Today’s Montclair Times on line edition contains an article regarding the budget. It quotes Marc Dashield on the necessity of rebuilding the organization. What it doesn’t say is that I was the one grilling the manager and Council on the unwise “gutting” of departments in order to just “hold” expense increases to 3 percent or so each year over the last four.
We’ve LOST forty people and as a result INCREASED expenses by millions of dollars?
The planning department lost a crucial assistant planner. And their ability to do their “real” job which is to plan for the future of Montclair, to consider the “big” steps, has been compromised by the necessity of their doing the administrative part of their job. There are huge projects being considered, or that should be considered. There are many areas not being addressed, including issues in housing, that have been starved of resource.
Last night we also heard from the Municipal Court, and their trying to catch up with collecting fines, as well as updating important legal databases, including expungement of records, under conditions of understaffing.
I am not asking that we increase spending needlessly. I am asking that we prioritize our spending. And consider trade offs.