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.”

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51 COMMENTS

  1. 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)

  2. 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.)

  3. 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?
    Voneandonly

  4. 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.

  5. 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)

  6. 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!

  7. 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).

  8. 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.

  9. 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).

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

  11. 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.

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

  13. 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!

  14. 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…

  15. Although, this has nothing to do with Montclair’s deficit-
    completely
    I just received my Montclair Township 2006 Calender–funny, it does not contain a single photo of Montclair.

  16. It never has had any pics of Montclair.
    It used to have the schedule refuse and recycling days, but this year it does not.
    It has school info, except that it says the Wed after President’s day is an early dismissal— actually,it’s a day off.
    It’s ugly and useless. Think I’ll toss it, too.

  17. What you got in the mail was not an official Township of Montclair publication; it is done by a private company that sells ad space; we have strongly encouraged them not to do this without checking with the town so the info they put out about garbage pickup, etc. is accurate.

  18. Gee, I remember Marshall very well, ROC. The callow donnish view from an Oxford quad, so to speak. I remember Marshall well enough to figure that, if he’d gnash anything, it’d more likely be his leather-bound copy of Das Kapital rather than his teeth.
    Perhaps. given Clarice’s and Conan’s descriptions of the Montclair calendar for 2006, however, we should all be gnashing on whatever bozos came up with said calendar.

  19. As someone who deals with two dozen companies in different industries, the economy is doing better than previous years. But it has little to do with growth, and much to do with productivity, where one individual is now doing the job of three (the other two are unemployed or no longer in their jobs of choice; one talented designer was stocking shelves at a Home Depot this summer, driving 30 miles to get there and earning a fraction of what he had earned in his previous job). Clients no longer have the budgets they had 6 years ago for projects. They think in terms of the most immediate need; nothing long term. Take a look at the S&P 500 for the last 5 years, ROC. This economy is treading water; it’s not growing, unless, of course, your ticker symbol is HAL or you are building components for billion dollar war toys to fight suicidal religious fanatics whose most powerful weapon is the fear that the Republican strategists at FoxNews pump through our society.

  20. As opposed, I’m sure, to the often fanatical and usually left-liberal, prevaricating diehards who populate the news divisions of CBS, ABC,NBC and CNN. Also, however suicidal those “religious fanatics” may be (wert thou too timid to term them, say, “Islamofascists?” prithee, why?), they are also, frequently, quite effective. We are quite right, in other words, to pay strong attention to them, and to do otherwise would be to dismiss, for openers, our own, the UK’s, Australia’s and Israel’s thousands of dead. There is more to this struggle than stock prices or your capricious sneering.

  21. buycopy, so GDP is some kind of made up number of little value in measuring economic health? What would you use then? Unemployment? Nancy Pelosi’s non-union vineyard profits? What would you use then?

  22. Did your nighty-night prayers thus come true, walleroo? The ones you made whilst in your jim-jams after a nice bowl of warm Ovaltine?
    Now get out of bed and turn on the tube! It’s 11PM and time for Bill O’Reilly on Fox!

  23. Who drinks Ovaltine, warm, and in a bowl no less? And I’m not in my “jim-jams”, as you call them in Jersey. I am working, cathar, at the office, struggling with nincompoops and boobs, trying apparently in vain to end this long day.

  24. I do recommend some other benchmark than GDP. It doesn’t show the human dimension. We need a human index that is based on a representative group of perhaps 5000 wage earners, which shows how many of them have annual income that has risen or fallen (and whether they are working 9-5 or 7:30-7:30 and then 8-midnight or other variations), whether they are saving or borrowing heavily against credit cards, home equity loans or student loans programs.
    And after we figure out how to do that correctly, Cathar can explain why liberals are worse than the long list of “friends” of Jack Abramoff and Tom DeLay, and Brent Wilkes, one of the alleged co-conspirators alluded to in court documents in the Randy “Duke” Cunningham.
    For your reading pleasure:
    https://www.nctimes.com/articles/2005/12/29/news/top_stories/20_45_1712_28_05.txt
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/custom/2005/12/23/CU2005122300939.html

  25. walleroo, “bowl” is but a Brit-ism, my late-laboring poster. I’m nonetheless pretty sure you drink your nightly chocolate milk (Hershey’s if you prefer, or Bosco) warm, to enhance the prospect of sleep.
    As for buycopy, I don’t care who constitutes the “friends” of Tom DeLay, or even of Cynthia McKinney for that matter, or of assorted NJ governors and other politicians who got their pals onto the board at UMDNJ. My umbrage was at his dismissal of Fox News, and his curious refusal to note the creed of those fanatics he cited, the dangers of whom he seems to think are much exaggerated by the folks at Fox News.
    And don’t suggest for my reading “pleasure,” buycopy, the NYT or WAPO. The constant editorial slanting by both newspapers is part of the problem when considering the effect of those murderous, creed-unnnamed fanatics upon the rest of us.
    Shall I suggest, in turn, the Koran in its original Arabic? Or can you only read it in translation? Have you ever read the various pronounciamientos of the Muslim Brotherhood? The even more hard-core stuff you can find on Al-Jazeera’s website? Important, but hardly pleasurable.
    And dismissing the GDP because “we” need some other “human index” is surely a specious argument. Stick with what we’ve got there, pal, especially when you don’t have the Greenspan-like clout to suggest something else that “we” will take seriously.

  26. We could call it the “boo-hoo-waa-waa” index of nannydom!
    looks pretty flat to me
    Americans work an average of 34.17 Hours per week (in 2004) according to wikipedia.
    For the US:
    1850 Average worker, 3150-3650 hours
    1987 Average worker, 1949 hours
    2004 Average worker, 1777 hours
    (also from the wikipedia article)
    We should all be thankful we are not “mudsills” (1850’s slang for uneducated worker) eh?
    Here is the full wikipedia “article” which I can’t recommend, it seems full of unsupported “conclusions” of a neo-socialist-liberal persuasion. Interestingly (and revealingly) all the sources cited seem to go against the conclusions of the authors of the article.

  27. Actually we do pretty well as compared to our forbearers.
    Take leisure lifetime hours (table 6) for example:
    Lifetime Work Hours
    1880 – 182,100
    1995 – 122,400
    Lifetime Leisure Hours
    1880 – 43,800
    1995 – 176,100*
    *includes time spent whining, bitching and moaning.

  28. It used to have the schedule refuse and recycling days, but this year it does not.
    According to the township website
    https://www.to.montclair.nj.us/index.cfm
    REFUSE AND RECYLING NOTICE
    “Refuse and recycling schedules have not been included in the 2006 Township Planner. The existing refuse and recycling programs are currently being reorganized and a new and improved program with revised schedules is expected to be introduced during the first half of 2006. Until the new program is introduced the existing refuse and recycling schedules will remain in effect.”

  29. ROC, you’d better stay away from Wikipedia. Should you get into the habit of modifying and correcting, that thing will swallow you whole.

  30. walleroo, don’t fear for me. I have never been tempted. Mostly the Wiki is disaster, I think. Editing it is what Chomskyites do when they are not reading about the tri-lateral commission. I do like to cite it when refuting leftist pablum because they give it such credence.
    The entry on Ron Karenga (the founder of Kwanzaa) is interesting though. I had no idea he was a convicted felon (10 year sentence – for torture, no less), a Marxist Black Panther and started Kwanzaa as an anti-religious alternative to the “opiate” of “spook” religions such as Judiasm and Christianity.
    Being in the “Wiki” of course – who knows if any of it is true.

  31. My first reading recommendation was not from the NY Times, rather from a San Diego newspaper. And if you prefer the Wall Street Journal, then you can read about Jack Abramoff’s friends in that publication today. The treacle he created for himself and his cronies may have tasted as sweet as Lyle’s Golden Syrup for a moment, but now it has become dark and sticky. I will always put concern for other humans ahead of greed and self-interest. I actually opposed the Taliban before 9/11, noting their Islamofascism. But I did not take the leap of faith that the administration did in attacking a secularist government. I believe we are in a 100 year war, but it is being waged in a manner that makes little sense to me and ignores the suspicions created in the Mideast over the past half century. Our nation succeeds when we demonstrate to the world how good democracy can be, not by behaving like those we disdain.

  32. I saw the same information about Karenga in the newspaper the other day, I think the Star Ledger. So unless their source was Wikipedia, I think it’s true. Rather disillusioning.

  33. Actually, ROC, Ron Karenga ran a rival group to the Panthers, with whom they had for a while a shooting war. (Ann Coulter, weirdly, referred to him the other day as an “FBI dupe and front.”) Then, somehow, he picked up not one but two Ph.D’s from colleges which gave him academic credit for their own white liberal guilt. (If you’ve read anything he’s written, you know it wasn’t either for his scholarship or his familiarity with proper grammar.)
    Perhaps the ultimate article on Kwanzaa and Karenga was written by the Star-Ledger’s own witty and poised Paul Mulshine. But not for that newspaper, rather for http://www.frontpagemagazine.com.
    buycopy, that you “opposed” the Taliban before 9/11 makes you ever so morally percipient and admirable. But where did you do so, and to whom? And to what effect? Where are you now, when “we” need you so? Off reading about Jack Abramoff? There are also, oh, just at a guess, at least 90 years remaining of the “100 Years War” you claim to have foreseen, so there’s plenty of time left in which to do something. Perhaps even to read commentaries ON the Koran by many of the mullahs who provide moral support to the armed Islamofascists out there.

  34. Believe it or not, ROC, Wikipedia is surprisingly accurate, at least according to a study that appeared recently in the British journal Nature, which counted inaccuracies in scientific entries. Wiki did only slightly worse than Encyclopedia Brittanica. Of course, the Nature propeller heads didn’t consider politics, history, and other “soft” subjects, for which I would think (though I’m too lazy to see for myself) are heavily skewed leftward and geekward (apparently there are a gadzillion Star Trek references, which the volunteer editors have to continually prune).

  35. I didn’t know this about Karenga, but it only supports what I’ve always thought, in my uninformed, lazy way, about Kwanzaa: that eventually people, black and white, will look back on it with some embarrassment as a weird phase in the history of Africans in America. It always strikes me as somewhat ridiculous to hear Kwanzaa referred to in the same phrase as Judaism, Christianity or Islam. As much as you’d like to invent a major world religion out of whole cloth, it ain’t that easy. That so many people have been so quick to go along with it is really kind of pathetic.

  36. walleroo, I almost love you when you post such non-doctrinaire posts as right above. I certainly now feel your soul isn’t damned to eternal, PC-directed perdition, that you’re no longer assuredly Gehenna-bound.
    Nonetheless, it is time for you to begin edging out of the liberal closet. Perhaps by the 2012 election you may even be voting for Republicans.

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