I attended my first Gloucester Township Board of Education meeting last month for the "public hearing" of the new budget. I wanted to get involved in the political process with my fellow residents to iron out the budget with the board. One thing I couldn't understand was why the taxes were going up 5.4% with the millions coming in from the Red Lights Cameras and the $20 million dollars worth of solar panels plastered around town that didn't cost us anything and were supposed to save us money.
The board added a bit of last-minute drama to the proceedings when they notified the public that after scouring the budget for waste and fraud, they found a way to cut out .5% of the original proposal, dropping the increase from 5.4% to 4.9%, thus lightening the blow to the tax payer. The crowd in attendance burst into applause, giving the board a 5 minute standing ovation. A couple of residents tried to hoist the superintendent on their shoulders and parade him around the room, but extra security was brought in from the Gloucester Township Police Department awards ceremony going on down the street to calm the residents down.
As usual, I was unprepared and decided to show up for the meeting on the way home from work at the last minute. After sitting down, I noticed people were studying papers which I learned later were handouts outlining the new budget. After the meeting I glanced at someone's handout and it looked like the biggest item contributing to the tax increase was Health Insurance ...
And those hand-picked stooges on the Board of Education voted to use Connor Strong Norcross for their health insurance – the most expensive Pay-To-Stinking-Play option out there – without shopping around for a more "affordable" insurance in order to save the taxpayers a few bucks.
I graduated from Gloucester Catholic in '72 and live in Gloucester Township. If I offended anyone, feel free to unload on me at my blog