Friday, May 12, 2017

Edison Pocketbook Alert - coming soon to a neighborhood near You!?!

Well, while we wait for Mayor Tom 'Now 13.7%' ChoiLankey's  2017 Muni-budget to come out (and let's not forget the County's contribution to our Property tax bills) thought it might be interesting to see who's leading the tenure race for your pocketbooks here in the 'DemBadLands' of Downtown Edison.

And, let's not forget, the Board of Mythomania's review of Super Dr. Richard 'Looking for the Exit Ramp' O'Malley 2016-17 Performance Bonus (with a Max of $21,233) coming soon to Mythomania Lane. You can see what the Board of Mythomania's 2017-18 School Budget does to you in the May 8, 2017 post and what the Edison Board/Super's Merit Goals were for the 2016-17 school year in the November 17, 2016 post.

Anyhoo, what do I know? I still can't figure out who has the Bigger $mile?!?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Edison Township Sewer Tax Bills are out!?

Well, looks like Mayor Tom 'Now 13.7%' ChoiLankey and his 'Fresh Start Tour Entourage' over there at 100 Oligarchy Boulevard have released the 2017 Sewer Tax Bills.

Residential rates are up 1.7% and Non-Residential rates are up some 4.5%.

Since Señor Lankey took over at the helm, Residential rates have increased by 43.5% and Non-Residential rates by 96.5%.

Can't wait to see what they do with this year's Muni-Budget and where they take the 13.7%!

Here's the history (Source: O.1966-2017 & prior year ordinances)

Anyhoo, at least we're comforted in the knowledge that checks and balances are working just fine - Lankey raised Muni taxes in his first term by 13.7% so far and after Council review they Amended those tax increases to 13.7%!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

NJ - Median Police Salaries in NJ.Com piece

Saw this piece about Cops in NJ earning over $100k a year in NJ.Com here. The data shows the town, county, median years of service and median salary.The database used is explained as follows in the piece:

Police Department Salaries

This database shows the median base salary for law enforcement officers in New Jersey. Data is from the New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits and includes all police officers paying into the Police and Firemen's Retirement System by the end of 2016. It does not include a small minority of officers who are part of the Public Employees' Retirement System, a separate pension fund. Overtime and retroactive pay is not included in the data. State, county, university and correctional officers were excluded from the dataset with the only exception being Camden County Police Department which took over policing in the city of Camden in 2013. Also, not every town has its own police force. Some towns have consolidated their police force with another municipality. State Police also provides either full-time or part-time policing services for about 100 municipalities. In addition, the median years of service for the police department's officers is also included since tenure can affect median salaries.
There are some 467 towns listed in this database and here's a summary (in Excel format) of the Top 50:

Only town in Middlesex County in the Top 50 was North Brunswick. Edison came in at 62 of the some 467 towns listed. Anyone interested in the Excel file is welcome to it. Just drop me a note.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Edison's Board of Mythomania Approves another $238M 'Bloated Pot of Money' they call a School Budget!?!

Well, on May 3, 2017 the Board of Mythomania, aka Board of Hoarders, Board of EDems approved another 'Pot of Money' in a long-line of Bloated School Budgets. This one raised the $pending by some $4.2 million and Your School tax rate by 5.6-Cents , taking the School tax Rate up to $2.988 Per 100.

However, there is some good news in that the school board vote was 5 Yes, 2 No, 1 Abstention and 1 Absent.

At least there were 2 board members who looked at the 2017-18 school budget with eyes wide open. Only 3 more to go to get this Out-of-Control $pending in check.

Anyhoo, here's what it will cost You and what it's cost You so far for the Super Dr. Richard 'Looking for the Exit Ramp' O'Malley Years:

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Top 10 Reasons

Why the Board of Mythomania, aka Board of Hoarders, Board of EDems should Vote Yes on their $238.2M 'Bloated Pot of Money' they call a Budget on May 3, 2017:

10. Because it was already approved by the County Super and it doesn't really matter anyway what the people who pay for it think.

9. Because you like how Super Dr. Richard 'Looking for the Exit Ramp' O'Malley talks about the Fiscal year School Budget but never bridges the Gap to what actually shows up on the tax bills of those who pay for it.

8. Because you like to use the phase 'It's All About the Kids' and conveniently forget that it's also about the administration, staff and those who pay for it, the taxpayers.

7. Because you like creating sophomoric performance bonus criteria goals for the Super that lack substance yet provide for a big payday.

6. Because you like the 2% Cap with all its exceptions and the availability of the Cap Bank when you need to take the money back that you already claimed as a savings.

5. Because you like a Big, Fat & Bloated Pot of Money School Budget that grows exponentially every year since you moved the elections to November.

4. Because you just don't want to recognize the 'Staffing Shell Game' going on in your budget that shows the lack of control, reporting and disclosure and what it all means to the taxpayer on the single largest expenditure in the school budget.
3. Because you're grown to like the lease purchase agreements which are used to bypass voter approval for capital additions.

2. Because you like to Whine about not getting our Fair Share of State aid rather than focusing on what you're doing with the $238.2 million you already have.

1. Because when you Lead from Behind with $230m plus School Budgets, you leave an awful lot of money in the hands of Super Dr. Richard 'Looking for the Exit Ramp' O'Malley and you think that's just fine.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Board of Mythomania's $238.2 million Preliminary School Budget 2017-18

Well, they just put their preliminary up on their website today. Good to see they're passing their $4.1 million Out-of-Control $pending increase right on to Your tax bill. Also, good to see that the Staffing 'Shell Game' they got going on over there is still alive and well.

If you compare the 2016-17 column on page 32 in this budget to the 2016-17 column on page 32 of last year's budget - you'll find the numbers are different for 2016-17.

The difference being all those non-budgeted heads they've added to the payroll and failed to disclose to you in this or any other school budget they've ever put out. Don't think this is a tad bit deceptive and misleading and can and has led to large additions to the payroll, then go back and look at prior posts in this blog on this Staffing 'Shell Game' and see how many non-budgeted heads they've added to the payroll over the years and never told you about in their budgets.

Last I looked back at this stuff was the School Budget for 2015-16 and here's what it was:

And you can add another 5.5 non-budgeted heads hidden in this School Budget for 2017-18.

Someone really has to step up over there and make the necessary disclosures at monthly meetings about these non-budgeted additions to the payroll.

So, just another in a long-line of Bloated 'Pots of Money' that should get a Big No from the Board of Mythomania ..aka Board of Hoarders ..aka Board of EDems when they vote on May 3, 2017. Wait, what am I thinking? It's their budget they've already got approved by the County Super.

Now, let's see who on the Board has the courage on May 3rd to take a stand against these constantly Bloated and Out-of-Control $pending Pots of Money and vote NO.

Even if the board is looking at this budget with their usual eyes wide-shut, they still can't miss what's wrong with it. Here's their budget, see for yourself:

Haven't watched the video of last night's Action Meeting but as I understand it Paul Distefano was selected to fill the vacant board seat.

You can go to the April 18th post and run Your assessed home value and see what this School Budget for 2017-18 means to Your pocket book.

Anyhoo, at least we're comforted in the knowledge that the ratables went up so the board could squeeze some more $pending into this budget and Not let it benefit You.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Edison's Board of Mythomania - playing Hide & Seek with the $238.2 million School Budget for 2017-18?!?

Well, a couple things going on this coming week with the Board of Mythomania..aka Board of Hoarders..aka Board of EDems over there on Mythomania Lane.

First, take a look here at the agenda for Monday's Public Meeting. Seems there's nothing about the $238.2 million School Budget for 2017-18, which is up $4.2 million over last year's $234.0 million and which we locally fund some 90%. You know, their latest 'Bloated Pot of Money' offering they call a school budget that comes with a School tax rate of $2.988, which is up 5.6-Cents over last year's $2.932.

...until you get to the end, that is, of the agenda and you see there's a Public Meeting scheduled for the 2017-18 School Budget (a budget document they've left off and not provided for on Monday's agenda) on May 3, 2017!?! Now, maybe it's me, but how is it you schedule a Special Public Meeting on a budget in 10 days or so when

You've NOT Provided the Budget to the Public?!?

That's at tad bit Not Nice! Even though we don't get to vote on these budgets anymore, seems it might be nice if they gave the public a chance to see how they came up with this latest $pending Plan to pick your pockets some more -  before they vote on it on May 3, 2017.

So, what now? Are they going to add it to Monday's agenda and you have to be at the meeting to know it's going on or are they going to delay the May 3rd Special Meeting? Guess we'll have until tomorrow night to see what the heck they're doing over there on Mythomania Lane.

Second, seems from their Wednesday caucus meeting (you can watch it on their website), they were unable to pick a replacement to fill the vacant seat on the board. Looks like Dr. Frank couldn't come up with the 5 votes necessary to fill the spot. So, the saga continues on into tomorrow night's meeting where, I guess, they'll try again.

Now, make no mistake. It really doesn't matter what I think since I don't get a vote and they'll pick whoever they want anyway - but, for what it's worth, I'm aware of most of the candidates and from what I know and have seen over the years, they're all fine people in their own right who would bring a unique talent to the board. Would never question any of them wanting to help the district.

Having said that though, I don't really see anyone on the list fulfilling what's important to me in a candidate - someone looking out for and making sure all the stakeholders in the school district are heard in the decision-making process, and that includes the often forgotten one - us, the bill-paying taxpayers in the decision-making process.

So, as they say, while I don't really have a horse in this race - here's the 6 candidates again, and according to Dr. Frank in the order they sent in their application (left to right, top to bottom):

My only concern is we, once again, have Margot Harris - a former board member and the Vice-Chair of the EDO looking to fill the spot. Now, as I said before, I don't know of anything that prevents anyone from holding these two positions and not suggesting there's anything wrong with it but it just doesn't seem right that the Vice-Chair of a Local Political Party that controls the entire Muni-Government side of town should also be part of the decision-making process for the Edison School District. These are autonomous entities and kind of think there should be something in place that says maybe that's not something you want to do - even if you can.

Anyhoo, someone has to be picked in the World of Mythomania so here's my picking-pecking order - either Elizabeth Conway or Joyce Ship, then Carol Bodofsky, Paul Distefano, William Araujo, Margot Harris. 

But hey, what do I know? Since they like me so much over there on Mythomania Lane, they'll probably pick from the bottom of my list!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Board of Mythomania..aka Board of Hoarders..aka Board of EDems - caucus meeting tomorrow night

Well, looks like at tomorrow night's Board of Mythomania's Caucus meeting they're going to fill the vacant board seat. As I understand it, there are six candidates (if I misspelled anyone's name or have an incorrect name on the list, please advise and I will correct):

Margot Harris - Vice-Chair of EDO and former School Board Member
Willie Araujo - Planning Board member
Carol Bodofsky - former teacher in the district
Elizabeth Conway - former teacher in the district
Joyce Ship - teacher in another district
Paul Distefano - don't know him

Apparently, they'll have a chance to speak and the Board will pick one to fill the seat that night.

Also, don't know when they're going to open up the 2017-18 Preliminary School Budget to the public (don't see anything on their agenda for tomorrow night's meeting) but if nothing changes from what they said in an earlier meeting, here's what you're looking at. The $pending is $238.2 million, up $4.2 million or 1.8% over last year, and all that $4.2 million increased $pending is getting passed right on to your tax bill.

And if they didn't change anything, which I doubt they will, here's what this latest Bloated, 'Pot of Money' offering they call a school budget does to You:

Anyhoo, it's a good thing you don't get to vote on these budgets anymore - it lets them automatically increase their bloat and discretionary spending exponentially every year.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Board of Mythomania & ETEA about to renegotiate expiring contract

Just a heads-up - the Board of Mythomania is about to enter into negotiations with the ETEA for the soon to expire contract. 

The current contract runs from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2017. Just a reminder of what came out of those contract negotiations - that 3-year contract brought the dollars up to $120,565,110, which was an increase of $9,554,858 or 8.6%. The annual increase each year over those 3-years was 2.8%.

Certified dollars went up to $110,438,690, which was an increase of $8,815,570 or 8.7%. The annual increase each year over the 3-years was 2.8%.

The Non-Certified dollars went up to $10,126,420, which was an increase of $739,288 or 7.9%. The annual increase was 2.3%, 2.5% and 2.9% over the 3 years, respectively.

Here's the detail info provided on that ETEA contract settlement:
As I understand it, the Board's negotiating committee for this round of negotiations consists of Dr. Frank, Beth Moroney, Jerry Shi and Ralph Errico. 

Just a thought - to avoid the bogus and self-serving argument they always make in future years when they raise your taxes - that there's nothing they can do about it, that it's contractual,  do Something About it Now!

Here's the current contract that runs from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2017, which is about to be renegotiated:

Anyhoo, as soon as their negotiations are completed and both parties have signed off on a settlement, we'll get the new contract and compare it to this expiring one and see where all the qualitative and quantitative changes are and what they mean to your pocketbook.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Edison Board of Mythomania's Vacant Board Seat - get your application in by April 7th!?!

Well, in the closed club mentality world of the Board of Mythomania where they pat each other on the back while they disingenuously pick your pockets year after year, just can't for the life of me figure out who's in charge over there!?!

Anyway, recognizing a flawed (yet farcical) process to fill the open board seat when I see one, I want to treat it with the respect that it's due. So, here's my application to fill the vacant board seat. I meet all their qualifications, provided the documents they wanted in the format they requested and answered all their questions as they've written them.

Just an update, 3/31/17 - silly me, I forgot to put my Non-References on my resume. So here they are;
Mayor Tom 'Now 13.7%' ChoiLankey, Freeloader Charlie 'I Abstain' Tomaro - aka 'Deputy Dog', Ass' Man Rob 'Mr. Temper-a-Ment' Karabinchak - 18th District and Super Dr. Richard 'Looking for the Exit Ramp' O'Malley - gotta update my application, don't want them to think I didn't have any Non-References!

Now, you may say, what's the point of applying - they probably already have someone in mind to fill the vacant spot? My answer to that would be - that's exactly the point but they shouldn't of closed out the application process 10 days early to make it so obvious. At least they could of pretended that it was an open process.

Anyhoo, what do I know? I still can't figure out why you can't provide a hand-written application?? Cursive writing and printing seem to be treated as a lost art form. Oh wait, I remember - $4 million for some 4,400 Mac laptops!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Board of Mythomania Vacant Position - they cut 10 days out of potential candidate pool?!?

Well, looks like the Board of Mythomania isn't wasting anytime filling that vacant position on the board. Contrary to their timetable to submit letters of intent and resumes by April 17, 2017 at their caucus meeting, they now moved it up to April 7, 2017 at their action meeting. You know, spring break and all.

As one former Board of Mythomania President said to another former Board of Mythomania President, when you have 5 votes you can do whatever you want. That's so true here in the 'DemBadLands' of Downtown Edison.

So, what's up Dr. Frank, it's safe to say you have 5 votes to fill that position with whomever you want - why the rush and restricting the potential candidate pool with such a tight timetable from advertising to when the paperwork has to be submitted - one week? Funny isn't it, how the people of Edison lost 10 days from their caucus meeting to their action meeting.

Beats me, but geez, kind of makes a farce out of the entire process, which is nothing new for what goes on over there on Mythomania Lane.

Adding insult to injury, they didn't even post the requirements up on their website until this afternoon sometime. I know, I checked.

With all due respect, take it the same people who write those sophomoric and substance-lacking Performance and Merit Goals every year must of written this stuff you have to fill out to apply.

First and foremost, you can't fill it out long-hand, it will not be accepted. Whoa! Seems printing and cursive writing are a thing of the past with all their Macs, I-Pads and I-Phones over there. Who cares if you can't write the language as long as you got a computer screen to type on. Guess it makes it easier for them to read over there.

But I digress, so let's move on.

Here's the application and instructions (from their website) you will need to follow to submit your name for consideration - and due by April 7, 2017:

Anyhoo, since this is such a thinly veiled attempt to pick who they want anyway, I think I'm going to play along with this farce and fill out one of these silly form thingies and submit it - so I can go to their caucus meeting on April 19, 2017 and tell them why I should be on the board. No problema, silly questions deserve silly answers and I talk fast anyway and can cover in 6-minutes what I think a board of education should do. When I fill out their non long-hand form, I'll share my answers with you right here. It's all a big joke anyway, right?

Friday, March 24, 2017

Board of Mythomania Caucu$ New$ - March 22, 2017!?!

Update - March 29, 2017 - just heard that they're going to advertise for the open board seat on March 30, 2017 and that they moved the time to submit your letter of intent and resume from APRIL 17, 2017 to APRIL 7, 2017. That doesn't seem like much Notice Time and just a Tad Bit Not Nice.  Anyhoo, heads-up 'cause it sure seems like their limiting the candidate pool.

Well, took a peek at the above caucus meeting and there's some things you probably might want to note for your pocketbook's sake.

First, we have them approving the 2017-18 Pot of Money they call a School Budget to be sent to the County for approval. Of course, they don't tell you what's in it because they first have to get County approval. Only thing they would say is that they stayed under the 2% Cap and Ratables are up by $30 million, which helps keeps the tax rate down.

Of course, there are a lot of ways to stay under the 2% Cap and all the increase in the Ratables does is to spread their Out-of-Control $pending over more taxpayers. So, we'll have to wait to see their budget before we can understand what's in it, how they stayed under the cap, what the school tax rate is and how and why it changed over last year's $2.932 school rate.

However, you can do a quick guesstimate of what the school tax rate is in this budget just by looking at last year's budget here (pages 2 & 3), knowing they stayed under the 2% Cap and Ratables are up $30 million.

When they say they stayed under the 2% Cap, they are talking about the fiscal year tax levy. Last year's fiscal year tax levy was $210 million and staying under 2% probably means somewhere in the 1.90% to 1.99% range - and that would make the 2017-18 fiscal year tax levy in the $214.0 to $214.2 million range. When you convert that to the calendar year tax levy (1/2 of the 2016-17 fiscal year tax levy and 1/2 of the 2017-18 fiscal year tax levy), you get a range of $212.0 to $212.1 million.

When you divide that calendar year tax levy by the Ratables of $7,096.3 billion (up $30 million), you get a school tax rate range of $2.987 to $2.989 for 2017. That's a tax rate increase of 5.5 to 5.7-Cents over last year's $2.932.

If you live in that imaginary home assessed at $177,300, then your tax increase will be in the range of $98 to $101 and your school tax bill will be between $5,297 and $5,299. Of course the tax rate change of 5.5 to 5.7-Cents is a net number, meaning that $pending had to be Up since it was offset somewhat by the increase in Ratables.

Second, we have them announcing the procedure for filling the open board seat. According to Dr. Frank, they're going to advertise it and put it up on the website for anyone interested to submit a letter of intent and resume by April 17, 2017 - and those interested will be given 5 to 10 minutes at the April 19, 2017 Caucus meeting to say why they should be on the board. The Board will then go into closed session to discuss and pick someone to fill the open seat. Since ties don't work, they must keep at it until someone gets a majority. If they can't break the tie and the 65 days runs out, the County Super will pick a replacement.

So, anybody who is interested should make sure you get your paperwork in on time. Surely there's got to be somebody out there that has an interest in making sure that the often forgotten stakeholder in Mythomania World of Out-of-Control $pending over there on Mythomania Lane, that being the taxpayer - you know, the one that pays over 90% of the bills, has a seat at the table.

Finally, we have the final settlement agreement on the James Monroe School. Seems the whole James Monroe fiasco of it's not just us, it's not just them is at an end. Apparently, they settled the last piece of $682, for $320k.

So, this now brings the total cost of delays and penalties with our temporary space in getting into the school ($1,500,000) and getting the school completed ($320,000) to a Whopping $1, 820,000.

Let's give them a big round of applause for Wasting $1,820,000 of Your Money. Good job!

Anyhoo, what do I know? I still can't figure out why they think the state would even give them more money when they can't control what they do with the money they already have.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

EDO 1 0 People of Edison - the Oligarchy Rolls On!

Well, looks like the EDO made their choices at last nights screening for mayor and council. Some 144 of the 155 committee people showed up to vote.

No surprises here with Mayor Tom 'Now 13.7%' ChoiLankey running unopposed and with no nominations from the floor - the Winner by default.

On the council side - Bob 'See No Conflict' Diehl, Alvaro 'KaraMia' Gomez and Sam 'Let's Dump Shah' Joshi - the Winners.

Take it with their close vote battle between Joshi and Bhagia, there must of been a recount.

Congratulations to the winners but a bigger shout-out to the women who dared to take on the dysfunctional status quo here in Downtown Edison.

Anyhoo, something how all the women candidates were at the bottom of the vote totals when half the EDO committee people are women.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Couple of noteworthy things going on next week here in the 'DemBadLands' of Downtown Edison

Looks like there's gonna be some action on both sides of town next week. First, the Edison Democratic Organization (EDO) is having their screening for mayor and the three council spots on Tuesday March 21st and the Board of Mythomania..aka Board of EDems will soon be putting out their 2017-18 Preliminary School Budget according to their March 22nd caucus meeting agenda here.

First, lets talk about the Board of Mythomania and their infamously bloated and out-of-control $pending Pots of Money they call a school budget. Remember the 2016-17 school budget that had $pending of a whopping $234 million and came with school tax rate of $2.932 Per 100 of assessed value and an 11.2-cent tax hike? Just another in a long line of school tax hikes.

Here, take a trip down the years over there at 312 Mythomania Lane:
With their diversionary whining all over the place about not getting our fair share of state aid under the school funding formula and knowing now that this year's state aid will be flat to last year - can't wait to see what they do with this year's budget.

Guess it would be to much to ask for them to get their Out-of-Control $pending under control, stop building bloated budgets and bloated reserves, stop playing their staffing shell game with their budgets and, finally, stop hoarding taxpayer relief money. So, let's see how they build this budget.

Will they use their bloated budget that grows exponentially every year by 2% or more and their hoarded taxpayer relief money to just increase $pending and pretend they did a good job and didn't raise your taxes by much or what they should do and use that money to reduce the $2.932 school tax rate.

We'll see when they put out their Preliminary 2017-18 Pot of Money.

Next, we have next Tuesday's Local Dem Party (EDO) Oligarchy's screening for mayor and the three council spots. You remember the EDO, the party that brought you Charlie 'I Abstain' Tomaro, the new 'Deputy Dog' of the Freeholders and the poster-child for term-limits and for everything that's wrong with the EDO and Rob 'Mr. Temper-a-Ment' Karabinchak, the new Ass' Man for the 18th District who personifies the 'ME' in Team and the EDO's Greatest Failure.

Anyway, you can see my thoughts about that in the March 5th post.

Now, what can you say about a town where one-party controls everything and checks and balances are just an after thought and the council is just seven more clerks to shuffle Mayor Tom 'Now 13.7%' ChoiLankey's paperwork around?

Not much if you enjoy living in a town where the Perils of One-Party Government are more than Perils, they're a way of life.

You can't better see this Dem-Party Oligarchy come to life than in this simple pic of what the good old boys club does to you:

All that money and everybody is in lock-step against you.

So, whatever portion of those 156 Dem committee people show up on Tuesday to vote - and pick who gets the party's support and, more importantly, who you get to vote for; remember this - a vote for any of the incumbents is a vote against yourself and perpetuates everything that's wrong with this town when you have a select handful of people who control everything.

Which brings me to my point. We have to stop letting the Local Dems control who we can and cannot vote for. So, I say their trying to dump Ms. Shah for Sam Joshi - I go with Shah - she may have fallen out of party favor but she's not afraid to take on the powers that be.

Next, I go with Sheila Angalet - an outspoken committeewoman who's not afraid to stick up for the people and is always getting shunned by the party. Geez, I wonder why?!?

Here's her paperwork:

Check out her FaceBook page and Twitter account and see if you wouldn't like someone like that representing you. I would.

Lastly, just a final bit of poetic justice for the party that has made Edison Safe for Hypocrisy - I'd go with Vibhi Kumar and make it a three women sweep for the good old boys club.

But hey, at least we're comforted in the knowledge that we live in a town where two wolves and a sheep take a majority vote on what's for dinner - and unfortunately, we're the sheep!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Sad news - long-serving Edison Board of Education Member Deb Anes has passed away

Just saw the obituary and I am so sorry to hear it. She was a remarkable woman, pleasant to all and my pleasure to of known such a very kind and decent person.

Deb dedicated a significant amount of time to the education and betterment of our kids here in Edison and that will always be remembered and never forgotten.

My deepest condolences to her family and friends.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Edison Councilwoman wants us to be a 'fair and welcoming community' - Really?!?

Just saw this piece here in the SL about a resolution that Councilwoman Shah put forth at the last council meeting regarding unauthorized immigrants.

As someone who isn't exactly a fan of Ms. Shah but who likes and supports her willingness to speak truth to power here in the DemBadLands of Downtown Edison, I have to respectfully disagree with her on this one.

A 'fair and welcoming community' is something I always thought we were here, in spite of our twisted and dysfunctional one-party politics, but taking it to mean being one-step short of a sanctuary city is a tad bit too much.

Say what you want about it's politics but Edison has always been a safe community and the argument that people won't help local police in fear of being deported is something which is something seemingly based on a false premise.

So, as politically incorrect as it may be to my liberal Dem-friend's, I don't want us to be one-step closer to being a sanctuary city - and I don't really care what other towns are doing.

Let's hope that Mayor Tom 'Now 13.7%' ChoiLankey and his other 6 council-clerks don't buy into this resolution at the expense of all the law-abiding residents of Downtown Edison.

Anyhoo, let's hope that Councilwoman Shah isn't putting forth this resolution now just to counter the loss of the local Dem-party support in her bid for reelection. She doesn't need to - whether she wins a spot on the Dem-party ticket at the March 21 screening or runs as an Independent - I'll still vote for her.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Middlesex County 2017 budget: $20 per household tax hike?!? Really?!?

Just saw this piece here in the HNT. Apparently, it says the county's 2017 budget will result in a less than 1-Cent hike to taxpayers in the county tax rate.

Also says Homeowners will pay about $20 per year more in property taxes to fund Middlesex County government under the terms of the 2017 budget, which was adopted by the Board of Chosen Freeholders on Thursday night.

Wow, sure hope that's true. Don't seem to recall over the past 10 years when the county tax rate increase was less than 1-Cent or we paid just $20 more to fund the county government. We just came off of a 4.1-Cent or 5.5% increase in 2016.

Here's the last 10 years or so of the county tax rate that showed up on our Edison tax bills (excluding the county open space tax):

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Edison Democratic Organization (EDO) Screening - March 21, 2017

Well, it's that time of the year again here in the 'DemBadLands' of Downtown Edison and the EDO will be holding their candidate screening for mayor and the three council spots on March 21, 2017.

Seems Mayor Tom 'Now 13.7%' ChoiLankey is running unopposed and his three council incumbent clerks; Bob 'See No Conflict' Diehl, Alvaro 'KaraMia' Gomez and Sapana Shah are seeking yet another term in the Local Dem Party Oligarchy.

The three council incumbents are being challenged by Sam Joshi, Sheila Angalet (Committeewoman from the 23rd District), Vibhi Kumar (Committeewoman from the 42nd District) and Mahesh Bhagia, brother of the District 3 Committeeman.

Now, since we live in a town where there's really only one-party and they get to pick who you can even get to vote for, it's a safe bet that who ever gets the screening nod on March 21st will be elected in November.

While the Dems in town outnumber the republicans by almost 4 to 1 and there's never any real challenge from the republicans, it's no wonder why the majority of unaffiliated voters don't bother turning out in force for any local elections.

So, in a town with over 100,000 people with some 55-60K registered voters, the election comes down to whoever the EDO's 156 committee people pick. Something, isn't it?

Being a tad bit curious about who those 156 people were these days, I OPRA'd and received the Dem Party Committee list.

Here's the list of Dem Party duly-elected Committee people by District in case you don't know who they are in your district:

Now, since the powers that be over there on 100 Oligarchy Blvd want to dump Sapana Shah for Sam Joshi in this cycle, let me reach out to my District 31 Committee people and share my thoughts on how they should vote - don't dump Shah for Joshi and while you're voting, go with the other two women challengers of Sheila Angalet and Vibhi Kumar. If you'd like to discuss this further before you vote, just let me know.

Anyhoo, if you have an interest in how this town is run, then reach out to your committee persons and have your say on how they should vote. If you don't, then it'll be Diehl, Gomez otra vez and Joshi battling it out with Bhagia for the third spot. Do you really want another 4 years with this same hand-picked crew?

PS: How could I forget?!? Someone reach out to the District 18 Committeeman and remind him to blindly vote the party line.

Friday, March 3, 2017

School State Aid - 2017-18

Well, here you go. The state aid for the school year 2017-18 - pretty much same as last year:

By County:
Middlesex County:
Anyhoo, at least we're comforted in the knowledge that everybody's got a plan to fairly fund the districts in this election cycle!?!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

State of 100 Oligarchy Blvd. - Remains a Passive-Aggressive Oligarchy!?!

Well, normally I'd wait to comment until after Mayor Tom 'Now 13.7%' ChoiLankey gives his State of the Township address (this Thursday) but what's the point in waiting just to hear some more inspiring Springsteen quotes, some more blah..blah..blah from El Jefe on the state of the 'DemBadLands' of Downtown Edison?

Now, don't get me wrong - I have no problem with politicians putting the facts in a light most favorable to themselves but this guy spins stuff so much, he makes himself dizzy. Just a reminder - spin is all well and good, just as long as you don't believe it.

We have an all-Dem Oligarchy government that gives new meaning to the term 'Checks & Balances' - that being we'll tell you what we want you to know and only when we want you to know it. A council that acts more like clerks shuffling Lankey's paperwork around than watchdogs for the People of Downtown Edison.

Don't think so? Then ask yourself why Señor Lankey was able to tax the daylights out of you over the last three years with the muni-tax, garbage tax and sewer taxes (not to mention the bonding and law suit settlements) and the Council was no where to be found. All that tax money and the council couldn't find anything to cut to reduce the burden?

Take the Muni-tax, which Lankey has increased by 13.7% over his short reign and compare that to the council's review of those budgets and the effect of their proposed amendments in the final budgets they adopted, and what do you get - zilch, nada, nothing, the same 13.7%.

Here, take a peek down memory lane:
So, do we really need a Council under Lankey's stewardship? We can save a lot of time and money if we just let Lankey do what he wants and skip the dog and pony show we get from his 7 council clerks.

You know, our form of government is also known as a Strong Mayor, Weak Council form of government. Well, that's half true here in the 'DemBadLands' of Downtown Edison - we have a Weak Council.

And speaking of the council, with Diehl, Gomez and Shah up for reelection this year along with Lankey, looks like they're trying to dump Shah. Seems their choice (in their dysfunctional world of Edison Dem-party politics) for Shah's seat is Sam Joshi.

Now, it really doesn't matter to me who they pick since anyone they pick out of the Dem-party recycle bin would be someone who agrees to play by their rules to get their support. So, if it's not Joshi, it'll be someone else just like him.

Which brings me to Shah. Was never much of a fan of hers dating back to her stint on the Edison Board of Education. My take on her was she was more in the it's all about 'ME' mold of Rob 'Mr. Temper-a-Ment' Karabinchak and not so much for the People of Edison, but only much Smarter.

Having said that, let me tell you why it's a mistake to let the powers that be over there at 100 Oligarchy Boulevard to try and replace her.

First of all, she's really smart and articulate, has a substantive knowledge of the issues before the town and the council, she speaks up and out against the oligarchy when she has to, challenged that least qualified choice of Karabinchak for the 18th District seat, and, let's not forget, she was the only one who voted against Lankey's 9% ambush tax hike in his first year.

Seems to me we are better off having someone on the council who is not afraid to speak truth to power, than not.

So, if any of those 156 or so committee people are listening, don't be lead around by your nose - stick with Ms. Shah and for that matter, consider all the other qualified women who may be screening before you next month. It's time we had more women representing us on the council.

Anyhoo, at least we're comforted by the knowledge that if you don't play nice in the sandbox and buck the status quo, you have to go - here in the 'DemBadLands' of Downtown Edison.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Edison Board of Mythomania would like to draw Your Attention to..

Saw the recent President's Message here from Dr. Frank, the President of the Edison Board of Education. Apparently, the Board wants to draw your attention to a critical issue facing our town - funding (state aid) for our schools.

Really?!? Duh!

Didn't know it was 'critical' since it's been going on for years. We've never gotten our fair share under the SFRA and, most likely, won't see it anytime in the near future either.

What is disconcerting to me about this whining by the board is that they just don't get why we still haven't gotten our fair share. Really now, can they seriously be that naive?!?

Perhaps it's because they live the World of Mythomania over there on Pierson avenue and anything that takes attention away from lack of leadership is their motus-operandi du jour. And let's not forget that it's school budget time and it's always good to blame the state for lack of state aid when they put out another bloated budget and have to raise your taxes - Again!

So, Dr. Frank - rather than dropping these 'critical' bombs on the People of Downtown Edison about money we don't get, perhaps you should concentrate on how you're $pending the money you do get from the taxpayers of Edison - who fund some 90% of the School Budget.

What, you want us to contact our state legislators and make the case for you? Should I call Assemblyman Rob 'Mr. Temper-a-Ment' Karabinchak and ask him to help? Think he'll help you?

Perhaps you should be working on a cohesive, comprehensive and cost-efficient plan to address the overcrowding, which has been going on for years with no Board action.

Perhaps, a whole lot of things more but wasting time whining about things that won't be happening anytime soon is just a disservice to the People of Edison.

Here's thought - you want to help the taxpayers out here in Downtown Edison, then pay attention to how the Board has been treating the People of Edison and how and where you're $pending all that taxpayer money you've been getting over the years:

Anyhoo, don't be distracted by this diversionary rhetoric. The only thing 'critical' is the lack of board members looking out for the stakeholder who pays all the bills, which is you - the taxpayer. Pay attention to what this Board of Mythomania does and not what they whine about.

Apparently, Dr. Frank changed the last two paragraphs of his presentation (differs from the letter published on the school district's website) before the Senate Select Committee on School Funding Fairness: 2/2/2017 @ Middlesex CC - and didn't include the numbers he presented. These numbers he presents are with an NJDOE source reference.

Just an aside, but maybe Dr. Frank can ask Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac, whose deficit is nearly 3 times ours, why he's not whining about it and then maybe ask him how he manages to put out a School Bond Referendum without increasing property taxes?!?

Here's his presentation:

Friday, February 3, 2017

Charlie 'I Abstain' Tomaro - is Deputy material all right - Deputy Dog material!?!

Just saw this piece here in Tap into Edison about the Middlesex County Freeholders. Seems the Deputy Director is leaving and 'a county insider has said Freeholder Charles Tomaro is likely to take over as the board's deputy director.'

Geez, really? Haven't we had enough of this original poster child for everything that's been wrong with the EDO? Aren't their any other democrats more qualified than this guy?

Charlie 'I Abstain' Tomaro, the ultimate insider that once claimed to have done more than any other councilperson ever in the history of Downtown Edison - yeah, he abstained more!

Buy hey, what do I know - I still can't figure out why this guy is still hanging around or why anyone would want him to.

And lets not forget to give Charlie a Big Shout-Out for continuing to hold the line on property tax increases as a Freeloader, just like he did as a councilman here in Downtown Edison!?!

Anyhoo, let's hope the Freeholders don't exacerbate the EDO's mistake and take a pass on Edison's own 'Deputy Dog' who never met a tax increase he didn't like!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Edison Board of Education Reorganization Meeting - January 4, 2017

Congratulations to Ms. Ward on her reelection and Ms. Peng and Mr. Brescher on their election to the Edison Board of Education.

Also, congratulations to Dr. Frank on being reelected to President of the Board and Ms. Moloney on Vice-President.

Anyhoo, let's hope it's a good year for all the stakeholders over there on Mythomania Lane.