Will Gloucester Township residents take the additional 8% tax increase sitting down again?

Gloucester Township, Camden County,NJ
March 31, 2018

The last time that Gloucester Township Mayor and council hit residents with a property tax increase it was a huge one. It was a 12% increase, in 2016, one year before the Mayoral, and council local election. The tax increase was past that year in April as usual, but residents not paying attention didn't see it until they got their tax bill in July.

Residents then filled the council chambers, only to find out that it was too late. They vented to council, asked where the Mayor was then went back on their way. Mayor Mayer and council would then be re-elected again that next year. At that time, the tax paying residents were coming to terms with a Mayor that had already raised property taxes his first year in office at a staggering rate of 26% attempting to push the blame off on the previous administration.

The Mayor and Council went on to "bank" or carry over the state 2% CAP the following 3 years, only to again raise the property tax in 2014 about another 9%, just after they were again re-elected in 2013.

So in 2016, when Gloucester Township residents learned of the additional 12% tax increase they were being handed, again after that local election year, residents attended the July council meeting well after the horses had been let out of the barn. (So if you were at the meeting and saw people asking why the barn looked so empty, now you know why.)

So, will the hard hit residents of Gloucester Township address their Mayor and Council when the time is right. That again, remains to be seen. The "preliminary"estimated budget has been submitted to council from the CFO and twp Administrator Tom Cardis. The township "accountant" explained this budget as within the CAP more like a Politician spewing more spin, that a washing machine.

The meeting that residents can attempt to address their Mayor and Council will come up on April 9th, then the final passage on this 8% increase will be again voted on on Monday
April 23rd. Both meetings start promptly at 7:30 pm at the twp municipal building.

Those on social media venting about this wonder if GT residents will take this 8% property tax increase sitting down, or will the hard hit residents stand up for themselves and their families at these April meetings at the right time. One resident is quoted as saying "will it finally hurt bad enough"? That remains to be seen. Do not expect to see the GT mayor in attendance. He does not field resident questions, and is not really known for returning phone calls. And the residents aren't known for voting anybody out of office, so can you blame him?

Even with a 40 year warranty on the 21 year old Mullen roof, GT school board approves $5 Million roof

Gloucester Township, Camden County

After another round of public portion comments this past Monday night, the Gloucester Township local school board overwhelmingly voted to spend $5 MILLION to replace the 21 year old roof on the Ann Mullen middle school.

The board approved a less than open and fair open bidding process for the replacement roof, and moved forward with the Tremco group to replace the roof at the school.
Comments at the meeting included massive over pricing by Tremco, and included a $61 Million settlement with the Dept of Justice for false claims, and other business practices.

The main concern that was voiced, addressed to the school board is that the manufacturer, of the existing roof had not been contacted regarding the active and valid 40 YEAR WARRANTY on the current roof. This could be a substantial reduction in the cost of a roof replacement.

Overall the school board claims that this project will not increase property taxes, but reserves used to pay for the roof, will need to be replenished, and the board now has a new budget meeting curiously scheduled for 4:30 pm Next Monday afternoon. Board member Jennifer O'Donnell requested that the school board move the meeting to a later time of day so that those in the public that work a normal day can attend. The Gloucester Township school board voted that down resoundingly. That again does not seem to be very open and transparent to the Gloucester Township public, many say. We will update you when information becomes available.

Tremco settlement link: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/rpm-international-inc-and-tremco-inc-pay-...

Will GT School Board ignore the roof warranty, inspection, outrageous pricing, and approve no bid roofer for Mullen?

Gloucester Township, Camden County,NJ

Even after pressure to table the almost $5 Million Mullen school roof resolution, will the Gloucester Township school board move forward with the no bid contract?
Residents asked common sense questions of the board, like the active 40 year warranty on the school. Questions were also asked about the lack of inspection prior to the solar panels being installed on parts of the roof, as well as a local commercial roofing company owner present at the meeting, believing that the roof was nearly double the cost, for that project.

GT School board has the resolution up for discussion at Monday's workshop meeting on the 12th. A vote should not be called for by the board, but they are capable, and able to call for a "special" session, to vote it in. That is not on the workshop agenda, but one never knows.

The taxpayers of Gloucester Township should be keeping a very watchful eye on this action by their school board. Ignoring the active warranty, the excessively elevated price, and the blatant disrespect for the taxpaying residents of the town, should be cause for concern, now and in the future of business practices of those who spend the heart earned dollars of those same taxpayers.

When the vote is taken, expect the path to follow it's task master Joseph Angeloni. If he votes "Yes", the political establishment board members will unmistakably vote in lockstep with him. It is the hope of many in township that this will not happen, and this roof will cost the industry price, of about half, and still be the quality work that we expect.

GTNews will follow up and update residents, as this resolution is discussed, before the vote.

Gloucester Township School Board makes one good move, and one very bad move.

Gloucester Township, Camden County, NJ

One Monday night, February 26, 2018, Gloucester Township school board reluctantly voted to "table a vote on an almost $5 Million roof for Ann Mullen middle school. The residents spoke out on not only the outrageous price of the roof, but also existing warranties on the existing roof. The board was convinced enough for that night to vote yes (8-0) to table. The move was received by the residents as a good move for the town.

On the same evening, a motion to extend the "public portion" was made by board member Jennifer O'Donnell, that would allow more than the 30 minute maximum allowed by the board so that all residents could be heard on the roof, but the board voted that extension down. The motion to extend was seconded by Mary Ann Johnson. Voting no on hearing more form the public were
Mary Jo Dintino – President
Tamara Jackson
Susanne Reilly
Deborah Simone
Joseph Angeloni
Tracey Lynch
Absent was Vice President Mark Gallo.

A public meeting is not only for the public to attend and observe, but to voice their concerns, and question their governing bodies. This is not only anti transparent, but also ignorant by some standards. More governing bodies should want more input from their residents and tax paying public, not limit them or shut them out. We hope this changes for future meetings.

Follow up meetings will be updated as the $5 Million Mullen roof resolution is discussed .

Sen. Sweeney wants to "blow up" property tax system and start a new. Will GT Mayor Mayer fight him to keep taxpayer dollars?

Gloucester Township, Camden County. Jan 30, 2018

NJ State Senator Steve Sweeney (D- Glou co) appeared on Fox Business News, and interviewed with the Philadelphia Inquirer, wanting and proposing to "blow up" the NJ property tax system, and start over. He clearly proclaims that New Jersey taxpayers already pay too much. His recommendation, is to make "tough choices" in the way NJ does business, along with looking at public employee salaries and pensions. He sees that not only continuing to over taxing the rich, but all taxpaying residents will lead to a mass exodus. So LOWERING property taxes may be solution.

In Gloucester Township, Camden county, they have seen some rather humongous property tax increases since 2009. The residents have actually seen as much as 42% increases since Mayor David R. Mayer (D- Glou Twp) took office in 2010. Gloucester Township has not only seen record tax increases, but has also seen record borrowing and debt. It has become more of a habit for the Politicians of Gloucester Township, that may not be able to be reversed, or reined in due to such historical debt.

If Sen. Sweeney is able to get some of his property tax ideas in and out of Trenton conference, will Mayor's such as Gloucester Township's Mayor Mayer, be able to support his fellow Democrat in reducing taxes, and control spending.

The Federal government has just past new tax reductions that will give more of what all workers earn, keep in their own pockets, but that doesn't mean New Jersey residents will get to enjoy what the rest of the country will see as a windfall. It appears that Sweeney clearly sees that and might just be making an honest attempt at what NJ residents have been yearning for, however, that would put Dave Mayer and Mayors like him in a difficult position. Can Mayer break old habits, or will he stand against his party's representative to keep those hig tax and spend habits going? This should be interesting to see how this plays out.

Are generous, across the board salary increases right after the election, salt in the wound of Gloucester Township residents?

Gloucester Township, Camden County,NJ

Fresh off of an election victory, Gloucester Township Mayor Mayer, and his Municipal council have on their agenda, for the first meeting after election day, what seems to be some very generous raises across the board for the township administrators.

The agenda appears to list out what looks like most, if not all, who work in the township's municipal building some fairly hefty raises, that seem to include, the township Administrator, and Mayor's staff. Other mid level employees of the building also look like they are in for some nice boosts in their paychecks as well.

Was timing of this proposal suspicious, or just a coincidence, one may ask. The people of Gloucester Township who have just voted earlier in the week may want to be the judge of that.

Either way, this may not sit very well with the taxpayers of the tax weary town, after last years huge property tax increase, and substantial surplus that residents did not receive back in the way of property tax return for their being overtaxed. The questions may be best suited to ask the Mayor, or Council members at this Monday's council meeting, beginning at
7:30 pm November 13, at the town's municipal hall.

Mayor Mayer labeling all kids as bad with over reaching Halloween curfew?

Gloucester Township, Camden County, NJ

It seems that we have been down this road before with Gloucester Township Mayor, Dave Mayer.
Shortly after taking office, Mayor Mayer imposed a very harsh 7 pm curfew for Halloween night and the days before. It is understandable to keep an eye out for the township on "mischief night", but to impose those extended restrictions on the youth of our township for October 29, 30, of 7 pm is not quite fair to our kids, who always do the right thing, and have no reason to be bunched with the few that may cause trouble. 8 pm for Halloween night.

Mischief night has for the most part disappeared, as you don't have the trouble that have been in the past, when those over 30 were kids. Imposing a 7 pm curfew for the 29th is even more unnecessary, and Halloween night is a night when parents are out with most younger children.

Gloucester Township has a few bad eggs, but most kids in this town are good and respectful that are out and about before 10 or 11 pm. Trouble comes out later in the night.
Mr. Mayer, Gloucester Township has one of the best Police departments around, and certainly has the tools to keep our town safe, and a watchful eye on our town.
Let the parents and Police, do what they do best. Don't try to be their parent. This is not a Police State, and certainly is not the U.S.S.R.

You have taken us down this road before, and the youth of Gloucester Township proved to you and us that they can handle this. We went without much trouble after you attempted this before. Do not take that trust away from those kids that earned it last time. Given a chance Mr. Mayor, they might just prove you wrong again.

As sky rocketing taxes continue, the local race has 2 sides. Team Mayer vs $aving Gloucester Township.

Gloucester Township, Camden County, NJ

For what is turning out to be a contentious local race for Gloucester Township Mayor, and 3 council seats. The political ads are out in force.
The "Saving Gloucester Township" slate is getting their flyers, lawn signs, and mailers out in the typical grass roots effort to unseat the incumbents, those same incumbents, are going all out with constant mailers, signs.

The residents are also being inundated with a barrage of pop up ads, and TV commercials, all over mainly Comcast Cable.

The Challenger Mayoral candidate Frank Radisch is informing voters of wasteful spending, and how his team could curb that unnecessary spending, that would lead to lower Property taxes. Putting out an multi point plan to bring taxes down, and give up luxury spending when residents are losing their homes or moving out

In contrast, incumbent Mayor Dave Mayer, is boasting the costly luxury turf fields, and other "Premium" items for residents, that are upgrading the town of 65,000. The Mayer Team candidates, also boast "saving taxpayer dollars", curiously enough, it was not stated "saving TAXPAYERS dollars.

Those in social media and blogs are talking only 3 things, Taxes, Taxes, and Taxes. Not something being mentioned by the current office holders in GT.

Will the chant of taxes, taxes, taxes ring load enough on Nov 7th? Remains to be seen.

The actions the current Mayor and Council effects Millennials and the children of Gloucester Township's future.

Gloucester Township, Camden County, NJ

When a local government spends well past it's means, it can only mean one thing DEBT. Borrowing, or "Bonding" for unnecessary expenditures,and frivolous items lead to a mounting debt for both future residents (taxpayers), and digs in to what today's residents can spend on their children, and young adults college, and expenses.

The Gloucester Township PROPERTY TAXES are made up of not only the 2 school districts high budgets, but the borrowing DEBT of those schools and the township government mounting debt. The combination of those DEBTS have accumulated to over $100 MILLION, and will have to paid in years to come.
Even though GT makes it's payments of those debts, they continue to rack up NEW debt each year moving the debt bar farther, and passing that debt on to new generations of young people here in the township, or those planning to buy a home here near their family.

When bonding for needed or necessary expenditures is done, it does appear that our government does not budget very well or run the municipality with great efficiency, but when you borrow in the MILLIONS each year for unneeded things, one has to wonder WHY? Well, some see it as a way to avoid back to back to back TAX INCREASES, others also see creating surplus. Government has to understand that is NOT their money to accumulate, its the taxpayers.

The young people of Gloucester Township, that hope to buy a home here, close to their family may have seen that possibility just vanish, due to the mounting DEBT and frivolous spending of their government. A great paying job will be bitten into greatly to stay here in Gloucester Township. Is it worth it?

Philly Inquirer accommodates Mayor Mayor's zip code "identity crisis" story, while residents yearn for substance on taxes (Editorial)

Gloucester Township, Camden County, NJ

The Camden county democratic political machine continues to flex it's media muscles, and utilizes it's sources to run a lame story out of Gloucester Township about Mayor Mayer's unfortunate " identity crisis" due to 7 zip codes. A patronizing picture of the Mayor shuffling Gloucester Township identification road signs, heads the article. The article has an amazing resemblance to a re-election campaign ad.

Gloucester Township has had those zip codes for many many years, and it kind of allows the suffering town's Mayor, an opportunity to avoid the issue most effecting his dwindling residents needs and concerns. Taxes. The Mayor and his team boast that they are "transforming Gloucester Township", and judging by the growing number of vacant homes, they seem to be keeping that very promise. David R. Mayer was elected in 2009, and took office in January of 2010. That year the residents of Gloucester Township saw a 26% tax increase, one of the largest property tax increases in the town's history. It was followed by another 2 double digit increases in 2014 and again 2016 of nearly 10% and 12%.

Since 2010, Gloucester Township taxpayers saw their property taxes rise over 40%, which is easily viewed as the basis of the mass exodus, from the once great South Jersey town.
In a time when people in GT are hurting, and some losing their homes, feel good stories are not what folks want to see. They really want to see their taxes go down. Most know that, that will just not happen. The Mayor's township Administrator (accountant) stated that publicly on more than one occasion. Some on social media are finding the story painful, at a time when their neighborhood is emptying. One resident not so jokingly commented that maybe it was time to give Mayor Mayer a new zip code.