“You Can’t Say The Referendum Wasn’t Needed” Says Brick Mayor to Council
The budget presented by the Brick Township Council might have no tax rate increase or reduction of services, however Brick Mayor Steve Acropolis believes the Council’s plan does little of what they campaigned on.
Acropolis says current council members John Ducey, Dan Moore, and Rebecca Lydecker, ran on platforms decrying the previous tax increase from the 8 million dollar referendum. However, Acropolis believes all the current council did with their budget is cut 150 thousand from last year’s number.
“You know I think that everybody did as best job as they can do but I think everybody has to realize that the referendum that passed last year that put eight million dollars into the government was just spent by the new council.”
He says it’s ok to use the money, since if it wasn’t needed it wouldn’t have been approved by voters. Though he feels there is no reason the council should be self aggrandizing with their accomplishments.
“To come up with a hundred and fifty thousand dollars out of an 87 million dollar budget isn’t that much money. Especially when in the administration did about seven to eight hundred thousand dollars in cuts prior to the introductions.”
The mayor believes the budget should be a joint effort “and no one should take the credit and no one should take the blame. However over the budget that I introduced, it’s eight million dollars higher.”
“I just wanted everybody to realize, especially the new council members, that eight million dollars was needed in the budget. You can’t say well the referendum wasn’t needed.”
Acropolis notes his biggest gripe is the fact the council members ran with the intention of removing the 8 million dollars from the budget, but failed to do so.
“Here’s a budget without the referendum money, they should have been able to find the eight million dollars in cuts. They found 150 thousand.”
Last year’s referendum called for an additional eight million from tax payers to save the Township’s Department of Public Works, and was approved. In the mayor’s version of the 2012 budget, the DPW was completely cut in order to go to “pre-referendum” numbers.
Acropolis said residents would be able to have their public works services done through private companies, claiming it would ultimately save money. Council President John Ducey however rebutted those claims.
The current proposed budget has no job losses and get’s most of its cuts via payroll and expense reductions. It also sets up several surplus and trust funds for the township.
The budget goes for a vote in May, Acropolis believes it will pass.