In the last couple of minutes of last night’s Board of Supervisor Meeting something very interesting occurred. The regular meeting had ended and the Public Hearing had a couple of items, one of which was to increase the Sewer Utility Rate for the year 2010 to $250/EDU. Increasing the Sewer Utility Rate to $250 is a $50 increase which equates to a 25% increase and affects 80% of the township. There was much bantering about this being a fee increase rather than calling it a tax increase. To me, the end result is the same . . . more money is coming out of the taxpayers pocket. Let’s not forget the mantra during this recent election cycle was based on not raising taxes. Isn’t a 25% increase in the sewer rate raising taxes? Again, I don’t care what you call it . . . the taxpayer is paying $50 more! Can we please expect honesty and transparency from our local government leaders?
The interesting part for me was that moments earlier the Board of Supervisors had approved the 2010 budget which included this $50 increase to the Sewer Utility Rate. We now have the motion presented in the Public Hearing to ‘officially’ adopt this increase. Supervisors Shimrak, Olson, Lamina and DiFilippo voted for the increase; Supervisor DiBuonaventuro voted against, followed by Supervisor Kampf against the increase. At this point of the evening Supervisor DiFeliciantonio had already left the meeting. What was fascinating was as Supervisor Kampf called for the votes, he started at his right and there were 3 votes in favor of the increase (Shimrak, Olson and DiFilippo). He quickly jumps to get Lamina’s vote in favor so that he would be able to vote ‘no’ to the increase along with Supervisor DiBuonaventuro. This way Supervisor Kampf could get the motion to pass for the sewer increase but politically be able to still claim that ‘he had not raised taxes’. What was this gamemanship about? Had Ms. DiFilippo not voted in favor of the increase, the vote would have been 3-3 (rather than 4-2) and would not have carried. If the motion for the Sewer Utility Rate increase had not passed, it would have been back to the drawing board for the just-passed 2010 budget!