Thursday, June 30, 2016

Edison Council Review of Mayor Lankey's $128.1 million Muni-Budget for CY 2016?!?

Well, it's now the end of June and still haven't heard when the Council is going to take up Mayor Tom 'Now 13.8%' ChoiLankey's Introduced Muni-Budget for  CY 2016. Seems if they want to review and adopt a budget in time to get the tax bills out (and avoid spending money on estimated tax bills) then there must be a meeting coming pretty soon. Last I looked at the schedule on the website, there was only one meeting scheduled for the end of July.

Update - just checked the website at 2:15 today and the Council will hold a Special Meeting on Monday July 11, 2016 at 7:00 PM in the Council Chambers - for a Public Hearing on both the 2016 Municipal and Solid Waste Collection Budgets. 

Be that as it may, here's a summary of the 2016 Introduced Budget (you can see the complete budget here on the Township's website):

As you can see, Señor Lankey's budget comes with $128.1m in appropriations, which is up some 1% over last year. It also comes with a reduction in revenue of some $1.2 million and hence, an increase in the tax levy of $2.4 million. These changes over last year, take the Muni tax-rate to $1.269, which is up 3.4-Cents or 2.74% over last year. And if you look, you can see the library is up 7.44% and local tax 2.47%.

So, what do we have here? We have appropriations up slightly, a big decrease in revenue both adding to an increase in the tax levy of some $2.4 million.

Now, I guess they know what's in these numbers but I sure haven't heard anybody yet explain them. However, if history is any indication, I'm not to concerned with the revenue decrease since, as you'll see in a second, Señor Lankey has a tendency to have his revenue numbers amended up by the Council.

Which brings me to these so-called Council budget reviews. Obviously, I don't place much stock in them since the end result of their efforts doesn't really change things for you and me and why I refer them as Council 'AmendNotMents.'

Take a look at Señor Lankey's last two muni-budgets that were reviewed by the Council:

You can see they reduced Lankey's increase by a whole lot of Nothing while increasing revenue, adding some more appropriations and letting a minuscule amount go to reduce the tax levy.

Hard to explain how on the $172,762,787 that they reviewed over those two years - that all they could find to reduce Lankey's tax increases by was a Whopping $730,900.

But hey, what do I know - I still can't figure out why Lankey can't get the revenue number right in these Introduced Budgets.

Anyhoo, just looking at the numbers themselves, sure looks like there's ample room to kick Lankey's 2.74% Muni tax-increase to the curb - but don't hold your breath here in the 'DemBadLands' of Downtown Edison.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Edison Board of Mythomania's Extra $1,500,000 - good to see they're right on top of things?!?

Just saw this piece here in and, wouldn't you know it - the James Monroe Elementary School is not expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2016-17 school year and they will remain at the current Woodbridge location.

Seems they're now shooting for January 2017. That's an extra $150,000 a month for four more months or $600,000. Add to that the additional $900,000 we have to pay for six month extension of the lease.

Seriously now, what is going on over there?!? And could they possibly wait any longer to share the good news with us?

Some notable quotes from this piece from a letter Super Dr. Richard 'Looking for the Exit Ramp' O'Malley sent to parents:

'The only reason is that we want the project to be perfect.'

'The construction company has done an amazing job and they needed two more months to finish.'

'..he said the construction company could not guarantee the building would be ready and indicated they would need more time for completion.'

And my favorite - 'Although this may not be the perfect scenario for any of the stakeholders involved..' - YOU THINK?!?

But hey, have no fear, O'Malley said the money will come from an emergency fund!


Anyhoo, what's another $1,500,000 of wasted taxpayer money over there on Mythomania Lane.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Christie's Proposal on School Aid - $6,500 per Pupil

Saw this piece here in the SL which has a table showing the effect of the $6,500 per pupil proposal across all school districts. You should check out the article and the effect it has on all the school districts in the state. Looks like Edison will receive a 596% increase in state aid per pupil under this proposal.

Here's the numbers for the rest of Middlesex County:

Anyhoo, this should be interesting to see what the final results will be.

Friday, June 17, 2016

'Super EDO Committee Members'..aka, Edison Council?!?

Well, Hillary has her Super Delegates – you know, those elected and party officials that get to pick whoever they want even before the first vote is cast and regardless of the outcome of the vote, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that we have our own mini-version of Super Delegates to fill the open council spot here in the ‘DemBadLands’ of Downtown Edison.

Must be a Dem-Party rule thingie by the powers that be to preserve the status quo.

So, what’s going on here with the process to fill the vacant Council seat created when the EDO’s greatest failure, Rob ‘Mr. Temper-a-Ment’ Karabinchak was elevated to the 18th District Assembly?

First, they need to fumigate the council chambers to get the stench out and then send a note of apology to all the other towns in the 18th District – but I digress, so let’s move on.

Seems the EDO committee people got together and voted on who should get the open seat. The top three (3) vote getters are going over to Edison’s Council, aka Super EDO Committee Members, and they get to choose which one should fill the spot at next week’s Council meeting.

Of the 92 people voting, the top three vote getters were Joe Coyle with 70 votes, Michael Comba with 57 votes and Steve Nagel, with 53 votes.

Now, as they say, I don’t have a dog in this hunt so it really doesn’t matter to me, which one is chosen. I just don’t believe any of them would be strong advocates for the People of Edison. Seems to me, this process is set up to be more of a Council power fight than a fight for the People of Edison.

There’s Joe Coyle, who has been trying to break into the inner circle of the Local Dem Party and be part of the establishment for years now and who seems to travel in a level of consciousness that I’ve yet to experience – so, not for me.

There’s Michael Comba, a guy that Charlie ‘I Abstain’ Tomaro is trying to parachute in to fill the seat. With Charlie pushing him – that’s enough for me to say, No thanks. Hard to seriously take anything that the Original Poster-child for What’s Wrong with the EDO has to say. Though Mr. Comba was very gracious and did reach out to me to see if we could talk so he could introduce himself and discuss what he could do to help the People of Edison. I thanked him but took a pass - not for me.

Then there’s Steve Nagel. He’s the committee person in my District and, unfortunately, have never-ever even seen him out campaigning or doing anything else for the people in my neighborhood for all the years he’s held that spot. Don’t quite think he’s what I’d be looking for in a councilperson and so, not for me.

Having said all this, which shouldn’t really matter to you - there is a moral to this tale of woe that has nothing to do with the candidates and which should matter to you.

The Council shouldn’t be given a choice of the top three (3) to choose from when the Committee Members already voted and they chose Joe Coyle. Hey, say what you want but the guy got 70 out of the 92 votes cast. Shouldn’t they listen to their own party members? Geez, nobody had a problem with or tried to overrule the vote when Rob ‘Mr. Temper-a-Ment’ Karabinchak got the Committee 
Member nod over two more eminently qualified Councilpersons for the 18th District Assembly spot.

Anyhoo, I clearly recognize that this is Edison and the EDO has its own set of rules they play by in this selection process, but geez – shouldn’t the person with the most votes, from the party members elected to do this, get the nod or why even bother to have Committee Members?!?

Monday, June 13, 2016

Mayor Tom 'Now 11.1%' ChoiLankey - Now 13.8% ChoiLankey, up another 2.7%!

Well, just took a look at the 2016 Introduced Muni-budget for 2016. It comes with Appropriations of $128,059,655 and a tax levy to $89,678,847, which is up $2,421,266 over last year's tax levy.

It also comes with a Muni tax rate of $1.269, which is up 3.4-Cents or 2.74% over last year's $1.235 rate.

So, if you live in that imaginary home assessed at $177,300, then your tax increase will be $60. If you don't live in that imaginary home, then take your home's assessed value divided by 100 and multiply that number by .034 - or you can just drop your assessed value in below.

Mayor Tom 'Now 13.8%' ChoiLankey - don't you just love how they define $tabilizing taxes here in the 'DemBadLands' of Downtown Edison??

Friday, June 10, 2016

When the Original 'Poster-Child for What's Wrong with the EDO' is pushing a candidate - you Know there's Something very Wrong!?!

As someone once quipped, 'No matter how cynical I get, it's never enough to keep up.' Such is the case here with the EDO, the Party that made Edison Safe for Hypocrisy. Specifically, the process to select a council replacement for Rob 'Mr. Temper-a-Ment' Karabinchak, the Biggest EDO Failure ever released upon the People here in Downtown Edison and Now the 18th District.

First, let me say, it's their party and they can play by any rules they want and I recognize that tad bit of dysfunctional irony. So, what are the rules for selecting a replacement to fill the open council seat? As I understand it, the party asks for people to submit their names for consideration and they then hold a committee member screening and vote. I believe there are some 78 districts with two committee people from each district, one male and one female. The top three vote getters get passed on to the Council and they choose the one they want to fill the spot. And that's it.

Now, you can imagine my surprise when I kept hearing even before the committee met to vote and select the three candidates the council would choose from - that the hand-picked choice was Michael Comba, an alternate member of the Zoning Board. Further, that your friend and mine, Charlie 'I Abstain' Tomaro - the Original Poster-Child for what's Wrong with the EDO was out Supporting this guy. Not for nothing, but when Charlie is out pushing someone for a political position - you gotta know that it's Not in Your best interests.

A Big Red Flag should Go Up in Your Mind!

Now, I'm sure this guy is a nice guy and all and he's happy to jump ahead in the pecking-order of things but it's hard to hear when it seems a choice is already made even before the committee meets and votes are counted to determine who the Council's choices will even be.

But have no fear, here are the 6 people who submitted their names for consideration;

1. Joe Coyle
2. Michael Comba
3. Steve Nagel
4. Richard Brescher
5. Sam Kahn
6. Sheila Angalet

And here's the results from last night's committee voting:

1. Joe Coyle - 70
2. Michael Comba - 57
3. Steve Nagel - 53
4. Richard Brescher - 51
5. Sam Kahn - 23
6. Sheila Angalet - 23

Total committee people voting was 92.

So, look who is in the Top 3 - Michael Comba, now there's a Shocker! You'd think they'd at least work to get the sole woman running into the Top 3 with half the 156 committee people being women. Take it they don't take well to differing opinions of their status quo operandi . That's unfortunate. We sorely need some qualified women on the Council who will speak up and out.

Anyhoo, it is what it is here in the 'DemBadLands' of Downtown Edison and it's definitely Not about You - but just so I can make my choice known even before the Council votes, here's what I sent to the Council yesterday afternoon before the committee met to vote:

Madam Clerk - please forward to all Council Members as a Council communication for the next meeting:

Council Members:
Hello to all. You can imagine my surprise when I heard today that the hand-picked choice to fill the open council seat is Michael Comba, an alternate on the Zoning Board. Surprised since the EDO Committee people have yet to meet as I write this to vote so the top 3 candidates can be passed on to you.

Now, I’m sure that you would never pick someone in advance of an EDO Committee meeting convened to vote to select your choices - so, I must of heard wrong. If so, I apologize.

However, in the event Mr. Comba turns out to be your choice out of the 3 candidates yet to be selected, then please note before you vote that I object to his appointment to the Council.

Ralph Bucci
Edison Resident

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

What will Edison Mayor Tom 'Now 11.1%' ChoiLankey's Number Now be?!?

Well, tonight's the night that Mayor Tom 'Now 11.1%' ChoiLankey introduces his 2016 Muni-Budget over there at 100 Oligarchy Blvd.  As soon as it's available, we'll take a look and see what's in it and what it does to you and me. Though I did notice from the agenda that they also have an ordinance to bank some $3.7 million in appropriations, so we'll have to see what that's all about too. Got to pay attention to those bank thingies - they come back to bite you in later years.

Just a reminder, the Final Council-AmendNotMent 2015 Budget came with $126.8 million in appropriations and an $87.2 million tax levy - all the council could find to cut out of an $87.8 million Choi-Lankey budget was a whopping $600,000 - an amount so insignificant that it gets lost in the rounding.

Señor Lankey's 2015 amended budget took the Muni-tax rate up to $1.235, which was up some 2.9-Cents or 2.5%.

So, let's wait and see what they do in the 'DemBadLands' of Downtown Edison to add to the $234 million School's already 11.2-Cent or 4% property tax increase for 2016.

Don't know what the County tax or County Open Space tax for 2016 will be yet. Last I asked, it wasn't in yet.

Here's some history of the property tax rates from 2011 to 2015 here in Downtown Edison. You can see where the increases came from each year and what each entity is as a % of your total tax bills:

Here's another breakdown of the history of the County taxes that show up on your tax bills only because Charlie 'I Abstain' Tomaro is working so hard for us to $tabilize taxes:

Anyhoo, it would be helpful if we don't waste time and money with a Council-AmendNotMent process and just get on with whatever Lankey puts out so we can get the tax bills out on time and not have another estimated tax bill this August. Logic says if all they cut out of last year's $87.8 million tax levy was some $600,000 and in 2014 all they cut out out of an $84.9 million tax levy was a whopping $141,000 - then let's just skip the checks and balances myth.