Carey, Veech, Tkacs: Challengers Continue to Mislead the Public
Randolph NJ, October 26, 2020 – Chris Carey, Joanne Veech, and Lance Tkacs, candidates for re-election to the Randolph Township Council, released the following statement to address many inaccurate and misleading statements being made by their challengers in the upcoming election.
In May, our opponents falsely accused the Randolph township administrative staff of ending a food drive because “it was organized, in part, by Democratic candidates for Township Council.” That statement was not only ludicrous but also very insulting to our hard working municipal employees. The truth is that along with many other residents and organizations, the challengers collected food donations to assist those in need during the pandemic. Apparently, the challengers were unaware that the Randolph Food Pantry has limited capacity, and it has always been used to supplement the efforts of other, larger food distribution organizations in the area. Once it reached capacity, the municipal staff notified donors that the food pantry temporarily would not be able to accept further donations. The staff suggested that donations be made in the meantime to other local food pantries. In response, our opponents chose to issue a press release making false accusations against the township staff.
There are more examples. In a recent statement, our challengers claimed that when the proprietor of Kahana Farm “asks for assistance, the supposedly “pro-small business” Council has said NO.” We are completely baffled by this statement since the proprietor of Kahana Farm has never asked the Council for assistance. We have never said no to him because he has never asked the Council for anything.
Continuing to demonstrate their lack of knowledge about municipal finance and budgeting, our challengers have made the claim, “the current Council has been sitting for years on a huge surplus - tax money that we have already paid. … in our opinion, this surplus far exceeds what a municipality typically keeps on hand for emergencies.” The truth is that, Randolph Township had a fund balance surplus of $1,792,366 in 2020, which represents approximately 5% of the municipal budget. This type of surplus to be used for unanticipated expenditures or unexpected reductions in tax revenues is a part of prudent fiscal management and is not “huge.” With respect to their opinion that “this surplus far exceeds what a municipality typically keeps on hand for emergencies,” their opinion is in stark contrast to nationally respected financial credit agencies, Standard and Poor and Moodys who have awarded Randolph an exemplary AAA bond rating as an acknowledgement of Randolph’s sound fiscal management. The opinion of these financial experts is that Randolph Township’s surplus is not “huge” and that it does not “exceed what a municipality typically keeps on hand for emergencies.” Therefore, the choice is to trust the opinion of two highly respected financial credit rating agencies or three individuals with no experience in managing municipal finances.
As further demonstration of their inexperience and lack of fiscal understanding, one of the opposition candidates recently wrote “If they haven’t raised taxes, then how come my bill keeps going up?” Clearly, our opponents don’t understand municipal and school budgets. The Randolph municipal tax levy has not increased in 4 years. However, residents’ tax bills have increased because their school taxes continue to increase and 70% of property tax bills are for school taxes which are controlled by the Randolph Board of Education – not the Township Council. Perhaps, our opponents are confused about which governing body they are seeking to be elected.
These challengers further claim, a “contractor allegedly absconded with $2 million of our tax dollars, which Randolph had to recoup through our insurance.” Again, this is a total fabrication. They offer no additional facts. What contractor? When did this happen? They continue to make vague, unsubstantiated, untrue and irresponsible statements.
Our opponents further allege that the Randolph Council was “invited to sign a strongly worded letter from Morris County mayors and town councils demanding that JCP&L finally repair the chronic infrastructure deficiencies that keep leaving our residents without electricity and water, and to compensate residents who lost refrigerators full of food.” In fact, this letter was written by and circulated for signature only to “Democratic elected officials of Morris County.” It was never sent to the Randolph Mayor or Council. We were not asked to sign it. It was a partisan effort that did not attempt to include anyone but Democrats. Randolph, in fact, has participated in multiple bipartisan forums to express concerns and provide feedback to JCP&L about their handling of Tropical Storm Isaias.
The list of inaccurate statements goes on and on. Clearly, our opponents have no plan or platform and no experience to guide them. Rather than discuss new ideas or substantive issues, they try to confuse voters with falsehoods.
Your choice is clear. A vote for Carey, Veech and Tkacs is a vote for honesty and integrity. We will continue to work hard for Randolph. We are the better choice for Randolph.
Please vote by November 3 to re-elect Chris Carey, Joanne Veech and Lance Tkacs to the Randolph Township Council.