Resident unhappy with bond referendum

I’m tired of Edison Township and the Board of Education always looking for the taxpayers to pick up the tab when they can’t make ends meet. Recently, the BOE turned to the taxpayers to pick up $62 million of the $79 million bond referendum for school renovations. The other $17 million will be coming from the state. Dan Michaud goes on to say that “we were happy we got this” because this money may not be available at a later date. While I understand this point of view, that means that taxpayers have to pick up 79% of the cost.

So here we go again with taxpayers expected to pick up $62 million. Mr. Michaud said, that means a house valued at $174,000 would affect the average homeowner $81 per year. Mr. Michaud, where are these houses valued at in Edison for $174,000? You are referring to Edison, N.J., right? I’m a local real estate agent, and if I can find some houses for $174,000, I’ll buy them all! Your $81 seems so innocent (that’s $81 for 20 years by the way), but what about all of us who own homes valued above that level? Now we are talking much more of a hike.

You also have the nerve to ask us to cover the $7 million needed for artificial turf fields. So how much more will that cost us individually? Is this really a necessity? There is nothing wrong with playing on the grass fields that many of us played on during our high school years.

I’m sure the BOE will remind us that we may lose $17 million by not acting now, but please remind me what the Board is cutting in the budget to ease this burden. Tell me what Edison Township is cutting in order to properly fund education. Let me remind you – nothing! Just throw it all on the taxpayers once again.

The biggest concern I have is this: In April, you will ask me to vote yes to this referendum, which I will not do. What are you going to ask me for in 2009? 2010?

While I’m at it, this is for Mayor Choi: We have all these new houses in town (valued at much more than $174,000!). Most of these generate twice as much tax compared to the old home that was on the property. How do you account for all that extra tax revenue the town is collecting? Where is it all going? Why isn’t this additional tax revenue being allocated to education?

I know education issues need to be addressed, but I can speak for the majority of residents when I say enough is enough.

Mike Pfeifer