FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Monday, 4 May 2020
Lambertville, NJ — As preliminary information regarding the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget is released, Lambertville Council Candidates Steve Stegman and Benedetta Lambert are asking for a thorough review of the facts in order to have an honest conversation about Lambertville’s finances. Recognizing that families are struggling to make ends meet, Stegman and Lambert are renewing their call for a municipal spending freeze to provide Lambertville with more fiscal stability in the age of COVID-19.
“We think Lambertville’s debt is a problem that plagues both our taxpayers and homeowners, especially in a time of economic crisis — which is why we are puzzled that the City is seemingly contributing to the problem by spending nearly the entire $1.4 million reserved for debt service on other items,” said Council Candidate and Former Council President Steve Stegman.
“The message from the Governing Body is clear: even after increasing spending by nearly one million dollars since 2018, they are not done. There is no rationale for a city with a population below 4,000 to spend nearly a million dollars in new spending over the past two years. The salary, other expense (OE) accounts, and benefits spent on our newly-created Business Administrator position exceeds our debt service payments over the past two years. The burden of this spending falls directly on hardworking Lambertville residents and small businesses.”
“Taxes have increased by half a million during the Mayor’s administration while the direct cost to taxpayers has gone up over 21%. Any substantial tax increases from the FY 2020 budget on both our residents and businesses at this time would be unacceptable, which is why Benedetta and I believe a spending freeze is the best course of action for Lambertville at this time.”
“In these trying times it is important the City reserves a healthy ‘rainy day fund’ in order to help stabilize our municipal finances,” said Council Candidate Benedetta Lambert. “Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Our main surplus account has dwindled down by well over half a million dollars. Let us also be very clear the dwindling surplus is due to new spending, not debt service. That’s part of the reason we are calling for this spending freeze. We want to reiterate our message to our hard-working taxpayers, municipal employees, and small businesses: we have your back and will continue to fight for you.”
Steve Stegman and Benedetta Lambert are Democratic Candidates for Lambertville City Council in the Upcoming Democratic Primary July 7. For more information, please contact them at: StegmanLambertforLambertville@gmail.com.