Managing editor shows lack of concern for other people

Guest Column • Kathleen Vignolini

This letter is about Managing Editor Mark Rosman’s voting dilemma in his recent column “Corzine and Christie: A Couple of Characters.” Am I to understand that Mr. Rosman wants anther political party, a third, or perhaps like Italy’s unlimited choices, that twice elected the man who controls the media?

I cannot understand Mr. Rosman’s complaint about the “annual increases in property taxes?” You live in Middletown? One of the largest and more wealthy Monmouth County communities with two very large, very well equipped elementary and high schools, with a huge tax base, large and small industries, grand homes and estates. Yet you do not want your state, (county or local, too?) taxes raised annually?

OK. Your genie has landed! Your wish is granted. Then what? So what if the police, fire, sanitation, road, building, and ground maintenance, housekeeping, office, park, jail, motor vehicle, medical emergency, and tax collector staffs get no cost of living increases?

Would you like to have no annual pay raises, be fired, furloughed, etc. as has been done to cut government services costs? Are you first to complain that your trash is not picked up, the fire department does not get there in time to save a building or a life, or the police do not patrol your street?

About the school “disparity” between Middletown and Asbury Park. Granted more is given to Asbury Park than Middletown. Why? By court order, forced upon Gov. Christie Whitman. Why? It is easy to understand, if you know history.

Towns like Middletown, Holmdel, and Rumson have the funds to educate their children very well. Because Asbury Park does not have the grand homes, big businesses, etc. to have “well equipped” classrooms and services, the court said that did not abide by the 1958 “equal” education ruling (Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka).

So, let’s get this straight, it is not Jon Corzine’s policy, it is by court order. Asbury Park kids have another disadvantage. They are disadvantaged! Few parents can afford computers, lots of books, tutors, etc. to help their kids learn or up their grade on the SATs.

Because these kids live in substandard housing and have deficient diets, many have learning disabilities. That costs (money) to correct, they have no means to change their living standards. If they did, they would not need so much funding.

“Preventative medicine” costs much less than “corrective medicine.” Does that help you see why Asbury Park and other like New Jersey towns receive more state funding? I hope so.

As to Chris Christie, I know little about him or Chris Daggett. You ask is Christie going to raise taxes on “people who can afford them?” Why not? How about giving the working poor (also known as old “middle class”) a break with a truly fair tax system?

Those who make more should pay more, but they have means to hide their money. Tax loopholes abound, if you have enough cash (as a lawyer, specialized in “elder law” told me, about keeping money from being eaten up by nursing homes).

We know that the more advantaged use Swiss and off-shore banking, hedge funds, stocks, etc., all legal, to avoid paying taxes. We lower echelon folks can do that with our IRAs – but at a mere pittance of what the more wealthy can.

Back to my point. If you want services, you have to pay those providing them a fair and just salary. You said, “…why should I as a resident of a suburban community that gets a limited return on the money its residents pay to the state vote for you (Corzine)?”

If you want clean, safe, well maintained and organized government services, they must be paid for. Asbury Park cannot do that on its own. Our democratic and religious ethics state that those with more should help those with less. It used to be the golden rule.

You said, “What have you (Corzine) done for me in the past four years?” A typical not in my back yard attitude. “What’s in it for me?” To hell with the rest of the county, state, nation, world. I want mine. And Let “them” fend for themselves!”

Give me a break. We are in this recession because the top 5 percent got huge tax breaks and good regulations were dumped off the books. And I should worry that you think your taxes are too high? So are mine. But in Long Branch, our taxes were raised due to greedy developers upping their housing purchase costs. I cannot blame Gov. Corzine, or any state agency.

Kathleen Vignolini is a resident of Long Branch.

Editor’s note: Managing Editor Mark Rosman, who wrote the column referred to in this letter, is not a resident of Middletown. The column mentioned that Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie made an appearance in Middletown which was reported by the Independent, a newspaper published by Greater Media Newspapers that covers Middletown.