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Jim Mangin

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About Jim Mangin

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  1. Jim Mangin

    Mangin's Tax Spin

    When I was a member of the Town Council I was 100% responsible for the police salaries. Is that clear enough for you. The fire contracts were settled after I left office. OK, now that we've established that the Mayor and Council (including me) are 100% responsible for salaries, don't you find it odd that the Mayor is trying to shift blame from the Town Council to binding arbitration? Jim Mangin
  2. What the hell are you talking about? If I don't like something that's going on, I'm going to speak up. If that doesn't work, I'm going to run again. If that doesn't work (insert your own joke here) I'm still going to speak up. Moving out is not an option. A recall is. And while it's not my issue, I still think it's a good idea - even if it doesn't make the ballot. Sorry, they'll be no "going quietly into the night." Jim Mangin
  3. Paul, As I read this post all I could think of was the redundancy of "Four legs good, two legs bad." But seriously, you gave your opinion on a policy discussion after considering alternatives. I applaud you for that. That is much more than the Mayor and Council did on this issue, which has been my point all along. Now in my opinion, you are more professional than the Mayor. The funny thing is I don't disagree with your opinion on the captial project. I agree. It wasn't unreasonable. I never said it was. I just think there were tax saving alternatives that should have been considered. Maybe the Mayor and Council would've reached the same conclusion you did. We'll never know now, will we? As for the Mayor's professionalism, I've asked for a specific example. Or are just basing your opinion on his demeanor alone? As for a "lack of evidence" of tax savings for my proposal, what is lacking? Simple math will tell you that if you bond when you don't have to (and we didn't have to) you incur costs (see NJSA:40A 2-20 for a reference). Finally, as for exploring the United Water contract - I sincerely hope you do. With that one brief sentence you've already dedicated more effort than the Mayor and Council has on the issue. Issues like this should be looked into. It's just a shame the Mayor doesn't share your view. Again Paul, my point in all of this is not to debate policy with you (although I really do enjoy it). My point has been to show that debate is the fuel for government action. You've clearly proven my point on this, and I honestly feel you believe that debate is necessary in a democracy. There has been no debate on issues by the Kearny Town Council. No fuel. No action. This is why I feel a recall is good for Kearny. But, I have no intentions of running against the Mayor at this time. Someday - maybe. But not now. If a recall movement gets going you'll see more debate and I believe you'll see more action. You and I may not always agree on whether it is the right action, but if it is arrived at after considering all the alternatives - so be it. I've always said - government works. Everyone has to do their part to get everyone talking about issues. Jim Mangin
  4. Paul, I've given you plenty of information on this topic. I don't need a legal opinion on whether it was right or wrong. I'm interested in your opinion. You have stated several times in this thread that if shown the details you might change your mind on the Mayor. What is your opinion? Are you still gathering information? If so, that's fine. In the meantime, can you name even one circumstance that lead you to the notion that he is "professional?" Jim Mangin
  5. Paul, I'll try and clarify. After Streetscape I was completed the Mayor and Council applied to the UEZ to get all of Kearny Ave re-paved. The UEZ approved the project but they don't disperse the funds all at once. I don't remember if it was dispersed over 3, 4, 5, or even 6 years. Assuming it was 3, that leaves the Council with 2 options - re-pave one-third of Kearny Ave every year for 3 years, or wait 3 years and re-pave the whole thing. Instead the Council bonded $3.1 million for the project. All of Kearny Ave would be paved at once. The project would be paid by the bond and the portion of the bond used for the project would be re-paid by the UEZ disbursement. The downside was that we would have to pay interest and costs on the bond to get the project completed at once. When the project was completed there was $1.8 million left in proceeds. If the Mayor and Council agreed that this money actually existed we could have considered my alternative of using this $1.8 million instead of a new bond, saving the interest and soft costs. After finally agreeing that the money did exist the Mayor claimed (incorrectly) that it had to be used for another UEZ project (NJSA40A:2-39) - like Streetscape II. My point is that we could have waited for all the UEZ disbursements to accumulate before proceeding with Streetscape II. We then could have used the $1.8 million for more immediate capital projects or for tax relief. Neither option was ever considered. Again, my point in all of this is to show why it was wrong to end the debate prematurely before considering tax saving alternatives. What you as a taxpayer needs to decide is this - Was it worth the extra taxes you paid to get that phase of Streetscape done more quickly? I don't believe it was. What you as a supporter of the Mayor has to decide is this - Was it "professional" to cut short the debate before considering a viable tax-saving solution? Jim Mangin
  6. Paul, I remember the article but I don't recall the specific expenditure. I'll have to find it and get back to you. Jim Mangin
  7. Paul, If you do decide to look into this issue, please don't use the Mayor's office as your sole source of information. There was more deliberate deception on this issue than any other. Jim Mangin
  8. John, I brought up your suggestion for saving tax dollars by taking back the Water Dept billing in response to Paul's call for alternatives and suggestions. I used this example because Paul's only stated reason thus far for supporting Mayor Santos is the Mayor's "professionalism." Your suggestion makes even more sense in 2007 than it did in 2003. A lot of people don't realize that that the Water utility lost money in 2006. What was done about that? Nothing. At the very least an investigation into the feasability of taking back the water billing should be conducted - if the Mayor and Council are serious about reducing taxes. If they are just paying the issue lip service, nothing will happen, again. To show Paul an example of the Mayor's unprofessionalism, I described the time he cut off the debate on the Pine Sol Bond and refused to listen to tax-saving alternatives. But to be honest, an even better example was when he charged you with "grandstanding" on the Kuhene Chemical issue. Was it grandstanding when Menendez, Corzine, and Lautenberg got involved in the issue? I asked Paul for his examples of the Mayor's professionalism, but so far none have been offerred. Jim Mangin
  9. Jim Mangin

    Mangin's Tax Spin

    This is from the Jersey Journal on August 9: Kearny blames labor costs for high taxes "Kearny residents, however, also pay the highest taxes in Hudson County and recently saw a 9 percent municipal tax hike. The average property owner's tax bill is $7,402, according to a Star-Ledger analysis, and some residents say the town isn't worth the high price. George Burdell, 57, said he's fed up with Kearny and the "aggravation" of dealing with ever-rising taxes. Burdell said he has lived in the town his entire life, but is now trying to sell his house. He added that taxpayers are bearing the brunt of the town's high salaries. Labor costs, especially those related to fire and police, comprise the highest percentage of the town's budget, Santos said. "Our labor force is 60 percent police and fire, and the bulk of those salaries were determined through the binding arbitration system," Santos said. "We have tried to go through negotiations, but they were unsuccessful."
  10. "What I don't understand is if the bond was already floated, why did the town apply to the state regarding how to use the funds?" Good question. In another post you mentioned that I wasn't against the project these excess (surplus) funds were to be used for. That's also a good point. How do I reconcile these positions? Once the Mayor and Council finally agreed that the surplus funds existed (following the Jersey Journal article) the Mayor said (incorrectly) that the funds had to be used for another UEZ project. He was wrong of course. I said that we just had to ammend the bond ordinance (again - NJSA40A:2-39). Did he deliberately mislead the people or just didn't know the law? I don't know. Ask him. The Mayor wanted to use the funds for the next phase of streetscape. This was consistent with the original bond ordinance, so no ammendment was needed. No ammendment - no discussion. The money for streetscape came from the UEZ. The orignal bond ordinance ($3.1 million) was to get the money faster and all at once to complete the Kearny Ave re-paving project. The proceeds of the bond would pay for the project and the grant would be used to pay for that portion of the bond that went toward the project. I supported this, even though it meant paying more in the form of interest and additional soft costs. I disagreed with using this surplus for the next phase of streetscape. The money was coming anyway. I didn't see the point in paying interest unnecessarily. The re-paving project made sense. If they send one third each year for three years, without the bond you either have to do the project in pieces, or wait 3 years for entire grant. Does this make sense? If not, let me know and I'll try to clarify. "What I'm now left with is the impression that the mayor and council made a decision to use the funds for another project. You would have preferred tax relief. Isn't that just a policy dispute?" A policy dispute assumes two sides disagreeing on how to use available funds. That wasn't the case. The Mayor ended the public hearing (by making the motion, which the Council voted on). We never discussed this as a policy alternative because the Mayor and Council refused to believe the money existed. That's why it was so wrong to prematurely end the public hearing. Wouldn't you agree? Think about it - How can I convince them of a better (less costly) use for the money, when I couldn't convince them the money existed? Not even while holding a copy of the annual audit. Jim Mangin
  11. Paul, I'll be happy to answer this, but I don't understand which million dollars in debt service are you talking about? Jim Mangin
  12. Paul, Here's what I've concluded . . . You won't be voting for me, or Al Santos anytime soon. Jim Mangin
  13. Jim Mangin

    Mangin's Tax Spin

    Typical Al Santos response - evasive, contradictory and then it's off to left field. First he squarely places blame for the "bulk of police and fire salaries" on binding arbitration, inferring that the Mayor and Council were helpless (and therefore, blameless). Then, after I show that binding arbitration was only used for Fire Captains and Deputy Chiefs, he lists the mediators used during the 6+ years some of these units were without a contract. There's one problem though, mediation is not binding arbitration. The difference is that what is decided in binding arbitration is, well . . .binding. Mayor Santos doesn't think the people of Kearny will notice the difference. Wrong again Mayor. I've said it before continuing to deliberately deceive the public is an excelent reason for a recall. Jim Mangin
  14. "Second, accusing someone of deliberately trying to mislead the public, in effect, accusing him of lying, is most certainly a personal attack." Paul, This is it? My statement that the Mayor is deliberately misleading the public is a "personal attack?" This is what you call my abusive language? To you, this is "fighting" and "name calling" (your terms, not mine). Questioning the Mayor's statement makes me "unsuited to govern?" By your definition then I am definately and absolutely "unsuited to govern." I refuse to give my up my independence, my free thinking and most of all my duty to question those in authority when I feel they are being less than honest. All I can tell you Paul, is don't ever vote for me because I will disagree with someone's position somewhere along the way. And if I feel someone is deliberately misleading the public I will point that out every time. Here's another opinion Paul - debating with you has been a colassal disappointment. You have ignored every question I have posed to you. example - The Mayor's statement about binding arbitration being responsible for the police and fire salaries is deliberately misleading. Do you have an opinion on this statement? (He asked for the fourth time). All I hear is an opinion on the fact that I have an opinion. You have twisted my positions. example - "As for police and fire, I don't understand where Jim is trying to take that. The only way to save money there is to pay police and fire less money, and it appears that we're up $2 million this year in those salaries compared to last year. So what happened?" My point was (and always was) the Mayor taking responsibility for the police and fire salaries. I keep saying it and you keep ignoring it. Do you have a comment on who is responsible for setting police and fire salaries - the Mayor and Council or an outside arbitrator? You are silent on any of my suggestions on lowering the tax levy. example - Ending the contract with United Water, my discussion on lowering the cost of employee health benefits, reducing our insurance expenditure by leaving the Middlesex Joint Insurance Fund, controlling our solid waste costs by strengthening our recycling ordinances. I can provide more examples, but you said . . . "Someone else challenged him very pointedly whether he was calling for cuts; I see no answer to that either.". Before I give you more examples, how about a comment on what I've suggested so far? Finally, let me tie all this together with another opinion. The Mayor and Council don't know what to cut and they don't know how to cut. But the Mayor is very quick to criticize my suggested cuts. In fact, he goes so far as to MAKE DELIBERATELY MISLEADING STATEMENTS about me and my suggested cuts. Now of course Paul, I know you need proof. Click here. We appropriated the Meals on Wheels Program twice in the budget. My suggestion was to eliminate the second appropriation (this was done in the following year). The Mayor characterized me as "heartless" for wanting to eliminate the Meals on Wheels Program. Do you know how hard it was to explain to the dozens of senior citizens I speak to every day that I wasn't cutting the program, just the second budget appropriation? That's why it bothers me when I read statements that are designed to fool people. And, understandedly so. Jim Mangin
  15. "So then we come to your letter in yesterday’s Observer, and your response to me here. I’m not interested in watching politicians call names. It wouldn’t be the least bit difficult for me or any of your political opponents to sling back at you as hard as or harder than you’ve slung at Al. I’m not interested in that. I’m interested in whether you have any constructive suggestions for lowering our taxes and/or improving services. That’s why I’ve asked the questions, and what you’ve told me is that you don’t have the answers." Paul, In my letter and my response I don't call anyone any names. What I said was Mayor Santos made a deliberately misleading statement about who sets the police and fire salaries. That's what I said and I stand behind that statement. Do you have a comment? Feel free to "sling back" at me all you want. By posting my name I make it easier for people to do that. You asked for examples to support my views and I've provided them. You've asked for constructive alternatives and I've provided some (but admitidly, not enough). But you haven't answered any of my questions. Jim Mangin
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