April 15, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • Page 9
Budget includes $48 increase on average home
by John Koster The 2009 Wyckoff municipal budget will raise the taxes on the average township house, assessed at $796,700, by $48 per year. This figure does not include school or county taxes. The municipal budget calls for total expenditures of $16,621,242, an increase of 1.8 percent over last year, with the very small increase in property taxes made possible, Mayor Joseph Fiorenzo said, by the effectiveness and cooperation of the municipal administration and staff. If the library were to agree to return a surplus of $346,000 from library funding by taxpayers mandated by the state, but not needed to maintain day-to-day operations, Fiorenzo and other township committee members said, the added tax burden could be eliminated. “If the budget process had only been painful, it would have been pleasant, but it was brutal this year,” Township Committeeman David Connolly said. “This is the most demanding assignment you could take on,” said Township Committeeman Rick Alnor. “A lot of people made a lot of sacrifices this year.” Austerity measures that made the small increase possible included a wage freeze that led to $292,596 in savings, a hiring freeze, and a reduction by attrition that eliminated three full-time positions and a half-time position. No employees were terminated. “Wyckoff has the lowest number of employees per capita of any community in the area,” said Mayor Fiorenzo. “We ask our people to do more with less.” The fact that the employees worked as hard and efficiently as they did, he said, meant none of them could be let go without a consequent reduction in services. The township committee also reduced capital expenditures by 21.5 percent, and the members unanimously waived their own stipends, which saved the township $20,000. Mandatory state increases forced the township officials
to make additional cuts, and Fiorenzo said that President Barack Obama’s stimulus package was of no use to Wyckoff or most other suburban communities. The mayor credited Wyckoff’s long-standing policy of paying for large ticket items such as fire engines through sinking funds, making it possible to reduce budget items without a palpable reduction of services. “On balance, we think the budget is a good one,” he said.
Rooney, De Phillips ﬁle for election
Two Republican newcomers have filed for that party’s June 2 primary in Wyckoff. Kevin Rooney, chairman of the Wyckoff Zoning Board of Adjustment, and Christopher De Phillips, who has worked on Republican campaigns in past years, will seek voters’ endorsement. Wyckoff Mayor Joseph Fiorenzo and former Wyckoff Township Committeeman Rick Alnor will not seek reelection, and no Democrats have registered for the primary. Fiorenzo, an attorney, has served as mayor twice. Alnor, an executive in a medical supply company, has served as mayor once. Both men, present at last week’s public meeting, took pride in having introduced a municipal budget that kept expenses down because of the efficiency of Wyckoff’s municipal staff. However, neither man wished to comment on the decision not to seek reelection. The present balance of the township committee – four Republicans and one Democrat – will remain unchanged after November’s general election, barring a challenge by Independents, who were not required to file by last week’s deadline, or a write-in campaign. This January, Committeeman Brian Scanlan became the first Democrat to hold a township committee seat since the 1980s. Democratic and Independent candidates had been contesting Wyckoff’s Republicans for three years. J. KOSTER
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