Rich T. on the Hoboken Budget
Here’s a thoughtful follow up to Hoboken’s current budget crisis from Rich T.
Citizens deserve more explanation from the State
“According to recent news reports, state supervision means the Department of Community Affairs will install its own business administrator who will “make sure the community is run in an efficient and legal matter.” For example, regarding efficiency, will the DCA perform the city’s Operational and Efficiency review? Will this be solely by the “new business administrator” or by a team? Will the hard decisions be made? Will the state require additional legal advice in view of the concern in this area? It is common knowledge that a budget must be balanced. It is a good example for the state to violate sound budgetary practices? Is this such an emergency that the state goes on a path that appears to be violating municipal budget law? In deferring the deficit to the new fiscal budget, is this misdirection that will puzzle the public as to the real financial impact caused by this budget crisis? Will the DCA have such broad powers so as to increase the revenue stream in any manner they seem necessary? For example, can they change ordinances to produce more license income without the city council’s approval?
The residents of Hoboken deserve more detailed information as to the operational controls and oversight. The state and not the mayor and council, who have presently disappointed all of us, should be forthcoming with this information. The state has to show leadership and communication skills and insure that our tax dollars are well spent. Our elected officials have to try to regain the trust of the people they represent. It’s time for them to do their job and deal with this situation!”
Read previous Rich Tremitiedi commentary after the jump…
Here’s another good example of the VIP’s in Hoboken taking advantage of Hoboken411’s “Equal Time Policy.”
Richard Tremitedi: Cammarano Party & State sanctions
“In regards to the letter you posted on Peter Cammarano’s party attendees, I would like to state that some of the remarks and labels put on individuals could be considered “humorous”, but are not factual in expressing on whom to vote for….for example, I support Peter Cunningham and Beth Mason in their strong call for a detailed operational audit of the positions and functions of all city operations. I expressed a difference of opinion with Cammarano on his recent vote on the budget. In this regard, I would appreciate if you would inform your viewers of my most recent comments on the Hoboken Budget and possible state sanctions. Thank you for your very fair equal time policy.”
Rich T. Says:
Hoboken’s tax rate and state sanctions
“One of the governing body’s duties is to approve the Mayor’s budget. They did not approve the budget since it had an 11.7 million dollar deficit and violated the “cap” law of the State of New Jersey.
Accordingly, the Department of Community Affairs must now strike the tax rate so that the city has the financial capacity to provide for the essential service to the public. Hoboken’s taxpayer will get a sizable increase in the tax rate until the deficiency is paid up.
What else can happen? One possibility is that the Division of Local Government Finance may allow the city to spread out the payments. Such a plan is currently being considered for Bayonne, N. J. In such an event, the piper will have to be paid in the future. Deferred payments are one of the reasons for Hoboken’s current financial mess.
Since a law was not followed, what are some sanctions that the state may order: (1) DCA approval of all future professional service contracts. (2) DCA approval of all ordinances that the city council wants to enact. This is a way to hold the Mayor and Council accountable for its actions and control costs. This is not a state takeover.
Since the current fiscal year ends June 30, 2008, it is imperative that some of the advice given by the public, progressive council members and this writer be considered. There has to be a detailed operational audit of the entire city operation. The Mayor has publicly agreed to this. It has to be started now! When preparing the new budget, we have to forecast two to three years in the future. Every department and division head must manage with this in mind and be held strictly accountable. If they don’t measure up to this standard, they must be replaced. The same goes for our elected officials.”
Concerned Hoboken Taxpayer