Sunday, March 27, 2016

Edison's 2016 Muni-budget - just put it out Señor Lankey and let's just skip the drama with Council Budget AmendNOTments!

Well, you gotta like what goes on over there at 100 Oligarchy Blvd. when it's budget time. Over the last 2 years, Mayor Tom 'Now 11.1%' ChoiLankey has taken the Muni-taxes up, just that - 11.1% and his 'Fresh Start Tour' Entourage cut that increase back to 10.5% for a whopping .6 tenths of a percent.

Gotta love the one-party rule that makes Edison Safe for Hypocrisy here in the 'DemBadLands' of Downtown Edison.

Bet you can't wait to see what's in store for You in the 2016 Muni-budget!?! Not to worry though, we have Rob 'March on Trenton' Karabinchak looking out for us. He'll make sure they work tirelessly and diligently in 2016 to get that 8.87 up to 10.00.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Mayor Tom 'Now 11.1%' ChoiLankey Ups the 2016 Sewer tax rates - Otra Vez!?!

Well, in a prelude to what's to come with the 2016 Muni tax, looks like from the 'Fresh Start Tour' Entourage's March 21 agenda, the sewer tax rates are going up again.

The 2016 rates are up 1.89% for Residents and 5.0% for Nonresidential. Hey, can't be out done by the Board of Mythomania's 2% tax hike which is really a 4% tax hike.

But hey, look at it this way. Last year's increase was 2.5% and 19.4% for residential and nonresidential, respectively and the year before that the increase was 35% and 50% for residential and nonresidential, respectively. They would call that drop in the increase a savings even though your taxes are still going up every year!

And seriously, doesn't anybody on the council carry a supply of Snickers bars?!?!:

Anyhoo, anybody know where we are these days between actions and dreams over there at 100 Oligarchy Blvd.?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Preliminary 2016-17 Edison School Budget - $234 million - where's the Board Oversight?!?

Public meeting May 4, 2016. You may not be able to vote down these big, fat & bloated 'Pots of Money' they call budgets anymore but you can still can go and express your disappointment with this board's oversight.

You see, by the time they have this public meeting, they will already of had this budget reviewed and approved by the County Super and it won't really matter what you have to say about the budget at the public meeting - they will just adopt it.

Unfortunately, until we get a board that leads and not just follows and one that treats the forgotten stakeholder, (you know, the one that pays the bills - us, the residents and taxpayers) fairly, we will continue to be treated to these Out-of-Control $pending Budgets and unnecessary drain on your pocketbooks.

Monday, March 21, 2016

The O' so Mal Conundrum - $pending up to $234,009,994!!

With this 2016-17 'Pot of Money' they call a School Budget, that's a whopping increase of $35.4 million in $pending since Super Dr. Richard 'Looking for the Exit Ramp' O'Malley took over!

Anybody paying attention to the Out-of-Control $pending over there on Mythomania Lane?

Don't you just get a kick out of this slide? March 21 - BOE Adopts Preliminary Budget.. - not for nothing but don't you think they should at least pretend and wait and count the vote after it's publicly taken tonight?!?

Anyhoo, don't worry about the Out-of-Control $pending. Only some 90% of that $234,009,994 comes from You!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Board of Mythomania $234 million 2016-17 School Budget $aving claims- where's the $avings Dr. Frank?!?

Maybe it's me but the last time I looked, a savings comes from reducing a cost you're paying now. A reduction in an increase is not a savings, it's still an increase in your cost. And, if you cut a cost but just re-purpose it to another cost, it's not a savings either.

So, if the School tax rate has gone up every year since perpetuity and the cost to the residents and taxpayers to fund these big, fat & bloated 'Pots of Money' you call a budget has gone up every year - then where's the $avings to the People here in Downtown Edison Dr. Frank?

Anyhoo, don't be confused by the intellectual dishonesty going on over there on Mythomania Lane. It doesn't take a PHD to figure out the definition of savings. A Master of the Obvious is all you need.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Board of Mythomania's 2016-17 'Bucket of Money' aka School Budget?!?

All about the Out-of-Control $pending! You take a big, fat and bloated bucket of money base and you increase it each year - what do you think you're gonna get? A big, fat and bloated bucket of money that grows exponentially.

Is anybody paying attention over there on Mythomania Lane?!?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Board of Mythomania - What happens when you Lead from Behind?!?

You let this guy loose to go on and on and on! Geez, you think no one on the board knew the taxes were going up 4% in the 2016-17 school budget they had right in front of them. It's pretty sad when you have to deal in half-truths with the People of Downtown Edison.
Anyhoo, it's hard to take this board seriously - but hey, I'm looking forward to my $80 property tax refund Super Dr. Richard 'Looking for the Exit Ramp' O'Malley promised in 2020 when we're debt free - that is if they don't decide to repurpose it to more $pending!?! They've never repurposed taxpayer relief money before, have they? Blah..blah..blah!

Board of Mythomania's double-secret 2016-17 School Budget - 4% Tax Hike!?!

Well, thought the Board of Mythomania was going to release the 2016-17 Public Budget at last night's caucus meeting. They didn't. Unfortunately, we were just treated to a presentation of select numbers in that double secret budget by Super Dr. Richard 'Looking for the Exit Ramp' O'Malley.

Not for nothing but there's a guy who should be no where around numbers, much less presenting them. He's still locked into that fiscal-year mentality which is fine if you bridge the gap to the calendar year and how the tax rate is calculated and what You end up paying. Of course, he doesn't do that so you don't really know what all that blah..blah means.

And what's the point of presenting something if you're not going to tell the People of Downtown Edison what it will cost them? Telling people that you're staying at the 2% tax levy cap (fiscal Year) but not telling them that on a calendar-year basis (which is how your taxes are calculated) your School taxes are going to go up 4% in this budget is a tad bit Not Nice at best.

Here's my best take on what was said and presented in that meeting. $pending is $234,009,994, which is up $6,068,564 or 2.7% over last year's $227,941,430. The fiscal year tax levy is $210,003,178, which is up $5,636,318 or 2.76% over last year's $204,366,860.

What he doesn't tell you is what this means to the calendar-year tax levy and your tax bill. This budget takes the calendar-year tax levy to $207,185,019, which is up $8,002,990 or 4% over last year's $199,182,029.

So, what this 2016-17 budget does is to increase the School tax rate to $2.932 (Per 100), which is 11.2 cents or 4% up over last year's $2.820 (Per 100). If you live in that imaginary home assessed at $177,300, then your taxes will go up another $199.

You can calculate your own tax increase by dividing your home's assessed value by 100 and multiplying that number by the .112 increase - or you can just plug your home's assessed value into the chart below.

Anyhoo, first let's see how many non-budgeted staff they added this year before you give him another 12 in the 2016-17 school budget.

Guess we have to wait until they release the budget before the public can see what's in it.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Edison Board of Mythomania's "Staffing Shell Game' - Nothing Less Than Disingenuous!

Well, it's that time of year again here in Downtown Edison when Super Dr. Richard 'Looking for the Exit Ramp' O'Malley and the Board that Leads from Behind over there on Mythomania Lane get ready to put forth their School Budget for 2016-17. According to the agenda for their March 16th caucus meeting (up on their website now) their public meeting on the latest 'Pot of Money' they call a School Budget will be on May 4, 2016.

Now, when you have a Super that believes that when you (use to) go to the polls to vote on the school budgets that you were just voting on a tax levy number and not the actual budget behind that number, when you can make transfers between accounts pretty much anytime you want and when you fail to disclose to the public the details for the changes in Staffing - which is the single largest expenditure in the school budget, then you really don't have a budget.

All you have is big, fat and bloated 'Pots of Money' you can $pend pretty much anyway you want.

Hence, the 'Staffing Shell Game' - a budget practice that's been going on for as long as I've been looking at their budgets and that includes the Dickinson, Maeroff, Iyer and, hopefully Not Now, the Dr. Frank years. I say hopefully not now since when Dr. Frank actually ran for the board he raised the issue of hiring some 40+ non-budgeted heads and not disclosing it to the public at his Candidates Night.

There are many past posts in this blog on this practice and you can go back and look at not only why it happens but how it happens and how you can actually see it in their public budgets. So, not going to waste your time by rehashing the details, just provide a simple blurb of their state mandated budget requirements and where the Board of Mythomania falls short in disclosing what's going on with their staffing.

To most people, a budget is just a budget - a plan of what you see happening over the period covered and something to measure against when actual activity happens. Now, of course, things change and the numbers originally budgeted may no longer be reflective of reality - that's why there are forecasts to show the changes from what was originally budgeted. The forecast reflects the changes from the budget. The budget stays the same, it doesn't change.

For example, if your 2014-15 budgeted staff was 1,962, then your budget is 1,962 - and if right after the start of the budget year, you added 23.5 non-budgeted staff, then your actual and forecast is now 1,985.50. You added 23.5 new hires that weren't in the budget and everyone can see it.

Now, consider this. The state requires the district to substitute the actuals from July 1 through February 1 of the current budget year for the prior year's budget when preparing the next year's budget. Now there's nothing wrong with that. It's an attempt to have more current numbers to compare against next year's budget. However, unless disclosed, it does allow the activity from July 1 to Feb. 1 to be hidden.

Herein lies the issue with the Board of Mythomania's public school budgets. Using the above numbers, if the school's 2014-15 budget had a staffing of 1,962 and they hired 23.5 non-budgeted staff anytime between Jul 1, 2014 and Feb 1, 2015, then their actual staffing is 1,985.50. When they prepare their 2015-16 school budget, they substitute the 1,985.50 for the budgeted 1,962 for the 2014-15 staffing budget. So, the 23.5 non-budgeted staff added to the payroll disappear when comparing it to the 2015-16 staffing, if not disclosed.

Here's how it's presented and what it looks like for their 2015-16 School Budget:

That's 23.5 additional staff they added to the payroll and didn't disclose to you while asking for an additional 16! Now, maybe it's me, but if they already added 23.5 and you were aware of that, wouldn't that raise some questions as to where that money came from and why then would they need another 16 for 2015-16?

And, if you think that it's not important since they're only adding another 23.5 heads to the payroll, then think again. Here's what it looks like since I've been looking at their school budgets:

Over the years, that's some 420 additional non-budgeted staffing they added to the payroll and failed to disclose to You from their big, fat and bloated 'Pots of Money' they call school budgets.

Here's the numbers if you don't like charts:

Anyhoo, no one questions the need to be flexible with staffing and changes should be made when necessary but you have to disclose and explain why those changes made were necessary before asking for more. Let's hope Dr. Frank recognizes that there needs to be better reporting and disclosure to the people of Downtown Edison of the Staffing changes - the single largest expenditure in the big, fat and bloated 'Pots of Money' they call school budgets. Or Not.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Heads-up on the Board of Mythomania's Preliminary 2016-17 School Budget!

Well, looks like the it's that time of the year again for tax increases here in Downtown Edison. Super Dr. Richard 'Looking for the Exit Ramp' O'Malley will be presenting the above budget at the March 16, 2016 caucus meeting over there on Mythomania Lane.

Just a reminder about last year's budget - the 2015-16 School tax rate was $2.820, which was 8.7 cents up (3.2%) from the prior year's tax rate of $2.733.

$pending was $227.9 million, which was $11.0 million up (5.1%) from the prior year's $216.9 million.

And, most importantly, let's not forget about the use of the Cap Bank that raised the fiscal year tax levy to $204.4 million, which was $10.4 million up (5.3%) from the prior year's $194.0 million.

So much for the 2% Cap in 2015-16!

Anyhoo, even though we don't get to vote on these 'Buckets of Money' they call school budgets, you should pay attention to what out of control $pending they are proposing for this year.