As a taxpayer in Middletown, I was incensed to learn of the way Democrat Committeman Sean Byrnes reacted to the budget process.
Instead of rolling up his sleeves, sharpening his pencil and fulfilling his responsibility in this most critical task, he once again took a page from the Corzine playbook and recommended punting to a paid consultant or finance committee.
We did not elect Mr. Byrnes to delegate the responsibility for township finances – a job he himself was elected to do – to a third party, either a consultant at fantastic cost, or a committee reminiscent of Corzine’s vaunted “blue ribbon panels”.
While Byrnes punted, Gerry Scharfenberger and the Township Committee ran with the ball and enacted dramatic spending cuts including a reduction of 40 jobs and a wage freeze, keeping the tax impact minimal. Remember, only 23 cents of every tax dollar is controlled by the Township Committee, and that portion of the tax increase was small, even though this is the worst economy since the nationwide collapse of 1929.
Gerry Scharfenberger makes the tough choices and doesn’t hide behind a committee or consultant. We need him to be re-elected in Middletown along with his running mate, Kevin Settembrino, who is an experienced local businessman who knows how to make and keep to a budget.
Middletown, New Jersey