Middletown residents are being misled by the Republican Party once again.  As they’ve done many times before, Middletown Republicans are misrepresenting information for their own benefit. 

At issue now is the inappropriate use of “per capita” (per person) statistics.                      

At the candidates forum in Lincroft on October 27th, Stephanie Murray spouted some of the same per capita statistics that appear in Michael Vitkansas’s October 26th letter.  The statistics are a recycled version of what we’ve heard in the past from the Town’s Republican officials.

Ms. Murray compared Middletown’s spending per capita to Hazlet’s.  Hazlet’s statistic is higher, she points out.

But hold on a minute.  Middletown’s population is enormous.  There are close to 67,000 residents, far more than in neighboring towns.  Further, not all town expenses increase with population –  for example, we still have only one town hall and one municipal court, the same as Hazlet.  With so many people in Middletown to share those fixed costs, the overall cost per resident drops. 

Therefore, it’s inappropriate to compare per capita statistics for towns of different sizes and populations.  To do so is deceptive.

Besides a large number of residents, something else that reduces spending per capita is inadequate funding of core services, but I bet Ms. Murray won’t be pointing that out.

Mr. Vitkansas talks about Middletown’s small workforce per capita, but fails to mention that nearly the entire staff of the Parks and Recreation Department was laid off this year.

If the real picture were as rosy as Republican candidates would have you believe, they wouldn’t need to mislead you by pulling statistics out of a hat.

Linda Baum

Middletown, NJ