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' 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.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Candidates Night - Edison BoE

Candidates Night is scheduled for Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at Woodrow Wilson Middle School at 7:00 PM. If you can, try and attend. There are six candidates vying for three seats on the board.

By Ballot Position:
1. Theresa E. Ward - incumbent
2. Ajay V. Patil
3. Veena Iyer - incumbent
4. Sarvesh Kumar Dharayan
5. John Szilagyi Jr.
6. Lori Bonderowitz - incumbent

Friday, March 15, 2013

School's 2013-14 'Pot of Money' - Feed Me!!

Well, at least the Board of Mythomania finally gave the public access to their double-secret 'Pot of Money' - aka School Budget for 2013-14. You can see it here.

Took a quick look at it and it's just another Big Bloated Pot of Money growing exponentially, again. It has Spending at $213.9 million, Other Anticipated Revenue at $22.8 million and a Local Tax Levy of $191.1 million. It has Spending increasing by $1.7 million, Other Anticipated Aid decreasing by $1.2 million and the Local Tax Levy increasing by $2.9 million - hence, another School Tax Increase for You and Me!

You can see what this budget does to Your School Taxes in the March 8 post below.

In this post, there are three things that stick out to me that require an immediate NO VOTE on this budget. Let's start off with the change in this 2013-14 Budget over the 2012-13 Budget. This 2013-14 Budget shows a reduction of $2.9 million in Other Anticipated Aid - how can that be? We received the same $13,496,945 in State Aid as we did last year. In fact there's an increase of $500,000 in Extraordinary Aid in this Budget. There was no decrease - yet this Budget shows one. Why?

Remember that $1,951,075 that the Governor sent us in 2011-12 for Taxpayer Relief? Remember too that they didn't give it back to us? Remember what they ended up doing with it? I do, and it's reason why you're seeing their 2013-14 Budget show a decrease in State Aid - when there was none.

They took that $1,951,075 and added it into the 2012-13 Budget - not to provide Taxpayer Relief but to fund additional Spending.

Now, to add insult to injury, they're showing it as a reduction in state aid in the 2013-14 Budget and hence, letting it fall as an increase to the Local Tax Levy.

Something isn't it? First they Repurpose the $1,951,075 in 2011-12 Taxpayer Relief money to increase Spending in 2012-13 and now they want us to pay for that Additional $1,951,075 in Spending again by letting it fall into the Local Tax Levy in 2013-14.

You can't make this stuff up!

Strike 1!

Second thingie - since there is no actual reporting against any School Budget for Staffing (or anything else), all unbudgeted additions go unreported and are Not disclosed to You in any Budget you're asked to vote on. Well, it looks like the Staffing Shell Game is alive and well in in 2012-13. Seems we've added some Unbudgeted Guidance Counselors and an Elementary Supervisor to name a few.

Now, in this 2013-14 Budget, they're asking to add 8 new Staff but they don't tell you what they've already added when they ask to add 8 more. That's how we've grown to some 394 Unbudgeted Heads over the years that were added but were never disclosed to You in the Budgets you were asked to vote on.

For keeping the Staffing Shell Game alive and well and failing to disclose it in this 2013-14 Budget..

Strike 2!

Finally, the hoarding of money that's supposed to be used for Taxpayer Relief in these School Budget s including all that aid that came in after the tax rate gets struck and all that money that was moved into capital reserves. Remember last year whey they Repurposed some $7 million and used it to increase Spending - they also moved $2.4 million into the capital reserve on the same night they adopted the 2012-13 School Budget? That's almost $10 million!!

Strike 3!

While there's more, for those 3 reasons alone, you should VOTE NO on this 2013-14 Budget. We need to Stop the Out-of-Control Spending and Total Disregard for the Residents/Taxpayers.

Some History:
That's a $15.2 million increase in Spending over the last 3 years with 22-Cent increase in the School Tax Rate or some 8.8% - and that's After Repurposing our Taxpayer Relief Money!


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Edison BoE Candidates - open invitation

Since the April 16 School Board election is quickly approaching and we have six (6) candidates competing for three (3) open spots, I extend an invitation to all candidates to use this blog as another forum to get your message out. In the spirit of openness and transparency, I invite each of you to answer six (6) questions, which will give you a chance to get your message out and provide the Residents with information that would be helpful in making an informed decision before stepping into the voting booth.

Here are the questions:

1. Who are you and what's your background?

2. Why are you running for the Edison Board of Education?

3. What do you see as the role of a School Board Member, and why?

4. What do you see as the three (3) most significant accomplishments of this School District, and why?    Conversely, the three (3) most significant shortcomings, and why?

5. What do you hope to accomplish as a School Board Member, and why?

6. Why should the Residents of Edison vote for you?

If you wish to use this blog as another forum to get your message out, please forward your written response to polnotpeople[at] - with a confirmation telephone number. I will post them (as written) in the order received, after confirmation.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Edison BoE Candidates - April 16 Ballot Positions

The Edison Board of Education has a video of the March 6 drawing for ballot positions in the upcoming April 16 School Board election here. The 6 (six) candidates for the 3 (three) open spots, with their respective ballot position, are:

1. Theresa E. Ward (incumbent)

2. Ajay V. Patil

3. Veena Iyer (incumbent)

4. Sarvesh Kumar Dharayan

5. John Szilagyi Jr.

6. Lori Bonderowitz (incumbent)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Ah.. What's another $75 in School Taxes?!?

After they Re-Purposed all that Tax Relief Money to SPENDING in last year's budget!

Well, according to the Board of Mythomania's 2013-14 School Budget 'Press Release' in the Sentinel, that's what you'll pay in additional school taxes if you live in that imaginary home assessed at $176,700.  Your school taxes are going up by $75, which is made up $35 for increased Spending and $40 for the drop in rateables.

Now, if you don't live in that imaginary home assessed at $176,700 - take your home's assessed value divided by 100 and multiply that amount by .042 (tax rate increase $2.710-$2.668 or $.042) or you can go here and have it calculated for you with the breakdown.

Anyhoo, it would be nice if they actually put out the School Budget for 2013-14 - instead of having to rely on a press release for basic information on what this latest bloated pot of money is actually going to cost us!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Maeroff's PDA - Public Display of Annoyance!?!

You know, Board of Mythomania Prez Maeroff and his 'Silent Majority' over there on Mythomania Lane approved the Preliminary School Budget of $213.8 million at the February 25 meeting (or should I say the 'Preliminary Press Release' in the Sentinel here), which they proudly post on their website.

That's Nice but where's the Budget?!? It's now March 6 and they've had all the state aid numbers since February 28. Shouldn't that budget be in the hands of the resident/taxpayers by now - especially since it comes with yet another increase in


Of course, Super Dr. Richard 'Build the Trust' O'Malley doesn't tell you that in his 'Preliminary Press Release' to the Sentinel - that would be too informative for you to know and without a budget to see, you'd have no way of knowing. This leaves them free to only give you information they want you to have. 

But there is a School Tax Rate increase in those numbers they released to the Sentinel. Senor O'Malley says the Spending in this budget is $213.8 million and that's $1.6 million more that last year's $212.2 million. He further tells you that the School Tax Levy is $191.1 million and that's $3.1 million more than last year's $188 million.

When the School Tax Levy goes up, so does the Spending part of Your School Tax Rate. The only other piece missing is what the Ratable number is this year. Unfortunately, the Ratables have dropped another $50-60 million again this year. When the Ratables drop, Your School Tax Rate goes up.

So, this 'Preliminary Press Release' comes with an increase in the School Tax Rate because Spending has increased and Ratables have dropped. Now, before the hypocrisy begins over there on the drop in Ratables, let's remember that whenever the Ratables have gone up, the School District takes credit by saying people are moving here because of the Schools but when the Ratables drop - they run away and distance themselves and claim they have nothing to do with it.

Anyhoo, this 'Preliminary Press Release' comes with a School Tax Rate of $2.710, which is up 4.2-Cents or 1.6% over last year's School Tax Rate of $2.668. That's a tad bit more important than knowing when Senor O'Malley's Misinformation Tour will be coming to a School near you.

But hey, if information is knowledge, they're making sure we're the dumbest taxpayers ever to reside in Downtown Edison.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The O' Mal Conundrum!

Who's in charge here?!?

Maeroff v. Szilagyi - round three!

Just saw John Szilagyi's letter to the editor here - the rebuttal to Maeroff's rebuttal. You know, you gotta give Szilagyi a big Kudos for what he's trying to do here even though this is something that's best handled face to face - at a board meeting. Get to the facts and away from the he said - he said.

Be that as it may - Kudos to you Mr. Szilagyi.

Anyhoo, here's my comments under his letter:

You know - these rebuttal letters of rebuttal letters are fine but it would be more helpful to all the residents if this discussion was taken up at a board meeting. Enough with the he said - he said.

Be that is it may, there's no doubt that these Lease Purchase arrangements, albeit it legal, are hideous and a total slap in the face to the residents/taxpayers. They cut us out of any decision to incur major capital expenditures and the resulting debt. It was hideous when the Dickinson-Led Board did this and it's just as hideous when the Maeroff-Led Board does it.

As for the school officials having no credibility or fiscal responsibility on the school budget - uh..duh! Of course they don't. Unfortunately, Maeroff turned over control of this school district to Dr. Richard 'Build the Trust' O'Malley and the rest of the board sits there silently and lets it happen. O'Malley's someone that should be barred from any numbers having to do with the school district or presenting them (just look at his last 2 budgets). If and when he does though, you should treat it with a healthy dose of cynicism and a huge 'Yeah Right.'

Now don't get me wrong, O'Malley's one smart guy - no doubt about it. But, to me, the most important thing isn't how smart someone is but rather what we do with the smarts we have. If we use it to help people, that's a good thing. If we use it to mislead, misinform, trick people who may be less informed or knowledgeable or hurt people - that's a bad thing. As a taxpayer in Downtown Edison, he falls in the latter for me.

Sadly, we don't have a school board here in Downtown Edison, we have a 'Social Experiment' going on to see how long it will take for us to catch on to what they're really doing with all our money.

Finally, other than O'Malley's board presentation, it's hard to say what's in this year's budget - all we have so far is his press release - but no budget.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Where's the 'silent majority' over there on Mythomania Lane?!?

You know, it's one-thing for Board Prez. Maeroff to lead from behind but where's the other elected board members when it comes to this 2013-14 School budget? How could they sit there and allow Dr. Richard 'Build the Trust' O'Malley to present his $214 million budget at the last board meeting - without handing out a budget for public perusal?

How can you expect any public input if you don't provide a budget. Oh wait, if you go to their website here, you can see what they have for a budget!


Use to be the 'silent majority' meant the citizenry - not elected officials. These other elected board members give new meaning to the term 'silent majority.'

Anyhoo, if they just allow this budget to go the March 21st pubic meeting for adoption without calling a special meeting to hand out the budget and allow for public review and discussion - you should simply kick this 2013-14 budget to the curb on April 16th.

Hard to vote on the merits of this budget without the board having a preliminary budget discussion and using a press release to do it.

But hey, at least we're comforted in the knowledge that this board comes with a new meaning of 'silent majority.'