To The Editor:

Mayor Scharfenberger has presided over Middletown for three of the last five years. In the last five years, taxes have increased approximately 25 percent. The mayor voted to introduce the 2010 budget on June 21st (almost seven months into the year) that includes a 13.9 percent tax increase. For the second year in a row, Middletown must now go to Trenton and plead with the local finance board to let us exceed the statutory levy cap of 4.0 percent. Last year, Middletown had to pass three emergency spending resolutions, because of funding shortfalls. Our neighboring towns had none. No fan of open government, he refuses to authorize a finance committee or to televise the township committee meetings. Each year he has handed all the township's lucrative engineering work to a single, politically-connected engineering firm and opposed Committeeman Byrnes' efforts to competitively bid the township's engineering construction projects.

Pay close attention this November and don't take anything for granted. This township needs new leadership that understands how difficult it is for most people to pay their taxes. We need elected officials who will make service to the taxpayers, and not a political party, the reason for governing.

Mary Mahoney
Township Committee Candidate
Middletown, NJ