To the Editor,
Preserve Ramapo has been asking the town of Ramapo and the Ramapo Local Development Corporation for their year end financial statements since the summer and we have been told repeatedly that they are not yet available. Just another St. Lawrence lie. On October 15 they were released to the national site that reports information on bonds, municipal and others. Now Ramapo is holding off on its public hearing on next year’s budget until after the election. If last year is any guide we will have a public hearing without knowing our finances for 2013.
We have just begun to look at these financial statements but one number says it all. At the end of 2012 the net position of government activities which includes the LDC was a negative $11,843,69. This suggest that Ramapo will have to raise its general town tax for 2014 by as much as 25 percent. Keep in mind that we don’t know what has happened in 2013 because St. Lawrence will not tell us anything until after the election. We do know that the Ramapo Local Development Corporation is going to have to cough up over $10 million in loan and bond payments in 2014. Since it lost $1.7 million in 2012 it is hard to see how it is going to come up with this money.
Also, keep in mind that even with huge tax increases Ramapo will only remain solvent if some loan and bond holders forgo immediate payment of some monies due. Alternatively, if Ramapo can somehow find a generous institution it might float another short term bond. But keep in mind that municipalities are supposed to have balanced budgets After “balancing” its budget for three years by vastly overestimating revenues Ramapo will have a hard time doing it again. Lying to the public is legal. Lying to bond investors is a felony, and that is one reason St. Lawrence and some of his friends down at town hall are facing serious charges. So we now have an election in just over a week and St. Lawrence is still doing his best to hide our financial debacle. Thank our incredibly incompetent and grandiose supervisor for putting us in this terrible position.
Robert I. Rhodes
President, Preserve Ramapo