Here’s a quick follow-up op-ed that appeared in today’s Daily Record newspaper with respect to finding some way to lower property taxes in Mount Arlington. For those of you that are not up to curve on this issue, here is a previous entry that talks about what the proposal was in Mount Arlington (to eliminate their police force and share services with a neighboring squad). The op-ed as it appears in the Daily Record:
Mount Arlington officials have regrettably caved to pressure and tabled a reasonable idea to seek a cost savings by contracting with a larger town for police services. The plan would have eliminated the borough’s 13-member police force.
Opposition to the idea, which was intense, largely was based on misconceptions, the biggest being a belief that police service in the borough would have been reduced. Officials had no intention of doing that.
Of course, some criticism was legitimate. The report, which was done by former Washington Township Police Chief Ted Ehrenburg, seemed a little light for its cost of $43,500. Also, the council at times irritated opponents by not being more forthcoming with information about the plan.
Notwithstanding those problems, Mayor Art Ondish and the council were right to raise the issue. The mayor says he thinks he was ahead of the curve, and we agree with him.
If property taxes are ever going to be reduced, officials and residents have got to accept the fact that it can not be business as usual. The majority of residents who came out on this issue lacked vision, opting to remain trapped in traditional thinking. And politics being what it is, they got their way.
Over time, however, pressure to consolidate services, or even towns, is bound to increase. We may even see a day when such consolidations are ordered by the state.
“It’s going to happen in the future, It’s just not going to happen with this council in Mount Arlington,” Ondish said. That’s a shame.
Sorry, I had to post the entire thing because these Gannett newspapers are not making their online archives available any more. Rats!