What are the differences between: 1.”The Budget”, 2.”The Spending” and 3. the approvals of the budget and 4.of spending each month? 5.Who proposes “The Tax Increases? 6.Who approves “Tax Increases?
Answer #1. The budget is a snapshot of the spending; the revenue; and the savings accounts of the Township.
Answer #2. The Spending is the money paid for purchases, paid to employees; to the pension plans and to various savings accounts held by the township.
Answer #3. The Board of Supervisors doesn’t prepare the budget. Read that again. There is no “Rothermel Budget for 2014”. Bob Pellegrino prepares the budget and presents it for approval. It’s the Pellegrino Budget. It’s the township managers budget. It’s not “The Administrations” budget.
Answer #4. Bob Pellegrino, not Supervisor Rothermel spends the money. Pellegrino makes a list of the bills that are due and shows it to the Supervisors who approve only the bills Pellegrino presents. Pellegrino does not include all of the bills. Over the past two decades during which I’ve monitored the spending the total of the items does not equal the spending. The spending is always higher.
Answer #5. Bob Pellegrino proposes all tax increases.
Answer #6. The supervisors vote whether to agree with Pellegrino’s tax increases or oppose him. The Republicans on the board never oppose tax increases. They are not opposed to another Republican approved tax increase for 2014. In fact, based on their comments during the Nov. 20 budget review and the Nov. 13 budget review, the Republicans on the board and the two Republicans-elect want to increase taxes again.
COMMENTS: The purpose of a government budget is to obscure the spending. Take Northampton Township. Typically Pellegrino says something like: “Northampton has 180 miles of roads. A road will last 20 years so this year we are paving 3 miles of road and micro-planeing 3 miles.” That’s a misleading statement. How many bad roads are there? No answer. How many bad roads can be patched? No answer. How many roads must be dug up and completely repaved? No Answer.
THE SCAM Perhaps it’s just laziness. It takes some effort to identify the roads by name and to include the list in the Budget. Perhaps it’s cynicism. No one ever asks: “which roads will you repair next year?” If no one is interested, why open another time consuming discussion?