Property taxes are out of control. However, commissioners have limited control as to whether property taxes go up or down. Each commissioner does, however, have control over their department’s budget. I fully intend on finding cost savings within my budget to decrease spending or at minimum to keep spending flat with the exception of contractual obligations and costs that come up that are out of my control.
Hoffman-La Roche/On3 Site Redevelopment
I believe we should be more aggressive in the redevelopment of the On3 site, while being responsible in not over burdening our schools and not negatively affecting the quality of life we have here in Nutley.
Seeing the friction between Prism and the Nutley Board of Commissioners, I believe it is time to renew a spirit of cooperation and to work together to address the issues that are at hand in order to move the redevelopment forward.
I believe that we should no longer be asking for Transitional Aid from the state of New Jersey. Instead, we should be looking into ways we can increase our ratables to make up the amount that we are receiving and/or cut down on spending.
I believe that we should not automatically rule out development in town that adds apartments. We should be open minded as to what projects are being proposed. I do, however, believe that 2 and 3 bedroom apartments should not be part of any of these such developments. Rather, we should only allow 1 bedroom or studio apartments or explore other avenues such as luxury apartments and/or 55 and older communities. These apartments, not only add to the ratables, but also the people living in these apartments spend money in town and support our local businesses.
The main contributor to overcrowding in our schools is not the number of new apartments being built, but rather our implementation of full day kindergarten and the expansion of our special needs programs. Generational turnover and an aging population that’s leaving Nutley, in favor of places with a lower cost of living has also contributed to the overcrowding. The end result is that younger families are moving in to fill the void. These younger families are simply trying to enjoy the quality of life as well as the excellent school system that Nutley provides.
Nutley currently has approximately $13.5 million in debt with a total available credit at $140 million. I believe that we should continue to pay down and keep our debt levels low. This will enable our debt rating to remain high and allow for investing in our town’s future when the opportunity or need arises.
When we issue new debt to support our investments into Nutley’s future, that we should offset any costs with cuts to other parts of the budget. For too long, our local government has used the taxpayer as their piggy bank. Too many decisions have been made in the past to address perceived needs, without keeping in mind that we work at the behest of the taxpayer. Enough is enough.