Much has been said at recent Council meetings and written in this publication attempting to cast a negative light on the fiscal responsibility of my administration. Rather than respond to these individual attacks, I think the far better course is to state the facts regarding this administration’s fiscal prudence.
Because the Secaucus Day Care Center was operating at a deficit, we closed the Center, saving tax payers more than $90,000 per year.
We rearranged the Recreation Department’s staffing and reduced that budget by almost $57,000 annually.
By working with the new owners of Meadowlands Hospital, we decreased our cost for providing an ambulance to Town residents by almost $500,000 annually and, at the same time, doubled the number of ambulances available to serve the Town.
Despite the fact that we have renovated many of the parks in Town, embarked upon the most aggressive street paving program in the Town’s history, and have started implementing a plan to minimize flooding throughout the Town, our outstanding debt has been reduced by about $2,000,000 annually.
To further reduce the Town’s outstanding debt, we have begun collecting outstanding Special Assessments, which has also reduced the Town’s debt load by another $620,000 annually.
We were able to negotiate with our employees in the last round of Contract negotiations to move our employees into the much less expensive State Health Benefits Program. We anticipate that over the next 3 years, this change alone will save the Town in excess of $4,500,000.
Perhaps to best illustrate my administration’s commitment to fiscal responsibility, we need only to look at this year’s tax bill, which had a 0 percent increase in the municipal portion for the first time since 2007. Furthermore, we have all heard much discussion about the Governor’s “2 percent cap”. My administration could have chosen to raise taxes by $1,600,000 for 2012 and stay within the Governor’s mandate, but instead thought that money was better left in the taxpayers’ pockets.
All the above cost savings can be borne out by facts and figures which I would be happy to provide to anyone who is interested.
My administration was elected on the platform of honest, open, and accountable government. We have and will continue to keep those promises.
Michael J. Gonnelli