Town Council Candidates Question 4: The Budget

By on May 1, 2019
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Managing Verona’s municipal budget is, without a doubt, the biggest responsibility of our five-member Town Council, and it is always a challenge to deliver the services that Verona wants without the tax increases that Verona despises. That was why MyVeronaNJ.com asked for candidates’ thoughts on shared services in the second question of our election question series. 

But the Council has to do more than share services to keep costs in line. In recent years, the Council moved Verona to so-called zero-based budgeting. Every budget now begins at zero for every department every year. Rather than being allowed to simply tack on an inflation adjustment to their previous budget line, department managers must explain their spending to the Council, demonstrate what they did to control costs and show why they are asking for a particular amount for the new year. The Council must then decide if they will accept that number, ask for a reduction, or add to it by reducing spending elsewhere.

READ  Town Council Candidates Question 1: Overdevelopment

That’s why MyVeronaNJ.com’s question to candidates this week is this:

Question 4: Verona has just passed its budget for 2019. If you could shift spending around in this budget, which aspects would you give more funding to and which lines would you reduce to do so? Please don’t increase the town’s spending–or our taxes.

The questions was sent to the candidates on Friday and the deadline was Tuesday. Candidates’ responses are listed in the order in which they were received, and MyVeronaNJ.com did not edit the answers in any way, whether for grammar, spelling or length. You can read the questions and answers for Week 1: Overdevelopment, Week 2: Shared Services, and Week 3: Infrastructure by clicking on those headings. The final question of the series goes out this Friday, May 3.

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Click on the arrows to advance to each candidate’s response.

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One Comment

  1. John FioRito

    May 1, 2019 at 10:17 pm

    I just noticed after re-reading my answer that I made an incorrect statement. I stated “we were able to generate a budget surplus of about $700,000” when I should have stated “we were able to generate about $700,000 from operations”; obviously different. My follow on concept after that remains my intended response, but I don’t like that I misstated surplus for operations. I apologize.

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