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DelcoTimes Letter to the Editor: Ridley Park residents have big decision Tuesday
The residents of Ridley Park have a big decision to make on Nov. 3, 2015. Do they vote for more of the same or do they vote to restore fiscal accountability and responsible management to our local government.
Ridley Park Borough Council’s last two annual budgets overspent our tax revenues by $519,347, despite the fact that they increased our taxes by 4.5 percent. This resulted in a reduction of the General Fund balance from $873,008 on Jan. 1, 2013 to $353,661 on Jan. 1, 2015. The borough’s overall funds continue to spiral downward and out of control. We need fiscal responsibility.
Ridley Park Borough has spent an excessive amount of money on legal fees defending the actions of our past borough manager and former acting police chief. The three Republican candidates have been either chairperson or members of personnel and finance committees and are supposed to be overseeing these two critical departments. We need responsible choices.
Our former borough manager was given a buyout package when she was released last Oct. 31 — no information given for her termination and the position was not filled for seven months. Who monitored the finances of our borough?
Our police officers are currently operating without a chief of police. The former “acting” police chief has not been on duty since December of 2014. Despite negotiating for two years, the borough never obtained a signed contract with the former acting police chief, and this resulted in the borough being in a poor bargaining position when the acting chief retired in August of this year. The acting chief was given a retirement package that no one knows the content of, or impact to the tax payers. During this time the acting chief collected full salary and the borough was forced to cover his hours with overtime at a significant cost to the borough. Today there is still no official police chief. Ridley Park police officers put their lives at risk to protect us, and deserve to have the leadership of a police chief. We need a more responsible government.
The current council hired an overly aggressive building inspector who seems to be targeting citizens as they exit our town. Residents and contractors have attended Council meetings to complain of poor treatment by code enforcement. The Republican candidate for council explains that code enforcers are doing their job and condone this behavior. Ultimately, the residents are paying code enforcement fees and penalties to increase revenues.
Despite their overspending, the borough’s parks and lake have never looked so bad. Where has all the money gone? The residents of Ridley Park cannot afford another year of deficit spending.
Ridley Park deserves better. We can make it happen!
Mike Gale, Maripat King, and Jared Brennan, Ridley Park Borough Council candidates
Appeared in Letters to The Editor DelcoTimes, 10/20/15