The following Letter to the Editor was submitted by Republican candidates for Township Council Carl Suraci and Greg Burchette.
To the editor:
This is the fifth of our weekly letters to discuss topics of interest to highlight accomplishments and to address our vision for Hillsborough’s future. This week’s topic is fiscal responsibility and what we have done to limit the size and cost of local government, while maintaining the level of services Hillsborough residents expect and deserve.
Hillsborough is the most efficiently run local government in our area. This is supported by the 2012 Hillsborough Township CFO Report which includes a comparison of per capita spending with our neighboring townships. Hillsborough spends the least per capita, at $692 per resident (which is a 5 percent reduction from 2009!); Bridgewater spends $863, Franklin $886, and Montgomery spends $1,518 per resident.
Hillsborough’s current leadership has made the difficult, but business-like, choices rather than use the available loopholes to cover the accumulative reduction of $1.4 million in State aid since 2007. This has resulted in a 2012 budget that REDUCED SPENDING by $1.6 million from last year, making it the lowest municipal budget since 2006! It also resulted in savings of $900,000 in the tax levy by not taking any of the available property tax exceptions. The 2012 budget included 73 appropriation line items that were either reduced or frozen from the previous year’s levels. This also included further reducing the number of full-time positions which is down 8 percent over the past 5-year period.
A key component to reducing spending and holding the line on taxes is by refusing to borrow in order to spend. In fact, having implemented a “pay-as-you-go” capital improvement plan since 2003, and a debt reduction plan since 2006, has provided taxpayer savings of over $450,000 in interest payments in 2012 and over $1.2 million year-to-date.
Shared service agreements with other municipalities for health service and courts netted taxpayer savings of approximately $100,000 in 2012.
By participating in the Somerset County Purchasing Cooperative and the Cranford Police purchasing Cooperative, as well as purchasing through New Jersey State Contracts, Hillsborough leverages these joint purchase agreements to procure equipment, fuel, and supplies at lower costs.
The net result has been our ability to keep municipal spending the lowest in the area and to stabilize taxes with no reduction in services.
We are committed to continue running local government in a business-like fashion, and be watchdogs of every tax dollar. If you would like to learn more about our respective backgrounds and our platform, please visit our website,www.HillsboroughGOP.com.
Mayor Carl Suraci
Greg Burchette – Planning Board Member
Republican Candidates for Township Committee