Budget Deficit- In an effort to close the barn door after the horse got out, the Council voted for a 4-day work week to be reviewed in September. The entire matter caused much posturing by the Council.
Councilman Malley suggested the Borough employees contribute to their health benefits. While an interesting idea, how do you get employees to give up what they already have in paid benefits? As Councilman Malley is a member of a Union, this sounds funny coming from him. It didn't work with the School Teachers, did it? To the best of our knowledge the Personnel Committee still has two unsigned employee contracts. Perhaps they should concentrate on concluding the contract negotiations before taking away benefits from other workers. Councilman Malley, Councilman Mullaney and Councilman Cannon are the Personnel Committee.
Councilman Mullaney suggested looking into solar power as a way to cut down expenses. Good long term idea. Can we afford to consider this idea at this time?
Matawan needs budget cuts NOW. We also need a plan for the Budget 2009 so as not to repeat the mistake of last years ineffective Budget.
There was no mention of renovating the Police Department Building at 150 Main Street. With no money in the budget, it is no surprise. Although there was mention of a mandatory alarm system, the Mayor asked the Council to take some action and the Council decided to do nothing at this time.
Transit Village - It's a go! Providing Silver Oaks doesn't take the decision to the NJ Supreme Court in 20 days. According to the Borough Attorney, Silver Oaks has 20 days to appeal. Only 5% of case appeals get to the Supreme Court. We can't help but wonder about those people who spread rumors about local council members ethics and how stupid those rumor mongers look now. Not one Court, but two decisions were reached in Matawan's favor.
Councilman Bunyon gave a brief description of the Silver Oaks v. Matawan case. He also mentioned the success of the July 4th fireworks. Bunyon also stated that as he went around the site people were telling him how it was the best fireworks in years. Kudos to Elizabeth Aguilar, Recreation Director, and her staff for a wonderful event.
Financial Aid - Trenton finally got the message from Sen. Joe Kyrillos, Assemblyman Sam Thompson, Assemblywoman Amy Handlin, Mayor Paul Buccellato and all the residents who wrote letters to Gov. Corzine. Matawan was given $200,000 in discretionary aid.
Sharkfest - On Saturday, August 16, 2008 from 5pm to 10pm, there will be a Sharkfest. Hope you all enjoy it, as your tax dollars are subsidizing the Matawan Alliance. The Council decided to go against the Special Events Committee's recommendation that the cost for Sharkfest be borne by the Matawan Alliance. Ironically, the Matawan Alliance claimed they would pay all expenses incurred by the Borough .This is where it gets good......BUT, Councilman Malley and Councilman Mullaney decided the taxpayers should pay the expenses. Of course, Councilman Mullaney and his wife are members of the Matawan Alliance. Mrs. Mullaney, on behalf of the Matawan Alliance, actually got up and thanked Councilman Malley and the Council for paying the expenses. Now this sounded like a well orchestrated move. First, Ms. Renata Bonelli, of the Matawan Alliance comes and makes an appeal to the Council, claiming they would pay all fees, then the two Council members decide it should be at taxpayers expense, then the wife of a Council member thanks the Council. Need we mention that no one outside of the Matawan Alliance has been shown their books. Once again the taxpayers have been hoodwinked. If the majority of taxpayers don't mind footing the bill for Sharkfest, then so be it, if not remember which of the Council members voted to spend your tax dollars at election time. That is what a democracy is all about.
As a side note: The Matawan Alliance is a New Jersey non-profit Corporation. It is not recognized as an IRS non profit corporation. Before contributing, please be guided accordingly.
Public Forum - A local Contractor, who does not live in Matawan, but does own buildings and works in Matawan spoke about the difficulties he has encountered in the Borough. Stating he improves the buildings in the Downtown area and works hard. It was mentioned by Councilman Mullaney that this Contractor donated concrete work for the Jackson St. Park in the amount of $12,000. which we believe is an exaggerated amount. No fault of Councilman Mullaney, as he is not a Contractor. Councilman Mullaney applauded the generousity of the Contractor. Members of the public also applauded his donation.
Several residents spoke at the meeting. However, one resident was treated rudely and was disrespected by one of the Councilmen. This wasn't the first time residents have been treated poorly simply for asking questions or disagreeing with the Council. Has this Councilman/President of the Council no ethics? What a poor example for Matawan's junior Council members. If the Council would have answered the question the first time it was asked, this whole matter would not have transpired. Or more than likely it would have. It is the right of every resident to question, without ridicule, the elected officials. In the words of former President Harry S. Truman, "If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen."
Hope to see you at the next meeting.....