Vote November 7, 2017

Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Do You Approve Of How Your Tax Dollars Are Spent?: Follow the money

Put your tax dollar to work for you. 
Find out more about how the money is being spent. The City of Englewood recently purchased Liberty School from the Board of Education. When did the money change hands? Why is it not recorded anyplace? Why is it taking so long for my opra of the transfer to be fulfilled? There are too many questions regarding money in Englewood, New Jersey.
How are our tax dollars being spent? Keep in mind that even if you live in an apartment building, you still pay property taxes. It is included in your monthly rent. The landlord responds to property tax increases by increasing your rent. Visit the website of the City of Englewood.  Review the services provided by the City of Englewood. Are you satisfied? Take your concerns to the City Council.
Tax Bill Percentages
Schools 46.19%  Pay more attention to this one. They are spending an awful lot of money and the children are not achieving. Expectations must be set higher for students and staff all the way up to the Superintendent. There is evidence of waste and segregation among students. They claim that every student has a college application and acceptance in hand upon graduation. Great. How many of them end up in remedial classes for literacy or math? How many of them complete college? Where is the data driven evidence from the last 10 years that supports the assumption that those college acceptances were even utilized? How many of those applications are in manila envelopes on the bottom shelves in guidance offices collecting dust?

Municipal  42.69% Your tax dollar is funding each of the services listed. I recently read an article about Gullah Island off the coast of South Carolina. Direct descendents of slaves live on a small island and survive by fishing and farming. Their taxes have recently been raised from $300 per year to over $3,000. They have only one paved road, no city water line, no gas line, no garbage pickup. Absolutely no services. What in the heck are they paying for? In the end, these direct descendents of former slaves will be forced off this valuable shore property. The land left them by their ancestors will probably end up as Timeshare resorts or beachfront hotels. America is defaulting once again on a promisory note. Check out the video-documentary that demonstrates how unfair taxation may be used to destroy entire cultures. Again, are you satisfied with the services that you are promised? Example: How long does it take to plow your street after a snow storm? How do you rate police and ambulance response time in your neighborhood? Actually and unfortunately I know about ambulance response time. As of 2011, it was rather satisfactory. Ask more questions. It is your right.
     Office Locator - Visit these offices. Ask questions and get your money's worth. A tree fell on a friend's car outside my house. It was a city tree, it flattened the car like a pancake and tore up the sidewalk. The sidewalk stayed that way for over a year. I am retired so I had time to watch people trip over this ragged place on a daily basis. I was not treated very nicely when I visited a city office and asked why the sidewalk was not being repaired. Lately, I have thrown nice away and I use a different tone when complaining about problems in my neighborhood.

Library 1.58%  - Are you and your family taking advantage of the services provided by the public library. It was also attacked earlier this year by budget cuts. Did you get excited? Neither did I. We must do better and demand more from our library. It must be something that we fight harder to keep. We must never allow an entity to enter our town or school system and abolish the library. We must also take advantage of available programs and demand more. Make sure everyone has a library card and knows how to access the resources on the home computer. My 15 year old granddaughter was slapped with nearly a $5 fine, because she did not know that she could renew the books online. The fines are getting rather steep. Avoid paying late fees by renewing the checkout of books and other materials online.
Friends of Englewood Public Library.
Children's programs.

County 9.42% Bergen County resources and services

County Open Space 0.12%
Open Space Partnership of Bergen County
Preliminiary 2015 Open Space Sub-Regional Funding Allocations
Municipal Park Improvement Program
Bergen County Open Space, Recreation, Farmland & Historic Preservation Trust Fund
Summary of Project Awards for the City of Englewood 1999 - 2009 (page 8) updated 2012

A sinkhole in Depot Square Park
July 9, 2012, 7:40pm
2001 Englewood Depot Square $25,000 Municipal Recreation
2002 Englewood Depot Square $37,500 Municipal Recreation
2003 Englewood Depot Square $125,000 Municipal Recreation
2005 Englewood Depot Square Amphitheatre $165,625 Municipal Recreation

2008 Englewood Basketball and Tennis Court Reconstruction $155,000 Municipal Recreation
2009 Englewood Denning Park Soccer Field $94,500 Municipal Recreation
2011 Englewood Mackay Park Play Equipment $50,000 Municipal Recreation
2011 Englewood Phelps-Mackay Park Gatehouse Historic
Preservation Plan $22,000 County Historic Preservation

August 25, 2015 - Update of Project Awards -  Page 12 for Englewood allocations
2011 Englewood Phelps-Mackay Park Gatehouse Historic Preservation Plan $22,000 County Historic Pres 
2013 Englewood Mackay Park Gatehouse Historic Rehabilitation Documents $16,000 County Historic Preservation 
2014 Englewood Glenbrook Park Play Area Improvement Project $11,000 Municipal Recreation 
2014 Englewood Mackay Park Gatehouse Exterior Restoration $166,150 County Historic Preservation 

City of Englewood - $166,150.00 for Mackay Park Gatehouse Exterior Restoration

This hole is capable of
swallowing a small
child or a pet whole.
Imagine getting your adult
foot stuck in that.
Do you buy that $587,625.00 was spent on Englewood Parks since 2001? That amount makes me think of that tree bridge that lay across the brook connecting MacKay Park to 3rd street for years. It was dangerous and inviting to a group of children who no longer had a 3rd street walkway over a concrete bridge into the park.

I was trained in the theatre and would love the idea of an Amphitheatre in Depot Square. I would probably love it even more if it was in MacKay Park. The question is of course, where is the Amphitheatre? That is the park that I frequent with my grandkids. We go there after the library before going to McDonald's and home on Saturdays. Where is the Amphitheatre?

When was the last time anyone ever admitted that we pay for the upkeep of parks and the "Open Space" of Bergen County? Does a fenced in MacKay Park still qualify to be called "Open Space" in the formula provided? Loopholes. Use the links and learn about Bergen County and Englewood's Open Space that is disappearing rather fast. I must really take another look at Depot Square Park and all of that renovation listed above. Amphitheatre?  Gee! Was $353,125.00 enough money to fix the very dangerous sink hole pictured to the right.

Tax Bill Dollar Components
Schools $49.1 million
Municipal $45.4 million
Library $1.7 million
County $10.0 Million
County Open Space $0.1 million
Open Space PartnershipofBergen CountyCounty Program Policy and Procedures Manual

Check out the dollar amount that is collected from tax payers for the operation and maintenance of schools. How much of that is used to directly impact student achievement? You would think that Englewood parents and residents would get more respect from the people who share the fruits of taxpayer dollars. The money is collected from all of us, not just the few that are high profile and well liked by the special folk. At school board meetings Dr. Carlisle promises that there is significant access to computers, because of the available units in the Library. Has Dr. Carlisle ever visited the Englewood Public Library?

Are we satisfied with the way our tax dollars are being spent?

Did you notice that tax abatements do not help homeowners? On the contrary, we end up funding the tax abatement of a developer that we never even wanted in the first place? Meanwhile, the big developer is reclining in his study looking out over the "open space" in communities like Upper Saddle River, Montvale, Bernardsville, or Alpine. Many of us are looking at a boarded up school building where our grandparents, parents and siblings attended school while watching our children play in the streets. These are questions that should be put to Lynne Algrant and the City Council. Perhaps Mr. Wayne Hamer might be able to answer a few of these once he is given the answers.

                                      Pride of Place.
Post a Comment