Correction: Ordinance 07-06 Amendment for the "Wireless Telecommunications Towers & Facilities." This ordinance was not about the placement of a cell phone tower on top of the water tank in Matawan. It was merely to place an ordinance regarding cell phone towers on the books. However, we believe one of the locations being discussed is on top of the water tower in Matawan. That location is within feet of the ball park and homes.
With that out of the way, here is what was going on at this meeting:
Budget 2007 - The Borough Budget, Primary Components of Tax Increase and Budget Status were made available at the meeting for attendees to review and question. Matawan's CFO was present to answer questions, note there was not enough time to review the documents. Following opening/closing the floor to questions, the CFO left the meeting.
Problems with this procedure:
1. To review the Budget documents prior to the meeting, a resident must go to Borough Municipal Center to request a copy, pay $1.00 per page under the Freedom of Information Act, and in all likelihood fill out an OPRA form.
2. Distributing the Budget documents at the same meeting, followed by opening the floor to questions is absurd! The Chief Financial Officer of Matawan, nor Mayor Aufseeser, nor Councilwoman Mullaney, Chairperson of the Finance, Education & Personnel Committee, explained any part of the Budget to attendees. We, as taxpayers are entitled to a line by line accounting of the Budget. A meeting for discussion of the Budget should be held apart from the Matawan Borough Council Meetings. With an increase to the budget by over $1,000,000., we are entitled to a detailed explanation.
The approximate increase to Budget will be 11.3 cents, BUT and that's a big BUT, if we receive extraordinary aid from NJ State which we have received for the last 3 years of $300,000. then it would be a decrease of 6.94 cents. Now we would be talking about 4.36 cents increase to the Budget. Notice how when discussing the Budget in dollars it is over $1,000,000. increase, BUT when explaining the increase to taxpayers it is in cents. Hmmmmmmmm
We have not heard of an actual plan to share services, cutbacks or any other way to trim the budget. Oh wait, least we forget, one trim was made by the Mayor, the Recreation Director position was deleted from the payroll. However, the Mayor claims that salary was used to pay the salary for one new patrolman in Matawan. So that really doesn't count, does it? Personally, I would rather know that my elected officials are working diligently on the Budget, then let us say, picking up garbage in the Parks? Priorities, please.
The Word for the Day ---- ACCOUNTABILITY! When is the present administration going to be accountable to the taxpayers?
At the Meeting Sheila Flamm read a statement of her opinion pertaining to the local School Board elections to the Matawan Borough Council. The postage on a recent mailing from her opponent, and subsequent winner in the election, Larry O'Connell, was paid for by a permit issued to the Democratic Party in Matawan. Ms. Flamm had the mailer in her hand and displayed it as she spoke. Flamm was concerned that politics have been added to a non-partisan election and that it was not in the best interests of the children of the Borough. The Democratic Council Members were conspicuously the "silent majority."
In an unethical move, Councilman Mullaney was reported to be behind closed doors with the Borough Clerk, Jean Monfort as she was processing the ballots for the School Board election. When is it appropriate for an elected official who clearly supported a School Board Candidate to
be present during ballot counting? Councilman Mullaney, check yourself! The name of the Borough is MATAWAN, not Mullaneyville!
November 2007 elections in Matawan will be interesting to say the least. Debates on the issues facing Matawan by all candidates should be on the agenda. Let's hear what the vision for Matawan is from each candidate.