Thank you for giving me an opportunity to introduce myself and to tell you why I am a candidate for Essex County Freeholder and explain my vision to the taxpayers of the 4th freeholder district.
For the last 14 years I’ve had the privilege of serving the people of Cedar Grove as a council member and mayor. I have served during times of prosperity and have also successfully dealt with the results of the current economic downturn. My goal has always been to be a fiscal watchdog for taxpayers. Working with my fellow councilmen and township manager, Cedar Grove has been able to deliver the finest services with the least fiscal impact to our residents. I’m proud to say that as Mayor of Cedar Grove I helped to keep Cedar Grove property taxes to one of the lowest in Essex County.
Essex County is the sixth highest taxed county in the country. As residents continue to lose their homes to foreclosure, suffer from loss of jobs and bear many other financial burdens, the foolish spending measures by our freeholders have become more burdensome. It’s time for financial reforms to be put in place to bring relief to the taxpayers of Essex County.
Essex County’s fourth freeholder district contributes more than $162 million in general and opens space tax to the County of Essex. That number will only grow as Essex County Freeholders continue to create additional debt and increase spending for items such as $4 million on a restaurant, millions of dollars on exotic animals at the zoo while the infrastructure of our roads are in poor condition. By comparison, municipal governments are providing the best services to the residents of their communities, looking to share services and other cost savings to reduce the local tax burden. As taxpayers and their families continue to prioritize their spending, it’s about time our Freeholder’s do the same.
As small business owner who employees 25 people, I understand what is takes to make payroll, pay health insurance and manage the finances of a business. Unfortunately our freeholders don’t live to the same basic business principal’s as corporations small and large today.
As your Freeholder I will introdouce The Fiscal Responsibility Act:
1) An amendment to the county bylaws requiring a four-fifths majority of the freeholder board to increase taxes on residents. The vote would be held separately from the vote on the budget, making each freeholder personally responsible for raising taxes.
2) A limit on the use of open space money used for routine maintenance of parks or building of special projects. The county collects more than $14 million a year in a separate so- called open space tax – in addition to regular county taxes -- but almost none of the money goes to the purchase of open space. The fund has been raided to pay for the construction of a restaurant, fence installation and landscaping.
3) Freeholders would be required to publish request for new spending, new hires and new bonding and disclose relatives on the Essex County payroll.
4) freeholders will be forbidden to accept a county freeholder salary - and medical benefits from the county -- if they are currently employed as a full time government employee. The 2011 budget for the freeholder office is $1.97 million.
5) Implementing a spending freeze for the fiscal year 2012.
6) Freeze on any non-essential additional bonding for the year 2012.
On November 8th you will have a choice to bring fiscal reform to the Essex County Freeholder board by electing my as your next freeholder. Please visit my website www.josephchiusolo.com to learn more about me as you cast your vote on November 8.
Essex County ENDORSMENTS
Cedar Grove Observer. October 27, 2011.
The Progress. October 27, 2011.
The Verona Observer. October 27, 2011.
COME OUT AND SUPPORT US ON ELECTION DAY, NOVEMBER 8TH!