LITTLE FALLS, NJ - The Republican Party is one that prides itself on fiscal prudence. Republican candidates traditionally run on platforms of cutting budgets, lowering taxes, and ending waste. Yet in Little Falls, Republicans are slowly unraveling the Democrats’ tradition of fiscal responsibility and solving problems.
Under the current Republican administration, Little Falls is facing a $3 million budget shortfall for FY2015. The shortfall is the result of a $6.6 million FEMA refunding grant awarded in 2010. To be reimbursed, the town had to show that the grant was used appropriately and provide a copy of the bond ordinance (what a town must issue to pay for a public good), that reflected the grant total. Mayor Darlene Post argues that the initial bond ordinance was $3 million short and that the town had to reissue another one to make up for the difference. In a July op-ed, she blamed Democrats, who have not held office since 2010, for the shortfall simply because they accepted the grant. This administration is missing a sense of leadership and responsibility.
In a 2013 audit report, the town noted that the ordinance was actually over expended by close to $2.4 million. The audit report further illustrated that the ordinance did not take into account deferred charges to be raised in future budgets. It was the Republican Council, led by Mayor Post, that failed to amend the ordinance before spending the grant money, not the Democrats.
The current Little Falls Republican administration epitomizes exactly what is wrong with politics, both in Little Falls and in Congress. Last year, GOP Senator Ted Cruz and GOP Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen brought their history of fiscal carelessness to a new level by leading the effort to shut down the U.S. Federal Government, costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars and accomplishing nothing. It’s clear, both in Little Falls and Congress, that the Republican Party does not practice fiscal responsibility.
To return to the Clinton era, one defined by four years of budget surpluses, we need elected officials who are fiscally responsible. We need Democrats.
As your Representative, I will work hand in hand with the new Little Falls Democratic Administration of James Damiano, Maria Cordonnier, and William Lies and work to solve the fiscal issues affecting Little Falls.
Mark Dunec is a professional problem-solver running for Congress in New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District.
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