BRADLEY BEACH — Members of the borough council voiced concerns with a “preliminary” municipal budget currently under development at their scheduled meeting on Wednesday, April 12.
In a prepared statement during the mayor and council reports segment of the council meeting, Councilman Alan Gubitosi broached the subject of the upcoming budget announcement by reading a prepared statement. In it, he voiced his opposition to an alleged tax rate increase of 20 percent.
“I would like to be able to enter this into the minutes of this meeting,” he told Municipal Clerk Erica Kostyz after his report. “I want to talk about the municipal budget status…Every year, the mayor is tasked with developing our municipal budget.”
“On March 8, without council participation or awareness, the mayor and the business administrator presented a workshop identifying a preliminary budget that included a 20 percent tax increase for our residents,” Mr. Gubitosi alleged.
At the aforementioned March 8 budget meeting, Mayor Larry Fox did acknowledge the substantial increase to insurance, healthcare and pension costs in the borough.
“Right out of the gate we have about $1,030,000 of cost increase that we’ve been able to manage the last few years and keep our municipal levy down…I’ve got a lot of fear around this year because we haven’t seen any of the other numbers [aside from insurance, healthcare and pension] except for the library,” Mayor Fox explained. “We’re going to continue to try to make this work as tight as we can and as low-cost as we can—but this year’s going to be a real challenge.”
At the most recent meeting, in response to Mr. Gubitosi’s statement, Mayor Fox said that the budget reports should be finalized by midday Monday. After this, on Friday, April 21 at 4 p.m., the council will hold a workshop on the budget.
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