Dennis Republicans distort facts

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To the editor:

Recently the majority Dennis Township Republican Committee members submitted a press release regarding the 2012 Dennis township Municipal budget. Unsurprisingly, since Jan. 1, 2012, the citizens of our township have been subjected to the complaining, rhetoric and half-truths of the new Republican majority. Yet that is the nature of politics. Former Mayor John Murphy and I expected at some point the droning would subside and we would return to the work of the people. However, the recent press release indicates the half-truths and blame game by Republican Committee members will continue. Therefore, in the interest of bringing the actual truth to light please review the following.

Since the first of the year the Republican Committee members have done much complaining about the budget. Yet their initial actions involved appointing a solicitor that had a price tag $20,000 higher than other qualified applicants, attempting to exceed the state mandated 2 percent tax cap and recommending a referendum that would have raised the local taxes significantly [5-6 cents per $100 of assessed value].  So much for fiscal conservatism.

In the press release, Mr. Germanio stated public works employees received a six year deal with a 2 percent raise per year. The real facts are the public works employee contract is for five years with pay raises stipulated at 0 percent, 2 percent and 2 percent the first three years. The final two years are open to further wage negotiations with no guarantee of a wage increase.

The reality is the Mayor Murphy Administration, during a major recession that saw increased costs and significantly reduced state funding, passed budgets that were crafted to maintain services and minimize financial impact on taxpayers. This was reflected in staff reductions, shared services [i.e. the court merger with Upper Township], cost cutting and efficient use of grant monies. What Republican committee members fail to tell the public is that state aid has been steadily reduced from over $2 million in 2007 to approximately $1.65 million in 2012 [about a 17 percent cut in revenue].

The true facts are that Dennis Township was an effectively run municipality that minimized the local tax burden and maintained services including operating the best recreation department in Cape May County. I find it highly ironic that in the most heavily taxed state in the nation the Republicans are attacking Mayor Murphy’s administration for not raising taxes. As private citizens Mr. Glembocki, Mr. Teefy and Mr. Germanio all enjoyed the benefits of the low municipal tax in Dennis Township over these past years. Additionally, then-Committeeman Glembocki voted to approve the 2011 budget.

A summation of the current Dennis Township Republican “leadership” would be: misrepresent facts, panic taxpayers and township employees, assign blame and complain. Dennis Township is hardly the only community facing strident economic challenges. Communities across the state and country are wrestling with the very real results of a severe economic recession.

That the Republican majority lack both the insight and expertise to address critical municipal issues is becoming evident to all. Citizens should not hesitate to contact Mr. Murphy or Mr. Di Cicco to discuss relevant Dennis Township matters.

Albert Michael Di Cicco
Dennis Township Committeeman

 


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