Medford Township Council approves 2 percent cap bank

Council also hears testimony from Comcast on license renewal

The Medford Township Council passed an ordinance Tuesday, March 21, to allow the township to create a cap bank by a 4–1 vote.

“This is not money that we are actually using. It allows us to bank it,” Mayor Charles Watson said. “We are not raising taxes this year, so we are not using this 2 percent cap. It allows us to bank some of it so if some emergency came up or if we needed to raise taxes above the 2 percent next year, we would be able to use those funds.”

The dissenting vote on the ordinance came from Councilman Chris Buoni.

“I hate this ordinance,” said Buoni, who then referenced Julius Caesar to illustrate his argument against the cap bank. “He made his decision to burn his ships, thus ensuring that the army would be committed to their mission. I truly believe there is no way we will be raising taxes in the next three years and that this is an unnecessary indulgence and I oppose it.”

“First, it is an administrative issue,” Councilman Frank Czekay said. “Second, it’s just a failsafe. If we should need it at some point, it’s there. If there is a natural disaster like we had 13 years ago with the rainstorm, then we need the money as opposed to borrowing the money and putting the township in significant debt like was done. We could use it to fund those expenses.”

“I agree with you Councilman Buoni,” Watson said. “We have no intention of raising taxes, but I eat pretty healthy and I have no intention of dying in the next three years, but I have life insurance.”

In other news:

The franchise agreement between Comcast and Medford is up for renewal. The original agreement between the two parties began in 1980. Comcast officially filed to renew its license Dec. 7. Fred DeAndrea, the director of government and regulatory affairs for Comcast, presented the facts on why the agreement between the township and Comcast should be renewed and to answer questions from the public about their Comcast service. The final decision on the agreement will be made by the Office of Cable Television of the state Board of Public Utilities.