Jim Mangin Posted May 23, 2006 Report Share Posted May 23, 2006 At the April 25 Town Council meeting, Mayor Santos and co. adopted an emergency appropriation for $250,000 to cover the rate increase from the Passaic Valley Sewage Commission. This was less than 30 days after the budget was adopted. My question is this - Didn't anyone check to see what the new rate was? Or was this a deliberate attempt to push the quarter million dollar tax increase to next year when no Councilmember is running for re-election? Everyone will have to make up their own minds on the Mayor's true motive, but consider this . . . Emergency Appropriations are only legal when they are for purposes unforeseen at the time of the budget adoption. According to Mayor Santos, PVSC notified Kearny on April 3, 2006 of the rate increase that was effective Jan 1, 2006. Not True!!! The Town must've made a first quarter payment this past Jan and paid the new higher rate then. But still, the CFO certified that Kearny wasn't notified until April 3. Looks like another Kearny CFO may be losing his certification. Now, didn't Mayor Santos already blame for PVSC for this year's massive tax increase - three months before PVSC supposedly told Kearny about the 2006 increase?? In his Feb 2006 letter to taxpayers, Mayor Santos blamed the high tax increase on "increased sewage costs (up $131,659)." Now we find out the increase is really $386,659. But since the budget is now adopted, the Mayor's plan is to just push it off until next year. Who's up for re-election next year? No one. Next year will the first year in Kearny history with no Town Council election. For those keeping score, that's now a $4,650,000 hole in next year's budget. Like I've said repeatedly on this site, this year's massive tax increase is nothing compared to next year's massiver tax increase. (Taxes will be so high next year that new words had to be invented to describe it). This year's $2,000,000 payment from the Meadowlands Commission became $4,000,000 because the Mayor saw fit to "borrow” next year's $2 million payment - creating a $4 million hole next year. The $400,000 "mistake" in delinquent tax revenue that I've written about previously won't be available to be used as surplus until Fiscal 2008 - bumping that hole up to $4,400,000. And now, how does Mayor Santos plan to fix this problem? Simple. Borrow more from next year. According to the Jersey Journal "This is another general budget issue we'll face next year," the mayor said. "This means that in next year's budget we'll have to raise another $250,000." What does he care? He's not up for re-election. And he doesn't pay taxes. More Santosisms: Does this Mayor have any clue as to what he is talking about? From that same Jersey Journal article - "Mayor Al Santos said the town had originally forecast a rate hike of between 11 and 12 percent, but the actual increase was closer to 20 percent." Wrong again!!! The budget reflects an increase of only 4%, not 11-12%. And when you add the $250,000 "emergency" the new increase becomes 11%, not 20%. Just more Santos double-talk. (I feel like I'm Al Franken and Mayor Santos is Sean Hannity). This is his budget, not mine. Why do I have to tell him what he did and didn't do?? It's funny. In 2003 whe I tried for an Emergency Appropriation to fix the icing problem on Park Ave., Mayor Santos said that do so would be a "fourth degree crime." He said the Council would be engaging in criminal activity if we voted for my plan since we knew about the water condition before the budget was adopted. He was wrong of course. The ice build-up was unprecedented. But he was right when he said that an Emergency Appropriation is a crime if the purpose was known when the budget was adopted. His budget, the CFO certification that PVSC notified Kearny on April 3, and the January 2006 bill from PVSC (showing the rate increase) are all the proof needed to convict on this "fourth degree crime." Now, does everyone understand why no CFO in the entire State of New Jersey will take the job in Kearny full-time? Does everyone understand why people with high standards regarding the public trust, like Doreen Cali, no longer work in Kearny? Afterthought . . . It just occurred to me. Who will Mayor Santos blame this fiasco on? His favorite target of past debacles was former-CFO Shuh Yang. But she resigned in December, and this didn't surface until January. Will the Mayor step up and take the hit for this one? Or will he look for a new target? My guess is old habits are tough to break. He will stick to what's familiar and try to blame Ms. Yang. Maybe he'll blame me. Jim Mangin ps - I know Mayor Santos reads this forum. To him - Al, you should've let me speak about the budget at the Feb 21 meeting (instead of limiting me to speaking only about the budget amendment). I would've told you about the $400,000 delinquent tax mistake. And I pay the bills for East Newark, including the Passaic Valley bill. I knew about the increase. I would've gladly told you if you would've just let me. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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