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9/5/2006

Mendham: Town Stuff: The Next Council Meeting: 9/5/2006
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By 06. 06. on Monday, September 04, 2006 - 9:33 pm:
Questions to be asked at the September 5th meeting of the town council.

1) Can any council member familiar with the budget provide approximate figures regarding what percentage of total property tax revenue is secured through taxation on commercial properties?

2) Including salary and benefits (including overtime, hospitalization, and pensions) what is the average expenditure per police officer?

3) In any of the traffic studies that have been part of developing "the master plan" has there been any analysis of the impact on traffic that would be consequential to the the new library location, and the probable associated development of the connected property?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By 06. 78... on Tuesday, September 05, 2006 - 10:56 pm:
How many council members, excluding Ms Stanton,(she wears jockey shorts)are currently wearing their thong backwards? And are the council members reimbursed for these thongs? (I know you won't be asking this question at the meeting, but we all know THEY are reading this before the meeting, so it serves the purpose).Also,now that relations with the new shopping center owner are in a deep freeze, what is Plan B? How does the council feel when someone with so much money and such a prominent piece of real estate basically says" You can shove your country bumpkin government up your arse"

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By 06. 2....... on Friday, September 08, 2006 - 6:59 am:
As to question No.1 the council/administrator stated, that they should be able to secure and provide the information requested.

As to question No.2, it was also stated that the information would be provided but one council member stated that it was "inappropriate to include overtime". First I would question how it could be inappropriate to include overtime as it is a real expense that can be averaged like any other. Second I would question how a request for facts that doesn't include any claim could possibly be "inappropriate"?

As to question No. 3, It was stated that "consideration was given" ... apparently the odor of this deliberately incomplete answer compeled the further elaboration, that if a library is built a traffic study will then be done. Maybe AFTER the library is built we can also have a public referendum on the subject.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By 06. 2....... on Wednesday, September 20, 2006 - 1:47 pm:
Today I received this answer to the questions asked:


quote:

Public Participation Questions from 9/5/06 Meeting
Regarding some of the questions posed at the last Borough Council meeting, please consider the following:

1. Including salary and benefits (including overtime, hospitalization, and pensions) what is the average expenditure per police officer?

The following is based on 2005 totals and does not include former Chief Cameron or
Officer Farry (who worked only part of last year).
Average salary of a police officer is $74,390.
Average overtime was $5,665.03 per man.
Average cost of other benefits (uniform cleaning, college credit & hospitalization) came to $12,382.87 per officer.

The total cost per employee, not including special duty payments which are paid by outside contractors, is $92,437.90. The average special duty pay, which is paid by outside contractors, is $11,489.00.

Regarding the average pension costs, the State does not provide the Borough with an itemized bill so determining the average cost is somewhat off. I can tell you that the 2006 pension contribution to the Police & Fire Pension System was $91,990.80 which includes the Police Chief. Accounting for the Police Chief (using 11 rather than 10 as the divider) the cost to the Borough would be $8,362.80 per officer.

2. Can any council member familiar with the budget provide approximate figures regarding what percentage of total property tax revenue is secured through taxation on commercial properties?

The Borough's Tax Collector, Rosalie Lauerman reports the following:

Commercial properties will pay $1,593,520.23 in property taxes in 2006; the 2006
total levy is $20,659,011.65. Commercial properties pays 7.71% of the total tax
levy. There are 85 commercial properties out of a total of 1,894 properties representing
4.49% of the total number of properties in Mendham Borough.




Even by the town's conservative figuring (which probably doesn't include any free vehicles provided to ranking officers, and doesn't include what our town pays out per year to rent part of someone else's police force) we are paying over $100,000 per police officer in salary and benefits. Considering that the young boys who died "serving the public" on 9/11 probably had an average salary that was half this amount -- there's is reason to wonder why this slum-less community would pay such a high premium for what are little more than glorified night-watchman.

I ask this question of the council, after my curiosity was piqued, when I watched a council meeting in another town broadcast on Channel 8 (Sunday morning). At the meeting, the issue of the average police salary came up... and when the public attending was informed of the $100,000 price tag there was a reaction that indicated surprise and dissatisfaction.

I asked the tax question, working on the one time Republican theory-- that tax on business, is just a tax on consumers. The basic logic seems conclusively persuasive. Therefore, in practical fact, property taxes on commercial businesses is little more than a local sales tax and the average home really pays another $880.00 in this local indirect tax above their property-tax Levy.

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