At the March 18th Council meeting Lori Wyrsch, town councilwoman, made a very unconvincing effort to defend the council’s decision to spend more of the taxpayer’s hard earned money to the tune of $2.3M to build 2 new community centers.
When questioned about surrounding area's community centers in, as well as out, of Stafford township the response was “they are at near capacity.” So what does near capacity mean? I would think that anything over 60% could be considered near capacity. 25 groups meet at the Ocean Acres, 35 or so at the Bay Ave, she mentioned.
I question, what are the number of new groups reserving the centers? When I pressed further about the utilizing of the St. Francis community center her comment was "that's on LBI, it’s irrelevant”. Well correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t shared resources something that this council was big and preached that in their campaign?
I would think that it’s pretty relevant if you’re looking for space to reserve and have a need. There are other locations as well, King of Kings has space, Bayside Chapel has meeting space as well as other local churches locations. If the effort to find and seek out these options were equal to the amount spent on trying to defend spending $2.3M I hardly believe this issue would be raised.
Look at the link that I’ve included, and read each of the council members reasons for running. These were their campaign messages just a few years ago. It’s funny now that they are in office and want to turn their heads from what they promised us.
It seems those ideas are a thing of the past. How can you discount resources so close to us simply by saying that they are irrelevant? Much like Mrs. Wyrsch’s ramblings there isn’t any substance nor any reasonableness to defend spending $2.3M on 2 new community centers at this time. The council however believes that they are correct and we the taxpayers are wrong.
With Taxes rising by 18% and the town in $100M of bond debt, it hardly seems the right time to be building new buildings and spending more money.
Lastly, I questioned if these community centers generate revenue and the answer was yes some due. Again, a question dodged, but do the community centers on Bay Ave or Mill Creek generate revenue because that was my question? Since there are no fees posted on the town’s website I can only assume no. These two centers do not generate revenue. Possibly a lie? You decide.
So I ask this simple question? If this council’s main purposes for running, were to improve quality of life, reduce taxes, provide a transparent government, share resources with other municipalities AND be Fiscally Responsible how is this possible when again, taxes increasing, the Mayor and his associates are adding significant debt, ignoring other viable local resources and worse ignoring the voices of the residents that live in Stafford? How can you be Fiscally Responsible and continue to spend needlessly? The answer is, you can’t. You can’t make these types of promises and act this way.
To Mayor Spodofora, to your comment that these items always come at the expense of the taxpayer. Don’t you think the taxpayer’s should have a say in what you deem their expense and what isn’t? Especially when it’s $2.3M.