tax' from the line that reads 'Less: 2012 Prev. Billed' since all changes in tax rate are reflected in the 3rd & 4th Qtr's. of the Calendar Year. This is because the 'Less: Prev. Billed' is just one-half of Your Last Year's Total Net Tax.

Anyhoo, that's how it works. If you want to see a video on how Your Tax Bill works, go here.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Your 2013 Edison School Taxes!

Well, no matter how hard I tried, just couldn't get that humongous Edison Township Council Cut to the School District's $213.9 million 'Bloated Pot of Money' called a school budget - to show up on the chart! Enter Yours and see if you have better luck seeing the chicken pop-up!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Edison Council cuts $900k off of $189,518,861 School Tax Levy!?!

Oh my, how's the Edison Board of Mythomania ever going to survive now?? So, let's see..with Out-of-Control Spending increases over the last 3 years of some $15.2 million, with a 22-Cent increase in the School Tax Rate or some 8.8% even after 'Repurposing' millions of taxpayer relief money - all they could find to cut was $900,000. That's not even 1/2 of 1% of the School Tax Levy. That minuscule amount gets lost in the rounding.

So, let's see some more..the Voter Rejected School Budget had a School Tax Rate of $2.710 and this Council Cut brought it down to $2.704 for a whopping reduction of .006. If you live in that imaginary home assessed at $176,700, then the Voter Rejected tax increase of $75 is now $64 - for a humongous reduction in the School Tax increase of $11. Where will you spend it all?

And you thought when you rejected this $213.9 million 'Bloated Pot of Money' they call a School Budget that your school tax bill would go down and not just get some insignificant reduction in the school tax increase. Unlucky for us!!

If you're a resident or taxpayer in Downtown Edison, recognize that you've been taken to the cleaners by the Board of Mythomania and the Edison Council did nothing to stop it. If fact, they turned this whole school budget process, including the ridiculous school budget meeting tonight, into a joke. Unfortunately, the joke's on us.

Shame on all of them for putting the interests of a few over the needs on the many here in Downtown Edison.

Guess it's true - we get the kind of government we deserve!

Here's the Big Council Cut:
But hey, at least we're comforted in the knowledge that the Edison Township Council looks at things with eyes wide shut! Convenient, isn't it?



Monday, May 13, 2013

Edison Voter Rejected School Budget - 'Repurpose' $9.5m back to taxpayers

It's all about Out-of-Control $pending funded mainly with hoarded taxpayer relief money. Any Edison Council Cut less than $5.9 million will be treating the residents/taxpayers here in Downtown Edison with the same disrespect that the Board of Mythomania does with these 'Bloated Pots of Money' they call school budgets.
What Repurposing $5.9 million back to the taxpayers does:
What Repurposing $9.5 million back to the taxpayers does:
Anyhoo, this is being kind to my friends over there on Mythomania Lane.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Calculator - Edison $213.9m Defeated School Budget

As I understand it, the Edison Council is still scheduled to hold a public meeting on the $213.9 million Voted Rejected School Budget for 2013-14 on Wednesday, May 15th.

Here's a Quick Way to see what Cuts, if any, they make mean to You! 
Just enter the amount of the Cut and Your home's assessed value.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Defeated Edison School Budget and the Edison Council

Well, as you can see from the April 23 & 24 posts, you can color me skeptical (probably more realistically - downright cynical) that the Edison Council will do what the residents wanted when they voted down this $213.9 million Out-of-Control School Budget for 2013-14, which was to rein in $pending and actually reduce school tax bills - not come back with a nominal reduction in the proposed school tax increase.

Now, I don't come to this conclusion lightly in this election year. The Edison Council has sent a clear message by appointing Rob 'March on Trenton' Karabinchak to the sub-committee reviewing the school budget with a proposed and resident rejected School tax levy of $189.5 million. Not for nothing but he's the only one of the three members on the Edison Council's Finance Committee who doesn't have a financial background. Guess the other two are too busy chasing down that No tax increase Municipal Budget for 2013 with a proposed Municipal tax levy of $78.2 million.

Be that as it may, it might be helpful to know what was sent over to the Edison Council for their review of the 2013-14 School Budget. I referred to it in a previous post and it's affectionately known as the 'Defeated Budget Book.' It comes in a big binder that, I'm guessing, is about 3 inches thick. 

You can see the Table of Contents below and it has 15 sections.

Just some things of interest:

  • Election Results - The official election results had the final budget vote as 2,877 Yes (48.7%) and 3,018 No (51.3%). Of the 55,041 registered voters, 6,325 cast votes or some 11.5%. Of those who showed up at the polls in the 33 school districts to vote, the turn-out ranged from 1.8% to 17.7%. Of the 6,325 votes cast - 420 or 6.6% didn't vote on the school budget.
  • Post Election Calendar - this is where all the dates are shown from the April 16 Election Day through the appeal process for any Council Cuts. Most significant are when the Board of Mythomnia must turn over the proposed school budget to the Edison Council - which must be within two days following certification of the election results (I understand that this was turned over to the Edison Council on April 22) and the other is May 20 - last day for the Edison Council to certify the school tax levy, after reviewing the budget with the Board of Mythomania.
  • Staff & Salary Lists - this list shows 1,987 employees with salary of $126,901,287, longevity of $1,695,884, other extra pay of $1,785,450 for total salaries of $130,382,621
  • Negotiated Contracts - this includes the Professional staff (7/1/11-6/30/14), the Non-Professional staff (6/1/11-6/30/14, Principals & Supervisors (7/1/12-6/30/15), Custodians & Maintenance (7/1/09-6/30/12) and the Facilities, Maintenance & Mgt. Assoc. (7/1/09-6/30/12)

Anyhoo, it is what it is here in Downtown Edison and last I heard - the Edison Council has scheduled a public meeting on the School Budget on Wednesday, May 15 at 6:00PM in the Council chambers.

Here's the Table of Contents:

Here's the Official Election Results:

Finally, here's the Summary of the Staff & Salary List:

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Edison 2013 Muni Budget - introduced at last night's meeting?!?

Well, last night the Edison Township Council introduced the 2013 Municipal Budget without any fanfare or without anything. They just opened it up for public discussion. Now, maybe it's me but you think they could of given a simple summary of where the Municipal Budget stands - you know, like what are the appropriations, revenues and local tax levy, the muni-tax rate and how did those items change from last year?? Did the muni-tax rate go up, down or stay the same?? Something, anything to give a basic framework to the residents and taxpayers.

Nah! Just ask your questions. That works, I guess, if you have a copy of the Municipal Budget at the meeting to look and to ask questions from. What a way to Not inform people who showed up for the meeting and those who will watch it later about the Introduced Municipal Budget for 2013!

Here's a Summary of the Municipal Budget for 2013:

The only thing I've seen on this Municipal Budget is a piece in the Sentinel here.

Now, apparently, the Council will be amending this Municipal Budget and have given out these dates:
April 24 - Introduced Municipal Budget (last night's meeting)

  • May 1 - Public Meeting with the department heads
  • May 8 - Amended Municipal Budget will be released
  • May 22 - Public Meeting on the Amendment to the Municipal Budget
Anyhoo, don't you just get a kick out of how Politics in Downtown Edison always seem to benefit the few at the expense of the many!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Rob "March on Trenton' Karabinchak to Review School's Defeated Budget?!?

Really, What, Seriously, You for real, Are you kidding me - let's see, what else,

DUH!

Kind of sums up where I come down on the Edison Council appointing Rob 'March on Trenton' Karabinchak to the sub-committee to review the $213.9 million voter rejected school budget for 2013-14.

Here's a guy who sat on the Council dais and adamantly stated there was No Municipal tax increase in 2011 when there was a 2.9-Cent increase or 2.7%  - and the tax bills were already out and we already paid half the year's tax increase.

If he didn't even know what was in his own budget, how does that qualify him to go after the Big $ on the School side of town?

Isn't that like sending David up against Goliath - without a slingshot?

Well, I just got done in a previous post saying I still had high hopes that the Council would do the right thing for the residents here in Downtown Edison with this defeated school budget. Geez, what was I thinking?!?

Good choice by the Edison Council. There goes those hopes!

Anyhoo, at least we're comforted in the knowledge that he can bring the many faces he has to the negotiation table with the Board of Mythomania.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Yet another Political 'hot potato' - the Edison Defeated School Budget for 2013-14!

While we wait to see how this year's $213.9 million Defeated School Budget plays out, I continue to hold out hope that an Edison Council will actually respect the wishes of the voters after the school budget was rejected at the polls.

Clearly, I'm not a supporter of this school budget for all the reasons you can read about in this blog. This budget (like all their budgets) is nothing more that an Uncontrolled and Out-of-Control, Bloated $pending Pot of Money that grows exponentially every year and moves around more than Councilman Rob 'March on Trenton' Karabinchak looking for a home.

Uh..oh - there goes a vote!

Having said that about this school budget - I also recognize that these council reviews aren't a search for the truth on what needs to be done for the residents and taxpayers but rather a search to do the least amount of political damage and hence, a token slap on the wrist that gets lost in the school budget rounding, if even that.

After all, in Downtown Edison, history dictates that one-hand washes the other and both hands pick your pocket - when the Edison Council meets up with one of the Board of Mythomania's defeated school budgets. Don't think so? Just look at the last few 'Council Cuts' (below) to  Defeated School Budgets - every one of them still came with school tax increase, after the 'Council Cut.' More like paper cuts than real cuts!

So, I remind my friends on the Edison Council - when voters reject a school tax levy, their intent is to rein in $pending and actually reduce tax bills - not come back with a nominal reduction in the proposed school tax increase.

Real $pending Cuts should result when voters reject the school's proposed tax levy.

Here's some history of the school tax rate with the most recent voter rejected budgets:
And, if you're like me - here's a picture of those school tax rates with a "Staffing Shell Game' background - a disconcerting & disrespectful practice that continues on today:

Anyhoo, I'm hoping that this is the year that the Edison Council steps up to the plate and respects the wishes of the residents and puts an end to the Out-of-Control $pending going on over there on Mythomania Lane.

Hey, we all can hope, can't we?!?




Saturday, April 20, 2013

You know it's the Silly Season when..

Super Dr. Richard 'Build the Trust" O'Malley decided to jump the gun and send a not so subtle message to the Edison Township Council in the SL article below before they had a chance to review the School District's $213.9 million Defeated School Budget - so here's another message for my friends on the Council.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Super O'Malley has spoken on Defeated School Budget - Council can go home now!?!

Just saw the piece in the Star-Ledger regarding the school budgets voted down in Belleville, Edison and North Bergen - you can see it here.

Well, looks like Super Dr. Richard 'Build the Trust' O'Malley doesn't think the Council will do anything substantial with that $213.9 million Bloated Pot of Money they (now) call Defeated School Budget for 2013-14.

Guess the Edison Township Council can put their pencils away and go back to their Municipal Budget for 2013 of $118.2 million with no property tax increase.

Here's some of the piece:
"I’m upset that the budget wasn’t passed because we presented a strong financial plan for education," Edison Superintendent Richard O’Malley said. "But voters responded and we have to adjust. They’re the ones who pay for the costs of education in Edison Township."

The budget Edison voters rejected included a 1.5 percent tax levy increase — well below the cap.
When voters reject a budget, the spending plan is reviewed by the town’s governing body, which can make cuts or leave the budget intact.

O’Malley said he does not expect Edison’s town council to impose deep cuts on the school budget.

"I can’t speak for the council, but I expect they’ll be reasonable. They’ve always been supportive of the district," O’Malley said. "We put together a budget we felt was the strongest spending plan, so any cuts, if there are cuts, will have an impact."

Just two thingies; Senor O'Malley is the last person I would look to for anything that has to do with School District budgets, numbers or their presentation and Poor test scores and Out-of-Control $pending Funded by and Hidden behind Re-purposed Tax Relief money hardly constitutes a strong financial plan.

Uh..just for the heck of it - the Edison Council should take a peek at that $213.9 million School Budget and see what they find. You know, just for a laugh - just like Senor O'Malley's comments above.

But hey, at least we're comforted in the knowledge that while Senor O'Malley can't speak for the council, he certainly has no problem telling them what he expects.

Anyhoo, this is an election year here in Downtown Edison - so let's see who steps up to the plate and respects the wishes of the residents by rejecting this budget and cuts this school tax levy substantially. You know, just like the School Board deceptively increased $pending substantially on the backs of the residents and taxpayers.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Board of Mythomania's Defeated School Budget - on to the Edison Council!

Well, the residents rejected the Board of Mythomania's $213.9 million Out-of-Control $pending Nightmare called a School Budget for 2013-14. That's good - but you really have to scratch your head when those responsible for this taxpayer abuse get re-elected! Who do you think is responsible for this School Budget? But I digress, so let's move on.

Since the School Budget was rejected, it now goes over to the Edison Council for review. The School Board has 2 days from certification of the election results to provide them with a 'Defeated Budget Package' (see below) and no later than April 24, 2013. Then, the two bodies get together and review the School Budget. It is now the Edison Council's responsibility to certify the School tax levy (amount of money necessary for school purposes to be raised by taxes for the ensuing school year).

Now, the Edison Council can do any number of things here. They can respect the residents' rejection of this School Budget and cut the School tax levy. They can do nothing and leave it as is or they could actually raise the school tax levy although that is not likely.

Either way, the School tax levy has be certified no later than May 20, 2013.

With respect to the 'Defeated Budget Package' that is provided to the Edison Council, there's a whole list of thingies required. Here's some of the thingies for their light reading:
  • It includes a line-item School Budget including actual expenditures for the previous school year, actual budgeted amount for the current school year, proposed budgeted amount for the ensuing school year, and all the supporting documentation and narrative explanations.
  • Numbers of professional and nonprofessional staff during the current school year - together with reasons for any increase or decrease.
  • Employee and Labor contracts, etc.
  • Pupil enrollment by grade
  • Salary schedules by employee - current and budget year account and salary for all employees.
  • Explanation of any need for any capital projects and or deposits into capital reserves.
  • Applicable portions of the Taxpayers Guide to Education Spending.
  • Any other documentation deemed necessary.
Anyhoo, let's hope the Edison Council does what's right for the residents and taxpayers here in Downtown Edison.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Board of Education Election - April 16, 2013

Here's yesterday's preliminary results from the Township Clerk's Office. The budget was defeated by a vote of 3,020 to 2,852. The incumbents won re-election.

This Excel file is by District - so, if anyone wants it, just drop me a note and you're welcome to it or you can go here to see the votes by district.

Edison School Board Election Results

Haven't seen anything published yet but I'm told that the $213.9 million School Budget was Defeated and the Incumbents re-elected.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Edison School Board Election today

Well, today's the day to get out and make your voice heard. If you don't think it's important - then think about this tad bit of info.

It's $213.9 million and comes with another tax increase taking the School Tax Rate up to $2.710 from last year's $2.668.

For Your Calendar Year 2012 Property Taxes - the School Tax represented 56% of your Total Property Tax Bill and 88% of Your Property Tax Increase in 2012.

Vote today!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Edison School Board Election - Tomorrow!

Well, tomorrow is the School Board election here in Downtown Edison and the polls are open from 12 noon to 9:00PM.

Whichever way you come down on the $213.9 million school budget for 2013-14 or the six candidates vying for the three open seats, please Vote!

Make your voice heard - for it is those who show up to Vote - Decide!

Just a FYI - when looking at the Public Question on the ballot, recognize that the $189,518,861 you're being asked to approve represents the Fiscal Year Tax Levy (what you'll be taxed on) on the $213,869,755 Spending in the 2013-14 budget, if approved.

VOTE!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Board of Mythomania's $213.9 million School Budget - Vote NO!!

Geez, 'Maintaining the Balance Between Quality Education & Fiscal Responsibility.'
Really?!?

Here's another way to look at it:

Poor Test Scores and
Out of Control $pending Funded by and Hidden Behind
Re-purposed Tax Relief Money!

Vote No on April 16.

Friday, April 12, 2013

'We work well together' - so say the Edison BoE Incumbents!?!

You know, for once, I agree with them - and that's why You should Vote these taxpayer un-friendly incumbents out on April 16.

Now, in all fairness, I do think that Lori Bonderowitz has made an effort to look out for the taxpayers, especially with the labor contracts, and she will get my vote but there's no doubt that we need to break up Maeroff's silent majority board.

It's time to get this School Board under control and Stop the Out-of-Control $pending going on over there on Mythomania Lane.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

'Better Schools - Better Future' - Candidate slate

I just received the flyer below from the Candidates challenging the incumbents for the 3 open spots on the Edison Board of Education on April 16. Apparently, Messrs. Patil, Dharayan & Szilagyi are running on one ticket under the above name - 'Better Schools - Better Future.'

Now, in all fairness, since I posted a flyer from the incumbents (Bonderowitz, Ward & Iyer) with their message in this blog, I'm posting their flyer too below.

Don't know and haven't yet met Messrs. Patil & Dharayan and look forward to meeting and hearing from them, as well as all the candidates, at tomorrow night's Candidate Night.

Here's the front of their flyer:


And here's the back of their flyer:


If at all possible, you should try and make Candidates Night tomorrow night at 7:00PM. It's important to meet and hear from all the Candidates to help make an informed decision on April 16.

Edison BoE Candidate (A-2) - Ajay V. Patil

My apologies to Mr. Patil for misspelling his last name in this blog. It's Patil not Patel. Thank you for correcting my mistake Mr. Patil.

Beware the 'Perils' of Perilstein - some more Kisses & Hugs!

Well, here we go again - some more Kisses & Hugs for the Edison Board of Mythomania! Just saw the piece by former Council Member Melissa Perilstein and Maeroff & Co. back room supporter. You can read it here.

Now, once again, Ms. Perilstein or anyone else for that matter can support whomever they like but a bit of fair disclosure would be helpful. She's on their 'Foundation' Committee and their double-secret effort to sell the EHS alumni directory.

While I recognize that this is Downtown Edison and the supporters of  Maeroff and his 'Silent Majority' Board think if you keep repeating something - it'll somehow be true! This whole thing about the 2% is just mis-leading and the drop in the tax base is even better. She says they kept it 2% even with the drop in the tax base - yeah, they did, by passing the shortfall in ratables on to US!

Seriously, take a look at the previous post where you can see what actually happened with their Out-of-Control $pending and how they actually kept the tax levy at 2% over the last 3 years. Don't be fooled. Don't let them disguise this Out-of-Control $pending spree financed with Your taxpayer relief money - with better, smarter & more efficient $pending.

It's simple - they used all that hoarded taxpayer relief money to keep the tax levy at 2% while increasing $pending over $15 million over the last 3 years. Yet, they want you to believe that they did something to get $pending and taxes under control.
They Didn't!!

Fiscally responsible - don't think so. More like Fiscal Chicanery & Budget Gimmickry! This Board has got to be most disingenuous Board that I've ever seen. Their budgets are nothing more than uncontrolled big pots of money that they spend anyway they want and don't report back to you on and their budget presentations nothing more that half-truths and mis-leading comments about what's in them. They're sticking it to the residents/taxpayers big time to fund their excesses.

So, no matter how many supporters they bring out with their same message, it's still Not true. It's an Out-of-Control $pending Nightmare over there on Mythomania Lane and they're hoping that you don't pay attention and actually look at what's in their budgets.

There's a reason I refer to them as the Board of Mythomania - and I'm not on anybody's side like Ms. Perilstein.

Anyhoo, as for the 3 open seats, vote for who you want but don't vote for the incumbents based on Ms. Perilstein's belief in their fiscal responsibility - there isn't any by this Board. If there were, you'd of seen less budget gimmickry and explanation and a School Tax Rate sitting where it should be.

Hey, if they can't tell you the truth about what they did in the face of reality - why would you trust them or anything they put before you? You shouldn't!

You know, we really need to get away from this Maeroff & Co. & supporters vs. the big bad Local Dems here in Downtown Edison. There needs to be more focus on being fair to all the stakeholders and less political maneuvering at the taxpayers expense.

What politicians call a clever mis-direction of the truth to achieve a greater good - others simply call a lie. Don't fall for it.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Maeroff's buddy patting him on the back - Letter to Editor

Just read this letter to the editor  by Aimee Szilagyi Corso in the HNT today here. Now, I don't have a problem with her supporting Board of Mythomania Prez. Maeroff or encouraging you to support the $213.8 'Pot of Money' called a School Budget for 2013-14. It would of been nice if she identified herself as a former board member but what the hey.

Seriously, could she be any more off base with her rhetoric or more outrageous with her 'Solomon-like comments or 'The road to excellence is not always a straight line or understood by all.' Really, that's good for a chuckle. Of course, she's entitled to her own view but it would of been nice is she backed up her comments with something more than just words since their budgets tell a different story, which this Maeroff Board goes out of their way NOT to tell you.

Anyhoo, I consider myself a friend of Maeroff too so here's another way to look at it. For the last 3 years, they increased $pending by 15.2 million, the Calendar Year tax Levy by 7.7 million and the School Tax by 22-Cents or some 8.8% bringing the School Tax Rate up to $2.71 per hundred in this 2013-14 Budget. And that's after they Re-purposed some 7 million last year in Taxpayer Relief Money and used it increase $pending - and threw in an extra couple of million they stashed away in the capital reserves.

Maybe it's me, but how is Solomon-like when you just Re-purpose hoarded taxpayer relief money to fund additional $pending to keep the tax levy at 2%?

It's an Out-of-Control $pending Nightmare going on over there on Mythomania Lane.

Unfortunately, I'm one of those people who does understand what they're doing over there and I'm telling you to Vote this Budget Down on April 16.

We need to Stop the Uncontrolled $pending and make them return all that taxpayer-relief money they used to increase $pending over the last 3 years.

Fairy tales are nice but don't fall for it.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Top 10 Reasons

why you gotta like the Edison Board of Mythomania using 'the Kids' in their Get out the Vote Campaign:

10. Because Super Dr. Richard 'Build the Trust' O'Malley wanted to give 'the Kids' a Civics lesson.

9. Because it's far easier to sell an Out-of-Control $pending Nightmare to 'the Kids' than it is to the Residents.

8. Because 'the Kids' could really spare some time from their classroom work to make a video for the Board of Mythomania.

7. Because it's important to get 'the Kids' involved early in the wonderful world of Politics in Downtown Edison.

6. Because Super O'Malley likes directing 'Edison is' school videos since he likes Edison so much.

5. Because the Maeroff Board has moved on from Mis-informing the 'Captive Audience' to Mis-using 'the Kids.'

4. Because the Maeroff Board believes the best people to help sell their Bloated School Budgets are those that don't even know what's in it.

3. Because Maeroff and his 'Silent Majority' Board relinquished control to Super O'Malley a long time ago and they're afraid of him.

2. Because Maeroff likes hiding behind Un-plausible deniability.

1. Because 'Edison is' what we make it and using 'the Kids' to advance a political agenda is more than just a tad bit Shameful!



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Edison is Me too - EdisonBOE You Tube Video - Get out the Vote?!?

Well, nothing surprises me anymore here in Downtown Edison but I really have to say that using Kids in a You Tube Video to get out the vote for the April 16 BoE Election is a tad bit tacky. You can see it here.

Now, that's not to say that the Board of Mythomania isn't entitled to have their own 'Get out the Vote' campaign - they are. What's problematic about this is they're using Kids to hype the various programs in the schools and I'm not sure they even realize they're being used to 'Get out the Vote.' And, even if they do realize it, do they understand that they're being used to get a Yes Vote? Certainly, they're not doing this to get a No Vote - are they?

Since this whole thing is about Kids saying Edison is this and Edison is that with a Vote sign hanging over their heads - did the parents of all these Kids all agree to participate?

You know, it's one thing for the ETEA to put up Yes signs on the school budget but quite another to use the Kids to 'Get out the Vote.'

Anyhoo, Edison is Me Too - and My Me part finds this part of the Board of Mythomania's 'Get out the Vote' Campaign to be a whole lot tacky!

But hey, at least we're comforted in the knowledge that the Kids could find the time to do this video.

Edison BoE Incumbent Flyer - Curriculum Vitae-a-Mundo!?!

You know, with the silly season upon us, it's funny that the Edison Board of Mythomania incumbents are the first out of the blocks with their campaign literature. As a general rule here in Downtown Edison, these incumbent campaign flyers are usually loaded with outlandish claims of what they've done for us during their last term. Hey, who could forget Council Member Rob 'March on Trenton' Karabinchak and his claims of pinching every penny for us here in Downtown Edison!?! What a guy!

But I digress, so lets move on. So, you can imagine my surprise when someone left this BoE flyer in my door yesterday. It's a curriculum vitae of all the incumbents with no indication of what they've done and accomplished over their individual terms! Seriously now, they have nothing to say to the residents about what they did for the last three years? Oh wait, I forgot - they're part of the 'Silent Majority.' Unbelievable!

We're supposed to vote for these people because they're on certain committees, knowing where they work or what degrees they have? Isn't that what you do when you're trying to get on the board for the first time and not after your on and have a record? Nothing to say about your record?

Further, they claim this - 'Maintaining the Balance Between Quality Education & Fiscal Sustainability.' Not for nothing, but what the heck does that mean?!? How do you define 'quality education' - certainly not from the NJ ASK scores and what is 'Fiscal Sustainability' - renegotiate some labor contracts and just turn around and $pend the money somewhere else?

Finally, 'Keep the Focus on Educational Excellence' - once again, what the heck does that mean?!? How do you define 'educational excellence' - hire additional unbudgeted staffing and hide it from the residents in the budgets you're asking the residents to approve?

Now, with all due respect, Fiscal Responsibility, Accountability and Integrity & Independence are all nice words but don't you find it odd that not one of them points to a single thing they did while on the board that supports these words they're using?

Anyhoo, this campaign flyer is nice & glossy and probably cost a few bucks to print. Too bad there's nothing on it that gives you a single reason to vote for these incumbents again - unless of course, you like curriculum vitae as opposed to a proven record of performance in your board members. If they won't tell you what they're accomplished - why would you vote for them? What are we in the 'Trust Me' mode - I can't tell you what I did but vote for me anyway so I can do it again!?!

Here's their campaign flyer:

PS - please don't leave any more campaign flyers at my door. The less I see, the less I'll have to say.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Today's Sentinel - Edison school board sends $213.8m budget to voters

Well, here we go again with Board of Mythomania Prez. Gene Maeroff & his 'Silent Majority' of board members.

'The 2013-14 budget is now in the hands of the voters' so reads the piece you can see here.

Ok, if so, then You should laugh and then kick this $213.8m Out-of-Control $pending 'Pot of Money' called a budget to the curb and
Vote NO!
You can see my take on this budget in previous posts and what this budget will actually cost You but it's hard to read this piece and not comment on all the Blah..Blah and cherry-picking going on with Maeroff's take on this budget. I take it that Maeroff got some pointers from Super Dr. Richard 'Build the Trust' O'Malley's School of Budget Presentations.

So, let me start by saying that this Budget raises $pending (again) by $1.7m, has reduced aid of ($1.2m) and hence, an Increase in the Local Tax Levy of $2.9m. Now, think about this..how could aid go down when we received the same state aid as last year and actually got an extra $500k? It can't! They're just sticking us again with that $1.9m in Taxpayer Relief money that they used to increase $pending last year. Don't see any of that in this piece.

Next, those Local tax Levy numbers he's using of $186.6 for 2012-13 and $189.5m for 2013-14 are what you'll see on the Ballot - not what's in their budget. Look on page 2 of their budget and you'll see those numbers are $188.2m and $191.1m, respectively. The reason why there's a difference is because there's some previously approved debt that doesn't go on the ballot. That's a tad bit misleading since the Local tax rate is calculated off the $191.1m and not the $189.5m. Don't see that explained in this piece.

Moving on, here's where you'll find the most egregious and disingenuous comments by Maeroff. 

"It increases taxes." Maeroff said of the budget, 'but that's beyond our control." he then goes to say that $40 of the $75 tax increase is the result of Edison losing tax ratables. Further, he says 'People are having their properties reassessed and businesses are moving out," he said. 'People are paying higher taxes just to produce the same amount as previous years.' He goes on to say that the balance of the tax increase ($35) is related to the district's operating expenses.

Seriously now, who writes this stuff - 'beyond our control.' Well, the drop in ratables has been going on for the past few years and it's beyond the resident/taxpayers control too but we have to absorb it. What has the School Board done to lessen the burden? Did they look for ways to cut back to help the residents/taxpayers? 

No - they just continue $pending away and pass along the shortfall in ratables  on to us - just like they Re-purposed our tax relief money to $pending.

Yeah, 'people are paying higher taxes just to produce the same amount as last year' because they won't cut anything when ratables drop year after year. So, stinkie-poo on that one-sided rhetoric.

Next, we have the request for additional staff. He says they want to add 3 teachers and 4 library aides plus 1 other not mentioned for a total of 8 new staff in this budget.
But wait, he doesn't tell you that already added 7 Unbudgeted Heads to payroll in this current school year - that's 3 Guidance Counselors, 1 Secondary Supervisor, 1 Data System Analyst, 1 Nurse and 1 Lunch Aid. It's called the 'Staffing Shell Game', which you can also read about in a previous post and see how the Unbudgeted heads have grown to over 390 over the past few years.

So, why would you let them have 8 new positions when they're already added 7 Unbudgeted positions and aren't telling you about it in this budget that they're asking you to approve? You shouldn't. And wouldn't knowing that they've already added 7 new positions have an impact on your decision to give them 8 more? It would. Until they end this game of hide and seek, you shouldn't approve any new additions to staff.

Anyhoo, this is typical of this board, which is out of touch with reality and lacks any modicum of honest and open disclosure with the residents about what they're doing with these School Budgets and Your tax dollars.

You know, unless you wake up and smell the dandelions over there on Mythomania Lane and Stop handing them 'Big Pots of Money' to $pend at will and without any budget reporting or accountability to the residents/taxpayers of Downtown Edison, they will continue to hand you these disingenuous budget explanations and pick your pockets ad nauseam.

PS - You can also see Fred Wolke's letter on the school budget here in the same paper today.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

What's Up with Edison's 2013 Muni Budget - on a need to know basis?!?

Granted, the Edison Municipal Budget of $118.2 million dwarfs in comparison the Board of Mythomania's $213.9 million but it's still something we should know about since we're gonna pay for that too.

As far as I can see, the Administration turned the budget over to the Council a few weeks back. But I don't remember the Administration explaining anything to residents either before or after they turned it over to the Council. For that matter, neither has the Council said anything about what's in this budget, why and what it will cost us.

Seems like important stuff to know! So, I went up to the Clerk's office and wrote down some summary numbers of what the Administration turned over to the Council. Now, there were no explanations or messages included in what I looked at and it's difficult to just look at numbers without knowing the substance behind them. Also, somewhat disappointing is the fact that there's no Muni tax calculation page, which they use to have in the past that shows the ratables used and the resulting Tax Rate.

Here's what it looks like after adding the ratables:
Now, as you can see, the Muni tax rate in this 2013 budget is basically flat to last years.

Anyhoo, recognize that this is the silly season and we're once again soon going to be treated to wonderful world of Local Dem Party Internal Politics about who's the Best-est in Downtown Edison to lead us forward - but hey, is it necessary to keep the residents in the dark about the 2013 Muni budget?

Maeroff & Heelan Endorse the 3 incumbents - there's a shocker!

Just read their letter to the editor in today's HNT. Always get a kick out of them when they write letters to the editor. Of course, they're entitled to support anyone they want - No problema. They like Bonderowitz, Iyer & Ward - good for Maeroff & Heelan.

But seriously, some of their gratuitous comments about their accomplishments you have to take with a large dose of skepticism and the rest - with some actual cynicism.  As I commented on that piece - they write these thingies from over there on Mythomania Lane - where truth and reality have some difficulty intersecting.

Seriously, no one should excuse the shoddy treatment this board has heaped upon the residents and taxpayers here in Downtown Edison. From their lack of accountability & transparency to their deceptive and misleading budgets over the last 3 years - you need to wake up and smell the dandelions with this bunch! Re-electing them again will give you the same treatment you're getting now.

Until we get some people on the board who'll actually look out for the Resident/Taxpayers, the $pending under control, some transparency and accountability - you'd be foolish to give them any more money to add to that Big Pot of Money they call a budget.

Anyhoo, if reality is an important part of your life and you can't see why there's School Tax increases every year, then do yourself a big favor. Vote No on this $213.9 million 'Pot of Money' aka..school budget for 2013-14. Start by making them give back all that tax relief money they Re-purposed into $pending!

Yeah, they're independent all right - independent of the left out stakeholders, the Resident/Taxpayers who pay the bills.