Budget worries lead to rifts at League of Municipalities convention

In Uncategorized on November 20, 2008 at 12:27 pm


Posted by cjrothma November 19, 2008 16:54PM

Frustration over tough budget times spilled over today at the normally placid League of Municipalities Convention in Atlantic City, where a critic of Gov. Jon Corzine provoked a testy exchange with members of the Cabinet.

Former Glen Ridge Mayor Carl Bergmanson, who waged an unsuccessful effort to recall Corzine from office earlier this year, drew cheers from attendees at a mayors’ luncheon when he used an expletive to say the administration was punishing small towns by blaming them for high property taxes.

State Treasurer David Rousseau and Community Affairs Commissioner Joseph Doria called the criticism unfair and insisted they are doing their best to cut costs in a bleak economy.

That left league officials to play referee, with the president, East Orange Mayor Robert Bowser, cutting off the back-and-forth to boos from the crowd.

William Dressel, the league’s executive director, spent the moments before the lunch disposing of anti-Corzine bumper stickers that appeared beneath the mayors’ sandwiches and potato chips.

The unrest came during a stressful time for state and local officials, who are struggling to predict the New Jersey consequences of the economic downturn. Last week, Corzine and Rousseau announced the state faces a $1.2 billion shortfall in its current budget and a hole of $5 billion for the next fiscal year.

As Rousseau combs the budget line-by-line for savings, local officials said they are concerned about the impact on municipal aid and their own finances.

“There’s considerable frustration and anxiety,” Dressel said. But, he said, “it’s too early to start casting rocks and name-calling and passing out degrading slogans…We’re all in this boat together.”


  1. its a real shame they just kept spending money on top of all what was going on can you say waste.

  2. you talk about wasteing money,look what we just spent on a tree in the park.what yea it was a lot of money,around 10,grand or so.we never payed for a tree before why now.what is the amount that we will save.some one allways gave ridgewood a tree,people was on a list to give a tree.more bull shit.

  3. The towns are being encouraged to regionalize services for greater efficiencies and cost savings. No one wants to share control with another town.

  4. While no one has ever proven that “bigger is better”, I question if our political leaders have what it takes to bring about any real savings through regional services in any area.
    Look at our County Government (pay to play issues, etc) and look at what is going on in nearby Paramus. Would you want to go into business with either of them? Not that all government conducts business like the County or Paramus. But, I have no hope of seeing any meaningful savings through regional service. Only more waste and more spending to obtain services which are equal to or less than what we have now.

  5. C’mon… stop yer bitchin’
    We’re rich… We’ve got plenty of money.

    $335,000 for field toilets… not a problem.

  6. How is the regional 911 working?

  7. where can i get one of those anti corzine bumper stickers

  8. You can’t complain about costs if you are not willing to look at regionalization of services.

  9. You can’t complain about costs if you are not willing to look at regionalization of services.

    Sure, you can’t argue with ironclad logic like that… you wouldn’t want to look at cutting any of the government waste or special interest programs beofre considering something as significant as regionalization.

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