NAME: Mary Mahoney (Democrat)
AGE: 56 (do you have to print that?) Yikes!
OCCUPATION: Worked for 18 years as a buyer and showroom manager in the garment center before retiring to raise my family. For the past 7 years I’ve worked at the Pottery Barn as a Design Studio Specialist and also as a Independent Sales consultant for Silpada Designs.
LENGTH OF RESIDENCE IN TOWN: over 24 years.
1. What do you see as the top three issues in town?
– Poor planning and execution. Township Committee reacts instead of planning long term. Produces waste and higher taxes.
– Ineffective and inefficient governing. No defined or specific responsibilities for committee members.
– Misplaced priorities. Many areas in Middletown are neglected such as the Bayshore area where flooding as not been fixed for over 20 years.
2. What specifically are you planning to do to address those issues?
– Improve transparency, so there will be more community involvement. Televise meetings at low cost. Town Hall meetings should concentrate on the business of running the township. Too much time is given to handing out awards. This should be done at another time.
– Improved efficiency by setting long term goals. Reorganize departments to consolidate and reduce redundancy.
– Fix the flooding issues in the Bayshore.
3. What will be the challenges in getting these goals accomplished?
– Getting the majority to cooperate and have a dialogue about new ideas. Taking the politics out of the governing process.
4. What expenditures, if any, do you see as ripe for trimming in order to keep the budget growth under the mandated two-percent cap?
– Consolidating and privatizing services to reduce expenses.
– Reduce the cost of professional contracts by going out to bid.
– Increase shared services with the BOE, neighboring towns and county.
– Privatize the management of the swim club.
– Shift the production of Middletown Matters into the Library budget (or sell advertising to pay for it) and televise the meetings for less money.
– Retire unused bonds.
5. Do you see any potential sources of revenue that need to be tapped?
– Improve and enforce recycling.
– Make the Art Center self sustaining and utilize it for events and functions to bring in revenue.
6.What, if any, municipal services should be consolidated among towns?
– 911 dispatch system.
7. What is one thing voters need to know about you, but may not?
– I’m not politically motivated and only want to do the right thing for the residents of Middletown.
1. Considering that this year’s budget wasn’t finalized until September, does the process by which the budget is develop need improving? Explain.
– Yes. In December of 2009 there was an anticipated $5 mil shortfall. Yet the budget was not addressed. Since Feb., the Mayor claimed they had a plan, but there was no plan. The only committee person with budgeting experience is Sean Byrnes. He recommended setting up a Finance Committee because of the seriousness of the problem, but that was dismissed.
The majority does not share information with all committee members and that needs to stop. The budget process should start in June of the previous year. We should be working on the 2011 budget now.
2. After this year’s municipal tax increase, which exceeded the state-mandated cap of 4 percent, what needs to be done to avoid a repeat?
– Better planning and execution.
– Consolidating departments.
– Out sourcing field maintenance.
– Increase the surplus which will reduce taxes in the long run instead of borrowing from future budgets.
3. What do you think the township should do with its swim club?
– Privatize the management or sell it.