Tax-Saving Ideas Wanted By Green Brook Resident
Diane Eisen returns to Township Committee in search of information.
Green Brook resident Diane Eisen is on a quest to gain a better understanding of the municipal budget and her taxes, and on Monday, pressed Township Committee members on when they might discuss what ideas they have for cutting the muncipal budget in the short term.
Mayor Jerry Searfoss said the committee could take some time at the Oct. 15 meeting.
"I'd like to learn more about it, so I'll keep asking questions," she said.
Eisen has been on a mission to try and identify areas for cuts in the municipal budget. In a letter to the editor, she said she couldn't "sit back and watch" her taxes continue to climb, and she has since appeared at the commitee meetings inquiring about the budget.
During Monday's Township Commitee meeting, Eisen asked about a new vehicle being driven by Chief of Police Martin Rasmussen, which was provided even though she'd heard "the police chief's car was only a couple of years old."
Township Administrator Kelly Cupit noted the township replaces two police vehicles annually, and CFO Raymond Murray added the police vehicles rack up considerable mileage and wear and tear quickly, requiring the replacements.
"You don't want to be in a patrol vehicle that breaks down in the middle of a high-speed chase," Murray said.
But, he added, the older vehicles are still used by the township, being reassigned to inspectors and other township officials. He also noted the township has reduced the number of vehicles purchased annually (three vehicles were budgeted before) as one cost-saving move made already.
Eisen also asked about the township's automated phone answering system, questioning how long residents should expect to wait before hearing back from employees. Murray noted the township's system is being reconfigured after the township reduced staff—and the number of extensions needed for the eliminated positions.
Eisen said she'd reviewed the municipal budget online and was unable to determine what areas of the budget had increased this year. Murray said he would meet with her to go through the budget lines.
"A lot of us residents have had to cut and I'd like to see the township council cut taxes in the short-term," she said.