$28,000,000 Municipal Building
Now that the BH Town Council has pushed forward with the SWAP,
they on to spending massive amounts of tax dollars on a municipal
building. While I agree that we need to do something
with the current building, however I feel that the pricetag is just
too high. For a town of about 4500 residences, an
expendature of $28,000,000 on a building that will provide little
value to most residents is just too much.
In addition the Berkeley Heights Government spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal and other fees just so the residents can not vote on this initiative. When asked how he knew the residents wanted to double the town's debt on this initiative, current Mayor Robert Woodruff stated: "I dont."
The Mayor also stated that people would not vote for something that will raise their taxes and if it came down to a vote, the town would not support it. So then why is he insisting on moving forward? This is an instance of the government overstepping their bounds.
Berkeley Heights should not be in the real estate business, brokering deals that favor a select few and are generally not supported by the people footing the bill.
The Affordable Housing Scam
Berkeley Heights is being coerced into allowing affordable housing units. Each of these units can potentially lead to a significant increase in net expenditures as the tax revenues collected from said units will be minimal, but any school age children will cost roughly $20,000 each to send to school. While I believe that affordable housing can exist as mandated by the state, there are better ways to make the affordable housing available. As the Mayor I would look for solutions that work for the town.