Newtown Residents Voice Their Concern Regarding the Preliminary 2021 Budget
At least 40 Newtown Township residents attended the two-and-one-half hour December 9, 2020, Newtown Board of Supervisors (BOS) Zoom meeting and many expressed their concerns regarding the increase in taxes and spending proposed by the preliminary 2021 budget. For some, this was the first time they have participated in local government affairs.
- Ash Kamath, mentioned a petition signed by over 700 residents and submitted a list of questions about the budget he hoped could be answered. Find the petition and many emails sent to supervisors opposing the tax increase here.
- Steve Demeglio, representing the “Newtown Taxpayers' Alliance,” urged supervisors to cut spending. “A 133% increase is the wrong solution while increasing spending,” said Mr. Demeglio. He suggested that costs for responding to false burglar alarms should be paid by homeowners involved. He also asked about the profitability of Police coverage of Wrightstown. “Simply too much spending,” concluded Mr. DeMeglio.
- Frank McCarron questioned how the expenditures in the 2021 budget is $14 million when the consultants recommended $13.4 million. “What does that mean for future years,” he asked. He also mentioned the grant application for hiring additional firefighters for weekend coverage. What are we doing in the meantime? He had several recommendations.
- Michael Della Rocca noted the concern of previous speakers regarding the “trajectory” the township is on with regard to this budget. Mr. Della Rocca just retired from a career of municipal and state government consulting and over the past year he has worked with over 100 different organizations. “I can’t think of one,” said Mr. Della Rocca, “that is approaching its planning for next year from a baseline of continuity and increased costs.” Specifically he challenged supervisors make some difficult and hard decisions on reductions to be made.
Listen to the comments from these residents and others in the audio except below. These a just a few of the comments heard. You can listen to the entire meeting here.