To the Editor:
I am compelled to respond to the letter to the Patch by Jim Kownacki, appearing in your October 8 edition. Kownacki, an incumbent Lawrence Democratic councilman, is running for election on November 5. In the letter Kownacki states that “first and foremost, it should be noted that at no point did the township propose a budget that exceeds the 2 percent increase cap.”
If Mr. Kownacki had been in a courtroom under oath when he made this statement, he would be in jail right now for perjury.
It is well documented that back in early 2012 Lawrence was wrestling with a major budget problem and sought to pass a budget that was well over the 2% cap imposed by our Governor and the legislature. In fact the increase sought by Lawrence was $ 2.275 million above the cap or a 16.7% increase. Lawrence was only one of two municipalities in the entire state (out of 565 districts) which sought a waiver from this state mandate. The issue was voted upon in mid April and defeated by a 2525 to 1289 margin. (www.nj.com and search Lawrence voters say no to property tax increase).
After the budget defeat I was selected with two other Lawrence residents ( Max Ramos and Marvin Van Hise) to work with council and the township manager and staff to find ways to close the budget gap without implementing a trash removal user fee.
I was pleased with the co-operation of everyone involved in this project with the sole exception of Jim Kownacki. He added absolutely nothing to the problem solving process.
Ira L. Marks
Pembroke Court, Lawrenceville