CONTACT: Marcy McMullen, Chairwoman Holmdel Republican County Committee
HOLMDEL, NJ: Republican Township Committee candidates, Vicky Flynn and DJ Luccarelli, express their concerns over the present status of the Township budget due to its reliance upon surpluses, debt and PILOT revenues to balance a budget.
“Any businessman knows you can’t keep spending more money than your company brings in,” said Mr. Luccarelli, whose family has managed the Dearborn Market for four generations. “Holmdel Township is essentially doing that, using $3.5 million in surplus to balance this year’s budget. That represents almost 15% of the entire budget. Unfortunately, surpluses eventually run out.”
Mr. Luccarelli also noted his concern over the Township's debt that is presently at $37 million and rising. Despite the high debt load and its growing dependence upon surpluses, the Township’s overall expenses have gone up 12% in three years.
Holmdel Mayor Greg Buontempo and Ron Emma, who are running against the GOP’s endorsed candidates, have misdirected their attention in this campaign to the Holmdel School District's budget, criticizing Ms. Flynn, the current president of the Board of Education, for presenting a budget that is only set to increase by six-tenths of one percent. Also, the State recently advised the Holmdel School District should anticipate a potential loss of $310,000 of State aid.
“Our opponents are purposefully misleading the voters by making false allegations that attack our school and its budget. The Board approved a budget that is relatively flat, despite having to incur increasing costs to pay unfunded state mandates and for the school construction work that the voters approved to be completed. Even with the potential loss of state aid, the school district remains committed to provide for our students all instructional enhancements that were included in our budget when it was finalized and approved," replied Ms. Flynn.
Despite tight budgets, the Holmdel School District has made the most out of its local tax revenues in recent years by reducing class sizes, adding all-day kindergarten, cutting energy expenses, and beefing up its technological infrastructure. “By putting money in digital capabilities, we were better prepared to address the challenges of remote learning when the coronavirus forced us to shut down our schools this spring,” said Ms. Flynn.
Ms. Flynn added that Buontempo and Emma’s attacks are attacks on benefits of Holmdel students to control costs while ensuring quality education. Ms. Flynn and the Board recently led a successful referendum effort to finance Holmdel’s largest public project in this century to modernize Holmdel’s schools. She says the Holmdel 2020 initiative will be completed on time and on budget this fall. "People have thanked me and my fellow board members for supporting our schools and for doing what is right to make long-term investments in our schools because of the inherent value it adds to our property values," said Ms. Flynn.
Mr. Luccarelli noted that Buontempo and Emma’s criticism over school taxes is disingenuous. “I recall that years ago, the Township promised to share a portion of the millions it receives each year from the Bell Works property with the School District to provide our residents with tax relief. In fact, it currently ‘charges’ the district $350,000 to provide security for our kids and teachers there,” he said. “But because of the Township’s wasteful spending, it can barely meet its own budget needs, primarily by keeping all of the Bell Works revenues to itself.”
Residents can vote in this year’s Republican primary by mail through July 7th. Vote for the Republican line, vote for Flynn and Luccarelli and mail in your ballot today. For more information, visit https://www.voteforvickyanddj.com or https://www.holmdelrepublicans.com/.