Wednesday, March 29, 2006

This is a joke, right?

Please, they must be kidding! The Lenape Regional High School Board of Education adopts a $128.5 million dollar budget and included in this are three ballot questions.

In addition to the $86.8 million general fund tax levy, voters will be asked to decide questions on hiring additional teachers, creating a district-sponsored varsity ice hockey program and building synthetic turf fields in each of the district's four high school stadiums: Lenape, Shawnee, Cherokee & Seneca.

The first question on the ballot seeks funding for an additional 21 mathematics and English teachers at a cost of $1.2 million. Is that a real question? Why ask, the Lenape Regional District prides itself on the “excellent education” it gives our children, why would hiring more teachers, to lower the class rate, actually be a question? If the Regional district is approaching 30 students per class when the state average is 19, this is not a question, this is about better education. I’ll pay the extra $8 to $13 the district is saying this will cost.

On ballot question two, they are asking taxpayers to fund a district sponsored hockey program. Ice hockey is an extremely expensive and time consuming sport, any parent that has a child that plays knows this. I love the game, but how many children this really affects is my question to the BOE. 25 at most, per school, for the low price of $340,000, that’s 100 children. Not worth my tax dollars and no where did the regional district say this is a one time hit.

The third ballot question is to fund synthetic turf fields’ at all four high schools. 5.8 million dollars, a one time expense, supposedly providing a long time savings on maintenance. To take it further, “for the children” studies show fewer injuries are sustained on artificial turf. Really, then why did every football team in the NFL hate Vet’s Stadium? Could it have been the artificial turf? How many careers where ended and knees where blown out because of it? I’m sure there are also studies that say injuries are more likely to occur on artificial turf. I think the regional football teams can survive and excel without the taxpayer shoveling out another $38 to $65 per, depending on which township you live in. (Evesham and Mt. Laurel always pay the most.)

Evesham’s tax rate would rise, if all passes, from 97.3 cents to $1.054 cents per $100 of assesses value. An average increase of $81.00 per property taxpayer, Mt. Laurel brings up the rear with an average increase of $57.00 per property taxpayer.

Just so I make this perfectly clear, the general fund (86.8 million dollars) must be approved for any of the ballot questions to pass. I will say it again, why would hiring more teachers to lower class sizes, when we already pay through the nose for education be a question? Frankly, it feels a little more like blackmail than a ballot question. Nice.

Friday, March 24, 2006

How You Can Help

I found that the Marlton Business Association is reaching out to businesses to help the arson victims in Evesham through their web site:
If you click on the "How to Help" link it will give you the information you need to give money or gift certificates.
As a community, if we can help, please do.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Arson in Evesham

On Tuesday, March 21st. arson came to Evesham. The day started out benign enough, it was cold, slightly windy and clear, though not sunny. Around the time the school buses were rolling in from Cherokee around 3:00pm the sky become gray with smoke. Within seconds, thick, acrid, black smoke followed. Everyone knew something was terribly wrong. People came from every neighborhood to see what was going on, cars stopped on the road to watch the horrific scene. Helicopters flew above. Something was different, it didn't look real, surreal is a good word. It traveled too quickly and burned too hot. The home owner of the first home called the fire dept. himself from inside the home when it started in the back yard. I'm told he still had his cordless with him outside, he escaped unharmed with his two dogs. Really, how unharmed is he? He lost his wife last year and now every memory, every memento they shared is gone, the house which was their home is a total loss.

Police and fire personnel where on the scene for hours making sure the hot spots were out and no one went near the property. As darkness ascended upon Evesham, up the street an arsonist was watching and waiting. Shortly before 7:00pm the second home was set ablaze. Again, it started in the backyard and quickly traveled up the eaves. An obvious accelerant was used. Flames rushed too fast and too hot to be anything else. This home was extensively damaged and is for insurance purposes, also a total loss.

Let's get to the meat of the story. Two homes, one neighborhood, 3 hours apart. Both homes where number 4, both homes where white with black shutters. Coincidence, not likely. A job gone wrong the first time, with news coverage, corrected at nightfall? Who knows? Someone in the crowd of hundreds is an arsonist. Hopefully, they will be found so Evesham can rest a little easier and Greenlane can fear no more.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil

On March 14th the local school board members approved the "tentative" $71 million dollar "spending package". Let's see that in numbers; 71,000.000.00. This "spending package" is an increase of 5.54% over last year. Even better, the 6% surplus from last year will go down to 2% this year. I love the way the Central Record reported in their Thursday the 16th edition, that the "biggest expenses are allotted for business, support services and instruction". One would think instruction would be at the top of the hit list.

The administration and some board members said their reluctance to tell the taxpayers (VOTERS) what this years tax hike would be is because the Gov., Jon Corzine, has not released his numbers.
Fact is, the state aid has been consistently flat for the past 5 years. Assuming it will be the same and why would we assume anything else, the tax impact could be calculated and given to the taxpayers (VOTERS).

This is a classic case of see no evil ( Gov. Corzine hasn't released the numbers so we can't do the math), hear no evil ( if we don't tell you how much your taxes are going up, maybe you won't remember to Vote on April 18th), speak no evil ( incumbent board members really don't want the voters to know how much we are getting slammed this year so they won't release the tax impact yet).

Monday, March 13, 2006

Food For Thought

I do believe that the following quotes are some of the best compiled regarding politics and bureaucracy. They are applicable from local government to the oval office.


In politics you must always keep running with the pack. The moment that you falter and they sense that you are injured, the rest will turn on you like wolves.

R. A. Butler

Politics is the skilled use of blunt objects.

Lester B. Pearson

The word 'politics' is derived from the word 'poly', meaning 'many', and the word 'ticks', meaning 'blood sucking parasites'.

Larry Hardiman

The problem with political jokes is they get elected.

Henry Cate VII

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy.

Ernest Benn

I have come to the conclusion that politics are too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.

Charles De Gaulle

Politics is the art of preventing people from taking part in affairs which properly concern them.

Paul Valery

Politics is perhaps the only profession for which no preparation is thought necessary.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.

Ronald Reagan

It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.


I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.

Will Rogers

The perfect bureaucrat everywhere is the man who manages to make no decisions and escape all responsibility.

Brooks Atkinson

Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status.

Laurence J. Peter

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Lone No Vote

On Saturday, the Evesham Council introduced a 29.5 million dollar budget. What does this mean for taxpayers aside from a 6.7 cent tax increase?

It means that the mayor and council, minus the lone no vote of Councilman Schmidt, once again did not do the job for the taxpayers they where elected to do. Instead of sitting at the drawing board and rolling up their sleeves to work for this Twp., as they where entrusted to do, the crayons must have broken. Last year the Municipal budget wasn’t passed until May, why the sudden rush now? It’s reminiscent of the watered down pay to play resolution that was pushed through last June.

Are we as taxpayers supposed to thank Tamburro, Sarcone, Olt & Cardillo for deferring another $1,819,000 bringing the deferred Regional HS taxes to a staggering $9,850,334.83. Sarcone’s entire platform was no "pay to play" and not deferring taxes. She has failed at both. Olt, was quoted in the BCT as saying it was not “good government to keep delaying things.” I ask, is it good government to keep deferring things? Here’s the definition of deferral:
1: a state of abeyance or suspended business [syn: recess]
2: act of putting off to a future time [syn: postponement, deferment]

Sound similar?!
Also in the BCT Sarcone accused her ex-running mate of “partisan politics” definition:
1: A fervent, sometimes militant supporter or proponent of a party, cause, faction, person, or idea.
2: A member of an organized body of fighters who attack or harass an enemy, especially within occupied territory; a guerrilla.
1: Of, relating to, or characteristic of a partisan or partisans.
2: Devoted to or biased in support of a party, group, or cause: partisan politics.

The noun is Ms. Sarcone and her GOP talking points; the adj. is how it was used to describe Councilman Schmidt. Amusing considering the entire GOP platform against Sarcone & Schmidt surrounded 2.3 million dollars of deferrals. The typical do it and blame the other guy and hope no one notices it. Brilliant! NOT!

Thank you Councilman Schmidt for having a backbone and a plan. Doing the right thing; highly unusual for Evesham. Maybe, just maybe, Evesham will be blessed with Gus and gang getting on the band wagon next year and calling Councilman Schmidt’s ideas’ their own; it’s the only way it will happen. Then we can balance a budget.

I guess the moral of the story is, I'll take a "partisan" conservative Democrat over a tax and spend Republican any day. Isn't that an oxymoron?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Public Service Announcement

The following are excerpts taken from a web site regarding Narcissistic Personality Disorders. "How to Recognize a Narcissist," by Joanna M. Ashmun. Used by permission. With a link to

I have observed very closely some narcissists and their inability to pay attention when someone else is talking is so striking that it has often seemed to me that they have neurological problems that affect their cognitive functioning.

They borrow their opinions and preferences and tastes from whoever strikes them as authoritative at the moment.

Given distance, or only transient and intermittent contact, you can get along with narcissists by treating them as infants: you give them whatever they want or need whenever they ask and do not expect any reciprocation at all, do not expect them to show the slightest interest in you or your life (or even in why you're bothering with them at all), do not expect them to be able to do anything that you need or want, do not expect them to apologize or make amends or show any consideration for your feelings, do not expect them to take ordinary responsibility in any way.

It is also essential that you keep emotional distance from narcissists. They're pretty good at maintaining a conventional persona in superficial associations with people who mean absolutely nothing to them, and they'll flatter the hell out of you if you have something they can use or if, for some reason, they perceive you as an authority figure. That is, as long as they think you don't count or they're afraid of you, they'll treat you well enough that you may mistake it for love. But, as soon as you try to get close to them, they'll say that you are too demanding.

I've seen this happen often, where narcissists will go out of their way to stir up other people's expectations and then go out of their way to disappoint those expectations. It seems like a lot of pointless work to me.
Narcissists work for a goal, too, but it's a different goal: they want power, authority and adulation. Lacking empathy, and lacking also context and affect, narcissists don't understand how people achieve glory and high standing; they think it's all arbitrary, it's all appearances and it’s all who you know. So they try to attach themselves to people who already have what they want, meanwhile making a great show of working hard. Narcissists can put in a shocking amount of time to very little effect.

Narcissists are totally and inflexibly authoritarian. In other words, they are suck-ups. They want to be authority figures and, short of that, they want to be associated with authority figures. In their hearts, they know they can't think well, have no judgment about what matters, are not connected with the world they inhabit, so they cling fanatically to the opinions of people they regard as authority figures.

Narcissists are naive and vulnerable, pathetic really, no matter how arrogant and forceful their words or demeanor. They have pretty good reasons for their paranoia and cynicism, their sneakiness, evasiveness, prevarications. This is the one I get suckered on. They are so out of touch with other people and what goes on around them that they are very susceptible to exploitation. On the other hand, they're so inattentive, and so disconnected from what other people are up to, that they don't recognize when someone is taking advantage of them. ^

Lacking empathy is a profound disturbance to the narcissist's thinking (cognition) and feeling (affectivity). Even when very intelligent, narcissists can't reason well. One I've worked with closely does something I characterize as "analysis by eggbeater." They don't understand the meaning of what people say and they don't grasp the meaning of the written word either -- because so much of the meaning of anything we say depends on context and affect, narcissists (lacking empathy and thus lacking both context and affect) hear only the words. (Discussions with narcissists can be really weird and disconcerting; they seem to think that using some of the same words means that they are following a line of conversation or reasoning. Thus, they will go off on tangents and irrelevancies, apparently in the blithe delusion that they understand what others are talking about.) And, frankly, they don't hear all the words, either. They can pay attention only to stuff that has them in it. This is not merely a bad habit -- it's a cognitive deficiency. Narcissists pay attention only to themselves and stuff that affects them personally. However, since they don't know what other people are doing, narcissists can't judge what will affect them personally and seem never to learn that when they cause trouble they will get trouble back. They won't take other people's feelings into consideration and so they overlook the fact that other people will react with feeling when abused or exploited and that most people get really pissed off by being lied to or lied about. ^

The most telling thing that narcissists do is contradict themselves. They will do this virtually in the same sentence, without even stopping to take a breath.

Narcissists are threatened and enraged by trivial disagreements, mistakes and misunderstandings, plus they have evil mouths and will say ANYTHING, so if you continue to live or work with narcissists, expect to have to clean up after them, expect to lose friends over them, expect big trouble sooner or later.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A Clarification

The preceding post was written by Headline News and not Scott Welsh. When it was posted on the Evesham Forum,since this is a group blog, sometimes posts are listed as being by one author instead of the other.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Just For Kicks and Giggles

A mercantile license fee will make things more expensive for the consumer.

Ok, let’s do the math. Numbers don’t lie, people do.

Just for kicks and giggles let’s use round numbers for those that hate math like me.

Residents pay 82% of the municipal budget; businesses shoulder 16% of the budget. That’s not only disproportionate, it’s just not fair!

Large anchor stores: Target/Wal-Mart/Sears $2,000 per year

Large corporations: Hill International/Davis Enterprises/Parker McCay $2,000 per year

Now, let’s divide $2000 by 365 days in the year. The survey says $5.47 a day.

Target/Wal-Mart/Sears will pass on this giant $5.47 a day increase to the consumer? Let’s do the math, even if, each store added 1 cent to 547 products, which, in any of these stores, one register can ring in a day. That’s an absurd thought, not going to happen.

Let’s talk about Hill International/Davis Enterprises/Parker McCay, same numbers apply. It would be virtually impossible for these corporations to even justify passing on $5.47 to consumers. Quantify it this way, if Parker McCay has a monthly retainer in Evesham of $7,500, which translates into $250.00 per day (without billing for extras) and Davis Enterprises owns the Promenade, Allison Apts., Sagemore, the Weston Club, etc. I am sure the $5.47 doesn’t pay for Starbucks for two of the owners. Justify passing it on to the consumer, not possible. Same applies for Hill and all other large corporations doing business in Evesham.

Let’s face it, they benefit from the location, Evesham is the center of the “money” towns.

It’s about time, we as taxpayers get a break, without breaking our backs.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Hypocrisy Is Alive and Well in Evesham

The following is a press release sent out by Republican Club President/Evesham Republican County Committee VP, Dennis Dugan, whom also sits on the Zoning Board, is a Commissioner of the taxing body the MUA (thanks for the 30% raise in my water bill) and sits on the Board of the Burlington County Board of Social Services (Is that a paying job?)

1. a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.
2. a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, esp. one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.

The red is my commentary.

P.O. Box 82
Marlton, NJ 08053

March 2, 2006 (856) 596-5131


Republican Club Strongly Opposes the Creation of a New Tax Since when?

Marlton - Evesham Republican Club President Dennis Dugan today expressed dismay Why is Dennis dismayed? Maybe because the Republican brain trusts in charge didn't come up with this or that actual thought was put into the budget process to try and save taxpayers money at a recent proposal by Councilman Mike Schmidt to create a business privilege fee, which is equivalent to a stealth sales tax.
Really now, it surely would be better to tax the residents as usual.

A tax by any other name is still a tax, Yes Dennis, that is true, deferring 8 million dollars is not a savings to the tax payer, but you are deferring the inevitable and the taxpayers pay the freight as our municipal taxes go higher and higher. Does 32 cents to 48 cents in the last 5 years ring a bell? said Dugan.Does Councilman Schmidt believe that by taxing businesses, they will not pass this additional burden onto consumers? Other towns not only do this, but it works quite well and no, the burden is still not shifted to the taxpayer or deferred until next year. This proposal is a sneaky way to implement a new tax Who is sneaking, this is right out there for the people. Sneaky is deferring school taxes to have a 0 budget increase and then telling the taxpayer's this is a good thing. which is not only anti-consumer; it would also have a detrimental effect on economic development in the township. Economic development? God I hope so, isn't Evesham large enough?! This proposal is nothing more than the creation of a stealth sales tax.

I wonder if Councilman Schmidt has considered how many Evesham residents also patronize local businesses and would be affected by this brand new tax, concluded Dugan. The Evesham Republican Club strongly opposes the creation of a stealth sales tax, disguised as a business privilege fee Let's face it Dennis, not only did you not write this, but the only thing you people are really worried about is not thinking of it first and God forbid your pay to play fundraisers paid for by the vendors may be a little lighter next year. Give it a rest.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Wean yourself from deferrals?

Oh please, I sincerely hope this is a joke, 8 million dollars is sufficient enough dept via school deferrals. Why defer, because it's the easy answer. I challenge the mayor and council to do better for the taxpayer. This story appeared in the BCT today