Mark your calendars folks for a Budget Workshop on Thursday. Concerned about the increases in Matawan's Budget, then be at this Workshop. This is your opportunity to observe your elected Council at work. The floor will be open to the public at the end. This would be the time you can express your concerns and make suggestions. If cuts have to be made and quite frankly can't see that isn't going to happen, then residents should have input. We are facing cuts in State Aid of $200,000. Thanks for nothing Gov. Corzine! Never mind discretionary state aid, which was cut last year.
An ambitious Road Program has been mentioned. Now we are all for the roads in Matawan being improved. However, are we getting any grants to offset the cost? If not, why not? In order to undertake a comprehensive Road Program grants must be obtained to reduce the cost to taxpayers. Has Maser Consulting (Borough Engineering Firm) applied or received any grants? Maser as the Borough Engineer while developing the Road Program should be applying for grants to offset the cost. If not, the entire cost will be on the backs of the taxpayers. Councilman Cannon did mention we had money left over from the last Road Program which would be for water and sewer upgrades. Where will the money come from for the roads?
What action does the Council plan for cutting the Budget? Where is the money coming from for the part time position of Recreation Director? Will there be staff reductions, cuts in services, will events be eliminated or reduced in number? What plans are there for the Water Filtration System? Will the Budget include the increased costs of water service to Matawan? Budget reductions last year for the Borough was considering a change in banks to cut costs, reducing full time employees to part time status thus saving the cost of benefits, a reduction in legal fees to name a few.
The Council has to set goals and develop plans to apply for grants. At which time the Borough Administrator, Fred Carr, would have the information necessary to apply.
Keep in mind grants are free money, Bonds are loans that must be paid back!
Perhaps we can get back the money wasted when former Mayor Mary Aufseeser who without Council consent cost the Borough unnecessary expenditures for RFQ's. The cost of that fiasco has yet to be determined. Ah, but we digress.
The Borough Council must work together to cut the 2008 Budget while preparing for the 2009 Budget. We should be prepared so there will be no repeat of the expenditures exceeding the Budget this year.
We have high hopes for this Council and trust they along with the Mayor will work together for Matawan. It will take more than pinching pennies to deal with the financial crisis facing Matawan!
Hope to see you there....