Recap of September 11, 2019 DCA meeting (by Craig Heard):
- DCA Board and Director
- Craig Heard, Chairperson of the Roxbury Mount Arlington Study Commission
- Gina Genovese, Executive Director of Courage to Connect.
- Mayor of Roxbury (on our Commission) & their Business Administrator
- Mayor of Mount Arlington (rep on Commission is a Council member) & their Business Administrator and another, consultant of Mount Arlington, Jon Reinhardt
engaging an independent study by a consultant group in 2017 to do their own study of the consolidation. The result of which were both used to project the property tax impact of both studies on Roxbury and Mount Arlington. TO accomplish this we engaged Matt Laracy, CPA.
- Without equalization applied and projected saving implemented, the property tax reduction to Roxbury and Mount Arlington was 8-10% for Roxbury and 12-15% for Mount Arlington.
- With equalization applied, Roxbury would receive a property tax reduction of 11-13% and Mount Arlington would receive no tax reduction and the State would have to subsidize the shortfall.
I proceeded to explain, with this result in July finally completed, it became evident that the equalization provision was the barrier and I reached out to Marc Pfeiffer, the architect of the Statute, to see if there were any solutions that could be explored to solve the problem, without hurting either Roxbury or Mount Arlington.
Since we must advise the County to be on the November ballot by August 10, 2019 and we need to address the equalization problem to research and present to the DCA a possible solution to this issue, we needed an extension beyond December 2019.
- degraded our Commission
- "we have commissioners that do not what they are doing and have no experience"
- the study is flawed
- the township will not allow any consideration of a Consolidation unless equalized value under the Statute is applied.
- members of the consolidation are made up of members that could not get elected to public office
- personal attacks in their comments.
- The independent consultant members have no experience in municipal government and are not competent to do this report.
Some Board members asked some questions and clearly showed they were throwing softballs to help support the speaker’s comments.
One Board members said, yes, I was involved with this Statute 20 years ago and we always knew equalization was a problem. (so for 20 years DCA did nothing to address it)
They asked the crew if they provided documents to the commission requested through cooperation or OPRA. They responded yes, which we can prove is a lie. In fact, we have an OPRA request right now that Mount Arlington is on their 10th delay and not responding.
1-No extension at this time beyond December 2019