Tomorrow’s Special Council Meeting Catches CCM by Surprise

The Montclair town council will hold a special emergency meeting on Tuesday, June 21 at 5 p.m. in council chambers. According to the town website, there are 4 items on the agenda:

1. Ordinance to approve a special emergency appropriation for the reassessment of real property.
2. Resolution authorizing the sale of notes to fund the special emergency appropriation.
3. Resolution authorizing the tax collector to issue estimated tax bills.
4. Resolution to amend/adopt the 2011 Budget

The Concerned Citizens of Montclair sent out this statement to their email list today:

This meeting comes as quite a surprise to CCM. It is on very short notice and certainly not a convenient time for any citizens to attend the meeting.

How much is the emergency appropriation for a reassessment? Seems as though the town is going to issue more bonds to pay for it? How will this impact the 2011 budget?

So many questions, so few answers…..

Will you be at the meeting? What outcomes are you looking for?

The meeting will air live on TV34.

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  1. A special meeting at 5:00? You have got to be kidding me! I suppose I should not be surprised, they have been nothing but sneaky for a few years now. I can’t wait to see what my estimated tax bill will be. It’s a terrible thing when you can’t trust your friends or family but when you can’t trust the people that are trusted with running your town,now that takes the cake!

  2. And a special meeting at 5PM to adopt a controversial BUDGET. Nice transparency and inclusiveness, Jerry.

  3. Why not just have a secret meeting? These clowns and their shenanigans should be voted out at the earliest opportunity.

  4. I agree deadeye BUT Jerry is pushing for another 6 months in office and at the rate of “sneakiness” I am sure it will voted on by the TC without us ever knowing about it.

  5. OMG. Thanks for the transparency and caring about the citizens! When is their term up? What is this rumor about them wanting to extend their stay in office? We need them out early, not an extension…

    By the way, what creative work has been done, to reduce taxes and help the citizens, since the budget was first presented? Please humor us and show all the cuts you’ve made and the corresponding amounts in savings to the taxpayers!

  6. Looks like Mayor Fried Rice too a note from Bloomfield’s playbook.

    Don’t worry MTC. I’ll bet no budget is passed. It’s too early in the summer.

  7. McCarthy scheduled a special budget meeting at 9am on a Thursday and then informed the public by sending a notice to the newspapers that never appeared beciuase of the timing. When questioned he said that he had done everything that was necessary by law.

    Who cares if the public attends.

    Oh, and the TV station was not invited to tape and notes are not being made available (except by filing an OPRA request).

  8. Once again this budget process has been an exercise in frustration.

    While others on the Council think that we’ve “tried everything” to reduce spending I don’t agree. I do not think the imaginative and bold moves, such as those offered by our Board of Eduction, have had a counterpart in the Municipality.

    I have made specific suggestions that involve personnel and reorganization. They have been rejected out of hand.

    Essentially nothing has changed from the Manager’s Introduced Budget back in January.

    Going forward I would hope my fellow Councilors will realize that things are not going to improve until we take action. That includes an increased attention to financial accountability. Implementing the State’s “Best Practices” would be a start.

    Working closer with our OWN Operating Budget Advisory Committee, (OBAC) and the independent Concerned Citizens of Montclair (CCM) would also be appropriate as both have offered good advice.

    Bottom line? We needed REAL change. We got rhetoric.

  9. You didn’t even get rhetoric Cary. You got absolutely nothing.

    I couldn’t help but notice that every other comment on the update to the town’s master plan has to do with bicycling. The constituents elected a mayor whose only real accomplishment prior to being elected was founding Bike Montclair. Quite honestly, the choices were between Michaelson (proven failure), Mattox (ego+proven failure), and Fried. Even with this strong competition, he barely won. Had it not been for you Cary, I’m sure Joyce would have won. And how does he repay you? By not giving you and your ideas a single ounce of respect. It continue to be all about bicycles and sustainability with this clown.

    Finally, my family is moving to our new home in Glen Ridge this weekend. We will continue to own our multi-family property in Montclair so we have a vested interest in Montclair going forward. Fortunately for us, it will be our tenants who will be paying for our continuous tax increases and service cuts. Not us. I only hope they can fathom the bond payments which nearly double every year for the new unneeded school.

    Did you see the fancy new wooden sign we erected at ‘1ortunato Field?’ Yes, that’s what it now reads. I think it held together for about a week. More taxpayer money frivolously wasted by our unelected and unaccountable BOE.

    Toodles. I’ll be watching from two houses east of the border.

  10. I don’t know if they are still there but the property that the town owns near the entrance to Brookdale park was filled with half dead trees still in the canvass rootballs. How much money was wasted by letting these trees die.

  11. @Cary Am I recalling incorrectly, or weren’t you starting a Blog somewhere? I think Montclair would love to see – and have a discussion about – some of the ideas you have (and those you’ve received from other groups) for getting our township budget under control. We’re not going to get that discussion with or from the council, but we might as well start talking about solutions for when a real council is put into place.

    It doesn’t have to be Cary-centric; it could easily be budget-centric. Perhaps this is something the CCM could do?

    However it’s done. I think we need to be having substantive conversations in a public forum to prepare for the day when there’s a council willing to act.


  12. @Cary I brought up Montclair’s Operating Budget Advisory Committee, (OBAC) with the Bloomfield Township Administrator last night and his response was “Why would I want a group of residents doing that, it’s my job”.

    I pointed out that we had Bloomfield Taxpayers who have already volunteered for a Budgetary Committee and want to get involved and who could come up with the ideas that he claims he needs as to where and what to cut or where and what services/functions overlap. I pointed out that a township liaison (Hamilton) had already been appointed but that the committee has not met and that volunteer efforts have been thwarted. I didn’t get anywhere.

    There will be no transparency in the Bloomfield budget and townsfolk are NOT invited to participate.

  13. It really cracks me up when people complain about one or two meetings a year being held at 5 instead of 7, since barely anyone ever comes to the meetings when they start at 7. I can’t wait until this budget process is over so the CCM people go back to their day jobs of manicuring their mansion lawns and griping about Obama over Venti Lattes at Starbucks. Alas, they’ll reappear again just in time for the 2012 election, which was essentially their purpose all along, right?

  14. Nickcharles
    don’t you just hate people that want to improve things. Disgusting, I say.

    Perhaps they can afford the manicured lawns because they’ve been managing their finances well. If only this Town Council could act like they had an ounce of financial wisdom and care about the citizens, just a little, wouldn’t that be dandy!

  15. nickcharles
    if you think this is a wealthy person’s problem you are sadly mistaken. If you look at homes sold vs the last reassessment – which is the only benchmark – some of the hardest hit are in the $500k range. In addition, the reassessment will only exacerbate the problem. You cant give away some of the large houses – not many people out there want to take on $80k a year in taxes with no prospect of financial restraint. The lost taxes at the high end will be re-allocated to the rest of us. Moreover, the cycle will start all over since they will increase the tax rate and values will fall further.

    Nick Lewis said from the get go he had no interest in listening to OBAC and neither has anyone else.

  16. Nickcharles,
    my fear is that montclair returns to the state it was in during the 70s and 80s, when many of those mansions were carved up into rooming houses. More and more of the burden will be falling on the middle class, who will also be fleeing under the strain. I’m worried we’re at a tipping point and things can crater faster than we can imagine.

    I’m a big Obama fan, I do love Starbucks coffee — and I also think CCM, OBAC, the BOE & their task forces, and the other citizen groups all have a valid point. They admit we have serious financial problems and they’re all trying to make a difference. I just hope enough people are paying attention. Clearly the current TC isn’t. The next group needs to be better. Order of magnitude better.

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