Managing taxes requires both controlling spending and increasing revenue. We need to continue consolidate and share services with other communities. We should eliminate the Department of Parking Services and its “Parking Ambassadors.” The meter maids should report through the Police Department and the Finance Department should assume the accounting role. Not only will this save about $150,000 in annual income expenses, but it would also stop the useless parking studies that have cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands in the recent past and begin to offset the taxpayer funded $800,000 failed parking plan.
We should complete the combined Joint Emergency Dispatch Center and move immediately to incorporate other communities. This could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. We should open an access route from the Transfer Station directly into New Providence thereby sharing costs of the Transfer Station. Again, we could be looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenues to offset taxes.
There are a number of opportunities open to us on the revenue side. We need to be aggressive in changing the zoning now to allow Merck to sell off parcels if a single user cannot be found. Waiting could cost us millions. We need to rewrite the current ordinances on both the Broad Street and River Road corridors. Revised zoning ordinances were approved by Council several years ago. We need to provide zoning incentives for “Active Adult” housing not only to give our seniors an option for staying here, but it produces tax revenue without increasing the school population. At the time, I stated that both would fail because they were not attractive to developers. I know, I am a real estate developer. Since nothing happened on either corridor, it should be apparent that these ordinances have failed us. We need to act now.
We are in competition with every other community to attract new businesses. We must be proactive. As a developer I know how to do that. Spending another $650,000 to “beautify” Deforest Avenue and putting up some pretty new signs and spending tax dollars on “Parking Ambassadors is not the answer. Re-zoning is.
Democratic Candidate, Summit Common Council, Ward 2