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Township Introduces Bond Ordinance For Funding $1.4 Million in Revenue Losses

Township Manager Arch Liston called it the first step in the budget process. A public hearing will take place at the Oct. 23 council meeting.

Galloway Township introduced a bond ordinance that would fund revenue losses for $1.4 million to help deal with a $3 million deficit in next year’s fiscal budget. Council recognized that this is not the whole solution, nor is it a long term one.

The bond ordinance was introduced at the council meeting on Tuesday night, Oct. 9, and the public hearing will be held at the next council meeting, on Oct. 23.

If approved, the township would have five years to pay back the bond.

“This is the first step in the budget process,” Township Manager Arch Liston said. “If we don’t do this, we’re going to have to find another $1.4 million in the budget. Our services would have to be cut down to the bare bones. We’d have no Public Works, and we’d have half the police department we do now.”

That would cut the police department down to about 27 officers. The department is at 54 officers currently, cut from 75 just a few years ago.

Township employees recently received notices of possible layoffs, and final layoff notices will be issued no later than Nov. 16. Statutory personnel didn't receive the notices, and the township recently discussed the need to protect law enforcement personnel.

The layoffs come after employees were furloughed in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

"The auditor has been in communication with the (Department of Community Affairs)," Liston said. "The DCA called the day after the (layoff notices were issued) and this was one of the things they suggested."

“This is half the problem and we still have to make major cuts,” Mayor Don Purdy said. “If we took $3 million out of the budget all at once, we’d be left with no services.”

Council recognized this was not an ideal solution.

“Two years ago, we would never approve this,” Purdy said. “There is no surplus now. We’re down to very little.”

“This needs to be coupled with a real solution,” Councilman Brian Tyrrell said.

The possibility of going out for a referendum in March to exceed the 2 percent cap was discussed. Holding a special election would cost $30,000. Councilman Jim Gorman pointed out that in that situation, the township would have to identify where the cuts would come from.

"If the referendum failed, you would have to act immediately," Township Clerk Thalia C. Kay said.

"I guarantee it would fail," Councilman Tom Bassford said. "Taxpayers are not going to vote for a tax increase."

The introduction of the ordinance was coupled with the vote to approve a reassessment for the 2014 tax year. The goal of the reassessment is to put the value of all properties on a level playing field in the wake of over 2,000 tax appeals being filed in 2012, council said.

"We're at a tipping point," Councilman John Mooney said. "If we don't take this step, we'll really be stuck between a rock and a hard place."

Shawn G October 10, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Atlantic City does this every year.
Red October 11, 2012 at 06:27 PM
“This needs to be coupled with a real solution,” Councilman Brian Tyrrell said. Wow - what a profound observation from this empty suit. Of course Tyrell and the rest of this clown group have no "real solutions." I can't believe that Bassford had the guts to open his mouth since he was the mayor when the money that was coming in in prior years was wasted on a bunch of athletic fields that weren't needed when fixing up the ones we already had would have been sufficient. Time to get the deadwood off of Council and get some people on there who have ideas and the ability to put them in motion.
Carol Bunch October 11, 2012 at 11:25 PM
Half the police department, good luck with that. The pd can't keep up with the calls for service now, let alone with 27 guys.
VTPat October 11, 2012 at 11:28 PM
I concur with both Red and harry. Tyrell has never said anything the least bit intelligent or profound. His stance on Revel belies his lack of intelligence. College professor or political appointee, you decide. I hope Harry is wrong but it makes sense that he is correct. I was against the $$ wasted on soccer fields and senior centers and all the other "amenities" meant to draw votes. However, I believe that goofy voters in Galloway could care less and will probably vote the borrow and spend republicans right back in.They are too busy watching the soccer games and carting their parents back and forth between recreation activities paid for by us, the taxpayers. In addition they are choking the health care system going to the emergency rooms for treatment because they will not pay for health insurance. The Escalade comes first. Want proof? Go to the Emergency Rom at the hospital and hang out for a couple of days. Watch our middle class / small business owners in action.
smithvillian October 15, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Galloway is doomed.....it's just doomed. So, the first step of the budget process is to borrow more money with really nothing in place to ensure any kind of terms for repayment..?..Does this make any sense to anybody? Seriously, it's just absolutely absurd. It suits this cast (read as council) of clowns just fine because who cares...in 5 years they will vacated their seats and it's not their problem any longer. Call me crazy but wouldn't you want your miniature moment in time as a person who can make a positive contribution to their community to provide a footprint in your wake that means something. I've never seen irresponsibility tolerated on this level for so long. The train wreck was way back and we've all just been mulling around the wreckage so long most that most people I talk to are just seemingly used to it...aloof to the severity...and helpless to the decisions of people that are making self serving decisions that are just destroying this community from the inside out. Does no one have the ability to apply any level of introspection upon their actions on this council and within the walls of the municipal offices....if so, exercise that ability and speak up. I cannot accept that this many people can agree that this is a good idea.

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