Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Registered Voters in Downtown Edison!

Thought it might be interesting to see what the breakdown of Registered Voters is here in Downtown Edison. There are 55,279 Registered Voters with 24,843 Dems, 6,429 Reps and 23,979 Unaffiliated.

These are further broken down into 78 Election Districts but the interactive Excel file has functions that won't work properly in this blog format.  If you would like the file, you're welcome to it, just drop me a note.

Here's a pic of the file showing the total in each Group:
Anyhoo, hope you find it useful information.

Board of Mythomania Re-org - Iyer & Heelan!?!

Not that it really matters over there on Mythomania Lane but Veena Iyer is the new Board President and Dr. Frank is the new Vice-President. Not for nothing but not exactly my choice from the field for taxpayer friendly people.

Though, in the world of Mythomania, pointing out any change in leadership over there on Mythomania Lane would just be a distinction without a difference. In the end, it'll be the same thing - a board that leads from behind Dr. Richard 'Build the Trust' O'Malley - that it, when he's not out looking for another gig.

But hey, it's not exactly the worst thing that has happened here in Downtown Edison. The Edison Council actually selected Rob 'March on Trenton' Karabinchak as Council President again.

Now there's something that will make you seriously think that maybe it's time to move to Metuchen!?!

Anyhoo, you gotta love the leadership we have here in Downtown Edison - we truly get what we deserve here in Downtown Edison.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Edison School Board Election - April 23rd Unofficial Results-a-Mundo

Well, as you know, the Board of Mythomania's $217 million bloated pot of money called a
School Budget for 2014-15 passed by 99 votes with 2,238 voting Yes and 2,139 voting No. Both the incumbents (Heelan with 2,089 votes & Shi with 1,768 votes) were reelected and Beth Moroney captured the third open spot with 2,133 votes. These numbers include the absentee ballots.

Some interesting thingies from the data, which is all Unofficial until the County does their thing.

1. # Districts in Top 3 
                                     at Polls       ABS
        Shi                           17
        Amaral                    12                  1
        Thoms                     11
        Moroney                 25                  1
        Prasad                     10
        Shen                         0
        Mohammad              1
        Heelan                    22                  1

2.  # Districts on the $217m School Budget Question
                                    at Polls       ABS             
                          Pass      23               1
                          Fail       10

3. # Voters at the Polls who Did Not Vote on the Budget - 368 or 8.4%

In 11 Districts, the % Not Voting on the Budget was greater that 10%. In 14 Districts, the % Not       Voting was between 5%-10%. In 8 Districts, the % Not Voting was between 0%-5%. The highest % Not Voting was District 22 with 14.3% and the lowest was District 20 with 1.2%.

Hard to believe that many people would actually go to the Polls and Not Vote on the School Budget.

Anyhoo, here's the Unofficial Results for the April 23rd Election:
Here's the Number of Not Voting by District at the Polls:

And here's an interactive Excel file on the Unofficial Results that you're welcome to have if you want. Just drop me a note:
But hey, what do I know? I still can't figure out how a town with 55,279 Registered Voters can have a turn-out of only 4,745 Voters or 8.6% in the School Election and of those going to the Polls, 368 or 8.4% Don't Vote on the $217m School Budget - when the School District accounted for 57% of your property tax bill and 77% of your property tax increase in 2013.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Edison School Budget Passes - Cell Tower off of Knapp Ave. Denied!

Just saw the unofficial results for the School Board election on the Board of Ed website here.

Congratulations to the Edison Board of Education for getting voter approval for their $217 million School budget for 2014-15. This budget takes the school tax rate up to $2.733, up 2.9 Cents over last year's $2.704. You can see what that will cost you in previous posts.

Both Heelan & Shi were reelected and Beth Moroney filled the third open spot. Congratulations to all the candidates for taking the time and making the effort to make the Edison School District the best it can be.

While the turn-out was disappointing, the people who show up to vote decide - and so they did, all 4,765 of them.

On the Cell Tower, I'm told that the application was denied by the Zoning Board. A tad bit of good news about that tower placement.

Anyhoo, let's hope Ms. Moroney can help make this board more accountable & transparent for the residents & taxpayers here in Downtown Edison and they find a better placement for the Cell Tower.

Kind of highlights why it's important to elect the right people:

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Reminder - Verizon Cell Tower Application before the Zoning Board

On Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - Verizon application for the Cell Tower (off of Knapp Ave.) in front of the Zoning Board.

Please take the time to attend the meeting and make your opinions heard.

Here's the latest flyer from

Edison BoE Candidates - Kiel Thoms (A3), Beth Moroney (A4) and Dr. Chang Hui Shen (A6)

Below please find the Mission Statement and bio's of Kiel Thoms, Beth Moroney & Dr. Chang Hui Shen.

Please take the time to read and give these candidates your consideration for the BoE. There is a contact number in the material if anyone has any questions for them.

They are also holding a meet and greet at 7:30 this coming Tuesday at the Clara Barton First Aid Squad on Amboy Avenue.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Board of Mythomania $217m School Budget - Just Don't Agree to be Fooled Anymore!

Top 10 Reasons why you should be Happy to turn over $217m to the Board of Mythomania!?!

10. You're a trusting person and you believe what they say and don't care what they don't say.

9. You like to go to school board meetings where you can't ask 8 out of 9 elected officials any questions or know why they voted the way they did.

8. You like the public portion of school board meetings where they politely listen to what you have to say and then ignore you.

7. You like when all votes are unanimous - you like a silent majority on things.

6. You like to know that they think thems are smarter than yous and, therefore, nose better than yous.

5. You like their good management practice of following from behind the Super who's looking for the exit ramp.

4. You like the achievement gap we continue to have in Downtown Edison.

3. You like having a Super publicly looking for a new job and they don't tell you.

2. You like giving them a blank check for $217 million to spend any way they want and don't care that they never come back and tell you how they spent it.

1. You like that it's a 'Closed Club' and it doesn't bother you that you're Not invited.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

School Board Election - it's a tad bit important who you vote for this time around!

On April 23rd, you're gonna decide who sits in those 3 open BoE seats. It's very important that you take the time to make an informed decision because there are some seriously big ticket items coming down the pike.

Consider if you will some thingies going on:

 1. The rebuild of James Monroe and that will most likely be more than the replacement value of the insurance - and it should be.

 2. The need to address the over-all space overcrowding and that probably means another Bond Referendum and some more Lease Purchase Agreements to boot.

 3. The union contracts need to be renegotiated.

 4. Then there's the new curriculum standards, more frequent standardized testing and mandatory teacher and administrator evaluation systems to factor in.

 4. What happens with O'Malley's contract since 2014-15 is the last year of his contract.

So, who do you want to deal with these items, which only represent a few of the things going on over there on Mythomania Lane?

Anyhoo, please take the time to check out all the candidates before you step into the voting booth. It's your money they're playing with and you just might want to make sure there is somebody there looking out for you too.

Duh! Did it again with the date - guess I'm stuck on the March 23rd date for some reason!

Edison BoE Candidate - Patrick Amaral (A2)

Below please find the bio and a letter to the community from Patrick Amaral as well as a link to his website in the material.

Please take the time to read and give Mr. Amaral your consideration for the BoE. He has contact numbers if anyone has any questions for him.

Ballot for Edison School Election - April 23, 2014

Well, the ballots are out for the School Election next Wednesday. Thought it might be helpful to understand how the the amount to be raised for the General Fund of $192,244,442 relates back to the School Budget for 2014-15 here.

Contrary to the Board of Mythomania treating the School Budget as one big fat pot of money - there is a budget they put together and gave to You behind it. Further, contrary to what Super Dr. Richard 'Build the Trust' O'Malley once quipped and would like you to think - You are Voting on a Budget and not just a number (Tax Levy).

On the ballot, you're voting on the school tax levy resulting from the 2014-15 School Budget. The School Budget is prepared on a fiscal year basis and runs from July 1 to June 30 every year. The fiscal year tax levy has to be converted to a calendar year since our property taxes are calculated on a calendar year basis here in Downtown Edison.

Below you can see how you go from the April 23rd Ballot back to the School Budget for 2014-15. Hope it helps:

Anyhoo, this is where 57% of your 2013 property taxes went and 77% of your property tax increase in 2013 came from - so make sure you get out and make your opinion heard next Wednesday.

With apologies - mistakenly had the date as March 23rd - corrected - should be April 23rd.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Vote NO to the Board of Mythomania's $217m School Budget - until they Disclose Non-Budgeted Staff Changes!

Unfortunately, the Board of Mythomania knowingly continues to engage in that unsavory Staffing 'Shell Game' and purposely refuses to disclose it to you in the budget they're asking you to vote for on April 23, 2014.

If you're not familiar with what I'm talking about, you can go back and read the post from August 29, 2013 and November 22, 2013 to get an explanation of this deceptive and misleading practice and how it works. I won't bore you here by rehashing it again.

Here's the cumulative update for the school year 2013-14. That's 396.30 Non-Budgeted heads they've added and failed to disclose and hid from you in the budgets you were asked to vote on since the 2005-06 School Year (149.75 and 246.55 from the Dickinson and Maeroff era's, respectively):
Here's the current School Year for 2013-14. That's an additional net 2 Non-Budgeted heads added and you can see they added 4 facility managers, 1 technician and eliminated 2 psychologists and 1 secretary and failed to disclose it to you:
Here's where you can see the detail by position:

Anyhoo, as long as this practice continues to be hidden from you, you should never approve another School Budget here in Downtown Edison and since the School Board knows they're doing this and continues anyway- you should Vote-Out any incumbent that comes up for re-election until they stop it.

Keep voting in the same people over there on Mythomania Lane - and You'll keep getting the same results!

You know, it would be nice for a change if we had a board that actually looked out for all the stakeholders, which includes those, often forgotten, people who pay the bills - the residents and taxpayers. Seems we've switched the direction of where we spend all that money - but not the amount of money.

What's seriously missing on this Maeroff Board, which is just a carryover from the Dickinson Board, is someone looking out for the residents & taxpayers here in Downtown Edison. You know, some accountability and reporting to the stakeholders about what goes on over there on Mythomania Lane.

So, keep voting in the same people and you'll most definitely get the same results.
Anyhoo, if you like a school board that doesn't recognize the residents and taxpayers as stakeholders too - then go ahead knock your socks off and keep that 'One mind fits all mentality' over there on Mythomania Lane going! Though, don't be surprised by what happens if you do.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Emil 'Do the Right Thing' Ferlicchi & Rob 'March on Trenton' Karabinchak..ah, the good old days!

Caught a piece of the public portion of the last council meeting on local access and couldn't help noticing the return of Senor Emil Ferlicchi to the podium. Just when you thought he was out, they pulled him back in - a little humor with that but you really want to pay attention to what he's saying.

But first, you remember Emil 'Do the Right Thing' Ferlicchi. Recently retired, a teacher in Downtown Edison for many years and President of the ETEA for a long time. A staple at School Board and Council meetings eloquently delivering his famous 'Do the Right Thing' speeches when it came to school budgets, bond referendums and especially at Council meetings when school budgets were defeated. A favorite teacher of my daughter from her 5th grade year (and she still tells me to this day to leave Senor Ferlicchi alone) here in Downtown Edison.

In fact, he was so good at his public pleas that I actually said at a school board meeting that he's good, he's very good - and if I didn't know better, I'd actually believe him.

So, here's the point to all this stuff. First, Senor Ferlicchi brought up the need for the Council to support us getting 'Our fair share' of state aid - Abbott Districts and all. And, wouldn't you know, Rob 'March on Trenton' Karabinchak jumped all over this. No surprise there - in fact, that's why I refer to Karabinchak the way I do. At one of those defeated school budget council meetings, he was gonna march on down to Trenton with Ferlicchi to get us our money. Well, I take it they never made the trip since we're still not getting our fair share.

Look, we never got our fair share and, most likely, never will. So, let's stop all the meaningless rhetoric and recognize what this is all about. It's about getting you to pay more for the school district's out-of-control spending when the state doesn't chip in enough. And since Karabinchak isn't the best or most reliable source when it comes to school budgets, you should just about treat anything that comes out of his mouth with the thought - oh..that's nice and forget what he said.

Really now, the only time you hear about us not getting our fair share is when school budgets get defeated and they use it to try to sway the Council from cutting the school budget (like the Council ever respects the wishes of the residents and cuts the school tax levy when we reject those school budgets). Have you ever seen anyone over there on Mythomania Lane go to a Council meeting and complain about not getting our fair share when school budgets pass?

Actually, the scariest thing that Ferlicchi brought up was moving the school board elections to November. Seems he got a vibe at Candidate's Night that some of the candidates were open to the idea.

We're one of the few districts in Middlesex County and the State that still have April elections. You remember the law - individually, the Council, the School Board or the Public (by petition) can make a change to November.

Now, you can guess why the Maeroff Board didn't want to move the elections to November. They'd most likely lose control of the board if they opened it up in this one-party town. The Council should be a tad bit leery to make a move like that because it'd be hard to justify and, more importantly, explain to the residents. A move like that would just turn the school district into a cash cow again.

You never want to put control of the Board of Education into the hands of the Local Dem Party here in Downtown Edison. And if the Council tries to do it - then, they better clean out that bloated pot of money the school board calls a budget before they let them carry it forward and then take away the residents right to vote on the budget. We'd only be able to vote on any increases above the cap.

Anyhoo, it was nice to see Senor Ferlicchi back in action again. Just don't bite on his well-spoken but not in your best interest rhetoric.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Let's be fair now - here in Downtown Edison!

If the Board of Mythomania wants you to give them credit for staying under the 2% Cap and you're even remotely considering joining them in the Land of Mythomania, then you really have to give Team ChoiLankey and their 'Fresh Start' Tour credit for Stabilizing Taxes!?!

Anyhoo, what do I know - I still can't figure out why we keep doing the same thing and expect a different result here in Downtown Edison!?!

Top 10 Reasons you should always Vote Yes for Edison's School Budgets!

10. You like voting on a school budget that represents 57% of your tax bill and never hearing about that budget again.

9. You like them $pending all that money any way they want, without explanation, regardless of where they said they would in the school budget.

8. You like not knowing about all those non-budgeted heads they added (and forgot to tell you about when asking you to vote for the school budget) when asking for more heads.

7. You like not having the opportunity to ask questions when $pending exceeds any particular line item in the budget.

6. You like not knowing they hoard taxpayer relief-money and use it to increase $pending rather than give it back to you.

5. You like them claiming they stayed under the 2% cap every year but neglecting to tell you how they did it while still increasing $pending.

4. You like ignoring the school budget when state aid used is more than what the state gave us.

3. You like having a board that doesn't understand why you need to measure and report out actual performance against the budget to truly be open and transparent.

2. You really like a board that thinks savings is the same as slowing the increase in $pending.

1. You like having no accountability or public scrutiny over a now $217 million, bloated pot of money called a school budget that grows exponentially every year - along with your School Taxes.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Last night's Candidate's Night - Edison BoE

For the first time in years, I was unable to attend the event. Hope everyone got a chance to meet the candidates and hear them explain why they were running, what they are proposing and what we can expect if elected or reelected.

If any of the candidates have a website or campaign material they would like to have posted in this blog, just send me an email with the link and/or material. I'd be happy to help get the word out so the residents interested can see.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Mayor Lankey - please Stop the Blame Game!

Just saw the piece on the proposed sewer tax hike here in the SL. I know this is Downtown Edison but really?

Senor Mayor - the only thing you're succeeding at by blaming others is proving that you're a failure. Please Stop.

You're the mayor now - whatever's wrong or needs to be corrected in your judgment - then tell the people what's wrong and fix it. Is that too much to ask?

If not, then please don't send out your surrogates to lay the blame for you - do it yourself.

Because your were there in the mix of it, You can't be the boy who cries wolf nor does sending out your surrogates to do it make it ok:

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mayor ChoiLankey - true multitasking a-mundo!?!

Well, a day after Senor Lankey's "Fresh Start Tour' entourage proposed a 35% sewer tax hike (50% for businesses) here in Downtown Edison - I see this pic below on my FaceBook feed.

With all due respect, you just gotta have some fun with the irony in it.

Anyhoo, in all seriousness, it was for the JFK Medical Center Grand Opening of the new emergency department - and that's a good thing.

Edison Chamber of Commerce opposes the Sewer Tax Hike!

Since this ambush residential 35% sewer tax hike took me by surprise, I asked the Edison Chamber of Commerce if they had taken a position on this proposed ordinance since it also raises the non-residential  rate by 50%.

I received a response that they oppose it and included the text below which explains their rationale:

Anyhoo, not for nothing, but they're dead-on point!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Which should come first - Edison's Muni Budget Numbers or the Actual Numbers?!?

Well, since Mayor ChoiLankey has incorporated the New 'Old Guard' into his administration, does that mean we're gonna return to the days when Mayor Jun 'RForMe" Choi held up the Muni Budget for months because he didn't have a friendly council?

Oh, wait - Senor Lankey has Rob 'March on Trenton" Karabinchak to move his budget right along!

So, when will we see the Muni Budget for CY 2014? Are we going to drag this out until May/June? If so, then  it might be helpful if we could get an idea of where this budget is going - tax rate wise. Nobody likes surprises and it's not like they don't already have a tad bit of an idea what the 2014 Muni Tax Rate looks like right now.

In the meantime, let's keep count of the days before we won't need a budget, we'll have the actual numbers.

Anyhoo, what does the Muni-Budget mean anyway?

Candidate's Night - Edison Board of Education

Just a reminder that Candidate's Night is this Wednesday at 7:00PM at Woodrow Wilson Middle School. There are eight candidates running for three open positions. Board President Gene Maeroff is not seeking reelection.

Here's the Candidates by ballot position:

A1 - Jingwei (Jerry) Shi (I)

A2 - Patrick Amaral

A3 - Kiel Thoms

A4 - Beth Moroney

A5 - Shivi Prasad

A6 - Chang-Hui Shen

A7 - Nasseeruddin Mohammad

A8 - Frank Heelan (I)

If you can find the time, it's important to go and hear what they have to say. Not for nothing but this Board determines how and where 57% of your taxes here in Downtown Edison gets spent.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

So, what's going on With Mayor ChoiLankey in the Badlands?!?

Well, here you go. On Monday night's Council Agenda:


So, for residential customers it takes the per gallon rate from .002757 to .003722 for an increase of .000965 or 35%!

A 35% increase in your sewer tax bill. Isn't that Nice?!?

Anyhoo, you just gotta like Mayor ChoiLankey for coming up with this one.

Bet you can't wait to see what he comes up with to increase the Muni Tax Rate too!?!

Let's give Mayor ChoiLankey a Transparency Level of Invisible for this tad bit of an ambush! Yeah, I know, it's somebody else's fault but thanks for the heads-up.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Edison School Tax - 2014-15

Here's a simple tool that will let you see what the Board of Mythomania's 2014-15 School Budget will do to your School Taxes.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Transparency in Downtown Edison!?!

You know, with all the stuff going on here (on both sides of town) in Downtown Edison, it's just disconcerting that we have to hear about it from stories in the papers. It's a good thing the people elected to represent us - are giving new meaning to the word Transparency!

So, here's my take on the Transparency Levels here in Downtown Edison these days:
Anyhoo, at least we're comforted in the knowledge that Reform is going on all around us - but they just can't tell us anything about it!

Guess we're stuck with Super O'Malley!

Looks like Super Dr. Richard 'Build the Trust' O'Malley will be with us for a while. Seems the Rock Hill School Board went with one of the other finalists according to the reporting here.

I truly am sorry he didn't get the job that would of given him the lifestyle he wanted but this now presents an interesting dilemma for the Board of Mythomania.

What are they going to do now with Senor O'Malley - start negotiating a new contract with him?!?

Let's see how they plan on handling this turn of events - in secret, of course.

Let's hope Super O'Malley gets the job in Rock Hill!

As one of 3 finalists for the Super job in Rock Hill, S.C, it's reported here that their school board will be making that decision today. Let's hope he gets the job. Apparently, he's quoted in the papers down there as saying "It's not about a job for me - it's a change of life, a change of lifestyle."

Hey, if that's what he wants for himself and his family then good for him. I wish him luck.

However, I'd be remiss if I didn't ask if the Super Cap had some bearing on his decision to look elsewhere. If you remember, he was rushed into a November 2010 Board meeting to sign a contract with a start date no later than the February 7, 2011 effective date of the new Super Cap law. He got a $210,000 starting salary back then and he's at $218,484 now - and that will go to $222,854 on July 1st - the last year of his contract. Once this contract is up - he falls under the Super Cap and that will be less than he's making now. He beat the Super Cap once - is this now a second time? And when he was hired, didn't the Board know what would happen when his contract was renewed? Did they really want to hire a one-term Super?

Well, I guess it really doesn't matter if it was part of his decision-making process or not or what the Board had in mind - he's opted to seek employment elsewhere.

I truly hope he gets the job because who wants a Super that we now know is looking for the exit ramp.

We've invested a lot of time and taxpayer money in him and do we really want someone in such an important position spending time looking elsewhere?

And, let's not forget, we need a new School Board for two reasons; (1) for picking Senor O'Malley, and (2) for failing to explain to the people of Downtown Edison that he's publicly out there looking for a new gig.

Anyhoo, the more things change in this town, the more they stay the same.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Reminder - April 22nd Zoning Bd. meeting on Cell Tower off of Knapp Ave.

Just a reminder that the meeting on the above proposed cell tower is fast approaching. Please attend and voice your opinion on this application.

Here's the latest flyer from