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Letter to the editor

A call for more budget attention

December 22, 2010 - Dear Editor,

When I read "Police fund draining Springfield savings," page 1A, Dec. 15, regarding Springfield Township's budgets, I couldn't quite believe it!

Didn't Springfield Township Parks and Recreation get a dedicated millage passed recently for continued funding separate from the township's general fund?

I voted "no" on the proposal because there were no assurances that parks and rec would live within their millage funding and not seek additional funds from the general fund.

Here it is only a few months later and, sure enough, $85,000 has been allocated from the general fund to repave basketball and tennis courts. This is absurd! Surely, there are more important areas that need funding. I think basic services police, fire, roads, etc. should be secured first and any excess funds saved for the coming rainy day in 2012. I was glad to see at least Mike Trout voted no.

I also don't understand the following info in the article: "The millage is expected to bring in $428,500 increasing revenues from $565,500 in 2010 to $671,000 in 2011" (ed. note: $565,000 was what was budgeted for 2010 actual revenue was $496,683).

With a 2000 Census population of 13,338 people, that implies parks and rec will get more than $50 for each man, woman and child who live in Springfield Township. If parks and rec cannot live within their tax revenue then other options should be considered:

Get new parks and rec management and staff that can live within revenues;

Pay to play increase fees for those who use the facilities; and

Reduce services.

It was interesting that an adjacent article in the same paper detailed cuts in the Independence Township Parks and Rec budget and future program cuts.

I haven't paid much attention to Springfield Township's budgeting process nor attended monthly board meetings, but maybe I should since that is some of my money that is going to be laid down on the basketball and tennis courts and I don't play either. Surely this budget needs to be revisited.

John Olsen

Springfield Township

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