Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Importance of Not Getting Caught on the Wrong Side of that Line

Mr. Zuckerberg's WABAC Machine brought what follows here to my attention.  It ran in this space one year ago.  While it gives me no greater pleasure now than it did then that men and women lost their jobs, I am pleased to report that the Belmar Police Department has done a fine job protecting and serving those of us located immediately to the south of the double yellow line on 16th Avenue. 

Furthermore, property taxes in Lake Como actually are going down this year.  When is the last time you paid less property tax in one year than you had in the previous year?  Me neither. 

Governing is not all about ribbon cutting, credit claiming, and in the case of the Cheeto-in-Chief, sending not-too-subtle threats to the deposed leader of a federal law enforcement agency via Twitter. Often, hard decisions have to be made.  And when they do, it is imperative that one has an adult in the room to make them.  In our little Paradise by the Sea, we do...

FRIDAY, MAY 13, 2016

At Watch's End

Once upon a lifetime ago, when I was a young, brash asshole and had not yet blossomed into the middle-aged, curmudgeonly asshole I presently am, I had a rather cavalier disregard about the livelihood of others.  By that I mean, unless the person suddenly being separated from his or her position was a member of my household, a member of my family, or both, I lost precious little sleep worrying about the impact that a "changed employment situation" (there is no one alive who can spin a euphemism quite like a lawyer who is a Republican, eh?) on an individual.  Thankfully, while I am still an asshole, I am no longer an asshole who ignores the consequences of such an occurrence or fails to appreciate them. 

At 5:59 P.M. on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, the Lake Como, New Jersey Police Department ceased to exist.  Our little town is plagued by a problem that many towns of varying sizes all across America are also plagued by:  Too few dollars chasing too many obligations.   In 2010, New Jersey adopted a 2% cap on property tax levies a municipality is permitted to impose.  In other words, if a town wants to raise its property tax rate by more than 2%, the proposal must be submitted to the townspeople for a vote.  The 2016 budget in Lake Como, as per the Council and the Mayor, as initially drafted (and including our fully-staffed Police Department) would have placed the Borough approximately $650,000 above the 2% cap.  

Effective 6:00 P.M. on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, our little Paradise by the Sea is now policed by the officers of the Belmar Police Department, in whom I have every confidence.  It does not make me feel any less badly for the officers of the Lake Como Police Department who, through no fault of their own - or of anyone's for that matter - went home on Wednesday night after work without a job to which they could return on Thursday morning.  

If only we lived in McKinney, Texas, then we would all have first-world problems to occupy us - such as how many season tickets to purchase in the new high school football stadium that is being built for $62.8 Million.  


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