Business & Finance

Press Releases

Democrats Point to 'Great' Municipal Budget

c33a0b42feb209a10ce1_Budget_Summary.JPG
Democratic candidates for Madison Borough Council in 2017, Carmela Vitale and John Hoover view the tax bill breakdown shown on the 2017 Budget Summary on display in the borough hall lobby.
c33a0b42feb209a10ce1_Budget_Summary.JPG

In a joint prepared statement, Democratic candidates for Madison Borough Council, Council President Carmela Vitale and John Hoover point to the success of this year’s municipal budget process.

The candidates noted that “last year a Madison newspaper commented that the 2016 budget fell ‘into the boring category–maintaining the services residents have come to expect and providing for improvements without any sticker shock for taxpayers.’"  The paper went on to conclude that ‘this kind of ‘boredom’ is good.’ 

This year the newspaper's editors stated that "the Borough Council and administration deserve praise for their months of work in crafting a proposed budget for 2017." The editors then concluded that they had done a ‘Great Job.’ We agree.”

Sign Up for E-News

“When I returned to the council in 2012, services were being cut; we were not investing adequately in our roads and water sewer systems; Madison’s AAA credit rating was in jeopardy, and there was even an attempt to publically fire the borough administrator," said Vitale, who serves on the borough’s Finance and Borough Clerk Standing Committee.

"We’ve come a long way since then. This year taxpayers are seeing an increase in the municipal tax rate of less than 2% with no decrease in borough services. We are transferring $3.67 million to the General Capital Improvement Fund, of which nearly $3 million is going for road improvements. In contrast, only $750,000 was transferred into the Capital Improvement Fund in 2012, and that was an improvement over 2011, when no money was transferred."

"This year we are returning $1.5 million in the form of a dividend from the electric utility surplus providing an effective 8% reduction in residential electric bills for the year," she said. "This is also the first year since I returned that the budget was unanimously approved with a bipartisan, 6-0 vote of the council.”

“I believe that if we continue the fiscal practices established during the past two years, utilizing the guidelines developed through the strategic planning process first proposed by Mayor Conley, we are going to see more ‘great job’ municipal budgets in the coming years," Hoover said. "The guidelines, which are approved by the council by resolution each year, provide specific measures that are applied during the budget process. The measures and the recommended levels for conformance are designed to ensure that municipal finances are managed in a prudent manner."

The council will also need to keep looking for additional efficiencies to control costs and increase revenues.  Adding additional shared services, introducing technology innovations like the new utility billing system, the planned introduction of “smart” electrical metering and LED street and parking lot lighting are but a few examples. 

The Joint Court has been a win-win shared service for Madison and the other participating communities.  Our most recent addition to the Court was Morris Township, and we recently added Cranford as contracting community for the Board of Health.  Another shared service that many people are unaware of is that Madison provides IT services for four other communities.

Next year we will begin to see the fruits of the borough administration’s successful efforts to get Allergan to lease and expand the old Pfizer building on the Giralda property.  Allergan will become the borough’s largest single taxpayer and when fully occupied, its projected 1,800 employees will also make it a major customer of our water and electric utility. 

The KRE development under construction on Kings Road, which has already contributed $11 million to the Board of Education’s capital fund and $1 million to help pay for the turf fields at the MRC, is going to have a very positive impact on our ongoing municipal finances. The projected annual $400K in PILOT payments to the borough will represent almost 3% of all property tax revenues going to the municipal government.  Likely to be occupied by predominately “empty nesters” and double income young couples with few if any children, the complex will be adding substantial tax dollar revenues to both the borough and to the Board of Education with minimal impact on borough services or our schools.” 

“As Borough Council President, I am proud of the ability of this council, supported by our superb Borough Administration, to craft responsible, conservative budgets that provide for adequate investment in our roads, sewer systems and water and electric utilities while maintaining and improving municipal services and controlling taxes," Vitale said. "Looking forward, John and I will work with our colleagues on council to build on the processes already in place, so that future budgets will also be described as ‘boring and ‘great.'”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Madison

Madison Chatham Coalition Hard at Work

May 19, 2018

The Madison Chatham Coalition met at the Madison Area YMCA for its monthly meeting this week to learn about the value of evaluation and data collection, presented by Kelli Keck from Epiphany Community Services.

The meeting also included a recap of training that some Coalition members attended at the National Coalition Academy in Alabama. The Coalition’s mission is to prevent and reduce ...

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

A 'Gold Card' for Morris County Parents, Guardians of Killed Military

May 18, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ – Morris County Clerk Ann Grossi today announced the launch of the "Gold Star Parent ID Card Program" that allows Morris County parents, legal guardians or other legal custodians of members of the military who died while on active duty to access certain benefits, such as discounts extended to military families.

"Gold Star Parents can now ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!