Dear Councilmen,

On March 25th 2011, I drove down to Trenton to attend a DCA Local Finance Board Meeting during which Paterson's 2011 Municipal budget was presented.  The week before, (March 15th I believe) I watched with admiration the herculean effort by Messrs Zambrano and Forenza, ably assisted by Mr. Forsman to put in place the mechanism to formally adopt this budget in order to beat a vital deadline. Quite a feat as I recall. The budget was 8 months late and included painful cuts but it was done. 

It is March 21st 2012 and it would seem that we are not even close to seeing the city adopt a budget for 2012.  Last year, the State warned that if a budget was not adopted by a certain date, the city would not be able to have a tax lien sale and raise an additional $8M.  I have to presume that we face a similar situation this year.

There are three months left in the fiscal year. With each day that a budget is not adopted, we lose any potential savings resulting from budget cuts. We cannot even think of rehiring any of the laid off cops which we so desperately need unless we present a balanced budget.  

I urge you all to work together to close the gap and immediately begin the process of putting together the 2013 Municipal budget.

Kind regards,   

Michael Symonds