Letter to the Editor: Reducing Reserves Creates Problems

To the Editor:

Does anyone really think that Hopewell Township Mayor Kuchinsky and his team do not know the difference between saving and spending? (Hopewell Township Announces $2M Savings Partnership with HVRSD)

They had their eye on spending-down our emergency fund without linkage to the July school payment at least as far back as quietly introducing a “to-be-delivered” ordinance without specifically spelling out the concept on the agenda of February 6, 2017.

As has been said previously, reducing reserves, also called surplus, but more appropriately called emergency fund and rainy day fund, creates problems.

It has been noted that by allowing spending to rise, the mayor’s budget increases the spending base for budgets in the years that follow.  The budget impact compounds, increasing spending and consequent tax increases, year after year.

It has also been noted that unexpected things can happen, and using reserves to disguise big spending increases is bad budgeting.

Spending increases funded by raiding our rainy day fund is not savings.

The $23.3 million spending plan is more than $1.3 million higher than last year and close to a 6% spending increase, which is over 2 times the rate of inflation.  Taxes are going up close to 2%, while over $4 million, over 34% of our entire emergency fund, is being spent as 20% of the 2017 spending plan.

I have heard of new math and fuzzy math, but spending-down our emergency fund and calling it savings, is make-believe math.

Harvey Lester, Titusville, N.J.

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