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Hopatcong to Focus on Economic Development

Mayor says creating a committee charged with developing borough business is in the works.

Hopatcong Mayor Sylvia Petillo said Saturday she's planning organizing an economic development and revitalization committee to help grow business in the borough.

The committee would be comprised of council members and residents, Petillo said. Councilmen Howard Baker and Michael Francis are expected to be on the committee, she said.

"It would be business owners, residents—we would take ideas from all those interested in the town and in the county," Petillo said.

Petillo said the committee would focus on short-term and long-term economic planning. Jumpstarting the borough's business climate won't happen overnight, though, she said.

"It's going to take time," Petillo said. "It's not something we're looking at for only now, but as how you're going to use your land and how you're going to bring economic development in for the future. You're looking five, 10 years out."

Petillo said the borough would first consult with the county about economic development and hammer out several issues, including whether to conform to the Highlands regional master plan, before creating the committee. Revitalizing the River Styx area would be among the committee's many goals, she said.

Petillo said Hopatcong's economy was already looking up, citing the opening of and a number of business approvals the borough has recently granted.

"People are starting to put money into their own properties to restore the image of the town," she said.

Michele Guttenberger May 25, 2012 at 02:17 PM
RBOT - The video from Certified Valuations during Caldwell's Town Meeting was very informative http://www.cvinj.com/cvimovie.html The Town of Caldwell had the reval done, but included the public with a Town Meeting, a presentation, and a Q&A session on the reval process. Did you ever see this done in Hopatcong? It was stated that the Certified Valuations agents must give 2 WEEKS written notice. Also what was upsetting - if the Town does not have an official Reval year they can be 15 PERCENT over the Market Value assessment. Could this be why our Town will not reval all the properties of the Borough? Because everyone is being taxed at least 15 percent over the market value and a Borough wide reval would bring this out. If they assessed all the properties at the real market value they would have to do drastic cuts to the budget. It would clearly show that our schools and loc gov services our way out of tolerance in supporting this structure through tax assessed home values based on real market value data analysis. The town would have to adjust to the real world and stop living in their time warp machine of the Wall St & Real Estate Bubble Years.
Michele Guttenberger May 26, 2012 at 01:30 PM
RBOT - How clever the rich are doing a reverse Robin Hood on the real estate of our town with this Open Space and Recreation Fund. Now you know why our Mayor sent out all the propaganda letters to us villagers to vote to merge the Environmental Planning board and why they got their donations to remodel the courtroom via a Hudson Farms donation. You comment on who is on this committee crystallizes the power and the benefit that is being given to the very wealthy through the ignorance of average voter who thought they were doing something for the greater good only to have their own pockets picked with higher taxes because the wealthy have found a tax exception for property that they are squatting on with their private clubs. But they given their generosity to us by allowing is do a charity hike on it so they can check off the open to public box and charitable contribution box on their tax forms - Sweet! To bad I can't make my backyard into a camp for the day then I can have the recreation status to and be tax exempt.
Roll Back Our Tax May 29, 2012 at 10:33 AM
Please watch 60 Minutes tonight. I have been posting comments on Patch about these subjects below over the last couple years explaining "if we don't get these under control it will bring the US economy down". They're important enough now to give some air time. THE COLLAPSE - Tuesday, May 29th 10p | 1a ET The Next Housing Shock A report on how and why banks so poorly handled documentation on millions of mortgages, resulting in their inability to prove that they actually own the homes they now want to foreclose on — resulting in lawsuits from people seeking to save their homes, and hampering an already weak housing market. Wall Street’s Shadow Market A report on credit default swaps and their impact on the current economic crisis. Private, largely undisclosed and deregulated, these are the contracts that mortgage investors — who bought up the riskiest mortgages when they were repackaged by Wall Street as exotic investment securities — entered into to protect themselves, in case their investments went bad. When homeowners began defaulting and the Wall Street high-risk mortgage-backed securities also began to fail, the big investment houses and insurance companies who sold the credit default swaps hadn't set aside the money they needed to pay off all the insurance contracts they'd written. The Day of Reckoning A report about the looming financial crisis involving state and local governments across the country, and the threat this poses to the U.S. economy.
sunshine May 29, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Roll Back Our Taxes; I'll watch 60 mins. tonight.Thanks for the info. BTW, a few years ago, I went to the town w/a Certified letter from an appraiser stating I was being overtaxed on $45,000.00, about the amout I had just paid for an addition to be added to our home. After they told me I would have to sue the town, I asked why the town doesn't re-appraise it them selves? I was told " our town appraiser would never have the time to appraise over 5,000 homes because if he did mine he would have to do all", LOL. He had more then enough time to serch every bit of my property when we put up the new addition & just about doubled our taxes. Shouldn't he have caught the error at that time? I guess that would have made to much sence! I would like to know if this is even legal.
Roll Back Our Tax May 30, 2012 at 10:44 AM
If you missed the story last night on CNBC about "the looming financial crisis involving state and local governments across the country, and the threat this poses to the U.S. economy", the link is below. http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7166293n&tag=contentBody;storyMediaBox Previously the story aired on CBS 60 Minutes in 2010. Since that time there has been follow-ups by Steve Kroft on this subject with Chris Christie on the financial condition of New Jersey. http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7166303n&tag=segementExtraScroller;housing http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7166299n&tag=segementExtraScroller;housing The Mayor wants to sell us and potential businesses a story on "economic development", when we're still spending like crazy here in Hopatcong and we're sill borrowing like mad plus taxing our citizens out of their home with increases of 5-7%. We can't provide the minimum amount of service without charging "user fees". Get your own house in order Mayor Petillo. Then you can promote an "economic" plan.
Roll Back Our Tax May 30, 2012 at 10:51 AM
At some point you have to ask yourself "where does the truth lie"? The borough is all "interwoven" with a past Council member sitting on the zoning board, a former Mayor now school board President and associated with the Sussex county Environmental Committee, a Mayor previously an instructor in the school district, a borough attorney for Hopatcong and Byram associated with Hudson Farms hunting club giving donations to them for special property tax treatment like "CAMP" to avoid paying higher property taxes. Then designating the remainder of the land as "open space". What is open space? http://www.hopatcong.org/OpenSpaceRecreationCommittee.php The Open Space / Recreation Committee was established in 2000 through Article Three of Chapter 5 "Open Space Committee" of the Code of the Borough of Hopatcong. In 1999 the voters of the Borough authorized a one-cent per $100 of assessed valuation of each annual tax levy commencing with the year 2000 to be placed in an "Open Space and Recreation Fund". YOU the voter may have granted Hudson Farms a lower recreational tax rate or worst case scenario open space land while YOU and I pay a premium. Then we have to fight them in court while paying the borough attorney John Ursin his fee. That's good "economic development" for Ursin only! Look who sits on that Committee: Mary Louise Baker Council Appointee Cathy Bowen Mayor’s Appointee John Young Councilperson Clifford R. Lundin Planning Board Sylvia Petillo Mayor
Roll Back Our Tax May 30, 2012 at 10:59 AM
Michele....question of the day to Mayor Petillo regarding "economic development" and much needed tax dollars for Hopatcong. http://hopatcong.patch.com/blog_posts/shh-you-could-triple-your-money-easily-with-hopatcong-tax-lien-certificates How can the borough attorney John Ursin argue cases for Hudson Farms to operate as a "shooting preserve" disguised as a "CAMP" allowing them 1,738 acres of land to be subsidized by Andover, Byram and Hopatcong municipalities taking away much needed funds from those communities all while representing those communities against the taxpayers appealing their taxes who values of their properties have fallen to the point of NO return and REALLY need property tax relief? http://www.zillow.com/local-info/NJ-Hopatcong-home-value/r_52570/ http://www.zillow.com/local-info/NJ-Byram-Township-home-value/r_395548/ http://www.zillow.com/local-info/NJ-Andover-Township-home-value/r_398975/ Hopatcong is the worst in fallen property values by far and John Ursin has suddenly become my best salesperson.
Roll Back Our Tax May 30, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Mrs Skinny...contact my tax attorney Rob. Spiotti @ rspiotti@taxcounsel.com or call him direct at 973-943-6590 about any questions you have regarding your property taxes. I have about 450 members in my group and we give him A LOT of business.
Roll Back Our Tax May 31, 2012 at 09:48 AM
I think what we really need to do is come to terms with what this town is all about. http://hopatcong.patch.com/blog_posts/conflict-of-interest-a-citizens-unconstitutionality-complaint-that-begs-hopatcong-to-answer Answer: Special interest groups. But what we REALLY need is "a government for the people". You see borough attorney Ursin also gets paid to defend the borough against tax appeals we deserve from the borough. Why? Yours truly Mayor Petillo and ALL the current Council members made it so at the CM meeting in January 2012 by presenting Resolution #2012-09. LOL...can you imagine that? http://www.hopatcong.org/Minutes/010412Reorg.pdf Resolution #2012-09 – Legal Defense of Tax Appeals Councilman Young made a motion to adopt a resolution authorizing the Tax Assessor and Borough Attorney to defend the Borough before the Sussex County Board of Taxation and Tax Court of the State of New Jersey in all contested tax appeals. Then look who seconded it - Councilman Bunce. Then look at roll call vote ALL in favor: Ayes: Baker, Bunce, Francis, Galate, Klein, Young. So what business would want to set up business here? I'd suggest a pawn shop! So here's the choices this primary June 5th: "Hopatcong Moving Backwards" and more of the same with incumbents Bunce and Galate. Or.... "Keeping Hopatcong Honest" by voting in Gianni and Forbes.
Interesting May 31, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Too funny.... Yea... Just what we need two people that thought it best to spend money that they did not have to sue for an action that took place three years ago that has saved us the taxpayers money.. And then ask us, the tax payers to foot their bill.... I certainly hope that is NOT what we want... Randy... You continue to amaze me... you, Randy the great Oz, thinks you should be able to walk in and demand your personal property taxes to be reduced and all should bow - ignore the legal process - and just quietly do as you demand. I am thankful each and every day, that those responsible establish processes according to law to address this and follow them. So yes, we all have a right to appeal our taxes - that has never been in question - just do so according to the established legal process. Sorry... No short cuts for the great Oz no matter how hard he beats his chest. Other then this being obviously personal for you, I am not sure why you continue to be confused as to why the Borough should not absolutely defend itself and employ legal representatives to do so. You see... The "Government is For ALL the people" - not just you.
Tammy May 31, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Good Morning Interesting--I'm not getting into this battle with you and Mr. Rollback but I do have a question for you. Do you honestly think this current Mayor and Council are doing a good job? From where I sit I see our services being cut to save money yet our taxes continue to increase every year. I see our sewer bills increasing on a regular basis. I see grant after grant being accepted yet the only improvements I see being made are to the center of town yet those who live in other sections are footing the bill because these grants NEVER cover the whole cost. (Once again, grants are not free money, our state and federal taxes pay for them so we are getting hit on both sides). I see a donation being accepted to re-decorate the Borough Hall and you cannot tell me the donation covered the entire cost. Who do these people think they are to re-decorate during these economic times? Do those fancy new counter tops do anything to help the people of this town? I see our Mayor and Council giving themselves more and more power and giving the taxpayers less of a voice in matters. How about they vote themselves some power to have more control with our school system and actually represent the taxpayer (their job by the way, lest they have forgotten) and let it be known that if something doesn't happen quickly Madam Mayor will be taking names and kicking butt? All this while Hopatcong sinks deeper and deeper in debt. How can these two people do any worse?
Roll Back Our Tax May 31, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Yes interesting....it is too funny that every time you open your mouth I get new members in my group. You too continue to amaze me. Here's what does not make sense since we are a dirt poor borough. When many of us walking into the tax assessors office have certified appraisals, we are denied a reduction on the spot. Instead what the borough does is pay more fees and overtime than the actual reduction amount. Can you say "are you smarter than a 5th grader"? So we go to tax appeal court instead of the assessors office being reasonable and reducing our taxes voluntarily. But in the meantime, they send the Gestapo (Certified Evaluations) out unannounced and use another tax funded venture thanks to the Mayor and Council to inspect what you have to see if they can tax MOREEEEEE! http://www.hopatcong.org/Minutes/010412Reorg.pdf "Resolution #2012-12 – Appointment of Certified Valuations, Inc". Then if that is not enough, still want us to chum up some money just to have the right to have our taxes reduced. What does the borough do? Sit back and use OUR tax money to pay the borough attorney John Ursin his fee, certified valuations their fee and overtime for the tax assessor Therese DePiero to attend the Tax Appeal hearings. But it is what it is and yes there are "no shortcuts". The OZ has spoken.
Roll Back Our Tax June 01, 2012 at 12:38 PM
Brother....can you spare a dime? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eih67rlGNhU "They used to tell me I was building a dream, and so I followed the mob, when there was earth to plow, or guns to bear, I was always there right on the job". Too late for empty promises Mayor. Keep raising the taxes, keep handing out the raises, keep raising false expectations. Seems like the word "raise" has become a prominent part of your vocabulary. The only thing that isn't raising is the economy. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/warning-americas-new-age-of-austerity-starts-now-2012-05-29 "You’ve seen the warnings all across the major newspapers about a global slowdown. But why no warnings of austerity dead ahead? Why? America’s still deep in denial. We prefer happy talk to the truth. No, nobody will get honest about austerity till after the elections. Then it’ll hit hard. Wake up. You were warned: America’s new Age of Austerity is already here. Till the elections, nobody else will tell you the truth about what comes with this slowdown: Plan on classic economic austerity. Maybe not austerity as deep as the euro zone’s Spain and Greece. Yet maybe deeper than the 1930s as Nobel economist Paul Krugman writes in his new book, “End This Depression Now.” Yes, America’s already in a depression. Wake up America, to a long bear market, a recession cycle, to austerity where everything slows down, income, jobs, retail, global trade, and market returns".
Roll Back Our Tax June 11, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Borough of Hopatcong received $2 million from the federal Recovery Act in 2008. http://www.recovery.gov/espsearch/Pages/advanced.aspx?State=NJ&zip=07843 The federal government's "Track the Money" website, Recovery.gov, showed the borough received $337,121 while the school district got $1.98 million. What ever happened to that money? Could have used some of it for economic development in 2008.
Roll Back Our Tax June 14, 2012 at 12:11 PM
Quick comparison on bond yields because when someone said in a prior article in support of the Mayor that "THINGS ARE NOT THAT BAD HERE IN HOPATCONG"...I have to laugh, because they said that not too long ago in Spain too. Right now Hopatcong's current bond yield is around 4.99%. See link below. http://www.bondview.com/pricecheck/issuer/439340DX5 These are the "nonrated" bonds. Why are they "nonrated"? http://www.bondview.com/pricecheck/bonddetails/439340AS9 "Market ratings reflect default risk based upon market perception. Default risk is based on the difference between a bond's yield and the yield of a treasury bond of equivalent maturity. A large difference generally means the market requires a higher yield to compensate for the higher default risk compared to a Treasury bond, which is considered relatively risk free. This bond is currently unrated". Now let's compare it to Spain who's been recently in news and who's borrowing costs have reached "unsustainable levels". What's their current yield? http://www.marketwatch.com/story/spain-enters-danger-zone-as-yields-near-7-2012-06-14 The yield on Spain’s 10-year government bond ES:10YR_ESP +3.07% rose as high as 6.96%, a new euro-era record and dangerously close to levels considered as unsustainable, according to Tradeweb". Not too long ago Spain was at a level of 4.99% too. But if you look where Hopatcong bond yields were not too long ago, you'll see why we're in DEEP trouble here.
Michele Guttenberger June 14, 2012 at 12:55 PM
RBOT - Interesting comparing Spain to Hopatcong on Bond yields and Hopatcong now getting a high risk yield. What what can the average Hopatcong taxpayer do. It seems that Bunce and Galate are a shoe in for council come November and they will continue with this agenda that is in play. The only power we have is our vote which the Mayor has great sway since her friends and husband have formed their own Republican Campaign PAC. Unless a write-in candidate can find this kind of PAC support there is little hope of changing tack here. This ship is headed for the falls and best we can do is hold on to the railing with our life jackets and hope we can submerge back up. Really what can the people of Hopatcong do - this is already a done deal!
Roll Back Our Tax June 14, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Well Michele....doesn't matter who wins this time. I have suspected this for years. We have a "ticking time bomb" not only in Hopatcong but in the US as well. "Yes, the stars are aligning again. Much faster. As Peter Coy and Rouben Farzad put it in their BusinessWeek editorial, today’s bubble-blowing resembles the four-year run-up to the 2008 crash, replicating the pre-election timing". http://www.marketwatch.com/story/world-bank-warns-china-is-a-ticking-time-bomb-2012-02-28?pagenumber=2 "Trapped in a 800-year danger zone, repeating the same old folly. Warning, our world’s in the danger zone again. Will you be caught off guard, unprepared? Like Paulson and Bernanke in 2008? Remember, this historical pattern hasn’t changed in 800 years … cycles are inevitable … repeating … the destiny of nations … lessons never learned … ignored by future leaders … optimism and denial blow new bubbles … and like so many before us, for centuries, we’re in denial … optimistic about a weak recovery … blind to external dangers … praying this time is different … trapped in wishful thinking … yes, China and America … two accelerating race cars … can’t see the cliffs … who’s first?" I got burned in 2008 because I got caught off guard. Fortunately I got MOST of my investment income back. I see all the signs of 2008 happening again. But this time, I pulled out of the market early. So...."this time I won't get burned". But Hopatcong will.
Michele Guttenberger June 14, 2012 at 11:41 PM
RBOT - It does matter. History has shown that during the Great Depression of the 1930's the hardships were more bearable by the stoic leadership and the people of these small American towns. It is during these times we look for Local Leaders of strong character. It is been demonstrated by our incumbents that they do not have this grit to pull us through. Our only hope is for a great write-in campaign of capable candidates for council posts to help steer the ship from this brewing economic storm ahead.
Roll Back Our Tax June 21, 2012 at 11:00 AM
Michelle....I just read your blog on "This Land is Your Land But You Don’t Know it" http://hopatcong.patch.com/blog_posts/this-land-is-your-land-but-you-dont-know-it?ncid=newsltuspatc00000001 I was surprised but NOT astonished to see "We purchased .19 acres from one of our council members on 23 Cove Road". I agree...."What recreational benefit was adding this parcel of land as tax exempt property"? You went onto say...."This list is gratuitously peppered with recognizable sellers of small parceled land we bought to add to the ranks of land that could never be developed. How many influential former lot owners now have a forever tax free dumping space for their grass clippings and were also given a monetary gift of appreciation by our town for doing it". Thanks for sharing....http://www.hopatcong.org/Minutes/OSRPUpdate.pdf. It's funny how the same old names keep popping up...and we keep giving away property tax dollars to keep this land preserved. http://www.hopatcong.org/Minutes/openspc041411.pdf "Cliff Lundin being Chairman of the County Open Space Committee reported that the Freeholders have been cutting the tax rate in half and we are now below the one half cent rate and the money that is raised is to be split between the Farmland Preservation" You have to ask yourself where does Hudson Farms fit into this equation? It was deemed "open space" in 2010. http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/02/sussex_county_preserves_hudson.html
Roll Back Our Tax June 21, 2012 at 11:04 AM
continued.... "The greenway virtually connects C.O. Johnson Park with Allamuchy State Park, said Epstein, who noted the Highlands Trail is likely to be re-routed through this new public holding. Partners in the deal with the Land Conservancy included the state Green Acres program, New Jersey Conservation Foundation, Byram and the Sussex County Open Space Committee. The project embodies most goals of Byram’s open space program, including conservation of water resources and forests, connectivity of natural corridors, public access to water bodies, off-road non-motorized access between parks, plus sites for future recreational facilities. "The Hudson Farm Greenway project is a perfect example of how local, county and state agencies can all work hand in hand toward a common goal,’’ said Byram Mayor Jim Oscovitch. A dozen years ago, billionaire investor/philanthropist Peter Kellogg bought the former Hudson Guild Farm in Hopatcong, which had been a charity fresh-air farm for the prior 50 years, and converted it into a semi-private target/instruction course and private commercial hunting preserve gun club catering to wealthy clientele. In 2007, Kellogg added the 900-acre Westby farm along Roseville Road in Byram and Andover to its growing holdings in Sussex, which now comprise some 4,000 acres in Hopatcong, Byram and Andover.
Roll Back Our Tax June 26, 2012 at 06:39 PM
So much for that economic development plan. This borough blew it BIGGGGG TIMEEE! Lurky Loo just passed this information onto me about CVS buying Barone's property. http://www.strausnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120613/NEWS01/120619973/0/MILESTONES05/Planning-board-approves-CVS-application "After over a year of planning, testimony and discussion, the Byram Township Planning Board approved a joint application of First Hartford Realty Corp/CVS Pharmacy and Barone's Restaurant to build a 12,900-square-foot CVS pharmacy on Route 206 across from Lackawanna Drive and ShopRite. The plan calls for the demolition of the building that currently sits on the property and houses the Lockwood Tavern and Barone’s Restaurant. Barone's Restaurant owner Pat Barone said he intends to rebuild the restaurant. The board approved the application in a 6-1 vote, but discussed several items that may need to be readdressed before the final resolution is voted upon. These items include signage, lighting and parking". Why is it Byram can get things done and we can't?
Roll Back Our Tax July 12, 2012 at 05:55 AM
So much for the Mayor's economic development. I sat at the Council meeting yesterday to see the Mayor scrambling to play catch up with a Resolution to get their $120,580 in "free $". http://morristown.patch.com/articles/affordable-housing-fight-goes-back-to-the-courts Not only aren't developers building anything in this borough but now we were one of two towns that missed the dead line to get our share of state funds that developer's pay into for affordable housing. LOL!
Rockon July 12, 2012 at 11:55 AM
Please explain the missed deadline to get our share of state funds that developers pay into affordable housing.
Roll Back Our Tax July 12, 2012 at 12:15 PM
When I asked our Finance Administrator Robert Elia, "what happened"? The Mayor jumped in and explained to me..."it wasn't a lot of $" compared to other towns. Also she blamed it on the state and said..."they weren't specific enough to the cut off date".....in other words "“commit to spend” wasn't defined. I think more like "some one asleep at wheel".
Warren July 12, 2012 at 01:12 PM
I don't understand how the Mayor calls herself a Republican. Republicans believe in smaller government, less taxes and less spending. All we've ever seen from our Mayor and council is more government and higher taxes. We need to elect officials who are going ahere to Republican principles. Unfortunately, most residents vote for whichever R is at the top of the list. We need a real Republican and challenge the Mayor in the Primary and we need the party to endorse someone committed to cutting taxes.
Roll Back Our Tax July 12, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Warren.....there will never be "smaller government, less taxes and less spending" here in Hopatcong. The borough is broke. Yet we keep spending and increases taxes 5-6%/year like it's still 2003. Many members of my RBOT group believe the Mayor and others have a "personal agenda". I don't want to get into too much detail here but we believe there's a "hidden agenda" with the merging of the Planning and Zoning Boards. Only with a full investigation will the truth be discovered. But the complaint my group filed against the Mayor (see last 3 attachments), in which the Department of Community Affairs issued a Notice of Violation to the Mayor for "misuse of borough funds" is being contested by the Mayor. She put that on the record at the Council meeting last night. According to NJSA 40A:9-22 (c) "No local government officers or employees shall use or attempt to use his/her official position to secure unwarranted privileges or advantages for himself or others". My only question at this point is "will she use Borough Attorney Ursin to represent her"? She said last night "she hasn't decided yet".
The Watcher July 12, 2012 at 02:31 PM
RBOT how can the mayor use the borough attorney on our dime if it's a violation for misuse of borough funds? As for NJSA 40A:9-22 does that cover appointing themselves (and friends) to all the boards/committees giving them unfair advantage in whatever ordinances they want to push through (not to mention owed votes at election time). Warren, we had two challengers in the primary now it's time to vote the person, not the party new people, new ideas. Not all R's nor all D's believe in the party line, or vote party lines. How many on the council were D but put an R after their name to get elected? Maybe you should take the time to find that out you might be surprised. Instead of smaller government they are increasing it and spending more. I'm told the combined boards have $25,000.00 more allocated to it than the two separate boards, how is that the cost savings the mayor and council claimed? Mr. Ursin was also appointed as the BOH attorney and from what RBOT says he charges more than other lawyers. What happened to the checks and balances?
Michele Guttenberger July 12, 2012 at 06:15 PM
RBOT - I think this was all a great performance by our Mayor. The Mayor's development plans are the visions of the major landholders in this town. The Offshore entity that controls Hudson Farms has a elite sporting club on this Open Space Farmland. They own vast acres of Hopatcong Property. IMHO Their plan is whatever the big landholders wants Hopatcong to be and that may be a large recreational area for elite sporting clubs with tax exemptions. Don't think this group wants housing developments. The Mayor does not take any direction from the taxpayer nor does she need to. We have given her absolute control. And she can do whatever she pleases. She was just re-elected and has 3 1/2 years to do whatever she wants and YOU cannot stop her plans for Hopatcong which may not be your vision. Her major concern is with the bond, and tax lien holders and large landholders who throw in tax deductible donation money to have sway in having all their resolutions passed. The taxpayer needs are not important if it is not election time. We are just here to pay all the municipal bills.There is no budget to maintain infrastructure that has to be done with grant money, donation and settlement money. They spent all your tax $$ on government and administration, and paying off bond debts and tax lien certificate holders.
Roll Back Our Tax July 27, 2012 at 11:09 AM
Béla Szigethy who co-owns http://www.riversidecompany.com/ plus property in Jefferson Township (Alice's Restaurant, built the putt putt, refurbished Main Lake Market). He pays plenty of property taxes on those businesses. Also, he's dedicated to improving the lake & developing land in Hopatcong for the benefit of ALL residents. http://hopatcong.patch.com/articles/report-man-donates-100k-to-lake-hopatcong "NJ.com reports a Lake Hopatcong summer homeowner donated $100,000 to start the Lake Hopatcong Foundation, a nonprofit aimed at preserving the lake...who expects to donate more before the end of 2012, hopes to improve the lake via mapping, weed killing and water-quality testing" On the other hand Hudson Farms owner, multi billionaire Peter Kellogg pays $87,467 in property taxes on ONLY 19 acres in Hopatcong "where his hunting lodge for the ultra wealthy sits", gets a break on his tax assessment at 20% of their assessed value of $4,135,300 on a 1,000 acre plus compound & is incorporated as a tax sheltered business in Bermuda under MMK Reinsurance. What's the community benefit in that? http://njgunforums.com/forum/index.php?/topic/17653-nj-must-reconsider-sussex-county-farms-shooting-preserve/ "The 900-acre site in Byram and Andover is part of a 3,500-acre plot that also extends into Hopatcong and Sparta. The club received its first shooting permit on the Hopatcong side in 2000, Ursin said". BTW...Ursin represents Hopatcong borough as well as Hudson Farms.
Roll Back Our Tax March 25, 2014 at 07:48 PM
I guess that economic stimulus was put on hold when the Mayor thought she could make up for lost revenue when the tax reassessment took effect. What happened? Here's what your reassessment got you...more foreclosures. http://hopatcong-sparta.patch.com/groups/opinion/p/foreclosures-in-hopatcong

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