On Thursday, Deputy Mayor Kathryn Weller-Demming, who is running for an at-large seat on the township council in Tuesday's local election, mentioned the Concerned Citizens of Montclair group as part of a titled "What Other Candidates Aren't Telling You."
Today, Concerned Citizens released a statement in response, saying it believes it is important "to set the record straight and separate fact from fiction. So we will address each of these assertions independently."
Here is the CCM statement:
Ms. Weller-Demming asserts: Last year the Concerned Citizens of Montclair demanded a 0% tax increase with no regard for the long-term financial health of Montclair and no concrete ideas for achieving their goal.
FACT: CCM recommended a 0% tax increase because it was deeply concerned about the long term financial health of Montclair. Large year over year increases and a large debt burden are not in the best interest of Montclair’s long-term financial health. We believe that the recent lower overall tax rate was due, in part, to the efforts of groups like CCM, OBAC and Capital Finance Committee
Ms. Weller-Demming asserts: They wanted us to foreclose on the Pre-K.
FACT: CCM did not suggest that anyone foreclose on the Pre-K. Rather to address the very large unpaid loan which was owed to the township by the Pre-K. This loan had been on the books for years.
Ms. Weller-Demming asserts: Demand higher payments for shared services which would have forced our partner communities to other providers.
FACT: CCM stated that townships with shared services should pay at least the same amount as Montclair residents for the same service. We believe that Montclair citizens should not be subsidizing services for other towns through higher taxes.
Ms. Weller-Demming asserts: CCM asked the Township to stop leveraging grant funding for our capital needs.
FACT: CCM has no idea what Ms. Weller-Demming is referring to.
Ms. Weller-Demming asserts: CCM requested to restrict investment in public trees.
FACT: CCM did not suggest restricting investment in public trees. CCM wanted to make sure that amounts that were bonded for shade trees was actually used for shade trees