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December  29

Hey Buddy, Can You Spare $187 Million?

As you figure out how you will pay off your holiday spending, consider the debt facing Montclair: $187,737,097.32!  Montclair Chief Financial Officer, Dianne C. Marus delivered the news at the Township Council's Dec. 27 meeting.  Mayor Ed Remsen, quoted in today's Montclair Times, says the massive debt -- money the municipality has borrowed for capital project -- is manageable.

“The [$180,737,097.32] does not concern me as long as there is predictability,” Remsen said. “We feel confident about our [bonding] decisions, but don’t want to wake up one day and see major tax spikes.” In recent years Montclair has approved significant capital projects, including a high-tech new school and an upgraded Fire Department Headquarters. This year’s capital budget was $8 million. “The town has made appropriate investments in buildings and infrastructures, which is critical when looking at the whole picture,” Remsen said. “Roads are redone, schools updated and parks renovated. We are not trying to build a palace here, but streets and sewers need to be maintained. All the while, we need to remain prudent.”

December 29, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink


Thank goodness we have all those brick crosswalks! (My favorite is at James and Valley). One shudders to think where we'd be without those suburban adornments. If we have to borrow to build such necessary and vital things what is the big deal? After all the total debt is only $4,675 for every man, woman and child in the township. (so a household of four this only amounts to $18,700)

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Dec 29, 2005 9:49:37 AM

I wonder why Mayor Ed didn't includes this in his note that accompanied the glorious news a few months ago that there'd be no tax increase this year. Perhaps he should have added: "We're borrowing to the hilt for things we can't afford!"

Funny that he left this out, given that he remembered to mention the projects that have made this miracle of financing possible, such as the Plofker Palaces on the Marlboro Inn site.

Oh well, we can always hope that some wealthy developer will donate funds to reduce the debt. (Hint, hint.)

Posted by: walleroo | Dec 29, 2005 10:28:01 AM

There is only ONE reason any governmental body spends too much money.

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Dec 29, 2005 10:35:49 AM

I was very surprised to discover yesterday while in Newark at the Essex Cty Clerks Office that the Notary I was referred to was located 1 and 1/2 blocks away "...in a blue hot dog truck, it says Mr. Tony..." I assumed it was a joke only to discover it was true. Yes, I have only lived in NJ for 6 yrs. Is this really the way its "spozed" to be?


Posted by: Voneandonly | Dec 29, 2005 10:37:20 AM

I have had things notarized by Mr. Tony myself! I liked him. It is also free enterprise at work! Even more, where else can one have a hotdog legally witnessed. The county clerks are not paid to be a notary and I'd imagine they are forbidden to charge for notary services while working at the clerks office, so why should they provide this service? Since the county might be an 'interested party' in whatever you are having notarized, it may not even be appropriate for county employees to be the notary in the first place.

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Dec 29, 2005 10:43:54 AM

Okay, ROC, I'll be Ed McMahon to your Johnny Carson: and what would that reason be?

Posted by: walleroo | Dec 29, 2005 10:48:40 AM

ROC...gotta be cause of democratic control?

Posted by: The Iceman | Dec 29, 2005 11:06:06 AM

No. Like the old real estate adage "there is only ONE reason a house doesn't sell" (the price is too low).

There is only ONE reason any government spends too much (they HAVE too much to spend).

This is why you cut taxes first and the spending reductions will follow. Governments can't borrow forever. Anyone ever involved any budget process (business or government) knows this. To reduce the spending - reduce the budget (by force). With governments if the money is available (either actual or borrowed) it will be spent. Here is how government budgeting works: Take the fund on hand and ADD the maximum politically viable borrowing and you have the "budget". The only way to reduce spending is to CUT the amount of funds "on hand" and let the borrowing hit the "viability wall" and only THEN will the hard choices be made. (like red brick crosswalks)

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Dec 29, 2005 11:38:44 AM

Walleroo, yikes. Johnny Carson is dead and Ed McMahon must be nearly so. How about "Patrick" to my "Sponge Bob"? Although, clearly, I favor Mr. Crabs!

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Dec 29, 2005 11:42:48 AM


Posted by: Right of Center™ | Dec 29, 2005 12:05:05 PM

No jokes about Ed McMahon, please, ROC and walleroo. An authentic "Flying Leatherneck" war hero, after all. And Ted William's old flying buddy! I see you two more as "endmen" in the minstrel show that Baristanet can be at its best, or as Heckle and Jeckle (albeit a Jeckle somewhat unwilling to acknowledge his own brotherly conservatism).

Posted by: cathar | Dec 29, 2005 12:08:37 PM

You should be working in the Bush treasury dept, ROC. Or maybe not: that strategy hasn't worked too well on the national level, where the viability wall doesn't ever seem to appear, and by the time we do see it on the horizon our wheels will be falling off and we'll be running on our last remaining leaky piston.

Posted by: walleroo | Dec 29, 2005 12:25:26 PM

I'd prefer to be Squidward, but given my posting track record perhaps Patrick is more appropriate (sound).

Posted by: walleroo | Dec 29, 2005 12:33:39 PM

Damn! Damn! That is the precise clip I went looking for!!!!

Anyway, even Squidward's pessimism might be assuaged by this (see table f-2).

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Dec 29, 2005 12:40:28 PM

Jeepers. Waiter! Another round of tax cuts, please!

Posted by: walleroo | Dec 29, 2005 2:02:23 PM

Isn't it funny how one man's sarcastic statement can be another's credo?

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Dec 29, 2005 2:24:03 PM

p.s. (for bonus points) Can you guess when Bush's tax cuts took effect?

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Dec 29, 2005 2:26:52 PM

p.p.s Anyone remember Marshall? I'd bet he gnashes his teeth whenever he hears GDP stats these days.

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Dec 29, 2005 2:28:05 PM

Your figs give me pause, ROC, I'll admit. Still, I'm not convinced a drastically limited government a la Milton Friedman would be a good thing. The free market has made a hash of things lately. Health care, for instance. Imagine a world run by insurance companies run amok. Not something to wish for.

Posted by: walleroo | Dec 29, 2005 3:49:43 PM

You know, that bar graphs looks an awful lot like a middle finger. Did Bush do that intentionally, d'you think? That bastard!

Posted by: walleroo | Dec 29, 2005 3:50:54 PM

Walleroo, well, thankfully the ONLY alternative to Big Government is not an unfettered free market. There is someplace in between. But that is a bigger discussion.

I am happy to simply pop the bubble of malaise and pessimism the Democrats have been puffing so hard and so long to inflate. (Kerry called this the worst economy since Hoover).

It is most certainly NOT the biggest deficit and, in fact, is inline with historical norms. (I'd like it to be smaller though because we waste too much money.) Unemployment is at 5% (they used to think that was too *low*). GDP is growing at 4%-6%. The deficit is rapidly shrinking.

Things (for the time being) are looking pretty good!

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Dec 29, 2005 5:10:09 PM

puff puff

(does she pose the issue in an honest way?)

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Dec 29, 2005 5:18:52 PM

I never read that crap.

I donno, ROC, from where I sit (admittedly not a scientific sampling) the economy sucks. My industry is on the ropes. If I get sacked--a distinct possibility for 2006--how will I pay for health care? (Answer: through the nose!)

I so want to believe, though. I do, I do, I do...

Posted by: walleroo | Dec 29, 2005 5:34:34 PM

Although, this has nothing to do with Montclair's deficit-

I just received my Montclair Township 2006 Calender--funny, it does not contain a single photo of Montclair.

Posted by: cstarling | Dec 29, 2005 5:57:02 PM

Check the dates, cs, there may be a few days missing, too...

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