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!?!