Where Are Newtown's Budget Workshops?

Will December bring a significant tax increase surprise to the residents of Newtown Township?

It has been asked, but still not answered with a date. Will there be budget workshops in Newtown Township?

This question was asked at a previous Board of Supervisors meeting and Township Manager Mike Trio answered, “Yes." Yet, here is November 8th, and no budget workshops have been scheduled. It is worrisome that the township has not yet held or provided any preliminary budget information. Newtown Township taxpayers have no idea whether or not and how much their township taxes will increase next year. Delaware County is already forecasting a 2.8 percent tax increase for taxpayers in the county’s preliminary budget.

What percentage will Newtown propose? We currently have no idea. This, after the Board of Supervisors recently voted to add a . They seem comfortable to be adding to the payroll, but can’t seem to provide up-to-date revenue and expense information. They seem comfortable with leaving taxpayers to wonder if Police Chief Anderson is currently still on paid Administrative Leave. They seem comfortable spending taxpayer money, but can’t seem to keep the public up-to-date as to what this means to the overall township budget.

The law requires Second Class Townships to adopt a balanced budget by no later than December 31st of each year for the next year. This preliminary budget must be advertised for public review for at least 20 days. How could the Board of Supervisors adopt a balanced budget if it hasn’t taken the time to review and understand what is being proposed by township departments?  Of course, meetings and discussions would have to be held, and according to the Sunshine Act, all meetings of the Board of Supervisors where a quorum is present are required to be open to the public.

In other townships, and previously in Newtown, the township manager has held a number of budget workshops. At these workshops, the manager will deliver a proposed or ‘draft’ budget to the Board. These workshops provide the taxpaying public an opportunity to understand and comment on where their money is spent. In other townships, this has already been accomplished. Not so in Newtown. 

Newtown can’t even seem to keep the revenue and expense information that was promised to be updated current on its website.  If a taxpayer were to go the main page of the township website today, they would see year-to-date revenues and expenditures for the quarter ending June 30, 2012, first. This is followed by the bills for October 22, 2012, and then Revenue and Expenditure information as of March 31, 2012.

Further down the main page, the Management Letter for last year’s township audit is noted on the same line as financial information from the Municipal Authority audit. Who knows where the finances of Newtown stand? At the very least, taxpayers should be able to see the state of revenue and expenses as of September 30, 2012. That, and budget workshops would provide Newtown residents a view of current management decisions.

Hopefully, at next week’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting, the dates for budget workshops will be set. If they are not set next week, we are left to wonder and wait for a possible December significant tax increase surprise.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Patti Wilson November 14, 2012 at 04:37 PM
I'm happy to provide them as I feel that the residents of Newtown Township are entitled to understand how their taxes are being spent. Thanks for reading. Patti
Patti Wilson November 14, 2012 at 04:40 PM
I agree with your comment and encourage you to contact the township manager,Mike Trio, triom@newtowntwpdelco.org, as well as out new Public works Director, George Sharretts(call the township and ask for his email address or leave a message), to let him know about specific roads you feel need repaving as well as areas that need street lights and/or maintenance to street lights. Patti
Patti Wilson November 14, 2012 at 04:43 PM
I hope that you were able to attend last night's Board of Supervisors' meeting where Ross said that the supervisors would be listening to residents, but making no comment. Because, at one point, Ed decided to comment. And his comment was to indicate to the hundreds of residents in attendance that the supervisors were not responsible for the proposed CR zoning ordinance. He appeared to try to make it seem as though, this proposed ordinance, that would change the residential nature of many neighborhoods, was the planning commission members' decision. I agree with you--doesn't look positive to me. Patti
Raz A November 15, 2012 at 02:18 AM
MIke Trio even said that this came from the supervisors and the supervisors asked the planning commission to look into it. Planning members commented that the CR zoning originated from the supervisors. Who is lying? I would bet my bottom dollar the Supervisors are blatant liers. Has anyone asked who wrote the CR ordinance? Most likely 230 N. Monroe Street, the Gillin law offices.
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