Riders on the Storm: where’s the loot?

Council President Peter Cunningham sent out an email late last night.  Here ya go folks:

Dear neighbors, friends and family,
This is an extremely important development in Trenton.
Those that attended the first round of budget workshops and have reviewed the materials online will begin to see that the Administration and Council are producing results in transparency and accountability never seen before.  There’s much more work to be done, but its change that’s working.  Members of the current city council agree that substantive cuts need to be made.  And we all agree that these are tough decisions make.  But some of us are missing the elephant in the room.
We must have forensic accounting at city hall, which this mayor supports.  Having no explanation for a 155,000 short fall in the payroll account since 2007 is unacceptable, particularly under state supervision.
We also need to finish other operational audits and I wrote to Christie’s office today to demand Jacobucci’s release of the Police audit.
Follow the pension reforms in Trenton and continue to write your local legislators as the only real substantive property tax reform in Hoboken and New Jersey will be at the collective bargaining tables.
As always, please let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns.  Thanks for listening, and pass this along to your friends. 
Peter Cunningham
Talking Ed Notes:  The bold emphasis in the Council President’s is highlighted by MSV, but the message is unmistakably clear: this town’s government wants to move ahead and check under the covers.  In an earlier interview with the fiscal state monitor, Judy Tripodi, the desire for forensic accounting and its potential was not as enthusiastic.

From the linked article:

The proposals would require workers and retirees at all levels of government and local school districts to contribute to their own health care costs, ban part-time workers at the state and local levels from participating in the underfunded state pension system, cap sick leave payouts for all public employees and constitutionally require the state to fully fund its pension obligations each year. They would also eliminate multiple pensions and change how pensions are calculated, including for police and fire personnel.
While most of the reforms would apply to future workers, current employees would have to contribute at least 1.5 percent of their base salary towards their health care costs.
…but read the whole thing.  Unions are very unhappy about this.  But there’s a new sheriff in town and his name is Chris Christie.  New Jersey has to turn the ship around NOW.  There’s no other way.  Of course the unions could care less.  They are still operating in a world that no longer exists and with a Governor who is now gone.

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