What did you receive from Burlington Township this year?
With the end of the construction season and the township property taxes due this week, perhaps it is a time to evaluate the outcome of Burlington Township's performance. The residents need the information on how their taxes are spent so they can form their own opinion.
This summer there was constant clamoring by Treasurer Linda Olson and Supervisor David Green that the township had loads of money. However, during the August meeting, Chairperson Frolich repeatedly conceded, "We don't have the money." This statement was directed at a group whose dilapidated road was impassable for school bus travel. The road has been on the five year road plan with a specific promise of completion in June 2009. In August 2009, a mail carrier was trapped in a sand pit on that road and had to rock back and forth to escape. Through heated discussion with the residents and school children's parents, it was felt a minimum of five loads of gravel was needed, however, in order to save $117 a motion was made for four loads because they didn't have the money. Joe, the gravel man, offered to spread his gravel without payment until the township had money. (Four months later in December) now, rather than four loads with a wink and a nod and "we owe you Joe," they eagerly went for 10 loads here, 10 loads there and five loads down the road. With the checkbook closed, the credit card cut, we now are giving I.O.U.'s just like California.
With the bizarre disconnect between the report of the treasurer and the statements and action by the chairperson, you tell me, "Where is the money?" and I'll show you the I.O.U.s. The September meeting was apparently so confusing to the board they postponed adjournment to a time they could hire a big city lawyer from Minneapolis with a six hour travel time (How much gravel could that have been?), this meeting included past and present officers of the Erie Town Board. Erie was fed up with Burlington's failure to cooperate with them on maintaining a mutually owned "Tower" road. Erie claimed they have had no cooperation since the last chairperson five years ago. Because of Burlington Town Board's attitude and road neglect, Erie wants a new agreement that separates them completely from having to deal with this board. Who could blame them?
Of all 42 road miles promised and scheduled for repair, only 3.5 miles of work consumed all the taxes. The remaining 39 miles were abandoned, except for a half mile of gravel paid for with I.O.U.s. The big city lawyer they hired clearly explained to the Burlington officers, there was no requirement to spend the $260,000 on the road project as they led us to believe. He continued that these were personal choices and they should expect to receive the consequences at the next election.
When you write your property tax check this week for the remainder of this year's record breaking nearly half a million dollars, pause to consider what you received and the wisdom of their spending.