To the Editor: Recent discussion of the township's budget seem to have glossed over some important facts that need to be clarified. First and foremost it should be noted that at no point did the township propose a budget that exceed the 2 percent cap. While residents have indeed seen increases in the tax rate, the council has worked hard over the last 2 years to reduce costs to residents, which is why the township budget year over year was $ 1 million dollars less in 2013 than it was in 2012.
While the council and our dedicated township employees have worked hard to lessen the impact of these cuts and to ensure that residents receive the services that they count on, make no mistake services have been impacted.
Overall we have cut 26 positions in the last 3 years, or more than 10 percent of our workforce.Employees are taking on more responsibilities where necessary and reducing services in other areas. Those cuts include painful cuts to our police force that lead us to the innovative new dispatch service which allowed us to put more police officers back on ground.
We negotiated tough contracts with the police union to hold the line on salary increases, removed longevity pay for new hires and froze those payments for those who had been receiving them.
Make no mistake - the economic downturn deeply impacted this township - but the council has worked hard to find new ways to reduce costs and maintain services. Today we are beginning to see the impact of those changes - more businesses interested in making Lawrence their home, smaller government working hard to meet residents needs and a smaller budget to lessen the burden the burden on taxpayers.
Vote Kownacki and Brame Democrats 4 Lawrence Council
Jim Kownacki Mayor, Lawrence Township Democrat Candidate 4 Council