Thursday, January 30, 2014

A 'Fresh Start' in Downtown Edison - Minus $260,000!

Just saw this piece in the Sentinel on the town's settlement with the EDO's Campaign Manager Anthony Russomanno over his wrongful termination claims against former Mayor Ricigliano & others. Looks like it's back pay of $120,000 for Russomanno + $140,000 in attorney fees + Re-employment.

Sounds good for Russomanno but I'd sure like to know from Mayor Lankey (fresh start aside) how this is all for the good of the residents of Edison?

But hey, what do I know, I still can't figure out if this thing was meant to be settled - why it wasn't settled before Ricigliano left office?!?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

'Back to the Future' - Mayor 'Form over Substance' Lankey Style!?!

Whoa, saw this piece here on Edison's Campaign Manager to the Mayor & Council of Downtown Edison in the paper today. Seems there's a settlement in the works for up to $120,000 for Anthony Russomanno over some wrongful termination claims with the former Mayor. Now, I don't have a problem with someone seeking compensation if they believe they have been wronged.

Good for him and go for it!

Maybe it's me though, but don't you find it a tad bit laughable that Mayor Lankey & the Council would do this with a straight face and with such spin that they only make themselves dizzy?!?

But hey, at least Councilman Rob 'March on Trenton' Karabinchak is happy about it.
 "I'm glad to see that it's over and cleared up," Karabinchak said. 'I think he's going to be an asset because of his knowledge of the town and the working relationship of the different departments. Edison is a diversified community that needs community outreach to be a part of government. That's been overlooked by many administrations. As the mayor said, we need a fresh start. I believe in our mayor and the way he wants to do business. Everything is a fresh start. We're not looking back, only forward, all for the good of the residents of Edison." 

Well there you go - Karabinchak doesn't want to look back, only forward. I'll bet he does! Now, it's hard to take Karabinchak seriously - he was our bastion of strength for fighting tax appeals, while failing to disclose at the time he was filing his own tax appeals. Or, better yet, he's gonna pinch pennies for us yet didn't even know there was municipal tax increase a couple of years ago. There's more but who cares?!? Just another example of someone who shouldn't be on Council.

So, just for fun, let's see what a fresh start means. They hire Russomanno's wife as Township Clerk, they have to approve some billing for some landscaping work for him over at the Library, they propose to settle some outstanding litigation for up to $120,000 with Russomanno and maybe, just maybe, throw in a township job to boot.

Anyhoo, it case you haven't figured out the point of all this yet - it's not about Russomanno, it's about Mayor Lankey and his 'Vision' for the future. Sure seems like his vision is truly one of 'Back to the Future.' Same old, same old cast of characters and same old, same old local Dem Party politics here in Downtown Edison.

Truly disappointing Senor Lankey. There has to be a fine balance between the politics and the people here in Downtown Edison and you're off to a bad start.

Friday, January 17, 2014

2014 Budget $eason in Downtown Edison!

Well, it's that time of year again where the township, school district and county sit down to figure out how much more they can add to your property tax bills here in Downtown Edison via a tax levy for 2014. They call this thingie a Budget, which for most resident-taxpayers is based on the assessed value of your home - a non-revenue producing asset! But that's a thought for another day.

So, what's a budget? It's just a plan of how much your gonna spend and where you're gonna get the money to do it. And since no one has a crystal ball to predict the future, it's a best estimate based on what you know today and what you expect to happen in the future.

Just a thought but here's what you don't want to do; just take 2013 and add 2% to equal 2014, caps and all. Seems the mentality is if you come in under the cap, that's a good thing and they want you to believe they did a good job!

Blah..Blah..Blah to that thought process.

All that does is to exponentially perpetuate inefficient, discretionary, wasteful and unnecessary spending. Just make what you shouldn't have spent before - 2% more!?!

Take the Muni side of town - where the big focus and fight for the past few years has been over who kept the the tax rate flat - the Mayor or the Council. But nobody focused on what was in the budget (to increase or not) to begin with..they only focused on the changes.

Take the School side of town over there on Mythomania Lane. What can you say about this bunch?!? Here's a group that wants you to applaud the fact that they kept within the 2% Cap with their budgets - but failed to tell you how. Through greater efficiency, smarter and better use of taxpayer funds?? Nah - by hoarding all that taxpayer relief money and using it to increase $pending over the past few years. Last I looked, that was around $10 million in taxpayer relief money used to increase $chool $pending.

Hey, we got to be the only school district in the state that had an increase in state aid in our budget - when the state aid that actually was awarded was flat. And let's not even get into that on-going Staffing-Shell game with your taxpayer dollars.

Take the County side - don't know much about their budget except that with Charlie "I Abstain' Tomaro looking out for us here in Downtown Edison, it's not likely that he'll stand in the way of any tax increase coming our way.

Moral of this story - make them justify and support everything they've $pent in 2013 before you begin talking about 2014 and then start off 2014 with a Big Zero and build from there. If you do that, we'll all be getting a Big Property Tax Decrease - something we haven't seen in the town in a very long time.

Anyhoo, let the budget games begin - it's only your money they're $pending. Remember - numbers are only numbers unless you understand the substance behind them.

But hey, the Board of Mythomania did a good job staying under the 2% Cap - if you ignore the How!:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Top 10 Suggestions for Mayor Tom 'Form over Substance' Lankey

to fill his 3rd open position - Administrator of Cost-Inefficiency:

10. Jun 'RForMe' Choi - might as well see his presence in the Municipal Building.

9. Charlie 'I Abstain' Tomaro - he was for Spadoro using $10m in surplus to win a primary - before he  was against it after Spadoro lost.

8. Councilwoman Shah - she can teach Lankey the Board of Mythomania's way of hiding unbudgeted staff increases in the budget.

7. Councilman 'KaraMia' Gomez - he can use some more practice on understanding tax increases in the Muni Budget.

6. Councilman Bob 'See No Conflict' Diehl - always good to have around when a BoE Budget gets rejected by the voters.

5. Super Dr. Richard 'Build the Trust' O'Malley - he can explain to Lankey the concept of misdirection with imaginary fiscal year budgets - when you're on a calendar year budget.

4. Councilman Rob 'March on Trenton' Karabinchak - spends $100k to win a single seat on the council for a single year against an opponent who only spent $3k - yet didn't even know the Muni budget he approved had a 2.7% tax increase.

3. BoE Prez Maeroff - he can show Lankey how to Lead from Behind.

2. Campaign Manager Anthony Russomanno - got to make sure he gets paid for his landscaping work over at the Library.

1. P.T. Barnum - might as well. Same Circus - different Clowns.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The best 'Politics' is practice good 'Policy' - guess Not!?!

Just saw the piece in the HNT here where Mayor Tom 'Form over Substance' Lankey appointed former Councilwoman Melissa Perilstein to a newly created position of Policy & Strategic Planning.

Well, in the words of Ms. Perilstein - 'I always enjoyed working on the policy end of things, troubleshooting problems and finding ways to resolve issues,' Perilstein said. 'I think I'm much better suited to the policy than the political side of things..'

Go figure:
But hey, it could be worse, Councilman Rob 'March on Trenton' didn't get voted back in as Council President. Oh wait..he was!! Yikes!!

Anyhoo, good thing Lankey's stewardship isn't starting out as a paradigm of what's wrong with this town.