This website persisted in calling Lou’s county budget last year a fraud. We pointed out the shell game, the raiding of the surplus, deferred monies, etc. We currectly predicted that Lou would have a zero tax increase during his run for reelection, pretending to be fiscally conservative.
We correctly pointed out that Lou as Freeholder Director failed miserably to control spending. In fact, during his tenure as Freeholder, spending has virtually doubled.
And today I was certainly not surprised to read about a budget shortfall of over $8 Million.
Cumberland County officials said Monday they anticipate a county government budget shortfall of as much as $8.1 million next year.
Freeholder Director Lou Magazzu and County Administrator Ken Mecouch said in a written statement issued late Monday that they met with the heads of county employee unions to discuss how to address the shortfall.
Lou is still throwing out county apportionment figures, claiming the “lowest since 1969” and other utter bull-crap that is intended only to confuse the voter. Let me explain the apportionment rate, and how it affects you. When your property is appraised, and the value of your house, which was $40,000 at the last appraisal twenty years ago but is now appraised at $120,000 – you don’t see any benefit. you pay more, even with an apportionment rate that “decreased”.
The truth is in the pudding. County spending increased, almost doubled. The ratables the county raked in from property taxes also increased. Incoming tax money outpaced growth in the county. That increase is coming out of the wallets of homeowners in increased taxes, out of the pockets of renters who pay more rent to their landlords to cover the tax increases, and out of everyone’s wallets at the cash registers of businesses that have had to raise prices to pay the tax bills on their properties.
The Daily Journal article went into more detail than the Press did.
The scenarios under consideration also include furloughs and health insurance changes. Various proposed changes to health insurance benefits, which would shift more costs to employees, could save nearly $1.7 million, officials said.”We all live in the same world. And everyone understands these are difficult times,” Magazzu said.
One move that this website has advocated and that I fully support is to eliminate all benefits to part time employees. Nobody in the private sector is entitled to benefits packages for part time positions. However, there are many in the county working a mere twelve hours a year that get a $20,000 health package as a perk for an appointed position.
A benefits package costs the taxpayers just as much for a part-time employee as it does a full time. I would like to see a study on the potential savings. However, this common-sense plea has fallen on Magazzu’s deaf ears. Instead, I suggest that we will find him eliminating positions of people that have atone time or another challenged him. We will discover that this is just another avenue for him to exact revenge on his “enemies”. Everything that Lou does is out of personal motives; it is by shear chance that once in a while the community benefits.