(WEST ORANGE) - Schundler for Governor campaign manager Bill Pascoe today issued the following statement regarding a “startling” discovery regarding Jersey City’s financial health and the fiscal management skills of new Mayor Glenn Cunningham:
“How does a $19 million surplus turn into a $23 million deficit? Easy -- just put a Hudson County Democrat in charge of counting money, that’s how.
“On July 1, Mayor Bret Schundler officially handed over the reigns of power in Jersey City to newly elected Mayor Glenn Cunningham. Shortly thereafter, Mayor Cunningham saw fit to raise his own salary and then raise property taxes on Jersey City’s homeowners. He then proceeded to call a press conference to claim that Bret Schundler had left behind a $23 million deficit.
“Obviously, we here at the Schundler campaign were suspicious of Mayor Cunningham’s claims, especially since the new mayor hadn’t yet even put together a budget. After all, Glenn was still busy trying to figure out whether the increase in his paycheck was going to be bigger than the self-inflicted increase in his property tax bill. (That math problem was recently solved by the State Department of Community Affairs, which ruled that Cunningham’s pay increase was illegally obtained -- forcing the new mayor to rescind his raise.)
“It now turns out that we were right to be suspicious. Official budget documents filed by Mayor Cunningham’s hand-picked chief financial officer conclude that Jersey City ended fiscal year 2001 -- the budget year that ended with Bret’s term on June 30 -- with a SURPLUS. And not just a small surplus, but a BIG, FAT $19 MILLION SURPLUS.
“For those of you who want to see the proof, it’s listed right there on ‘SHEET 21, LINE 7’ of the FY 2001 Annual Financial Statement of Jersey City, which is filed with the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Local Government Services and the City Clerk of Jersey City.
“So now we know Glenn Cunningham can’t count money. I sure hope he can count votes on Election Day.”