Monday, June 30, 2014

The Real 'Good, Bad & Ugly' here in Downtown Edison!

Just saw Mayor Tom '8.3%' ChoiLankey defend his 2014 Muni Budget in the piece in the SL here. A budget that takes the Muni Tax Rate up to 1.208, 9.2 Cents or 8.3% over last year, which adds $6.8 million to the Local Tax Levy.

Well, with all due respect to Mayor Lankey, he's interpreting facts for his own conclusion. No doubt an 8.3% Tax Ambush is unnecessary and why he's having difficulty supporting it with his disingenuous rhetoric. Throw in another $20 million in debt and you can see this is just a Tax & Spend Dem oligarchy gone wild at Your expense.

It's not a revenue problem, it's a Local Dem Party Rule problem just looking to restock the town's coffers.

I like Lankey but his attempted justification for this budget is even weaker than the numbers he has in it.

Here's the real Good, Bad & Ugly in the 'DemBadLands' of Mayor ChoiLankey!

Anyhoo, we get the type of credible & open governance we deserve here in Downtown Edison.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Mayor ChoiLankey - Lost to the Dark Side!?!

You know, I like Senor Lankey. No doubt he's a very smart individual and could do some good things for the people of Downtown Edison, if he used his smarts to do it. Unfortunately, he isn't doing that - he's letting his smarts be trumped to do something else.

Given his four years on the Council & being Chairman of the Council's Finance Committee - he's the last guy in Downtown Edison that can credibly try and ambush You with humongous Tax Hikes in both the Muni & Sewer taxes - and try and do it with a straight face, to boot.

His 2014 Muni Budget with an 8.3% Tax Hike, asking for an additional $6.8 million, is simply laughingly unsupportable and his Mythomania Land Budget Presentation proves it. Nothing in those numbers or what he's done or said so far, supports such a huge increase. That's because he Can't support it. Throw in another $20 million in debt they're approving and you can see where he's going.

So, while I may be disappointed with Mayor ChoiLankey for not finding the balance between the Dem Party and the People of Downtown Edison, you should understand this bit of reality;

With all these bogus tax hikes & bonding to build up the township coffers at Your expense, Mayor ChoiLankey and his 'Fresh Start Tour' Entourage aren't investing in Edison, they're investing in the Local Dem Party - the Party that continues to make Edison safe for Hypocrisy.

Mayor ChoiLankey has truly chosen sides and is truly worthy of the title - Mayor of DemBadLands:

Anyhoo, I hope it's worth it to him because I always thought he was better than that. Guess I was wrong.

Just an End justifies the Means kind of Guy and they hope you just don't remember the means!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Council's Public Hearing on 2014 Budget - can you say Gobli-Gook?!?

Well, I take it by now that the 2014 Budget Presentation at tonight's Council Meeting is under way.

After looking at tonight's Presentation, these words of Albert Einstein came to mind, 'If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.'

So, with a take-off on that thought - here's my take on Mayor ChoiLankey's Budget Presentation:

Anyhoo, unless your audience is a class of bean counters, how is this helpful to residents & taxpayers of Edison in understanding the need for such a huge tax hike over last year?

I'll tell you, it isn't!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mayor ChoiLankey's CY 2014 Budget - Best Turnaround Ever!?!

Well, if the 'Fresh Start Tour' Entourage lets Mayor ChoiLankey's 8.3% Tax Ambush..aka CY 2014 Muni Budget, slide by - then we'll have to give credit to Senor Lankey for the Best Turnaround Ever.

He will of taken the % of Your Property Tax Bill Increase that goes to the Municipality from -4.3% to 54.3% in just 6 months on the job. Don't quite remember such a great feat by a sitting Mayor here in Downtown Edison.

What a Guy!

Anyhoo, you know it has to be some ridiculous amount to unseat the Reigning King of Tax Increases & Out-of-Control $pending here in Downtown Edison - the Board of Mythomania! Bet they're Happy about Mayor ChoiLankey's turnaround!

So, here you go:
And here's the numbers:

Monday, June 23, 2014

Top 10 Reasons

why you gotta get a warm feeling all over with the 'Fresh Start Tour' Entourage, aka Edison Council, reviewing Mayor ChoiLankey's $6.8 million (8.7%) hike in the 2014 Muni Tax Levy:

10. Because the Entourage never bothered to publicly ask for the 2014 Budget from Mayor ChoiLankey and didn't even tell You when they received it on May 28th that it came with an 8.3% Tax Hike Ambush.

9. Because if the Entourage waits any longer to adopt a 2014 Budget - we won't need a Budget, we'll have the actual numbers.

8. Because Rob 'March on Trenton' Karabinchak is so attached to Mayor ChoiLankey that the 2014 Budget had to be increased for one of those no-bid unspecified special thingies - to buy Snickers Bars.

7. Because Karabinchk's side-kick, Alvaro 'KaraMia' Gomez is Chairman of the Finance Committee.

6. Because you like how they have yet to schedule 2014 Public Budget Hearings with the Department Heads.

5. Because you like that some 54% of this year's increase on Your Tax Bill will go into Mayor ChoiLankey's 'DemBadLands' for his unsupported $pending.

4. Because the bigger controversy won't be this 'You're Getting Taxed Out' 2014 Budget but rather the on-going and forever exchanges between Karabinchak & Diehl.

3. Because you like 'Dog & Pony' Shows and it makesYou laugh while they blatantly take another $6.8 million of Your hard earned money.

2. Because You like the fact that the Entourage had no problems Not Raising Taxes with the last 4 years' Budgets but all of a sudden have a problem with this one.

1. Because the only 'Checks & Balances' we gonna have with this 'Fresh Start Tour' Entourage is their checking their Ranking on the Local Dem Party's pecking order.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Public Meeting on Mayor ChoiLankey's 6 Month Budget with an 8.3% Tax Bite - June 25, 2014

Well, see from the Council's agenda that they're having a public meeting on Mayor ChoiLankey's $120.9 million Muni Budget for 2014. This budget comes with a tax rate ( per 100) of 1.208, up 9.2 Cents or 8.3% over last year's 1.116. A budget that only Mayor ChoiLankey and his 'Fresh Start Tour' entourage could actually look at and not laugh.

But hey, if you're planning to go to the meeting and wish to offer your opinion on the budget, just two bits of advice. First, before you speak - hand the clerk a Snickers bar and second, when you begin to speak - talk fast and don't look up. That 6 minutes goes by awful fast if you offer a differing opinion - so why look at the scowls.

Anyhoo, it's You they've Blindsided in Mayor ChoiLankey's 'DemBadLands' and it's Your money they're looking to take - so you should go and not just let them have it.

Sorry, forgot something else from the agenda. Looks like they're gonna bond for some $20 million for capital & sewer improvements. You might want to pay attention to that bit of Bond-a-Palooza! Finally, that 15 year 1-Cent Edison Open Space tax expired in 2013 and won't be on your tax bill this year. If anyone on the Council or their surrogates has any ideas about doing it again - just say no thanks. Their record on spending all that money on that piece of work hasn't exactly been stellar - ask Russomanno about it, he'll tell you.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Charlie 'I Abstain' Tomaro - always taxing out..oops-helping out taxpayers of Downtown Edison!?!

What can you say with the County increasing Your County Tax this year by 4.0-Cents - up to .727 per hundred or 5.8%. Hey, they kept the County Open Space Tax flat at .059.

But hey, what do I know? They haven't had a decent tax increase since 2011when they gave us an 11.6% tax hike. So, what's another 5.4% tax hike added to Your tax bill for 2014?

At least we have Charlie 'I Abstain' Tomaro looking out for us!

Anyhoo, gotta like the concept of 'Stabilizing Taxes' here in the 'DemBadLands', aka Downtown Edison!

'Cuz I'm just a Tax Happy-Go-Lucky Guy!

Mayor ChoiLankey's 8.3% Tax Hike Budget in 'DemBadLands' - by line item?!?

Well, at least for me, Mayor ChoiLankey has yet to bridge the credibility gap between his 2014 Muni Budget rhetoric and his Introduced Budget numbers. You just can't cry wolf and ambush people with such a huge tax increase without it being noticed. And certainly, Senor Lankey owes the people of Downtown Edison a better explanation than he's offered so far.

So, while I can't take this 2014 Muni Budget seriously, you may want to see what's in it and where the changes are by line item. Now, I don't know about you, but who wants to go through some 60+ pages of budget numbers to see what's happening and what's changing. I certainly don't. So, I just entered his budget numbers into an Excel file and created a pivot table so you can sort and arrange the data anyway you want to see it and easily find what you're looking for.

Here's a summary of where the changes are:
Here's the Revenue Pivot Table (set on Local Revenue accounts):
Here's the Appropriations Pivot Table (set on Salaries & Wages accounts):
Anyhoo, anyone interested in having this file, you're welcome to it - just drop me a note.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Edison's Preliminary CY 2014 Property Tax Bill - Up 15.1-Cents or 3.2%!?!

Well, just saw the County's tax rates for CY 2014. The County Tax Rate is .727, which is up 4-Cents or 5.8%. They held the County Open Space Rate flat at last year's .059. That increase was kind of surprising since I thought I read somewhere that their budget only went up 1-2%.

The previously voter approved School Budget came with a School Tax Rate of 2.733, which was up 2.9-Cents or 1.1%.

The Introduced CY 2014 Muni Budget comes with a Muni Tax Rate of 1.208 (includes Library), which is up 9.2-Cents or 8.3%. The 15 Year 1-Cent Muni Open Space Tax had expired in 2013 and won't be on your Tax Bill for 2014. If you're in Garbage District 1, it's my understanding that the rate is being held flat at last year's .20. Of course, this budget is subject to review and approval by the Council, so the Muni Tax Rates may or may not change.

So, if you add all this up - we're looking at Property Tax Bills with a CY 2014 Rate of 4.927, which is up 15.1-Cents or 3.2% over Last Year's 4.776. If you live in that imaginary home assessed at $176,700 - then you'll see a Total Property Tax Increase of $266.82 (176,700/100 x .151). If you don't, just take your home's assessed value divided by 100 and multiply that times .151 - or just use the chart below.

Anyhoo, just hard to believe these increases being put through here in Downtown Edison.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Mayor ChoiLankey's 2014 Budget & the 2% Property Tax Cap!

Well, looks like the myth of the 2% Hard Cap on the Property Tax Levy has hit us here in Downtown Edison. You know, the 2% Hard Cap Exclusions and Banked Caps that allow increases greater than 2%.

Last I looked, there were a dozen or so exclusions to the 2% Hard Cap. This would be for things like health & pension costs, capital expenditures and emergencies, to name a few. These are excluded from the Cap calculation and the increase passed directly on to the taxpayers.

The Banked Cap is also another way to get around the 2% Hard Cap. Any increase under 2% can be 'Banked' and carried forward for three years and used to go above the 2% Cap in a later year.

Looks like Mayor ChoiLankey's 2014 Budget includes mucho exclusions to the 2% Cap and why the Muni Tax Rate is $1.208 - up 9.2 cents or 8.3% over last year. You can see their Tax Levy calculation in the budget on page 7 - sheet 3b-1:

Here's what it looks like:

Anyhoo, hard to see the justifications for such a huge increase in this budget. Let's hope someone is looking at this budget - maybe it's me but some of the detail schedules don't even agree to the summary pages.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Well, guess that's one way for Mayor ChoiLankey to get a modest $703k $pending Increase in 2014!?!

Just don't compare your 2014 Muni Budget to 2013's Actual Adopted Muni Budget. Guess he's taking lessons from his friends over there on the Board of Mythomania - where the prior year's budget used to compare to the current year budget to get the change - is always different than the budget You Voted on!

But hey, whatever works for Mayor ChoiLankey and his 'Fresh Start Tour' Entourage to get away with an 8.3% Muni Tax Hike for 2014!

Anyhoo, at least we're comforted in the knowledge that Council President Rob 'March on Trenton' Karabinchak says his finance committee will conduct a very careful review and the entire council will listen to what the residents say at a public meeting. Now, there you go!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Mayor ChoiLankey - newest inductee into the Land of Mythomania!?!

Saw this piece on the Edison Muni Tax-Hike here in the papers this morning. Mayor ChoiLankey says there are good reasons why the township's taxes need to go up. Well, then maybe he better come up with some better information and better reasons than he offers in this piece.

With appropriations up $2.6 million, revenues down $4.2 million and, hence, the tax levy up $6.8 million, it's hard for Lankey to just say that the proposed budget of $120.8 million budget only increases by $702,503 - a tad bit of information missing there. It's nice to say you're under the 2% Cap but then conveniently ignore all the Cap Exclusions that just get passed on to the taxpayers.

And what's this cute spin about decreased property values? Yeah, it's true that since 2009 the ratables dropped by some $300 million but that has nothing to do with the change in the tax rate from last year. In fact,  ratables actually increased by some $30 million from last year.

We're supposed to believe that he needs an 8.3% tax hike just to add some more police, maintain and enhance municipal services and add some more equipment?!? If Lankey wants to say that - then he needs to come up with a better explanation for such a huge tax increase.

Unfortunately, this is just unsupportable rhetoric by Mayor ChoiLankey to support his unjustified hike in the Muni tax-rate for 2014.

And always get a kick out stuff like this from Council President Rob 'March on Trenton' Karabinchak:

'Our real work in the administration's proposal begins now.' Before the budget is finalized, our council finance committee will conduct a very careful review and the entire council will listen to what our residents say at a public meeting.'

Sorry, don't mean to be a tad bit skeptical but this guy is so attached to Lankey that Lankey has to carry Snickers bars every where they go together. And more importantly, don't place much credibility in his or the finance committee's review - this is the same guy on a finance committee that didn't even know (in a prior budget) that there was a Muni tax hike of 2.9 Cents after they reviewed the budget, tax bills went out and we already paid half the year's tax increase.

There was something informative in the piece though - Senator Barnes revisiting the property tax issue. Hard to understand the reliance for such taxes on a non-cash asset. Hope he gets somewhere.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Hot off the Press - 'Edison eyes 9 percent tax hike.'

Well, there you go. Mayor ChoiLankey has finally gotten around to telling us (of course, through the press today) what his tax hike is for 2014. Good thing that the 'Fresh Start Tour Entourage', aka Edison Council, didn't tell us when they received the budget at the May 28th meeting.

A 9-cent tax hike that takes the Muni Rate up to $1.208. You can see what that tax hike means to your pocketbook in the previous posts.

Anyhoo, in the words of Melissa 'Beware the Perils of Perilstein' Perilstein:

'We feel that this is a responsible budget that will get us going in the right direction and move us forward.'

Well, there you go - Hey, I'm convinced - how 'bout You?!?

Anyhoo, the only thing responsible about this budget and Mayor ChoiLankey's stewardship to boot is that elections have consequences and we're responsible for letting hypocrisy control our lives and pocketbooks here in Downtown Edison.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Mayor ChoiLankey's 'Fresh Start Tour' - Tax Ambush #2!

Is it Public Safety, Censorship or just plain Hypocrisy?!?

Wow, just saw this piece in the SL - '2 Edison cops reprimanded for speaking publicly about manpower levels' here.

This is a tad bit scary news coming out of Mayor ChoiLankey's 'DemBadLands'. Seems the EDO, which supported Lankey over Ricigliano in the last election had no problem sharing info about police staffing levels endangering Your safety with this line out of one of their fliers in the last Mayoral election:


Don't recall Senior Lankey objecting to this flier or expressing concern about public safety when it went out.

Seems like what's Good for the Goose isn't Good for the Gander here in Mayor ChoiLankey's 'DemBadLands!'

Anyhoo, this truly is a tad bit scary and sure seems to take their usual hypocrisy to new lows.

Maybe it's time for Senor Lankey to take his own Party's flier advice and 'End this shameful behavior - Stop these embarrassing headlines.'

Just an after thought - Mayor ChoiLankey really shouldn't let his aides, Perilstein & Russomanno, speak for him:

Perilstein - 'Discussing public safety numbers in a public forum jeopardizes the public safety of residents of the town.'

Guess she didn't see the EDO flier.

Russomanno - Anthony Russomanno, the campaign manager for Edison Democrats in 2013 who now works in the Lankey administration, said the real issue here isn't a flier circulated by a group independent of the mayor's office, but the chief's efforts to reduce overtime costs. 'It's a matter of dollars and cents, Russomanno said. We're going to need their help in order to accomplish it.'

Guess he didn't didn't see the dollars and cents in Lankey's 2014 Muni Budget - with an 8% Tax Hike.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Transparency Level in Mayor ChoiLankey's 'DemBadLands'!?!

Well, after 5 months into CY 2014, Mayor ChoiLankey handed his Introduced Budget for 2014 to his 'Fresh Start Tour' Entourage, aka Edison Council on May 28, 2014.

So, for not telling the people of Downtown that night (after almost half the year is already over before getting a budget) that it's being introduced with an 8% Tax Hike - Mayor ChoiLankey and his 'Fresh Start' team continue to deserve their Transparency Rating of INVISIBLE - as in duct tape transparency!

But hey, it's a good thing they're the ones who are going to review it!?! Maybe they can find Mayor ChoiLankey's Zero-Based Budget he promised for 2014!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Mayor ChoiLankey and his 'Fresh Start Tour' Entourage

So says Mayor ChoiLankey of 'DemBadLands':

'Tom Lankey and the Edison Council will lower costs, streamline services and find new revenues to KEEP YOUR LOCAL TAXES STABLE!'

So does Mayor ChoiLankey in 'DemBadLands!:

  • Raise the Sewer Tax 35% for Residential property and 50% for Commercial property
  • Increase Appropriations by $2.6 million
  • Reduce Revenues by $4.2 million
  • Increase Your Muni Taxes by $6.8 million
  • Increase Your Muni Tax Rate by 9.2-Cents or 8.3% from $1.116 to $1.208

Buy hey, not to worry - Mayor ChoiLankey just hired a public relations firm for $45,000 here to make this all sound good.

Anyhoo, hypocrisy continues to know no end here in Mayor ChoiLankey's Downtown Edison!

From Mayor ChoiLankey in 'DemBadLands' - an 8.3% Muni Tax Hike!?!

Well, there you go, from Mayor Choi Lankey & his 'Fresh Start Tour' entourage to

CY 2014 Muni Tax Hike!

Anyhoo, the boy who can't cry wolf - just did!