Manchester Services Criticism Unfounded, Mayor Says

Local taxes go further than most think, Mayor Michael Fressola says.

Submitted by Mayor Michael Fressola:

Every once in a while I will get a letter from a Manchester resident complaining that he or she gets no service for the tax money he or she pays to the township.

As luck would have it, within minutes of that complaint, I received the regular monthly “Workload Analysis” from our police department. The following information describes just some of the police department’s activity for the first eleven months of 2013.

  • Responded to 59,909 calls for service
  • 886 adult criminal arrests
  • 15,467 motor vehicle stops or contacts
  • 987 vehicle accidents
  • 6,470 first aid calls
  • 451 fire calls

In 2012, total municipal taxes collected totaled $20,552,118.  Operating a police department in the township of Manchester in 2012 cost a total of $7,485,000. This cost represented 36.4% of the total taxes collected.

I believe we operate one of the finest and busiest Senior Outreach Departments in the State, and a fantastic Recreation Department, providing activities for all residents regardless of age on a year-round basis.

We maintain our roads and parks in excellent condition; our internal staff provides excellent service on a day to day basis to all our residents.

Not a week goes by without a resident taking the time by either writing to me or calling, or stopping me somewhere in town, complimenting one of our departments for providing them with excellent service.

I no sooner completed this letter when a hand-delivered letter dropped off at Town Hall was handed to me by my secretary. The letter was dated November 15, 2013 and was dropped off on December 27, 2013. The letter referred to our “Manchester Citizen” newsletter as “junk mail” and to further quote him ”only contributes to the waste stream and robs people like me of their valuable time.”

To the author of these quotes I say, we furnished over 20,000 residents with copies of the “Manchester Citizen” and yours was one of only two complaints we received.

I sincerely hope the above information answers the question referred above.

aermanc January 04, 2014 at 08:25 AM
Unfortunately I really think the services people might be referring to would be garbage pick up, city water, sewers.......etc. once again with a town with 77% of 55 and older housing and only 22% single family homes this town has an outrageous school budget. (55% of my tax bill is school taxes) The Mayor has said" he has no control over the school budget" I would do beg to differ as this is his town and all expenses reflect our taxes. The school budget is killing us all.
Joe h. Goldstein January 04, 2014 at 11:10 AM
"The letter was dated November 15, 2013 and was dropped off on December 27, 2013." His problem could not have been too urgent.
KAREN A KINCAID January 04, 2014 at 11:33 AM
Aermanc, while it's true we do pay a lot for school taxes, think about years prior when others had to pay taxes when we went to school. I'm sure they complained just as much back then, when they we're 55. Let's face it, paying these taxes limits the "DUMB @sses" from walking the streets. I'm sure most will agree now!!!
KAREN A KINCAID January 04, 2014 at 12:58 PM
I have a suggestion for the Mayor. Being a small Handyman business in the community, we're noticing it's seasonal to the point of Jan through April we have virtually no income. Because of this, we find ourselves playing catch up with the taxes. This by far, causes a lot of unnecessary stress and interest payments. ( in other words, if we don't have it in the first place, what makes you think we have money for interest in the second place? ) Checking into this situation, I'm told other towns are set up via internet and in person where they can make monthly installments. Something our town doesn't offer? This by far would make life so much simpler and stress free if able to be making payments instead of a one lump sum. Mayor Mike, I do believe my suggestion would benefit so many and not hurt so much quarterly. (ie: it's a mind game ) Being a combined household, it makes it hard when there are so many others problems that exists. This would elevate at least one knowing most people have a monthly check coming in and can budget better through the course of the year. Please, look into this situation. I know it can be done. If other towns in New Jersey offer this program, it should be a simple matter of pushing the right buttons to get it installed. You'll be surprised on how many combined households will benefit from this program. Thank you Karen A Kincaid HANDYMAN DAVE LLC
Bryan January 04, 2014 at 01:13 PM
I for one would like to see our 22% non senior households get trash pick up. Having to cart our trash to Mr Mayors buddies HESS and company, is a pain in the butt, and some times is difficult when you work saturdays too. Paying waste managment isnt cheap either. i must say that we do get our $$$$ WORTH from our police they do a great job.
Scott Neuman January 04, 2014 at 03:13 PM
Mayor, I appreciate the councils desire to possibly bid out the electric bills. Now that we have different trash companies coming into the township other then waste management, I'd love to have that service bid out on a yearly contract with right of renewal. The savings would be close to the same as the electric for most families and as such, should be considered.
Pat January 04, 2014 at 05:44 PM
I also agree that garbage pick up and sewers would be nice. And yes the township garage and police do an excellent job but for what we are paying we should get more services. Senior services are great if you are old enough to use them, which I'm not and my kids are older now and they don't use recreation anymore and there isn't anything rec offers enough that interests me so I would like garbage and sewers.
Da Gr8 1 January 05, 2014 at 01:16 PM
and yet here again my property taxes went up again for 2014 as i open my tax bill. deplorable.
KAREN A KINCAID January 05, 2014 at 01:43 PM
This is the main reason why I mentioned about paying monthly. No way can I afford to keep up quarterly. At least if I'm behind I won't be as bad. Right now I am working to pay for the taxes. ( this includes the IRS )
KAREN A KINCAID January 05, 2014 at 02:10 PM
Just a quick thought..... I took the Mayor up on his offer of stopping buy his office. I was greeted with the ut most respect and time he had to give. He had no problems with talking to me about budgets and so on. I found him to be forthright with everything I asked him. So my advice, instead of bitching about what's wrong with the system in Manchester. Go to his office. Talk to him about different things. He was and is very open minded to the publics suggestions and opinions and was no different when I suggested on monthly payments of taxes. The mayor of this town is a resident as well. Married to a very lovely lady and deserves the respect as we all do. So quit yer bitchin. If you have something to say, an idea for the town, suggestions or even if you just want to meet him in person, stop hiding behind a fake name. Grow some nads and go face to face with the man. I can promise you your voice will be heard!!!
Ray piacentio January 05, 2014 at 10:27 PM
Listen u all havent got a clue!! This is a senior town they get all the perks!! Thats all there is too it. Meanwhile here in pine lake park we get crapped on!! 6 months i have left here!! Thank god!! Even tho i was born and raised in manchester its nothin like it was 10 years ago. As far as the police go.... i dont care if a guy has a gun to my head i wouldnt call them!! There all crooked with an exception of 6 that i know very well. This town is goin down the tubes thats why there is and i counted them just here where i live 72 abandoned houses!! But yet they continue to build on the empty lots. And for our mayor to tell my 85 year old grandmother to sit the f***k down and shut up when voicing her opinion at a town meeting he lucky i wasnt there. Our mayor is as crooked as rest of politicians. I can just go on so good luck to you all.
KAREN A KINCAID January 05, 2014 at 11:56 PM
Get a clue my arse. I've lived in this senior development for 15 years, and I'm only 51. It's a combined household...... Perks???? What perks??? Street lights? Or maybe snow removal??? Forget it, our maintenance pays for that. Garbage removal... HA maintenance pays for that too. Maybe you mean gardening? NOPE, we have a garden club where a part of the money goes to buy flowers for the community. Guard house... wrong again!! I'm trying to find out where you think we're keeping the perks? NOTHING IS HANDED TO THE COMMUNITYS. I know this to be fact only cause we do some of the Handyman work in 5 of them. Seniors pay out of pocket. So if you know something we don't know, then by all means post away. If not, then my sentiments follow the Mayors......... sit down and shut the F up until you know what your talking about!!!!
Ray piacentio January 06, 2014 at 08:20 AM
Karen... do u guys have sidewalks? City sewer? Manchester pays and also comes into ur community with garbage trucks and also pays for garbage removal. Reduced tax rate, u pay no school taxes. You have a senior center free rides to grocery store towne pays for that. If u live in leisure village u got that waste of money sidewalk goin to municiple building which ive seen no one utilize. U guys are catertered to everything. U urself may not know they have all this free stuff maybe goto senior center and you will see.
Billabong January 06, 2014 at 11:38 AM
I'm not so concerned about garbage pick up. I've shopped around and found a good price (and I can choose my frequency - only once a week is all I need). There are many issues in PLP that could be addressed including the constant flooding when it rains (aside from the work currently being done on Commonwealth) and some kind of solution to the accident hub that is the intersection of Commonwealth and Northampton. The fact is that many non seniors are upset and strapped because our home values plummeted, yet our taxes went up significantly (due to the increased tax rate). What exactly were the additional services received for these increased taxes? In my experience, the police and emergency services have been great, and I can't speak for all of Manchester's schools since my kids only attend one, but their education at Ridgeway has been exemplary.
KAREN A KINCAID January 06, 2014 at 01:17 PM
Ray, We do have sidewalks, and we shovel our own. they only do the streets. But again we pay for that. ( and they do a crappy job at best.) Town does not do the streets in here. City sewer, we have well water, and every three months we pay a bill for sewer. (separate from taxes ) Once a week we get garbage pick up from the town. ( once a week ) No school tax???? are you kidding me??? We live in Leisure Ridge. I pay $5400.00 yearly. Again not sure what you think we get but it's NOTHING on what you think. As for a bus that comes here once a week for shopping for the seniors. Got me there. I have no idea who pays for that. I don't use it so I don't ask. Other wise what you think we get here in the community is nothing more then a false statement. I don't know what other communities pay for. I just know what I pay for. Please forgive me if I seemed rude in my last note. I happen to have meet the Mayor on a few occasions, and feel he's not the sort of person who would treat seniors (ie: tax payers ) HOWEVER, if he did yell at your grandmother like that, I PERSONALLY would have jumped down his throat. You would not have to be there!! I speak VOLUMES, when it comes to kids, Animals and the elderly. The only way action will be done about these taxes in Manchester, is if everyone bans together and starts making changes. You can't depend on the knights of the round table to make changes for us. This is a case of in "UNITY". In this case a town meeting has to be called. I myself pay for the taxes here in my mothers home. I'm her POA. I can tell you being one of the hard working class, I find it very difficult laying out over 1300.00 every three months. To the point I am always behind. We just don't make that kind of money in our small handyman business. So I for one would love to see some major changes.
Da Gr8 1 January 06, 2014 at 11:08 PM
karen, why do you live in a senior village if your only 51?
KAREN A KINCAID January 06, 2014 at 11:47 PM
I moved in to take care of my step father 15 yrs ago, and now take care of my 80 yr old mother and 90 yr old aunt!! ( lucky me )
Patric February 01, 2014 at 09:09 PM
Taxes in Manchester!!??there is a great answer!! tax the landfill !! the landfill pays less in property tax then one block in any community in the town,( senior or PLP anywhere). As for the mayor he had his run he is not involved with the whole process anymore,town youth groups, school budget, town workers, PBA all grossly stealing in the past years. What does he do status quo does not cut it? The whole town is being over charged and under serviced. Except the landfill and large companies coming into this little town. If you want to be a big town start acting like it and take a role in everything. Time to step down Mr. Mayor thanks for your service but lets have someone that actually shows up at town meetings and takes some action in how his towns money is being spent!!There is a reason why 2 terms are allowed in politics and its called change. Let's be done excepting the wrong in this town and be part of making it right for everyone grandmas and kids.
Patric February 01, 2014 at 09:17 PM
Oh yeah you can check on the tax bill statement 10-12 houses in this town pay more in property taxes then the landfill, and it is one of the larger pieces, they should be donating more then baseball fields they should be picking up some tax relief.. You could also take a look at the tax bill for the new food stores, hardware store and other large franchise food.
Ray piacentio February 02, 2014 at 08:53 AM
Better watch what u say patric... the mayor may track you down and get his lawyers after you as he has threatned me for what i wrote.
Patric February 02, 2014 at 12:40 PM
just stating facts. all public info. I would never insult him directly I have nothing against him. I just do not agree with the way our town takes a back seat to all of the politics that goes into spending our tax money. I think most would agree that no one person should be in charge for this long it makes for to much of same old stuff being accepted. Change is good.


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