Manalapan's Presented 2012 Tax Rate to Increase Slightly

Final adoption of the budget has been moved to Wednesday, May 9.

The Manalapan Township 2012 Municipal Budget was presented to the public at last week’s meeting, but not adopted as scheduled because the Division of Local Government Services Budget Review had not yet been filed. The approximately $30M budget will be up for adoption at the next Township Committee meeting on Wednesday, May 9.

Even though the committee did not yet adopt the budget, which calls for a 2 cent per $100 tax rate, Township Administrator Tara Lovrich conducted a presentation on the budget to the public, which is available for viewing at the Manalapan Township Web site.

The municipal tax rate has increased 0.007 cents, Lovrich said, indicating that state aid has gone down. Appropriations and shared services have gone up, however, helping the cost burden.

The majority of the tax rate, 65.1 percent, comes from the Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District and the Freehold Regional High School District taxes, which raised a lot of eyebrows at the meeting and brought forth several citizens during the public hearing on the budget.

Manalapan resident Deborah Smarth said that the new state legislation taking away residents’ rights to vote on a non-binding referendum for school budgets has led to this problem. Smarth said that even though the referendum is non-binding, the vote indicates the feelings of the township and places pressure on the school boards to be more cost conscious.

Mayor Susan Cohen told Smarth that she, Lovrich, and Committeeman Andrew Lucas worked with the Freehold Regional School District two years ago for numerous hours cutting the budget line-by-line and even met with the Department of Education Commissioner, but they did not cut one dollar.

“At the end of the day, moving it to November and taking away our right to vote actually saves us money because they don’t listen to us anyhow,” Cohen said. “It is what it is. We spent the time, the effort, line-by-line, we created all kinds of cuts, and at the end of the day they didn’t use any of them.” 

Deputy Mayor Don Holland also responded and said that he has previously asked if he could sit in on negotiations and budget meetings for the elementary school district, but has been denied; everything done contractual and about the budget must be done in closed session, according to state law. 

The presently introduced 2012 budget still maintains the same services and programs that the township has continued to offer in the past. Something which Manalapan resident Butch Budai said he was very thankful for and complimented the Finance Committee for keeping the same services at such a low tax rate.

Committeeman Ryan Green, the liaison of the Finance Committee, thanked the hard work and dedication of the volunteer-run Finance Committee for overlooking the township budget.

“They really did go through this budget and look at everything we’re doing,” Green said. 

According to Green, the Township Committee has not received any other recommendations from the to change the budget as of now.

If anyone has any questions or comment about the budget Mayor Susan Cohen said she is available through e-mail at mayor@twp.manalapan.nj.us.

al May 02, 2012 at 11:25 AM
"The presently introduced 2012 budget still maintains the same services and programs that the township has continued to offer in the past." Right, meaning keeping the same number of USELESS FREELOADERS AND PAPER PUSHERS on the payroll!!!!! I say FIRE these useless people, starting with our lame Township committee and overblown and overpaid Police Department and save more money in the budget!
Patrick Roy,AIA,PP, Architect & Planner May 02, 2012 at 12:45 PM
No wonder why it's called Manalapan Township Municipil Complex, is because it IS COMPLEX.
Natalie May 02, 2012 at 02:04 PM
As a homeowner in Manalapan, I was forced by the zoning board to clean the side of a road adjacent to my home. This piece of the road belongs to the township; it is not my property. During my almost a decade of owning a home in Manalapan, I was never asked to clean the road, yet suddenly it was forced compliance. All homeowners who live along the road were ordered to clean up not only trees and brush, but garbage including hazardous materials such as used condoms, broken bottles, etc. that were thrown out of cars. The notice even included dead animals. Other residents were being told they had to remove long-standing fences because of height. Those who refused to comply were sent certified letters threatening court. The harassment continued until we were forced to hire a private company to clean. Once we did that, the township refused to pick up the debris and garbage and we were forced to hire another private company to take it away. Between people being forced to remove all brush and some fences, our backyard privacy has been completely taken away. Why are taxes being increased when the officials are forcing residents to clean, beyond reason, the township's property?
John Tyler May 02, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Because they can, plain and simple
Patrick Roy,AIA,PP, Architect & Planner May 02, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Change the word COMPLEX to a more appropriate word CENTER ala Town Center.
Curious George May 02, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Yet there is a rental property on the corner of GCR and Whitman Blvd that is a total mess. The lawn is nothing but a morass of uncut weeds. Nothing is ever done to get the owners to improve the property or the condition of the house...The tenants don't care.
Tom May 03, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Government works for us yet it always seems we work for them and they do whatever they want without an concern for the citizen.
Lorraine May 03, 2012 at 08:51 PM
I was forced to clean town property on Union Hill Road behind my house. I'm a disabled woman and had to use my disability check to hire someone to help me clean.The township owned land on the same road is overgrown and filled with garbage.
Lauren May 04, 2012 at 02:16 AM
I watched the town meeting of 4/25/12 presentations and was disappointed that even though the line item budget was requested from the committee to be put on the Manalapan website prior to the meeting, they chose not to. When asked of the mayor why not, she replied "that it would be put on the next day after public hearing" . As of 5/3/12, it has not been posted. It is interesting that thousands of pages of the master plan have been posted with no problems. How does the committee even try to conduct a public hearing without providing the iinformation to the residents. Why does the mayor tell us that it will be on the township website the next day for all to see and then not post it? Why does the mayor tell us that there will be no more public hearing and that they will adopt the budget at their next meeting? It is unfair and illegal to not allow the public the opportunity to intelligently question the line item budget because it has not been provided on the township website. to the residents. I find it very disturbing that we have a mayor & committee who say they. will do something and then do not honor their commitments. I call for the committee to post the line item budget first,then a public hearing to be done, corrections made and then adopt the budget. That is the way government is supposed to work
Patrick Roy,AIA,PP, Architect & Planner May 08, 2012 at 01:21 AM
Manalapan should start scheduling the repair of badly heaved old sidewalks and driveway pads to prevent potential injuries.
Lauren May 09, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Patrick, Forget repairing anything in this town. Look, See, nothing gets done by public works these days. The residents have to take their own brush to public works, they only pick up once a year unless there is a storm. They do not clean the streets even though they have a street cleaner sitting idle and according to the above people they are not even cleaning township property which I would recommend the above people do not do. If you do not own the property,they can't force you to do it or pay to have it done. It is the townships responsibility and if they want to take you to court, great, because just like the 400 people who showed up to defend not putting a dealership on Taylors Mills Rd, the people will show up at court and defend you. You are only responsible for your own property. I guess the next issue that need to be taken on is what is public works and the township committee actually doing with our taxpayer dollars. Folks, write or call the Attorney Generals office in Trenton, New Jersey and they will investigate it for you free of charge.


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